Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page





':U" liUN-SRY SCHOLARS. AN IMPORTANT MEASURE. THE House of Commons on Friday turned its attention to a bill for amending the Education Acts of 1902 and 1903. That was the technical description of the pro- posal, but the real aim was to do something for the feeding of hungry children-a problem which has become a pressing one in large centres of population. The bill, which was explained by Mr W. T. Wilson, who moved its second reading, provides that when a local education authority resolves that any children at a public elementary school in its area are unable, because of lack of food, to take full advantage of the edu- cation provided, the authority shall provide them with food-elnd shall be at liberty to provide food for other children also. The regulations and conditions to be drawn up by the authority shall include the making of a charge to recover the cost from the parent or guardian, but in no circumstances is the provision of food under this bill to be deemed parochial relief. Mr. Wilson showed that it was impossible for thousands of parents to feed their children properly—for an enormous number of fathers received no more than 18s. a week, and if a man with such an income had three or more children it was beyond his power to feed them sufficiently. The State insisted on these children being educated-was it not far more reasonable to insist that the State should see that they were fed Even from a cold business point of view, money so spent would be well invested. Mr. Herbert Paul, in seconding the motion, pointed out that the Socialists in his constituency had voted against him—but if a good proposal came from that school of thought he was perfectly prepared to support it. He regarded the bill as an excellent one—first of all because he be- lieved, with Disraeli, that the youth of a nation was a trust to posterity secondly, because they forced parents to send children to school, and it was both absurd and a torture to try to teach a starving child and thirdly, because having clothed the education authority with the duty of teaching the children, it was futile to deny them the power of seeing that they were in a fit con- dition to be taught4 Why should free meals, cautiously and judiciously given, be more demoralising than free education ? Mr. Henderson followed on the same side, urging that there was really no further ex- penditure of money involved—what was being urged was that the money already expended should be laid out effectively. Dr. Macnamara said he thought that the 1 whole House agreed on one or two points— « (1) that manv,, cliildi-et), particularly in winter, come to school too hungry to learn (2) that it is a waste of public money to try to teacli. children in such a condition (3), that nothing must be done to undermine parental responsibility, and a parent able to pay must be oade to do ao- and (4) that where a parent, cannot provide food the meal must be found without any suggestion of pauperising .-either the parent or the child. The only, point as to which there was difference was whether the work should be left to c-liarity- or to the He had once been in favour of charity, but for the seasons already explained he had been com- pelled to abandon that view.—The bill was referred to a Select Committee. The teachars in London and other centres view the measure with disfavour and ihey are already taking step to petition the Government against it.


-------------West Wales Motor…

Cardiganshire Congregationalism.


- .; TALYBONT. ^