Some little time ago my old friend the Vice Chancellor invited me to lecture hero upon the subject of Garden Cities. The invitation was extended to me doubtless in consequence of my connection with the movement for the redistribution of the people upon the land, as chairman of the board of the first Garden City Ltd.
I gladly availed myself of the offer, anxious as I am, not only that knowledge of the existence of the movement should be widely spread, but also that the reasons for it, and the true nature of the objects underlying it should be thoroughly understood. For the establishment of a Garden City is but the concrete embodiment of a view of the obligations and necessities of a civilised community, which is gradually opening up before our moral apprehension.
The efforts of society may be directed to one of two objects, either the benefit of some of its members at the expense of others, or the benefit of all alike. The first; or astocratic idea might possibly tend to the highest development of individuals, if man were not a moral as well as an intellectual being. We in this country are, however, irrevocably committed to the latter or democratic view of society, and rightly so, for the aristocratic view is inconsistent with the growing demands of the ethical sense of mankind; and it is now recognised that no development of the physical and intellectual powers, at the expense of the moral, can be of permanent advantage. For man is essentially a moral being. He has ever recognised an obligation to an unseen and unknown power, and finds by experience that his happiness is dependent upon the approximation to an ideal, the mystery of which he has since the dawn of human intelligence endeavoured to unravel. The mystery of the universe still remains