THE HOMES OF FRANCE. Their Glory and Their Grandeur. [BY CAPT. D. D. SHEEHAN, M.P.] I had heard much of French thrift and industry before the war, but if I had not seen it for myself I could never have believed that any people in the world could be so intensely practical and so thoroughly hard-working. We are so occupied with ourselves and our own difficulties of food production and rationing and the like that we scarcely ever stop to think how is it faring with our Allies? How are the French situated as regards these things, and has the Minister of Agriculture the same diffi- culties that try the soul of our own Mr. Prothero? During the two years I was in France I never saw any lack of home-grown food in any part of it, and the Northof France particularly was beautifully cultivated. There was scarcely a rood of land that was not under the plough. Of course, agri- cultural conditions there are far different from what they are in this benighted land, where the farmer and landowner alike have been left to rule it along in the good old, stolid, indifferent British fashion. France is a nation of small peasant proprietors, who are bred and brought up to the business of extracting the last possible ounce of productivity out of the soil. It is of the industry and activities of the French peasantry I would write. When we had done,our turn of duty in the trenches, we were frequently sent to rest and recuperate in what are colloquially termed back billets." The men were for the most part distributed in the barns and unoccupied houses of the place, whilst the officers, more favoured, were billeted in the homes of the people. And so it came to pass that we became very intimate with their manner of living. We got to understand their habits and their customs. We saw them under every changing cir- cumstance of their daily routine and, speaking for myself, a great respect, esteem, and, I may add, even affection sprung up within me for those hardy, wholesome, untiring folk, who knew the value of work and who seamed to find in the performance of duty its own absolute and sufficient blessing. I am all for giving Labour in this O country its due and proper reward. I fwear against sweated conditions, imposed by an inhuman shark for his own aggran- disement. But what do these wonderful Frerch people do voluntarily and as the i merest matter of course? Summer and winter they are up at five o'clock in the morning, and sometimes earlier. They are tending their cattle, and looking after their household affairs. They are up and about! And their children, down to a very young age, share and assist in their labours. The discipline of the young by the French mother must be seen to be believed. I do not know how the children of France regard the tie of fatherhood. The fathers were all away at the wars in my experience. But the mothers exact the most implicit obedience, and will not hesitate to visit an offender with chastise- ment, even in the presence of a stranger. And it is the mothers and the children and the grandfathers who have tilled the land of France whilst the fathers and the sons and the brothers and the sweethearts are away doing the soldier's duty-fight- ing for the beloved Motherland. The soul of France is a beautiful thing, and I have often wondered who keep it most vivified with the light of eternal and unfading grandeur—the men who so gloriously lay down their lives or the women who so gladly and grandly give the offering of their daily and nightly service that France may live and liberty endure Enough that these things are, and that we should take inspiration from them. The best that we can do-let there be no mistake or misunderstanding about it- will not outrival the commonplace cf French life as I saw it in war-time. The French live well and wholesomely. They never sti-it themselves or their children of 2'ood and sufficient food. Cafe au lait. Well. I winder how our Tommies are going to do without it when they come back to dear Old England for good and all ? Ard hew would our British mothers relish the thought of giving their children a glass of good red wine for dinner and supper? I can imagine them thinking of the delicate stomachs of their dear ones, or perhaps speculating upon the danger? that an early acquaintance with drink is likely to provoke. But what is the fact ? France, whose children have their daily glass or two of wine, is the most sober country in the world, and is also the most vivacious. It understands life, and it has the joy cf life—and, be it noted, there is no nation in the world readier to sacrifice for great cadres when the great call comes. These, however, are digressions. My purpose was to let those who will read thip which I write know that the women cf France have literally put their hands to the plough when their men-folk were rot there to do fO. Thev have cared for the Foil, and watered the kine, and tended the herd? and flocks, and kept the windmills ever merrilv goirg with the corn that they reaped. Their labours, have borne fruit abundantly. A new France, a glorious France, a ftainless France, must arise out cf the 1 dust of this awful conflict. May we, emulating the women and children of France in their humility as well as in their glory of labour, and in the uncomplaining way in which they bear their burden, be equally worthy of a great destiny, l
