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being of their relatives or neighbors. Such treatment irritates the mentally well, and often causes a relapse, which might not take place, were they treated like rational beings.

How are these friendless people to be provided for? Should each municipality look after its own, and endeavor to procure homes and employment for them until such time as each may be able to earn an independent living? Should each State or province still keep oversight of those that have no homes, and no one to take an interest in them? Should they farm them out in selected country houses, and pay to families small sums to provide food and shelter for them until they can find places in which they can earn their own living? Charitable organizations watch for the discharge of the criminal and the fallen when the period of their imprisonment terminates, and endeavor to reform them. Orphans are housed, educated, and clothed by the charity of Christian people. This is well. At the same time no class of our dependants are more worthy of our pity and consideration than those who have come out of the cloud of dethroned reason. Yet they have been overlooked except by medical officers in hospitals for the insane, who take almost a paternal interest in those who have been under their care and have gone out to struggle again in the maelstrom of human strife for an honest subsistence.

3. There is another class of weaklings whose mental disaster can be traced to over-pressure at school. Too much brain-work is demanded, that children may keep pace with the demands of parents and teachers. In this province some relief has been given during the last few years in shorter school hours for the very young and by the introduction of the kindergarten, which combines pleasure with learning. So far, so good; but too many subjects are on the list of studies for the young. The result is that many feel the effects in after life. The susceptible and tender brain is on a strain at a time when only moderate exercise is healthy for this organ. The brain in its early days must gather tone, fibre, and capacity for the great struggle of life. The young are not permitted to do hard manual work because of the tenderness of the body, until maturity is almost reached, but the most important organ of our physical system is urged onward to the utmost extent of its powers from babyhood upward. The weary head is filled with all kinds of knowledge which in former times was wisely judged to belong to the colleges.

The robust go through the ordeal unscathed; but to many it means nervousness, lassitude, periodic headaches, loss of appetite, troubled sleep, a lax, prostrated physical and mental system, and a tendency to insanity, which too often ends the chapter of blunders, especially if a hereditary predisposition exists.

4. Let me refer to the successful importation of tramps, defectives, and insane to this continent from all parts of the world, but especially from Europe. The seaport cities of the United States are guarded to some extent against pauper immigration, but not against the semi-dement and the insane, when they are in a condition to temporarily pass muster at points of entry. As a consequence, I find on inquiring that all the hospitals for the insane have a larger proportion of such insane per cent. of foreigners than is found among the native population. This may be accounted for to some extent because of the low standard of mentality of a large number of the class "dumped" upon our shores.

Changed conditions, under new environments and under new conditions of existence, lead to mental stress and insanity; but, apart from this fact, there is no doubt municipal bodies and even relatives send these defectives across the sea, and thus rid themselves of these burdens forever.

The Canadian seaports are not guarded in these respects; and, as a result, our hospitality is abused, and some of these defectives doubtless gravitate to the United States along our extended border.


Child Saving.


It is impossible to present a statistical review of what is being accomplished through public and private benevolence to conserve the welfare of children who are accounted objects of public concern. There is need of a uniform method for collecting, compiling, and reporting information of this character to competent public authority.

A State may not acquit itself of the duty of supervising the welfare of its dependent and neglected child population by conferring powers of guardianship upon corporations or individuals, and abandoning knowledge of the result of such grant of authority; but its power is best used, and its helpfulness best proved, when every homeless, neglected boy or girl may call it "mother," and find in its ready hand the support and guidance which have not been discovered elsewhere.

Good citizenship is the measure of the wealth and power of a nation; and because of this truth the rescue of child-life from the depressing conditions of unfortunate heredity or degrading environment exemplifies in government the fundamental law of self-preservation, and justifies the proposition that "the welfare of the child is the concern of the State." Without interference with the varied forms of benevolence fostered by municipal, religious, or private charity, it is the plain duty of the State to discover and supervise the welfare of the child-life dealt with, and to require such reports as may be necessary to an intelligent public understanding of the cause, cure, or relief of the child-dependency, neglect, or ill-treatment within its borders.

If officials skilled in military science are necessary to the staff organizations of civic rulers, to give assurance of public security and peace, how much greater the need of the presence in the offi

cial household of a Public Guardian, to exercise supervisory power in matters relating to the rights of person and property of minor children, that the aims of humanity be not neglected, nor those of justice miscarry.

With such an officer could be lodged complaints against delinquent guardians, and the reports of individuals and societies concerned in the prevention of cruelty to children. Wholesome legislation in the interest of the children would be promoted by the confidence inspired by the thorough methods adopted in discovering and reporting conditions.

If this Conference will designate a committee to formulate an address to the legislative bodies having jurisdiction of the subject, submitting a plan to promote a uniform system of public supervision of child-saving work, it will aid an advance toward intelligent cooperation in this important field of benevolent activity, and lessen the waste and failure incident to the multiplying forms of unsupervised and misdirected effort.


The good homes of a land are the nursery places of good citizenship, and the true measure of national strength. Therefore, society is to concern itself in the conservation of home life, and in effort to equalize the opportunities for home ownership as an essential foundation for the best ideals of family life. The effect of public teaching in the upbuilding of wholesome sentiment in support of the family hearthstone may not be overestimated.

As religion gives a day to the interest of the prison, let her also appoint a day when the inspiration of sermon and song shall kindle new fires at the altars of home and family. "A Sunday for the home," is a watchword which should be passed along the lines of every religious organization upon the American continent.

The material aids to the conservation of home life as represented by the co-operative building and loan associations, and organizations to make small loans upon household effects, at reasonable rates, in times of depression and distress in the industrial world, are firmly established in many cities; and advice founded upon experience may be obtained from officials where these aids have grown into prominent notice.


Family life is the natural requirement of every healthy boy and girl; and successful home placing depends upon the care exercised in securing a congenial fitting of children to the home life offered them, and in defeating the aim of selfish avarice, too often clothed in the apparel of benevolence.

Very often the requisition reads, “I want a boy not less than fourteen years of age, of good size, strong, and not afraid of work." Hold the requisition before the light, and a farmer may be seen floundering in the weeds, while his pocket-book is closed by a string tied in a hard knot. He may be a Christian, he may give the lad a good home, suitable food and clothing, and his blessing when he arrives at the age of majority; but he has driven a hard bargain for the bone and muscle, and placed in question the wisdom of the guardianship which could ratify such a contract.

Laws will be more honored in breach than in observance by those affected by them, when they fail to preserve equity; and the percentages of success in home placing so often paraded by child-saving agencies of every class fade with startling rapidity when placed under the search-light of careful and disinterested inquiry.

A board of local visitors reporting direct to the office of a public guardian would soon bring statistics of this class to a fair degree of reliability.


An urgent need of the present is the suppression of pernicious literature in the form of books and papers disguised under fair titles. Publications suitable only to kindle fires in the police courts are forced upon the public notice with unhindered activity; and children are used as agents to spread the corruption in school and family, tempted by rewards in the nature of pretentious and trashy baubles. A letter addressed to the First Assistant Postmaster-General of the United States concerning the increasing abuse of the mail privileges in the dissemination of indecent literature elicited the following courteous reply, which is presented in evidence of the insufficiency of existing legislation to prevent the destruction of morals through the abuse of the mails :

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