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DIOCESAN CONFERENCE. -

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THE EDUCATION QUESTION.

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vices, went on to refer to the use of the Revised Version of the Bible. If I were an incumbent, 1 should be disposed to make frequent use of the Revised Version for Old Testament lessons; but, as regards the New Testament, my experieuoo has been t ;iat the constant occurrence in the Rie- v.sed Version of minute changes is somewhat dis- turbing to tongue and ear. I should therefore keep, dS a rule, to the authorised version, only introducing from the other a few carefully selected variations of unquestionable advantage and importance. In other words, I should em- ploy tne Revised Version to supplement, not sup- plant—to rectify, not supersede. THE EDUCATION QUESTION. For t-lic education question in its various branches and aspects I can spare only a few sen- tences. it is not improbable that next year a special meeting of the con tare nee may be re- quired to deal expressly with this subject. As iar as Cheshire is concerned, after making due allowance for difficulties which, at the outset were inevitable, the new Act is, I believe, settling down to its work with an honest des-re to make t.ie welfare of the children its supreme object. Passive Resisters, it is true, have here and thore been playing with the double-edged tools of a,iiarci,y; but the local education authorities arw addressing themselves to their onerous duties so fa; rrn indie til y and efficiently, and with such a readiness to learn, that we may look hopefully forward to solid improvements in both tihjJ secondary and the elementary departments of edticat.on. Not long ago it became the duty of our valuable Diocesan Church Schools Associa- tion to jo:n i.n a temperate remonstrance against a certain series of "Moral Lessons," which were inadvertently sent to head teachers for use in non- provided as well as provided schools by the Edu- cation Committee of the Cheshire County Coun- cil. These books have now, I understand, been withdrawn, and the fact that we ware compelled to take action against them makes me all the more desirous to recognise the conspicuous merits of the syllabus of religious instruction drawn up for their own schools by the Cheshire Comittee, and of the instructions to teachers which acoom- panied the syllabus. I speak for our chief dio- cesan inspector, Mr. New, as well aa for myself, in testifying thankfully to the excellence, of the spiritual provision thus made for schools in wb oh, hardly less than in our own Church schools, we are bound to be interested. Two events of great importance and promise affecting three educational institutions, in which thsa dioceses of Liverpool and Mandhesber, with our- selves, are keenly and harmoniously interested, have taken place airice we last met in conference. The Clergy Daughters' School has been removed oion from Warrington to delightful surroundings and commodious buildings at Darley Dale, where its life ia expanding felicitously under the distin- guished headship of Miss Kennedy. Its removal has, of course, been a costly matter, and has in- volved the temporary suspension of some sorely needed bursaries. Thus, though the school it- self is better worth going to than ever, the pecun airy aids to entrance for daughters of clergy have been most regrettably diminished. Till these have been restored the spirit of the com- mittee will know no rest. Among the advantages resulting from the removal of the school, not the least is this, that the very embarrassing tangle of ownerships as between the school and the War- rngton Training College for Mistresses has been untied. Only those who have been struggling with this obstinate problem for at least a decade w oan realise the relief and gain of its solution. The seaond event is the affiliation of St. Aidan's College, Birkenhead, to the University of Liver- pool. Here again, money is needed that the col- lege may equip itself to meet its new opportu- nities and responsibilities. The college is a Liverpool as well as a Chester institut on, and it should be widely known that the Bishop of Liverpool has set the broad seal of he sagacious approval upon its work and policy. Our new diooosan rooms are open for inspection and use by members of the conference. The Bishop resumed his seat amid loud ap- plause. INTEMPERANCE AND JUVENILE SMOK- ING. The Rev. G. M. V. Hickey moved "That this conference desires to see some organised temper- ance work in every parish, as well as some en- deavour to check juvenile smoking; and suggests that this work be carried on in oonnootion w t'h the O.E.T.S. He admitted that the resolution was not very definite, and it did not permit the oonference anything more than a pious hope. It was to his mind not forcible enough. Of the two evils named by the resolution, intemperance was the