Social Hygiene and the War

General Secretary, The American Social Hygiene Association; Secretary, General
Medical Board, Council of National Defense

War was declared April 5, 1917, and immediately the nation had a condition and not a theory to face.

The President from time to time in the weeks which followed voiced the growing conviction of the people "that in a democracy the duty to serve and the privilege to serve fall upon all alike." In his registration day address he said:

There is something very fine, my fellow citizens, in the spirit of the volunteer, but deeper than the volunteer spirit is the spirit of obligation. There is not a man of us who must not hold himself ready to be summoned to the duty of supporting the great government under which we live. No really thoughtful and patriotic man is jealous of that obligation. No man who really understands the privilege and the dignity of being an American citizen quarrels for a moment with the idea that the Congress of the United States has the right to call upon whom it will to serve the Nation. These solemn lines of young men going today all over the Union to the places of registration ought to be a signal to the world, to those who dare to flout the dignity and honor and rights of the United States, that all her manhood will flock to that standard under which we all delight to serve, and that he who challenges the rights and principles of the United States challenges the united strength and devotion of a Nation.

Again, in his flag day address:

We meet to celebrate Flag Day because this flag which we honor and under which we serve is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a Nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it

( 418)   speaks to us—speaks to us of the past, of the men and women who went before us and of the records they wrote upon it. We celebrate the day of its birth; and from its birth until now it has witnessed a great history, has floated on high the symbol of great events, of a great plan of life worked out by a great people. We are about to carry it into battle, to lift it where it will draw the fire of our enemies. We are about to bid thousands, hundreds of thousands, it may be millions, of our men, the young, the strong, the capable men of the Nation, to go forth and die beneath it on fields of blood far away—for what? For some unaccustomed thing? For something for which it has never sought the fire before? American armies were never before sent across the seas. ` Why are they sent now? For some new purpose, for which this great flag has never been carried before, or for some old, familiar, heroic purpose for which it has seen men, its own men, die on every battle field upon which Americans have borne arms since the Revolution? These are questions which must be answered. We are Americans. We in our turn serve America, and can serve her with no private purpose. We must use her flag as she has always used it. We are accountable at the bar of history and must plead in utter frankness what purpose it is we seek to serve.

From the beginning of preparation for this war medical preparedness and conservation of moral standards of both military and civil population have been under consideration. A new attitude toward vice and venereal diseases has been evident.

It was generally recognized by those interested in social hygiene that the government must declare a definite policy and provide for carrying it into effect if a million men or more were to be called to the colors without having their efficiency seriously impaired by vice and venereal disease. It was also recognized that war conditions would accentuate the need for adequate civil control of prostitution, alcohol, and exposure to syphilis and gonococcus infection. Accordingly, conferences were arranged with officers of the government upon ways in which state and local resources could be made to supplement the federal resources for combating these evils.

Without attempting even to summarize all the agencies which have participated in bringing about the actions taken since the


[photo of President Woodrow Wilson]

Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, authorized by Act of Congress to protect the military forces of the United States from the evils resulting from the use of alcohol.

(420) beginning of the war, a few outstanding facts may be cited as indicative of the great progress of the social hygiene movement which may be expected as one of the results of America's entrance into the conflict.

1. The President of the United States, by direct authorization of Congress, will endeavor to protect the military forces from the evils resulting from the use of alcohol.

2. Congress has empowered and directed the Secretary of War to establish and regulate such zones about military places as may be necessary to protect soldiers from prostitution.

3. The Secretary of War has created a Commission on Training Camp Activities for the purpose of suppressing vice in military camps and surrounding zones and of counteracting harmful influences by a constructive program of entertainment, education, recreation, physical contests, and social activities participated in by both military and civil populations under auspices approved by the Commission.

4. The Secretary of the Navy has taken steps to safeguard the officers and men of the naval establishment by a similar commission. This work is closely correlated with that for the War Department through having one chairman for both Commissions.

5. The Council of National Defense has considered social hygiene questions to be of first rank among the problems of nation-wide preparedness for this war, and has adopted resolutions which clearly define its policy to be favorable to the carrying out of a comprehensive social hygiene program.

6. The Surgeons General of the Army, Navy, and Public Health Service have endorsed the program outlined and have planned administrative measures in accordance with it.

7. The General Medical Board of the Council is devoting every effort to the study and solution of unsettled questions bearing on the details of this program.

8. The American Red Cross through its Director General of Military Relief and the personnel of its hospital units is planning cooperation particularly in the foreign field.

9. The War Work Council of the Young Men's Christian Association, through its activities including sex education and its leadership of other correlated national agencies working

(421) under the supervision of the Commission on Training Camp Activities inside the camps and designated zones, is exerting a powerful influence in maintaining the moral tone of camp life and standards of conduct of the individual soldiers.

10. The American Social Hygiene Association, through its cooperation with the departments of government on the one hand and the civil authorities on the other, is serving as a clearing house for social hygiene societies and allied agencies particularly in the medical and hygienic phases of the work and in organizing public opinion in support of the measures adopted.

11. The American Playground Association has raised a special fund and has begun vitally important work in improving the environmental conditions about the camps and cantonments.

12. Other national and local volunteer agencies are at work in various practical ways of value in the complete program.

This program in topical form may be stated as follows as it relates to the venereal diseases:

I. Measures under Military Auspices

1. Printed and personal advice to every man applying or drafted for enlistment to include information upon the venereal diseases.

2. Protection so far as possible of all accepted applicants from time of acceptance to arrival at the concentration camp, and during furloughs to destinations outside the military zones.

3. Medical examination of all recruits to include

(a) Preliminary inspection for syphilis or gonorrhea on enlistment; (b) final examination including the Wassermann reaction at the cantonment.

4. Exclusion of prostitution and alcohol from all camps and surrounding zones.

5. Arrangements in camps and military zones for recreation, entertainment, social activities, and education.

6. Instruction of officers and men in the epidemiology of syphilis and gonorrhea.

7. Requirement of early prophylactic treatment for all officers and men exposed to infection.


8. Follow-up treatment of all infected cases, including transfer to isolation camps or base hospitals when necessary, and appointment of Benito-urinary and other specialists to special services in treatment and supervision of cases.

9. The detail of medical officers for carrying out the measures adopted, as a part of the program for control of infectious diseases.

10. Issuance of such printed matter, regulations, and authorizations as may be necessary to give effect to the measures adopted, and to give assurance of close cooperation between the military and civil authorities in all measures affecting the dissemination of the venereal diseases.

II. Measures under Civil Auspices

1. Education of public opinion in support of the necessary measures.

2. Enactment and enforcement of civil measures equivalent to those adopted by military authorities.

3. Institution of special temporary measures to aid in the protection of enlisted men passing through towns and cities en route to mobilization camps.

4. Establishment of advisory and dispensary facilities under such auspices as will most effectively provide for the venereal diseases among civilians.

