Third ICPP Program and Speakers

The Margaret Sanger Papers
Last updated
Jan. 4, 2012, 12:37 p.m. (view history)

Need a sense of how the program developed, who created it, who participated it and how it was received. Also about publication of proceedings.

Fink reports that the choice of Bombay was "good. Not only has the Family Planning Association of India its headquarters in Bombay, but the city as such with all its glamour on the one hand, and its poor masses on the other, gives the stranger immediate insight into the great problems confronting the New India."

Describes the FPA India workers: "These women acted as our hostesses throughout the Conference. All the foreign visitors--and there were more than 60 delegates and observers from 12 countries--were not only placed in hotels or private families, but they were all called for at boats and airports and helped in every possible way with customs or all other travelling matters. There were about 500 delegates altogether, nearly 400 of these were Indians.

Conference was held at the Cowasji Jehangir Hall, for short "C.J. Hall" which was situated so that most could reach it easily from hotels.

"There were colorful personalities among the delegates. I have already mentioned Lady Rama Rau--the chairman and organizer. Never tired, always charming and attentive, at the same time cleverly aware of any little detail, whether the organisation of a function, the discussion of a point of discontent, the quick arrangement for a visit to a hospital or a trip to theCaves near Bombay. We owe it to her untiring efforts that the Conference was the success it turned out to be. Her band of co-workers follow her faithfully in her efforts to promote the aims of Family Planning. These Indian women - the 2 Secretaries, the 2 Treasurers, the Executive Committee--all of them were not only charming hostesses privately as well as during the Conference entertainments, but also organized trips to the Clinics, to the Welfare Centre, to the Hospitals, and to the newly established Family Planning Centre where Dr. Pillay and his band of helpers--doctors and welfare workers--have set up a model clinic for Family Planning as well as for Fertility treatment.

Among the foreign delegates there was Margaret Sanger whose dynamic personality attracted young and old. To hear her speak to the Indian people over the radio, or to address the large public meeting in the C.J. Hall one night on the "History of the Birth Control Movement" gave old and young workers in the field, enthusiasm and renewed interest. There was also Dr. Stone and Lena Levine from New York, both veterans in the work and both offering knowledge and advice whenever they spoke. There was Senator Kato from Japan, long known for her work for women and also Dr. Kan Majimah who had been in Zurich in 1930, and later had suffered imprisonment for spreading knowledge of contraception. Germany was represented by Professor Harmsen who also had been in Zurich in 1930--and Sweden sent the courageous Elise Ottensen-Jensen who never gave up the fight for Sex-education in schools and can now see the fruits of her work after twenty years of fight. There were colorful people like Mrs. Goh Kok Kee from Malaya, who modestly always pushed Mrs. Butcher forward, telling everyone of us, that Mrs. Butcher was the main worker in the Organisation in Singapore. There were women from Israel representing the work and the Government there, and Professor Gordon King from Hongkong and Professor Walmsleyfrom Toronto Canada. The English delegation was especially well chosen. Vera Houghtonhad been lent to the Bombay Organisation for weeks before the Conference started and had worked and organised things beforehand. Helena Wright and Dr. Jackson spent most of their free time training the Indian delegates in the technique of birth control as well as infertility examinations. Dr. Blacker and Dr. Bertram not only read papers, but specially Dr. Blacker, the official head of the British group had a say in the final decisions of the Conference. I cannot conclude these personality sketches without mentioning in the large American group, Dorothy Brush, the energetic editor of the "World News..." and Mrs. Ellen Watumull who contribution of 5000 dollars to the Conference made things easier for the Indian Committee. Or Dr. Tietze, now statistician in Washington who brought statistical methods for the testing of contraceptives in his paper 'The Clinical effectiveness of contraceptives." Among the observers I have to mention Mary Langford and Miss Snider. They are both active in the experimental work that followed Dr. Stone's visit to India in 1951--I mean this examination into the validity of the 'Rhythm Method' in India. Miss Snider works in Delhi, Miss Mary Langford, an American Negress, trained welfare worker, in Mysore. This lively intelligent young woman has learnt the native language of the villages where she works, dresses in a Sari and so has broken down all resistance which may exist among these country women towards white workers."

Covers Chattopaygyay's opening address, notes her mention of the "bogy of colour superstition," claiming that the world needed to be treated as a unit. "All humanity as one family and all the world's resources as the birthright of every citizen, for basically one cannot hope to find the solution to population control or regulation through merely contraceptives of other methods of birth control. It can only be through better living conditions for all, greater opportunities for creative work and more scope for the realisation of human ambitions."

