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(Applause) I am glad to know that many of the states are already taking steps to insure that, and to forbid marriages with people who are physically incapable of producing healthy children. Marriage we regard as a sentiment, and we do not like to have anybody interfere with our sentiments. But I tell you marriage is an affair of the state. If the state has a right to demand a fee for a marriage license, and to prescribe how it shall be performed, and make laws by which it may be broken, it has the right to forbid the marriage as well as to regulate it. (Applause)
CONSERV.ATION OF FUTURE GENERATIONS.
I say then that our first work for public health is to look after the unborn generations and to see that they have healthy parents. That does not help us now, but we must look to it right now. I asked a member of the school board today if they had medical inspection of the school children here. He said a partial one. I said: “Do you have a dental inspection 3 Do you have a registered dentist come around through the school and see what kind of teeth the children have?” That is just as important as whether they come with clean clothes or not. I have no use for a boy or girl who loses his tecth in childhood. We must begin the conservation with the children of this country, of the public health. The time is coming when there will not be a school in our broad land without competent medical supervision. We demand now that our children be vaccinated. We also should demand that they bring to school no contagious disease to spread among their fellows. And there are lots of contagious diseases that we do not think of as contagious, such as tuberculosis for instance. And so by beginning with the unborn generation we may add to the length of human existence. Heredity then, sound bodies in which sound minds are and may be developed, is one of the primal basic qualifications for the conservation of human life.
Then the next thing is, after we get healthy beings into the world, to see that they are properly nourished, and unless the child and the man and the woman have the proper food they cannot be expected to maintain their health. Unless you feed an engine, or boiler, good coal you cannot expect it to develop the maximum of power. Unless you feed a man well, nourish him well, you cannot expect him to be an effective machine, and to do his proper duty as a member of the community. The thing to do to secure the maximum efficiency of the machine—feed it well. What are we doing about that? We are making a beginning in that line. And the first thing we are doing is with the young child. We are saving the lives of the infants. I may say there has been more progress made along that line than in any other, and that is the place to begin. Here a few years ago if 125 children did not die out of every thousand that were born we thought something was wrong: we rather expected it. And in some communities a great many more than that died.
In many communities the death rate has been reduced to seventy
per thousand. There is no reason why over this whole country the death rate of the children, of the infants and the child under five, may not be reduced so as to make the death rate per thousand not very much greater than that of the adult, namely, thirteen or fourteen per thousand in a healthy community. And I do not know any reason why the children of this country should die at the rate of more than thirteen or fourteen per thousand when they are properly cared for at birth, and have proper fathers and mothers to give them healthy bodies. This will be a great addition to the wealth of the country, to save the children. And we can save the grown person by a wholesome diet. I am not one of those who believe in a starvation diet, cutting down food. There are a great many preachers of that doctrine in this country. That is a false doctrine. Nature provides that we shall have enough, and intended we shall have enough and then a little more. When the engineer fills up the tender with coal, he does not take just enough to get him into the station. No. He puts in a ton or two in excess. So Nature provides that when we eat to get strength to perform the mechanical functions of life, we shall have just a little more than is necessary, the factor of safety which enables us to go over the emergency safely.
THE RIGHT TO NUTRITIOUS FOOD.
And, therefore, it is the right of every citizen of this country to have nutritious food and to have plenty of it. Again, when the animal does feel sick, it has the right to scientific attendance with good food; in other words, the sick man has a right to be attended by a competent physician, and to have remedies administered prepared by a competent pharmacist and of pronounced purity. That is another thing we are securing for the people of this country—pure drugs to help them get well when they are sick. (Applause) And we are trying to keep men from practicing medicine who have no qualifications to do so except a facile pen to write an advertisement. The day is coming when a man cannot practice medicine in Kansas City by the newspaper as he can today. I looked at your newspapers. They are full of prescriptions, written by physicians who could not begin to pass the examination of your state board of health. They are quacks and fakirs, and the advertisements are worded cunningly to separate your money from your income. And the law permits it, while the regular physician cannot come to Kansas City and practice medicine without taking out a license from the state board of health, and yet you allow a fakir in any other county to come to town and practice medicine ad libitum. We are going to stop that for you and save your money and save your lives (applause) by securing competent medical supervision of the sick of the community.
Then we are going to protect you from contagious diseases. We are building up now a cordon around this country against invasion, not from an armed enemy, but from one that has slain a thousand times more than the armed enemy would slay—the germ of contagious disease. While Europe has been suffering from Asiatic cholera for a year, we have succeeded absolutely in wiping it out of this country, except one or two sporadic cases, and we no longer fear yellow fever. We know it because we know how to handle the mosquito that spreads it, and we segregate it in the spots where it breaks out. We are beginning to control that most dread of all diseases, tuberculosis. And the day is coming when we will have full control of it. There are people in this house who will live to see tuberculosis as rare as smallpox is today, in my opinion. (Applause) Why? Because science has found out how that disease is conveyed, and having found out the cause, we can proceed to the remedy, and the day is coming when there will be camps of detention for tuberculosis patients, just as there are today for leprosy. It looks hard. It looks inhuman. But what we must care for is humanity, and not the single life. You remember what Tennyson says: “Are God and Nature then at strife, that Nature sends such evil dreams? So careful of the type she signs, so careless of the single life?”
THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE COMMUNITY.
