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Beginnings. Edited by Members of Harrow School. Published at the School Book Shop, Harrow-on-the-Hill. Price 6d.
We gladly welcome this new school magazine. The editors state the reason for their venture thus: “We want quite sincerely to provide in our little School community an outlet for opinion of any sort, but especially of that sort which usually finds little public expression amongst us." The articles in the first issue would appear to have been written by members of the teaching staff. future numbers there will probably be an increasing amount of local colour and school spirit. Much faith and no little courage have gone to the making of this new school magazine in these difficult war days, and we wish it all success.
“Six French Plays for Little Children," by C. M. M., published by Arthur H. Stockwell, 29, Ludgate Hill, E.C.4 (price is. net), has been prepared by a private governess who has had much experience in inducing young English children to speak French with some spontaneity. The plays are for two children. They are short, crisp, and full of life and movement, and are likely to interest, and develop in a natural and uncon- • scious manner a good vocabulary and a sound basis for serviceable conversational French.
“ Association : A Story of Man for Boys and Girls,” by Edward B. Cumberland, B.A., B.Sc., Head Master of the William Ellis Endowed School, Gospel Oak, N.W., is a suggestive and helpful study by one who for half a century has devoted thought and service to the development of knowledge and powers for service in our British boys and girls. The brochure will be of value to patriots and educationists and all who welcome enlightenment in the onerous task of guiding adolescents so that they may become worthy citizens of a great Commonwealth. Copies may be obtained on application to the author at “Le Châlet,” Penn, Bucks (price 2s. net, postage id.).
The Primary School Grammar," by J. S. Chalmers, published by R. Gibson and Sons (Glasgow), Ltd., 45, Queen Street, Glasgow (price 6d. net), has been prepared primarily for scholars in Scottish schools, and is intended to serve as
manual which shall lead from the earliest stages to the qualifying examination, that is to say, it is specially suitable for boys and girls up to about the age of 13. Grammar has been sadly neglected in British educational centres, and this sensible, scientific and practical exposition should do much to bring a knowledge of the function of words and a sound understanding of English construction to schoolboys and schoolgirls.
NOTES. “A Father of Women and other Poems," by Alice Meynell, published by Messrs. Burns and Oates, Ltd., Orchard Street, W.1 (price 2s. net), will appeal to many patriots and lovers of true poetry. Mrs. Meynell's work has won a notable place in English literature. Through all there is a rare tenderness and understanding of the secrets of the heart. With vision and true wisdom regarding life within and life beyond, Mrs. Meynell reveals something of the spiritual forces which in these sacrificial days are energizing British thought and actions. In this comforting collection of short poems the authoress has provided soulsustaining music. We venture to quote from the little poem addressed to her sister, Lady Butler, which is a beautiful personal commemoration of
muchloved and highly honoured father :: " Vur father works in us
The daughters of his manhood. Not urdone Is he, not wasted, though transmuted thus,
And though he left no son.
Space for correspondence is necessarily limited. Communications containing suggestions, serviceable
information, criticism, and anything likely to be of general interest or value should be condensed into a short letter. Writers must in all cases give their name and address, although not necessarily for publication.
THE UNMARRIED MOTHER AND
HER CHILD. SIR,-Public interest has been concentrated for some time on the question of infant mortality, which has been recognized as preventable ever since it was tackled in real earnest. The figures are well known by now; of late years they have amounted to roughly 100 deaths of infants under one year for every thousand born. It is not so generally known, however, that the illegitimate infant deathrate is always practically twice as high as that of legitimate infants. The last figures available are those for 1916, which show the total infant mortality to be 91; this when analysed proves that mortality of legitimate infants amounts to 87, while mortality of illegitimate infants amounts to 183 per thousand. When we consider that out of every thousand births about fifty are illegitimate, we are forced to the conclusion that the present abnormal rate of illegitimate infant mortality is a serious menace to the State. The conditions which lead to this high infant mortality also affect ante-natal mortality. Dr. Amand Routh says, in an article which appeared in the Lancet of January 12, 1918, that “the percentage of abortions and stillbirths is twice as large in unmarried women, and about 50 per cent, of these are due to syphilis." As a matter of fact, a close analysis of the causes of death of infants under one year shows that while the syphilitic death-rate of legitimate infants amounts to 1:18, among illegitimate infants it actually equals 9:31. The death-rate owing to premature births, tuberculosis, &c., is likewise very striking. Obviously all this
mortality could be brought about if the mother could be relieved of some of her present burden of work and anxiety during pregnancy, and could receive adequate attention during her confinement. In some countries, notably in some of the Dominions and American States, the expense of the confinement have to be paid for by the father of the child.
