Rebuilding Britain eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 167 pages of information about Rebuilding Britain.
perhaps, too much the fashion—­free individual action is generally far better—­but in this matter, which is one of “national insurance,” State action is necessary, and reasons of a conclusive character are given—­such as the long period required before the crop can be matured and any return obtained, and the uncertainty as to the future conditions and factors on which its ultimate profitableness will depend—­showing why the matter should be taken in hand by the State.  Such action would, of course, not exclude individual or local action; indeed, private enterprise might also be helped by the State in many ways, including the giving of expert advice and making the results of the best scientific research available to all.

The work of afforestation would provide a healthy and suitable employment for discharged soldiers who preferred a country life to resuming their occupations in towns.  The number taking up forest work, however, would probably be very small.  There are also some branches of forest work which would be suitable for partially disabled soldiers.  A very interesting scheme has been framed for establishing forest nurseries on reclaimed lands.  One specially suitable site has been suggested on the shore of the River Kent at the head of Morecambe Bay, near Grange-over-Sands, where land was reclaimed after the making of the Furness Railway.  The reclaimed land would be suitable for a forest nursery for raising young trees.  The soil is light, so the work would be healthy and would not be too strenuous.  The scheme has been worked out in detail, and an attractive description of it is given by Mr. Mawson.  There are other places where reclaimed land or other land with light and suitable soil might be used for such nurseries.  Partially disabled men might also be trained for the lighter kinds of forest work, such, for example, as the “marking of thinnings.”  It is of a technical character, but does not involve any serious physical strain.

CHAPTER XXII

LAW REFORM

I should not be an advocate for the repeal of any law because it happened to be in opposition to temporary prejudices, but I object to certain laws because they are inconsistent with the deliberate and permanent opinion of the public.—­SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH.

Compared with some of the other great questions involved in Reconstruction, mere reforms in the law may often seem almost trivial, but they have the advantage of being easier to handle than social and economic reforms.  It is not so difficult to state exactly what is wanted, to embody the proposals in definite shape in a Bill, and to pass it if the Parliamentary machine is properly used.  The incapacity of Parliament to deal with remedial legislation embodied in a Bill clearly drawn is often exaggerated.  A reform merely in Parliamentary procedure would go far to remedy the existing congestion.  A case could be quoted from very short Parliamentary

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Rebuilding Britain from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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