Lecture to the Alabama Conference of Social Workers, March 26, 1922 (excerpt)



Internationally Known Social Worker Describes Conditions in Europe.

Jane Addams, of Chicago, internationally known social worker, opened the Alabama Conference of Social Workers Sunday night before a large audience at the Lyric Theater, with a strong plea for the starving children of war-torn European countries -- including those of the Volga River valley in Russia.

Miss Addams told of her experiences in Europe on a recent trip there and compared them with those she encountered on a trip before the World War.

"The children I saw in Near Eastern countries of the Continent, such as Austria and Russia, are never seen in America, except in hospital wards," said Miss Addams. "Statistics show that only 20 out of every 100 children in Austria live."

Miss Addams told of the feeling of the countries there toward the United States, saying that the war animosities were gone, but the people in certain localities felt inhospitable toward the United States, largely because of exaggerated reports concerning surplus food supplies and clothing materials they think we have over here. Many of them think that American farmers burn corn to get rid of the surplus, she said. It makes them feel badly, she stated, when they hear these false reports, [knowing] the conditions they themselves are in where frequently they do not get enough to eat or wear.

In conclusion, Miss Addams urged Americans to do everything possible for the starving people of Europe, if it was only done from a humanitarian standpoint, and she stated that stories of starvation in the Near East are true and should be given credence.

Miss Addams was introduced by Dr. Henry Edmonds, pastor of the Independent [page 2] Presbyterian Church, whose congregation turned over the theater to the conference and merged their regular Sunday night service with the social workers. Rabbi Morris Newfield, president of the Alabama Conference of Social Workers, made a short address in which he paid a tribute to the Independent church and its pastor for their kindness and also announced the other meetings of the conference.

Among those seated on the platform with Miss Addams were Judge W. E. Fort; Dr. H. H. Hart, New York, director of the Russell Sage Foundation; Dr. Arthur McCormack, state health officer of Kentucky; D. E. McLendon, president of the city commission; and Mrs. Mary Echols, associate city commissioner.