Box 13-021 THE TATLER, THE MONTREAL HERALD (WRITTEN BY [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN)
Jul 5 1902
The Montreal Herald, Saturday, July 5, 1902
Fire Hose For Rioters
The action of the Toronto authorities in calling out the militia to quell the riots in connection with the recent street railway strike is evolving a good deal of criticism; and the general opinion appears to be that the step was ill-advised to say the least of it. There is no doubt that the police failed to afford adequate protection to property but it is only when every other means fails that so extreme a measure as an appeal to firearms should be resorted to.
In the present case the most important instrument at the disposal of the civic authorities was entirely ignored. I refer to the fire department. There is nothing that is so well calculated to dampen the ardor of even the most lawless of mobs as a liberal application of cold water. Before the impact of a two-inch stream coming from a hydrant with any pressure behind it, even the most desperate of men must go down like so many ninepins. Once the police had afforded sufficient protection to allow the hose to be connected, two firemen with a single nozzle could hold thousands at bay. Unless they were shot down it would be as impossible to rush their position as if they were armed with a machine gun. The use of firearms is sure to be attended with regrettable and irrevocable results. The victims of a random volley are as likely as not to be inoffensive if indiscreet spectators, women or children.
At any rate the effect is sure to be to increase the antagonism against the users of force even if it be lawful force, and to win sympathy for the offenders. On the other hand, the sight of drenched and dripping rioters is almost certain to provoke ridicule, and so, although this style of water cure may not emphasize the seriousness of the offence, it certainly tends to discourage its continuance.
Conveying Children to School
The consolidating of several small schools into one comparatively large and well-equipped one, to which the children are conveyed at the public expense--a plan which is about to be given a trial in the Province of Quebec, thanks to the beneficence of Sir William McDonald, is something which has been so thoroughly tested and with such satisfactory results in other places, that it can scarcely be looked upon any longer in the light of an experiment. In nearly every case, where it has been tried, opinion seems to be almost unanimous that expenditure has been decreased and better work has been done.
In Victoria, Australia, under the system of conveyance, 341 schools have been closed. The saving in closed schools amounts to about $14,170 per annum. The attendance is so regular and the system so popular that applications are constantly made for its extension.
In eight of the United States, provision is made in the school law for the transportation of pupils in any district where the local board may deem it advisable
A Maine law of 1897 says: "The superintendent of schools in each town shall procure the conveyance of all public school pupils residing in his town to and from the nearest suitable school, for nineteen weeks for which schools are maintained in each year when pupils reside such a distance from the said school as to render consolidation necessary."
A law in New Hampshire provides that town school boards may use a portion of the school money, not exceeding 25 percent, for the purpose of conveying children to and from schools.
In Vermont the law says that upon the application of ten tax payers in any town the school-director shall furnish transportation to any and all children residing one and a half miles or more from any school; but the aggregate cost of such conveyance shall not exceed twenty-five per cent of all the schools moneys.
A provision of the school law of Connecticut authorizes town school boards to unite schools "when, in their judgment, the number of pupils is so small that the maintenance of a separate school is inexpedient" and provide transportation for the pupils.
The New York law of 1896 provides for a tax of conveyance of pupils by vote of inhabitants.
A law of 1894 in New Jersey and one of 1897 in Nebraska provides for transportation of pupils.
It is in Massachusetts however, that the plan has probably gone through the most thorough test. And although it has been adopted in many instances to meet the decrease in population in rural districts, there is no apparent reason why the principles involved should not apply equally well to the sparsely settled sections of Quebec.
In 1869 the Legislature of Massachusetts enacted a law authorizing any town in the State to raise taxation or otherwise appropriate money to be expended by the school committee in their discretion in providing for the conveyance of pupils to and from the public schools. From that time to this, each year has showed an increase in the amount expended for conveyance. In 1888-1889 the expenditure was only $22,118.38. Ten years later is was $127,400.22, and last year it was $151,778.47, an increase of more than ten thousand dollars over the preceding year. The number of town and cities that report expenditures from conveyance has now reached 274, and the expenditures range all the way from $6.25 in Hatfield to $2,640.75 in Lexington.
At first the authority was used mainly to convey pupils to the high school. Within a few years, however, many communities have used this authority to increase the educational advantages of the children who live in districts at a distance from the center of population. In many of the towns of the State depopulation of the districts outside of the villages has made it cheaper to transport to other schools than to teach them "in situ." In other towns the desire to make strong concrete schools, and the purpose to give all of the children of the town the benefit of better appliances, better teachers and better supervision, have been the dominant motives to determine consolidation. There is a substantial agreement that results have been satisfactory. Sixty percent of the towns report the cost as less but the results as better; 15 per cent cost the same but results better; which now report less satisfactory results. So that there is no doubt that the weight of opinion is decidedly in favor of consolidation of schools, as being in the line of economy and efficiency.
Surely it is time that a check was called on the extravagance of flag-worship. In Boston a medal has been presented to a policeman for having rescued the sacred emblem from desecration by a sacrilegious ragman who was using it to carry old junk. The ragman was fined twenty dollars. The inscription on the medal states that it was "presented to Officer George H. McCaffrey by citizens of Boston in recognition of his patriotism for arresting a man for desecration of the American flag."
A Youthful Miser
As soon as the average boy or girl is old enough to tell a 5c piece from a trousers button their conscientious parents invariably consider it necessary to begin to inculcate ideas of economy. The child is restrained from indulging to the limit its appetite for candy and its desire for the playthings of childhood. The father usually buys a cheap iron bank and the process of making the child a miser begins. To the eternal glory of childhood it usually fails. For pitiful as is the sight of a spendthrift grown old and in want, it is pleasant to look upon in comparison with the spectacle of a miser--young or old.
There is now a young man in Columbus University of whom the children of
to-day may hear much thirty or forty years hence. What they hear is likely to be to his credit. His name is Marcellus Hartley Dodge. He inherited $60,000,000 when his grandfather died a few months ago.
The index of this young man's character is revealed by his penuriousness. He lives in a little room and walks to save streetcar fare, unless the place to which he wishes to go is more than three miles away. He never spends a cent unless it is absolutely necessary.
When teaching their children lessons of economy parents should be careful to explain the difference between economy and penuriousness. One is a virtue and the other a vice. They should also explain that money is valuable only as an agency for doing good.
The Art of Living
The art of living is a broad and beautiful subject. It is well, and to my thinking, quite necessary, for men and woman to dip into it as deeply as their mental equipment and, the stature of their souls will allow. It is an art too much neglected in these hurried days, when time is counted off in minutes of days, and days of months. The tendency toward material gain, the craving for position and personal place, the increasing appetite for fame and fashion are all loathe to its development and growth. Deserving of the highest and most prominent place in the catalogue of human attachments, it is very often made secondary to those far inferior. To "get along" in the world seems the goal of the newer generation rather than to live well. This is not strange, nor is it a phase of the times to be greatly feared. Like most things, time is needed to right it--time and the work and words of those who see above the mountaintops of materialism into the clear sky of peace and the sprit. Out of the marsh will grow and bloom the best flowers of the future. The mistakes of today are the foundation on which we build the monuments of tomorrow.
In that brief creed of living which comes to us from Robert Lewis Stevenson, are set the guide posts to a good conception of life and its duties than is in many a bulky book. To some it is a part of what they know; to others it is unknown. See what it is to you:
"To be honest, to be kind. To care a little and spend a little less. To make, upon
the whole, a family happier for his presence. To renounce when it shall be necessary and not be embittered. To keep a few friends, but these without capitulation--above all on the same grim condition: to keep friends with himself. Here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy."