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The troops’ moral welfare

by
20 April 2018

April 19th, 1918.

IN THE House of Lords last week the Archbishop of Canterbury drew attention to conditions affecting the morals and health of our soldiers of the Expeditionary Force in France. His Grace remarked that the placing of the maisons tolérées out of bounds had somewhat changed the circumstances in which he had put down his motion, but it still remained for him to ask if there was co-ordination between the War Office and the Medical Department on the one hand and the chaplains on the other. He did not think that there was. His Grace added that, on overwhelming evidence, most of the moral mischief done has its origin at home and not in France, and for this the responsibility rests not with the War Office but with the English citizens. Lord Derby, in reply, carried the Archbishop’s last point further, by saying that the civil authorities must do their share, and unless they did it the efforts of the naval and military authorities would be useless. But, speaking for the Army, he promised that every thing that was possible should be done. Questioned by the Archbishop, his lordship made the gratifying announcement that he had suggested to the Acting Chaplain-General of the American forces the sending of a cable to President Wilson, asking that a staff officer, and perhaps a legal and a medical officer, might come to this country to consult with the authorities here. In this way it is hoped that an understanding may be reached by which the two nations will co-operate for the good of the troops and of both countries. The Archbishop, satisfied with Lord Derby’s sympathetic reply, withdrew his motion, and there, for the present, the matter may rest.

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