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12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

a-::!. OUB LONDON LETTEL

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a OUB LONDON LETTEL [From our Special Correspondent.] It was startling and disooncerting to fine that Zeppelins could still get to London. We had all felt so sure that the Zeppelip menace had been conquered, at any rate, whatever might be the case with regard t< aeroplanes. Numerous high authorities, too, had declared that nothing more need b< feared from the great gasbags. And then a fleet of them came over! How many got t< London is uncertain, but probably hot mon than one, as only three bombs were dropped. But that even one could get here and drop bombs was surprising, and the general ail of bewilderment caused by the official state- ment was very noticeable. In some ways this was the most remark- able of all the raids on fondon. Hours passed without anything happening aftei the "take cover" warning was given, hours of silence—no guns, no sound of aircraft -engines. Then-a bomb: after an interval, another, and then a third. And still no guns. Another remarkable thing in connec- tion with this raid was that there was no talk of any of the raiders having been brought down-not even a rumour. It was all mystery. The news of the following day was the more welcome for that. Some people are asking why the Zeppelins could not have been brought down in this country instead of in France, but others, so long as the raiders are destroyed, don't mind much who does the deed. All the same there are points in connection with the raid which one would like to have cleared up. Perhaps by the time these lines are in print expla- nations may have been given. It is a usual practice to sing the first verse ■of the National Anthem at morning service nowadays. Indeed, most people would be at a loss if called upon to sing without the book any other verse of the composition. In at least one suburban church on Sunday morning the Vicar gave out the second Terse: "0 Lord our God, arise, Scatter 'his enemies, And make them fail." Surely no words could have been more appropriate to the occasion. The congrega- tion, one need hardly say, sang them with peculiar fervour. Lord Rhondda has had to talk pretty plainly to the butchers who, as housewives tbave discovered, have not all reduced their prices as they should have done under the Order which came into force some seven -weeks ago. The maximum profit which retail "butchers are permitted to make on beef is twopence-halfpenny per lb., and the officers of the Food Ministry have found out that in many cases bigger profits are being made. Lord Rhondda points out that an overcharge of this kind constitutes a serious infringe- ment of the Order, and renders butchers ii-able to proceedings under the Defence of the Realm Regulations. Butchers are in- formed that they are not permitted to make any additional charge for cutting, and that they may add to the price they have paid to the wholesaler twopence-halfpenny per lb., or 20 per Qent. on a fortnight's turnover, whichever is the less. This margin of profit must cover all charges except delivery and credit, for which a halfpenny per Lb. may be added. Officers of the Ministry of Food and of the loeal Food Control Committees have powers to examine books and otherwise to assure themselves that butchers are keeping their charges within the legal limits, and butchers are warned that full use will be made of these powers. The report of the Committee which has been going into the question of the State purchase of the liquor trade is awaited with a great deal of interest. The Committee, X believe, has finished its task, except for the presentment of its report, which is ex- pected shortly. As to the terms of pur- chase, varying sums have been mentioned. It is a matter in which a score of millions on one side or the other is only a trifle. Most people who have studied the subject at all seem to think that the figure pro- posed will be somewhere about £ 400,000,000. There are those, not all among the oppo- nente of State purchase, who declare that the expenditure of so great a sum for such a purpose at this time is unthinkable, and the idea is certain to meet with very vigor- ous and powerful opposition. On the other hand, those who say that State purchase is good policy, even during a War which is costing us seven or eight millions a day, argue that no new liability would be created, and that the profit under State Ittanagement would be ample to pay the in- terest on the capital sum, and to pay some. thing substantial into the Treasury every year besides, even with a reduction 01 thirty thousand public-houses. Sir Auckland Geddes, in one of his recent speeches, remarked that no household ought to keep more than three servants. Most people will be inclined to say, "And quite enough too, in these days" One must ad- in it, of course, that there tre cases in which three servants are really necessary; but there are many cases in which servants are kept merely to enable their employers to lead idle, pleasure-seeking lives, at a time when the nation needs the services of all its workers. That is true in some cases where there are only two servants, and perhaps in .some cases where there is only one; but what really is a scandal is the way in which people go on advertising for servants in households where six, seven, eight, and sometimes a dozen or more servants are kept. In order to induce young women to take these places high wages and all sorts "()f advantages are offered. It is extraordi- nary that this kind of thing shouM be allowea to continue when strong young women are badly wanted in many branches of national service, and when every day ap- peals are being made to them to volunteer. It would be a good idea if Sir Auckland Geddes, or somebody on his behalf, were to answer some of these advertisements. A very interesting programme was sub- mitted for the opening concert of the Queen's Hall Symphony season. That most beautiful Symphony in D minor, by Cesar Franck, would of itself oonfer distinction upon any concert, but there were also a new symphonic poem, Ormazd," by an Ameri. can composer, Mr. Frederick Converse, Mr. Frederick Delius's "Brigg Fair," Saint- Saëns's second pianoforte concerto, and the prelude to "Parsifal," with which the con- cert opened. The American contribution is an interesting, clever, and forceful work, which made a favourable impression on the first hearing, and which one will be glad to hear again. It was finely played. Mr. Arthur de Greef was the soloist in the con- certo, and gave a highly-finished, thoroughly artistic' performance. The symphony was magnificently played. So also were the delightful "Brigg Fair" and the Parsifal" —but then the paying of Wagner by Sir Henry Wood's orchestra has always been of acknowledged excellence. A. E. 11.( I

I MOTHER AND HOME.I

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