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VOLUNTARY WAR RELIEF   185

Belgians wait every day for their bread of tears. Babies and children are barely being kept alive for want of milk. So it is throughout all the country where those who stayed and bravely faced the invader are now dependent upon the mercy of the world. . . . Under the impelling anguish of hunger they may be tempted to strike, desperately, but with tragic unarmed futility, and will be shot down, like so many wild creatures, in streets that were lost by sacrifice as noble as the world has ever known. Only organized efforts on an unprecedented scale will avert this tragedy. . . . The people of desolated Belgium only ask from us enough bread to keep them-selves alive. Shall it ever be said that we denied them this?"

In Canada, the Belgian Consul-General was made President of a Central Committee in affiliation with the Commission in London. The Governor-General became patron, and the vice-patrons included the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition. A network of organization soon spread throughout the country. The donations to the fund, like those to the Red Cross, were largely in kind; so large in fact were the offerings of food, clothing and the like, that within the first year five specially chartered steamers were required to convey them across the Atlantic. Total contributions to date of March, 1916, according to the records of the Committee at Montreal, were as follows:

Maritime Provinces. .. Cash ...

$47,997.17

 

Goods..

690,152.88

 

 

 

$738,150.05

 

 

Quebec    Cash...

177,984.69

 

Goods..

167,207.61

 

 

 

345,192 .30

 

 

Ontario    Cash...

506,248 . 21

 

Goods..

381,545.23

 

 

 

887,793.44

 

 


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