but on no
Pages 5

The year which is drawing towards its close has been marked in the annals of social reform, not only by the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, but by the unprecedented awakening of the moral sense of vast masses of the population of this country which preceded and caused its triumph. For years this sense had appeared dormant, but it was slowly growin~ in strength owing to the painful but faithful labours of a comparatively timall body of men and women, and burst into a flame on the publication of a series of articles in th~ Pall Jfall Gazette. There was nothing new iu the "revelations" of the Secret Commission. The workers in Rescue and Protection Societies had long been familiar with such facts, and knew that only part, and n0t the worst part of the story was told. But what was new was that a Lon<:Ion paper of high standing should have the courage to break through the silence of years, and print them. The effect was instantaneous, national indignation leaped to life. The Bill, which for four years had dragged its slow length along with little hope of becoming law, and whiuh was treated with such indifference by members, who were the accredited representatives of the people, that, on June 22nd, a quorum was found with difficulty in the House of Commons, after which it was talked out-under the impulse of this indignation was discussed in a House more crowded than was ever known at the close of a Session, was improved, made m0re stringent and passed in little more than a month. The aims of the Bill are already known to all the friends and well-wishers of the work of Rescue and Reform ; its details can only be mastered by careful study of its clauses. In some points it requires, and will probably receive in the present Parliament, improvement. But the chief guarantee for the efficiency of the new law is the establishment of aetive Vigilance Committees of men and

women to enforce its provisions and co-operate with existing associations for the protection and rescue of girls. These committees have be~n already established in many large towns. Moral questions have formed part of the education of nearly every candidate, and an immense number stand pledged to ask for the total Repeal of the C.D. Acts. For almost the first time in the bi~tory of thei,;e painful social questions, the necessity for the earnest and religious co-operation of women with men in order to remove these great evils has. been accepted by the national conscience.