15 OCTOBER 1859, Page 2


The National Association for the Promotion of Social Science has held its third annual meeting at Bradford this week. The proceedings were opened on Monday by a religions service in the pariah church; the Bishop of Ripon officiating as preacher; Lord Shaftesbury President of the Association, and Lord Brougham President of the Council, being among the congregation.

In the evening, the first public meeting was held in St. George's Hall, where Lord Shaftesbury delivered an opening address. He showed the importance of social science as a means of raising the spiritual as weli as the material condition of the nation • pointing out that we have made some progress in showing where to Call in the aid of law and where to dispense with it, substituting -voluntary action. The Association con- sists of teachers, not doers ; it is theirs to watch the growth of disease in society and suggest timely remedies, so that society may not act under the pressure of alarm or necessity. He went into the question of educa- tion, and showed how much depends on home culture, on industrial training, on the prevention of overwork, on the removal of temptations from the path of the poor and the young. He proposed that the gin palace and low theatre should be met by counter attractions; instanced the success of penny banks as a means of inducing thrift ; and dwelt on the uses of reformatories. One new and curious fact he reported, as an illustration of a mode of educating the people by voluntary agency. "There are reading-rooms, coffee-clubs, young men's Christian associa- tion ,s lending libraries, and penny banks. It is well to classify trades and ceilings the effect is good, for it gives them a corporate spirit and self-re- spect. I will mention but the one last founded, the 'Society for Improving the Condition of Cabmen.' Here is a class (I am speaking of the metropolis) consisting, with their helpers, of some 15,000 persons,—a class hitherto very little known, much reviled, and, as is always the case, pronounced incurable. Well, we have established local clubs in several districts, provided rooms, libraries, and all the necessary adjuncts ; left the members to raise, in great measure, their own funds, name their own committees, and manage their own affairs. The movement has been received with much favour ; and the wives especially, short as has been the time, are loud in their gratitude and joy." (Applause.) Sanitary reforms and their beneficent influences formed a large section of his speech.

"Filth and miasma will, in some form or other, accomplish their work,

and, like evil spirits, anxious only for destruction, if they cannot extinguish the physical, will corrupt the moral life of many generations. Where such agencies are rife and unchecked there .cannot long be the hope of internal peace or external security. The existence of a discontented, peevish, and grovelling peopk is dangerous and disreputable alike. That we are not so is due, under God, to the exertions of those wise men who called your atten- tion to the necessity of repressive measures. That we may not be so here- after must be due to you, who now know the mischief, as they did, and who have the remedy in your own hands." (Loud applause.)

He showed by a comprehensive review of facts how, in the lowest point of view, sanitary Measures were productive of an immense saving of money, and an almost incalculable saving in morels. He concluded by an earnest exhortation to join in the work of improvement, and under no circumstances to "despair of the republic." Lord Brougham paid high compliments to Lord John Russell, the late President, and feelingly referred to the loss of Joseph Sturge and Sir James Stephen. Thanks were voted to Lord John Russell. On Tuesday morning Lord Brougham delivered his annual address.

It was a written document, and printed it extends over six columns of the Tunes. Elaborate and eloquent, carefully prepared, it is not like an impromptu speech capable of readable condensation ; but it contains points that, isolated, may be of interest Beginning by showing that we progress, although slowly ; referring to serf-emancipation in Russia and the liberty of the press there as compared with France, signs of advance- ment in that empire • alluding to the concessions made to the Rnngarian Protestants, he turned from this glance abroad to our doings at home, and out of respect for Lord Shaftesbury began by a dissertation on pub- lic health. Here he touched on the efforts to prevent adulteration of 'food ; to the improvements in hospitals ; to the want of judicial statistics as essential to the raising of judicial legislation to an inductive science ; to the evil effects of overwork, and the progress made in diminishing the hours of labour. Then followed an energetic assault upon intem- perance and improvidence : with suggestions to check the former by re- pressive measures, and the latter by affording facilities to the working classes for laying up small savings. He stigmatized light talk on the subject of drunkenness, dilated on its evils, the crime the misery it in- duces. Speaking of the Maine Liquor Law, he showed that it has been adopted in seven States, and that six others are making progress towards the same end.

