THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE INTERNATIONAL HOMOEOPATHIC LEAGUE.
Under the Presidency of DR. PIERRE SCHMIDT.
Held in Geneva, August 2nd to 5th, 1931.
A Report by Dr. George Burford, Vice-President of the League.
Geneva the home of enthusiasms, International and National Geneva has added another laurel to her chaplet, in the public reception and recognition of the International League of the Minority cause in medicine.
It is obviously in the fitness of things that this corporate body of Homoeopathic physicians, meeting in annual assembly, should be received and welcomed in a city which from mediaeval times has taken heterodox scientists under the shadow of her wing.
The best brains in Homoeopathy were represented at the Assembly of the League, and the visitors received enthusiastic welcome and hospitality at the hands of Dr. Pierre Schmidt (the President) and Madame Schmidt, and the Homoeopathic physicians resident in Geneva.
It would be difficult to laud too highly the thoroughness and excellence of the arrangements made for the reception of their distinguished visitors by the President and his assistants. The spacious hall (lAthenee) selected for the Assembly, easy of access, gave dignity to the proceedings; the hotel appointments were chiefly concentrated at “La Residence,” which alone received during Congress over 70 members, and without overcrowding.
The intellectual drive, which began early each day and ended late, was tempered by such deviations as a luncheon at the Rotary Club; an Official Reception by the States-Council of Geneva at the Palais Eynard; a conducted visit to places of historic and civic interest in the city; and, later, an excursion on the Lake of Geneva to Lausanne where luncheon was provided by Dr. Nebel and his colleagues; followed by a visit to Evian, on the other side of the Lake.
True to the over lordship of Congress work, papers were read and debates proceeded en route coming and going; and as a special reward for virtue, an excursion by road to Chamonix, on the day following the conclusion of Congress. The Chamonix drive and the Montanvert visit constituted a red-letter day. The evening preceding, the farewell banquet had been given at the Palais Eynard, where a silver salver, engraved with the signatures of the Follows and Members, had been presented with acclamation to Dr. and Mme. Schmidt.
NOTABLES OF THE LEAGUE ASSEMBLY.
In such an International Assembly as this all the delegates are notables, yet certain there were who by virtue of their personalities shone with especial brilliance. Captain and chief of these was the President, DR. PIERRE SCHMIDT, whose individual dynamic activated and controlled the Assembly first, last and all the time. Mobile and dignified, of preternatural quickness in seizing points, this relatively young leader of men timed and tuned the debates of the day, while encouraging freedom of speech.
Again and again it was obvious that the Assembly was by no means of one mind; a sudden ripple of difference would sweep over the audience and as suddenly subside, the ebullition coming to nothing because tactfully ignored. And the constant stream of essay and debate would have sufficed a British Assembly for a month!.
Of the delegates, the personality of DR. JOHN WEIR throughout evoked a high degree of interest and equally of appreciation. Like the leader of the House of Commons it was not necessary for him to declare his mind every hour of the day, but when occasion required, his considered judgment was given with clearness and point. Notably was this observable in the discussion on the treatment of childrens diseases, when Dr. Weir closed the debate; and still more so in his address on the “Confirmation of the doctrine of Hahnemann,” delivered at the Open Assembly of the League on August 3rd.
As representing the United States was DR. EUGENE AUSTIN, one of the original Kentian circle, and of universal reputation as Professor of Homoeopathic Materia Medica in New York, who here gave welcome to his aforetime pupils.
DR. TUINZING of Rotterdam, one of the Foundation Fellows of the League, came with his colleague Dr. Voorhoeve of Utrecht, the author of Homoeopathy in Practice, as representatives of Homoeopathy in Holland. Dr. Tuinzing contributed to the Assembly an important paper on the publication of the League Transactions. DR. EDWIN NEATBY of London, well known the world over as Head of the Missionary School of Medicine at the London Homoeopathic Hospital, and as connected with every movement of importance in British Homoeopathy during half a century, and also Foundation Fellow of the League, brought his varied experience to the League Assembly for use and service.