OUR SURE SHIELD. THE NAVY'S STUPENDOUS WORK AND ITS READINESS FOR BATTLE. -I [By special permission of the Daily Graphic." Somewhere in Scotland, in a land-locked arm of the sea, lies the Grand Fleet, the iiammer-head of that vast Navy which alone has made war possible and victory sure for this country and her Allies. Mile after mile of great and little fighting ships, they lie folded away between low green capes of pasture, closa neighbours to the domesticity of the villages, a visible and plain token of that part which every inhabitant of these islands and of this Empire possesses in the suzerainty of theseas. A Calculation in Millions. The supreme task of the Navy has been to make secure on all the seas of the world the transportation of men, material, and food. Between the date of the declaration of war and June 30th last the needs of the Allies have involved the carriage by sea of some twenty million men, two million animals, and about a hundred and ten million tons of naval and military stores. The submarine war intensified and waxed to its greatest violence; yet the great work of supply and transportation went forward with never an interruption; there was never a time when the Allied path towards the ultimate victory was closed. The Navy, which in August, 1914, had comprised warships and auxiliary vessels to a total of two and a half million displacement tons, had swelled auxiliary vesels to a total of two and a- half millions; its personnel had grown from 146,000 to nearly 400,000; and of the twenty millions of men embarked and transported the total losses due to enemy action up to April 27th, 1918, had only reached the relatively small figure of 3,282 —roughly, equal to one lost for each six ZD thousand carried. Fighting the Submarine. With the advent of the unrestricted submarine warfare the task of the Navy to secure our communications across the sea became rapidly systematised; a whole new science of sea warfare shaped itself; to be mastered in time to meet America's entry into the war and safeguard the pas- sage of her troops across the Atlantic Thes3 by July 27th had reached a total of well over one million of whom about half were transported in British ships, involv- ing the organisation of fifty-one ocean escorts and 393 destroyer escorts, and escort and convoy duties had imposed upon our ships more than a million and a quarter miles of steaming a month. Be- sides this, the submarine situation called for the ceaseless activities of the whole fleet of patrol and similar vessels, whose work in home waters carries them not less than six million miles a month. The American share in the work cf guarding her own transports was prompt and valuable. Up to July 27th, 556,195 men had been ferried to Europe in Ameri- can ships, escorted by forty ocean escorts of American ships and 335 destroyer escorts. Why Germany Failed. It is by the figures, the unassailable official figures of miles and tons, that one pins down to reality the tale of the daily miracle by virtue of which alone Great Britain and her Allies live and continue the struggle. That wonder of organisation and foresight has its full recognition in Germany. It was by the work of the sub- marine that we were to be starved to sub- mission the blockade was to make our island situation the means of our ruin. Our eight million Army was to be cut off from us America's intervention was to be negligible—she would be sundered from Europe by three thousand impassable miles of water. And the plan at its first showing had in it a real plausibility, a foundation of soundness which convinced all Germany and her Allies. It was devised and put into force by men who were masters in their profession and yet, though Admirals in Germany stand or fall by it, it has failed. How Sinkings Were Reduced. Taking for the purpose of comparison only British steamboats of over 500 tons gross sailing to and from the United Kin.g- dom in the Main Overseas Trades, the period from April to June, 1917, before the convoy system was established, saw 5.41 per cent. of them sunk by enemy action. For August of the same year, when the system was beginning, the losses Z" C5 were nearly 4 per cent.; but during Sep- tember to November, when 91.2 per cent. of the ships were convoyed, the sinkings had already dropped to 2.11 per cent. of the total sailings. And for the period March to June this year the losses on the main overseas routes have fallen to 1.23 per cent., 93.8 per 'cent. of the ships being ZD convoyed. Homeward-bound sailings on the six great steam routes, the North Atlantic, Gibraltar, Dakar, Sierra Leone, Mediter- ranean, and Rio de Janerio, from the date of the first sailing on May 24th, 1917, numbered 6,521 vessels of all nationalities, while ships clearing outward totalled 5,487. To guard them employed 441 con- voys homeward and 392 outward. In all trades convoys have been furnished for 61,691 sailings; 373 ships have been lost; showing a proportion of losses to sailings in convoys of .61 per centv All this has taken place and still goes on with the smooth unhurrying precision of a well-managed railway. Side by side with the policing of the seas of the globe I I Z, and the shepherding of ships across them there continues always the great routine of watchfulness and rfrecaution which keeps open the road to our front in France, the guarding of our own shores. co-operation in the naval operations of our Allies in a dozen seas—all the vast unceas- ing industry of war, and with the readi- ness, the razor-edged keenness of training and preparation, and the never-flagging ZD hope of battle.
