both inexpedient and immodest." That was the opinion of the famous divine, Dr. Burgin, in 1884, preaching against the .admission of women to the universities. And " there go the infidel ladies." said another clergyman, looking at the first women undergraduates walking along the road. This die-hard attitude towards women was recalled by Fr. Humphrey Johnson, who is chaplain to the women students at Cambridge, when he spoke at the annual meeting of the Oxford and Cambridge Education Board in London last week. Even now, he reminded us, Cambridge women students are not members of the university. Both Oxford and Cambridge expect big increases in the number of women attending the universities next year. The general feeling among the speakers, I found, was that Catholics as a whole don't take much interest in the Catholic chaplaincies—otherwise there would be more support for them and certainly there would have been a bigger meeting (at which Cardinal Griffin presided) last week. There was the merest handful—about as many in the audience as there were on the platform.
FROM Miss E. A. Edmunds, of East Wittering, comes a plea for "halfday clubs" in the smallish town or county town—not for the adolescent or those in their early twenties, but for
the older woman. I quite see her point when she says that there is a great need for these clubs, but the difficulties, I imagine, would be many, though perhaps if there were enough support they could be surmounted. " Chichester," she says, "from which this village is seven and a half miles distant, may have become a few degrees less sleepy than in pre-war times, but after a certain hour, in the evening, particularly in winter, there is Practically nothing apart from the cinemas to attract the lone traveller or visitor. The gap which needs bridging is from about 5.30 p.m., when the tea-time cafes close, until 8 or 9 o'clock according to the departure of the required train or bus. Parochial clubs do not as a rule open until 7.30, so they do not help to solve the probkm. It is hard to be forced into a cinema for shelter when the pro gramme is poor Such a club as I
sec it, would help not only the solitary visitor, boarded, as so many arc these days, for bed and breakfast only, but it would prove an inestimable boon for those employed in residential posts such as companions, housekeepers, secretaries, governesses, children's nurses and staff nurses with brief spells off duty. All these, if such a scheme could be practically evolved, would, for an annual subscription, be able to enjoy all the privileges which, at present, only a society woman could get at her club."
Well, there's the idea. which I pass on to anyone who thinks it can be developed. I don't know how far Women's Institutes could help, but they are primarily for the family woman with a home of her own. Perhaps some readers can say what they think of it. One thing is certain, people seem more than ever to want to meet and talk, and any effort to do so should be encouraged.
THE Home Secretary has been pay
ing compliments to the women police. When he spoke at Leeds the other day, where there are seven (one per cent. of the male police force), he said that Leeds and many another industrial town, could do with many more. During the war, women police were employed to deal mainly with the " soldier-girl " problem and to replace men. But, Mr. Ede pointed out, they are also invaluable in peace-time, especially in cases of juvenile delinquency . . . And they can often help the very young girl who, by simply lacking the influence of a good home and parental control, comes within the purview of the police."
HERE is the Home Secretary's list of " reasons for the increase in the number of children who " come within the purview." Fathers, brothers and Sisters in the Forces; mothers in the factory; permanent breach in family relation (as a result); unsettlement caused by bombing and evacuation; the virtual military occupation of the country; the stimulation of war and destruction and the example (set by their elders, no doubt), of lighthearted scrounging combined with temptations due to war-time shortages. These factors will take their toll over many years.