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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM



THIRD AND POPULAR EDITION.

THE HEART OF THE EMPIRE.

Discussions of Problems of Modern City Life in England.
Large Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d. net.

Contents.

I. Realities at Home. Charles F. G. Masterman, M.P.

II. The Housing Problem. F. W. Pethick Lawrence, M.A.

III. The Children of the Town. Reginald A. Bray, B.A.

IV. Temperance Reform. Noel Buxton, M.A., and Walter Hoare.

V. The Distribution of Industry. P. Whitwell Wilson, M.P.

VI. Some Aspects of the Problem of Charity. A. C. Pigou, B.A.

VII. The Church and the People. F. W. Head, M.A.

VIII. Imperialism. G. P. Gooch, M.P.

IX. The Past and Future. G. M. Trevelyan, M.A.



T. FISHER UNWIN.



TOWARDS SOCIAL
REFORM



BY

CANON & MRS. S. A. BARNETT



T. FISHER UNWIN

LONDON LEIPSIC

ADELI'III TERRACE INSELSTRASSE 20

1909



(All rights reserved)






MM
60'

co r*



CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION . . . . . .9

Ca>-on Barnett AMD Mrs. S. A. Barnett.



PART I

. SOCIAL REFORMERS

SOCIAL REFORMERS \ PAST AND PRESENT . 19

Canon Barnett.

CLASS DIVISIONS IN GREAT CITIES . . .26

Canon Barnett.

LADY VISITORS AND GIRLS, . . . .33

Mrs. S. A. Barnett.

!

UNEMPLOYED GOODWILL — (1) EDUCATION J (2) POOH

RELIEF . . . . . .52

Canon Barnett.

5



,'J06fj305



G CONTENTS

PART II

POVERTY

PAGE

THE UNEMPLOYABLE . . . . .63

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THE UNEMPLOYED BEFORE THE ACT . . .75

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THE UNEMPLOYED WORKMEN'S ACT AND ITS AMEND-
MENT . . . . . .87

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WORK AND THE UNEMPLOYED. . . . 100

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THE PUBLIC FEEDING OF SCHOOL CHILDREN . . 106

Canon Barnett.

PAUPERISM AND INSTITUTIONS . . .117

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THE VERDICT ON THE BARRACK SCHOOLS . . 121

Mrs. S. A. Barnett.

THE WORKHOUSE ..... 151

Canon Barnett.

SOME PRINCIPLES OF THE POOR LAW . . 158

Mrs. S. A. Barnett.

PENSIONS AND MORALITY '. AN ANTICIPATION . . 171

Canon Barnett.



CONTENTS 7

PART III
EDUCATION

PAGE

HOOLIGANISM ...... 181

Canon Barnett.

SPECIAL COURTS OF JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN . . 188

Mrs. S. A. Barnett.

AN "AD HOC" OR A GENERAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY 206
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LABOUR AND CULTURE . . . .215

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A COLLEGE OF THE HUMANITIES . . . 221

Canon Barnett.

PUBLIC AUTHORITIES AND ART COLLECTIONS . . 226

Canon Barnett.

THE PLACE OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN EDUCATION 231
Canon Barnett.

THE BEGINNINGS OF TOYNBEE HALL . . . 392

Mrs. S. A. Barnett.

A RETROSPECT OF TOYNBEE HALL . . . 255

Canon Barnett.

SETTLEMENTS OR MISSIONS .... 271
Canon Barnett.



8 CONTENTS

PART IV

RECBEA TION

PAGE

PRINCIPLES OF RECREATION .... 289
Mrs. S. A. Baenett.

HOLIDAY REFORM . ... 299

Canon Barnett.

TOWN CHILDREN IN THE COUNTRY . . . 307

Mrs. S. A. Barnett.

TOWN CHILDREN AND COUNTRY INTERESTS . . 321

Mrs. S. A. Barnett.



PART V

HOUSING

THE GARDEN SUBURB AT HAMPSTEAD . . 332

Mrs. S. A. Barnett.



INTRODUCTION

Professor Henry Morley, lecturing many years
ago in Whitechapel, remarked how progress, like a
walk, depends on the use both of the far sight and of
the near sight. Men must lift up their eyes to the
distant prospect or they will have no heart to go on ;
they must also take note of the path at their feet or
they will stumble and go astray.

