THE NATIONAL RED CROSS SOCIETIES The national Red Cross societies were originally constituted in almost all countries for the single purpose of supporting and assisting the Army and Navy medical services in time of war. As has already been shown, their sphere of action has since been very greatly widened. A national Red Cross society, in order to obtain official recognition, is required to fulfil the following conditions: The Government of its country must have adhered to the Geneva Convention; the society must have been recognized as an auxiliary to the Army medical services; it must adopt the name and emblem of the Red Cross (except that in Mohammedan countries the Red Crescent, and in Persia, the symbol of the Red Lion and Sun, have been admitted) ; its activity must extend throughout the country and its dependencies: its memhershin must be open to all citizens of the country irrespective of sex, politics or religion ; and, finally, it must undertake to maintain regular contact with the other national societies and with the In ternational Red Cross committee of Geneva. No more than one national Red Cross society can be recognized in each country. Each national society is directed by a central committee and includes a suitable number of regional and local committees which assist the central committee and ensure co-operation from all sections of the country. In most cases, throughout the national organizations, there are general meetings once a year of delegates from each local branch.
National Red Cross societies are autonomous and independent within their own territory. The first national Red Cross societies came into existence in Europe immediately following the Geneva Conference of 1863, and the total number existing in the world to-day is more than 6o. The list is as follows: Albanian Red Cross (headquarters Tirana) founded in 1921. American Red Cross (headquarters Washington) founded in i866. Argentine Red Cross (headquarters Buenos Aires) founded in 1880.
Austrian Red Cross (headquarters Vienna) founded in 1867. Australian Red Cross (headquarters Melbourne) founded in Belgian Red Cross (headquarters Brussels) founded in (The Congo Red Cross, founded in 1924 as a branch of the Belgian society, works only in the Belgian Congo.) Bolivian Red Cross (headquarters La Paz) founded in 1917.
Brazilian Red Cross (headquarters Rio de Janeiro) founded in 5908.
British Red Cross (headquarters London) founded in 187o.
(Independent Red Cross societies were constituted in each of the five great dominions. These societies were admitted as independent members of the League of Red Cross societies in 1919, but formal notification of the recognition of their independent status was only accorded by the international committee following the Imperial Conference of 1927. The necessary formalities in connection with the recognition of the Indian and New Zealand Red Cross societies arc now in progress. The Australian, Canadian and South African societies were duly recognized in 1928.) Bulgarian Red Cross (headquarters Sofia) founded in 1885. Canadian Red Cross (headquarters Toronto) founded in 1896. Chilian Red Cross (headquarters Santiago) founded in 19°3. Chinese Red Cross (headquarters Shanghai and Pekin) founded in 1904.
Colombian Red Cross (headquarters Bogota) founded in 1915. Costa Rican Red Cross (headquarters San Jose) founded in 1885. Cuban Red Cross (headquarters Havana) founded in 1909. Czechoslovak Red Cross (headquarters Prague) founded in 1919. Danish Red Cross (headquarters Copenhagen) founded in 1876. Dantzig Red Cross Society (headquarters Dantzig) founded in 1922. Dominican Red Cross (headquarters Santo Domingo) founded in 1927.
Ecuadorian Red Cross (headquarters Quito) founded in 1923. Estonian Red Cross (headquarters Reval) founded in 1919. Egyptian Red Crescent (headquarters Cairo) founded in 1912. Finnish Red Cross (headquarters Helsingfors) founded in 192o. French Red Cross (headquarters Paris).