Describing Sanger's opening address: "On this occasion and whenever Margaret Sanger spoke during the days of the Conference one could feel that the masses of listeners were aware of the great personality of this woman."  On the session where leagues reported, she noted: "Margaret Sanger was in the chair, and introduced each speaker. In the 15 minutes at our disposal, we gave as much of the activities of our respective countries as possible." She notes that "The Japanese reports on abortion figures frightened most of the delegates.

Civic Reception at the Hanging Gardens took place the first afternoon. "There Margaret Sanger was paid tribute to by the Mayor of Bombay and here again we  experienced the attitude of one of the foremost officials of Bombay outspokenly in favor of Planned Parenthood. After the evening meal we met in the Hall and saw a number of films related to our subjects.

Study Groups were organized on: Contraception and Contraceptive Methods,Infertility and sub-fertility, Sex Education and Marriage Counsellng, Family Planing  a) Organization of clinics and training centres, b) public health programmes

All matter of contraceptive methods were discussed, even the "hope that one day we can get pulls which would mean so much to countries like India and Japan. There was an exhibition of literature, contraceptives, both chemical and mechanical.
During lunch " a great number of receptions took place....In the evenings we were entertained by Indian dancers, musicians, Indian Cultural entertainers, and twice sessions for the public took place at C. J. Hall." (Sanger's speech and a "brains trust" in which Stone and Dr. Gore of Israel took part.  [More details on visits and medical training.]

"You will ask me now about the results of the whole Conference and was it worth the effort? I must say that the success of such conferences can generally not be measured, but in this case two positive results were achieved-- One practical, one, organizational. First of all, new possible methods and the research that is going on in the world all over was discussed objectively. Also techniques were taught to an enormous number of Indian and other doctors, so that all who had attended definitely took home knowledge which could not be achieved by simple reading. Then, apart from the pleasant personal contacts, we foreign visitors to India got the inspiring feeling that here was a new country where in the face of obstacles and difficulties people were decided to introduce Family Planning methods. I mention here in passing the talks of Lt. Colonel Raina who told us that the Indian army in its 117 Health Centres all over the country is also giving advice."

"The last meeting of the Conference was used to establish a World Federation of Planned Parenthood with two heads--the one in New York, Margaret Sanger, the other in Asia (Bombay) Lady Rama Rau. They also decided to have the next Conference in August 1953 in Sweden and the following one probably on account of an invitation by the Japanese Delegation in Japan in 1954."

"The Sunday after the Conference many of the participants took a boat trip to the Elephants Caves, on an island one hour away from Bombay." On their return they had " an interesting discussion followed by a Reception  at the Gynaecological Society of Bombay. In the evening some of us attended a hen party at one of the Executive members'. Lady Rama Rau and her coworkers, now freed of all the strain and work of the conference enjoyed themselves with us and made us feel perfectly at home in their circle.

"So I can only say:- I think the Conference was a success.

"But what about us here and the implications for us here?

"I have already told the Executive and Mrs. Howard that we have to apply for membership in the World Federation. It is good that our name here is now the Racial Hygiene Association of Australia.

"But I think we should do our  best, to make this word come true.

"There are not yet any clinics in Victoria, in South Australia, in Queensland nor in Tasmania and Western Australia.

"From the talk we had with Dr. Wallace I am hopeful that the Victorian Clinic will soon be on the way. But what about the other States? Even if we do not want to limit our population here -- we still must think of spacing for health reasons, many women have to be taught to apply some methods of Family Planning. So we should not rest till we have got work going in every corner of Australia."

Sanger chaired the concluding session, made some opening remarks and then five resolutions were put before the delegates that were drafted by members attending the meeting. Says that three of the four countries represented by the ICPP were present--only Netherlands absent. Rama Rau commented on how this was the first time Asian representatives could come together with those from western countries, and that it "offered a unique opportunity for establishing a firm international link between such countries." She believed that once national leagues were set up that they should form a permanent international league which was "strongly supported" by Stone and Blacker, who made the following resolutions:

