網頁圖片
PDF
[blocks in formation]

454. You I believe are Secretary of the Metropolitan Public Gardens' Association ?—I am. The Earl of Meath is Chairman. I should also like to add that I am a member of the Middlesex County Council and of the Middlesex Education Committee. I am also on the Committee of the London Playing Fields’ Association, and I was Honorary Treasurer of the Lads' Drill Association, which is now amalgamated with the National Service League. 455. How long have you occupied your present position ?—About 18 years as Secretary of the Public Gardens’ Association. I have been 15 years a member of the Middlesex County Council. 456. Would you tell us generally what the work of the Association consists in ?—The work of the Metropolitan Public Gardens' Association is chiefly disclosed by its title. It is to secure and lay out open spaces as gardens, play-grounds, and places of recreation generally. We always try to get hold of any spaces that we see going or that are likely to be of use for the community in crowded localities, both in London and in the suburbs round London. 457. And your main endeavour is to try to educate the public to the importance of sunlight, fresh air, and recreation ?—Certainly; anything that tends to increase the facilities for fresh air and recreation of course commands our hearty support. 458. Have you observed any great change in public opinion in regard to earlier hours of closing, and so forth ?—When I was first Secretary of the Association, we had great difficulty in inducing public authorities to give us their support in any way in connection with our schemes; they did not seem to realise their importance from the point of view of the physical welfare of the community; but I have observed an enormous change in the attitude of public authorities in regard to the value of recreation and fresh air more especially since the the advent of the London County Council. We were educating public opinion, of course, by what we did ourselves, and when the London County Council first came into existence in 1889, our Chairman, the Earl of Meath, almost as a matter of course, was made the Chairman of the Parks and Open Spaces Committee of the Council, in recognition, as it were, of the educative value of our work; and local authorities since then have all taken their cue from the County Council, and far from not listening sympathetically to any schemes that

Chairman—continued.

we may bring before them, they oftentimes, now-a-days, come to the Association and seek for suggestions, or put suggestions before us, which they want us to take up. 459. Have you considered the alternative proposal of changing the time by exactly one hour to mid-European time 2—Do you mean permanently or only for the summer months 7 460. That is as you wish. Have you considered that scheme 2—I have considered the idea of advancing the time permanently all the year round by one hour. Some of our friends I have seen are inclined to that, as likely to be less troublesome if you do it once for all, than having to put the clock back again at a certain time of year. 461. Have you fully considered Mr. Willett's scheme for piece-meal alteration ?–Yes. 462. And what is your view with regard to it?— So far as my view goes, people would probably drop into a piece-meal alteration better than if they were told suddenly that they had to put on their clocks an hour and 20 minutes. 463. You do not anticipate any considerable objection to that scheme 2—I do not. From our point of view of course dealing with open spaces the Association feels very strongly that it would enormously increase the value of these open spaces to the public at large to have this additional time. These spaces have been acquired in many cases at enormous cost. Look at the additions that have been made of recent years to Hampstead Heath; probably each addition costing £1,000 per acre; and to enable a ground like that to be utilised for six months in the year for one hour a day more than is possible at present, seems to us most valuable, for it would enable a ground which is on the outskirts of London to be used by a far larger number of people than can at present be the case, owing to the darkness falling. As a rule these larger open spaces on the outskirts of town can only be used on the Saturday half holiday to anything like the full extent, because of the lack of time for getting backwards and forwards: the dusk falls before it is worth while for people to make use of them; so that this scheme of Mr. Willett's would, we think, give an increased value to all these open spaces, which we have acquired at such an enormous cost, and which of course, have to be maintained at a considerable cost to the community. 464. Do you speak officially on behalf of the different associations with which you are con6 nected ?–

o

14 May, 1908.]

Mr. HoLMES.

[Continued.

