15 MAY 1936, Page 3

Civil List Pensions Mr. Neville Chamberlain used some curious and

striking arguments in his lively debate with Mr. A. P. Herbert on the provision of £1,200 for new pensions in the Civil List. He said that it would be improper to raise that sum to £4,000, as Mr. Herbert had asked, when we were spending so much money on armaments ; that there was no popular feeling in favour of the change ; and that, in any case, it was difficult to find sufficient men and women of merit who needed such pensions. It is not surprising that Mr. Herbert, finding his modest and sensible suggestion opposed by such arguments, should have used language which shocked the Chancellor. It is indeed somewhat humiliating to find a State which boasts of being civilised showing, in the person of its Chancellor, so philistine a carelessness of the fate of its artists, writers, scientists and philosophers. But such carelessness is of a piece with the State's consistent niggardliness -towards all forms of culture, music, the theatre, research, which cannot -pay their way. If the State does not recognise the value of the arts and sciences themselves it can hardly be expected to mind what happens to the artists and scientists who practise them.