Editor: F. G. CLARIDGE.
All but one or two of the boys leaving last year after completing the Sixth-form course are now in the Forces, and the time is drawing near when this year's Sixth-form must exchange the pen for the sword. here are some who object to conscription on purely moral or conscientious grounds, but recently a situation has arisen causing many people to ponder the wisdom of continuing with this scheme for many years, as the Government apparently intends to do. This situation is the extremely grave economic crisis in the country, aggravated by the crucial shortage of manpower. Under present arrangements all boys on reaching the age of eighteen are conscripted and serve from one to two years, during which time their services in a productive capacity are lost to the community. Few dispute the necessity at the moment for a sufficient number ot troops to meet our commitments abroad, but these "commitments" must come to an end at some time.Is it guaranteed, however, that with their ending conscription will cease ? Surely the Government does not hope to maintain world peace with the help of compulsorily raised armies, for this idea is as great a fallacy as the conception of peace through unequal disarmament prevalent in the inter-war period. Then the argument may be advanced that we should "be prepared." Were France, Belgium, Jugaslavia-all with conscripted armies-were these countries "prepared" in 1939 and 1940? A much stronger case must be put forward for the maintenance of conscription in the years come than these arguments provide. It has been stated that valuable manpower in this country will gradually but inexorably decease, and a great effort will have to be made if we are not to sail to the economic doldrums. Nothing is more definite than the fact that in this position we should be able to do absolutely nothing to maintain peace, and the best use should therefore be made of the resources which we possess. It is questionable that eighteen-year-olds will be best employed in military training. Add to conscription the raising of the school-leaving age and it will be seen that after working for approximately two years, a boy would have his career interrupted, and for several months would be "maintaining order" in a foreign country. Multiply this by thousands, and the wastage is obvious, Nobody wants to retard the raising of the school-leaving age, and we can only hope that the Government will see its way to abolishing conscription, not only on moral grounds-too often pushed to to fore-but on the grounds of the country's obvious economic need. In conclusion, we offer no excuses for the choice of subject in this editorial, and for treating it at such length, as we think it is a question which concerns, or will concern, every boy attending the School, and one which we hope will figure much more in intelligent discussion.
F. G. C.
Editor: W. S. HARPIN
Assistant Editor: C. O. MORGAN
Now that the physical scars of war have largely disappeared, there is a tendency to ignore it as though it were completely effaced. It has become increasingly apparent that six years of war have engraved deeply on the mind of the nation mental scars which will be far more difficult to eradicate. The country as a whole has become apathetic, an attitude which is a strong contrast to that shown during the war. Indeed, the country is almost complacent about the present and future, despite the presence of a crisis whose gravity it is impossible to mistake. We are faced with a similar attitude and similar developments in the School, although the scale and manifestations are different. Such a feeling is revealed in some ways in School life, and nowhere more clearly than in the esponse to the request for articles for the magazine. The attitude has now developed beyond the apathetic stage and there is a minority, happily decreasing, of boys who regard any exertion on their part outside strictly educational activity as unthinkable. Despite the number of boys in the School capable of contributing, the magazine has had to depend on, at the most, fifteen people to supply the requisite articles. The present condition of some societies also illustrates this attitude of indifference. In the School Council the original purpose of the meeting and of the organisation has been too often lost in the general levity and lack of constructive spirit. It has been said that to get anything from the School you must be prepared to give something in return. Unfortunately, there are at present people in the School who gain some reflected glory from its reputation and achievements without attempting to add to them by their own exertions. Their presence is a continual drag on development, but there are clear indications that their numbers are decreasing rapidly, while each new influx of boys brings an increasingly large proportion of enthusiasts. The most encouraging sign is the continued upward trend in the standard of school sport. which achieves results comparable to the best in the past. The recent examination results indicate that the educational standard is being well maintained. A new spirit is already apparent in the School: it is to be hoped that this article will assist in stimulating it to be universally strong.