Chairman—continued.

nected ?–I speak officially on behalf of the Metropolitan Public Gardens' Association, who have passed a definite resolution in favour of the Bill to the following effect: “That this Association approves the principle of the Daylight Saving Bill, and authorises the Chairman of the meeting to sign the manifesto which it is proposed to publish in the Press.” That manifestation was signed and was published. I might also mention, that from an education standpoint, as a member of the Middlesex County Education Committee, it seems to me that this increase of daylight would be very valuable in connection with the organised games in which we want

scholars especially in elementary schools to take part. Then again there are nature study expeditions to be thought of, and Schools of Rural Industry in which you

want to encourage gardening, both at home and at school. Then again in connection with the evening continuation schools and technical classes, which we have in various parts of the county, to which people have to come from considerable distances, an increase of daylight would be very valuable in encouraging scholars

and others to make use of these educational.

advantages. 465. And you do not consider that it would be any trouble to keep on moving the hands of the clock eight times a year?—It would be some trouble, but it does not seem to me a very great deal of trouble. Of course rather than not have the increase of daylight at all, we would rather see the clock moved once. We think it very important to have it, and the exact method of carrying it out is a question rather of detail than of principle. 466. On the whole, you approve of the 20 minutes' proposal ?– Yes, I think on the whole people would slip into it more easily, than if an hour and 20 minutes were advanced all at once. 467. You think that it would not be desirable to move clocks and watches backwards, but that would have to be done in September, would it not, under the scheme 7–Yes, unless you made the complete revolution of eleven hours forward. 468. How would you get the longer hour in the four weeks in September, unless you resorted to that ?—It is only a mechanical difficulty of moving the hands of clocks and watches backwards that I thought of F suppose it could be got over. 469. You think that there would be considerable saving to the public as regards artificial illuminants ?—I am certain that there would. I imagine that the public would alter all its times for going to rest, equally with the times for getting up; it would naturally do so. 470. Do you use artificial light to any extent in your various places?—Not in the open spaces. Certain open spaces are lighted, but most of the smaller ones are grounds which have to be closed at dusk, and sometimes there is great difficulty in closing the ground, because the people do not like turning out of it. Take for instance such a garden as I had charge of for many years, which is now maintained by the Office of Works, the Tower Gardens, that we laid out surrounding the Tower moat. We have had the greatest

Chairman—continued.

difficulty in closing those grounds half an hour after dusk, because of the crowds of people which wanted to make further use of them. So that in such a small ground, which we have known 8,000 people make use of on one Saturday, I can conceive that this Bill would present the greatest advantages in enabling the grounds to be utilised for an hour and 20 minutes longer than it is possible at present. 471. Can you give the Committee any statistics as regards the number of people who use your playgrounds ?—The numbers vary very greatly, but of course there are Bank holiday statistics to be got as to the estimated number of people who use Hampstead Heath, and large spaces of that sort; but as regards making a census of people using a particular ground, we only carried that out in the case of the ground that I have mentioned, the Tower Gardens, and we found on a fine Saturday in this ground of only about an acre and a half in extent that 8,000 people passed through it, or utilised it in the course of the day, and other open spaces in poorer parts of London are utilised to as large.an extent proportionately. On fine days they are crowded with people. 472. So that your view on the whole is that this change would lead to a considerable amount of opportunity for recreation ?—For

recreation, also for facilities for education. and also for facilities for drill. In connection with the Lads' Drill Association,

I had a great deal to do with promoting the formation of Cadet Corps, and Cadet Battalions. The lads who join those corps can, as a rule, only get away in the evenings, and one of the main difficulties which presented itself to us in connection with forming these Cadet Corps was the lack of time, but the scheme would certainly afford more time, and enable some of these spaces to be utilised as drill grounds to a greater extent than they are at present, and enable lads to join these Cadet Corps to their great moral and physical advantages,—in far larger numbers than they can at present. So that in that way I agree with previous speakers, that we should be helping on the Territorial Army scheme immensely, because one of the difficulties there is lack of time. Our Cadet Corps movement, as it were, hangs on to the Volunteer movement; you can use the Cadet Corps to lead on the lads just at the right age to join the adult Volunteer Corps. We get hold of the lads as they leave school, and try to bridge over, by the Cadet Corps, that very critical time when they leave school at the age of 14, and are not eligible to join any disciplined adult corps till they are 17. Between 14 and 17 years of age the Cadet Corps movement takes up and gives a continuation of discipline after school life, until a boy becomes of adult age and is able perhaps to join the Volunteers. 473. We may take it, may we not, that the employers of these Cadets would find it to their advantage in giving leave to their lads if they had more daylight?—I think so decidedly. A boy who is under a sense of discipline is far more useful to his employer than those we see just hanging round street corners or watching football matches. 474. What 14 May, 1908.]

SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE DAYLIGHT SAVING BILL.

Mr. HoLMES.

[Continued.

Chairman—continued.