5. Correlation of all activities indirectly of importance in combating the venereal diseases.

III. Problems under Special Consideration

1. The protection and control of girls and women among the civil population within military zones and accessible to military and naval establishments.

2. The securing of an adequate supply of salvarsan for military and civil needs.

3. The determination of public health and other civil administrative policies bearing upon the eradication of these diseases

(423) among groups not directly related to the military forces but of importance to national efficiency at this time.

4. The promotion of a practical program of sex education for the civil population.

5. The examination of men for discharge from the government service, and transfer to civil supervision of those discharged with syphilis or gonorrhea in a communicable stage.

The first of the measures under military auspices was originally begun by recruiting officers cooperating with the American Social Hygiene Association by direction of the Secretaries of War and the Navy during mobilization along the Mexican border. A further development of this cooperation is planned by the War Department in an effort to begin the protection of the recruit before he leaves home. The second measure is likewise one in which the military authorities must depend largely upon civilian cooperation, and plans have been made for the correlation of unobtrusive activities of many agencies. The remaining measures under military auspices are under the immediate direction of the Surgeons-General except four and five which deal with prostitution, alcohol, and recreation; and for which the training camp commissions are primarily responsible.

The measures under civil auspices are not essentially different from those adopted by the Army and Navy, but the large number of local authorities to be consulted complicates the situation. The American Social Hygiene Association and the state and municipal societies are redoubling their efforts to create public opinion in support of the program. The participation of many organizations of nation-wide influence may be depended on to secure action in matters of law enforcement, protection of girls, entertainment, and recreation. The Young Women's Christian Association, the Traveler's Aid Society, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the Intercollegiate Alumnae, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union are types of organizations which are quietly and effectively organizing civilian resources for the entertainment and protection of enlisted men passing through towns and cities en route to military camps and cantonments. The medical profession and hos-

(424) -pital and public health authorities are also showing a keen interest in providing adequate advisory and treatment facilities for civilians.

The Council's Committee on Venereal Diseases has under consideration many important suggestions upon special problems and details of the program outlined. The five of these specified are indicative of their variety and scope. Some of them seem well-nigh hopeless, but by way of encouragement it should be constantly borne in mind that the social hygiene movement is the outgrowth of many converging efforts of societies, alliances, and organizations that have struggled during the past quarter of a century for public recognition of the untold misery, sickness, inefficiency, and economic waste which result from the commercialization of prostitution and the unchecked ravages of venereal diseases. Had it not been for the patient endeavor of a few hundreds of these far-seeing pioneers, among whom stand out only a dozen or more whose names have received national recognition in this connection, there could be no concerted plan such as the Army, Navy, and civil authorities are now about to put to the test.

The challenge is squarely before the American people today. As indicated above, the President of the United States, the Congress, the secretaries of War and Navy, the other cabinet members of the Council of National Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, the members of the Advisory Commission, the chief medical and line officers of the military and naval establishments, the General Medical Board of the Council, and its Committee on Hygiene and Sanitation including the sub-committees on venereal diseases and alcohol, the Commission on Training Camp Activities have all placed themselves on record as favoring an effective campaign to protect the American troops from vice and disease. As evidence of serious purpose and good faith, each of these governmental agencies, immediately after the declaration of war, took such action and has devoted such study as has been required in developing the program which it is proposed Shall be followed.

How successful the United States may be in dealing with this

(425) problem of preventive medicine and conservation of moral standards now depends largely upon the degree of administrative efficiency attained. The Army and Navy have declared their intention to do their part; the civil population must be roused to do its part. The . social hygiene societies particularly have a great opportunity and a great responsibility. All the results of pioneer work in this field for the past twenty-five years—in one sense of all the centuries in which society has been building up its moral standards for the safeguarding of the race and equipping itself with scientific knowledge of the venereal diseases—are in their hands for application. If these are wisely applied during the war, the American nation will demonstrate a victory over disease and moral disaster which will rival its epoch-making record in mastering yellow fever during the war with Spain. As in that problem of preventive medicine, so in this, the civilian forces have a part to play, but in the prevention of venereal diseases the Army and Navy have far more need for and the civilian population as a whole has far more to gain by intelligent and adequate cooperation than in the combating of yellow fever and malaria.

The government is about to call to the colors at least five hundred thousand young men in the prime of life. These men are the trustees of five hundred thousand combinations of character units which future generations should receive and mould for the nation's further progress. Some of these heredities must of necessity be cut off in the stress and strain of battle, but no man, woman, or child should be permitted to be crippled mentally, morally, or physically through society's failure to apply the safeguards now recognized in the prevention of syphilis and gonococcus infections, and in the no less damaging undermining of character which accompanies sexual license.

The Army and Navy have studied and experimented and appealed to the civil authorities for years. Similar studies, experiments, and appeals have been made by civilian groups. The present program is the outgrowth of past experience plus the better understanding which has come from the demonstration of ways and means afforded by the mobilization of troops on the Mexican

(426) border in the summer of 1916. Clearly, if the American people intend to stand behind the administration in the effort to maintain the nation's efficiency during this war, the leaders among the men and women of every town and village in the United States must include social hygiene in their plans for preparedness.

The following letters and resolutions selected as types from many are full of encouragement for the social hygiene worker. Some of them, such as Secretary Baker's letter, are destined to become historically important not only in the annals of this campaign against the last of the great uncontrolled groups of communicable diseases afflicting mankind, but in the annals as well of advances in safeguarding the moral standards of the nation and educating the people to an understanding of the meaning of rational sex life.

The Committee on Hygiene and Sanitation of the General Medical Board Recognizes the Importance of Prompt Action

The venereal diseases. Among the communicable diseases disseminated through human contacts, syphilis and gonorrhea are preeminently of first importance in their bearing upon military efficiency. Under present conditions it is vitally essential that a practical program for the control of these diseases be adopted and immediately placed in operation. This program will include at least three lines of effort.

1. Discovery, treatment, and supervision of individuals infected.

2. Instruction and protection of individuals not infected.

3. Investigation, demonstration, and public education directed toward the development of more effective measures than are at present applicable.

The epidemiology of the venereal diseases is- such that military and civil requirements for their control are interdependent, and are closely related to the problems of control of prostitution and alcohol.

Following the experience of the English government in appointing the Royal Commission on Venereal Diseases for the purpose of studying this question and creating an informed public opinion through the hearings and sittings of the Commission, it would seem advisable that the Committee on Hygiene and Sanitation should hold at an early date a hearing on this subject inviting for the purpose prominent sanitarians, urologists, dermatologists, syphilologists, genito-urinary specialists, and representatives of social hygiene and welfare agencies.

The above paragraphs were incorporated in an outline of the committee's plan of activities adopted April 12, one week after war was declared. The committee's report was adopted by the

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[Photo of Newton D. Baker]

Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, en powered and directed by an Act of Congress "to do everything by him deemed necessary" to protect men in military training from 'prostitution.

