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PROTECTION OF CHILDREN   129

by him in bringing about a revolution in the attitude of society towards children who may be described as neglected and dependent. The wise plan of the original Act, which has been preserved through numerous revisions and amendments, adopted the principle of the encouragement of local effort in dealing with such cases by adding the legal power required to make the action of local bodies effectual, while providing for a central office to advise and direct the work and supply assistance where, owing to the sparse settlement of the country and other difficulties, it would be impossible for the work to be carried on in any other way. The result, perhaps not foreseen at the first, has been to enlist the sympathetic and active co-operation of an army of earnest and intelligent citizens, and to set up an entirely new. standard of duty towards the less fortunate younger members of our population. In spite of the many difficulties due to a certain distrust of legislation of this class, the necessity of limiting the expenditure, and the consequent circumscribing of the field of operations so far as the central office was concerned, the


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