« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ity we shall have not only a new womanhood, but a new motherhood, better instructed and fully cared for, which will bring forth a generation which will serve to call them blessed. And not motherhood only will gain, but fatherhood will become under such conditions more selfcontrolled, enlightened, and responsible.” We have dealt with the contents of this suggestive and informing work at some length in order to convince the readers of this journal that they should study it in its entirety. The work deals with problems of pressing importance. The questions raised are of great complexity, and in many instances they are closely involved with religious practices and teachings and ethical considerations. Mr. Marchant does not hesitate to express his own opinions, and his book is certain to arouse much discussion. The time has come for deep thinking and plain speaking, and this book should do much to stimulate both.
THE CHILD AND THE HOME.
Sir Arthur Newsholme's recent Priestley Lecture on “ The Enemies of Child Life, with Special Reference to Home Conditions," delivered under the auspices of the National Health Society, the headquarters of which are at 53, Berners Street, W.1, dealt with an aspect of child welfare work which in these days of great schemes and elaborate organization and administration is not sufficiently studied in all the details of its ramifications. Sir Arthur Newsholme considered the problem of child welfare in relation to the child's home under two chief headings, namely, (1) adverse influences prior to or within the first month after birth, and (2) acting prejudicial conditions arising up to the age of 5 years. He first debated the
statement as to equality of health of infants at birth, saying that this was proved to be erroneous by the varying prevalence of congenital disease; by the different incidence of still-births in different parts of the country, varying as they did between 3 and 8 per 100 live births; and by the unequal death-rate in the first month and first week after birth, at which age pre-natal causes of death and causes in connection with confinement
doubtedly chiefly in operation. Maternal malnutrition as affecting the unborn infant was discussed, and it was concluded that its importance was great, not only in relation to the health of the infant at birth, but still more as influencing the ability of the mother to suckle her infant. The statement that the death-rate of infants under one month is, in the main, irreducible and is fairly constant throughout the country was next dealt with, and it was shown that the views commonly held are extremely erroneous. The deathrate under one month per 1,000 births varies from 61 Workington to 26 in Watford. The occupational statistics collected by the Registrar-General in his report for 1911 showed that among onefourth of the infants born in that year the sacrifice of life in the first month was nearly 5 per cent., whereas in other groups of the population it did not exceed 2 per cent.
Remedial measures for the maternal and infantile causes of excessive sickness and mortality were freely considered, and included a detailed statement regarding maternity benefit under the Insurance Act and the rapidly increasing work now developing under the schemes of the Local Government Board. Dealing with the second half of his subject, Dr. Arthur Newsholme showed that more than half of the total deaths in the first five years after birth are due to infections, including catarrhal diseases of the respiratory tract, the larger part of these deaths and of the associated much greater bulk of sickness being preventable. The greater child mortality in towns as compared with the country was chiefly caused by the excess of these infectious conditions. The lecturer rebutted the statement that excessive mortality was inevitable in town life, and that it was due to general atmospheric conditions affecting crowded centres of population. He showed, for instance, that in contiguous wards of the same town the child mortality under 5 years of age per 1,000 births varied, as in Middlesbrough, between 146 and 369. Similarly, in the Peabody Buildings, in central parts of London, the infant mortality was usually lower than in the boroughs in which they were situated. As bearing on the same point, it was stated that in Germany rural is higher than urban infant mortality:
It was folly to ascribe the evil of preventable child mortality to any one cause. The problem of child mortality, in fact, formed a complex social problem, many factors bearing a part. The chief difference between urban and rural life was in housing conditions. The urban housing conditions included an excessive amount of overcrowding and greater opportunities for human organic poisoning and infection. This was inevitable so long as at present it remained true that more than six times as many families lived in oneroomed tenements in towns as in rural districts, and overcrowding in these small tenements is much greater than in tenements of corresponding size in rural districts. New schemes for housing, although they would greatly help, would, for many years to come, still leave the conditions in the central parts of towns unsatisfactory, unless at the same time active additional measures were taken to improve central housing conditions in towns. That this was practicable was shown by the great variations in child mortality and sickness in neighbouring central parts of towns. The chief enemies of the child are within the home itself. Personal faults in the parent, among which intemperance probably stands first, played an important part in the conditions adverse to child life. The industrial employment of women is an obstacle to normal family life, and one of the problems under modern conditions is how to safeguard her child in her absence. A healthy home could not be secured unless the municipal authorities co-operated, securing the prompt removal of house refuse, the paving of yards, the minimization of street dust and industrial nuisance, and unless gas and electric light, as well as a pure water supply, were provided at minimum prices. Within the house also it was indispensable that each dwelling should have a self-contained drinking water supply and a sink, storage for food and for coal, with adequate sleeping accommodation and suitable sanitary conveniences. Until these conditions were fulfilled, it was impossible to expect or to be able to enforce strict cleanliness within the dwelling, The advantages of co-operative housekeeping were mentioned, including joint washhouses, kitchens and nurseries under
special conditions. The great advance already made in securing the welfare of the mother and her child were illustrated by the national vital statistics. Up to this point the evils of urbanization had been emphasized, the advantages are not to be ignored. The ideal was indicated that the city should be regarded as the larger home, in which every family is a co-partner, the need for such continuity between the home and the city being specially marked when sickness invades the house. The hospital is the best home for sickness in a large and increasing proportion 'of the total sickness of the community. In no department was the extension of the hospital-home more needed than for parturient women and for infants under special conditions.
