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4th World Vegetarian Congress 1913

The Hague, The Netherlands

The following reports are from the Vegetarian Messenger, (the monthly magazine of the Vegetarian Society of Great Britain, based in Manchester, England) :

1913

June

International Vegetarian Conference.
The fourth meeting of the International Vegetarian Union will, in accordance with the resolution passed at the third meeting in Brussels, in the sumrner of 1910, be held on the 25th and 26th of August of this year, at the Hague. This place was chosen as the new "Peace Hall," will be opened at this time, and it was thought that the occasion, with which all vegetarians must be in keen sympathy, would attract numerous visitors from all parts of the world. The Secretary of the Congress Committee is the Honourable Miss Ortt, by whom suggestions and help are invited. Her address is :- Jonkvrouw M. J. C. Ortt, Laan van Meerdervoort 383 Den Haag. English correspondents can apply through the Vegetarian Society, 257 Deansgate, Manchester.

It is hoped that many visitors from England will help to make the Hague Congress a success. As the town is likely to be full next August, early arrangements should be made.


International Vegetarian Congress at The Hague.
By Mathilde Hompes

The fourth Congress of the International Vegetarian Union took place at The Hague from the 24th to the 26th of August, and proved a very interesting and brilliant gathering. The proceedings opened on the evening of the 24th with a reception given to the guests by The Hague Committee, arranged in the beautiful hotel-restaurant ''Pomona." Over a hundred assembled in the large dining-room, where a central table was furnished with refreshments, which were freely served during the course of the proceedings. The sight of this table alone, with its treasures of fruit, cakes and flowers, was enough to make the heart of any Vegetarian rejoice, for it would prove to any non-Vegetarian that our provision need be second to none in beauty and sufficiency to a table of any kind.

After some little time had been spent in recognising old friends and introductions to new ones amid a babel of the languages of nearly every European country, the President of the Congress, Mr. Hugo Nolthenius. read his address of greeting in three languages, English, French, and German. He deemed it unnecessary to read it in Dutch, because expected his countrymen to understand at least one of these languages, and in any case they were sure of his sentiments. He set forth the Ideal of Vegetarianism, and the objects of the International Vegetarian Union ; then gave a hearty welcome to all present.

Next a Vegetarian song, which Mr. Nolthenius is the composer, was read in the original Dutch, as also in English, German and French translations (the English has already appeared in the VEGETARIAN MESSENGER). Mr. Nolthenius seated himself at the piano, and to his accompaniment we all sang the Dutch version. Perhaps I should say some of us, but I think we all joined in the tune, and one of the delegates of the Vegetarian Society was in the happy position of being able to speak Dutch.

During the course of the evening we were entertained by some very good music and recitations. Professor van Rees, Mr. Domela Nieuwenhuis and Rev. A.O.Broadley spoke in acknowledgment of the good things provided; and with much friendly intercourse a very agreeable meeting was brought to a close just upon midnight. It was well for a large number of the guests that they had not to travel far, being lodged in the Pomona.

On Monday morning we proceeded to Hotel Zeerust at Scheveningen for the business part of our Congress. Here we had the sea in view as we sat, which was very refreshing. We had plenty of business on hand, thirty-four papers on the programme, not to mention Presidents' introductory and closing addresses, discussions, etc., Messrs. J. Morand, of Paris, and Saxon, of Stockholm, were appointed presidents. Though some of the papers were taken as read on account of the absence of the contributors and want of time, all present read their papers, and they were twenty-four in number-in Dutch, German, French, English and Esperanto. As they will all appear in the Transactions shortly to be published, for about 1/6, and because our space would not permit it is impossible to enter into the substance of the various papers, and I must content myself with just indicating the names of the contributors and their subjects.

The delegates of the Vegetarian Society, Rev A.O.Broadley and Miss Mahilde Hompes, spoke respectively on "The Vegetarian Church in Salford" and "Vegetarianism and Peace." The latter was read in Dutch before the Public Meeting on Monday evening. Both were well received.