474. What I mean is that if you advanced the people of this country with more daylight, it would help employers of labour to give greater opportunities for drill ?—Yes, because they would be able to leave off their work earlier for one thing.

Mr. Pirie.

475. In your capacity, which brings you into close touch with public parks and recreation grounds, you must naturally be aware of the somewhat disquieting reports that we hear as to the drop in physique and health of the coming generation ?—Yes. 476. Do you think that such a scheme as is proposed would have any effect on that very important question ?—Yes, I think it would have a very great deal of effect. This additional hour of sunlight, and the possibilities for recreation, and also of earlier hours at which everybody would retire to rest and get their sleep more in the hours of darkness than they do at present, would, I think, have a great effect. 477. It would do a great deal, perhaps, to check the growing physical deterioration which is so apparent ?–Yes; we had that before us when there was a Commission, if you remember, on Physical Degeneration. Our Chairman, the Earl of Meath, gave evidence before that Commission. 478. Perhaps you heard Mr. Vickery’s evidence as to what he estimated the saving would be to the railway companies of Great Britain alone 2–Yes. 479. From your experience in the various Boards that you serve on, do you think that the general public would derive great pecuniary benefits from the adoption of this scheme 2– I fancy that in our public offices and schools we should use far less artificial light than we do at present, because we should be able to leave off at an earlier hour, and therefore the ratepayers would certainly benefit by the saving effected in artificial light. 480. You are a County Councillor ?–Yes. 481. Perhaps you will not be able to answer this question. Have you any idea what an ordinary artisan's family would save either per week or per year on artificial light 2—No, I am afraid I cannot say, but I do, of course, know that an ordinary family uses very poor light in the evenings, and that it cannot be good for those who have to do any reading, or any close work like that, to utilise such poor light; and they generally try to save on their light. 482. And from their circumstances they are not in a position to be able to afford good artificial light 7–No. 483. And therefore they suffer more proportionately than wealthier people from being obliged to use inefficient artificial light?—Yes, they certainly suffer in their eyesight; we find

that over and over again in connection with

scholars in our schools.

Mr. Holt.

484. I understand that what you really want, and your real reason for supporting this Bill, is that you think it would be a great advantage to adopt earlier hours in this country ?—Certainly.

Mr. Holt—continued.

485. You really do not very much care whether the time is altered one hour once and for all, or whether there are three or four alterations of 20 minutes each You have a private opinion that the 20 minutes plan would be the more convenient way, but, so far as your object is concerned, you do not mind which it is; by either method you would equally attain your object 2–Yes, but I think that the form of doing it piece-meal would be rather more convenient. 486. But, so far as your real object is concerned, either method would enable you to attain it 2– Yes. 487. I think you have been in the room, and perhaps you have heard Mr. Gooday's evidence 2 —I have heard two witnesses. 488. Then you did not hear Mr. Gooday. What would you think of a suggestion to adopt Mid-European time—that is to say, to advance the time by an hour all the year round—to have no alteration in April and October, but to make the time an hour earlier all the year round?— That would partly carry out the scheme that we advocate, of advancing the time in the summer months by 1 hour and 20 minutes, but it might prove inconvenient in the winter months. 489. But it would carry out the whole of the scheme that you advocate and something more ? —Yes, but that something more might be found inconvenient. 490. You are on an Education Committee; what are the ordinary school hours in elementary schools 2–From 9 to 12 and 2 to 4. 491. Is that in winter and summer alike 2– Yes. 492. You think that it would be an advantage really to work from 8 to 11 and from 1 to 32– Yes. 493. Then why do you not do that ?–Because you cannot do it in one case without everybody following suit. The whole organisation of the community must be altered in order to get it done; you cannot do it piece-meal. 494. But surely in the elementary schools there would be no difficulty whatever in altering those times by one hour in summer, if the Education Committee thought it an advantage 2–Would there not be a difficulty in connection with the teachers, who have to come from a distance sometimes to the school; they have to fit in their arrangements Railway trains and travelling facilities are all based upon the idea that business begins at a more or less certain regular time. One thing fits in with another, and unless everybody altered their arrangements it would be difficult to bring about such an alteration as you suggest. 495. You seriously think that it would be impossible 2–I do not say that it would be impossible, but I say that it would cause inconvenience, because one thing is dove-tailed into another, and railway trains and travelling facilities assume that 9 o'clock is the hour when a beginning is made of the day’s work in schools and elsewhere. 496. You think it would be impossible for the Education Committee of the Middlesex County Council to simply fix their school hours 6* 811 14 May, 1908.]

