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diate interest to both the country of sojourn and that of legal residence. The discussion was painstaking, and it was emphasized that the first consideration in every instance must be the best interest of the individual child. This view of the question is not without a strong claim to the attention of every country which deports children to countries of origin.
This Committee is new. It was set up under the Social Section of the League in 1925. Its purpose to promote internationally the welfare of children and thus to aid the purpose of the League's existence the peace of the world-cannot be quickly accomplished; for it is plain that permanent, serviceable peace will be obtainable only through successive generations who add in turn some increment of vigor, wisdom, and good will to the accumulations of their predecessors. Its method is that of scientific research and publication in the field of child welfare. Already its cooperating audience is the populations of the fifty-five nation members of the League.
From this meeting I came away with an almost overwhelming sense of the power of the League's Child Welfare Committee. Why? Two great reasons suggest themselves to me.
First, the creation of the committee is timely; the world is ready for it. Is it not true that no study in the great search for that true social order which the conception of a peaceful civilization compels could just now be more sympathetically received than this of child welfare? A new interest in child welfare exists throughout the world. Progress has not gone far, but already the old fatalism is being driven out by the sheer beginnings of scientific knowledge. Every quarter of the globe is alert as never before to the needs and rights of children, and eager for practicable information. To illustrate briefly:
On the Western Hemisphere South American countries are appropriating lavishly for elementary education, health measures, and other phases of child care. They are concerned for the social protection of the young and are interested in the social and economic matters which largely condition child welfare.
For some years the Pan-American Child Congress has held periodical sessions in various South American countries. Last year the conference was held in Chile, and our government participated by sending a delegation. It should be added here that the president of this Congress was Sr. Valdes, a distinguished Chilean known internationally as a philanthropist and a man of affairs. He has accepted an appointment as assessor on the League's Child Welfare Committee, although regrettably he could not attend the recent Geneva meeting. It will not be a digression in this connection to mention the fact that the next session of the Pan-American Child Welfare Congress is to be held in Cuba probably in January, 1927. I am sure that President Lapp will appoint delegates from this body, and we may hope that a large number will attend to participate in the Cuba conference under our common title of American.
We learn that a new department has been set up in the University of Uruguay with the purpose of research and publication in the field of child welfare,
and it is intended that this department, under the auspices of the University at Montevideo, shall serve as the permanent organ of the Pan-American Child Congress. At this moment the Pan-American Red Cross is meeting in Washington, and we know its deep interest in child welfare activities.
With Mexico's heroic efforts to protect and educate her children too few of us are fully acquainted. We know, however, that this recognition of the needs of children will form a great chapter in the history of Mexico's struggle for democratic freedom.
With the efforts of Canada and our own country we are acquainted largely because there is no confusion of tongues between us. Canada sends to the committee at Geneva as an assessor the secretary of the Canadian Child Welfare Conference, Miss Charlorte Whitton, young, able, devoted.
The new states of Europe have written new constitutions which, differing as they may in other respects, show in common a new conception of the duty of the state to protect the young, and perhaps this is the most profound indication we can cite of the growing interest in child welfare.
England's Education act of 1918 is easily the greatest single piece of child welfare legislation of this period, though it must wait for resources and much experimentation for full effect.
China and Japan are aroused, as we know, to the injury of child labor and the necessity of elementary education. What courage is shown when Gandhi, of a great Brahmin family, gathers fifty children of the untouchables, sets up a school, and educates them to a wholesome and admirable maturity with his own children!
As to my second reason: I am sure our honored guest, Dame Rachel Crowdy, will not misunderstand if I try to make my point by an analogy which I should not use abroad, but which fills my mind. I think it may make clear to this audience why I feel profound confidence in what may be accomplished through the Child Welfare Committee of the League.