(428) General Medical Board and the first hearing arranged for April 15, 1917. Resolutions, unanimously endorsed at the hearing, were presented to the executive committee of the General Medical Board, amended, adopted, and formally brought before the Advisory Commission and the Council for approval, final favorable action being taken April 21, 1917.

May 7, 1917.

Resolutions of the Committee on Hygiene and Sanitation, as Amended and Adopted.

WHEREAS, venereal infections are among the most serious and disabling diseases to which the soldier and sailor are liable;

WHEREAS, they constitute a grave menace to the civil population;

Therefore, the Committee on Hygiene and Sanitation of the General Medical Board of the Council of National Defense, recommends that the General Medical Board transmit to the Council of National Defense for the guidance of the War and Navy Departments the following recommendations:

1. That the Departments of War and Navy officially recognize that sexual continence is compatible with health and that it is the best prevention of venereal infections.

2. That the Departments of War and Navy take steps toward the prevention of venereal infections through the exclusion of prostitutes within an effective zone surrounding all places under their control, and by the provision of suitable recreational facilities, the control of the use of alcoholic drinks, and other effective measures.

3. That the said Departments adopt a plan for centralized control of venereal infections through special divisions of their medical services.

4. That the said Departments consider the plan of organization herewith attached.

WHEREAS, the use of alcoholic beverages is generally recognized as an important factor in the spread of venereal disease in the Army and Navy; and

WHEREAS, these diseases are among the most serious and disabling ones to which soldiers and sailors are liable;

Therefore, be it resolved that we endorse the action of the Army and Navy in prohibiting alcoholic beverages within military places in their control and we further recommend that the sale or use of alcoholic beverages be prohibited to soldiers and sailors within an effective zone about such places.


[Photo of Participants in the meeting]

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A News Item Sent to the Press of the United States by the Council of National Defense



As a strict war measure, the Council of National Defense has taken decisive steps for the hygienic and mental welfare of the soldiers and sailors of the nation. It has struck at the presence of venereal diseases and at alcoholism in all military commands.

Guided by the General Medical Board, which is constantly studying medical problems in connection with the Army and Navy mobilization, the decisions of the Council are these: First, that under military control an effective zone shall he created about all military commands as the most practicable and effective measure to prevent venereal diseases. Second, that these military zones shall serve also as a means of control of alcoholic beverages to the troops. These decisions are reached by the Council after exhaustive study of conditions today among great European armies.

Zones about the military commands will, therefore, be created and conditions in these zones will he guarded by military measures so as to prevent the spread of venereal diseases. The two military arms of the government officially recognize that continence is compatible with health.

The Council also recommends, as a further solution of the problem, that all military commands be provided with good facilities for the recreation of the troops. It urges that all suitable athletics be encouraged.

The use of alcoholic beverages on the part of soldiers and sailors in military commands has long been under military control. But the creation now of these military zones will in effect extend such control over the troops when they are off duty out of the commands.

"To face these ugly facts in an unflinching and no half-hearted fashion." said Dr. Franklin H. Martin, member of the Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense, "makes for the fighting power of the nation. But our troops are inseparably a part of our civil life, and a clean, wholesome, temperate life among these troops will in the end make for our civil advancement, compared to which the cost of the war is nothing. The whole nation is indebted to the General Medical Board for its thorough-going research, and for its definite recommendations in the matter of real protection to our boys."

The recommendations were unanimously approved by the members of the General Medical Board, and by other men of National prominence who attended the first hearing on these important problems, as follows:


Surgeon General William C. Gorgas, U.S.A., Surgeon General William C. Braisted, U.S.N., Surgeon General Rupert Blue, U.S.P.H.S., Colonel Jefferson R. Wean, American Red Cross, Rear Admiral Cary Grayson, Dr. H. W. Wiley, Dr. William C. Woodward, Dr. William C. Rucker, Prof. Earl Phelps, Dr. Sterling Ruffin, Dr. William A. White, Dr. George M. Kober, Washington; Dr, Charles H. Peck, Dr. George E. Brewer, Dr. Simon Flexner, Dr. Hermann M. Biggs, Arthur Hunter, Prof. Charles B. Davenport, Prof. Marsten Bogert, V. Everit Macy, Dr. Haven Emerson, Prof. Edward T. Devine, Dr. Eugene Lyman Fisk, Homer Folks, Dr. John A. Fordyce, Dr. Edward L. Keyes, Jr., Dr. Victor C. Pederson, Raymond B. Fosdick, Abraham Flexner, Dr. J. Bently Squier, Dr. William F. Snow, New York City; Dr. William H. Welch, Dr. Winford Smith, Dr. John M. T. Finney, Dr. Theodore Janeway, Dr. George Walker, Dr. W. H. Howell, Dr. Donald R. Hooker, Baltimore; Dr. Edward Martin, Dr. Edward P. Davis, Dr. Edward C. Kirk, Dr. Alonzo Taylor, Philadelphia; Dr. Franklin Martin, Dr. Frederic A. Besley, Dr. George H. Simmons, Dr. Ludwig Hecktoen, Dr. W. A. Evans, Dr. William A. Pusey, Chicago; Dr. William J. Mayo, Dr. Charles H. Mayo, Rochester, Minn.; Dr. Victor C. Vaughan, Prof. Warren P. Lombard, Ann Arbor; Dr. George W. Crile, Dr. William E. Lower, Cleveland; Dr. Richard P. Strong, Dr. Walter B. Cannon, Dr. Richard C. Cabot, Dr. R. F. O'Neill, Dr. Charles J. White, Dr. A. J. McLaughlin, Boston; Prof. Thomas N. Carver, Dr. M. J. Rosenau, Cambridge; Dr. Frank F. Simpson, Pittsburgh; Dr. Joseph M. Flint, Prof. Irving Fisher, New Haven; Dr. Stuart McGuire, Richmond; Dr. John Young Brown, St. Louis; Dr. Thomas W. Huntington, San Francisco; Dr. Hubert A. Royster, Raleigh; Frank A. Fetter, Princeton; S. S. Kresge, Detroit; Dr. Alec N. Thomson, Brooklyn; Dr. Charles F. Stokes, Warwick.

Congress Specifically Empowers the President and Secretary of War to Deal with the Social Hygiene Problem

In order to make certain that the military authorities of the United States should have ample authority to safeguard their troops, Congress added the following sections to the "Act to Authorize the President to Increase Temporarily the Military Establishment of the United States :"[1]


SEC. 12. That the President of the United States, as commander in chief of the Army, is authorized to make such regulations governing the prohibition of alcoholic liquors in or near military camps and to the officers and enlisted men of the Army as he may from time to time deem necessary or advisable; Provided, That no person, corporation, partnership, or association shall sell, supply, or have in his or its possession any intoxicating or spiritous liquors at any military

(432)   station, cantonment, camp, fort, post, officers' or enlisted men's club, which is being used at the time for military purposes under this act, but the Secretary of War may make regulations permitting the sale and use of intoxicating liquors for medicinal purposes. It shall be unlawful to sell any intoxicating liquor, including beer, ale, or wine, to any officer or member of the military forces while in uniform, except as herein provided. Any person, corporation, partnership, or association violating the provisions of this section or the regulations made thereunder shall, unless otherwise punishable under the Articles of War, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both.

