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M0DERN science, like modern warfare, operates on an ever-widening front, and the co-operation of industry is being increasingly sought in both cases to assist the professional fighting forces.
A.H. Douglas and F.R. Himsworth
THE structural engineer, when designing the construction of buildings to be erected in the area under the jurisdiction of the London County Council, must keep foremost in his mind the requirements of the London Building Acts. These Acts deal primarily with methods of construction and every structural engineer should possess as complete a knowledge of their requirements as he possesses of the principles of structural engineering. To understand the present legislation it is necessary to possess a knowledge of construction in every kind of material. I have always taken it as an axiom "that what is good structural engineering is good building Act,” and this paper will I hope make it apparent that this axiom is true. It has always appeared to me that the principal difficulty in mastering the London Building Act is the lack of information on the earlier Acts which would give the student an opportunity of appreciating the derivation of the principal clauses in their present form. After reading all the Acts relating to building in London which have been placed on the statute book since 1667 I decided to take certain sections in the London Building Act, 1930, and to trace them back to their inception. The results of these investigations were so illuminating to me that I have ventured to offer some of them to you to-night in the form of this paper.
The President (Mr. R. H. Harry Stanger, F.C.S.A.M.Inst.C.E.), said he had noticed that the authorities responsible for education for the engineering profession tried to cram an immense amount of work into a very short time. Whereas a generation ago a young man
studying for the engineering profession would spend three years at College and could acquire a fairly good knowledge of his subjects in that period, in modern times, science having become so vast, a man had to devote almost the whole of his life to his stmudies. With regard to the problem of examination, the President expressed his agreement with the policy of the Institution’s late President, who had insisted that if he wished to examine any of the candidates orally after the examination papers had been sent in he was to be allowed to do so, because he had found that many men were almost incapable of indicating on paper the real extent of their knowledge. The President urged that teaching staffs should support that policy, so that men who really had the requisite knowledge should receive their diplomas or degrees, even though, in their papers, they might have made a number of silly mistakes which in the ordinary course of events they would never make; not everyone had the temperament for