The remark has been again and again illustrated.
Socialists and Individualists seem now, for example,
to' be absorbed in the far-off view of the Socialistic
ideal. The first are so attracted and the second are
so frightened that neither pays sufficient attention
to the next step before their feet. Socialists, looking
as it were to a land flowing with milk and honey,
insist on its immediate occupation : they will endure
no desert journey, they will have no leaders who do
not repeat their shibboleth, and they will take
nothing at the hands of parties who refuse to call
themselves by their name. Individualists, on the
other hand, fearing a future when every instrument
of production will be transferred to the State, reject
any proposal, however good, which seems to move
in its direction. They prefer Egypt with its limita-
tions and suffering. Socialists and Individualists
shut their eyes to immediate needs. Neither assist



10 TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM

as they might to make progress. Both are apt to
forget that the far-off prospect is always more or
less an illusion, something which has in it a
truth, but a truth which is never realised in its
detail, something which can be spoken of in the
language of poetry and not in the language of
science. The Israelites, for instance, found no land
flowing with milk and honey ; but the hard contest
by which Palestine was conquered was the founda-
tion of the wealth and peace which they enjoyed
under Solomon. There is a golden age in the future.
The eyes which are open may see it in different
forms, but all — Socialists and Individualists — see
something in the future which is better than the
present. The pity of it is that, taking as literal fact
the illusion of Socialism, both often refuse to do what
is possible and practicable.

The writers of the following papers look on to aT
golden age when mankind producing knowledge will j
enjoy an earth producing fruit. They believe in
progress to a future better than the present, and
they — not as Socialists nor as Individualists — aim to
suggest things which can be done at once.

The papers have been written at different times
during the last ten years in the heat of immediate
experience. They may seem to have more than one
expression, but they have the same spirit. We
start with faith in human nature, in its capacity to
serve and to rise. We believe that this capacity may
be helped or hindered by the action of laws,
institutions, and opinions.

Men and women are sent into the world to be one
another's servants. There is no satisfaction in health
or wealth unless their possessors are concerned in



INTRODUCTION 11

thought or in action for the common good. No one
can be called "saved" who does not will to give
himself to save others. We have not hesitated,
therefore, to advocate methods and measures which
make a call on this capacity for service. Labour-
saving machinery is no economy if it reduces the
application of human love to human needs.

We advocate, therefore, as steps towards social
reform that people of knowledge, instead of sending
missions to the ignorant, should themselves settle
among them, and by serving them fan into brightness
the dormant public spirit.

We advocate that children, instead of being sent
to barrack schools or to camp, should be considered
as individuals. It may mean more labour to find
for each child a cottage with a pure home life and
a neighbour with the will to befriend, than to
establish an institution with its staff of officers and
its rules; but it is this labour which increases the
capacity for service and therefore increases most
surely the resources of the nation. The people
who have been called to think about the child and
the child who has been thought about are all better
members of society.

We exalt for the same reason benevolence which
involves personal work and calls out for the
recipients some powers of sacrifice. There is more
and more truth manifesting itself in the saying
that we only give in what we share. The sub-
scription which keeps going some great institution
stands on the same level as the tax which supports
the schools; it has its value, but not the same value
as the gift which represents thought and increases
trust. The relief which prevents starvation is not



12 TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM

to be compared with the relief which enables the
starving man to get strength to support himself.
The pleasure which excites — which, starting from
outside the man, stimulates his sensations, is not as
real as the pleasure which, starting from within,
kindles his whole being. It is better to teach
people to enjoy themselves than to provide amuse-
ments, better to teach them to play than to watch
others at play, better to give them a new interest
than an empty holiday.