SEC. 13. That the Secretary of War is hereby authorized, empowered, and directed during the present war to do everything by him deemed necessary to suppress and prevent the keeping or setting up of houses of ill fame, brothels, or bawdy houses within such distance as he may deem needful of any military camp, station, fort, post, cantonment, training, or mobilization place, and any person, corporation, partnership, or association receiving or permitting to be received for immoral purposes any person into any place, structure, or building used for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution within such distance of said places as may be designated, or shall permit any such person to remain for immoral purposes in any such place, structure, or building as aforesaid, or who shall violate any order, rule or regulation issued to carry out the object and purpose of tins section shall, unless otherwise punishable under the Articles of War, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both.

SEC. 14. That all laws and parts of laws in conflict with the provisions of this act are hereby suspended during the period of this emergency.

The Secretary of War Acts

On May 26th the Secretary of War addressed to the governors of all the states and the chairmen of the state councils of defense the letter previously mentioned which, for its historical interest and importance is reproduced in facsimile.


Letter addressed by Secretary of War Newton D. Baker to the Governors of all the States and the Chairmen of the State Councils of Defense, May 26, 1917.


May 26, 1917.

Dear Sir:

I am very anxious to bring to the attention of the State Councils of Defense a matter in which they can be of great service to the War Department. In the training camps already established or soon to be established large bodies of men, selected primarily from the youth of the country, will be gathered together for a period of intensive discipline and training. The greater proportion of this force probably will be made up of young men who have not yet become accustomed to contact with either the saloon or the prostitute, and who will be at that plastic and generous period of life when their service to their country should be surrounded by safeguards against temptations to which they are not accustomed.

Our responsibility in this matter is not open to question. We cannot allow these young men, most of whom will have been drafted to service, to be surrounded by a vicious and demoralizing environment, nor can we leave anything undone which will protect them from unhealthy influences and crude forms of temptation. Not only have we an inescapable responsibility in this matter to the families and communities from which these young men are selected, but, from the standpoint of our duty and our determination to create an efficient army, we are bound, as a military necessity,


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 to do everything in our power to promote the. health and conserve the vitality of the men in the training camps.

I am determined that our new training camps, as well as the surrounding zones within an effective radius, shall not be places of temptation and peril. The amendments to the Army Bill recently passed, a copy of which I enclose herewith (Sections 12 and 13), give the War Department more authority in this matter than we previously possessed. On the other hand, we are not going to be able to obtain the conditions necessary to the health and vitality of our soldiers, without the full cooperation of the local authorities in the cities and towns near which our camps are located, or through which our soldiers will be passing in transit to other points.

Will you give earnest consideration to this matter in your particular State? I am confident that much can be done to arouse the cities and towns to an appreciation of their responsibility for clean conditions; and I would suggest that, through such channels as may present themselves to you, you impress upon these communities their patriotic opportunity in this matter. I would further suggest that as an integral part of the war machinery your Council make itself responsible for seeing that the laws of your State and of Congress in respect to these matters are strictly enforced. This relates not only to the camps established under Federal authority, both the present officers' training camps and the divisional training camps soon to be opened, but to the more or less temporary mobilization points of the national guard units. It relates, too, as I have indicated, to the large centers through which soldiers will constantly be passing in transit to other points.


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As I say, the Her Department intends to do its full part in these matters, but we expect the cooperation and support of the local communities. If the desired end cannot otherwise be achieved, I propose to move the camps from those neighborhoods in which clean conditions cannot be secured.

In this connection let me call your attention to the Commission on Training Camp Activities which I have organized to advise with me on questions relating to the moral hazards in our training centers, as well as to the promotion of rational recreation facilities within and without the camps. The members of this commission are as follows:

Raymond B. Fosdick, Chairman
Lee F. Harmer
Thomas J. Howells
Joseph Lee
Malcolm L. McBride
John R. Mott
Charles P. Neill
Major Palmer E. Pierce, U.S.A.
Joseph E. Raycroft

It is possible that the chairman of this commission or some of its members will consult with you in regard to the activities which they have in hand. I bespeak for them your utmost support and cooperation.

Very truly yours,

Secretary of War
and Chairman of the Council of National Defense.



The Secretary of the Navy Makes his Position Clear

In consequence of vicious conditions reported to exist in Newport, R. I., Secretary Daniels issued the following statement, June 20, 1917:

Having received numerous complaints of immoral conditions at the city of Newport, R. I., from citizens of Newport and from the parents of many of the young men now gathered there in the great Naval Training Station and the encampment of the Naval Reserve, I deemed it proper to call the matter to the attention of the governor of Rhode Island.

In reply the governor returned to this department a report from the mayor of Newport, representing that there was no unusual degree of immorality in that city, denying the truth and justice of the complaints, and generally minimizing the situation. Thereupon this department, through its own agents and with the assistance of the Department of Justice instituted an investigation at first hand. As a result of that investigation, I have just sent to the governor of Rhode Island a list in detail of some of the most notorious houses of prostitution and open gambling houses in Newport, also calling his attention to the extent and methods of illegal sale of liquor to sailors and Naval Reserve recruits, and informing him that the department is ready to furnish him with further specific evidence if the State's own officers do not produce it.


At Newport and other places are gathered several thousands of the finest youth of the land who have offered their lives for the service of their country at a time when this sacrifice is no figure of speech. Most of them have come from carefully guarded homes, and their parents have given there to their country in sacred trust that the Government will safeguard them from unnecessary perils.

I am charged with the duty of training these young men for service in the Navy. State and local officers are charged with the duty of seeing that the laws of their States and of the United States are faithfully executed. There lies upon us morally, to a degree far outreaching any technical responsibility, the duty of leaving nothing undone to protect these young men from that contamination of their bodies which will not only impair their military efficiency but blast their lives for the future and return them to their homes a source of danger to their families and to the community at large.


These dangers are bad enough in ordinary times; in time of war, when great bodies of men are necessarily gathered together away from the restraints of home, and under the stress of emotions whose reactions inevitably tend to dislodge the standards of normal life, they are multiplied manifold, and the harpies of the underworld flock to make profit out of the opportunity. If we fail in vigilance under these conditions the mothers and fathers of these lads and the country generally will rightly hold us responsible.


I feel confident that the governor of Rhode Island and the local officers responsible to him, and the civil authorities at other places where the Navy has gathered large numbers of men enlisted for service, will appreciate the vital importance of this matter and will take such steps as will make unnecessary any further steps by the Government of the United States. I am determined that, so far as this department is concerned, nothing shall be left undone that is possible to discharge the duty of protecting these lads who have been committed to our care.

The Commission on Training Camp Activities and Its Program of Work

Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick, Chairman of the Commission, in discussing the work of the Commission on Training Camp Activities has said:

June 8, 1917.