BY THE WAY. ¡ Random Jottings About Men and Things. Every one of our soldiers at Battlefield the front is expected to do Salvage. his bit in preventing waste, or salving material that would otherwise be lost. In one week it is estimated that one division salved £ 100,000 worth of ammunition and explosives. In the same week another division salved £ 4,000 worth of clothing and kit; another salved £4,000 odd in rifles and bayonets.- IL the. soldiers "out there can do this sort of thing, we at home should be keener than ever to look after the trifles. In a long war they count heavily. Fat goose is one of the joys The Colden that make life for a German Ceese. worth living. But fat geese to- day are rare luxuries. A German newspaper tells us of how in the iown of Camberg, 200 geese were imported for fattening at the beginning of the summer and they were reckoned of such precious value that at night they were penned with- in a fence of wire charged with electricity to prcrclit theft. In England we too pen up our geese-but only as a safeguard against "Master Charles" as the country folks call the fox. Owing to the stress of food Mushroom" conditions in Germany, count- Soup. less savants of the Fatherland have devoted their attention to food substitutes. Their labours have had issue—apart from personal profit- in pro- viding the Kaiser's subjects with innumerable delectable articles of dubious nutritious value. It would seem, however, as if-the palm for personal profit and minimum of nutrition must be awarded to an Austrian named Zip- perer. He introduced an article christened "Mushroom Soup," and so high was his estimation of its qualities that he charged 14s. per 21b. packet. On analysis it was dis- covered to be made from salt and coloured with tar! The conditions of life at the Two Letters, front upset all the peace-time standards of human relation- ship. Out there Jack is often as good as his Master, and in spite of differences of educa- tion and of social standing, Jack and his Master are often the best of pals. These two letters tell a wonderful story [AN OFFICER TO HIS MOTHER.] Bill, my batman, is just a wonderful fellow. Before the war he was a well-known character down Poplar way-chiefly famous for various escapades with the local police force. Don't be nervous, however, mother mine; although the erstwhile burglar is a rough diamond he's the right stuff. I don't know what I should have done if he had not been with me during the last push. He pulled me out of many a; tight corner. I was absolutely done after the fight, and he practically carried me down the line—no light job when I tell you that the ground was like a morass and the shell holes about three- quarters full of water. He speaks the language of 'la belle France in a charming way, having picked it up during his visits to the villages and towns. In fact, he's the sort who, if the fates (leal kindly with him, might become Prime Minister when we have the much-talked-of Labour Gov- ernment. We have been through the furnace of war together, and I know him to be the pure gold."
[BILL THE BATMAX TO THE SAME LADY.] "I expect vou 'ave 'eard the news of your son's death. But seein' I was 'is batman, and 'e arst me to write to you if anything 'appened to 'im, I now take that liberty. I wasn't tliere when 'e went under, as I'm laid up with a poisoned foot. The boys say 'e was the life of the attack until a sniper got 'im. When I was with 'im in the shows before 'e was always leadin', an' 'e never seemed to know what fear was. I only wish as 'ow I could 'ave been with 'im to the last, then I'm sure I could 'ave told you 'e died game. 'E was one of that sort. Things can't ever be the same for me out 'ere now. Why, me an' 'im, we was just like pals." When the war is over things happening on the battlefield surely will begin to yield a harvest at home: a harvest of brotherhood such as we have sometimes dreamed of as an attainable ideal. It ought not to be un- attainable now.