The suggestions thus assume every one's capacity
to serve, they assume also the capacity of every one
to rise to the highest. " The best for the lowest "
is not the precept always held in repute by those
who build churches or plan amusements for " East
Ends," but it is that acted on by the greatest of social
reformers. The dock labourer can admire pictures
and fine music. The hooligan has power of adven-
ture and dreams of heroism. The drunkard often
drinks because his thoughts are too big for his place
in the world. The beggar has in him the broken
pieces of a self-respect which appreciates courtesy and
resents contempt. Our suggestions follow, therefore,
the line of putting the best within every one's reach.
We would lay open the way to the enjoyment of
beauty, of art, and of travel. We would nationalise
luxury, and we would give to every one the high
thing which he does not want. But with our belief
in human nature we believe also in the power of
environment over character. Suggestions towards
social reform must therefore take account of laws
and customs. Laws which once helped now hinder.
The Building Acts, which have done much to secure
health in the home, now impose ugliness on a whole



INTRODUCTION 13

district. The land laws, which once protected the
cultivation of the earth, now exclude many who
would work. The poor law, which once stimulated
the idle, now degrades many who would strive. The
Universities, which once sent light and truth through
all classes of society, now stand aloof from the great
stream of national life. We advocate, therefore,
changes which will substitute garden suburbs instead
of slums, consideration for the poor instead of
punishment, and such an extension of University
influence that every worker may have a wider
outlook on life. We would, in a word, limit State
action wherever it interferes with the growth of
manhood and womanhood in the nation, and enlarge
its actions wherever it could assist that growth.

Education and not relief is the function of the
State and also of those institutions of charity which
have the character of State institutions. Belief is
the property of individuals ; it is subject only to
the law of friendship, and is most helpful when the
giving is so great a pleasure to the giver that it
confers no obligation on the recipient. The State
and great organisations have to educate directly and
indirectly ; and the true test of any proposal — be it
a Bill for town planning, for pensions, or for the
unemployed, or be it an appeal to establish
an institution for cripples, or the sick, or holiday
children — is, Does it bring out the powers of being
in the people it reaches? Is it likely to increase the
sum of peace and goodwill among men ? The
application of that test must condemn many
existing institutions, but it will also demand a
further expenditure which ought to satisfy even a
Socialist.



11 TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM

We appear, therefore, in these papers neither as
Individualists nor as Socialists, but simply as advo-
cating actions which lie in the way towards social
reform. We do not discuss the details of any
ideals or of any far-off visions ; we believe that some-
how good will come, and we desire to unite all
parties to use their near sight and do the next good
thing which lies at their feet.

The retrospect which the collection of these
papers has opened is encouraging. There has been
movement — slow and very often in a zigzag way —
towards social reform. The relief of the poor is
more and more coming under the direction of mind,
and the question of the unemployed has secured the
attention of Parliament. The treatment of children
shows more consideration for individual character.
Schools have improved — not only structurally but
also as centres of influence, and the teachers, re-
leased from the old bondage of payment by results,
begin to show their freedom by taking more interest
in the children, their health, their holidays, and
their entrance into industrial life. Evening classes
have become attractive by offering the knowledge
which is in demand and are opening the way to a
complete system of continuation schools. "The
condition of the people " is better ever since the
Dock Strike raised the position of the general
labourer and gave him the self-respect which comes
of a regular wage. His success promises to be the
doom of the system of casual labour which still so
widely prevails. The London County Council, by
the devotion and honour of its members, has set a
higher standard of public service, it has made houses
more fit for habitation, opened ways to greater



INTRODUCTION 15

intercourse, and by its care of its open spaces has
given to people some taste for Country in Town. If
the Borough Councils have disappointed the hopes
of their creators, they yet do better than the old
vestries, and as a rule by means of able medical
officers have promoted health in their areas and
reduced the death toll.

There has thus been movement in health and
wealth, in education and in enjoyment. There has
also been a movement in mind. Old authorities in
Church and in State have been examined and many
have been thrown aside. Old idols have been
broken or recognised as "a piece of brass." Such
destruction is a sign of progress even if for a time it
encourages a spirit of violence. People impatient
of what is wrong naturally become impatient to set
up something better, and defiance of law becomes
more common. But such use of freedom is only for
a time, and the freedom which is weary wilfulness
prepares the way for the service which is perfect
freedom. There is movement, the question is
whether there is force behind to carry it on to the
end. Why do people care for social reform ?

Is it that they may get their own rights — more
freedom for their own class, and more comfort for
themselves? If so, as Mazzini prophesied, and as
results have shown, the movement will end in the
establishment of another tyranny of the strong
over the weak.