Our Commission has two distinct functions: First, we are charged with the responsibility of keeping the Secretary of War informed as to conditions in training camps and the zones surrounding them. Secretary Baker is determined that the training camps shall be as free from vice and drunkenness as it is humanly possible to make them. In the second place, our task is to coordinate the different agencies that are seeking an opportunity for service among the soldiers. We are operating as a clearing house to eliminate the waste and competition of overlapping organizations, at the same time stimulating rational recreational facilities.

Our first function is aimed, of course, at the elimination of the evils that nearly always have been associated with army life in America, and in Europe as well. Our boys are to be drafted into service. We cannot afford to draft them into a demoralizing environment. The responsibility of the Government is doubly obvious in view of the measure of conscription. A man might volunteer for service and run his chance with vicious surroundings; but when conscription comes into play, the Government itself must assume the responsibility for eliminating these evils. It is a responsibility which we owe to the men, to their families, and to the communities from which they come.

The amendments to the Army bill will, of course, be of immense aid to the Government in carrying out this purpose. Other instruments, however, can be employed. It will be possible in many cases I believe, to secure the cooperation of the local Government officials to keep local conditions clean. When such cooperation is not possible, and in the failure of all other attempts on the part of the Government to eliminate vicious surroundings, it is the intention of the Secretary of War to move the camp.

On the positive side of our program is the necessity of competing with what I have termed "demoralizing influences," such as the saloon and the vice resort. This function of our work divides itself naturally into several lines. Within the camp, the activities of the Y. M. C. A., an organization now officially recognized by an executive order of the President, as Commander in Chief of the armies,

(438)   form an important part in the recreational program. In connection with the work, but under the direct control of the army, is the promotion of athletic sports and games such as are now carried on in England under the Aldershot plan, and promoted to a large extent in Canada. Briefly, these games are built up on the inter-unit system, their idea being to develop the competitive instinct in the soldier. Boxing, wrestling, bayonet exercise, and all forms of hard physical games are followed. Everybody must take part. Squads compete with squads, companies with companies, regiments with regiments, brigades with brigades, and divisions with divisions.

A member of the British Mission recently in Washington, Colonel Goodwin, told me that these games, which had been encouraged, in fact, enforced by the army officials in France, were one of the great influences in keeping men sane and balanced behind the lines. The War College in Washington now has under consideration all adaptation of the Aldershot system, submitted by our commission. It will be carried out, I believe, in all the camps in the United States.

Another important function lies in the line of cooperation between camps and the communities in the neighborhood—to make the community feel its responsibility for providing amusement and recreation, and plenty of amusement and recreation for men on leave. Joseph Lee, a member of the commission, is himself President of the Playground and Recreation Association of America, and has general charge under the commission of this important activity.. We shall have an expert community organizer in every town or city in the neighborhood of all the camps in the United States, whose aim it will be to coordinate all such activities. Just at present we have thirteen of these trained men in the communities nearest the thirteen Reserve Officers' Training Camps now opening up. Dr. Rowland Haynes, for example, is representing us at Plattsburg; through his efforts a local committee has been organized, and all agencies intending to work in Plattsburg will find full scope for their plans in the large program that has been laid out. At the same time overlapping will be eliminated.

In some communities, for example, outside the camps, women's organizations will run "canteens" for the soldiers, where food and tobacco can be obtained at cost prices, and where an opportunity will be afforded for meeting and talking with women of the right sort. In Toronto the "Take the Soldier Home for Dinner Movement" was organized, and through this agency a men found homes where they were welcome to visit whenever they were on leave in the city. Work of this kind can be multiplied almost indefinitely.

Too many of the evils surrounding camp life in the past are traceable to the lack of adequate amusement and rational recreation for the soldier. Our commission does not intend to attempt to apply impracticable idealistic standards. We shall be dealing with a fine lot of healthy, red-blooded men, and we must have healthy, red-blooded forms of recreation. My point is that there must be plenty of it to absorb the surplus energies of the soldiers in their hours of relaxation.


Early Action by the Interurban Clinical Club


New York, April 16, 1917.

William C. Gorgas, Surgeon-General,
United States Army,
Washington, D. C.


At a meeting of the Interurban Clinical Club in Boston, April 13th, the undersigned who represent all the members present, formulated the following request winch they hope you will consider with all seriousness:

"That steps be taken to instruct officers in the early diagnosis of syphilis by modern laboratory methods and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

"That a standard method of the treatment of syphilis be established, and made obligatory, and that suitable facilities and suitably trained persons be provided in connection with all large bodies of troops to carry out these measures.

"And further recommend that a board be appointed to institute measures for strict exclusion of prostitutes from the vicinity of camps and the prevention of venereal disease."

[SIGNED]  DR. R. C. CABOT, Boston,
DR. H. A. CHRISTIAN, Boston,
DR. D. C. EDSALL, Boston,
DR. E. P. JOSLIN, Boston,
DR. F. T. LORD, Boston,
DR. E. A. LOCKE, Boston, 
DR. J. H. PRATT, Boston,
DR. W. TILESTON, New Haven,
DR. W. T. LONGCOPE, New York,
DR. F. S. MEARA, New York,
DR. R. H. M. LANDIS, Philadelphia,
DR. T. MCCRAE, Philadelphia,
DR. G. W. Nouais, Philadelphia,
DR. D. RIESMAN, Philadelphia,
DR. J. SAILER, Philadelphia
DR, L. V. HARMAN, Baltimore,

Respectfully yours,



The Medical Profession Endorses the Policy of the Government

The following resolutions were presented to the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association by the Section on Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, June 7, 1917, and unanimously adopted:—


WHEREAS, venereal infections are among the most serious and disabling diseases to which the soldier and sailor are liable; and

WHEREAS, they constitute a grave menace to the civil population; and

WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States has authorized the President and has empowered and directed the Secretary of War to control prostitution and alcohol within effective zones surrounding all military places; and

WHEREAS, The Council of National Defense has adopted resolutions outlining a general policy for the combating of venereal diseases; and

WHEREAS, a grave responsibility rests upon the civil population and particularly the medical profession for participation in making effective these and other measures for the eradication of venereal diseases;

Therefore, Be It Resolved: That the American Medical Association endorses the actions of Congress and the Council of National Defense and commends the following as the basis for a program of civil activities:

1. That sexual continence is compatible with health and is the best prevention of venereal infections.

2. That steps be taken toward the eradication of venereal infections through the repression of prostitution, and by the provision of suitable recreational facilities, the control of alcoholic drinks, and other effective measures.

3. That plans be adopted for centralized control of venereal infections through special divisions of the proper public health and medical services.

4. That the hospitals and dispensaries be encouraged to increase their facilities for early treatment and follow-up service for venereal diseases as a measure of national efficiency.

5. That the members of the medical profession be urged to snake every effort to promote public opinion in support of measures instituted in accordance with these principles of action in the control of venereal diseases.

