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18th World Vegetarian Congress 1965
Swanwick, England

INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN UNION

18th WORLD CONGRESS

28th AUGUST- 4th SEPTEMBER, 1965

THE HAYES, SWANWICK, ENGLAND

HON. GENERAL SECRETARY'S REPORT

Each country provides a different kind of Congress, some big cities or in universities - the one at The Hayes, in Derbyshire, England, will, perhaps, be remembered as a very happy one, remote from the turmoil of a town and in rural surroundings with everyone living together and with ample time to meet and ta1k.

The remoteness did not prevent an unprecedented interest by newspapers and television units - they fairly swarmed over us - looking hopefully, as one unit confessed, for queer characters and going away with reports and films of reputable doctors and scientists. As one of England's leading Sunday newspapers said in a large headline: Vegetarians project their new image ("Observer"). At least forty to fifty newspapers carried articles and reports activities.

There is no doubt that we were well fed. The Hayes Conference Centre had its staff on its toes and gave us excellent meals - -the only complaint heard was that it was difficult not to over-eat. Never has so much fresh fruit appeared at a Congress. Wholemeal bread was made on the premises. The delegates of some sixteen nations soon made inroads to the stockpile laid in by the management - three cwts. of nuts, a ton and a half of wholemeal flour, five cwts. of brown sugar, four cwts. of cheese, five cwts. Of Italian pears and three cwts. of bananas. Among the 350 people taking part there were eighty vegans and raw-food eaters with special tables - there had been about 600 applications to attend the Congress and it was with great regret that so many had to be refused through lack of space - we had committed ourselves some two years before to this, the largest conference centre we could find, thinking that we were taking a great risk in guaranteeing 200 delegates, an estimate based on previous congresses. This can be taken as a measure of the new interest in vegetarianism and the rapid growth of our movement.

We were greatly privileged to have the Congress opened by a very distinguished vegetarian, His Excellency The High Commissioner for India, Dr. Jivraj N. Mehta, who was first entertained to lunch by The I.V.U. President, The Marquis de St. Innocent, his wife the Marchioness, and Officials.

The advantage of all living under one roof is that communal activities can more easily be organised and our energetic programme could commence (for those so inclined) at 6.45am each morning when Mr. G. Herriot Hunter, of The Vegetarian Society of Nottingham, led the dedicated in physical exercises on the spacious lawns. The delightful Chapel in the grounds was used for short Meditations conducted by a member of a different denomi-nation each day at 7.30 a.m. The Ministrants were Dr. James Horsley for The Order of The Cross; Dr. Jean Nussbaum for the Seventh Day Adventists; Mr. R. MacAlastair Brown for the Liberal Catholics; Pastor Dr. C. A. Skriver for Ordem Nazorean; Father Basil Wrighton for the Roman Catholics; and Mrs. Kathleen Keleny for the Society of Friends.

The simultaneous translation outfit ran us into great expense, something like £1,600, but the deficit was taken care of by the Con-gress Fees and generosity of The Vegetarian Society and London Vegetarian Society to whom we express our gratitude. The British Vegetarian Societies were also very generous and contributed a substantial sum so that delegates from distant countries could be given free accommodation during the Congress - we are asked by those who were helped in this way to convey their appreciation.

Immediately after the opening on Saturday, 28th August, the stage was taken over by The Lady Dowding and her "Beauty With-out Cruelty" mannequins, compered by Daphne Charters. The Fashion Show of fur fabrics was something new for our visitors from abroad and was given a great ovation. Interest in the cam-paign was maintained throughout the Congress by the B.W.C. stall of non-animal cosmetics and toilet products - this seemed to do a roaring trade and simulation fur coats were frequently seen being paraded.

It is our intention to publish as many of, and as much of, the splendid lectures which were given, in The British Vegetarian, and which were well attended throughout the Congress, but for the record we give the following programme:

Prelude to Peace, the Presidential Lecture given by the Marquis de St. Innocent (Spain); Indian Philosophy and Vegetarianism by the Rajkumar of Vizianagrarn (India); Medical Aspects of Vege-tarianism by Dr. Gordon Latto (Great Britain); Recent Advances in Nature Cure and Vegetarianism in Europe by Dr. Barbara Latto Great Britain); The Art of Vegetarian Cookery by Mr. Walter Fliess Great Britain); Scientific Results of the March of Twenty Fasting Vegetarians by Dr. Karl-Otto Aly (Sweden); Practical Aspects of Vegetarianism by Dr. Ralph Bircher (Switzerland); Modern Veganism by Dr. Frank Wakes (Great Britain); The Development of Plantmilk by Dr. Alan Stoddard (Great Britain); Vegetarianism and Human Apotheosis by Dr. Jacques de Marquette (France); Die Zufahrtsstrassen zum Vegetarismuss und ihre Bedeutung by Mr. Geo. Hiller, Deputy President (Germany); Vegetarianism Now and in the Future by Dr. A. Pais (Holland); The Importance of Whole Foods by Dr. Jean Nussbaum (France); followed by The Use of Whole Foods, a commentary by Mrs. Isabel James, on a colour film made by Mr. Geoffrey L. Rudd (both Great Britain); The Soil Association Work at Haughley by Mrs. Margaret Brady (Great Britain); St. Christopher School, Letchworth, by the Headmaster Mr. King Harris (Great Britain); Das Rechte Verständnis des Vege-tarismus by Dr. Carl Anders Skriver (Germany); A Catholic's Views on Vegetarianism by Father Basil Wrighton (Great Britain); Der Vegetarische Lehrer in der Nichtvegetarischen Schule by Prof. W. Brockhaus (Germany). There was a Brains Trust organised by the British and German Youth Movements, many delegates of which were camping in the grounds, and one by the Women Delegates.

