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THE VAGRANT AND UNEMPLOYABLE.

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THE VAGRANT AND UNEMPLOYABLE. GENERAL BOOTH, the venerable head of the Salvation Army, has forwarded to us a copy of a most interesting and important handbook which he has just issued, con- veying a proposal for the extension of the Land and Industrial Colony System, whereby vagrants may be detained under suitable conditions and compelled to work. General Booth is of opinion, with the late Cardinal Manning, that "the worthless are what they are, because the Society of to-day has wrecked them." The General believes, and very rightly so, that some definite provision should be made by the community for dealing effectively with that class of vagrant known as "the tramp." We agree with the illustrious head of the great redemp- tive movement, that most of the efforts made to check the existing evil are rendered abortive by the fact that there is no method of keeping the tramp in one place and compelling him to work. If an effective system of State control were established under reasonable and bene- volent conditions; he believes that a considerable proportion of these wander- ing vagrants would reform, and become useful and profitable members of the community. Municipal and Poor Law authorities should be empowered to establish Labour Colonies for Vagrants, the cost of maintaining such Colonies to be provided by a contribution from the Treasury and from the local rates. No such proposal, however, would be effective unless attended by the influences of kindness and sympathy as well as the methods of religion. The proposal of General Booth is accompanied by a report by Colonel Lamb, late governor of the Salvation Army Land and Industrial Colony at Essex, with contri- butions on the subject by Mr Bramwell Booth and others. Colonel Lamb believes that if Labour Colonies were established throughout the country, the inefficients would be absorbed, and the way cleared for closing in on the "won't works." The underlying and governing principle of these Colonies should be the encourage- ment of the willing, industrious, and well-behaved, and the compulsion of the lazy and indifferent. Mr Bramwell Booth gives his opinion in pointed, but none too pointed, terms. "The workless man," he says, is the whole social problem in the concrete. He is the- coming pauper; he is the potential criminal he is the would-be suicide. And more than this, he is the scion of a miserable house he and his children after him, even to the third and fourth generation, will, under existing condi- tions, eat the bread which has been earned by the sweat of somebody else's brow, and he will die twenty years before he ought to die, leaving behind him a legacy of misery and shame in the children who will follow his example, and do their part to impoverish the world they might have done some- thing to enrich and improve." The little book which General Booth has issued deals with a complex and difficult subject in a comprehensive and practical manner, and the proposal which he sets forward should receive the careful and serious attention of the local authorities-Poor Law Guardians in particular—throughout the country, thus focussing public opinion upon a subject which so urgently calls for solution, and thus again bring the whole question seriously and pointedly before the notice of Parliament-

LOCAL AND GENERAL NOTES.

BARRY COUNCILLORS AND A LOCAL…