Influential Organizations of Men and Women in Every Part of the United States Commend the Campaign Against Alcohol, Prostitution, and the Venereal Diseases

Hundreds of copies of minutes such the following adopted by women's clubs, church organizations, and other societies have been sent to the President, the Council, the Commission on Training Camp Activities, and the secretaries of War and Navy. They have been very reassuring to the officers and have given the military authorities confidence that the public fully approves.

Resolved: That the Association hereby expresses its earnest desire to further in every way possible the request of the General Medical Board already presented to Secretary Baker, the Council of National Defense, the Congress, and the President, that there be created about all military camps an effective zone within which the sale of liquor and the presence of prostitutes are prohibited. We respectfully but urgently petition the War Department to create such zones

(441)   about all camps now existing or hereafter to be established and to establish military camps only on condition that such zones be created and that adequate regulations for the moral protection of the men be enforced.

In order that such protection may actually be secured, we petition the War Department to demand as a prerequisite to the establishment of a military camp at any place the cooperation of the municipal authorities in the removal of every vicious resort in the vicinity and the maintenance of a complete absence of such resorts throughout the period of the existence of the camp upon penalty of its removal.

We petition further that the War Department adopt as a part of its policy of moral sanitation not merely the prevention of the spread of venereal disease, but the prevention of prostitution; and that the enforcement of regulations to this end be not left to the discretion of individual commanders, but that uniform procedure be established through military orders from headquarters.

The International Committee of the Y. M. C. A. and the American Social Hygiene Association Plan Special Educational Work under the Supervision of the Commission on Training Camp Activities

May 23, 1917.


When the troops were being mobilized on the Mexican border, the Bureau of Social Hygiene, the American Social Hygiene Association and the International Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations, in joint cooperation, sought to direct the moral welfare of the soldiers. Two lines of action were entered upon;: first, to influence the Government to adopt and make effective a policy for the elimination of prostitution and drink from the environment of military camps; second, to carry out a program of moral education with reference to sex with the enlisted men.

A deputation, representing these three organizations, laid the matter before the Secretary of War. He at once chose personal representatives to study the problem on the border and earnestly sought to ameliorate these evils.

A plan of sex education for troops was carried out by the International Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations in cooperation with the American Social Hygiene Association.

As a result of the experience on the border, the Department of War at Washington has become thoroughly aroused as to its responsibility in safeguarding the moral welfare of the soldier in the greater army now mobilizing, both from the viewpoint of military efficiency and the broader viewpoint of social welfare. The Government has adopted a policy of making the environment of military camps "as wholesome as it is humanly possible to make it" and it has put into operation adequate machinery and forces for making that policy effective. Congressional action has been secured authorizing the suppression of commercialized vice and drink in designated zones about military camps, and military orders in line with the above policy have been issued. The War Department has appointed a Commission of eight outstanding national leaders, known as The Commission on Training Camp Activities, to study the problems involved, to keep the War Department informed of conditions, and to carry out an extensive program of activities—athletic, recreational, social, educational and re-

(442)   ligious—with a view to rendering the life of the enlisted men as normal and wholesome as possible. The Commission also seeks to stimulate the cleaning up of our cities, especially those to which the soldiers will have access. In this connection, there is abundant opportunity for effective work on the part of all local and state societies interested in furthering moral sanitation among our troops. The following are the members of the Commission:

Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick, of the Bureau of Social Hygiene, Chairman; Dr. Joseph E. Raycroft, Professor of Hygiene and Physical Training at Princeton University; Mr. Joseph Lee, President of the Playground and Recreation Association of America; Dr. John R. Mott, General Secretary of the International Committee of Young Men's Christian Associations; Mr. Lee F. Hanmer, of the Russell Sage Foundation; Charles P. Neill of Washington; Thomas J. Howells of Pittsburgh; Malcolm McBride of Cleveland; Major Palmer Pierce of the United States Army.

Permit us to call your attention to the fact that in this matter our Government has taken action far in advance of any taken by other nations. Other nations have assumed that vice cannot or should not be suppressed and have confined their efforts to dealing with its consequences—with disastrous results as the facts show. Our Government now assumes that vice is not necessary and seeks not merely to minimize its consequences but to eliminate vice itself. In addition to this, medical measures for the health protection of the soldiers and society also far in advance of any heretofore observed and entirely in accord with the above program, are being put into operation with the approval and cooperation of the War Department.

As a part of its program, the government Commission on Training Camp Activities has requested the International Committee of the Young Men's Christian Association to carry out in the army an adequate program of moral education with reference to sex. In order that the social hygiene and similar interests may be represented in this work and that the greatest efficiency may be secured, the International Committee will work in cooperation with the American Social Hygiene Association in this task.

We wish you to know these facts: first, that you may rejoice with us in that the growing movement for social morality in recent years is showing results In this important way and second, that you may cooperate with us more effectively.

We have before us a list of fifty-one organizations which have for their object the advancement of social health and morality. Many of these will be commendably eager to undertake work for the soldiers in the camps. These organizations have different methods of work, their own agents and most of their own literature. It will be obvious to you that if this work for social health and morality among the soldiers is not coordinated under one directing head but each organization seeks to bring into these camps its own particular appeal and its own literature through its own agents, there must necessarily result excessive overlapping of effort, confusion and overdoing the whole matter such as would result in most unfortunate reaction.

For the sake of efficiency, it is the desire of the government Commission on Training Camp Activities, that the International Committee working in cooperation with the American Social Hygiene Association coordinate all work of that nature in the military camps. May we request, therefore, that if you have

(443)   literature which you regard as useful, or capable speakers or if you have suggestions to make, that you send the information or copies of literature to us at the American Social Hygiene Association, 105 West 40th Street, New York. We shall give careful consideration to all suggestions and material sent in. It will readily be seen, however, that we cannot use all good literature nor all good speakers. Both are now so numerous that selection must be made from these.

Permit us to suggest that perhaps the most important task now before all organizations interested in safeguarding the moral life of the soldiers is that of securing the suppression of prostitution and the liquor traffic in our American cities. It is necessary, not only that the environment of the military camps be kept clean but that the cities to which they will have access also give them a decent chance to remain clean.

Very truly yours,



The General Federation of Women's Clubs Through its Public Health Department Calls Upon Its Members for Effective Cooperation

When America's call to arms was sounded the Mid-Biennial Council was assembling at New Orleans. Pre-arranged programs were willingly sacrificed upon the altar of patriotism, and the Federation faced, woman-fashion, the duty of preparing to do its bit in the crisis. Department chairmen suddenly found themselves confronted with a demand for outlines of work best calculated to do the greatest good to the greatest number of our people during the period of the war.