It was forecasted that ere long we should see still more rapid extensions in these directions. In summarizing conclusions, it was emphasized that although much had been done, a much greater work remained to be effected. This would cost money, but health was always cheaper than disease and, within limits, the community could have as much health as it was prepared to pay for. We hope the whole lecture will appear in brochure form.
THE FRENCH SCHOOL CHILD.
The newly constituted Anglo-French Society, the headquarters of which are at 8, St. Martin Place, W.C.2, promises to accomplish much in making British students of child life better acquainted with French methods for child betterment. At a recent meeting of the Society, Mr. Cloudesley Brereton, M.A., L. ès L., Divisional Inspector to the London County Council (Modern Languages), lectured on the “French Child at School.” The lecturer showed that the child has been less studied in France than in England and America. In spite of Rousseau, the child is a late discovery in France. There is a lack of juvenile literature in France, of the Molesworth and Stevenson style. The absence of nurseries is one cause. The French child grows up with grown-ups. This is probably one reason of its extraordinary precocity in the good sense. The French child is a town mouse, the English a country mouse. Each is a respectively typical produce of Latin and Northern
culture; one rather naïve and spontaneous, the other self-conscious in the good
This self-consciousness is a product of the social milieu, for French civilization is essentially social, and English rather individualistic. France is a land of tradition in culture and manners, England in politics and morals. The family has in France an extreme importance; the Frenchman espouses not a wife but a clan. The French child receives a social education; hence most of it is given outside the school, and hence it is a very common mistake to look in the French school for certain things that are naturally given inside the English school. The English parent desires a foster-parent in the schoolmaster. The French parent prefers doing his own fostering. The French teacher, therefore, lays stress on instruction rather than education. The rôle of moral instruction is different. The French stress the æsthetic and intellectual side of education, the English stress the moral. This is illustrated by the languages themselves. The mother tongue in France is the object of a real cult. The French attitude to their own language is one of filial respect. French education is not without its faults, it tends to be too grown up. The only remedy is to double the child population in France. The moral for us is that English parents must learn to grow up with their children. We need more social sympathy in our education, we need making the mother tongue the corner stone of our education.
about 37,000 delinquent children a year; there are now 50,000, the official estimate showing an increase of 34 per cent. The year 1915 showed an increase of 25 per cent. in committals to reformatory schools, and 17 per cent. in committals to industrial schools : these proportions are now greater; all the schools are reported to be full, and children sentenced to them have had to wait, sometimes for weeks, before accommodation was found. To meet this serious situation the Association has endeavoured to establish in each centre a Provisional Council of workers among children, including among its members representatives of the local Education Committee and the Children's Court magistracy. Such provisional councils have been formed in about fifteen large centres, and the scheme is being conconsidered by the Home Office, with the view of putting it on a definite permanent and othcial basis. Very shortly it may be seen that not the least important work of these bodies will consist in developing the school play centres, which are being formed by education committees in each locality; and thence to the provision of children's playing fields and properly organized games the transition should be natural and easy.