But even the better chance for life which could be given to the newborn infant by caring for the mother before its birth will be of little avail if the child is to be boarded out with a foster-mother, who may be entirely indifferent to its welfare. It should be possible for the mother to keep her child with her for at least the first two years. This is essential for the wellbeing of the child, and there is no doubt that the psychological effect on the mother of this call on her maternal instinct and sense of responsibility will prove the greatest factor in her moral regeneration. The system of boarding out children has never been satisfactory. At present it is almost impossible to find foster-mothers at all, since the land and the munition factory have absorbed so large a proportion of woman-power, so that the necessity for the provision of homes or hostels where it will be possible for the mothers to board, and to leave their children while they are at work, has become immediate. Under the existing laws, the utmost that a girl can recover is 55. a week from the father. It is obvious that a child cannot be brought up on £13 a year, and the gross injustice of such maximum amount, not to be varied even in the case of well-to-do fathers, need scarcely be pointed out. There should at least be some attempt at correlation between the affiliation allowance and the financial position of the father. There are precedents for some such arrangement in other countries, notably Norway, where legislation is successfully moulded on these
that mortality among unmarried is considerably higher than among married women, so that the whole problem becomes complicated by the preventable loss to the State of potentially child-bearing women. A reduction of this
tary national organizations, labour, religious, feminist, philanthropic, &c.; and individual members who are interested in the question. Public opinion is changing very quickly in its attitude towards the whole problem, and it was found to be imperative that there should be some centre of co-ordination for all those who are actively interested in the subject. In this way it is hoped that illegitimate infant mortality may gradually be reduced, and that the child born out of wedlock may in time be given a fair chance in life.
(Miss) D. ADLER, Secretary of the National
Council. 845, Salisbury House,
Finsbury Circus, E.C.2.
lines, the allowance there being in accordance with the economic status of that parent who is, financially, in a better position. It is not only financially that the illegitimate child, filius nullius, is legally handicapped. He does not become legitimatised by the subsequent marriage of his parents. This is an injustice which he must suffer only in England. In every other country, including Scotland, the wrong done to him is legally redressed if his parents marry. Again, adoption is not at present adequately safeguarded by the law. There are many cases where a child is adopted from purely egotistical motives, notably to be sure of an unpaid drudge in a few years' time, or sometimes even worse, to gratify some perverse instinct of cruelty. On the other hand, where the adoption is prompted by a genuine love for children, and the adopted child is well cared for, there is nothing to prevent the mother from reclaiming it at any moment, a fact which tends to prevent many people from offering adoption who would otherwise be willing to maintain a child with care and affection. The remedy here appears to be legislation modelled somewhat on the West Australian Statute, which requires that application for adoption in every case should be made to a judge of the Supreme Court, who, if he is satisfied *that the person proposing to adopt the child is of good repute and a fit and proper person to have the care and custody thereof, and of sufficient ability to bring up, maintain, and educate the child; that the welfare and interest of the child will be promoted by the adoption," and having obtained the consent of the parents, may then make an order of adoption, under which the child has the full legal status of the legitimate child of the adopting parents. These, then, appear to be the most pressing reforms with regard to illegitimacy, i.e., the provision of adequate accommodation for the unmarried mother and her child, and a reform of the Bastardy Acts and Affiliation Orders Act, and it is to ensure just these reforms that the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child has recently been called into existence. The Council consists of three groups, i.e., representatives of public authorities, many of them medical officers of health; representatives of great volun
AN EDUCATIONAL GARDEN.
Sir,- In reply to your request for some account of the Educational Garden which has been established at “Westfield," Reading, I have much pleasure in sending you the following brief description. The Garden was planned some years ago in order to give an opportunity for the public, especially teachers and children, to study some of the more important plants used in industry and commerce. The Scheme comprises four sections : (a) The Economic Border, in which may be seen several series of economic plants. Series I includes plants that supply medicines, e.g., opium, belladonna, liquorice, cinchona, castor oil, aconite, eucalyptus, valerian, jalap, podophyllum, rhubarb, Indian hemp. Series II includes plants that supply foods, e.g., rice, sugar-cane, sugar beet, millet, pepper, lentil, loquat, olive, arrowroot, cardamom, maize, monkey-nuts. Series III includes plants that supply fibre, e.g., jute, cotton, flax, hemp, mallow, ramie, papyrus, New Zealand fax. Series IV includes (a) plants that supply dyes, e.g., annatto, woad, indigo, madder, turmeric, sumach, weld, dyers' buckthorn. (b) An Economic Conservatory, in which are collected a variety of plants which are too delicate to be grown out of doors, e.g., tea, coffee, ginger, guava, custard-apple, banana, date palm, oil palm, pine-apple. (c) An Old English Herbary, in which grow about sixty herbs cultivated in mediæval English gardens. Many of these herbs are mentioned by
Shakespeare, Chaucer, Spenser and other early writers, and were used for homely remedies, or for pottage, sauce, salad or scent. (d) A small Economic Museum, in which are exhibited various commercial products yielded by plants growing in the Garden, the central idea being that children may learn to associate the plant with the products derived from it. Every specimen bears a descriptive label.