"But the most important fact is the attempt to repeal the law in Maine, and

its signal failure. Like all subjects in a country which, from the nature of the government and the changes in the holders of all offices, is under the influence of perpetual canvass, this of temperance became a party question, and governors were chosen and removed upon it. Four years ago its sup- porters were defeated, and a stringent licensing system was substituted in its place. For two years and upwards this plan was tried, with every dis- position of the authorities to favour its success. Pauperism and crime, which under the prohibitory law had been reduced to an incredibly small amount, soon renewed their devastations ; the public voice was ram.ed loudly and with rare ooneert against the licence plan ; a resolution was passed at the State Convention that the Liquor Law Would no more be treated as a party question, and the repealing act was, without opposition, itself re- pealed. Another effort was made to restore the repeal, but the resolution of the State Convention was referred to, which stood unrescined, and all at- tempts to get rid of the Liquor Law were abandoned as hopeless. The happy result has been a continuance of the same diminution of pauperism and of crime which had followed upon the original enactment of the law. Upon this very remarkable passage in the history of social science it may be observed, that at least it affords proof of the experiment having been made, said successfully made, of dealing vigorously with the evil ; and if the same preparation of the public mind which led to that experiment being tried and secured its success takes place in other countries, the great example may there be followed safely and successfully. Then the philanthropist would no longer complain with the Recorder of Birmingham, that into whatever path of benevolence he may strike, the drink demon starts up before him and blocks his way ; or, comparing what is cheerfully squandered upon the fuel of intemperance with what is grudgingly bestowed upon the means of mental improvement, lament to find tenfold the price of food to the mind paid for poison to the body, but would delight to hear our poor reclaimed from the worst excesses, freed from the yoke of the cruel though most per- fidious tyrant, and declare, as they did to the American missionary, that the law must have come from Heaven, for it was too good to be the work of man." (Cheers.)

A section on the progress of science as applied to the social condition of men of course found a place ; but the most striking section of the address was an attack upon electoral corruption, prefaced by a splendid eulogy the British constitution, an edifice threatened by corruption. ever takes a bribe is liable on tendering his vote to have the bribery oath administered. Such persons are aware of this ; the bribed voter, therefore, who goes to the poll, knows that the oath may be offered, and in ninety-nine cases in a hundred he is prepared to take it, that is to commit

teerjury. Even if it be not tendered, and the perjury is not committed, can be acquitted of moral guilt ? A footpad goes out to rob, armed vrith his pistol. If resisted he is resolved to use it, or at any rate, if recognized, he is. prepared to destroy the evidence against him. He has upon his con- science the moral guilt of murder even if he escapes being tempted to com- mit the crime. Can the voter who takes a bribe be deemed leas guilty of intended perjury than the highwayman of intended murder ? " As to the candidates :—" It is said that they only give the money to be expended in a lawful manner; that they have confidence in their agents, and that they even direct them on no account to practice corruption. But the existence of the practice in question is notorious, and they can have no reason to doubt the zeal and the activity, and the unscrupulous nature of those they employ, the jobbing attorney as well known for an electioneering agent as others of his craft are known for money-lending agents; the publican who bar- gains that his house shall be used whose accounts, the bill of the one and the score of the other, are paid without any scrutiny. These things cloak from the candidate's eyes the particular course pursued in spending his money ; but that the corrupt deeds have been done he must be taken to know as well as he knows how much they have cost him, and the state of the poll, which is the result." Pecuniary mulcts are inefficacious. "While the African slave-trade was only punished by the forfeiture of the ship, it mocked the law, because the profits of a successful voyage covered the loss of many failures. The wrongdoer was content to run the risk in the eager quest of great gain. ao the candidate and his agents in their eager desire of money. But run all pe. fon, and fits, a seat will run the risk of defeat, and encounter any cost o when I made slave-trading felony, the pirate who had cheerful cindery hazards, would not expose himself to be transported as a the execrable traffic ceased. So it is clear that candidates and their whom no dread of defeat or expense can restrain, will shrink from hazard of an infamous punishment, when they see the treadwheel as well as' the House of Commons at the end of the path which leads fromthe hustings, (Great laughter and che(rs.) "The illustrious statesman to whom I have more than once referred [the Duke of Wellington] engaged me to work with him on a plan the main principle of which he suggested, when a bill came from the Commons for dealing with charges of general corruption in boroughs, and it was appli- cable to all proceedings upon private bills. When moulded into shape, and after alterations and additions, it was of this nature—aury of twelve, se- lected from both Houses (seven Commons and. five Lords wore to examine the evidence, sitting under the presidency of a judge, an to find a verdict which should be binding on all parties as to the facts, and also upon both Houses, who might enact on those facts as they pleased. The proposal elaborated in its details was fully adopted by the Committee to whom the bill had been referred ; and as thus amended, indeed totally changed, it was reported to the House and approved without a dissenting voice. The Commons had no answer to offer ; they admitted the merit of the alterations we had made, and indeed highly approved of our plan. But as it had be- come a new bill rather than the original bill amended, they postponed the further proceeding to another session, and it has unfortunately never been resumed. A few years after, when it became necessary to change the -whole course of proceeding upon private bills, I proposed a set of stauding orders, which were referred to a Select Committee. The 'Duke urged me to bring forward our plan of 1834; and on my expressing an apprehension that we should not carry it in consequence of the gene- rality of the orders, they being applicable in all cases, and not confined to those of boroughs charged with corruption, as the bill of 1834 had been, he said, 'At least let us try it, there being no doubt of its su- perior efficacy ; and, if we are defeated, we can retreat upon your orders.' We made the attempt, and were defeated by a large majority in the com- mittee; but we carried the lesser plan, though with some difficulty, and the House adopted it without a dissentient voice. It forms the standing orders now in fdrce, and after much delay the Commons reluctantly adopted them with some amendments, which were improvements. Now, of course a joint committee of the two Houses would not be applicable to election petitions ; but the most important part of our plan, the committee sitting under the presidency of a judge, would be an immense improvement upon the present system ; and a still greater would be the sending all the allegations of peti- tioners and their adversaries to a permanent Court of Judges, irremoveable, who should report to the House with their opinions, the report to be bind- ing as to the facts only. The House would in almost all cases, though not bound, yet voluntarily accede to the opinion expressed. The institution of a public prosecutor would be the consummation of this plan for the extirpa- tion of all corruption, besides being a very valuable addition to our criminal procedure in general. But even without this important change, the es- tablishment of a tribunal such as has been described would have a powerful effect in checking the corruption so much and so justly complained of." Lord Brougham also expressed an opinion in favour of requiring a stringent declaration from all Members when they take their seats.

