HomeThe house famine and how to relieve itPagina 14

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this terrible loss of child life, but the overcrowded and insanitary
surroundings are the prime cause of this slaughter of the innocents.
Large numbers of children are thus annually born into the world
foredoomed to a premature grave from preventible causes-causes
that every right­thinking man and woman should be anxious to
remove. We pay dearly for our overcrowding and its attendant
evils. Think of the sickness that is not comprehended in oilïcial
statistics, and which means a large loss of wage­earning power to
the community, to put the matter upon no higher basis. We are
endeavoring very properly to introduce new methods of dealing with
the treatment of consumption, a disease nurtured and bred by our
slum conditions; should we not with even greater vigor attack the
yïms et orzgo of the disease. The waste of human life and the
preventible sicknesses of our slums are a drain upon the resources of
our country, and can be represented by a hard cash value. We are
impairing the physique of our toilers and rearing a sickly and
unhealthy race. I quote from a report into the condition of my
district : " The children appear to be naturally of average gifts, but
many lack stamina, and consequently fail in the time of examination.
Given a penny meal a day for all the children and they are capable
of earning the excellent grant." Are the beneüts of a free and
ample education to be wasted to the community through the lack of
stamina inbred in the children of our artizan classes and fostered by
the cursed conditions under which they are reared? And to speak
of the moral loss to the community is but to re-echo what has been
driven home to us again and again. With home-life virtually an
impossibility to thousands of the dwellers in our large towns, with ‘
the lack of decency inevitable under such conditions, is it to be
wondered at that we {ind things as they are; ought we not rather
to marvel that their lives compare so favorably with those whose A
conditions of life place them beyond the perils and temptations of
the slums.
Let me urge investigation. Let us know precisely where we
stand and be certain of our position. And having done so, let us
drive home to every member of the community the evil and its
dangers. It is a matter of education. Once let the working­men
of this country realize the conditions under which thousands of
them are housed; once let them realize what it means to their
pockets through sickness and loss of work; once let them realize
the terrible waste of human life and the destruction of moral libre
that is going on round about and among them, and the solution
and the remedy is not far distant. They will realize the drain upon
lives and strength of the people; they will realize the cost to the
community in the maintenance of hospitals, workhouses, asylums,
and gaols, and will view it in the light of a sound investment.
Let us each one strive to hasten on this work of education, that
those to whom the power has now been given-the democracy-the
people-may apply themselves with singleheartedness to secure the
possibility of a pure and wholesome home­life to the toiling masses
of our community.
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