PastTimesEd

14th May 2004 at 01:00
75 years ago * May 11, 1929

The Prime Minister, in his "Message to Britain", has some important things to say about education and allied subjects. Mr Baldwin bases all reform on "preventative medicine", that is to say the improvement of the health of the nation by taking measures to promote the welfare of mothers and children, by the abolition of slums, and the provision of better housing conditions. There could be no better basis for a great educational programme than that contained in the pamphlets issued by the Government.

The school medical service is now fully at work in all areas, but preventive medicine in the shape of good homes does not yet play a fair part in the life of the children.

50 years ago * May 14, 1954

It could be argued that the men and women who enjoy life (as distinct from the many who rather sadly pursue a good time) are the least dangerous to their fellows. They have no chips on their shoulders. They are less likely to seek compensation for missed enjoyment in the exercise of power for its own sake. If this is true, there is good reason for hoping that as many as possible of those who will go far in life, and universities have some of them, should early on be introduced to the best the world has to offer.

Art, music, drama, the graces that bind men to life, should be about for young people to taste, for it is not certain that they have all met them in their homes. That is why the Birmingham wine tasting is no negligible quirk of student activity. It is a good sign for the future that wine and food clubs should be spreading to the modern universities. They will be producing people with a stake in civilisation.

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