This somewhat novel scheme seems to have great possibilities of usefulness in the future. For example, our municipal authorities might establish such Economic Garden in one of the public parks under their control. Such parks, in addition to promoting health and recreation, would then serve as a valuable means of instruction. Again, our education committees might carry out a similar scheme in one of the gardens attached to a school. It is quite possible to establish such a garden without any conservatory, though the addition of such a building will unquestionably add to its completeness, since some tropical economic plants need protection from frost. The popularity of the Garden at Reading seems to indicate that it fills a niche in our system of education. A catalogue that has been printed for the use of visitors will be sent gratis to any authority interested in the scheme.
(Miss) GLADYS B. HURRY. Westfield"
duced to a minimum, i.e., the tonsils do not tend to enlarge and the adenoid growths do not develop. In damp climates catarrhal conditions are prevalent. The infant, however young, who normally and almost necessarily breathes through the nose may easily be affected, causing slight nasal obstruction, and unless this is combated at once morbid structural changes will inevitably follow. The special advantage of the method we are advocating is that the symptoms can be dealt with as they appear and by natural methods. A healthy infant clears its nose by sneezing, and all is well, provided the discharge is not produced at a greater rate than it can be dispelled. When secretion accumulates a sneeze can be produced artificially and all is well
When the nasal discharge has been left too long and the air current shut off, then the space begins to be closed in by overgrowth of the tissues, which can be checked by restoring the open channels. The artificial sneeze loosens the discharge, which can then be removed by blowing the
The nostrils must be left freely open, otherwise the discharge is liable to be forced into the various tubes and air chambers opening out of the main nasal chambers. The process must be continued till all the discharge is removed—just as in attending to a stopped-up gutter or drainpipeno matter how great a bulk of material may be removed, unless the passage is freely open, the labour is futile. With the facts before us that the numbers affected in this country alone by nasal obstruction, partial or complete, run into seven figures, and that in those afflicted there is no part of the organism that may not be affected, not excluding the mental state, it is imperative under present conditions that preventive methods should be studied scientifically and rationally, and should be within reach of all. Demonstrations are held on Wednesdays, from 4. to 6 p.m., at 60 Greek Street, by permission of the Committee of the Westminster Ilealth Society.
(Miss) OCTAVIA LEWIN, M.B., B.S. 25, Wimpole Street,
Cavendish Square, W.1.
NASAL HYGIENE. SIR, -In the Press recently there have been several notices about the method that is now being used at the Roll of Honour Hospital in the Throat, Ear and Nose Department, and which aims at the prevention and relief of adenoids and their far-reaching evil effects. Numerous applications for further information are reaching us from various classes of the community, including members of the medical profession. The object which we have in view is to keep the nasal cavity with its complicated structures free from any accumulation of secretions, Where a free current of air plays over the mucous membrane the tendency to hypertrophy of the lymphatic structures is re
WAYS AND MEANS.
Under this heading descriptions are given of preparations and appliances, new and old, likely to be
of service in the study and management of child life. Every care is taken to procure reliable notices based upon practical knowledge. In this way trustworthy information is available regarding the work of inventors and the products of manufacturers, which it is believed will afford valuable guidance to all engaged in the care of infants and the protection and education of children.
A HOSPITAL ROOF GARDEN FOR CHILD PATIENTS.
on the roof of the Great Northern Hospital, Holloway Road, London, N.7.
health can be secured and disease prevented. Even in towns and cities it is possible to arrange for the conduct of open-air treatment. The roofs of dwellings if properly constructed would offer excellent means for providing healthy children with safe open-air playgrounds, and many delicate and tuberculously inclined little ones could be won back to
Holloway Road, London, N.7, we enabled to give an illustration of the Roof Garden in connection with this institution. The picture tells its own tale and points its own moral. We trust many other hospitals and homes providing for the needs of children will be induced to follow so sensible and serviceable an example.