LEST WE FORGET: 1914 August 1964

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  • LEST WE FORGET: 1914 August 1964Author(s): James K. W. FergusonSource: Canadian Journal of Public Health / Revue Canadienne de Sante'e Publique, Vol. 55, No.8 (AUGUST 1964), pp. 353-354Published by: Canadian Public Health AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41983582 .Accessed: 13/06/2014 08:48

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  • Canadian Journal of Public Health

    EDITORIAL BOARD Ant. B. Valois, m.d., Associate Editor E. J. Young, m.d., Managing Editor

    Cynthia Robertson, b.a., Editorial Assistant Representatives of Provincial Associations

    B.C. R. H. Goodacre, b.a.; Alta. E. S. O. Smith, m.b.; Sask. E. L. Abbott; Ont. M. C. Cahoon, m.ed.; N.S. Fred G. Barrett; P.E.I. Dr. James I. Higgins

    LEST WE FORGET

    1914 August 1964

    WHEN automatically England

    at declared

    war too. war on

    There Germany

    was no on August

    legal alternative. 4, 1914, Canada

    For some was

    automatically at war too. There was no legal alternative. For some Canadians, World War I is a memory of sorrow, suffering and bereavement. For others it was a challenge accepted, a personal battle won, a test of courage, or even a supreme adventure. In broader perspective, it meant for some the denial of the claim to mastery over lesser breeds, by self-styled supermen. For others it is memorable for providing the opportunity for the new political religion of com- munism to capture a gigantic nation. For many it meant little but another monument to human stupidity and cruelty, one more of an endless series of senseless struggles for political domination or commercial advantage. That it changed drastically the lives of millions can hardly be denied. Whether these changes were for better or worse depends entirely on the viewpoint of the more or less lucky survivors.

    One consequence which may yet be judged by historians to have been the dawn of a better day, was the establishment of the League of Nations. Fifty years have passed and the dawn can hardly be claimed to have brightened into mid-day. It was in some respects a false dawn. Yet the League of Nations did accomplish something. It established the concept and the framework of a supra-national conscience. Its political activities were marked by some major failures, but by many minor victories. When World War II was over, statesmen of the major powers could not contemplate a world without some such organization and so created the United Nations.

    In the field of health, the accomplishments of the League were not dramatic but they were important. Within its framework was established a Health Organi- zation which concerned itself with international standards for biologic products for medical use and other international health problems. These included insulin, sex hormones, pituitary hormones, adrenal hormones and some vaccines. The framework of the Health Organization of the League was useful for international co-operation and it was used. Its successor, the World Health Organization, has carried on the quiet but effective tradition. It has been recognized as the most successful arm of the United Nations. It is interesting that its activities are housed in the offices of the old League of Nations.

    353

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  • 354 CANADIAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH Vol 55

    For Canada, World War I has special meanings. Without doubt it stimulated the growth of an underdeveloped colony towards nationhood. It was only after the war, in 1919 to be exact, that Canada acquired her first Federal Department of Health, and at the same time, the Dominion Council of Health. Few who have observed the workings of the Dominion Council over a period of forty years can fail to be impressed by the cohesive influence for good which it has exerted for the improvement of health services in Canada. A succession of able Ministers of National Health have been guided by its deliberations. Under its persuasive influence, a remarkable degree of co-operation among our diverse provincial jurisdictions has been accomplished.

    Strangers visiting Canada, who can appreciate the possibilities for jealousy and strife inherent in our federal system, have usually been impressed by the degree of unity and co-ordination which has been achieved in this country in the field of public health, in spite of the diversity of problems and disparity of resources in our different provinces. We could wish for higher standards, and more resources, but our accomplishments to date can be a source of pride to all Canadians.

    World War I undoubtedly taxed our resources and our energies. Challenges successfully met engender confidence. It was undoubtedly the competence and confidence demonstrated by Canada and the other Dominions during World War I which accelerated their advance towards independence. At the Imperial Con- ference in 1926 a new definition of Dominion Status was evolved, and imple- mented in the Statute of Westminster of 1931, whereby the Dominions became autonomous communities within the British Commonwealth having equal status with the United Kingdom.

    Although World War I took us a long way towards independent nationhood, it also aggravated some internal dissensions which may still be preventing our full achievement of our nationhood. Nevertheless, we can still hope that the unity between the provinces, which has been achieved in the field of public health, can be taken as a happy omen of similar accomplishments in the realm of politics.

    James K. W . Ferguson

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    Article Contentsp. 353p. 354

    Issue Table of ContentsCanadian Journal of Public Health / Revue Canadienne de Sante'e Publique, Vol. 55, No. 8 (AUGUST 1964), pp. 1-4, 323-370, 5-8Front MatterThe Efficiency of Post-Sanatorium Management of Tuberculosis: A STUDY OF ONE THOUSAND TUBERCULOUS PATIENTS DISCHARGED FROM SANATORIA IN ONTARIO [pp. 323-333]The Development of Family Planning in Canada [pp. 334-340]A Study of Vitamin C and D Intake of Infants in the Metropolitan Vancouver Area [pp. 341-345]Advances in the Immunoprophylaxis of Smallpox [pp. 346-352]Canadian Journal of Public HealthLEST WE FORGET: 1914 August 1964 [pp. 353-354]

    The Canadian Public Health Association 1963-1964: ANNUAL REPORT PART III [pp. 355-362]Public Health AdministrationPROFESSIONAL REPORTS IN THE FORM OF LETTERS [pp. 363-366]

    Association News [pp. 366-366]News Notes [pp. 366-369]Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 370-370]Review: untitled [pp. 370-370]Review: untitled [pp. 370-370]

    Back Matter