12 APRIL 1935, Page 5


ALL over the country elaborate preparations have, been made for the celebration of the Jubilee, though in many places the plans still admit of modifica- tions or additions. The wishes of the King have been generally respected ; the local authorities are not often likely to exceed the limits of " reasonable " expenditure, and everywhere special attention is being paid to the needier sections of the community. In reviewing the many agencies through which the occasion will be cele- brated we shall find that the nation's activities may be classified under five main heads—according as they, are initiated or arranged by the State, by the local authorities, by the Churches, by einployeri in their business capacity, or by individuals either acting through societies or by themselves.

It has been left to the general sense of the community to determine what the exact purpose of the Jubilee is— and that, in turn, obviously determines the character the celebrations should assume. Broadly speaking, it has been interpreted as an occasion for a personal tribute to King George and for thanksgiving and rejoicing at the preservation of democratic monarchy in this .country during a troubled epoch. First and last it seems to have been borne in mind that the Jubilee belongs to the same category of things as a birthday, and therefore is to be devoted in the main to pleasure—the pleasure of-those who give and those who receive. Any scheme which loses sight of this, essential conception of the Jubilee, will be, so far as it does so, out of harmony with the spirit of the occasion. - In these days of grim brooding over the economic and political plight, of the ,world there is much to be said for the occasional public expression of a less grievous outlook on the world. But since pleasure is of many kinds—transitory or lasting, -.that of the giver, or that of the receiver—the range of suitable Jubilee activi- ties will not be severely limited.

The State, as an employer of labour, will take the lead in granting # full day's holiday with pay to its employees ; and.. since it pays the bill for the assistance of the able- bodied unemployed, will sanction the payment of. an extra ,2s. 6d. to tbpse in receipt of relief., It will be manifestly concerned, with ceremonial , in, the metro- politan area. on the grand scale, with the, King himself, who on several days will perhaps be the most hard- worked. person in the land, as the central figure. The Churches, too, will participate both at the centre and in the provinces. The local authorities are making their own separate arrangements, each in its own .way„ Their pr:. grammes include ceremonial processions, pageants, civic receptions, banquets, balls, fairs, fireworks and flood-light- ing of buildings ; and in certain pleasure-resorts ,bonfires, regattas and carnivals. Such are among the more obvious outward signs of Festival in which all classes are expected to participate. But in every district the claims of the :workers and of the poor have been specially considered Municipal employees will receive a full day's holiday with pay. Glasgow was prompt in deciding in favour of addi- . tional relief. In Liverpool there will be various forms of entertainment for school-children, old people, disabled ex-servicemen End. the blind. The London County Council will give extra holidays,. and free entertainments for children. These are examples only. .In almost every town, big or small, provision of one kind or another has been made to enable members of the poorer classes to spend an enjoyable day in celebration of the Jubilee.

Largesse, it will be seen, public as well as private,. plays a considerable part in these proceedings. If the State figures more prominently in the bestowal of bread and circuses than in festivals of earlier times, this must be attributed to the fact that the State has become more and more the channel for organized social activities of all kinds ; it has become, nationally and locally, the successor of the lords of the manors. If momentary entertainment alone were aimed at, there would be ground for criticism. But all serious persbns—and among them the King himself and. the Prince of Wales —have felt that it would be wrong to let such an oppor- tunity pass without securing from it benefits which would be of lasting value. First among the objects which claim support is the Jubilee Trust itself, whose funds will be devoted to the assistance of associations working for the welfare of young people between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. But this scheme, though it deserves universal support, will not, and should not, exhaust all the .activities that will be brought into play by the Jubilee. Many of the local authorities are wisely turning their attention directly or indirectly to memorial ,schemes of permanent worth ; and voluntary _local effort .ought to be enlisted in the interest of plans which will create or preserve amenities.

Thus Nafferton in East Yorkshire has decided to con- struct a bathing pool for children, and in Norfolk somebody conceived and secured assent to the delightful proposal to plant one hundred trees at Cromer. An individual _example which might well be followed is that of a gift of a motor life-boat to the Royal National Life-Boat Institu- tion. It is to be hoped that many local authorities and „many individuals will pay attention to the advice of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England. In urging that local scheMes in celebration of the Jubilee should be directed to the creation of permanent values, they ask that oMcial and private bodies and individuals should take their various parts in providing recreation grounds, M preserving opeb spaces and view:points, in planting trees, in establishing bird sanctuaries, in keeping foot-paths .open or, in the .case of landlords, dedicating them to the public. Nor should the claims of the Shakespeare National Theatre be forgotten. The object of the fund which Lord Lytton's committee is:raising is to provide a permanent home in the capital of the Empire at which the best possible repertory company can continuously pro- duce good plays under the best conditions.

The Jubilee provides unique opportunities of turning the good will which is released at this season to the promotion of objects which will be of lasting value to the country. .Each locality has its own special needs, and to their satisfaction 1060 effort should be first directed. The pleasure of-millions on the one day will be something, but it would be wasteful of the vigour that will be gener- ated to let it exhaust itself on the enjoyment of the moment. It is therefore desirable that whenever any scheme,.local or national, is being considered with a view to the Jubilee celebrations, at least an equal amount of • attention should be given to some subsidiary proposal having for its object a memorial of permanent benefit.