Executive Committee

Meeting of the Executive Committee, Paris, 4 April 1930

Apparently, no women were formally present in the meetings as such.

“Mrs. W.K. Draper, Chairman of the New York Chapter of the American Red Cross, who was passing through Paris and had been good enough to honour the Committee with her attendance at this meeting”.

During a discussion on the subject of League Secretariat involvement in the organization of Red Cross committees in British Colonies, it was proposed that Mrs. Carter, a member of the Secretariat and of British nationality might be a possible representative, along with two gentlemen, at the forthcoming British Empire Red Cross Conference to be held in London.

“The CHAIRMAN introduced Point f): Nursing Division, and called-upon Sir Edward Stewart.

Sir Edward STEWART: The usual quarterly reports of the activities of the Nursing Division have been circulated to all members of the Executive Committee. In addition to this, a memorandum has been circulated to the members, in which it is stated that the recommendations passed at the meeting of the Advisors on Nursing held last October have been circulated to the national Red Cross Societies.  Copies of the replies have been attached to the memorandum for the information of the members of the Executive Committee.

On studying this carefully, it will be seen that in general the recommendations have been approved by the national Red Cross Societies and also by the International Red Cross Committee, with the exception of Recommendation IV to which the Hungarian Red Cross has raised an objection. This recommendation lays down the policy to be adopted by the League when called upon to advise with regard to the organization of Schools of Nursing in countries where the number is insufficient, and in addition to recommending Red Cross Societies to establish Schools of Nursing of the highest type, it recommends that “the League encourage Red Cross Societies to contribute still further to the development of nursing by stimulating their Governments and private agencies to undertake the establishment of schools and by collaborating sympathetically with them”

The Hungarian Red Cross (full text of the letter has been circulated to the members of the Executive Committee) is averse to the principle of encouraging the Government to undertake the establishment of training schools for nurses but wishes the training of nurses to be concentrated in the hands of the Red Cross, the latter to receive subvention from the Government for this purpose.

It is proposed that this question be placed on the agenda of the XIVth International Red Cross Conference and that the Hungarian Red Cross be asked to present a report on it for discussion by the Nursing Commission.

Certain other suggestions and minor comments have been made by other Red Cross Societies but these do not in any way alter the principle laid down in the recommendations.

The recommendation made by the Advisors on Nursing that the three Recommendations No. V, No. VII and No. VIII be submitted to the XIVth International Red Cross Conference was approved by the Executive Committee at its last meeting. As these deal with three important and distinct questions, it is proposed. that they appear on the agenda of the XIVth International Red Cross Conference under the following headings:

  1. Enrolment of the trained nurse and training and enrolment of the voluntary aids. (Report submitted by the League of Red Cross Societies – Recommendation No. V).
  • Nursing education (Report of Education Committee, International Council of Nurses – Recommendation No, VII).
  • The training of an auxiliary public health nursing personnel (Recommendation No. VIII).

Item No.5 (k) on the agenda of the Executive Committee refers to the policy to be adopted by the League when collaborating with Red Cross Societies in the development of their schools of nursing, especially with reference to the sending of foreign teaching personnel for this purpose. This question was very fully discussed by the advisors on Nursing at their meeting in October 1929 and Recommendation No. IV was passed; paragraph 6 referring especially to the question reads as follows:

“The Advisory Committee approves, as being of fundamental importance, the League’s policy of encouraging these countries to send educated women to foreign schools for full training, or for post-graduate work for the purpose of preparing themselves to build up schools of nursing and to develop nursing activities in their own countries. The Advisory Committee further believes that simultaneously with this process of educating women for leadership in nursing, these countries may find it helpful to start their schools through the assistance of nurse leaders borrowed temporarily from other countries. It is believed, however, that better results will be obtained if these nurses are of the same ethical group as those of the country which seeks their assistance”.

It is proposed that the League; adopt the policy laid down in this recommendation, it being left to its discretion to make use of foreign personnel if it is considered to be in the interest of the country in question.

Sir Edward STEWART summarized the three points which he wished to embody in his proposal:

  1. that the question of schools of nursing be placed on the agenda of the XIVth International Red Cross conference and that the Hungarian Red Cross be invited to present its report;
  • that Recommendations V, VII and VIII made by the Advisors of the Nursing Division be laid before the XIVth Conference;
  • that the League adopt the principles laid down in recommendation IV, it being left to its discretion to decide as to the advisability of seeking the collaboration of foreign personnel if it is considered to be in the interest of the country concerned.

The CHAIRMAN asked whether there were any further questions.

The SECRETARY GENERAL thought that in the light of the proposals made by Sir Edward Stewart the national Red Cross Societies would have an opportunity at Brussels of discussing questions relating to nursing considered in conjunction with the activities of the Red Cross. It was therefore appropriate that the League should lay before the International Conference questions of a nature to interest all the national Societies.

As regards the second proposal, the Secretary General agreed that it fully represented the intention of the Secretariat. The question raised by the Hungarian Red Cross could not in fact be settled in the same way for every country. In some countries, the Red Cross had never intervened in the education of nurses but, once the latter had obtained their diploma, had confined itself to registering them as potential Red Cross workers. This system had been applied by the American and British Red Cross Societies and, in a certain measure, in other countries also. There were, however, a certain number of cases in which the credit for having introduced a system of nursing education was, from the very outset, due to the Red Cross. In Japan, for example, the Red Cross was initiator of the nursing profession. The same applied in some of the Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece, where the Red Cross had organized courses at which the first trained nurses in these countries had received their tuition.

