11 DECEMBER 1909, Page 14


SIR,—I have read with amazement and indignation the revelations made in Miss Markham's letter in your last issue on this most serious question. The letter carries with it so strong an impress of its veracity as to facts, its arguments are so cogent and convincing, that nothing need be _added. I am sure that all fair-minded people will accept it in foto. For my part, I differ from the writer on one point only, and that is that I cannot conceive that any thoughtful parent can doubt that in any circumstances whatsoever this is a foolish and pernicious movement. That this country holds six thousand weak fathers and six thousand weaker mothers who allow their six thousand foolish daughters to go in for this idiotic sport is a most distressing sign of the times, especially in view of Miss Markham's just complaint "that the decay of household arts is a word of reproach to women in every walk of life." This indictment is unfortunately too true, and it is a -serious thing for the nation that it is so. I should like Miss Markham to give us WWI information as to who are the originators of this objection- able movement. Let us know who are the culprits. Let them be pilloried. What are the local education authorities, what are the Churches doing ? Can they not raise their voices effectively against this childish trifling with serious matters ? You, Sir, mention General Sir R. S. S. Baden-Powell's name in a manner which almost suggests his knowledge of these conditions. We are entitled to know how we stand with him in the matter. I am bound to say that it grieves me that you even hint at the bare possibility of his disagreeing with this protest, a protest against folly in its nakedness. This folly makes us ridiculous in the eyes of saner nations who take soldiering seriously, and do not mix it up with dilettantism and child's-play of any kind.—I am,