Public Opinion in the Schools
IN these days of Gallup Polls and
other testings of public opinion, why not take notice of the views of the younger generation? These can be discovered in school magazines where reports of the Debating Societies are not uninstructive. Thus I find, looking through the current issue of the Stonyhurst Magazine that the motion " In the opinion of this House, Patriotism, national and local, is no longer a virtue " was carried by 15 votes to 8– es result that will hardly please some of the masters. Not inconsistent with the above result was the rejection by 19 to 8 of the motion that " this House would rather be first-class sportsmen than first-class artists." More puzzling perhaps, but surely fundamentally sound was the overwhelming approval (by 27 to 1) of the motion that " in the opinion of this House critics of all forms of art and literature have, and have had, more effect for harm than good." On the less exalted plane of the Lower Line Debating Society a motion that " this House would have preferred to have been girls than boys" was carried by 12 votes!
Of Pubs FOR some reason or other I am always inclined to read newspapers and magazines backward. Perhaps it is because one takes them lightly, and unconsciously distinguishes them from books which usually make little sense unless read forward. But it is a pleasure to come across a book so light and entertaining that one finds oneself happily reading it backwards. I refer to Back to the Local by Maurice Gorham (Percival Marshall. 8s. 6d.) who in his freer hours studies 'sublet e and probably knows as much about London pubs as anyone alive. Edward Ardizzone has done the drawings in his lively and human style (well-known now to children owing to the story-books he illus
trates). Maurice Gorham's heart seems to be in Mooney's in the Strand (with a passing nod to Mooney's round our office corner) and in its draught Guinness. But these pages touch the heart of London's pub life, and a long glossary puts you wise about every drink and every pub custom.
The New Dental System I HEARD the other day of an odd aspect of the new Dental Service. A friend of mine bad a bad toothache on a Saturday, and with great difficulty found a dentist who had time to take out the tooth. My friend reeked whether he paid or the National Health Service. The dentist answered: "You pay unless you are prepared to have two more
teeth out." "Why?" my friend asked. "The Government insists on everyone having a thorough and complete treatment. Unless you are prepared to have this. you must pay as a private client."
Poodles and Cavaliers THOSE who keep a kennel.
especially of the smaller and highly-bred type of dog, must often ask themselves what degree of mental powers these creatures. so close to man, have developed. Here is an example which, of course, may be a mere coincidence, but it was certainly impressive. I have just had given to me a 10-weeks-old Poodle whose arrival was much resented by the family Cavaliers. in particular the one who was supposed to be my personal one. A day or two after the Poodle arrived, she seemed to choke on a bone, and we were rather anxious about her. The Cavaliers watched the proceedings
with pleasure. My own Cavalier, who likes sleeping on my bed, was taken into a dog-box in the bedroom to share quarters with the Poodle. a plan she obviously did not appreciate. In the middle of the night I heard the noise of violent choking and sneezing, and angrily thought I had better do something in case the Poodle's bone was now giving serious trouble. To my amazement. the Poodle was lying peacefully asleep, and the Cavalier was doing the choking. She stopped as soon as I picked her up, and she spent the rest of the night on my bed, as she had always intended to do!
Improved Railways THE new and improved summer
service of the " British Rail ays " has come into operation. The result for us is that a most convenient train which stops nicely in time for lunch guests and has been running throughout the war now rushes through our country station. At a much smaller and less important station just before ours the train undertakes to set down London passengers by request.
Directory of Schools I RECOMMEND the 1949 edition
of the Directory of Catholic Schools and Colleges (Paternoster, 2s.), which is now ready. This little guide offers in the clearest tabulated way all the necessary information about our Catholic schools, including that awkward, but for a Catholic inescapable, item " Approximate, Annual Fees." It is a directory, by the way, that should be available in public libraries, and 1 hope that those in a position to advise librarians will not forget it.
Three Letters THE following are selected from my correspondence bag:
" Dear sir,
"I am very glad to inform you this letter to say that I want to make you as my friend but I do not know you. Therefore try to send me your Photo. Please try to send me your address in order that, I may write you with. I have nothing to say again but I am nine years old and yours friend." — W. A. ArmisoN (Gold Coast).
" Dear Sir,
" I read in the " Daily" paper of a girl being expelled from a Convent school for having her hair 'permed ' In these enlightened times. it seems almost unbelievable that such a thing could happen. There has been much discussion lately as to the causes of the ' leakages' from the Church. . . ."
" Sir,—You'll pardon me in receiving this letter: somebody might think that I've gone beyond the bouds of convenience. You see, I'm receiving your beautiful newspaper from some of your readers. Now I'm asking you to enter for one day in the columns of your publications to say a few words to the big family of your readers from this last corner of the world. Should any of your readers answer our appeal, we know we've to be thankful to you as well. The result will be a victory for all. The White Ladv of Fatima will bless you. • ." And since I do not wish to leave my last kind correspondent unrewarded. I add that donations for the future Church of Our Lady of Fatima will be gratefully received by the agent of the writer in
Torit. Lotuho District, A.-E. Sudan, namely " The Rector, 16 Dawson House, London, W.2.