Task 1: Rhetorical

•  Read the section ‘Writing to persuade- Key Techniques’

•  As you read the speech you will find lots of examples of “QUES QUES FOARR”

•  For this exercise, point to the parts of the speech where Rowntree uses rhetorical questions or anecdote.

“There is another improvement in the city, upon which we may look with unalloyed satisfaction. I refer to the vastly increased purity of our municipal and parliamentary elections.

As a young man, I saw shortly after a municipal election, a tradesman sitting at his shop door with a bowl of half-crowns at his side, with no sense of shame, paying out the coin to those who had voted for him.

Another incident I recall is that of a man who, in the Exhibition square, asked me for alms, urging, as his principal plea that the £3 which he had received for his Parliamentary vote had been stolen from him.

I am tempted to add one other, and can assure you that I am not drawing upon my imagination. One evening a working man called to see me. I knew his character well, and that I could safely have trusted large sums of money in his hands.

He wanted to consult me upon a question of conscience about which he felt difficulty. He had been visited by the agent of one of the parliamentary candidates, to whom he had promised his vote, having either received or been promised a certain sum for it. Afterwards the agents of the other candidate visited him and offered him so much for his vote.

The question upon which he wanted my opinion was whether I thought it would be right to take money from both. The thought that he ought not to take money from either had apparently never entered his mind.

Not alone in the prevention of disease are great possibilities within our reach Elementary education has done much, but it needs to be followed up. The waste of mind and character that goes on through the insufficient provision of the mental and physical development of children after they leave school is an evil that needs to be grappled with.

So far then I have dwelt upon the remarkable improvements in the conditions of life in which the City Council has played so great a part. But if we make a true survey of the life of our city we know there is another side to it. Which of us has not known cases such as this, bewildering in their difficulty and in the impossibility of offering any satisfactory solution?

The bread winner in the family breaks down in health; his wages cease; with illness the expenses in the family are more likely to increase than to diminish. For a time the payments for the sick club are available, but at last come to an end. The rent begins to fall behindhand; the neighbouring shop, which has given some credit, refuses to increase it.

The children, too young to earn wage, are insufficiently led; the overtaxed and ill-fed mother is in danger of breaking down; the landlord, who has given some reasonable credit, says that he cannot extend it, and that the family must leave at an early date. The only asset to fall back upon is the furniture purchased by the savings before marriage, or in the early period of married life.

If brought to the hammer it will realise much less than had been given for it, and the family will be left destitute.

In despair, the mother appeals to one with the question” “What shall I do?” Perhaps by a gift we relive the momentary distress, but in doing so we feel the inadequacy, almost the heartlessness, of any counsel we can offer.

Sometimes, of course, the bread-winner dies before the children are able to bring any wage; or the man himself is less bright than his fellows, and in times of full trade is the first to be discharged. Or if the man is skilful, failure of eyesight may destroy the market value of his skill. Or, again, changes in the process of manufacture may render valueless skill laboriously acquired. Or a change of fashion, or a general dullness of trade swell the ranks of the unemployed.

What street in the working-class districts of the city is there without homes in which tragedies of one or another of these types are to be known? We are apt to comfort ourselves with the thought that the sterner virtues are developed in association with poverty, and this is often true. But poverty is one thing, and destitution is another.

The hopelessness, the heart-breaking misery of those who are eager to work but cannot find it, whose homes are broken up, who are unable to give to their children the shelter and the care they need, who feel that whatever effort is put forth is likely to end in failure, this condition saps the strength and is altogether evil.”