DR. GRANVILLE HEY, Gynaecologist in chief to the London Homoeopathic Hospital, and President of the British Homoeopathic Congress, as well as Foundation Fellow of the League, was present and active at each of the League Meetings. DR. AGOSTO VINYALS of Barcelona, Editor of El Sol de Meissen, the organ of the Liga Hispano-Americana, Foundation Fellow of the International League, and practically travelling Secretary, registered his name early in the League proceedings. DR. UGO TOSI of Arezzo, editor of the official organ of the Italian Homoeopathic Association; DR. BONINO FULVIO of Turin, the bearer of an honoured name in Homoeopathy, were among the Italian representatives present.
As Geneva is within a bowshot of French territory the tone and temperament of the Assembly were distinctively Gallic. Among the notables were DR. LE TELLIER, the new League President, known wherever Homoeopathic Leagues and Congresses meet as an enthusiastic advocate of the International spirit. We have met him in Paris, and in London, and in Geneva, and at all times he is urban and suave and open-minded. DR. TESSIER, also Internationally-minded, we have also known in Paris and repeatedly in the early days of the League, at Rotterdam and the Hague.
Also DR. FORTIER-BERNOVILLE, an enthusiast of the Homoeo- therapeutic school, an excellent clinician and copious contributor to L’Homoeopathie Francaise; more will be heard of Dr. Fortier-Bernoville in years to come. DR. CHIRON and DR. ALLENDY, both Homoeopathic authors of distinction; these and other French colleagues of light and leading attended the League Meetings, and gave solidity to the deliberations. But the contributions exciting most interest were undoubtedly those of DR. ROUY and M. TURENNE of Paris, who produced and experimented with a new mechanism responsive to the differential action of homoeopathic remedies within the organism. The time was not sufficient nor the circumstances favourable for refined demonstration, but the results were very remarkable, rivaling in interest those of Dr. Boyd.
Of the Swiss colleagues of the President, the personality best known to British Homoeopaths is undoubtedly that of DR. NEBEL of Lausanne, who addressed the British Homoeopathic Society in recent time on the Homoeo-therapy of malignant disease. Scorning delights and living laborious days, Dr. Nebel has devoted years of intense work to this absorbing research, and with very encouraging results. The whole of the time at the disposal of the Assembly might well have been given to this subject alone, in the capable hands of Dr. Nebel. Such are some of the Homoeopathic leaders who lead, who found time to be present at the League Assembly. The list might be extended, and would include Dr. Madaus of Leipsic, Dr. Aebly of Zurich, and some others.
The British delegates and ladies present were:-
Dr. and Mrs. Burford.
Dr. Le-Hunte Cooper.
Dr. and Mrs. Granville Hey and Miss Hey.
Dr. and Mrs. Edwin Neatby.
Dr. John Weir.
Dr. H. Fergie Woods.
And as a visitor:
Dr. H. G. Purchase, LL.D., of London.
THE LEAGUE ASSEMBLY AT WORK.
The great majority of the delegates were housed at “La Residence,” a large hotel of the newer type, beautiful for situation, where on the afternoon of August 2nd all who had assembled were welcomed by the President, registered officially, and presented with badges of membership and programmes of procedure.
AUGUST 3rd AT LATHENEE.
Nine oclock a.m. saw the commencement of the League work in the large hall of this building, whose character is indicated by its name. A large auditory of delegates and visitors had assembled for the Presidential Address, delivered in open meeting. The discourse was neither scientific nor contentious, but charged with a moral dynamic somewhat unusual in such an address.
The motif is one of Hahnemanns obiter dicta:
“Lorsquil s agit dun art sauveur de la vie, negliger dapprendre est un crime.” (When we are dealing with a science which is concerned with the saving of Life, it is a crime to neglect its study).
