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198   DAYS OF PREPARATION

from its political opponents. A party Government has to tread a narrow path in regard to all expenditures. It must not slip into extravagance on the one hand or restrict efficiency by undue economy on the other. Comfort and not luxury must be its aim; but what two persons—far less two political parties—ever agreed as to the exact place at which the dividing line between comfort and luxury should be drawn? It is in this borderland between necessity and luxury that the sphere of voluntary war service is to be found.

It is on such considerations as these that we base our belief that there is in war a legitimate sphere for the activities of organized voluntary service, neither conflicting with nor superseding that of governmental activities; and further, that the psychic value of such service is a factor which must be reckoned among the causes that make for victory in the field.

But there is another aspect of such service which must not be passed over. Like mercy, it blesses the giver not less than the receiver. However promptly and cheerfully the patriotic citizen may pay his taxes to support the army, the action does not give much opportunity for the satisfaction of his desire to render personal service to his country's defenders. To women, Red Cross work (in its widest significance) early in the war afforded almost the only outlet for their desire to serve and save; and, as such, it has rescued not a few anxious and bereaved ones from melancholia if not from insanity. Indeed the value of the results of Red Cross work upon the morale of the army in the field has been only more valuable than its stimulation of courage and enthusiasm at home.

In the work of the Red Cross, every class of the community has taken its share; there must be few individuals, outside of certain non-British communities, that have not rendered service of some description to the cause.

But the reports of organized societies do not contain a complete record of such service; and no history of


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