Is it because they are children of fathers who
were bound by obedience to a Higher Will to do
their duty? If so the impetus must grow less with
every generation, and there will again come " an
end of the age" such as the world has often ex-



16 TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM

perienced — a time of decadence when no one has
faith or hope.

Is it because the people who want social reform
feel behind their own selves some power greater than
themselves compelling them to go forward? The
character of the Divinity which shapes our ends and
not His promises constrain conduct. Communion
with the Just One, with the Spirit which is making
all things good, and not any precepts ensure pro-
gress. Utopias and Republics, whether of Plato or
William Morris, of Socialists or Individualists, are
attractive visions, but they have never created the
enthusiasm which conquers difficulties and calls out
sacrifice. The Israelites knew that it was the will
of the Righteous God, therefore they made a great
nation, and the first Christians knew the love of
God, therefore they made a society in which the
strong cared for the weak. Eeligion, which is the
consciousness in men's selves of a force higher and
greater than themselves, is, in a word, the only
power which makes men willingly surrender their
rights and be persistent in well-doing, and religion
has been the unfailing motive to social reform.

Democracy is now established. The working
classes have the largest share in the government
of the nation, and on them its progress depends.
We have had the privilege of a somewhat intimate
knowledge of many members of this class. They
may be said to have the strenuousness and the
modesty which comes by contact with hardship,
and the sympathy which comes by daily contact with
suffering. They as a class are more unaffected, more
generous, more capable of sacrifice than members
of other classes. They have solid sense and are



INTRODUCTION 17

good men of business, but they cannot be said to
have the wide outlook which takes in a unity in
which all classes are included. They are indifferent
to knowledge and to beauty, so they do not recog-
nise proportion in things, and their field of pleasure
is very restricted between sentiment and comfort.
They have the simplicity which " is the chief in-
gredient of noble minds," but they have not the
sense of moral responsibility which makes discon-
tent with self. They have individuality of character,
but it shows itself in reserve rather than in enter-
prise, and they suffer, as the great German Socialist
said, from " Wantlessness." They prefer honest
mediocrity to honest intellect, and would still vote
for W. H. Smith rather than John Stuart Mill.
Their actions are generous, but their philosophy of
life is often of that shallow sort which says, " Does
Job serve God for naught?" and they are open,
therefore, to be captured by " a policy of blood and
iron " ; they are easily taken by popular cries, they
are fickle and are easily made " the puppets of Banks
and Stock Exchanges." They are sympathetic, but
for want of knowledge their suspicions are soon
roused, and they soon distrust their leaders.

The working class is the hope of the nation, and
their moral qualities justify the hope ; but they need
religion — that knowledge of the All Loving and the
All Good which will constrain them to be wide-
minded and persistently-minded in social reform.

The danger of a democracy is lest, deprived of
that impulse, that habitual watchfulness which
accompanies the strife between the Few and the
Many, it may settle down in a somewhat sordid
comfort of arm-chairs and abundant food, and cease

2



18 TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM

to make progress. Religion, which means the
constant impulse from God to seek higher things,
will correct this disposition and keep every one on
the watch to make a better self and a better State.

Self-government is itself no security against
either a wicked or a foolish policy ; it is only an
instrument and may be turned to base uses by
workers who are not themselves constantly inspired
by the spirit of love, of justice, and of duty.

Religion is not the subject of any paper in the
following volume, but underlying every paper is the
faith that in the service of God may be found
the best security for the service of men.

We issue the volume in the hope that our ex-
perience may be of some value to the people of
to-day who both fear and welcome the sound of the
changes which are coming up the avenues of the
future. Faith in social progress is, as Lord Morley
says, "faith in men, hope for men, and charity for
men."



Towards Social Reform

PART I
SOCIAL REFORMERS



SOCIAL REFOKMEES: PAST AND
PRESENT.

An observer of the ways of two generations has
knowledge which ought to be useful. The reformers
he knew in old days were men who saw visions ; the
present reformers may be described as practical,
scientific, efficient.