Dr. Schmidts appeal was to all Homoeopaths to study hard and to study long, and not to rest content with a “first-stage Homoeopathy” where, however, the results produced are already far superior to those of the old School. “The results obtained by the single remedy, in minimal dose, selected strictly according to Hahnemanns rules, demonstrate to us the absolute proof of Homoeopathic principles, and reward us amply for our labour.”.
The whole urge and drift of the address a singularly fine production was for all to continually strive for a perfected Homoeopathy on Hahnemannian lines.
Now followed the presentation of Reports by the Vice- presidential delegates specifying the status and progress of Homoeopathy in the following countries:-.
Some of the reports were necessarily brief and scant, e.g. those from Austria and Russia.
Others were highly encouraging, e.g. those from Great Britain, the United States, France. But the Brazil report, presented by Dr. Nelson de Vasconcellos, took the audience by surprise. “In Rio alone,”said Dr. Vasconcellos, “there is a Homoeopathic Hospital with 200 beds; also a school of medicine which grants diplomas of equal validity with them of the Old School; and carries through a constant interchange of students with those other institutions, having approximately 500 students on its books during the year.”.
From this hour the session was reserved for Fellows and Members only.
The Secretary, Dr. H. F. Woods, read the minutes of the last meeting in Rome: and the Treasurer, Dr. Jaccard, presented the financial Report.
The Senior Vice-President now presented a review of “The evolution of the International Homoeopathic League, its history and organisation.” Some suggestions for reorganisation having already been mooted, it was necessary to envisage clearly the continuity of League development.
It was shown throughout the history of the League and its predecessors that these had charged themselves with the increasing development of the International Idea in Homoeopathy; that in the later years of Hahnemann, Paris was the focus of Homoeopathic light and leading;
that following Hahnemanns demise, the maintenance of Homoeopathy devolved upon disciples scattered over the world;
that this splendid isolation was supplanted by the first International in 1872;
that the next evolutionary stage was in 1911, at the London Congress, when the Annual International Council was instituted;
that the next stage was initiated at Rotterdam in 1922 when the International Council was transformed into the International Homoeopathic League;
that the next development must include central establishment and financial endowment.
Next Dr. Tuinzing, of Rotterdam, presented a paper on “The publication of the work of the League.” Also “on an alternative form of membership for non-attendants.” (These matters fall to be considered by the Executive Council).
The followed a paper by Dr. Allendy (Paris), “Les substitutions morbides et l’Homoeopathie,” and a contribution by Dr. E. A. Neatby (London) dealing with “Tropical Diseases.”
(Dr. Neatbys volume on Tropical Diseases and their treatment, mainly written for missionaries, gives him special authority to speak on this all-important subject, concerning but little Homoeopathic experience has been published hitherto).
Next a paper by Dr. Aebly (Zurich) with the title “Das Hahnemannische Ahnlichkeitsgesetz, seine geschichte, und die modernen experimentellen Bestatigungen,” Next a paper by Dr. Barishac (Paris), “Notions de Pharmacopee Homoeopathique.” But the event of the later part of the day was the Public Address by Dr. John Weir (London), “The Confirmation of Hahnemanns doctrine in the Treatment of Diseases.”.
This was in various respects the most important contribution to the Congress proceedings. Like the Presidential Address, it was delivered in open assembly, and its main purport was the emphatic affirmation of the Hahnemannian doctrines of the treatment of Disease, as worked out by Dr. J.T. Kent. This was an opportune, plainly expressed and emphatic deliverance of especial value to those whose progress in Homoeopathy had not been considerable.
It would have been a material uplift in point of interest and value to the Congress proceedings if a sufficient time could have been allotted to Dr. Le-Hunte Coopers most interesting and important discovery of the toxicity of aluminium, particularly in the form of metal containers for cooking and potable purposes.
Most unfortunately, the programme had been made up to overflowing some time before Dr. Coopers application for time, and it was generally felt that the quarter of an hour allotted to him for the full description and demonstration of his most valuable research was nothing like sufficient for its suitable explanation.