greater. Ho put forward the following points: The gravity of the evil, which demanded aggressive action; the necessity of the Church taking her part in temperance work; the objec- tions of many of the clergy to the cause of tem- perance and their remarkable silence on the ques- tion, the usefulness of parocthial organisation and the advisability of supporting the Church's organisation first, and acting in conjunction with the C.E.T.S. It was not sufficiently recognised that the national evil required all the efforts of the National Church to resist it. It was the duty of the Church, by virtue of her position, to lead the way in reforming what was recog- nised as a gigantic evil. The mi&guided zeal of enthusiasts was no excuse for neglecting the duty. As Mr. John Morley said in his latest biography, no reformer was worthy of the name if he was frightened off by the excesses of an extreme wing. An extraordinary attitude was adopted by many that they had no right to pneaoh temperance unless they practised total abst,nonce. as if it were not the influence and voice of the moderate man that was so sorely needed to bring about reform, and as if there were not the remedy of self-denial and personal abstinence. The C.E.T.S. was a standing protest against self-in- dulgence; it was a source from which methods for brightening people's lives might spring; it was a body for watching and calling attention to any irregularities and unscrupulous practices of "The Trade" and it was an unfailing means of employment for keen lay workers in the Church. As to juvenile smoking, action had been taken by the county education authority, and at Wins- ford a league had been formed and measures of a preventive nature had been taken. Isolated branches of the C.E.T.S. were striving against the evil, and there were recognised non-smoking brigades in connection with parochial branches. It was a strange thing that in the diocese there were temperance associations which deliberately threw in their lot with Nonconformist agencies and other bodies outside the Church, and ignored the main organisation of their Churdh. It was a strange thing that some clergymen insisted on the principle of affiliation in connection with every other kind of work, and ignored the principle in connection with the cause of temperance. BOYS AND CIGARETTES. Mr. C. Ru-seell Hall seconded, and said he hpd be-on deputed to speak chiefly with reference to smoking. He said the increasing growth of the habit of smoking among the children of this land one that was tending largely to deteriorate their physical health. He had enquired of a small hairdresser who kept a shop what amount of rew cigarettes hf .sold in a day and to whom. He was informed that the sale was chiefly to boys whose nrreri ranged from seven to twelve years. They brought in their penny and got a packet of five cigarettes. Perhaps another boy had subscribed of the penny, and thus each would ?moke two and a half cigarettes. This particular hairdresser had no fewer than twenty-five of these packets in one day. and if one tiny shop had a trade of that character and size, what must be the evil c-'oincr on in the country? He found from pub- lished statistics that about five millions of the smokers of this country are children. That was an enormous number, and it was still more re- markable when we found that about twenty-five millions a year was spent in tobacco. The Bishop: Does Mr. Russell Hall know how many children there are in the country? What is t.he proportion? (Laughter.) Mr. Russell Hall answered in the negative. He took the figures from a publication dealing with that question only. Ho was not going to say smoking was absolutely bad, except for children. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) He himself was a very moderate smoker. (Laughter.) He enjoyed :t.. but he took good care to take no more than did him no harm. (Laughter.) Quality of tobacco, perhaps, had a good deal to do with it. Some tobaccos were stronger than others. He himself took care to get a moderate strength. (Lausrhter.) It was a very striking fact that in the Manchester district of twelve thousand Volun- teers who offered to go to South Africa, 8.000 were disqualified, and of the four thousand remain- ing only 1.200 were ultimately accepted, the vast, majority being rejected in consequence of palpi- tation of the heart, due chiefly to smoking. In many of the states of America there were towns which would not accept anybody into their bank- ing or railway service unless he was a non-smoker a.nd abstainer. We had not reached that stage yet. (A Voice: "Hear. hear," and laughter.) The Church of England Temperance Society might well take up the work. Medical opinion was almost unanimous in stating that there was no necessity to drink anything—(laughter)—that tended to elevate and make us feel what we called happier. (Laughter.) Mr. Hall discussed to the merriment of Conference the