2 OCTOBER 1942, Page 13

SIR,—I share with you and, I hope, may others, your

undisguised horror of the last Conservative report on education, but I disagree with your prophecy that nothing further it likely to be heard of it. It seems probable that many people in the Conservative party, and possibly also in the Socialist party, would thoroughly agree with the principles under-' lying it. Compulsion and coercion of youth into the service of "the State " with embryonic State worship form alike the basis of this report and the_basis_ of the Fascist, and Nazi . doctrines. It is astounding that

while the nation is in the throes of its present struggle, a responsible party with a large majority in Parliament should have the face to publish such a document.

It is effusions like these which show how sadly this country needs a revival of the Liberal party, with its ideals of liberty. It is true that the nation is and always will be undivided in its resolution to fight and destroy any foreign tyrant who dares to raise head. But unfortunately there seem to be not a few who, while they would lay down their lives against the alien, are perfectly prepared to submit to a tyranny of Anglo- Saxon blood and speech Is it not an elementary truth that the basic function of government is to provide the conditions for the natural and full development of the souls, minds and bodies of its subjects? Is it not equally elementary that the primary condition of such development is the liberty of the indi- vidual? In times of national danger it is necessary temporarily to restrict or remove that liberty so that the nation may survive; but it should be the aim of government.to work for the liberation of the people as soon as the danger has been destroyed.

It is unfortunate that truth is so often obscured for the majority by political slogans, which are never more than half truths, and which often acquire a completely false meaning. " Freedom from want " sounds not only harmless but laudable; everyone should be free from the fear of want. But such a slogan in the mouths of politicians soon comes to mean " freedom from responsibility," which is identical with slavery. Freedom with responsibility is sense, for the two are inseparable. No one can take responsibility without freedom, and none can attain freedom without accepting responsibility. The whole trend of modern legislation has been to relieve the individual of responsibility, and thus to bring him nearer to slavery. The report on education is merely one more step in the same direction. It is designed to relieve the parent of some more of his responsibilities.

In conclusion I had better state that I am no reactionary advocate of low wages, servile workers and wealthy self-important employers, nor yet of mass unemployment and doles. I am convinced that it is only by giving back to the individual his responsibilities and his freedom that we can build a self-respecting and intelligent nation.—Yours faithfully, D. G. PUMFRETT. Heathfield, Heathside Road, Woking.