South Yorkshire Times July 8, 1950
Ready For Germany
Denaby Youth Party Hear Pre-Visit Tips
With expressions of something approaching consternation, members of Denaby Tom Hill Youth Centre, who are to comprise the first post-war Yorkshire party to take part in Anglo-German youth exchange visits, heard at say preparatory conference on Sunday that they would almost inevitably be asked their opinions on such weighty problems as the dismantling of German industry, the British attitude to the Soviet Union, and the refugee problem in Germany, and democracy.
Mr. H. Bacon, W.E.A. District Organiser, warned them: Remember that Germany is an occupied country and you will be representatives of an occupying power. With that in view you will realise how delicate the situation is and how important it is that you should be ambassadors of Anglo-German goodwill, and show humility and simplicity that will enable the Germans to feel at home with you.
Speaking of the fundamental differences between the English and German forms of government, Mr Bacon said, “remember that the Germans are willing to pay a heavy price to get efficiency, just as we are willing to pay a heavy price for freedom. We like freedom and the Germans like freedom; we like efficiency and Germans like efficiency; but the Germans like efficiency more than freedom, and if they have to sacrifice one they prefer to sacrifice freedom.”
Mr B Hazlitt, an area Youth Officer who recently visited the Ruhr district of Germany, on the border of which the Denaby party will be staying, told a times they will be treated with “almost embarrassing hospitality.”
“The people are anxious,” he said, “to make up for the years when they were not able to give hospitality to English people. They seem to want to make a special effort.” In a German home, he said, the guests was sacred: to be made much of and revered the whole of his visit.
Mr J Jones, County youth Officer said that in England youth organisation, although government grant aided, were still on the largely voluntary nature, and thus they retained their individual characteristics and diversity of activities. In Germany most of the youth organisations were attached to some political or religious groups own to some adult organisation. There activities very limited, consisting largely of sport, folk dancing and singing. In a recent visit to Germany he had not come across any club with any form of self-government. They were all run by a single leader who was in full charge.
Mr G Hopwood, area youth Officer, said he hoped that the members were going to Germany would be an example to the Germans and accredited democratic system which had made them
Mr Tom Hill, president and founder of the club, said that if visit such as the tour projected at team place in 1850 instead of 1950, we would have saved two world wars and it would have been much happier world today.
“I want those who are going to remember that they are pioneers, that they are blazing a trail,” he said.
An outline of the functions and responsibility of an urban council was given by Councillor G Cheshire (Conisbrough), who said the Council were doing their best to obtain Ministry permission to grant aid the party.
Tour Note: The party is to leave for Germany on July 12th and will return to England with their German friends on July 29th. Cost per head will be £13. None of the travellers speaks German and none has been abroad before. The Denaby Main and Cadeby N.U.M. branches have contributed £10 each towards the cost of the Germans’ fare and board.