opinions of how much alcohol we might take without evil effects, and made some suggestions for bettering the condition of the people. Mr. T. C. Horsfall drew useful lessons from the Continent with reference to alcoholism in its con- nection with degeneration. It was partly because G-erman women were so often saturated with alcohol that the death-rate among children under one year of age was so extremely high in Ger- many. With regard to children and tobacco, one of the principal causes of physical deterioration and moral deterioration in Manchester was the habit of smoking cigarettes. The habit tended to make a boy morally weak, made him less able to resist the power of pilfering postage stamps and taking coppers if he had the chance. It was a terrible weakener of his self-control. Boys were going about in this country smoking as many cigarettes as they could afford to buy with their own money or money they stole, and nobody inter- fered. It was a scandal that children were allowed not only to poison themselves, but to poison the whole of the English race, as boys all over the kingdom were doing at the present time. (Ap- plause.) The Archdeacon of Chester, in supporting the resolution, complimented Mr. Hickey on the way he had introduced the paper. To shew that some- thing practical was possible to combat the evil of juvenile smoking, he mentioned that Sir Ralph Littler, chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions, had drawn up the draft of a Bill for this purpose, and had forwarded it to Parliament with a petition. CLERGY AND SELF-DENIAL. The ICev. W. J. Spink, rector of Moreton. near Birkenhead, said that every man of God should have nothing to do with alcohol and should give up smoking. They should have nothing to do with that which did so much evil. The greatest doctors said it was better not to take any stimu- lants. and he believed, for the sake of example and the cause of conscience, it was better to have nothing to do with drink. There was a time when he had an occasional cigarette—(laughter)—but not in the last few years. (Laughter.) He must say it was beautifully soothing—(laughter)—and he thought he could develop into a smoker—(laugh- ter)—but his conscience had not said "Yes." To pass from the ludicrous, he would tell them that tie was not able to smoke a cigarette. The Bishop said he did not think they ought to discuss the question from an autobiographical point of view. It was most interesting and valuable for a private conference, but not for public use. (Laughter.) Mr. G. B. Baker-Wilbraham mentioned that the County Education Committee had secured that there should be temperance teaching in aU the schools in the county. Mr. Chapman mentioned the case of a man whom he had never seen properly clothed, and who lived in a common lodging-house. The man told him he earned E3 a week, but his position was due to drink. The man had told him he could lake 38 pints a day. The Rev. J. G. Grant Bird (Dukinfield) thought tho conference ought to shew their sanction of the Bill mentioned by the Archdeacon. The Cheshire County Council had already conquered the Education Department and had insisted upon tempcra-noe lessons being given in elementary schools. The other day the committee had in- structed all schoolmasters to warn children against the evils of smoking. The more the Church of England was in favour of promoting temperance, the stronger support she would have from the British public. At the request of the Bishop, the ArohcJeaoon of Chester read an abstract of the draft of the Bill suggested by Sir Ralph Littler. It provided for a. penalty of 409. for a first offenoe, and JB5 for subsequent offences for anyone found sell- ing cigarettes or tobacco to ohildren. It also proposed to make children under 16 who were found in the possession of tobacco liable to a prnaity of 40s. and subject to the Youthful Offenders Act, 1901. The Rev. Dr. Cogswell asked1 if it would be possible for the conference to express its approval of the B;ll in its general principle. LEGISLATIVE SUPPRESSION. Mr. J. A. Cowley (Northwich) suggested that a ridor to that effect should be added to the reso- lution. The Bishop: Do you think it would be well to pledge too comferenoe to any Bill? Mr. C. P. Douglas (Chester) suggested that the conference m'gbrt express itself favourable to legislation, and Mr. Cowley moved the addition of the rider, "That this conference declares itself favourable to legislation having for its object the suppression of juvenile smoking." Mr. Walter Peel thought that to get an Act meant that they could not depend on the moral fibre of the people to keep a thing right. It was cik-ar a family could not be managed by Act of Parliament. (Laughter.) Tho Rev. Shettle (Tranrnere) seconded Mr. Cowley, Tho Bishop, in winding up the, discussion, thought a conferenoo between the Church Lads' Brigade and the Volunteers would be useful. Some in the C.L B. were anxious