  1. That countries where National Planned Parenthood Associations exist be invited to become members of the current International Committee on Planned Parenthood; and that countries which have no such National Associations be invited to join as Associate members.
  2. That the name of the ICPP be changed to the International Planned Parenthood Federation
  3. The Regional Offices and Committees of IPPF be established in "South & South East Asia" headquartered in India, Europe in London, and North America in New York. Other regional offices should be "established at the appropriate moment (for examples, in Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific, and Latin American regions).
  4. That, after the termination of the Bombay Conference, each Regional Committee appoint a Credentials Committee which will consider applications from countries within its region to join the IPPF; and that these applications together with appropriate covering recommendations from the Credentials Committee, be transmitted to the IPPF.
  5. That two honorary presidents be elected for IPPF, and that each Region appoint a Director and Committees. Sets up a Constitution Committee to work on the IPPF Constitution, to be appointed by the presidents and members of the ICPP, this committee has the power to co-opt.

Invitations to join were sent to national associations of India, West Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore (all present at Conference) and these accepted and were co-opted onto the council. Sanger and Rama Rau were unanimously elected co-Presidents. Stone moved a resolution of "deep appreciation" of Dorothy Brush's work on the Around the World News of Population and Birth Control. Sanger and Rama Rau thanked everyone and the meeting adjourned with Indian national anthem.

Houghton transmits points written up by Helena Wright and Avabai Wadia "in the hope that they will be useful to India."

Meetings with Medical Associations held at beginning and end of conference; Wright wants "what form these meetings will take. She would not consider it advisable to invite non-medical delegates to be present.

Messages to be read out at the International Conference India wants messages from U.S., Britain, Sweden, Holland, Germany to be read to the Inauguration conference. Asks that the countries send the messages "in good time."

Study Groups Custom in India is that the Steering Committee select the group chairmen and rapporteurs for each group, to be adopted at the opening session.

Discussion Themes Themes should be prepared in advance and printed in the programme, sent well in advance to all delegates. Ask delegates to respond in writing to let them know which group they want to be in.  Committee can see which groups are popular and arrange the sessions accordingly. They will pin a listing of the groups in each Study Group in the main hall, noting the location of the meeting group. Delegates can write their names on the the sheets; those who already have signed up should as well, so that they have accurate lists of participants.

Badges They want colored labels to distinguish delegates from office bearers.

Conference Office There should be a convenient place where a permanent staff for the Conference can be found and consulted if issues arise.

Reception Desk Need another place where delegates can quickly register on arrival, get their badges and information about the facilities.

Letters and Messages It is customary in India "to have a system of messengers, staffed by children, to deliver letters, &c., rather than to have a letter-box or notice-board.

Telephones No telephone should be made available for the use of delegates; they should install a public phone if needed.

Refreshments YWCA, opposite the main conference room will open their canteen during the meetings so that delegates can obtain refreshments during sessions.

Notices On the first meeting, announcements of these procedures will be provided to delegates.

A. World Resources - 10 minutes

B. Population Planning and Society

  • 1. Place of Family Planning in Human Culture - Vogt? {Margaret we think this should be amalgamated with (15)}
  • 15. Ecological Aspects of Family Planning - Vogt
  • 12. Problems of Future and World Population - Whelpton
  • 6. (India) World Population Problems- Chandrasehkar
  • Item 18 on the London agenda (Blacker to choose who gives paper)

C. Family Planning and the Individual

  • 4. (India) Family Planning and Disease-Yodh
  • 7. Group Therapy in Problems of Marriage and Reproduction - Levine ("Margaret - Abram thinks this title much better than 'Psychological Aspects of Family Planning' and says that Group Therapy is pioneer stuff and should be emphasized.")
  • 3. Marriage Counseling - Ask Emily Mudd, Sex Education- ask Ottesen-Jensen
  • 4. Organization of Planned Parenthood Clinics and Training Centers, ask Julia Brown, Helena Wright
  • 9. Family Planning in Public Health Programs - Henry Wilkinson and Raja already asked.("Margaret--Henry, as you know, is still uncertain whether or not he can go but I suggest you write him after the first of July after this.") Abram says the North Carolina man is Cooper who is very old and not a good speaker; that Dr. Felix J. Underwood, Executive Officer of the Mississippi State Board of Health, Jackson, Mississippi would be excellent as well.")