The following is a list of the papers:-

Those marked with an * were read.
W. Wagner, of Germany, *"The Vegetarian Movement in Germany."
J. Morand, of Paris, *"The Vegetarian Movement in France."
Mr. Emary, of London, *"Vegetarianism in England."
Prof. J. van Rees, of Holland, *"Vegetarianismn Considered in the Light of a Humane Aspect of Life and Conduct."
J. L. Saxon, of Sweden, *"The Bloodguiltiness of Boäs and Muffs."
Dr. Alex. Haig, of England, "The Vegetarian Ideal."
Rev. C. M. Boenders, of Holland, *"Liberal Religious Experience and Vegetarianism"
Miss T. van der Tuuk, of Holland, *"From Within, Outwards."
L. van Mierop, of Holland, *"Vegetarianism and 'The Pure Life' Problem."
Miss Hompes, of Manchester, *" Vegetarianismn and Peace."
J. A. Gill, of Tunhridge Wells, *"Two Green Subjects."
Miss van der Vet-Dirksen, of The Hague, *"What Appertains to all Mankind"
Hugo Noilhenius, of Utrecht, *"The Soul of our Vegetarianism."
Rev. A. O. Broadley, of Manchester, *"The Vegetarian Church."
J. Morand, of Paris, *"Some Objections to Vegetarianism Discussed."
Dr. G. Danjou, of Nice.
P. Zimmetmann, of Germany, *"Vegetarian Colonies and Restaurants in Germany."
D. de Clercq, of Bloemendaal (Holland), *"Vegetarian Slaughter-houses."
F. Domela Nieuwenhuis, of Hilvershum (Holland), * "The Economic Aspect of Vegetarianism."
Mrs. E. Anldre/e, of Brussels, *"Vegetarianism and Alcoholism."
Mrs. Garshagen, of Godesherg a/R., *"Thirty Years' Experience."
Dr. J. Rutgers, of The Hague, *"A Couple of Medical Ideas."
Dr. Jos. Oldfleld, of Bromley (England), "Diet in the Treatment of Indigestion."
Dr. Ernest Nyssens, of Brussels.
Dr. Carton, of Brévannes (France), "The Salt Question."
Mrs. Wright-Sewall, of America, "Vegetarianism and the Great Moral Reforms."
Dr. J. H. W..van Ophuysen, of The Hague, *"Contribution to the Psychology of the Choice of Food."
Dr. A. B. Olsen, of Caterham (England), *" Protein Problem of Vegetarianism."
L. Michaud, of St. Maurice (France), *" The Danger of Fruit in Cases of Hyper-acidity."
Dr. Kellogg, of BattleCreek (U.S.), "Recent Scientific Discoveries con-firming the Principles of Natural Food Reform."
Dr. H. F. Fleischer, of The Hague, *"Our Daily Need of Albumin."
Miss Kipiani, of Brussels, *"The Place of 'Tropism' and of Symmetry in the Integral Life of the Human Being."
Dr. Robert Bell, of London, "The Cancer Scourge and how to Destroy it."
Dr. G. Petit, of Paris, "Danger of High Feeding for Tuberculous Patients.''
Dr. Jules Grand, of Paris.*

Mrs. Wright-Sewall, who came to The Hague to attend the Peace Congress and also the Vegetarian Congress, was prevented by an unfortunate accident from attending the meetings, but I had the pleasure of an interview with her in the Hotel Pomona, and believe that she has since been able to return to her home in the States. Mrs. Wright-Sewall is the Hon. President of the International Council of Women, Hon. President of the National Council of Women of U.S.A., and Chairman of the International Council's Committee on Peace and Arbitration. She has been a Vegetarian for eight years, and stands in close touch with the movement in America. Mrs. Sewall was the bearer of an invitation from the President of the Committee of the International Exposition to be held in San Francisco in 1915 to the International Vegetarian Union.

Many greetings from Dutch and foreign societies were received, among which was one from the Summer Scholars assembled at Colwyn Bay.

The public meeting, which was held more centrally at the Orange Club, The Hague, was addressed by Mr. Emary, M. Morand, Miss Homnpes, Mr. Saxon, and Mr. de Clercq. The meeting was not a very large one, but the audience was appreciative. The Press gave excellent and lengthy reports of all the papers and speeches and proceedings generally, which extended to several columns both in the Rotterdamsche and the Amstervdamsche Courant. Not any item was neglected.

On Tuesday evening it was suggested that the International Union should nominate a Secretary, and that the various Societies belonging to it should contribute towards a fund for the Union. This was deferred to the General Committee, which met later in the day. Rules for raising a fund were drawn up and Miss Mathilde Hompes, of Manchester, was elected Hon. Secretary of the International Vegetarian Union.

After the formal part of the Congress had terminated on Tuesday afternoon, lunch was provided at the Hotel Zecrust, as it had been on the previous day, by order of the Congress Committee. The manager of this hotel had never before provided a Vegetarian lunch, but the result of his efforts amid those of his chef were such as are only seldom attained at a Vegetarian restaurant, and the very moderate price of 1/3 made it a marvel of production.

