Sunday, October 1, 2023

50 Years Ago: Children and Empire (1973)

The 50 Years Ago column from the October 1973 issue of the Socialist Standard

The special correspondent of the Daily News, reporting the speech of Dr. Vaughan Cornish, President of the Geographical Section of the British Association, writes:—
‘In his opinion, if you are to do your duty to the Empire you must have at least four children. He made it clear that you should not invite children into the world for their own pleasure and amusement, but should enlist them as it were, in an army for home defence.

‘In his view, it appeared, children were merely potential soldiers.

'In order to have strategic security in this island’, he insisted, ‘we must be able to meet the air force of a European combination as well as to carry out our traditional plan of dispatching a powerful expeditionary force for the support of a friendly power. This active defence requires a large population.’
(Daily News 14.9.1923).
Imagine urging us to increase our families so that our children may provide food for guns! And the monuments to the ‘glorious dead’ are still being covered with wreaths though their dependants cannot find the necessary covering to shelter them from the inclement weather.

(From an unsigned editorial Produce More — Children in the Socialist Standard, October 1923).

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