REFORMERS SPLIT ON
Regulation of Levee Districts May Bring Two Vice Commission Reports.
URGE A WAR ON CULTS.
Permanent Body to Handle Problems Probably Will Be Suggested.
A split in the vice commission upon the question of segregation of the social evil was predicted yesterday by members of the body.
As the most important issue for consideration, the question will not be taken up formally until a meeting of the entire commission on Feb. 16, when the fusing of the conclusions of the several committees into the final recommendations of the commission will be begun; but indications of personal opinion during the preliminary discussion of the various phases of the problem have manifested such fixed views of a contrary nature that little hope of agreement is entertained.
Enough of the members of the commission are so firmly of the belief that no recognition of the social evil is permissible morally that with a few who hold the law will not permit such a recognition sufficient votes may be swung in opposition to a recommendation for segregation to result in the formulation of a minority report.
Start Review Work Soon
The reports of the several committees — each investigating an assigned branch of the general subject — have been completed and next Wednesday they will be reviewed by the executive committee in joint session with the committee on law and legislation.
The executive committee is composed of Dean Walter T. Sumner, chairman of the commission; Health Commissioner Evans, Dr. A. W. Harris, the Rev. E. A. Kelly, John L. Whitman, E. M. Skinner, and Judge M. W. Pinckney. The committee on law and legislation is composed of Chief Justice Harry Olson, Judge Pinckney and P. J. O’Keeffe.
Even among the members of the joint conference there is said to be a division of opinion, so that the allowance of one week in which they must prepare a report for submission to the entire commission is said to be none too long for the task.
The reports of the committees, it was said, cover every phase of the vice question from the several angles of local regulation to the handling of the problem not only in other cities of this country but in countries of Europe. In a few instances the observations of members of the commission have been valuable, but in the main the records of governmental authorities and of investigations similar to this have been relied on. The compilations cover the social evil from every viewpoint — moral, social, economic, legal, physical and medical — on the local situation.
Inquire into New Cults
It was disclosed that one of the features of the most recent steps of the investigation was one that has occupied public attention during the last few weeks. It was stated that sham religious cults setting traps for youth and weak wills by masking vice with the cloak of plenty in the bewilderments of ritual have not been neglected by the commission.
One of the chief recommendations that will be before the joint conference next Wednesday urges the establishment of a permanent vice commission— to be brought into existence by appointment of the may or some similar method — whose duty it will be to control the vice districts and supervise the work of the police within their boundaries. This has been discussed but briefly, as it involves the issue of segregation.
Related to this issue also is a phase of the report of the committee on medical questions, which is headed by Dr. Louis E. Schmidt. The committee agreed upon the advantage of a close medical supervision over the resorts and discussed the advisability of establishing a system of examination covering this point. Another recommendation along these lines may be for the registration and supervision by the city of all maternity homes, hospitals and baby farms.