ARMY MORALS AT HIGHEST
A higher degree of morality exists today in the American army than ever before, or than was ever though possible in the military forces, according to Dr. W. A. Evans, health editor of THE TRIBUNE who spoke yesterday at the conference of the correctional, legal and reform agencies of the council of social agencies. The meeting was held at the City club, and was the second of a series which is to be held previous to the opening of a campaign for the work of 1918. Dr. Evans spoke in behalf of a number of agencies, and urged unprecedented support toward "holding the home lines," in order to prevent vice and lawlessness after the war.
"There is a new point of view regarding the morals of the army," said Dr. Evans. "In 1916, the government sent its men to the border without a policy regarding venereal disease. Vice districts, were not only tolerated by some commanders, but in some instances were actually a part of the military machinery. Now the government has spoken, with the result that there is a morality among military forces never before equaled or thought possible.
"Agencies for the control of vice and crime need more support now than at any other time. The country must be made to realize that every one guilty of spreading contagious disease among soldiers is a traitor to the country."
Dr. F. Emory Lyon, chairman of the group, told of the results of a questionnaire sent to the twenty-tow agencies represented. There were eighteen replies. Fourteen reported increased activities because of the war. The war has taken away paid and volunteer workers and increased expenses have forced half of the agencies to drop from one to four salaried workers.
Only five found that their incomes had decreased during 1917, and the others reported increased incomes. For the work of the present year $45,500 additional is asked for, and the fourteen agencies listed the amount of their needs at sums varying from $1,000 to $5,000.
Dr. Lyons mad the suggestion that the army of civil prisoners be put at war work, making supplied of various sorts. G. Bernard Anderson told of the war work of the Legal Aid society, and said that the organization had communicated with all soldiers from Chicago, offering to give them any legal assistance needed at home. In a report of Mrs. Joseph T. Bowen f the Juvenile Protective league the work of enforcing the laws regarding the protection of soldiers and sailors against vice was described.
Judge John P. McGoorty said that an intelligent and impartial administration of the parole law is more than ever important now.
Laundry packages delivered next week will contain slips describing the needs of the agencies, and thousands of "hold the home lines" posters will be displayed. A slide will be show in the moving picture theaters during the week.
On Tuesday at 4 o’clock at the City club, the group representing the children’s agencies and institutions will meet. W. S. Reynolds will preside.