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It if upon the children of to-day that the fufture of the country depends, and, if we are to maintiain our leading position among great commercial nations, that future will haive to be a much more strenuous time than we have been ayocustomed to in the past. The war threatens to leave us not only with a national debt of L5;OGO,000,000, but with a large part of our mercantile marine destroyed. There will be much lee- way to make good, and it is only by in- cfeasing our productive power that it can be accomplished. It is therefore very neces- .qaxy that the children of to-day should be better equipped than those of the past, and should have the very best traiiiing that it is possible to give them. In the near future our school system will have to ,be reformed, and important develop- ments are looked for in view of the ap- pointment of Mr. A. A. L. Fisher as Minis- ter. lii the struggle that is coming a better educated nation will be of vital oon- sequence to us, and in educational circles opinion is growing in favour of (1) raising the school-age, (2) compulsory alttendance at secondary schools, and (3) facilities for a larger proportion to enjoy the advantages of a secondary and university education. Lord Haldane. discussing this subject at Perth the other day, urged that employers of children above the age of 14 should be compelled to send them to trade continua- tion schools until they were 18, when they would be examined for a journeyman's cer- tificate, and, if they continued for three years longer, for a master's certificate. The first step, however, to extend national scientific physical activity is to give more attention to handicraft work in the school curriculum. We must face the problem of the education of the young if we are to build up commercial prosperity on the new, and more difficult conditions that will prevail after the war. Happily a good deal more than is generally known is being done in capturing Germarh, trade. In town after town we find new in- dustries have been introduced, and. pro- ducts which previously were made almost entirely in Germany are being turned out in large quantities. Developments have taken place in regard to dyes and colours, the pro- duction of optioal glasses, non-inflammable celluloid, various kinds of tools, and other goods. An instance is furnished by the wall- paper industry. Foreseeing a f illing off in the demand for its ordinary wares it turned its attention to the manufacture of imita- tion leather, and embossed papers used for binding and covering purposes in the fancy goods trade. This stuff used to come en- tirely from Germany aind Austria, but the wallpaper industry has both captured the trade and is thriving upon it. At last manu- facturers are thoroughly awake, and they have passed the significance of modern ma- chinery, standardisation, specialisation and a big output. Never again must Germany be allowed to secure a monopoly of "key" in- dustries, or owt us from our own markets, and that is the motto we should put up over all our ^tihnols and workshops.

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