FOOD TOPICS. Items About Production and Rationing. II Steady II Wit Food. The Premier's latest watchword Steady is good not only for our mood in an hour of victory, but for our dealings with food. The great Inter-Allied Food Council began its con- ferences in London with a resolution that might have been summarised in that word and it published that resolution broadcast. We are losing our heads, it seems. Because the food position is no longer critical, many people thought they could-indulge in the old carelessness of over-eating and waste. We have still to practise every care, for a reason that will be approved as soon as mentioned. It is this. When America gets her immense Army over, many of the ships that have been bringing wheat, bacon, and frozen meat to our shores will be needed for provisioning and equipping that Army and we shall be living on limited stores. Any waste or over-indul- gence will directly weaken the American effort that has turned the tide of war fcr us. Not Playing the Came. Mr. Barnes was rather boasting, the other day, about our probable 40 weeks' supply of breadstuffs. But we shall have to make them last out, and how long nobody can say exactly. It has become known to the alarm of our Food Ministry, that in Scotland and the North of England certain millers appear to be defying the national regulation by which that supplv is made to go so much further than it would in ordinary times. In various districts people can buy white bread. What must be said about anyone who does so, and about the shop- keepers and millers who supply it, is that they are guilty of actual treachery. This treachery is as real as if bread were being supplied to the enemy. It is strange that, even yet, there should be people who think of themselves before the men and lads who are giving life for them but there are such people; and they often escape rebuke altogether. We must be stern with them. Wherever they are met with they must be told of their disloyalty and the harm it is doing. A few sharp prosecutions are wanted. They would make it not worth the while cf millers to play the traitor. Public odium must support the administration of the law, or this sort of thing will spread and we shall be weak at a time when we ought to be strongest. Everyone Must Still Do His Bit. Meanwhile, the Inter-Allied Food Council is doing great work with a strict eye to the fair requirements of every people fighting on our side. It is up to every citizen to play the game for, as Sir William Goode put it in a recent speech, this international organisation surpasses the largest dreams of State Socialism. It is based on very superb self- denial by the American people. No one who has glanced at a report of any speech in this country by Mr. Herbert Hoover can be ignorant that we, for our part, are supposed to share the necessary sacrifices of this war honestly and faithfully. If we continue to do so-but not else—the huge calculations of the Inter-Allied Food Council, and the vast arrangements of supply, will enable the war to be finished as it should be. Trust the Food Control. Don't grumble, and don't dodge. It is making a page of history that every one who lives long enough should read I with pride and a good conscience.
HOLD FAST. Lloy<V Gconje, H iw these brave words resound throughout the land Cllr hearts responsive to their simple Loyal to England, firm we take our stand, Determined that the end shall pay for all. Fair in the sky we see the dawn's first light, And with its beams there comes a thrilling song, Sounded by loved ones fallen in the fight "T ribute we claim, remember us. [ Be strong."
THE WOMAN'S PART. About Holidays in War Time. [By MARGARET OSBORXE.] While grown-up people find their holidays growing shorter or vanishing altogether as the war goes on, school-children's vacations get longer, and how to occupy their children for six or seven weeks has become somewhat of a problem to many mothers. It is not often possible to take the whole family to the seaside as we did in peace-time. Fathers are in the Army or doing work they cannot leave mothers find it hard to interrupt their war- work, travelling is dear and difficult, and the food problem is more troublesome in lodgings than at home. Day-excursions are hampered by a restricted train service and lack of petrol, and though bicycling is pleasanter now that the roads are comparatively clear of motor-traffic most bicycles bought four or five years ago are now liable to require repair if a whole day's run is attempted. The walk- ing tourist who cannot avoid the neighbour- hood of camps may quite likely find no night's lodging at nightfall. The restful, holiday soon palls upon strong young people or small children intent on exploring a world that is new to them, especially when it is not punctuated with holiday treats in the way of food. A Little Ingenuity. There would seem to be little left, but the ingenious mother of a family, or the mother of an ingenious family, will arrange a holiday notwithstanding. The first requisite of a holiday is change, and those of us who can- not have. change of scene may well try change of hours. Most people's enterprise in this direction goes no further than taking break- fast an hour