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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

210

mother had a rock garden. My father as a boy was interested
in chemical experiments, and one day thought it would be
interesting to see what would happen if he buried a charge
of gunpowder in the rockery. He did so, and the experiment
was a great success—the rock garden went up into the air.
" Unfortunately, when my grandfather returned in the
evening he took a rather serious view of the incident, and asked
my father where he got the gunpowder. He said he had
purchased it with threepence borrowed from a school friend
—and corporal punishment was then administered. After the
ordeal was over my grandfather said: ' Remember what I
am about to say to you. I have punished you not because
you blew up your mother's rockery, but because you have
borrowed money which you have no means of repaying.
Remember when you want money come to me, and then you
will not have to repay it.'
" Although my grandfather was rather a stern parent, his
principles were admirable. They have not been forgotten
either by his son or his grandson, both of whom lived to be
Chancellors of the Exchequer.
" But there was something else in the example of my
father's life which impressed me very deeply when I was a
young man, and which has greatly influenced me since I took
up a public career. I suppose most people think of him as a
great Colonial Secretary and tariff reformer, but before ever
he went to the Colonial Office he was a great social reformer,
and it was my observance of his deep sympathy with the
working classes and his intense desire to better their lot which
inspired me with an ambition to do something in rny turn to
afford better help to the working people and better oppor-
tunities for the enjoyment of life.
" At first I thought anything I could do in that direction
would be done locally in serving on the council of my native
city, but when afterwards I decided to enter upon national
politics, the background was still the same, and I have not
yet lost sight of it. Since I was a young man great improve-
ments have taken place in our social services. In those days
there was no free education, old-age and widows5 pensions,
no health and unemployment insurance, no maternity and
child welfare centres, no working-men's compensation. The-