Page 8, 18th September 1936

18th September 1936
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Page 8, 18th September 1936 — NOM AND COMMENTS
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Locations: Bury, Moscow, Rome, Plymouth

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NOM AND COMMENTS

Keywords: G

FIRST

THOUGHTS

Michael

Advanced Science

Here are some extracts from a report of one of the discussions at the British Association for the Advancement of Science : " Dr. II. M. Vernon said that the degree of physical fatigue experienced by workers as a result of their occupation depended mainly on three factors— the length of time for which they had to worhl tli MIS 211 which they were engaged, and the conditions under which it was performed There were still many groups of workers who suffered from over-fatigue due to hours which ought to be reduced.

" Dr, org FL Mil of tIi National Institute of Industrial Psychology, said that fatigue was the red light which showed that more effort was being expended than the organism could stand.

" Di. L. I'. rollitoll liggatca that the cause of the fatigue in travelling to and fro from work was largely humidity through the bad ventilation of buses, trams and trains.

If it was really necessary to go to Black fool to litt61i to !hit, tufty not have joined in the conversation on the beach?

Predicting a Slump

Before another section of the British Association Sir William Beveridge has

been repeating the prediction concerning

unemployment on which the Government's unemployment policy is based and which was discussed by our Industrial Correspondent some months ago. The Unemployment Assistance Board, of which he is chairman, is preparing for at least 2,200,000 unemployed in a few years time. The present 1 2-3rd million do not represent (he says) the trough of a trade cycle; they represent something like its crest! The trough is returning soon and the rearmament boom will do little to postpone it. postpone it. This is the view of most orthodox economists. It is the view that limits the horizons of Mr. Montague Norman and Mr. Neville Chamberlain. Its predictions w;11 almost cerialnlY eapie tom If !if. Norman and Mr. Chamberlain or their spiritual heirs arc still controlling our spiritual heirs arc still controlling our monetary system when the time for their fulfilment comes. Foi it will be these gentlemen who bring the boom (such as it i9 to an end.

The Slump-Makers

it was they and their predecessors who brought to an end the post-war boom and every other boom since the Bank Charter At of 111 ?Mi. to do it. It is quite an easy thing to do. As soon as industrial expansion has made abundant money more than ever necessary you restrict money, call in credits, bring down prices, bankrupt hundreds of businesses throw hundreds of thousands

out of work. and thereby remove all

danger of an economic catastrophe! You will have, of course, some more or less intelligible reason for your action, such as the drain of gold abroad that often accompanies the first stages of a boom.

Dui ihe essence of the matter ig that you adjust industrial expansion to money instead of money to industrial expansion. But, as Mr. J. M. Keynes has recently written, the way to even out the trade cycle is not to flatten the booms into slumps but to keep the booms continuous.

ilmga who clo 1116 fi?tt MV 6 it 41111q141 in their power to do the second.

Atheism Finds Allies

Those who have made any study of Communist methods know that Communists are instructed to " go easy " at first with thcir openly atheistic teaching when deal

ing with those to whom it would be a

stumbling-block. The trick was played shamelessly on the last two Sundays when a leaflet we have by us was distributed to Catholic congregations coming out of Mass. The leaflet consists largely of assertions that the Spanish Reds have no anti-religious motives and the insurgents no religious ones.

But the real culprits are those who are

quoted in it, if they are quoted correctly. For one of them is described as a Spanish priest and made to say " I hate the hierarchy," and the other is described as " a fervent English Catholic " who appears to have sent to an atheist weekly such reports as she had been able to collect of incidents that would be regarded as discreditable to

the Church.

The Higher Agriculture

A special article in The Times last rri(lay on the new organ;sai;on of ihe Soviet armies contained the following

sentences:—

" Each industrial centre can turn out tractors or tanks with only a slight alteration in the recire. Of the 300,000

II actors which now punctuate the Soviet

landscape, many could be changed into fighting tanks of sorts at short notice."

On the previous day the same writer had described the methods by which MONOw o appiaiing tdo 13 BARRI patriotism and local oadition oi the Cos sacks. Once they were the most indepehdent peasants and finest cavalrymen of the Russian Empire. For the first fifteen years of Soviet rule they were active or passivc rcsisicrs against Moscow and all its ways. Now the younger generation is being compensated for collective farming by being enrolled in cavalry divisions organised on the old tribal basis. All these proceedings could be more or less paralleled elsewhere on the continent but at least let us have an end of the fiction that Russia under,lolshevitm has shown the way to higher things. •

Japan Irresolute

Meanwhile lann,,i having nal chance of ousting the' Bolshevists from the Far East while their organisation was incomplete, Seems to be distracted by irresolution on the question of whether she dare now attempt the open conquest of China. Eyify ln an " inciflegt " takos ?lace on

the Chinese mainland it seems to be touch

and go whether the military authorities on the spot will or will not be allowed to make it the occasion for full-dress military operations. Two incidents have recenq occurred or

been manufactured) for which the Nanking.

Government has as usual offered all reasonable apologies and compensation, and the question whether the Tokyo Government will make quite impossible demands hangs in the balance. So also does the I Al'tip I ( question whether Chiang Kai-shek at /Nanking can fulfil such undertakings as he does give, having regard both to the intense hatred stirred up by the Japanese and to the treacherous provincialism of Chinese politicians who intrigue even with the On m ordcr Co !loin Inc CCIIIMI

government.

