Review Of Events, Ecclesiastical And Secular, At Home And Abroad
Three Reigns In A Single Year
Shadow Of Unemployment
The outstanding events of the year 1936 at home were connected with the Throne, The year opened with an event that must have happened sooner or later, but, when it came, it took the people by surprise. Only a few months earlier cheering millions had greeted their King and Queen on Jubilee Day; only a few days earlier their King had spoken to them at their own dinner-tables through the microphone. When the news of the seriousness of his illness was confirmed the whole nation was moved as hitherto only the illnesses of very close relations had moved people, and when the message that the King's life was drawing peacefully to its close was broad cast the whole world was present at the deathbed of one they personally loved.
The sorrow at the passing of the first monarch whom science had brought into intimate relation with his people was ternpered by the accession of the immensely popular Prince of Wales, who at once told his people through that same medium which overcomes the limitations of space that, while he would serve as his father had done, he would be the same man still.
The characteristics of the new monarch, a young spirit, a love of independence and a genuine feeling for the least fortunate of his subjects, soon made themselves felt and doubled his popularity, so that when in the summer an incident took place during a public procession which at first seemed to constitute a threat to the sovereign's life the emotion throughout the world was pro found. Luckily the seriousness of the affair proved to have been exaggerated.
King Edward's regard for those who were afflicted by circumstances over which they had no control was manifested on various occasions. When inspecting the giant liner Queen Mary on the Clyde, he insisted on viewing the housing conditions in Glasgow and refused to have his route planned out before. Towards the close of the year (and, as it turned out, the end of his short reign) he of his own wish visited the distressed areas of South Wales and ;aye new hope to their inhabitants by his Nords: "Something shall be done."
They had scarcely been uttered when the crisis, arising from his plans with regard to his domestic future, broke upon
the nation. Within a few days King Edward VIII had taken an unprecedented decision in the history of the British Monarchy and voluntarily abdicated in favour of his heir-presumptive, the Duke of York, who succeeded him as King George VI.
The Waste Land New Unemployment Assistance Regulations, promises of Government aid for the Distressed Areas, the work of A Special Commissioner for those areas, a spectacular match of the men of Jarrow le present a petition to the House—such have been specimens of the interest in this question, but the feeling in the country has been strong that a Government which can find without great difficulty immense sums for rearmament could have tackled the problems presented in a more human and
generous spirit. And, despite increased prosperity, " orthodox finance," as adhered to by Mr. Chamberlain, has not had an altogether popular year. The official opposition, however, has proved totally unable to take serious advantage of these favourable fields of opposition, owing to its lack of leadership. unity or policy. The strongest note has been in relation to the Means Test,
Mr. Baldwin, though often expected to retire owing to some apparent blunder in tactics, remains as strongly entrenched at the end of the year as ever. There appears to be no one fitted to replace him, and the general feeling of the country might be summed up as confidence maintained in the National Government because of the lack of any alternative which would not be infinitely worse. Fascism and Communism have made little open progress and remain neglig ible as political factors. The ban on uniforms has been too recent for its effects to be observable.
The greater part of the Government's attention has necessarily been devoted to foreign affairs, in which department Mr. Eden, like his chief, maintains his position despite considerable criticism. Foreign affairs have had their mark at home in the increase in the Services and the co-ordination of the different factors in the problem of defence. Difficulty has been found in enticing a satisfactory number of recruits for the regular army.
The Government has had to contend with an almost insoluble problem in Palestine in trying to redeem pledges made at different times to Arabs and Jews. After the sending of an army to maintain order, the troubles quietened sufficiently to allow of the visit of a royal commission to enquire once again into the problem.
BIRMINGHAM : St. Philip's Grammar
School, Birmingham. — The Governors invite applications for the post of HEAD MASTER of this School, which is a Catholic Secondary School recognised by the Board of Education and the Local Education Authority. Candidates must be laymen, andgraduatee; of an English University. The commencing annual salary will be £670, rising by annual increments of £40 to £810. The succeesful candidate will be required to take up his duties after the Easter vacation. Applications, with copies of testimonials and giving three references, should be sent to The Secretary to the Governors, St.. Philip's Grammar School, Haglcy Road, Birmineharn. 10.