The individual must give way to the community, and if he is afflicted with tuberculosis he must be segregated, so that the disease may be conquered and kept within bounds. And so typhoid fever will be conquered—all the diseases which are due to infection and contagion. And great progress is making along this line today, so much so that we are encouraged in the belief that other diseases yet unconquered may meet the enemy and master, like for instance pneumonia and diseases of that sort. And the result will be that by the advance of scientific medicine and by the wise control of the state, men will be spared the destruction of their usefulness and value in middle life. Why, how much does it mean to die before your time? All the years of preparation, all the money spent in your education, all that you have done to prepare yourself for the duties of life, cut off in an instant by an enemy more treacherous by far than any foreign invader could be, more to be feared than any armed foe could possibly be feared. We have no need to build sixteen-inch guns to protect our trade on the Panama Canal. What we have protected are the men who builded them. The greatest triumph of the Panama Canal is not that it is a wonderful cut, is not that it is protected by sixteen-inch guns, but that the men who build it are as healthy as you people who have stayed here in Kansas City. That is the great triumph of the Panama Canal. (Applause)
Then we want to preach sanitation in the outplaces where the church ought to be built in the country. That is one reason that the country is not attractive, because there are no sanitary conveniences there. The farmers are living today in a state of barbarism almost in that respect. What we need to do is to populate the country in order to make the country attractive, and it can be done at little expense. There are preachers today who are preaching sanitation about the country school house, and to the country farmer, how to make himself comfortable at home. The roller towels have been abolished in Kansas. The Pullman Company has taken out its public drinking cups in the State of Illinois, and failed to give any other, so you can go all through Illinois without any danger of drinking the Pullman ice water. (Applause) The day will come some time when the Pullman Company will ventilate its cars. (Applause) On the train coming out from Washington there were at least five hundred free passengers called flies that came all the way and enjoyed the trip (laughter) and never lost a moment from sleep. (Laughter) Think of it at this modern day, to start a palace car from Washington that cost $20,000 full of flies! But we are preaching sanitation in out of the way places like the country home and the Pullman car, and the people are learning. And you will be able to travel after a while without danger of contracting a disease in the car where you sleep, or in the hotel where you eat. This gospel of sanitation goes with the gospel of the country church, because cleanliness is next to godliness, and sometimes it seems to me it comes first and godliness second, because a dirty man has a great deal of trouble in feeling godly. (Applause) So the gospel of sanitation is coming to our help. Another thing will help, and that is the gospel of segregation. What are we to do to prevent the influx into the city ? I will tell you one thing that the city could do. Every city wants to have more people in it. They do not care what kind they are. They want more than their neighboring city. It is the ambition of the town to pad the census. Many of them are in jail for doing it today. If I lived in Kansas City I wouldn't care whether we had more people than Omaha or not, but I would love to have, if I were in Kansas City, cleaner streets and purer water and more segregated houses (applause) than Omaha or any other city. And you ought to have them here with all your beautiful streets. You have the principle here of keeping the houses apart. There is plenty of ground in this country to build houses and have a little spot of green by them where they can have flowers in the garden and potatoes. That is what we ought to do to prevent the influx into the city.
THE CITY NOT FOR MANU FACTURING.
I would recommend as a sanitary measure that every city forbid any manufacturing of any kind within its limits. The city is not for manufacturing. The city is for exchange only, and if you would banish the factory you would do much for the sanitation of the city and for the factory workers. You would get closer to the raw material which the factory uses. You would save in transportation, and every workman could have his little cottage with his little piece of land that would help populate the country and help the church that was built near the factory, too. I say we can put the people into the country by legislation if in no other way in that respect, and the moment the factory starts the farmer is coming to raise garden truck. You will have growing around the factory a prosperous agricultural community with its church and it will be a great deal better than having a little church with a lonely graveyard. The most awful thing in the country is the graveyard, especially at night, when the boy has to go home past it. That is the way. We will segregate the population and thus conserve the public health.
Last of all, we can crown the work of the gospel of sanitation by enacting into a law provision for a national board of health with real power and with real authority, whose director shall have a seat in the President's cabinet and advise him in regard to the most precious of all the assets of our country, public health (applause), and he can guide and help the authorities of the state and cities, and furnish them the material with which to work, and that is coming after a while. We are going to conquer and bring together all the government authorities which have to do with the public health in the one grand organization which will conserve the health of this country and have a voice of power in the councils of the Nation. And then when we do this we will have instilled into the people the idea that there are things that are more important than dollars. Every movement of this kind is stopped by the dollars, the fear that somebody is going to lose some money, while at the same time it could be easily shown that every single movement of this kind is for the increase of our national wealth, and the day will come when the doctrine of graft and greed will have to give way to the doctrine of the sanitation of the people. (Applause) We have today our Fourth of July when we celebrate. In some parts of the country the colored citizens meet and celebrate the emancipation. So I want to live to see the day when the people of this country will meet together in one grand convocation to celebrate the emancipation from the reign of greed and graft and for the establishment of the principles of sanitation which keep them well and happy and patriotic American citizens. (Applause)
President WALLACE—This Congress will now stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock.
id P. Cyrus Northrop, President Emeritus Minnesota University, preS1(le(1.
Chairman Nor Rev. Dr. S. M. N. sas City.
THROP–The Congress will be led in prayer by the eel, pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church of Kan