D. Medical and Technical Aspects of Family Planning

  • 2, 3, and 14 are to be combined into one title, 'Contraceptive Methods and Research - Review and Preview' by Stone (Margaret- this eliminates three titles-- Basic Investigation in Human Reproduction, Contraceptive Methods, and Progress in Research)
  • 10. Methods of Sterilization - Gamble.  (A Japanese for sterilization in Japan and Indian for sterilization in India)
  • 15. Abortion as a International Evil - Amano. (Margaret- we agree that abortion is a dangerous subject but since it is so prevalent Abraham thinks it ought to come under such a heading as this and be presented by a Japanese since in Japan there is so much of it)
  • 16. Treatment of Sterility - Shields
  • 17. Rhythm Method - Rock
  • 2. India - Criminal Abortion - Mehta
  • 3. India- Measuring the Effectiveness of Contraceptives- Tietze
  • "Item #21 on the London agenda - Contraceptive Technique combine in Stone's."

Felt that #6 Inter-relation of Social Security and Planned Parenthood, and #11 'History of the International Birth control Movement' could be omitted from the official agenda. The first one neither of us can figure out as to what it means. The second we thought might better come into an informal sessions or that you, yourself, would be the idel person to give it, it you speak.

Note at the top says it was received from Dhanvanthi Rama Rau's office.

Sets up a conference organization divided into Sub-Committees, Plenary Sessions, and Public Meetings

Sub-Committes formed on:

  1. Infertility
  2. Medical Aspects of Birth Control-including abortion and child welfare
  3. Sex Education and Marriage Counseling - include Psychological aspects of family planning
  4. Contraception and Contraceptive Methods
  5. Family Planning in Public Health Programs, organization of clinics and training centers

Comment: They think that each country's delegate should give a report on the practice of birth control in their country and on the clinical facilities available and the clinic needs they have. Might be a one-afternoon sub-committee in #4. Suggests that in #5 one day be set aside for a meeting of doctors, nurses health visitors, etc. will be invited for this session.

Plenary Sessions

  1. Population and Resources
  2. Nutrition and Fertility - to include point 4 and 7 from Sanger's outline
  3. Inter-Relation of Social Security and Family Planning - to include 4 and 5 of Sanger's outline
  4. Demographic Aspects of Family Planning - to include point 7 of Sanger's outline
  5. Psychological Aspects of Family Planning
  6. Basic Research in Human Reproduction - might include point 12 of Sanger's outline

Suggested topics for Public Meetings

  1. Place of Family Planning in Human Culture
  2. Ecological Aspects of Family Planning
  3. History of the Birth Control Movement.

Outline of topics for Third ICPP

A. Population Planning and Society

  1. Control of Fertility in Human Culture (historical review and analysis of present) - Blacker
  2. Ecological Aspects of Family Planning - Vogt
  3. World Populations- Present and Future - Whelpton, Chandrasekharan
  4. Family Planning and Public Health Programs - Raja, Wilkinson, Underwood
  5. National Resources and Population

B. Family Planning and the Individual

  1. Medical Indications for Family Planning - Yodh
  2. Nutrition and Fertility - Radhakrishnan Rao
  3. Psychological Aspects of Family Planning - Levine (group therapy), Mudd (Marriage Counseling), Ottesen-Jensen (sex education)
  4. Planned Parenthood CLinics and Training Centers- Julia Brown

C. Scientific and Technical Aspects of Family Planning

  1. Contraceptive Techniques - Wright, Grafenberg, Paranjpee
  2. Rhythm Method - Rock
  3. Research in Contraception- Review and Preview - Stone
  4. Measuring the Effectiveness of Contraception - Tietze
  5. Human Sterilization - Technique and Results - Gamble
  6. Sterility -Diagnosis and Treatment - Shields
  7. Medical Evils of Abortion - Amao, Harmsen, Mehta

D. World Reports

  • International - Sanger, Blacker Hougton
  • USA - Brush, Vogt
  • England - Wright, Blacker
  • Sweden - Ottesen-Jensen
  • Germany - Harmsen
  • Japan - Majima, Amano, Kato
  • Australia - Fink
  • Siam - Pierri
  • India
  • Malaya

Blacker breaks down a program differently:

  1. Population Problems - Background (world positions, differential growth in continents, religions, etc.)
  2. Control of Fertility in Human Culture (Historical Review and analysis of present position, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Shinto)
  3. Social Organization of Family Planning Services (taking in items 4,5,6, 8,. 19 of topics sent by Dr. Peters on behalf of the FPA India.)
  4. Contraceptive Techniques (present methods and future possibilities) and Treatment of Sterility

In Sanger's hand, below: "Abram This is a condensed agenda & I like it-- More dignity & actually covers the same subjects as the former--a few more subjects like sterilization should be added."