Promoting infant health

German prisoners who surrendered to our troops during the recent offensive. — Otago Witness, 12.9...
German prisoners who surrendered to our troops during the recent offensive. — Otago Witness, 12.9.1917.
If the voice of those who in this and other communites have long urged, ‘‘Save the Babies’’, has not gone altogether unheeded, it has on the whole been too readily comparable to that of one crying in the wilderness.

It has been left to war with its cruel slaughter of the best manhood of the nations to swell that voice into a trumpet-blast too loud to be ignored. The instinct of self preservation is bringing home to the nations, through their losses, the absolute need for the preservation of infant life. The child is recognised more clearly than ever as an invaluable asset to the State. The State that would survive and be strong must be ever mindful that ‘‘like as the arrows in the hand of the giant, even so are the young children’’. In New Zealand the Royal Society for the Health of Women and Children has done admirable service for some years past in its propaganda and its practical measures aiming at the reduction of the rate of infantile mortality by the instruction of the community. The results that have been achieved have been measurable in satisfactory and creditable terms, but the field for activity is wide, and the society is not the kind of organisation to rest complacently on its oars. It rightly acts in the belief that never was greater exertion required of it than at the present time, when New Zealand is suffering, like other parts of the Empire, a severe drain upon her manhood, and that never was it in a better position to utter with authority, the words of warning and advice which embody teachings of which the great bulk of the public is sadly in need. Under the auspices of the society arrangements are being made for holding, at no very distant date, a dominion Baby Week, in the interests of the cause which this organisation has made its own. The scheme is one that is entitled to the widest sympathy.

Methodists unite

In practically the whole of the Methodist churches in Dunedin yesterday a resolution was carried bearing upon the subject of six o’clock closing. The general purpose of this resolution is conveyed by the following motion unanimously adopted by a large congregation at the Dundas Street Church: ‘‘That this congregation comprising electors of Dunedin North strenuously urges the Government to grant in full the petition presented on behalf of nearly 200,000 electors of this dominion asking for legislation restricting the selling of intoxicants to between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. as the irreducible minimum demanded in the interests of war economy and national efficiency, and the stern conditions imposed by the present war. Failing six o’clock closing, we demand that the question of national prohibition be submitted to the public vote this year.’’

Canterbury cave art

At a meeting of the Canterbury Philosophical Institute on Wednesday evening, Mr W. H. Skinner drew attention to the ethnological value of aboriginal paintings and drawings in cave shelters in certain parts of Canterbury, and urged that steps should be taken to protect them from vandalism and damage by stock (says the Christchurch Sun). The institute passed a resolution asking the Minister of Internal Affairs to take steps to protect these relics of another age. It was stated that the best of these rock paintings were in positions in which they could easily be preserved. — ODT, 10.9.1917.

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