Mr. HOLMES.

TContinued.

Mr. Holt—continued.

an hour earlier ?—I do not say that it would be an impossibility, but I think it would be very inconvenient, and cause considerable difficulty both to the parents and to the teachers. 497. But if you did make that alteration, of course you would get your advantages ?–So far as those children were concerned. 498. And, so far as the teachers are concerned, the teachers would also get the advantage of having longer evenings at their disposal ?—Yes; but I think they would be inconvenienced in getting to the schools and fitting in their mealtimes, and that sort of thing. The meal-times would be arranged on the 9 o'clock basis, whereas the 8 o’clock basis would necessitate a re-arrangement of that, and other people would be affected. You cannot deal with it just for one class of the community; it would not be an impossibility, but there would be a difficulty, I think. 499. Have you ever heard it suggested that sometimes too much time is given to athletics by schoolboys ?—Yes. 500. You do not agree with that ?–That depends upon the cases. There may, of course, be cases where there is some truth in it; but this proposal would not affect only schoolboys, it affects adults; it affects the whole community at large. Schoolboys are only one small section of the community. 501. I think you said that you were not really in favour of making the change an hour earlier all the year round ?—I thought I said that I would rather have that than not have anything at all; but that in the winter season a change of one hour might cause inconvenience. 502. That is what you did say; but, so far as saving artificial light in schools is concerned, the only time when you would save artificial light would be in the winter months, would it not ?–Our schools, you see, are used sometimes for evening continuation schools and technical classes, and things like that, and we should effect a saving there, as well as in the actual elementary school hours. 503. You do not think that the greater opportunity of indulging themselves in athletics would induce a number of the pupils and people who attend evening continuation schools and technical classes to abstain from attendance at them ?— No, because those who attend the evening continuation schools and technical classes do so distinctly in order to better their chances in life; they do so quite seriously. 504. Do you not think that persons might, for instance, attend a continuation school by electric light or gaslight between 8 and 9 o'clock at night, whereas if the alternative was to go and play at cricket or football it might get the better of them ?—There might be a few like that, but those who attend evening classes are, as a rule, the more earnest-minded who do so for the distinct advantage of gaining some particular knowledge. - > Chairman. 505. And they might be braced up by an hour's exercise to do better work in the continuation

class?—That is the other way round of looking at it.

Mr. Richards.

506. I should like you to give us a little more information concerning this view that you put forward, about the poor suffering from inefficient light; what light do you suppose the poor have that is detrimental to their eyesight or worse than what the rich enjoy. Candles are not used to-day as they used to be 2–I have seen poor homes in which a wretchedly dim light is used, a very small oil lamp or even a candle just in One TOOm. 507. I do not think they suffer from that unless they are attempting to read 2–No, probably not. 508. I think you said that you had noticed many children who had bad eyesight 2–Yes. 509. I do not know that the poor suffer any more than the rich in that respect, only rich people seem to wear glasses more than the poor do?—We find in our schools that we have to give facilities for giving children spectacles. We have tried to help them. We examine them for eyesight, and where we find defective eyesight we try to provide spectacles—that is by voluntary meanS. 510. I think that is more a question of feeding than bad light. You will know, of course, that a number of the people in this House value daylight so much that they do their reading and writing by daylight rather than by artificial light 4–Yes. 511. I suppose that one objection to changing the hours of school would be that in many cases the mother, who is the drudge of the household, cannot employ a servant, and as a consequence has to do all the cooking, and she does not want to get four or five meals in the middle of the day?—No doubt. 512. But if this proposal of Mr. Willett's were adopted, if the father came home to his established meal, which is an institution in the English working-class home, I mean the mid-day meal– they do not dine in the evening; they try to get all the family there that they possibly can, and they would object to the school hours interfering with the dinner-time which suits the parents and the sons and daughters, who may be working in various factories 2—I cannot conceive that it would be very convenient for a child to come home and want his meal at one hour and then for a son or daughter or the father to come home and want their meal at another hour; that would be an impossibility in a poor family, I think. 513. But you do see the advantage of lifting the daylight or the time for getting up ?–Yes. 514. And it is necessary that that should be done by Act of Parliament, because it would alter factory times and every other time 2–Yes, every organisation would have to fit in with the new arrangement. 515. You would not be surprised to learn that there are some employers in the country who lift their hours of work an hour-and-a-half every April, and allow them to fall an hour-anda-half every September ?—I have heard that at the Garden City at Letchworth certain manufacturers are inclined to do that. I do not know whether they have actually done it.

SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE DAYLIGHT SAVING BILL.

14 May, 1908.]

Mr. Richards—continued.

516. I may say that I lived in a town for 20 years where we used to do it, and it affected 100,000 people. We lifted our hours of work in winter by an hour-and-a-half. We used to go to work at 8 o’clock in the morning, and in summer we started to go at 6.30, and everyone who adopted those hours preferred them 2– I know that in Holland they are 20 minutes in advance of the railway time, and you see two times going on in the same place, railway time, which is Greenwich time, and the standard time of the town, which is 20 minutes in advance.

Mr. Pirie.

517. But that is very awkward and inconvenient, is it not ?–People seem to get used to it; but of course it is rather inconvenient.

Mr. Pearce.

518. What you say with your Metropolitan experience you would apply, without any doubt I suppose, to the whole of the country 2–Yes, without any doubt.

Mr. Pirie.

519. I understand that the proof which you have sent is not embodied in your evidence, and I want to know whether the opinion of Lord Meath, the Chairman of your Association, has been in any way before the Committee ?— Lord Meath’s own opinion I can give you.

520. I should like you to read to the Committee what Lord Meath has said in favour of this Bill, in support of the views of your Association ?— Lord Meath said: “Anyone who can bring more sunshine into the life of the average Briton will be a benefactor to his country, and, although your scheme might be carried without legislative enactment were we not such slaves to custom, I fear that no common action is to be hoped for without the intervention of the Legislature. I thank you, therefore, for having had the courage to advocate so simple a proposal, and trust that before long your ideas may be the means of adding to the amount of sunshine enjoyed by Britons. Sunshine destroys germs, raises the vitality, and consequently the spirits. Future generations will, I believe, rise up and call you blessed.”

521. I would like to know whether Sir William Vincent, who I see is mentioned by you as being a Vice-Chairman of your Association, is a former member of this House ? Is he a brother of the late Sir Howard Wincent ?–Yes, he is. He is one of our most active Vice-Presidents and he signed that particular resolution because he happened to be in the chair on that day when the Association passed the resolution in favour of the Bill.

Mr. Holt.

522. I just want to ask you what is the ordinary dinner-hour of the working-classes whose children attend elementary schools?—I imagine that it is 12 o'clock or thereabouts.

523. That is what I imagine. I think you

[blocks in formation]

told us that the school interval was between 12 and 22–Yes. 524. If the school interval was between 11 and 1, that dinner-hour would equally fall in that interval 2–Yes. 525. Therefore it would not cause the inconvenience that was suggested by Mr. Richards? —But the children have to get to and from the school, and a certain amount of time is consumed in walking backwards and forwards ; and sometimes in country districts the schools are a considerable distance away from the homes of some of the children, more than half-an-hour's walk perhaps for small children; so that it might cause that inconvenience notwithstanding.

Mr. Pearce.

526. If the children left off school at 11, and the members of the family who were employed at work did not leave off till 12, the dinner-hour would be cut in two ?—I think so, because the husband has to come from his work, which may be a long distance away, and the children may have to come from their school, finishing at 11. The one would get home about half-past 12, and the other at half-past 11.

Mr. Richards.

527. I do not think 1 per cent of the workingclasses of this country leave off work at 12. In factories in Lancashire and Yorkshire and other parts of the country they leave off at 1 or half-past 12 at the earliest; but the general time is 1 o’clock in the Midlands especially.

Mr. Willett.

528. In the building trades they leave off at 12%

Witness.

Yes, that is what I mostly come across in Middlesex—building trades of all kinds.

Mr. Holt.

529. I think the dock workers all leave off at 12 2–But now I come to think of it, the railway works employees leave off at 1.

Chairman.

530. Would you be in favour of an alteration of the time, not by legislative enactment, but simply by an attempt to bring moral pressure to bear upon employers of labour; do you think that that would be a practicable thing '-Some might adopt it, and some might not. ... But then, other things hang on to it. The railway time-tables would not be fitted in with that alteration.

531. You do not consider the change practicable, unless it is universally adopted ?-I should scarcely think so. In exceptional cases it might be practicable, but not as a rule.

(The Witness withdrew.)

« 上一頁繼續 »