29 JUNE 1912, Page 27


[To THE EDITOR OP THE "SPECTATOR.") snt,—Mr. Austen Chamberlain has recently told Us how having submitted it to four approved tests "no fund can be more confidently recommended to the generous than the Children's Country Holidays Fund." The fund faces every year the 800,000 children in the elementary schools—half of whom never leave London for one night—with the hope of giving a fortnight of country pleasure to the most ailing. Last year 45,174 were sent, and brought home not only health but memories of strange delights, new knowledge discovered by themselves, and refreshing experience of life in a cottage home. The children are selected from schools all over London by the care of thousands of visitors, no district being specially favoured, and their eyes are opened by pre- vious talks and a personal letter on the wonders and beauties of the countryside. It may lie fairly claimed that the children benefit more through the new thoughts which come to their Minds and the new friendships which come to their hearts than through the fresh air which comes to their bodies. Each cottager whose cottage is visited and approved by a country correspondent receives 10s, for the fortnight's hospi- tality, and last year over 27,000 was paid in railway fares. The parents, contributing according to their means, gave £10,329, but many are unable to give more than a couple of shillings and some can give nothing. The fund last year raised 222,605, but as the railway fares have this year been increased by I2i per cent. 2800 more must be raised to send even the same number of children, and then there are many more who, with pale faces and wistful longing, are pleading to be sent. May I 'ask, therefore, for largo and ready gifts from all thoie who know and feel how good a thing it is that Loudon children should have such a holiday this summer? Ten shillings is a small sum often lightly spent, but for a London child it can change fourteen weary days on the pave- ments for fourteen joyful days in the fields. Contributions may be sent to the Earl of Arran, Children's Country Holidays Fund, 18 Buckingham Street, Strand, W.C.—I am, [We sincerely trust that our readers will not overlook Canon Barnett's appeal.—En. Spectator.]