5 MARCH 1932, Page 3

Compulsory Swimming

In laying it down that all school-children throughout the country shall be taught to swim, the French Government is setting an example we should be the first to copy. There are few more healthy exercises than. swimming, and its importance for the preservation of life, both the swimmers' own and other people's, needs no demonstration: The difficulty, of course, is as to ways and means. In inland towns and villages away frotn rivers facilities are all' too rare. But there are few localities where the water supply is not sufficient, at any rate, for an open-air bath for use in the summer months. Most of the work of constructing a swill-liming-bath can be done by unskilled unemployed labour at no great cost, or alternatively by volunteers. Brynmawr as soon as it began to organize turned its local unemployed on to precisely such a task. It is no use making swimming compulsory till facilities can be provided, but facilities ought to be provided to make compulsion possible.

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