" Learn to look upon the schools as your business," urged Mr. A. P. Braddock, Esq., M.A., at the meeting of the Catholic Women's League in Birmingham on Sunday. " The Education Act of 1944 has many good features; it has some bad ones. It will cost Catholics
dearly. Catholic laymen must watch their own interests and not leave the matter entirely to other people."
" Watch ways in which the interpretation of the Act is tending and see that your representatives in the House of Commons and in the County Council are acquainted with your views."
The value of the work being achieved by the Parents' Associations was emphasised and the C.W.L. similarly was an excellent medium for safeguarding he interests of Catholic education. "The problems cannot be approached only from the school angle. . The problems ought to be tackled at the parents' end now at the same time." " . . . Parents must othrignagtsii..sc. It is the fair way . to do "The Education Act is a great Act, but it has defects. We as Catholics find reason to be bitter about the Act; we feel that the square deal we have heard about so often in other matters has not been given to us; but provision is made for national education and a real development of that for which the door was only set slightly ajar in 1870. . If you really want national education this Lime you must see that whatever happens no-one is given a free hand, as Mr. Geddes was in those days, to lop off essentials in the educational service. This 1944 Act has revived much that went dead then, and has added changes in administration which may be important; though I say this a ubject to correction."
" We hear much said about the lesponsibilities of family life, about its conservation, its privileges and its importance to the nation. This Act means well byerthe family, but by that very fact it contains a menace to what we as Catholics are taught to hold dear." Mr. Braddock made it clear that " it is useless to try to teach children who are insufficiently fed; who suffer physical defects of eyes, ears, teeth ; who are tired and so forth. So we find arrangements for giving milk, meals, medical services, for iimitine employment and so on. These provisions are logical: th y me, in fact, inevitable." "This is the danger to family life," he then pointed out, that in time they may lead to complete State control. As a Quaker friend of mine put it the other day, ' If we don't look out we shall all be obliged to have compulsory meals.' But more than this, even at the moment What is being done threatens family life and unity, because the sense of responsibility can be deadened and ultimately dis
appear altogether. There are other social conditions which contribute to the same end."
Regarding County Colleges, Mr. Braddock pointed out that where there did not happen to be a Catholic one " we have to remember that the Local Education Authority will set up every attraction for youth in the way of youth activities and our own parochial attractions will have to be very strong indeed to hold youth," He suggested that something additional might be provided to help young people who perforce must attend non-Catholic County Colleges.
Where such exist unfriendly Local Education Authorities might insist upon very big changes, coating large sums of money, pointed out Mr. Braddock.
" Parents will do well to organise as, for example, into Parents' Associations and keep in touch with the schools. Do not leave everything to the teachers and then blame them because your children do not derive full benefits."