Obviously it was impossible on such short notice for the Department of Public Health, with its diversified and far-flung activities, to do more at the moment than tersely indicate the paramount lines on which its workers should concentrate, leaving the plan of action to be elaborated and announced later. These, in the judgment of the Chairman, were stated to be:—

1. Work to conserve child life.

2. Work to create a moral sanitary environment for our boys and men in mobilization camps.

It was explained from the Council platform, and is here repeated for the benefit of all concerned, that this course is imperative for the following reasons:

The administrative policy of the Department is based upon recognition of the fact that it can only hope to accomplish worthwhile results in its immense field by securing and maintaining close and cordial relations of cooperation with state boards of health and powerful national and international specialized Public Health agencies. It was realized then, and has since been demonstrated, that those agencies would require reasonable time to determine the nature, scope and order of precedence of their efforts under the same martial emergency, and to coordinate them with the specific aims of the Federal Government; and that it was not until that had been done that we could definitely fix our own status as sane and practical helpmeets . . . .


The anxious concern of mothers for the moral welfare of their sons soon to be drafted and held in concentration camps, is only equalled by their patriotism in God-speeding their own flesh and blood, often forever, to respond to their country's "battle cry of freedom." With the unspeakable immoral horrors of the late Mexican border camps still casting their blot upon civilized manhood and menacing national posterity, our women can be depended upon to "work to create a moral sanitary environment for our boys and men in mobilization camps ;" and one of the most hopeful and cheering signs of the dread times through which we are passing, is the assurance the Department already has (and will soon definitely publish) of governmental appreciation of and efforts to abolish this evil. As a practical preliminary measure of moral support of this course, the following is urgently recommended:

Telegraph at once to Secretary of War Baker, at Washington, your confidence that the Government will successfully and promptly work out this great problem.

In localities where military camps are established, let the club women unite with the best elements of municipal government to foster clean moral conditions. If the municipal authorities fail in this duty, appeal without delay to the Federal Government.—An Emergency Service Forecast by Mrs. Elmer Blair, Chairman, Public Health Department, General Federation of Women's Clubs.

The Action of the Chicago Woman's Club is Typical of What Many Similar Organizations Are Doing

The following letter and resolutions tell their own story:


June 4, 1917.

A meeting was held, May 18, 1917, under the auspices of the Chicago Woman's Club and the Woman's City Club, at which representatives from numerous organizations were present. The purpose of this meeting was to coordinate the efforts of all agencies working for the protection of the health and morals of soldiers and sailors stationed in the vicinity of Chicago. A committee of three members was appointed to formulate resolutions to be presented at a future meeting. The resolutions were drafted and are herewith enclosed. These resolutions will be passed upon and further action taken at a dinner conference to be held in the rooms of the Chicago Woman's Club, Friday evening, June 8, 1917, at 6.30 o'clock. We will appreciate your attendance, but if you cannot come, kindly send a representative who is interested in the situation.



A Suggested Form of Resolutions to be Endorsed by Organizations in Chicago and Vicinity Interested in Conditions in and about Military and Naval Training Camps


The undersigned organizations and individuals, interested in the welfare of soldiers and sailors, respectfully commend and congratulate the Council of National Defense for the stand taken with regard to the protection of the health and morals of the men in the army and navy of the United States. We are convinced of the wisdom and practicability of the policy adopted by the Council of National Defense for the protection of the morals of enlisted men, the prevention of exposure to venereal disease, and the provision of ample facilities for early and skillful treatment of venereal diseases, thereby reducing their duration and seriousness. (A copy of the statement of policy of the Council of National Defense is attached hereto.)


We respectfully offer to cooperate with the Council of National Defense in making the declared policy of the Council effective, particularly as applied to Chicago and vicinity. We recognize the heavy responsibility which communities, that provide the environment for recruits, bear not only toward individual soldiers and sailors, but toward the nation as a whole and the nation's allies. We desire vigorously and intelligently to discharge our duties in this respect.


Recognizing community responsibility for the health and morals of soldiers and sailors, we propose to cooperate with the Council of National Defense, with the State Council of Defense, and with the Chicago Council of Defense, in carrying out the following program of work:

A. Educational Work.

1. We will carry on an educational campaign among civilians, pointing out their responsibility to the nation for the health and morals of enlisted men, and we will particularly direct our attention to the education of mothers and girls residing in the vicinity of military or naval stations -The work among civilians will be carried on through lectures, exhibits, and printed matter.

2. We will cooperate with other organizations in placing before soldiers and sailors in military and naval stations the facts and modern point of view with regard to prostitution, the venereal diseases, and sex ethics. This work will be carried on by invitation from the military authorities through addresses, exhibits, and printed matter.

B. Recreation outside of Military and Naval Stations.

We will work together to provide wholesome recreation and amusement for the soldiers and sailors outside their stations. We propose to cooperate in establishing canteens, where soft drinks, confectionery, etc., etc., can be sold to the soldiers and sailors at cost; in providing wholesome theatrical entertainment and dances; in arranging athletic contests and out-of-door games; and in general, providing the soldiers

 (445)    and sailors with wholesome associations, in order to satisfy the natural social cravings.

C. Enforcement of Law, Particularly in the Environment of Camps.

We will cooperate with organizations for the enforcement of laws relative to prostitution and the sale of alcoholic beverages. Recognizing the laxity which sometimes characterizes the enforcement of law in the vicinity of military and naval stations, and the serious individual and social damages which may be done by the illicit sale of liquor and the practice of prostitution, we will exert ourselves to the utmost to see that public officials enforce the law vigorously, persistently, and intelligently. This we regard as one of the most patriotic duties of citizenship—the sine qua non of patriotism among civilians.

D. Cooperation in the Treatment of Venereal Diseases.

1. We hold ourselves ready to coöperate, upon request, with medical officers of the army and navy in securing the volunteer part-time services of competent physicians—specialists in treating the venereal diseases. (We will cooperate in developing a system of treatment whereby persons exposed to venereal diseases may be prevented from becoming infected.) If desired by the army and navy we will assist in providing early and skillful treatment for soldiers and sailors in case of infection, in order that the duration and seriousness of the disease may be reduced.

2. We recognize the fact that venereal diseases are contracted by the soldiers and sailors from the civilian population, consequently we propose to establish improved and modern facilities for the treatment of venereal diseases among the civilian population. We will carry on a program of education, urging persons who have been exposed to venereal disease to apply at once for treatment which may prevent actual infection. This early treatment will be an important part of the work of this dispensary.

E. General.

In general, we propose to cooperate with and coordinate all forces which work intelligently, earnestly, and patriotically for the preservation of the health, morals and efficiency of men who have been called to defend the ideals of our nation. We shall particularly look to the Council of National Defense, to the American Social Hygiene Association, and to the International Committee of the Y.M.C.A. for suggestions, guidance, and assistance in carrying out this program of work.

It is suggested that a coordinating committee, representing all organizations to which this set of resolutions will be presented, should be formed in order to carry out the program of work suggested. Added to this coordinating committee should be a carefully selected group of advisors, particularly men and women who have had experience and training bearing upon the problems with which this program of work has to deal.



A State Health Department and a City Department Prepare for Action


May 15, 1917.