In the afternoon all the members of Congress were taken, by invitation of the Com-mittee, to Rotterdam by train and thence a very pleasant boat-trip up the River Maas, revealing a characteristic bit of Dutch landscape. Ample refreshments were served on board. We returned about 8 p.m. to a dinner at the Pomona Vegetarian Hotel. It was a splendid feast, the preparation of which and the beautiful setting out of the table reflect great credit on the managers, Mr. and Mrs. Valk, and their willing staff of helpers. Songs were sung and speeches made in many languages. There was a splendid spirit of comradeship and joyousness, which was kept up till nearly midnight, when the guests rose from the table and gradually dispersed, after much hand-shaking and many good-byes spoken in various tongues. It was a hearty gathering marked by the utter absence of any stiffness.

On Wednesday forenoon a number of the guests, under the guidance of our genial friend, Mr. de Clercq, visited the very extensive fruit and vegetable plantations at the Westland, which lies at a little distance by steam-tram from The Hague. Here gardening in the open and under glass is carried on in the most extensive and scientific way. Acres upon acres of glass houses appear to view, where grapes, peaches, tomatoes, etc., are grown for home consumption and exportation ; also excellent vegetables in the open. The grounds are so extensive that we were taken some dozen of short journeys in steam-trams to go the whole round, stepping out at intervals to view different parts. We also visited the public market in connection with the grounds, where the goods are sold in lots by auction. The visit was most interesting and enjoyable, especially after having heard Mr. de Clercq speak about this place on the previous day.

Although I have previously described the Hotel Pomona in the columns of the VEGETARIAN MESSENGER, I cannot close this account without a word of tribute, now that I have seen it with my own eyes. It is beautiful! Not only its lovely, large, lofty dining hall, beautifully built and decorated and set out with plants and flowers, with its large French windows overlooking the garden belonging to the palace of the Queen of Holland, but every part of the hotel. Our kind, courteous and indefatigable hostess, Mrs. Valk. conducted a small party of us, by request, over every portion of the building from floor to second basement. Not a spot did I see that was not clean, arranged, tidy and comfortable for the workers. There is not an ugly corner. The workers' rooms everywhere are airy and sweet, not to say beautiful, and for the most part open on to greenery and flower beds. The accommodation is cheap, the meals excellent, and the service courteous and willing. Guests are absolutely forbidden to offer gratuities; the workers are reasonably well paid and are not over-worked. The hotel is the property of a limited company. By its rules, investors cannot draw more than 5 per cent dividend per annum - any surplus goes to propaganda and to a sustentation fund for the staff during sickness and old age. The hotel is crowded, as it deserves to be, for its charges are most reasonable, and a number of its supporters are non-Vegetarians.

We shall not readily forget our visit to The Hague?


Some of the delegates at The Hague

The Hon. Rollo Russell writes commending the Pomona Hotel at Hague thus:-" May I be allowed to bear testimony, quite spontaneously -to the merits of the new Pomona Hotel at The Hague? I stayed there with my son as a delegate to the recent Peace Congress, and was surprised at the very high standard and large size of the hotel. There is nothing like it in England : a fine hall and restaurant, where 200 can easily dine, wide staircase and corridors, bedrooms fitted with hot and cold water supply, telephones and double doors, and the whole place exceedingly well contrived
and modern. The rooms away from the street, including the Restaurant. look over the beautiful gardens of the Royal Palace. The hotel was quite full, and the Restaurant clearly very popular. It was a pleasure to find that tips were not only not expected but almost indignantly rejected."


From The Vegetarian (London Vegetarian Association), January 1914:

Vegetarianism in France

The speech delivered at the Hague International Congress by M. J. Morand, Secretary of the French Vegetarian Society, has several points of interest. Founded in 1899 with 125 members the Society has grown steadily to its present number, 1,618.

Every nation has its own temperament, its special characteristics, and differs in the fundamental idea on which its action is based. In France the scientific idea has predominated, and hence her Vegetarian Society has grown more slowly than in countries where the idea seemed above question, and was accepted naturally as a matter of sentiment.

And the French Society has achieved such an intellectual triumph that there is now no man of science worthy of the name who would maintain the impossibility of living as a Vegetarian, and the necessity of following the errors of the past. The only objections still surviving are worldly considerations, and the difficulty of doing without the stimulus of meat when we have become accostomed to it.

We have every reason to believe that these objections will disappear just like the prejudice in favour of the high proteid (sic) ration, and of superalimentation, "from which we have now completely recovered."

To make the work more practical the Society has decided to create:-

1. A Committee of Literature and Research for the collection and classification of publications and experiments.

2. A section of Household Economy and Domestic Hygeine to supply information as to the theory and practice of diet.

3. A section for Physical Education and Sports. There will be a course of rational gymnastics for men and for women, and a course in the Ling system ; boxing and wrestling will also be taught ; and, besides, there will be Sunday excursions and fresh-air camps. - Réforme Alimentaire.

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