The proposal made by the Hungarian Red Cross was not therefore a measure that should be generalized but one that should be taken into consideration in each country individually. It would, in consequence be well if the XIVth Conference, at which the national Red Cross Societies will be represented, were given an opportunity of outlining Red Cross policy in this respect.

The third proposal put forward by Sir Edward Stewart was in conformity with the recommendation made by the Advisors who examined this question in October last, and the procedure to be followed should, no doubt be dictated by that recommendation”.

“b) Pan-American Bureau.

M. Conill was invited to speak.

M. CONILL wished to present a few observations regarding the collaboration of the League Secretariat in the development of the Red Cross in Latin America. This collaboration with the Societies of the South American States was one of the most glorious phases in the history of the League. Before the foundation of the League, the countries of Latin America having a Red Cross Society could be counted on the fingers, whereas to-day practically everyone of these countries had formed a national Society. Honduras, Nicaragua and San Domingo alone had not yet become members of the League. This was an admirable achievement of the Pan-American Bureau. With a view to furthering the development of the Red Cross in Latin America, M. Conill suggested that the Secretariat assist in the establishment and development of national Societies and that it collaborate with Societies already in existence in order to extend their activities under the three following heads: training of nurses, Junior Red Cross and health propaganda.

As regards the question of the training of nurses, the Latin American countries had not yet established any schools of nursing and could not therefore avail themselves of the Bedford College courses; their students held no diploma and were consequently ineligible for the advanced courses. The Executive Committee would do well to instruct the Secretariat to continue its collaboration with a view to the establishment of schools of nursing in Latin America; this, M. Conill added, was an important point.

Health propaganda could be developed if the Executive Committee authorized the preparation and printing of documents in Spanish and Portuguese. He pointed out that it was a unique circumstance that there should be twenty nations speaking the same language, and which in consequence could receive documents in Spanish alone. The “Information Bulletin” should be continued and published in Portuguese and Spanish.

Furthermore, in view of the vast expanse of some of the Latin American States, where the local Committees were almost completely isolated from their Central Committee and were practically autonomous, in order to ensure closer collaboration it might be advisable to consider the periodical convocation of national Conferences. M. Conill proposed that the Executive Committee authorize a representative of the Pan- American Bureau to visit Latin America, should such a visit be considered necessary from the point of view of increasing the number of, and of co-operating in the organization of these Conferences.

M. Conill summed up his three proposals and asked whether they were approved.

The CHAIRMAN asked whether there were any further observations.

The SECRETARY GENERAL thanked M. Conill for his suggestions and stressed the importance which the Secretariat had always attached to the development of the Red Cross in Latin America. He was at the disposal of the national Societies to examine with them any activity they might wish to undertake. If the proposals made by M. Conill met with the approval of The Executive Committee, the Secretariat would, in so far as its budget permitted, make a study of the steps to be taken with a view to furthering the development of Latin American Red Cross Societies.

M. CONILL asked whether he should make a formal proposal or whether it would suffice to place the Committee’s approval on record.

The CHAIRMAN asked M. Conill to summarize his proposal.

M. CONILL proposed the following resolution:

The Committee approves the work already undertaken in Latin America and recommends that this work be continued, in so far as the budget of the League would permit, more particularly in connexion with the training of nurses, the Juior Red Cross and health propaganda”

The CHAIRMAN was sure that all the members of the Committee were in agreement as to the policy to be followed in Latin America and, if there were no objections, M. Conill’s proposal would be regarded as adopted”.


The International Red Cross Committee and the League of Red Cross Societies have agreed to propose that the following questions be placed on the agenda of the XIVth International ed Cross Conference:

XXIV. Action taken in respect of Resolution XIII of the Xlllth International Red Cross Conference concerning the nursing activities of the Red Cross:

a) enrolment of trained nurses; training and enrolment of voluntary aids (Recommendation VI);

b) professional training of nurses (Recommendation VII):

i) Fundamental principles to be observed in the establishment of schools of nursing (Recommendation VII);

ii) Red Cross role in the training of nurses (Hungarian Red Cross).

c) training of auxiliary public health nurses

… ”.

“c) Conditions to be laid down in order that the League may obtain the active collaboration of the counsellors nominated by the different national Societies”.

The SECRETARY GENERAL stated that the national Societies had already nominated 150 technical experts on different questions. Some of the Societies had, however, informed the League that they were unable to nominate authorities in advance for the purpose of advising the Secretariat on different subjects. The Secretariat would therefore simply ask the national Red Cross Societies to find the qualified experts in each case and to forward the necessary information. The experts already appointed included:

24 experts for question relating to Nursing

87    “        “         “           “       “ Health

11    “        “         “           “       “ Infant Welfare

17    “        “         “           “       “ Junior Red Cross

 9     “        “         “           “       “ Relief

16    “        “         “           “       “ General Organization

M, CONILL wished to know what procedure had hitherto been adopted when the Secretariat desired to consult the experts. The SECRETARY GENERAL replied that, at its last meeting, he asked the Executive Committee for authority to convene a special meeting for the purpose of studying nursing questions and, as a result of this authority, a special meeting of Advisors on Nursing was held in October, when the programme to be discussed at the Brussels Conference was established.

By admin

30-odd years with the Movement - National Society, International Federation and Standing Commission, for some reason never ICRC.
Presently a free spirit and attached to Sandefjord Red Cross

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