The closing paragraph of the address was on the relation of the em- ployer and employed, strikes, combinations, overwork ; questions on which Lord Brougham took a moderate and practical view. After hearing an address on Jurisprudence from Sir William Page Wood, the Association betook itself to its departments, and the business of reading papers began.

The address on Wednesday was from Mr. Adderley on Education. His views on the subject are well known to our readers. The point in his speech was that he decidedly looked to the United States and the free States of the Continent for hints, and emphatically declared that we must not look to Austria, France, or even to Prussia. England is the only civilized country in which the system of education has no element of compulsion. Even in the New England States the State Legislatures look into the affairs of the townships, and compel the initiative to be taken by any township which is found deficient in education. Now, he thought we might take this hint, and so far supplant the system of sub- sidizing as to provide that, when the inspectors reported a want of edu- cation in any part of England, the board in London should have power to send to that locality, and to require them to make provision for the education of the people. Let them have time—twelve months, say—to elicit volun- tary action, but if that was not done, then let the central power direct that the ratepayers should provide a school, and decide among themselves what kind of a school it should be. Many were afraid of too much centralization, but it was, in truth, impossible to succeed without a mixture of the central and local influence, in the United States they had eliminated religious instruction from their schools, and there was a prevalent notion that they conducted it cheaper in consequence, but the fact was that the cost of educa- tion in New England was very nearly the same as in England, where the religious teaching was believed to cause an enormous cost. He hoped they would not go on for ever discouraging themselves by disparaging what was going on in England and exaggerating what was going on in foreign coun- tries. In preparing for this occasion he had been astounded at the ex- aggerations of which the description of education foreign countries mainly consisted. In the case of the United States he found from their own writers that there were great defects in their mode of teaching ; and in Canada loud. complaints were heard of the inferiority of the school commissions in point of education. Looking to the continent of Europe, they found the strongest symptoms of imperfect education.

A very great variety of papers have been read in the departments. Taxation and financial reform occupied attention at a meeting in the saloon of the hall, and in the Ladies' Drawing-room the subject was em- ployments for women.

Among the readers of papers of interest were Mr. Hastings, the Re- verend H. Latham, Dr. Acland, Mr. N. Waterhouse, Mr. F. W. Graham, Dr. Begg, Dr. Holland, Mr. R. Baker, Miss Jessie Parkes, Miss Jesse Boucherette, and Mr. Horace Mann.

Mr. Monekton Milnes read a paper on "Reformation and Punish- ment," advocating the Reformatory system, opposing the views of Mr. Thomas Carlyle and others, and supporting the system practically carried out by Captain Crofton.