The influence of reaction on conduct is but little realized; the action of the Home Office Children's Department in calling attention to the elementary fact that children need opportunities for play will probably do .more to lessen juvenile delinquency than the most perfect system of children's courts, reformatory schools, or any other of the many contrivances which social shortcom-. ings now make necessary. In their Report for the year 1915-16, the Commissioners of Prisons for England and Wales show that the prison population has decreased from 114,283 in 1914-15 to 64,160 in 1915-16, a reduction by nearly half. Relatively to the population of the country, there has been a great diminution during the last ten years, both in serious crime tried on indictment, and in cases dealt with summarily. The total per 100,000 of the population, which represented 586 in 1904-5, has fallen to 281 in 1914-15; while, for the year under review, it is estimated at 150 only. The local prison population, which at the outbreak of war in August, 1914, was 13,580, had fallen on March 31, 1916, to 6,896, a decrease of 6,684. The number
THE WELFARE OF JUVENILE
DELINQUENTS. The Howard Association, which was instituted in 1866 and exists“ to promote efficient methods for the prevention and treatment of crime and juvenile delinquency," has in its last report presented much material likely to be of interest to social service workers, and especially those engaged in work among children. The outstanding features of 1916 are a decrease of nearly half in the number of adult offenders and an increase of onethird in the number of juvenile offenders. Before the War there was in England a prison population of 16,727; at the present time this has been reduced to 9,000 or thereabout. Before the War there were
of male prisoners fell from 11,531 to 5,321, and of females from 2,049 to 1,575. Three causes which contributed to this great decrease were : (1) The enlistment of many habitual petty offenders.
For the year ended March 31, 1914, male prisoners of the age categories over 40 received on conviction formed 40 per cent. of the total prison population. For the year ended March 31, 1916, this percentage had risen to 49, while the actual number of prisoners received of military age had fallen from 61,739 to 19,169 during those years. (2) The Restrictive Orders issued by the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic), and those made by the Justices and by the Military Authorities. The Second Annual Report of the Central Control Board one of the most successful bodies set up during the War-show's the considerable extent to which convictions for drunkenness have fallen since the Orders have been enforced in the Metropolis and certain English and Welsh boroughs. While the weekly average of convictions in 1914 was 2,034, the average for four weeks following the Board's Orders in 1915 was 1,071, and for four weeks ended March 20, 1916, only 940. (3) The great demand for labour, rendering employment easy and well paid, and resulting in ability to pay fines, this latter being greatly aided by the operation of Section I of the Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1914. In 1913, excluding the Metropolitan Police District, 418,523 persons were fined, and 52,784, or 12:6 per cent., went to gaol in default. In 1915, 300,420 persons were fined, and 13,900, or only 4:6 per cent., went to gaol in default. If offenders in 1915 had been imprisoned for inability to pay fines in the same proportion as in 1913, nearly 38,000 persons would have been imprisoned, instead of (as now) only 13,900. Or, conversely, had the same facilities for paving fines been available in 1913 as in 1915, over 33,600 persons might have been saved from prison. In Scotland the number of committals to prison in 1915 was 27,340, a decrease of 16,195 as compared with the previous vear, and the lowest total since 1869. This decrease is all the more gratifying if it is kept in view that the population of Scotland has, since 1869, increased by nearly 45 per cent. Ireland reports a decrease of committals in 1915 of 3,823 as compared with the previous year, the
actual number of prisoners in 1915 and 1914 being 19,399 and 23,222 respectively. The number of prisoners committed in 1915 and the daily average number in custody were the lowest on record. Both the Prison Commissioners for Scotland and the General Prisons Board of Ireland attribute the decrease in committals to the same general causes as those given above for England, viz., enlistment of offenders, greater demand for labour, and allowance of time to pay fines, under the Criminal Justice Administration Act. In Scotland, also, as in England, restrictions on the sale of intoxicating liquor are credited with reduction in committals. This cause is not given for Ireland, of course, though the number of committals for drunkenness in Ireland in 1915 showed a decrease of 35 per cent. on the number for 1914, the figures being 5,125 and 7,937 respectively. The chief interest in the Report of the Howard Association centres in its references to and views on the work of the reformatory and industrial schools. The total number of schools under Home Office inspection in 1916 was 221, viz., 44 reformatories, 150 industrial schools, · 10 short term schools, and 17 day industrial schools. In addition, there were 36 certified auxiliary homes, of which 2 were attached to reformatories and 34 to industrial schools. The number of committed cases in the schools at the end of the year (including 250 in auxiliary homes and 234 boarded out) was 25,878. In 1915, children sent to reformatory and industrial schools numbered 8,675, against 7,496 in 1914. Of these, 1,724 went to reformatories and 6,851 to industrial schools. The increase in committals in 1915 over 1914 was 1,179, made up as follows : 253 more boys and 76 more girls were sent to reformatories, and 910 more boys were sent to industrial schools.
