WE CONFESS we are not thrilled by the news that the Standing Committee of the National Assembly has appointed a new committee “whose action”, we read, “may mark an epoch in the attitude of the Church to social matters generally and especially to industrial questions, which are to receive special attention”. The business of the committee is to consider the question of organizing as a department of the Assembly’s work a social service committee, to deal with the Church’s relation to social work generally, especially with reference to moral and temperance work. The Archbishops’ Committee appointed a year or two ago for a similar purpose issued a report, which, though it did honour to the hearts of its members, could not be regarded as a very statesmanlike piece of work. The appointment of the new committee may mean that the findings of the old are best forgotten. But whether that be so or no, it appears to us as altogether premature to consider the organization of any department of the National Assembly for social or other work. The National Assembly has quite enough to do in discharging its functions of initiating ecclesiastical legislation, without being saddled with the responsibility for social and other theories and, presumably, with attempts to carry them into effect.
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