about what sur- roundings the lads would find when they, in ac- cordance with the duties of citizenship, entered the auxiliary forces. That point might gain a great deal if representatives of both bodies met. The same thing held good with regard to those in charge of factories and mills. With reference to Mr. Peel's arguments, his lordship said if the parents were to be- successful should not the. fact be recognised by education! Right-doing was oo-operative, and parents, however wise and will- ing they might be, were terribly handicapped if the salesmen of cigarettes to juveniles were not restrained by legal forces. They should be in a muoh better position if they were to put the thing under some restrictions. On the other hand, they as a conference ought not to be slow to rush into legislation. The Rev. G. M. V. Hickey's motion was car- ried nom. con. The rider was carried with only about six dissentients. The conference then adjourned for luncheon. RURAL LABOUR PROBLEM. At the resumption of the conference in the afternoon, Col. Cotton-Jodrell, C.B., rose to move the following resolution :—"That this con- ference. having read the report of the committee appointed on January 22nd, 1904, and in further- ance of the duty of the Church to co-operate in movements for improving the condition of the people, heartily approves of the attempts now being made--(I) To prevent excessive migration from the country to the town by obtaining facilities for the auction cf sanitary and suitable cottages, by providing village clubs, and by securing allot- ments where required. (2) To prevent, over- crowding both in towns and villages, and to re- place insanitary property by suitable tenement dwellings." In the first place. Col. Cotton- Jodrell alluded" to the attitude of Volunteers to- wards the Church Lads' Brigade. Speaking for hirfiselr, Tie was quite sure any oonference between commanding officers of Volunteers and represen- tatives of the Boys' Brigade would be welcomed by the Volunteers. (Applause.) He felt a great deal might be made out of the CLB. move- ment. Proceeding to deal with the foregoing pro- position, he said the fact that within the last thirty or forty years a large rural exodus had taken place was well known. Within the period he had mentioned quite a million agricultural labourers 'had removed off the land, and had gome presumably into the towns. There was no doubt that besides that million there were many youths nowadays who resolutely from the first set them- selves against agricultural labour, and determined to go and seek their livelihood in the big towns The evils which result from such a state of things had been the topic of debate during the last few years in every chamber of agriculture and in every farmers' club throughout the land, and they might take it that they were fully recognised. Most of them, probably unsuccessfully, had tried to look at this question from tho labourer's own point of view. We had tried to imagine him asking him- self whether the education he had received had been of a character calculated to imbue him with a love of the agricultural life and to popular ise the study of the science of agriculture. When the schoolboys became workmen in the fields, many of them asked themselves whether they could not do something better if they had the opportunity. When his day's work was done how was the agricultural labourer to spend his. time? Theie had been many attempts to provide coun- ter attractions to the village "pub. The village "pub had too often had the best of it in the long run. Perhaps the most paramount question in the labourer's own mind was as regarded his spare time. Sons of tenants of his, young men in his own employment, and others had gone into Crewe Works and left their avocations in the fields. The reason given by one. was that, in C'0wû Works they got from Saturday mid-day to Monday morning entirely free. to themselves. That was. at. all events, one of the factors of rural depopulation. It was a factor which it was almost impossible to deal with satisfactorily, be- cause from Saturday mid day to Monday morn- ing animals must still be fed and cared for, and we had not yet, with all our science and civilisa- tion. arrived at that point when we could induce the dairy cow to withhold her milk for thirty-six hours. (Laughter.) The question of exodus from country to town was by no means confined to Great Britain. In France, which certainly was pre-eminently the home of the peasant proprie- tors, the migration from country to towns shewed an increase from 25 per oent. to 35 per cent within a period of thirty years; in the United States of America more than one-fifth of the whole population lived in towns of over 8,000 in- habitants Perhapa the strongest instance of all was Australia, where there were millions of acres still uncultivated. The town of Sydney alone absorbed one,-th,rd of the whole population of New South Wales. This