PastTimesEd

16th April 2004 at 01:00
75 YEARS AGO

* APRIL 13, 1929

The mesh of the law is proverbially wide, and the threads are sometimes knotted and tangled. Public feeling, as reflected in Parliament, varies. A wave of sentiment following on revealed scandals or hardships may produce a firmly restrictive Act, while shortly after, a period of bad trade or successful foreign competition may pave the way for relaxations in some equivalent legislation. For no class of subjects is this more apparent than for those who cannot speak for themselves, the children and adolescents or "juveniles", and from early statutes upwards we find constantly varying ideas as the age up to which protection and control are needed, and that at which they may be relaxed. Hence comes the question, What is a young person? In one Act a child is such to 16, in another he is a young person at 14.

50 YEARS AGO

* APRIL 16, 1954

Find a Winter Garden and as likely or not the Amalgamated Grinders or some such body will be there in force before you, taking card votes, putting in the substantive motion, or rising on a point of order. The season of conferences has begun. From now on no watering-place of any size will lack its quota of determined visitors gathered for their annual witenagemot.

It is easy to pick out the delegates. Whether they are teachers or taxidermists, dentists, drapers or draymen they bear the same insignia. The boldly lettered badge, the glossy agenda, the complimentary pass to the Corporation sun lounge - all these distinguish the conference men from the visitors who have come to paddle or to sniff the ozone .

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