Daylight Saving

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Daylight Saving is an article published in the Daily Mail on 21 april 1909, including a part of a speech by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Daylight Saving

Daily Mail (21 april 1909, p. 6)

City Call for the Early Rising Bill.

"Follow the Prince of Wales's advice, 'Wake up, England,'" was the happy phrase of Sir William Bull, M.P., in advocating at an enthusiastic meeting in the Guildhall yesterday the Daylight Saving or Early Rising Bill, which is to advance the clock one hour during the summer months.

Business men and women crowded the Guildhall, and supporting the Lord Mayor were Mr. Justice Neville, Sir A. Conan Doyle, Sir Robert Ball, the astronomer; Sir William Treloar; Mr. Pearce, M.P.; Mr. M. Wallace, of the court of Common Council; and Mr. W. Willett, author of the scheme. Letters of regret came from the Bishop of London, Lord Roberts, Dr. Clifford, and the Hon. J. Anderson, who is introducing a similar measure in the Newfoundland Parliament.

Mr. Justice Neville said that if a good fairy put the clocks on an hour we should hardly find out that a trick had been played upon us; if we did discover the trick, we should conclude that it was a good-natured one.

Sir Robert Ball said that there was nothing in the objection that "we are interfering with the great standards of time. We have mean time, a parent time, lead time, sidereal time — a whole family of times; and if a little stranger comes up called summer time we shall give it a very hearty welcome." (Laughter and applause.)

It was then Tuesday on one side of meridian 190 deg., he said, and Wednesday on the other. "I can imagine a Chunchus at the Behring Sea smoking his with one foot in Tuesday and one in Wednesday. Meridians were made for man, not man for meridians. (Laughter.) If we were tyrannised over by meridians it might happen that the time a man got up at would depend, not upon the clock, not upon the sun, not upon the Daylight Saving Bill, not even upon Mr. Willett, but upon which side of the bed he got out of (Laughter.)

Sir A. Conan Doyle heartily believed the Bill an excellent thing. "Of every 100 people in the country ninety-nine would benefit by its passing. The only real objection is that it would set all the sundials wrong. (Laughter.) The need of this age is that people should get more in touch with nature; that they should have a little more fun in their lives; and I think that a measure which sends a man home one hour earlier to his wife and children, gives him a chance to cultivate his garden, and, above all to drill in the Territorials, would be of great benefit to the country." (Applause.)

With only one dissentient a resolution supporting the Bill was carried.