Page:Britain's Deadly Peril.djvu/70

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class, the duty of the State is clear: they must be suitably maintained for the rest of their lives at the State's charges. With regard to the second class, I do most sincerely hope that they will not be thrown into the world with a small wounds pension and left to sink or swim as fortune and their scattered abilities may dictate. It is for us to remember that these men have given their health and strength that we might live in safety and peace, and we shall be covering ourselves with infamy if we fail to make proper provision for them.

As I have already said, they do not want charity. They want work, and I venture to here make an earnest appeal to the public to take up the cause of these men with all its generous heart. First and foremost, such of them as are capable should be given absolute preference in Government and municipal offices, where there are thousands of posts that can be filled even by men who are partially disabled. Every employer of labour should make it his special duty to find positions for as many of these men as possible: there are many places in business houses that can be quite adequately filled by men of less than ordinary physical efficiency. Most of all, however, I hope the Government will, without delay, take up the great task of finding a way of setting these men to useful work of some kind. In the past much has been done in this direction by the various private agencies which interest themselves in the care of discharged soldiers. A war of such magnitude as the present, however, must bring in its wake a demand for work and organisation on a scale far beyond private effort; and if the disabled soldier is to be adequately cared for, only the resources of the State can be equal to the need.