Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

6 articles on this Page



ON-CONFORMITIES STRONG STAND IN THE NORTH. FINE SPEECHES AT' LLANDUDNO CON- FERENCE. Unripr the auspices ni the National Council for Civil Liberties two Conference#? were held in North Wales, one at Llandudno on the 17th. and the other at Wrexham. on the 20th. to pro. test against the introduction into >xate-a.idod •whools of Cadet Corps. and other schemes for militarising the rising generation. Feeble ,11. tempts were made in isolated eases to mislead the public and to discredit 'the conference* through press insinuations and. suppression of facts. but t-hc- response Avas admirable and the •\Tcmterencvs were an unqualified success. Tw o incideiirs. both identical, having occurred ;1,. two largo churches, are Avorthy ci mention, proving 3" they do how difficult it to obtain the true state of public opinion. The question of sending delegates was discussed at these two churches. and The iiiq.-Lier distorted and •misrepresented by two Jingo deacons. It was dec ided in both cases toO leave the mat.ter on the table, a large proportion oi_ the m< mbers hav- ing abstained from voting. The matter was vionsidered at "JuH-equent meet:ngs. and •onK one dissentient in both ca«.e». it was decided send delegates and to support- resolution. PRINCIPAL REES' SPEECH. r n; Tri ollia- R-ees. M. A.. Bangor, pre., sided at. Llandudno, and in >.i< Introductory re- mark's he made it clear end definite that the object of the gathering was not to discuss any Aspect of the present war. and that all remarks should be confined to the .subject dealt with in. tho resolution. W hi]< appreciating the services of Mr. Fisher to tbe education of tin* country, he pointed out that tbe New Hill which just passed through the Commons wa* tbe oc- casion for calling r>uch a meeting. Fnder this Bill the State was Takin., I] ot" the child during the formative period of bis life. Pre- vious Education Acts had left tlii> period wholly to t.heopuo!i<?i pax'm?. hut i he community will henceforth claim the right of forming the life and tbe mind of the youth of tbe country. Thk should cruse parents much searching of hearts, and the people must, decide what ideal rnuKt be aimed at (hiring this important, period when the mind of the adolescent- is being formed. It is iiiat, Fisher has adopted :1 w. tally noutra-l attitude, that he has excluded anv definite clause to .sanction or to prohibit the institution of military training, but the position is that Education .Authorities have the uption. with much greater opportunity as the 1 ,-hill] will henceforth V under their control up to his 18th year. Mr. Fisher has given t.h. wintry a. great and valuable gift, but the *x>unury is to decide to what. purpose it is t-o be used. They have to dIOOH: between the straight-laced discipline of d10 Army and the highest discipline which a. child nopi under ih: )ma?f "t (rod shouid '?ndet-?o. Education shonid enable r1w (-hUd t? realise the best that ;s in him. and develop the highest faculties with! vhn h God has endowed him. Not only To Ills vtwn advantage, but also for the welfare of tbe vomm unity. AN EMBRASIVE OBJECTION. The Rev. Barrow Williamc, i);tJ., Llandudno, ■n proposing- the resolut ion, v. ished the dele gartes to understand that, lie wa* present. at t he request of the Ivvoeiinve Committee of Free Churches of North Wales. He did not desire to place anyvobstacle in the path of the Govern- ment in its efforts to secure a clean and honour- able peace. He was not, there either to oppose such physical training as would develop mind and muscle, hut on the grounds of justice, morality, liberty, and religion, he opposed the introduction of any training which would de- velop the milita'y spirit. It. would 1)(' a grpat. calamity if such a were allowed to invade our educational institution; and all our sacri- fices in the present war would be in vain. In concl usion." ht-t sa-id, let me quote from Thomas Browne's Religio Medici '■—' When thou tightest the devil see to it that thou do not, make thyself diabolic. The Rev..John Raymond, in seconding, em- phasised the fact that ho did not- take up any attitude to embarrass the Government in this (4rit»i.caJ but that he considered the matter from the educational standpoint. From his own experience as a mem ber of a local tri- bunal he quoted instances of how the military pit wa, trenching lIpOIl the liberty of the subject. Unless a bold statement was made by the people of this country the military spirit tvould dominate our whole lite and develop into real menace to society. THE PRUSSIAN ERROR. I fht. matter was then declared open to diseus- sion, to which a. strong lead was given by the Rev. W. J. Ellis, Portmadoc. Relating his own "xperi, n", in Germany he drew a. lurid picture elvf the malign influence of the military spirit which had taken possession of the schools n. that country, starting in the Kindergartens, and culminating in the vicious and demoralising custom of duelling in the universities. Our youth haxl (-a lied upon to sacrifice their lives to rid the world of this spirit, and it is our duty as citizens who remain at home to see to it. that this is not repeated in our own countrv. Had there 1)4-(- n the least suspicion of disagree- ment with the terms of the resolution, it was effectually dispelled hy the earnest, fervid, and convincing remarks of the Rev. H. Harris Hughes, Bangor. A delegate had .suggested that 111 deference to Jfr, Fisher and the" Bo n d of Education, the latter half of the resolution • dealing with rhe opposition to the teaching of the authoritative view of patriotism" should be deleted. Mr. Harris