The Indian Delegates led by Mr. J. N. Mankar, arranged a whole session, and gave a series of most interesting talks - by Mr. Mankar, -Mr. Amrit Lal Jindal, Mr. Jay Dinshah and Mr. M. Somani. Several papers were submitted to the Congress by those unable to attend. Practical Vegetarianism by Dr. V. N. Jai, and Health and Hygiene Aspect by Dr. J. M. Jussawalla. Miss Janet Irwin and Miss M Brandt, who had both studied at the Theosophical Centre at Madras and worked in India, made contributions.

The first evening was a memorable occasion with a troop of Indian Dancers and Singers sent by The High Commissioner from London so that we should not be disappointed by the Indian performers we had expected not being able to leave India. The audience was enthralled and many must have decided they would go to the Indian Congress in 1967. The last evening was a riotous affair with a Fancy Dress Dance with a professional dance orchestra from Derby. Miss Vivien Pick arranged entertainments from the talented musicians and singers attending.

In between times there were coach outings to places of historic interest, a Trampoline demonstration by an American expert Dr. Bill Harris, who came with the British Vegetarian Youth Movement contingent and succeeded in getting young and elderly members of the audience to have a go - to the vast amusement of the others. Mr. Rudd showed his British Bird and Wild Flower films.

The Business Sessions went well and some very interesting reports were heard from all over the world and Britain. President and General Secretary set out to keep a merciless watch on time speakers and lecturers were allowed and this, we think, went a long way to making the Congress streamlined, not over-lectured and happy. The ruthless axing of the loquacious was taken in good part, and no one had their time curtailed by the previous speaker overrunning his time.

The Congress may have produced the most significant development in our movement for many years in the formation of a Science Council and a draft proposal on the following line was approved:

"After discussion at a series of meetings the following members have agreed to apply for constitution as a Science Council: Dr. Karl-Otto Aly, Dr. J. Fleischanderl, Dr. G. Latto, Dr. Barbara Latto, Mr. J. W. Lucas, Dr. A. Stoddard, Dr. F. Wokes, Dr. R. Bircher, Drs. E. and F. Begoihn, Mrs. I. James, Dr. and Frau Dr. G. Schmidt.

The members have recommended that the proposed Council shall be known as 'The Science Council of The International Vegetarian Union' (SCIVU).

The members recognize that an immediate task of the Council will be to collect and to classify scientific information bearing on vegetarianism. This should be made available in the form of: (a) Abstracts of scientific articles; (b) critical reviews of newly pub-lished books; (c) review articles on topics of special importance, i.e., proteins, food contaminants, etc.

The collected data should facilitate research into scientific vege-tarian problems and provide a pool of authenticated scientific information for the use of speakers on vegetarian subjects.

The above members have agreed to prepare abstracts in English, French or German of articles of vegetarian interest in selected scientific journals.

Members have agreed that abstracts shall be prepared in dupli-cate; one copy shall be sent to Dr. R. Bircher in Zurich, and the other to Dr. F. Wokes in Watford (V.N.R.C.).. They will be filed under an approved system and abstracts of sufficient interest will be considered for circulation and possible publication with the approval of The I.V.U. Committee.

Members agreed to use as a basis for the form on which an abstract will be written, a draft provided by Prof. Brockhaus.

Members suggest that the detailed implementation of these pro-posals shall be effected by an Executive Committee selected by the Council, but with the approval of The I.V.U. Committee. It was felt necessary that the members of this Committee should be well qualified in scientific or medical fields. The Committee shall have powers to co-opt further members to the Council.

It is hoped that the research which is being done by the V.N.R.C. can be used to support the work of the Council; and that scientific papers submitted at this Congress will provide some initial data.

Members suggest that the Council shall provide a report of its activities at each subsequent Congress."

The proposal was warmly welcomed and suggestions made for putting it on a sound financial basis. Anyone, of course, is encou-raged to send scientific material to be sifted for useful information.

On the last evening those who had assisted were thanked by the President, and the General Secretary was presented with a beautiful inscribed silver bowl, and a cheque, as mementoes of his work for the Congress; his wife was also included in the presentation which had been subscribed for by the delegates.