None felt this disparity more acutely than the Officers of the Congress.
The first paper was scheduled to begin at 8.30 a.m. by Dr. Brissaud of Nice on “Pourquoi des semblables guerissent-ils?” Next by Dr. Burford, London, describing “New Worlds to Conquer in Homoeopathy: in particular the dominant powers of Remedies in Surgical Cases.”.
This paper will be published later in the year in full detail.
Dr. Le Tellier (Paris): “Une prouesse de Ferrum Phosphoricum.”
Dr. Fortier-Bernoville (Paris): “L’Homoeopathie en medicine infantile.”
Then came an agreeable break in procedure in the afternoon.
Visite de la ville en auto-car: Les places principales de Geneve: visite au monument de la Reformation; University; le Theatre; la haute ville; la Cathedrale; l Hotel de Ville; les quartiers medicaux (hopitaux et cliniques); lArve et le Rhone; le Palais des Nations; le Bureau international du Travail: lObservatoire; le Musee des arts (tableaux principaux expliques par le Conservateur du musee).
SUITE DES TRAVAUX SCIENTIFIQUES.
Drs. Lancelot et Duhamel (Paris): L’Homoeopathie a la puberle et a la menopause.
Dr. Pahud (Lausanne): Observations pratiques sur la valeur des hautes dilutions.
Dr. Rouy et M. Turenne (Paris): Detections des remedes homoeopathiques.
Dr. Madaus (Dresden): Phyto-Analyse el homoeopathie.
Dr. Duprat (Geneve): Quelle est la valeur des critiques et condamnations couramment formulees contre l’homoeopathie?
Dr. Yves Edrom (Bordeaux): Lallopathie et l’homoeopathie dans leur methode.
Dr. Hernandes (Madrid): Les etapes de ma vie homoeopathique.
Dr. Nebel (Lausanne): Sur le traitement isopathique des affections malignes. (Avec projections).
Official Reception by the States-Council of Geneva at Palais Eynard, 4 rue de la Croix-Rouge. Ladies invited. Musical entertainment.
Departure by steamer for Ouchy-Lausanne. (Ladies took part in the excursion). Steamer left from the Jardin Anglaise.
Dr. Bonino Fulvio (Turin): Langine de poitrine et son traitement.
Dr. Gagliardi (Rome): Les raisons dume prescription homoeopathique.
Dr. P. Schmidt (Suisse): Documents inedits Hahnemann. Experimentation pure des Hepar-sulphuratum-natronatum (S Na.).
Dr. Vinyals (Barcelona): Historique de l’homoeopathie en Espagne.
Lunch a l Hotel Beau-Rivage-Palace a Ouchy. Offert par la Societe Suisse des medecins homoeopathes, sous la presidence du Dr. Nebel, de Lausanne. Vin dhonneur offert par la municipalite de Lausanne.
Depart en bateau pour Evian.
Banquet de cloture au Palais Eynard. Scene de la vie alpestre suisse en costumes originaux, jodleurs, lutteurs suisses et gymnastes laureats des jeux olympiques. Orchestre.
Difficult indeed would it be to rank too highly the value to Homoeopathy of the Geneva meeting of the International Homoeopathic League.
Here was made clear that to the concept of scientists meeting with one mind the Council had been added the concept of scientists meeting with one purpose the League. To see the truth clearly, and to make it prevail this was the double-sided unity we call the League.
It was obvious that the Assembly was charged with the enthusiasm of Homoeopathy. There had been added to this the new dynamic of Internationalism. All great causes are great in proportion as they have become Internationalised. President Schmidt evoked the ringing response of the representatives of the nationalities present Great Britain and France, Belgium and Holland, Spain and Italy, Germany and the New World, when he gave a moral drive to the search after truth in medicine, and the endeavour to make it prevail.
With such an impetus does PRESIDENT LE TELLIER TAKE up the duties of office. With him, as with his predecessor, the order of the day is “Floreat Homoeopathia!”.