We in this country have various ideas about the League, but we are fairly unanimous in regarding it as essentially a political organization. We have wrangled into print a literature of debates taken up largely with claims of achievements and countercharges of lack of power in the field of its political action. But while Geneva gives us daily new material for our political discussions pro and con, she is also quietly doing something entirely different. Perhaps she is behaving with the strategy of the mother-partridge whose drooping wing distracts attention from the object of her greatest solicitude.
Geneva is setting up a series of scientific services, of which this Advisory Child Welfare Committee is one. These services-committees or offices-have no authority to enforce their findings. That is their strength. They have a duty to discover and make known facts. A fruitful fact needs no compulsory legislation nor military sanction; nothing but a chance to be used.
May I ask you to compare for a moment the structure and interests of the
League with what has developed in our own history? The League of Nations has been in existence for six years; the Child Welfare Committee, for a twelvemonth. One hundred and fifty years ago thirteen small colonies, separated by vast distances over an area now made small and intimate by the inventor, had a common aim. They wanted the same thing-independence. Because they were not strong enough to get it separately, they somewhat reluctantly united. They went into the war with jealousies and divergencies, Massachusetts arming first, and Georgia and New York coming in last. They adopted the Constitution with some jealousies and divergencies-New York eyeing the new document with doubt as to whether she would not do better to keep out and be a great nation singly. The differences between the industrial systems of the North and South already were breeding trouble, but on the whole-all slowly determining that there was no mode of living save by agreement-they became one politically, a union now long accepted by all. If the news service from the United States to Europe 150 years ago had had the rapidity, and perhaps one may say the vivacity, of today it would doubtless have gratified most of Europe to learn daily of the quarrels and difficulties between the colonies, and later between the states, in that long ninety years from the Declaration of Independence to the close of the Civil War. Europe would have known that we were too feeble to succeed in creating a political solidarity.
But in this same period, and up to the present day, as rapidly as science has bestowed new discoveries valuable to human life and vigor and happiness, our government has carried on, under the protection of our political structure, an increasing volume of scientific research and an equally growing power of diffusing knowledge.
Think of all the changes and quarrels of political parties which have gone on engaging more or less happily the attention of many persons and most of our newspapers while, undisturbed by party changes so long as the withering touch of the political trader in office was stayed-the scientific bureaus of the Department of Agriculture and other departments have enriched our fields, increased our powers, and lifted slowly the standard of living. The Department of Agriculture naturally saw first field and forest and directed its efforts to making the farmer more efficient, but as the increase of applied science has helped to develop agriculture, gradually the Department saw the mother and child in the house and began to send out women agents to teach by homely demonstration the arts of the household. Is this trivial, or a wise application of science? I need not remind you of the work of other scientific bureaus in our government, such as the Bureau of Standards, the Bureau of Education, the Children's Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Woman's Bureau.
Do these slowly developed common services to the forty-eight states of our nation suggest the power of a League of Nations in this period of vastly accelerated communication to give at once-to its Child Welfare Committee, if you please a power of world-service effective beyond our imagination?
But let us not deceive ourselves. This pursuit and diffusion of knowledge is by no primrose path. It is a matter of endless exacting toil. The Child Welfare Committee has one obvious advantage. It need make no converts to its cause; they are already made. All the parents of the world are its willing, eager audience if its skill and its gift of tongues enables it to make itself understood. "I am a father, and, like every father, I want my child to go higher than me," I once heard an immigrant father say with unconscious but unforgetable eloquence.
The highest type of scientific work is alone worthy the League. At no point in all the League's undertakings is this truer than in the long reach of the Child Welfare Committee. But words creep unless some power gives them wings. This Committee must be equipped for its task. It should have the aid of those most accomplished in this field, and it must have the physical equipment to make their work effective. All this is costly, but it is permanent-and it is grotesquely cheap when set beside the sums yearly demanded for the swiftly outdated equipment for war.
To return to the subject assigned to me, "Our Participation in the International Efforts for Child Welfare": Quite apart from the question of our country's membership in the League of Nations, cannot we readily discover practical ways at once to promote the scientific work of the Advisory Child Welfare Committee if we care enough about the children of the world?