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°t18   DAYS OF PREPARATION

of goods required was undertaken within a few months of the outbreak of war. Suggestions for Work—a little leaflet easy to fit into a business envelope—was distributed, free of charge, by thousands; and was followed by War Work, a pamphlet which included all the information given in Suggestions with the addition of a description of the work and needs of the four organizations represented in the National Relief Committee. Paper patterns in unlimited quantities were prepared and issued to the Society, free of charge, by the Butterick Co., while samples of other articles were made at the Society's Headquarters. The monthly Bulletin, averaging some 50,000 copies a month, gave genuine information as to Red Cross work. The organization of the work under Provincial Branches relieved the Head Office of much detailed work, but the preparation and distribution of literature remained throughout an important item of business.

By co-operation of the railway and express companies, the problem of transportation was greatly simplified, but the Red Cross warehouses at Montreal and Toronto and all the ports were manned by a staff competent to insure the prompt and careful shipment of all supplies. As the submarine menace diminished the amount of ship-ping available, government regulations became more and more stringent; but both the British Admiralty and the Canadian Government accorded preferential treatment to Red Cross supplies. By this means tue Red Cross became the bridge across the ocean over which almost all voluntary gifts travelled; and in spite of occasional reports and rumours to the contrary, the percentage of Red Cross goods lost from any cause was negligible.

In the first four years of the war, 182,951 cases of goods were shipped from Canada to the society's ware-houses in England. These included such items as 2,164,289 pairs of socks, 28,200 lbs. of tobacco and 11,510,000 cigarettes. The value of this vast mass of material can only be conjectured: probably $14,000,000 would not overshoot the mark.


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