There is now no great cause which enlists the
glowing sympathy of the young. " What move-
ment is there into which we can throw ourselves? "
was a demand made the other day by a group of
men at one of our Universities, and there was no
ready answer to meet the demand. The Churches
seem to be standing for the rights of their sect
rather than for duties to " all creatures great and
small." The political parties are without ideas
which make a claim on the more generous instincts.
The leaders of opinion are before all things cautious.
They urge deliberation, the importance of consult-
ing experts and of considering possibilities. They



20 TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM

stand hesitating at the cross-roads; they are not,
like Luther, driven to take one course. " Here I
stand ; I can do no other." They see the difficulties
of every situation, and feel no force compelling
them to dare for duty. The Macedonians have been
massacred because the Turk as a landlord had
rights. Thibet is devastated lest international
equilibrium may be shaken. The people are im-
poverished by drink; betting facilities are permitted;
children are neglected because the interests of some
trade, some class, or some sect have to be con-
sidered. The loudest voice raised in a time of
war and suffering is that which counsels caution
and stops action. The leaders of opinion — eccle-
siastical, political, and social — make no demand
which reaches the people in whom the smoking
flax — the spark which disturbs our clod — is waiting
to be fanned.

There is no great movement because there is no
vision. Past reformers believed in Co-operation, or
Socialism, or Education, or Internationalism. They
saw in their mind's eye society advancing by one
of these roads to happiness or peace. They gave
themselves body and soul to their cause. They
were disappointed ; and they passed from the stage
amid the cheers of critics who mocked at their folly
in thinking they could at once set up the kingdom
of heaven on earth. They made mistakes ; they
did not take account of facts; they were not
scientific ; but it has been their energy and their
sacrifice which have put to the credit of the last
generation some reforms the value of which is
hardly understood. They were disappointed that
the end they hoped for was not reached, but it is



SOCIAL REFORMERS 21

by their devotion that towns are more healthy, the
poor better considered, and education improved.

Present-day reformers have no such vision. They
may be practical or scientific, but they are a broken
and a straggling host. Some meet their neighbours'
needs with lavish gifts, not thehandfuls of coals and
rice which Kingsley condemned, but with cheapened
food and lodging. Some proceed to build and endow
institutions, hospitals, asylums, and schools, as if
one-half of the community were called to classif}',
drill, and take charge of the other half. Some — a
smaller number — spend weary days seeking into
causes, analysing conditions, and forming societies.
There is probably no less expenditure of money and
no less personal work than in old days, but the
efforts are less inspired. The reformers engaged
have not an impulse which comes from a common
source and aim. They play their parts, but " between
the acts" there are "no glimpses of the eternal."
There is a sort of deadliness in modern doings, and
so the things done hardly make for progress as the
things done by their fathers under the inspiration of
a vision. Illusion, it has been often said, is neces-
sary for progress. The modern reformer has no
illusions. He is not on his way to a promised land,
and so his doings in the desert will not fit himself
or his nation for a higher calling than that of en-
joying milk and honey. It is visions which make
the movements into which the young long to
throw themselves.

" Are there," it may be asked, " any signs of a
vision taking shape?" It is hard to foretell what
cloud small as a man's hand will cover the sky, but
there are dull mutterings, blind blows, and half-



22 TOWARDS SOCIAL REFORM

expressed aspirations which suggest that the next
movement will be more straightly directed against
property.

A better educated industrial class has become
conscious of needs which the average wage cannot
supply ; a less educated property class has made an
insolent and degrading use of wealth.

The working man does not wish to heave half a
brick at the aristocrat ; his attitude is less brutal,
but, so far as the aristocrat is concerned, more
dangerous. He despises the ways of smart people,
their love of jewels and dress, and the triviality
of their pleasures. He is disgusted with their bad
manners, their extravagance on horses and dogs,
their late hotel suppers, and their Sunday dissipa-
tions. His wrath is gathering at the power of the
ignorant rich over trade and at the impertinence of
fine ladies who buy votes with blandishments. He
knows of uses for money other than his less-
educated fathers knew. He would like to travel
and to have books, he is conscious of a capacity to
enjoy pictures and music, he feels a being within
himself, claiming a larger arena in which to live —
a spiritual being beating against the bounds set by
patrons and parsons. He has learnt, moreover, to
doubt the arguments by which property justifies its
rights to exceptional regard. He wants to know
why rent is a debt unlike other debts ; why land is
so protected when Free Trade and the open door are
taught as a gospel ; why 5 per cent, is a greater


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