20 OCTOBER 1939, Page 17


Happy Exiles

Extremely cheerful accounts reach me from the extremities of our island of the influence of evacuation in imparting the rural bias about which our educational authorities talk much and do little. The highlands of Scotland and the Cornish- Riviera are in question. One ardent Scottish patriot who has been not a little distressed at this progressive depopulation

of rural Scotland is convinced from reports that reach him that a good solid proportion of the boys whose school has

been transferred from town to country have reached the conviction that country life is best. In imitation of Stevenson they have said : Bed in the bush with the stars to see, Bread to dip in the river ; That is the life for a boy like me, That is the life for ever.

Both the Scottish and the Cornish successes concern secondary schoolboys, not elementary. The child who has been brought up in the slums offers a different problem.