SOLDIERS-MORALS (Evening Post, 22 April 1918)

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soldiers-morals miss rout statements hoenchurch medical club a deputation indignation about twenty representative women called on the prime minister on saturday to protest against the scheme of the new zealand medical club established by miss ettie iout s at hornchurch england and against the reported distribution of packets of prophylactics among new zealand soldiers as a precaution against contraction of venereal disease statements were read by lady stout to the effect that according to miss rout the club at horrchurch had the approval of the high commissioner office and the new zealand military authorities overseas she declared that the system of licensed houses as mentioned in statements published over miss bout name would he a temptation to vice it was a disgrace that such a subject should have to be mentioned in regard to new zealand soldiers the reputation of the dominion boys was at stake it was believed that miss rout had slandered them by her statements which had been widely published a meeting of eighty officers had decided to protest against the running of the medical club as indicated in reports this club was an insult to the women of new zealand who now demanded thnt it should be closed and that miss rout should be removed mrs a r atkinson said that the practice of such a scheme as the one described in the reports of miss rout procedure would mean the corruption of the innocence of many a young man there was not a mother in new zealand who would tolerate any communication of miss rout with her son no reflection was made on her personally but new zealand women requested that miss rout should be absolutely definitely irrevocably removed another speaker said there was danger with such pernicious schemes that soldiers would become moral degenerates even if they remained physically fit no german invasion could do more harm than such a club which was eating into the vitals of the nation the prime minister replied that he was in agreement with most of what had been said he was afraid that the statements were only too true with regard to the harm that might be done by the schemes that had been condemned it was a great pity that miss rout had ever boon allowed to leave new zealand mr massey explained that the club was not near a great camp such as sling but was in the same village as a military hospital now zealand soldiers were splendid specimens of humanity and itwas a great pity that their names had been associated with such things as the deputation had stated of course the new zealand government had given no approval to what miss rout had done and he did not believe that the high commissioner had given his approval to her procedure with regard to the action of the government it would do everything in its power to prevent anything harmful to new zealand soldiers when he arrived in england he would take this matter up the scheme would be stopped if he could stop it mr massey stated very emphatically that he felt very strongly about it thatis all i think he concluded a very satisfactory all commented mrs atkinson in reply lo a question whether in a cable message to london ho would express some form of repudiation of miss rout the prime minister remarked oh yes mr massey explained that another engagement prevented sir joseph ward from being present


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