There were, however, 60 fewer girls sent to industrial schools during the year. These figures take us only to the close of 1915, and the increase in the number of children sent to these schools, 8,675, against 7,496 in the previous year, though a very grave one, will probably be exceeded when the figures for 1916 are available. The work entrusted to the reformatory and industrial schools to-day is of the highest importance; at least 26,000 children are under their care, and it is a matter of national concern that they do their work
well. The Report points out that it would the common standard. All offences are be an easy matter to pick out a school punished-often quite mechanical here and there which fails properly to per- principles---by superintendent or schoolform its difficult task, but proceeds to master, games are supervised, and if say : “We are not convinced that, as a there should happen to be a recreation whole, the certified school-and particu- room, there, again, constant supervision larly the reformatory school-produces is deemed to be necessary lest the young the type of citizen which life to-day de- people should get into mischief. And, in mands. With few exceptions, the watch- fact, if they are left alone for a few word of certified schools is · Leave noth- minutes they are probably careful not to ing to the child.' Their supreme object is disappoint the mistrust reposed in them. to be able to say, “ This child has con- Dormitory doors, alas, in some schools ducted himself well while with us '-and are still locked (to suggest and encourage they achieve this by never allowing him absconding !), and in general nothing is an opportunity of conducting himself left to the girls' and boys' own sense of otherwise. We believe this to be funda- responsibility-indeed, they apparently mentally wrong.” In support of this con- are not credited with the possession of tention the following quotation is repro- any sense of right at all, but treated duced from an article by the late Mr. rather as bound to do wrong, unless every C. E. B, Russell, H.M. Chief Inspector kind of precaution is taken to prevent of Reformatory and Industrial Schools, their showing any initiative whatever. which appeared in the Certified Schools Character, instead of being strengthened, Gazette for March, 1917 : “In too many is, I am much afraid, too often only Schools a dull routine is followed day by dulled.” The Report proceeds to add : day-a routine which provides for almost " That Mr. Russell's indictment is true we every minute from the time the child gets know from our own observation; that up until he or she goes to bed, and goes such unnatural repression is unnecessary to bed indeed in some schools at an un- is proved by the striking results of perreasonably early hour because, forsooth,. mitting the children to govern themselves : we should not know what to do with. obtained at “The Little Comonwealth.' them if they stayed up longer, and they Moreover, the fact that these strictures might get into mischief.' Automatically do not apply to all certified schools also they rise at the ringing of a bell, like shows such methods are unnecessary. The machines they are set to allotted tasks, Hayes School for Boys, the Montefiore then all troop in to breakfast and begin House School for Girls, the Queen Elizathe meal simultaneously after a solemn beth's Lodge for Girls, and a few others, and sometimes lengthy grace has been each permit some measure of self-governsaid or sung.
And so through all the ment, with good results. But the best day, with only some short interval at tribute to these newer methods was given noon, the child in many a school becomes by Mr. Russell himself, for one of his the victim of a routine that produces last acts was to grant an official certificate an admirably well-ordered, tidy, clean, to · The Little Commonwealth,' which smoothly-working institution, but ignores now takes its place as a certified school. the human individual for whom, after all, We hope this may be the harbinger of a the institution exists. Thus the child runs better day for the institution child, though every risk of becoming a mere unthink- we fear that old ideas and out-of-date ing machine, with cramped and stunted practices will need even stronger action soul. So strange and perverted indeed is than they have lately experienced before the system, that from neither girls nor they give way. Not only are the methods boys is any special energy or interest in of certified schools out of date, but their their work demanded. No reward awaits financial relationship to the community the child who performs his task more is utterly wrong.
Certified schools are quickly or better than another. In fact, almost wholly supported by public money, he may have to wait until others have but they are not under proper public finished, or possibly may immediately be control. The Home Office inspectorate, put on to some other work; but in no way though powerful, has not sufficient power is there any tangible encouragement of see that methods are altered where the child who in any direction rises above those methods are bad. They can recom