B. Seebohm Rowntree   C.H., LL.D., D.H.L., R.St.O.O. 
1871 -1954

In Memoriam

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THE death of Mr. B. Seebohm Rowntree removes from among us one who has exerted a profound influence in the realm of social legislation for the past 50 years. To the great mass of people his name is probably unknown; yet it deserves to be remembered with gratitude in every worker's home. For there can be few men who have played a greater part in preparing the way for the Welfare State. His contribution to the national progress was made by a lifetime's study of the problem of poverty in large towns, and by the patient uncovering and. marshalling of facts which, once fully grasped, moved Parliament to action. In undertaking this work he was prompted by the deep humanity which characterised him and which formed part of his family tradition. But that work was done always in a spirit of scientific inquiry. The value of the great surveys of workers' living :conditions which he and his helpers produced lay in their accuracy and their freedom from any taint of political prejudice or propaganda.

But his work for social progress did not end with the disclosure of what needed to be done. Seebohm Rowntree was not the ice-cold statistician, remote from his fellow-men, the social re- former who shows great concern for mankind in the mass but lacks the human touch. He introduced pioneer schemes in his own works for pensions and profit-sharing. He deve1oped with enthusiasm the model village for his workpeople, built at New Earswick. He did invaluable work for the drama in York. He threw the gardens of his home open to the public daily. And, a sure sign of the genuine human warmth that Jay behind his zeal for reform, he encouraged children to use the large cricket field adjoining his gardens and had it equipped with swings, slides and other diversions for their enjoyment. He was a full man and he wished his fellow-citizens to find fullness of life not only on the material but on the spiritual plane. His memory will remain an inspiration.

(By kind pemission of the Editor of " The Yorkshire Post")