At a meeting of the State Board of Health held on Saturday, May 5, 1917, the following resolutions were adopted and the Secretary was directed to send them to the mayors of all incorporated cities of the State.

WHEREAS, every possible protection to health and physical welfare should be afforded those enlisting in the Federal service and the citizens of the State at large; and

WHEREAS, experience shows that unless restrained by public authority prostitutes gather in large numbers near army camps and spread venereal diseases among the soldiers; and

WHEREAS, said diseases are a serious factor in morbidity and reduced efficiency, and a menace to the public health; therefore, be it

Resolved, that the State Board of Health of California urge upon all mayors throughout the State that they demand from their health officer, police departments, and other appropriate officials, an active policy of protection of the enlisted men and of the civil community against this menace to the public health; and, be it further

Resolved, that detailed reports be requested of said officials, setting forth the recommendations made by them and the methods of "preparedness" being enforced by them to meet this public health problem.

You are requested to give immediate attention to the establishment of a local policy regarding the prevention of venereal diseases and to notify the State Board of Health of the methods which will be followed in your city.

Respectfully yours,

[SIGNED] W. A. SAWYER, Secretary.


May 25, 1917.

Dr. W.A.. Sawyer, Secretary,
California State Board of Health,
Sacramento, California.


Pursuant to the resolution adopted by the State Board of Health, under date of May 5, 1917, requesting all Health Officers and Police Departments to initiate certain steps for the control and prevention of venereal diseases in their respective jurisdictions, I yesterday arranged a conference between the following officials, Federal, State and Municipal: Col. J. P. O'Neil, Commanding the Twenty-first Infantry; J. Edward Keating, Justice of the Peace; Lieut. Francis W. Anderson, Twenty-first Infantry; Asst. Surgeon L. U. Clef, United States Navy; Captain Brotherton, Commanding the Naval Training Station, Balboa Park; Major T. C. Turner, Marine Corps; Captain Love, Surgeon of the Marine

(448)   Corps; August Vollmer, Chief of Police of Berkeley, Calif.; Lieut. James Patrick, Acting Chief of Police.

I have the honor to report that the following proposed course of action was recommended as the result of said conference:

First. That all cases of venereal diseases occurring within the ranks of army, navy, or marine service shall be immediately reported to this office by case number and where possible a history showing the probable source of contraction will be appended thereto.

Second. That the state law providing for the red light abatement, etc., be immediately enforced and all prostitutes eliminated from the city limits. While it is not expected that this will be more than partially effective, it may be the means of eliminating the worse element. The method to he pursued is:

A. The prompt arrest under vagrancy charges and strengthening legal evidence for presentation in court.

B. The courts have assured us of their intention to uphold the enforcement of the act and, where convictions are possible, to be anything but lenient. There will be no floater sentences.

Third. The regulation of all liquor establishments whereby those saloons located in parts of the city not conducive to the best interests of the men will be, if possible, put out of business. Those saloons where proper surroundings may be maintained to be left without interference.

Fourth. All saloons and food establishments where liquor is sold to be requested to cooperate in the matter of eliminating as patrons women of loose character, in order to safeguard the men as much as possible who are behaving themselves and who would not be exposed except for the fact that temptation is forced upon them.

Fifth. A special course to the patrol men and police officers by legal authorities on the compilation of evidence necessary for the successful prosecution of this type of work. 'This is to be commenced by lectures from one of our local judges.

Sixth. The detection of diseased women and the use of this evidence where possible against them.

Seventh. I have personally taken up the matter with all civilian practitioners requesting the prompt reporting by case number of all venereal diseases with the view of determining the comparative incidence in civilians.

I realize that the effort we have made will not prove satisfactory except to a limited extent, but the spirit is evident to carry out the intentions of the State Board of Health, and we hope to attain at least some results. I would suggest as a possible means of strengthening the position of the local health officer that syphilis, at least, be made quarantinable by resolution of the State Board of Health "Whenever in the opinion of the local health officer the public health will be endangered by not enforcing a strict quarantine." And, furthermore, if it is possible that this quarantine shall be made transferable for sociologic reasons, from the place at which the infection is located, to some state hospital where segregation of this type of individual may be more readily carried out without lay opposition, which would be a serious drawback at an isolation hospital.

 (449)    I believe that this quarantine could be established temporarily at police headquarters and later on, by order of the health officer, coupled with authorization from the State Board of Health, such a transfer be made as named above.

Kindly let me have your opinion relative to this matter and, owing to pressure for time since the selection of San Diego for an important army and navy post, it is my hope that if the plan I suggest seems feasible the State Board of Health take cognizance of it without delay.

Yours respectfully,

 Health Officer and Superintendent of Public Health.

The Men of a University Pledge Themselves To Do Their Part to Establish the American Uniform as the Symbol and Guarantee of Real Manhood

"I quote below the exact text of the resolutions adopted by the engineers and the men of the medical group of this University."—George E. Vincent, President University of Minnesota.

Four hundred engineers, practically all students of the College of Engineering of the University of Minnesota, at a mass meeting on April 27, 1917, unanimously adopted the following resolution:-

1. We stand to respond to the call of the country in ready and willing service.

2. We undertake to maintain our part of the war free from hatred, brutality or graft, true to the American purpose and ideals.

3. Aware of the temptations incident to camp life and the moral and social wreckage involved, we covenant together, as college men, to live the clean life and to seek to establish the American uniform as a symbol and guarantee of real manhood.

The same resolutions were adopted by the men of the medical .group of the University of Minnesota, including the colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy, in a mass meeting of four hundred and fifty students and members of the faculty, with the following additions:—

We endorse the program of the engineers and adopt their formula as our standard.

As our specific contribution, we pledge ourselves—

1. To enlighten men regarding the dangers of impure living and to do our share in maintaining wholesome moral conditions.

2. We register our commendation of the stand taken by the National Council of Defense that "continence is compatible with health" and placing alcoholic beverages under strict control, and in creating moral zones around American troops.

(450)   3. Convinced, in view of a possible world famine, that it is immoral and absurd to waste approximately a sixth of our food cereals in the manufacture of intoxicants, we appeal to the President of the United States and to Congress to establish entire prohibition as a war measure.

A Thousand More Organizations and Departments of Civil Government are at Work on this Problem

The letters and statements presented above have been selected as illustrative of the varied efforts being made, and to indicate that the nation is at last at grips with this problem. It behooves every patriotic citizen seriously to study the situation in his community and to do his part in the local social hygiene program whatever that program may be. Future articles on Social Hygiene and the War will describe the work of individual leaders among the civil population, in governmental departments and commissions, in the army and navy, and in Congress, who may contribute to the success of the movement. Under ordinary conditions of peace no such concerted action as is promised would have been possible. The opening of the great cantonments, and the mobilization of army and navy forces elsewhere have presented a national emergency which the people have risen to meet. Whatever is accomplished by social hygiene in the protection of these military establishments will be equally in the interest of towns and cities in their vicinity.


No notes

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