later than usual, a proceeding that reminds us more of Sunday morning or convalescence from an illness than of holi- days. To remove this, practise getting up at five o'clock, having an early crust of bread or cup of tea, and walking or bicycling from six to nine meets the case much better. Personally, I should begin an hour earlier than this, starting when the towns and villages are just waking up, the field labourers going to their work, all the wild birds and animals much more in evidence than later in the day. A picnic breakfast at nine o'clock can gen- erally be managed by means of coffee in a thermos flask if everyone will carry his own mug. To breakfast with friends at the end of your three hours' journey is also pleasant. but this cannot, of course, be a surprise party and would entail carrying one's rations. If all that can be done in an hour and a half's journey out and then home to a picnic breakfast in one's own garden, it is quite worth doing, and most people will find that their own neighbourhood looks surprisingly unfamiliar three hours before breakfast. Harvest Fields by Moonlight. Of course, this early start upsets all the rest of the day to the holiday-maker this is one of its advantages. There is the possi- bility of going to sleep again after a long late breakfast, missing lunch, and starting life again with an early afternoon tea. This makes quite a different thing of the after- noon. Or if the breakfast has been away from home one can rest in the fields and come back by train to a still earlier tea and an afternoon's sleep or reading, followed by tennis in the evening. A more ambitious plan, suitable only for schoolboys and girls of the larger sizes, accompanied by an obliging and able-bodied uncle or aunt, is to start an excursion by moonlight after a late supper and be-home by dawn to cook a break- fast left ready by the home-authoritiis. Harvest fields by moonlight are veiy beauti- ful, but an astonishing n. mber -if towns- folk never see them. The Holiday cf Usefulness. Every school-boy and girl who li--es in the country or within reach of the country will, of course, be making collections this autumn. Blackberries and whortleberries for jams. nuts for winter consumption, acorns and beech—mash for pigs, acorns again for the neighbour's rabbits or the village rabbit club, hay made from wayside grass and weeds for rabbits. Nuts are specially important because if they are gathered when ripe they can be shelled and stored in tins and the shells sent to the national collectors. They will then be used to make charcoal for anti- gas masks for our soldiers. If there is no collecting depot pear, they can be sent car- riage forward to the Gas WTorks, Southend. No child will have had a good holiday who has not done some war-work, either by means of collections or other personal service, and this is a way in which a whole family of different agvs may work together. Looked at in this way, it can give points to cricket. For anyone now is a little bit ashamed to play unless he has been fighting or working. CUT THIS OUT. MISCELLANEOUS RECIPES. Sour Milk Salad Dressing. (Without Oil.)— INGREDIENTS.—I gill sour milk, teaspoon cornflour. teaspoon mustard, 2 dessertspoons vinegar, teaspoon sugar. METHOD.—Mix the cornflour with a little water to a smooth paste and add the milk. Bring it to boiling point, stirring all the time. Remove from the stove, and when it is cooling add the mustard, salt, sugar and pepper mixed to a smooth paste, with the vinegar. Serve when cold. Now that salad oil is impossibly dear. this dressing will be found very useful. If vinegar is difficult to procure, lemon juice may be used. Vegetable Marrow Jam.—INGREDIENTS.— G lbs. marrow, ) lbs. sugar, juice and rind of 6 lemons, 3 oz. ground ginger. METHOD.—Peel the marrows, take away the seeds and cut into small pieces. Put them with the other ingredients into a basin and let it stand all night. Next day, pour the juice into a pan, and when it is boiling add the marrow. Boil for 11 hours or until the syrup becomes thick and the marrow transparent. Put into pots and cover. If the full quantity of sugar is not available, use half sugar and half glucose or treacle, or the whole quantity treacle. Surprise Potato Balls.—INGREDIENTS.—] lb. mashed potato, 3 oz. mixed meat or bacon, 2 (.z. fat, 1 oz. flour, 1 tablespoon. white sauce or foiavy, salt, pepper. METHOD.—Mash the potato finely and season it, adding a little milk if it is very dry. Mince the meat with a little gravy or white sauce. When the mince is cold form into balls, cover with cold potato and slightly flatten. Roll in flour and fry till brown. Steamed Chocolate Rice.—INGREDIENTS.— 6 oz. of rice, It oz. of grated cocoa-butter, scant dessertspoonful of cocoa, 2 oz. of tapioca or sago, 1 oz. of sugar. METHOD.—Soak the rice and tapioca sep- arately overnight. In the morning put the rice into boiling water and cook for fifteen minutes. Drain and mix with the soaked tapioca and other ingredients. Add just enough of the rice water to make it such a consistency that it will drop into little da.bs from a spoon. Put into a basin, well creased with cocoa-butter and steam for at least two hours. Serve with hot custard or sauce, NC