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Welsh outlook


Vol. 6, No. 8 Aug. 1919

Correspondence : The Welsh school of social service. Nationalism and the "Large scale world."

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and illiberal provincialism is, not to put too fine a point on it, absurd.
Has he put up that silly skittle merely in order that the vulgar may be
afforded an opportunity of admiring his skill in laying it low,
or does he seriously believe that the independentists of Wales, Ireland
and Scotland are nothing but a parcel of semi-crazy political Rip Van
Winkles? Moreover, Professor Zimmem should look to his "British
Commonwealth," of which, I presume, England is the hub.
Since when has England been purged of that illiberal provincialism
which is commonly regarded as one of her capital cultural sins ?
Professor Zimmem pays an elaborate compliment to nationalism,
which he says Gustly enough) is one of the two great movements or
tendencies that are reshaping the modern world. He points to the
Czecho-Slovaks, the Poles, the Jugo-Slavs, and the Transylvanian
Rumanians as being peoples who recked nothing of banks and railways,
though their food depended on them," when they recently up and
smote imperialism hip and thigh for, he adds, they were in the grip
of a power (nationalism) which made them go forward and damn the
consequences.' Yet, when he turns to the question of the political
future of Wales, the Professor finds cause to regret that he has not the
A City without a Church," by John Colwyn.
Stockwell, 3s. 6d. net.
In this book a leading Welsh Nonconformist preacher pictures the
failure of a Revolution that proscribes religion. Social equality, the
avoidance of poverty, excellent housing conditions, leisure, education-
all these follow in the wake of the upheaval. But there come, too, moral
laxity, abandonment to vice and general restlessness.
At last the Revolutionary leaders are persuaded to restore freedom
of worship. But the new church that now arises is well planned. No
social bias, no political entanglements, no creed, nor indeed, even a
paid or hireling ministry is to be found here. And a wiser Revolution
and a new Church work together for the very great good of a new world.
The plot of the work is thin, the characters are bloodless. But no one
will read this book as a novel. They will rather treat it as the work
of a Welsh Samuel Butler, and appreciate its wise satire and its sincere
"The Training of Youth.
During recent years the bugle called for the training of youth for
the battlefield, to stand at attention," form fours," quick march,"
and fight for peace and freedom. This book is appropriately dedicated
to the memory of the author's son, a young man of disciplined mind
and of reproachless character, who, with thousands of other brave
young men, responded with alacrity to the country's call, and fell on
the battlefield "whilst gallantly leading his company against a strongly
held position."
Now the world will have leisure, unless it will be overwhelmed by
commercial rivalry and industrial discontent, to consider another far
more important aspect of the training of youth, namely, the moral and
The period of adolescence is generally admitted to be the most
difficult and dangerous in the course of one's earthly existence. The
pre-school period is the most interesting, for Heaven lies about us
in our infancy." The school period is the most impressionable and
amenable to discipline. But the period of adolescence abounds with
snares and pitfalls it has baffled the best efforts of social and religious
communities, it has disappointed educationists and reformers, and
it has sorrowed and shortened the life of many a fond parent.
This is a problem which should appeal with still stronger force to
the highest intellects of the country. When I read the reports of the
monthly, quarterly, or annual meetings of different denominations,
and find a mere cursory reference, or even none at all, to this absorbing
problem, I cannot help bewailing another lost opportunity. Without
« The Training of Youth," by Mr. T. W. Berry, Director of Educa-
tion, Rhondda.
geographical knowledge or the administrative experience to say"
whether, in the event of "a reorganisation" that country "should
emerge as one province or two or three Scientific and political,
rather than sentimental considerations (he coolly insists) must be
paramount in the decision of this question." The Jugo-Slavs et hoc
genus omne, drunk with the heady wine of the new nationalism, may
elevate their heels and bomb their banks and tear up their rails but
the douce Welsh, their veins charged with nothing more inflammable
than the milk and water of a supreme kindness for British interests
and the "British Commonwealth," are told to "cut" sentiment, and
to leave the question of the political configuration of their country to
the tender mercies of a parcel of English capitalists at Westminster
It seems to me that the Principality would be rendered "dry" in-
deed of political intelligence if it were to accept, without first carefully
scrutinising the mouth-piece of this busy gift-horse, the "cup of clear
cold water which Professor Zimmem has drawn for Welsh
Ruaraidh Arascain is Mhdirr.
(R. Erskine of Marr).
W. D. P.
daring to contrast it with other problems, it must be conceded that
the problem which is most difficult of solution should always demand
the greatest attention.
In order to seek a solution, may we ask what are the causes which make
this problem so difficult ? In other words, why are boys and girls so
difficult to manage between the ages of 14 and 18?
Why is there so much moral imbecility in the world ? Why are there
so many people with a twisted moral fibre everywhere ? We have
homes for the mental imbeciles with whom there is, as a rule, genuine
sympathy; but as for the moral imbeciles, they enlist but little sym-
pathy and only a few of them find accommodation in our prisons and
reformatories. The great bulk are at large, a daily menace to the young
and ductile.
Among the many causes are (1) The decline of parental influence
and control, (2) the lack of intellectual and recreative facilities, (3) the
premature acquisition of independence before self-rule and self-
reliance have been established, (4) the indiscriminate huddling together
of good and bad in our public schools.
How many of our homes, alas, are in a state of desolation The
family altar has been banished, and another substituted upon which
children are either sacrificed to the fetish of worldly gain or brought
up in ignorance of everything except indolence and its concomitants.
The first and second points are dealt with by Mr. Berry in this
volume in an exhaustive manner.
The third point has been accentuated by the monetary attractions
for boys in the industrial field to the great gain of Italian shops, gaming
houses and kinemas.
The fourth point should receive the earnest consideration of all
practical educationists.
The preventives and remedies for this state of things are neatly sum-
marised by Mr. Berry in the following paragraph How are we to
combat the evil tendencies of the age as regards adolescents ? Clearly,
it is not possible to remove all adverse influences, though much can be
done by degrees to minimise and counteract the temptations which
surround our youths. The safest and surest way is to create and foster
new interests, which must be developed under the most favoured con-
ditions, by the aid of sympathetic and capable people. Educational
means must be available on a more liberal, varied, and attractive basis
than hitherto. Recreative means must be multiplied, such as hobbies,
sports, swimming clubs, girls' clubs, scouts, cadets corps, chess and
draught clubs, shooting galleries, gardening, window horticulture,
naturalists' clubs, etc. Moral influences must play their part. There
should be religious societies or guilds specially accessible to and suit-
able for youths. Thrift organisations should be instituted. Institu-
tions for corporate life should be established, and free libraries should
be available in every town and village. Lastly, there should be religious
instruction, and the Christian life should be unobstrusively kept in view.
Manly efforts should be put forth to teach boys and girls to have a hope-
ful and reasoned outlook on life, and to help them to grasp all that this
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