" Almost every decision we make to-day as a nation—political. industrial, educational; in
matters of town and country planning. empire development and so forth—is affected at the root by the population problem. . It is not merely a question of how we shall plan to extend. or rebuild. or supply with water this or that area. but whether there will be people lo lire and work. to pay the rates and find the labour to keep the place going when our grandchildren are grown This sentence occurs in the introduction to a brief but well-balanced survey of the population problem, entitled Children of To-morrow, which has been issued by the Tory Reform Committee over the signatures of Mr. 1. A. Cecil Wright, Lady Astor, Lady Apsley and Wirig-Clornmender Grant-Ferris. Looking first at the facts--the position in Britain and Europe—it finds that the populations of Norway. Sweden, Switzerland (here the figures surely apply to the French and German—and not the Italian cantonments)—France, Belgium and Austria—are all, with Britain —on the decrease. Holding their own and increasing in some 9ises are Ireland, Holland, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Rumania, Poland and Russia Russia and Britain present interesting contrasts here—with the number of people in the 15 agegroup in Russia being 36 per cent. and in Britain 22 per cent.
INCREASE FROM THE EAST Japan's population is, it is expected, likely to become half as big again in a generation. India and China may be expected in maintain similar increases. India is increasing at the rate of not leas than live millions a year.
Various causes of Britain's falling birth-rate are marshalled in the following order: contraceptive measures, " where we once had human nature arid its weaknesses on the side of large families, we now have it mainly in the scale against them "; inefficient housing and the growth and popularity of flat-life ; the "emancipation " and employment of women, and the barring of such professions as teaching, banking, Civil Service, local government service, to married women; the youngez generation's rebellion against the drudgery of housework--all these must take the blame. And then comes a note on he influence on the birth-rate of religion.
CATHOLICS ARE EFFECTIVE
" II is the policy of Catholics and High Churchmen to exalt motherhood and to put the great weight of official religious authority on the side of the fancily, while compromising on some voluntary limitation of the latter in practice. The results are effective on the Catholic birth-rate. The teachings of the other churches enjoin couples to " he fruitful and multiply." but appear to be far less effective. The example of the non-Catholic clergy, many of whom have raised large families of high quality under conditions of poverty and self-sacrifice, not to say hardship, tends to excite pity or sympathy. rather than honour and a desire to " go and do likewise."
FAMILY IN FILMS AND BOOKS " In thousands of British homes the spiritual hasia of the family has been lost sight of, as the teachings which ministered to it in the past have lost their hold on large numbers of people. The people have yet to discover for themselvea a spiritual conception of the family compatible with freedom in matters of doctrine."
One of the constructive suggestions that might well be acted upon is an award along the lines of the Nobel Peace Prize to works in the literary or film world which will set family life in the proper perspective. The sole example in this class—certainly among films—seems to he Steinbeck's Forgotten Village.
Once and for all. it is argued, let us get rid of the materialistic view that children are a sort of biological product with no other purpose in the wham of creation than a round of reading (or writing), crime and sex stories, or comics, tar earning a living, betting on the dogs, and defending themselves, from time to time, against their fellowmen.