The Forty-Hour Week and

Seasonal Unemployment

Mr. E. Bevan, the dominating figure at the Trades Union Congress at Plymouth, made a cilsturt,:ng statement in introducing a resolution on the 40-hour week. He said that many ol the newer industries of which so much has been heard in connection with the partial recovery have been organised on a seasonal basis. The work it tontentrated within certain neriodg of the year and got through by working over The question of legislating for a 40hour week is a thorny one, with something to be said on both sides, as was shown by an article in alSer 5, fa Wag low but if Mr. Bevin is correctly informed about the facts there will be few to disagree with him that a 40-hour week would do good service if it flattened out production in these industries over the year. No LAI manufacturers hire in he able to advertise " new season's models and cus tomers to put off their choice to the last moment, but these things ought not to weigh against the social cost and the industrial demoralisation due to the seasonal 1111009ppent that is the consequence of

seasonal overtime.

An Alternative Method Alternatively, let employers be compelled to maintain " labour " they expect to have waiting tor theft at all {neg. TM!, hot to maintain their plant during the slack season. This method might, amongst other things, serve to redress the balance often weighted against the small employer by the eompulcor Ooritning of hocirs (as is being tound at the moment in France).

For when industry is conducted on something approaching the domestic scale long term service, with correspondingly close personal relations between master and thttliq, it tilt rule, and Mtn nercnnal and technical considerations tell against great seasonal changes of staff. The large scale employer would doubtless claim greater flexibility for his technique, but this is not a valid argument when Ilic irigulariliio illkiwiccorely the result of his own methods of advertising. In any case, he has no right to make a profit out of a •' flexibility " that consists in the willingness of itheMployed Men with. out status' to be taken on and put off at his convenience.

The Dead Bury, Dead

The Secretary-General of the League of *Nations 11aS been Rome. me. 1.1e ig said to have been trying to secure MLISSO lini's consent to a formula concerning Abyssinia that would enable the League powers to save their own faces by continuing not to recognise Italy's conquest bt Mgt Ind at the game time avoid angering Mussolini by inviting Abyssinia to the Assembly. The formula is reported to have been to the effect that Ethiopia is not recognised as an Italian conquest but is not invited to the Assembly because its central government has ceased to exist!

It is a strange breath of unreality

blown from a forgotten world into one that is grouping itself around issues that cut right across anything the League of Nations ever stood for. How many people know (or care) that the League Coun cil IS MCCUE 'MI gal Mc Ancialy On

Monday?

Fragments From A Presidential Addres.!

iSir Josiah Slaty distinguished hims

among the Presidents 44 the British Assc

anon by asking the fundamental questa whether the changes made possible science were to be regarded as a norn human process. Unfortunately he Orr ted to answer his question. What folio are extracts from an address he knight he delivered.] The traditional wisdom of mankind 1 been very sure that change is the lot of things mortal, but equally Sure that it the tragic mark of their mortality. Rec.( generations have convinced themselves ti it is the mark of its eternal youth, t pledge of its future happiness.Their m pledge of its future happiness.Their m take is to have confused it with growth.

Growth is the act of the individual a I;;Introlled from within. Exteri

change is only incidental to it. For tht

who would grow to the heights of spirit' freedom through 'inner self-discipline a the contemplation of God the accept setting is a routine of almost complete t ternal monotony unchanged in essenti since St. Benedict's Day. Not all who sort to It grow spiritually. but those w fail are those who are most restless

change. change.

If the placid countryman does not attE the full growth of a man it is not becat he is tied to the unchanging routine of t soil but because he has insufficient t with it, being a mere serf without stat.

To be able to count on an unchanging s ting for his sowings and his rotations a for his sons' inheritance is the conditi for the growth of his mind and charact Even you scientists whose work made possible so many changes desire wort1 i without being distracteJ lay them. I pure science is a form of the contemplati life.

Nevertheless, your collective studies the universe are so incomplete unless th give you insight into the inter-relatinn all its parts, including an understanding the consequences of manipulating it. T properties of, say, electricity, the techniq of harnessing it, and the effects of doi so upon the economics of production a the minds and characters of the product should he viewed together arid as a wiu and judged by ultimate standards of valt The naturalists among you have d The naturalists among you have d covered the cycle of events that follov say, the destruction of some species. .vermin, which is found to be the destros of some other pest or the necessary foi of some other destroyer, so that a whc delicately balanced economy of nature torn in pieces by one intruding force. To work out such sequences and su harmonies where man is concerned wou require not only an intimate and extend knowledge of more elusive facts than t naturalistls but also a complete and it philosophy by which this knowledge cou be systematised and illuminated and which ultimate judgments of value could founded. But for generations it has be considered improper for science to have philosophy.

The " pure " science you so assiduous cultivate has therefore become a body thought cut off both from actual conta with human needs and from the philosopf col understanding of them, But when i( respond to press appeals by parading tt practical uses of your researches you on make your philosophical deficiencies rno conspicuous and show that you have be led by the nose by business men equal without philosophy but with a keen e: for oain.

Vast changes have, indeed, been the r

snit of applying your sciences, but tht have not been conformed to any gener view of man's purposes but only to tho desires most easily exploited for profit. In general, this has meant catering ft those who have cared least for spiritu

and menial growth within themselves ar

most for visible change in their enviroment. New sources of mechanical powe

stronger and more flexible materials, ar stronger and more flexible materials, ar

delicate manipulations have transformt the external world and done nothing ft tit Npifit accot hill it.

It is this continuous transformation our environment that is commonly calk progress, as if it had a definite and upwai direction. It 11A, in fact, hem brougl about with such indifference to the real er of man and the true laws of his growl that it may be compared with great din atic changes like the passing of an ice-al or the drying up of a continent. It demands an equally great adjustmei 1 4 4 t a? mats bodil14 ha y bits—as, or exempt y bits—as, or exempt in accustoming himself to great speeds an constant speeding up—and a far greatt adjustment of his mental outlook. ra man was never asked to agree to the met ing of the polar ice-cap or to give a




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