The phrase is often misused - nevertheless, I am going without fear to say that I think it an honour to comply with your invitation to write a brief preface to this book. Ever since those days when you showed me in Birmingham the evidences of the work of the committee of which you were the chairman I had looked forward to the publication of Practical Housing, for I knew that if you could set forth the methods which you have there pursued, the feet of many willing and ardent reformers would be set upon an ordered and well defined track. I for one would gladly traverse many dusty miles to achieve the ends to which you aspire; but there is no dust in the pleasant paths of this volume, which I read at a single sitting with absorbed interest and with general and cordial agreement.
In the problems of social reform presented by an old and complex civilisation such as ours we are often confronted by the pathetic spectacle of men so in?amed by the contemplation of evil and suffering that in their reforms they choose speed and violence in preference to patient persuasion. The strong hand is of course here and there necessary and must always be known to be in reserve. But good constructive workers in fields strewn with the débris of past mistakes must be cautious; must not enlist on the side of ancient abuses the sentiment of Justice which revolts against the sacrifice of the individual for those general errors for which the community is responsible, and must bear steadily in mind that impatience of financial burthen especially in the form of rates which, as we must all recognise, is a primary and powerful political motive among our people.
The student of your book will find illustrations of vour firm grasp of these truths in your preference of the slower and far cheaper methods of Part II. Of the Housing Act of 1890 (recently confirmed by a valuable and weighty report of the Mansion House Council, and in the general attitude you advocate as becoming in a public authority towards property owners; by your suggestion of careful and patient explanation of the precise improvements which owners are compellable to make, their specification and cost; by yourpleas for some reasonable elasticity in respect of bye-laws, and for time for making improvements so necessary in this sphere of business, and by your recognition of the value of conference and co-operation as distinguished from official decrees made without consultation and enforced without consideration.
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Publisher - Forgotten Books
Language - English
Author(s) - John Sutton Nettlefold
Published Date - August 27 2019
ISBN - 9780266282280
Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm
Page Count - 236
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