shewed that the phen- omenon could not be altogether explained by what were called "bad land laws" or by what. ¡ was also named by the term of the "land hun:- r-er." Speaking of tha attempted remedies, the Colonel oal!ed attention to the Small Holdings Act and the Allotments Act. which had had a certain measure of success. Still, they at present only touched the. fringe of the problem, and had really not done anything practical to mitigate the evil. Another experiment was the Garden City, which was an attempt to develop a sort of com- bined residential, agricultural and manufacturing centre- on what, we might call the mutual profit- sharing principle. It was an experiment no doubt in the right direction, and if it did answer and prosper, he saw no reason at all why it should not be multiplied to a large extent. (Applause.) Estates in England constantly changed hands. One had only to look at the London papers week by week and see the sales of land which took piace there It could not be outside the Lbility of people such as those who had engaged in the Garden City movement to buy up parcels of land here and there throughout the country in order to develop the Garden City principle if the ex- periment sucoeeded. He commended the pro- vision of cheap workmen's trains, which gavo I facilities to workmen to -Eiide in the suburbs, where they could have sa-nitary cottages and per- haps a little garden to cultivate. Speaking of cheap cottages, he said if a cottage could be built I for B150 it must be built of something different from bricks and mortar. He did not think they could build for that sum a cottage suoh as he should like to see a labourer occupying. All these remedies only touched the fringe of the question. At the present moment there were 36,000,000 cultivateable acres in Great Britain, and oniy 1,300,000 men and women workers in the fields to cultivate them. Unless we could at- tract more and more people back to the land in order to labour in the fields, much of this 36,000,000 acres must in the future, as it was doing to-day, go out of cultivation. In fact, wo had to reai.se that the land is being starved for want of labour. Mr. Hatt-Cook, Northwich, seconded. He divided the attempts that had been made to solve the problem into two parts, those which appeared on the statute book and those which had not yet reached that stage. In connection with the for- mer, he mentioned that the Public Health Act, a very far reaching and magnificent piece of legis- lation, the Local Government Orders framed under that Act, the Housing of the Working Classes Acts, extending from 1890-1900, the Small Dwell- ings Acquisition Act of 1899, the Local Govern- ment Act, 1894, and the Municipal Corporation Act. We had here a body of legislation to meet most of the difficulties we found to-day, but those Aots were not administered as they might be. Parliament having given the power, it was for the different councils to see that the powers were fairiy and impartially and thoroughly made use of. Only four rural councils in the country had built property for themselves, and he believed those four councils had been able to build only 35 houses. As to future attempts to solve the problem, Mr. Hatt-Cbok appealed for more unity of action. He said that instead of pulling tho other man's plan to pieces, it was better to join with the other man. In local districts, he advo- cated the formation of housing councils, which should consist of both men and women. As to village clubs, he commended the Limited Liability Acts as a solution of the difficulty. By forming a club with one pound shares, every man with a shilling would be able to take an interest in the olub. Speaking as a Churchman, and to Church- men, it was to the Church he looked for the solu- tion of the problem. (Applause.) Mr. G. B. Baker-Wilbraham said public opinion had been working strongly upon individuals. In the case of landlords and land agents there had been a good deal of thought, and it had resulted in a considerable attempt to make the surround- ings of rural labourers better and more healthful than they were. Many districts had been made habitable as a result of the county councils' atten- tion to water supplies. He believed the country was becoming day by day more attractive. He commended the movement to teach young people in schools to love the country. (Applause.) He believed interest in a garden was the strongest influence in favour of the country, and that in- fluence had been working through the medium of flower shows. (Hear, hear.) Mr. T. C. Horsfall said Prof. Long, who wrote the agricultural articles in the Manchester Guardian," had formed a small company, in which he (the speaker) took shares, and Professor Long bought 365 acres of excellent land, the price being about JB17 an acre. Mr. Long found no difficulty in obtaining tenants for every part of the estate, because it had been broken up into small holdings provided with