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176   DAYS OF PREPARATION

whose incomes, including separation allowance, do not enable them to live at a fitting standard of comfort. It has been objected that such a service ought not to have been left to private benevolence, but should have been performed by the Government as a part of the duty owed to the men under arms. To this the reply has been that there is a distinction between the providing of a basic contribution and that of maintaining a varying and somewhat arbitrary standard of comfort, and that the latter in the nature of things is not a function the Government can satisfactorily perform. Moreover, so long as such cost could be met from private sources, it was in the interest of national finance for the Government to hold aloof.

The machinery for the collection and administration of the Fund was designed to cover every section of the country and to provide an equitable basis of disbursements. The head office is at Ottawa. The Act provides for a Central Committee, under the Governor-General as President, with the Minister of Finance as Honorary Treasurer and the accounts in charge of the Auditor-General. The actual collecting and administration of the Fund is in the hands of local branches, authorized under the Act, for the prevention of overlapping and the maintenance of uniformity in method, each branch of course being under the direction of the head office. At Ottawa a special staff has been built up, housed in one of the administration buildings, and controlled by the Honorary Secretary, Sir Herbert Ames, M.P. The work has attained the status of a large business undertaking. "Campaigns" are organized. Leaflets and pamphlets for the stimulation of canvassers are turned out. The summit of activity in the latter direction has been reached in a periodical bulletin giving the "news" from month to month of the office and of the branches throughout Canada.

Judged by its fruits, the Patriotic Fund has achieved the greatest success of its kind in Canada. The first


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