Hughes, expressing •ompkn-e agreement with the views of Mr. J. L. Paton in his lucid and admirable pamphlet on the teaching of history in our schools, clearly indicated the danger of creating an atmosphere of false and degenerate patriotism. To him pa- triotism did not consist in eulogising one's own nation at the expense of vilifying other nations. Our history text books had been too prone in the past to extol the exploits of brute force •and to exaggerate the glory of war. True pa- triotism contributes towards internationalism, towards a new ideal, a hiiinanei- and a more Christian ideal than that set before our children in the ordinary textbooks. To him the fact that. these textbooks were sanctioned by the Board of Education proved that that authority was not unbiassed. It was already prejudiced. "PARENTS' COMMITTEES." I Ivcgarding the militarising of education he expressed the view that it was our duty to op- pose IT,. first, on the grounds that our opposi- tion would help the teachers, who would be seriously hampered by military training. Se- condly. we would be helping the boys, whose pure instincts rebel against this vile system. We look forward to a League of Nations, but even that would not hring- salvation if one nation harboured the spirit of hate and revenge. Thirdly, we would be helping the parents, and he hoped that the conference would lead to the establish 111 ent of Parent's Committees to rosist to the utmost, the attempts of Prussians n our country toO Prussianise our educational system. Principal Graham, of Manchester, represent- ing National Council, regretted his inability j to fellow tiie delegates who spoke in Welsh, as the appreciation expressed by the audience ;dearly indicated unanimity on this important I subject-. He, was no believer in sacred things apart irom the soul of man, bur- if any institu- tion might be considered -acred. that to him (was the school, being as it, iv rhe teniple where the sacred soul is nourished. Within its walls, heart and mind may be purified or corrupted according to 1 lie way which we ordain, and no better motto could be inscribed above its por- tals than Juvenal's words, "Let, nothing foul in touch sight enter the threshold wherj there is a boy." The mora l atmosphere of the school must be higher and purer than the aver- age atmosphere of grown-up life. Ottotin? fro81 a book by one of the exponents of Military Training, (,nii-,](,(T Looking ward," he outlined the philosophy upon which the militarisation of the youthful mind was based. Obedience and discipline are the two prominent, word& of the 1¡ouk and rather than develop the individualism of the boy along the t!ie indiN-](-Ili.-tllsiii of tlj,- I)ov ilon, tll(- the writer would have the boy turned into a part of a machine. Such discipline could only be temporary and diminishing in h-- moral in? ?111(i (Il III III it, illoi,til III, rlie I)OV wo Ilid t-o 1)(, a iiiaii. iiicl THE DERBY DODGE AGAIN. !'?(adet(orps had not as yer become a I compulsory institution, but it was in a similar position to the Derby Scheme—vo) unwary now, but iQe\itabIy leading to comp1l1sion, H" ad- vocates make nQ secret of their intentions, and of their hopes in the future of converting our school's into mere adjuncts of the War Office. Thanks to Mr. Fisher, their hopes were not realised in the Education Bill, but with the (-()ii f c?i-re d ijpoil ]?' power conferred upon Education Authorities to establish camps for the physical training oi youths up to the age of 18. it was easy to realise the extent, of the danger. The 0.T.C-. has al- ready become aU but compulsory at. the Liver- pool University, and 2o cent, of the marks required for graduating are reserved for pro- line my in military subjects. THE MEDICOES NEGATION. .Naturally the defence set up by its exponents is the physical value of the training, but this is not very convincing when we find that the highest medical authorities in .France, Australia. Switzerland, Sweden, ami even Berlin. insist that military training is injurious to health at he sch-»ol age. Military drill is useful for mili- tary purposes, but not, for physical and educa- tional purposes..Man is a gregarious animal and as sue h has been, forced to develop a capa- city fol, [,till-, ot self foi- the benefit of society. This capacity the inili- tnrist«s would seize upon for the sake of blind obedient re, and the noblest, gifts of the Creator- are to be polluted to base ends. If this were allowed to enter onr schools the drip-drop of suggestion day by day upon the sensitive minds of the children would inevitably It "id to a ftanifi of mind inimical to pea*' and liberty. The glitter of uniform, the blare of trumpets were very fascinating, but with all these li jio, things which appeal to the boy's spirit of adventure, goes that doctrine of fraud and insincerity which always accompanies military jealousy—the desire to outwit and deceive, the exaggeration of superficial obstacl es to goodwill amongst nations, the teaching of boys to des- pise foreigners fan not carry out the t\ee gospel of Christ and humanity. The rising generation must be taught a higher gospel than that force is the final arbiter in human affairs. The Bri- tish nation took up arms against this in Ger- many, and unless we can keep out of our teliools all thoughts of fear and revenge, our sacrifices have been in vain. The teaching of history must be overhauled, textbooks must present tho trii" ideal of patriotism, as being the love of ( lie's own country without hatred of another country. The turgid folly of Jingoism must. not become the staple of historical teaching.

Indignation. at Wrexham.I



Capitalism : Its Origin and…