suitable buildings. He hoped the scheme would soon be tried in Cheshire. The Bishop: How has it worked financially thus far. Mr. Horsfall: Not very satisfactorily so far, but I live in hopes. (Laughter.) With such powers as town councils possessed, it was im- possible to prevent the growth of slum property, and he strongly advocated the giving to town councils of powers similar to those possessed by German towns for the regulation of the extension of towns. The Bishop asked if Mr. Horsfall was prepared to move a rider. He thought it would be very interesting to bring it to special attention. Mr. Horsfall said he would do so. Mr. J. R. Thomson (Chester) said the money point of view could not be excluded from their vision. The ratepayers of the country felt them- selves already severely taxed. He thought limited companies with a view to carry out the work would not be likely to prove more successful than Mr. Honsfall's company. (Laughter.) He nro- posed an amendment that a committee of the Con- ference be appointed with instructions that they should enquire into the best process that could be adopted in their opinion to bring about a better state of affairs in the matter of dwellings of the poor, both in the country and in the towns. The Bishop: Such a committee to take into consideration Mr. Horsfall's arguments? Mr. Thomson: Certainly, my lord. LESSON FROM GERMANY. The Bishop then read the rider, which Mr. Horsfall had sent up to him. It read as follows: And is of opinion that for these purposes our local authorities should possess powers for regu- lating the growth of towns similar to those exer- cised by German town councils through the Town Extension plan." The Rev. A. M. Hertzberg, Ashton-on-Mcrsey, seconded Mr. Horsfall. The Rev. J. H. Thorp, Stockport, seconded Mr. Thomson. Mr. James White, Helsbv, said immense quanti- ties of agricultural produce were coming into this country, produce grown on very cheap land and by very cheap labour, and the British farmers could not compete with the prices of that produoe. (Hear, hear, and applause.) The result was that the farmers would only grow those things which would pay them beet and those things they got with the smallest amount of labour. (Hear, hear.) If they wanted to get people on the land, they must find them employment. The Rev. F. S. M. Bennett asked the Conference to take into consideration the question of tenure. At present, if a labourer fell out with the farmer, he not only lost his employment, but his cottage and garden and everything he was interested in. That was a very considerable factor in driving people into the towns. Mr. John Newton, Brinkaway, said stringent bye-laws prevented landlords from building cot- tages as they liked. In that way rents were raised. The Rev. J. Beggs (Woodford) said he was tinder the impression that farmers could not find sufficient labourers in the county of Chester. Canon Woosnam endorsed the view that thero was a great demand for labourers on the farms. He emphasised the importance of providing vil- lage clubs, and said village clubs could be self- supporting, espeoiaJly if a billiard table were provided. FARMER'S POINT OF VIEW. Mr. AntwLss (Whitley, near Northwiehl said foreign competition at the present time, with rents at the same rate and rates double what they weie twenty-five years ago, were together the reason Cheshire and Lancashire farmers were not able to pay their labourers wages equal to those offered by townspeople. (Applause) Far- mere could not do it, and they could barely live on the- farms. "We can make no monev," added the speaker, and after some laughter, "You can believe it or disbelieve it." (Laughter.) Mr. C. P. Douglas suggested that the isolation of dwellings in the country had a bearing on the question If there could be a clustering of dwel- lings to make a community it would be better. Mr. Stokes (Runoorn) said good cottages upon farms were badly wanted in many plaaes. Ho agreed that, free week-ends was a great reason for rural depopulation. Mr. John Wyatt stated that much had been said about the village olub, but there was a better club, and that was home. (Applause.) Facilities should be provided for workingmen to own their own dwellings and land. Those facilities would do more for temperance than all the speeches he could make. Co'. Cotton-Jodrell, in replying, said two of the speakers had struck the key-note in his own mind when they alluded to the fact that if we were going to get the labourers back to the soil, we must make the land more, attractive than it was at the present time. Mr. Hatt-Cook suggested that the proposed oommittee should take into consideration forestry as a means of us;ng up the vast amount of waste land in the country. The origiaial motion, with the rider and Mr. Ihomson's motion, were all carried. This ended the afternoon sitting of the con- ference*

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EVENING MEETING.