214 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
name was mainly performed by Mr. Roberts, its Secretary, who wrote a book afterwards in which his results were included. He was greatly helped by Sir Rawson Rawson, who was a member of the Committee. The rest of the Committee did little more than discuss subjects and methods, but even that little was helpful. I was its Chairman, but claim no more than an insignificant share in its success.
Again, many years later, in 1888-1889, I was desirous that a proposal of mine should be seriously considered, of awarding marks for physical efficiency in competitive literary examinations. I read my memoir, the Association took it up, and the results of some experiments at Eton and many valuable communications were received in reply, including a careful minute from a high authority of the War Office. These convinced me that although the proposal had strong a priori claims to consideration, it did not merit acceptance ; so it was dropped.
Many other examples of a similar kind could be quoted, some failing, most succeeding. The British Association in its early days was of still greater value than it is now. At that time locomotion was tedious, and the numerous scientific societies of the present day that issue frequent publications had not come into existence. Local men of science who had been socially overlooked were brought forward to their rightful position by its means. It has frequently happened that an improvement in a town was furthered or even initiated through a visit of the British Association. The papers read there and discussions upon
them are not the most important part of its work