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17 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

.INOTES ON NEWS. 'I " - I

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NOTES ON NEWS. Many people are still puzzled by Mr. Lloyd George's statement that the C-jvern- THE SETTER PEK CET. inent expects to get only 7 per cent. of the men \vho come within the scope of the new Man- Power Act. mat no more than that pro- portion would be found fit for service of some kind was incredible, and it was doubt- ful w hether the Premier meant men f. t for the nghting line or for ajiy branch of the Army, the fighting line included. The has been made clear bv Sir Auckland Opddes, tho Minister of rational Service. The 7 per cent. represents the total pro- portion of the men between the ages of ibrty-three and ufty-one to be taken j this year. How many of these are expected to be nt for the fihting line, if any, has not been stated, and presumably cannot be estimated with any degree of accuracy until some progress has been made with the medical examinations. It is quite pos- sible. of course, that the 7 per cent. may be i'ouud insuffie"t1.1 ('en for this year, as nobody can tell what further emergency 'BMy :irise. The 7 per cent. represents the present need, so far as the Government can 8@<e, and the outlook for the trade and in- dustry of the country is therefore not so Mack as it seemed to be when the pro- visions of the Bill were first made known. It may be taken for granted that the greater part of the 7 per cent. will he taken from the younger of those affected, but it is reassuring to know that 93 per cent. of the men will be allowed to remain in civil life, at any rate for the present. The first of the new classes, Sir Auck- land Geddes says, will be called up twenty- EXAMINATION BEFORE APPEAL.. one days from the passing oC the Act, and further calls will be made as the need may arise. It was a wise course to arrange for the medical examination before ap- peals need be lodged. The contrary prae- -tice has led to a great deal of wasted time and effort. Tribunals have spent much time in considering appeals on behalf of ?nen who on medical examination have Jbeen found unfit for service. By the new system this will be obviated. The Tri- bunals will have the men already graded when they come before them, and will be able to jndge of their relative value to the Army and the ordinary business of the country. Grade 3 men, it is stated, will not need "to trouble at present"; which presumably means that they may return to the'n civil occnpation without taking up the time of the bodv dealing with appeals. *An eNort to persuade the Government to reduce the new military age to 48 did not succeed, though the number of fit men be- tween the ages of 48 and -51 can hardly be very large. Tho first schedule of the clean cut" Las been published. It cancels exemptions THE "CLEAN CUT. granted to men in a large number of occupations. In several of these, which arc considered to be luxury trades, exemptions granted on occupational grounds are withdrawn alto- gether, while in others there is an age Limit nxed, below which no appeal will be possible on occupational grounds. The pro- cedure is drastic, but it must be presumed to be necessary. On this point Sir Auck- land Geddes says: "W e arc asking for powers to effect a clean cut of young men. I recognise that it is death and disaster for tn&ny industries in this country, but that is a lesser evil than dfath and disaster to the nation as a whole." The first list will be followed by others, and it will be the duty of the National Service Ministry, vhile taking the men the Army must have, to see that suuieient are left to carry on the essential industries of the country. There has been another favourable re- turn of submarine losses. All things con- THE SUBMARINES "HELD. sidered, it is the ,best I since the "unrestricted campaign began. Though we have been wisely warned not to place too much importance upon any single weekly return, and must keep the caution in mind even when dealing with returns over a longer period, it is certainty encouraging to have only connaratively small losses recorded for three weeks running. The general public is now coming to believe that the submarine menace really is "held;, though some time may elapse tteforc we shall be able to congratulate ourselves that It is mastered. There have been, as waa perhaps to be expected, stories that the smaller losses meant that the Germans were using their submarines !for some otli,r purpose, such as blockading the Grand Fleet, attacking transports, and so on. They may have made attempts against transports, but the measure of their failure in that direction is to be found in tho fact that in ten days we put across the Channel 200,000 men. a per- formance described by Mr. Archibald Hurd, the well-known naval expert, as wonderful and unparalleled, a performance which will convince the enemy more than any- thing else could do of the failure of his naval policy." There is ground for the belief that the Navy is now destroying the submarines faster than the enemy can build them. There is certain to be waste in war. That is a maxim which has been quoted How THE MOXET GOES. _1 1 1 over and over again during the last lour vedrs. It is true that a large amount of waste is i -1  una.VOlUa!le, out. tiiaL is no reason lor not. keeping proper check and supervision upon contractors and accounts wherever possible. ,And it should ccrtaiotiy have been possible in cases like those given by the Auditor- General in his report upon the expendit-ure cf the Ministry of Munitions. In one case a firm which should have provided its own .materials, but apparently did not do so, was found to owe the Department a large sum, recovery of which was to be effected by the withholding of payments. These, however, were not withheld, and the report states that the firm still owed over half a million of money. The price of shells was Teduced from .El to 12s. 6d.. but a vear later one firm was still sending in large quantities and receiving payment at the old rate. Another nrm's ledger only showed payments amounting to £1,400,000, though the sum they had received totalled £4,700,000. Duplicate payments were frequent. In one case a contractor in- formed the Department that he had been paid twice over for work costing JEHI.OOO, and thev sent him .621,000 more in pay- ment of" an account which had already been settled. Other instances might be quoted from the report, hut ?. hesc will serve well enough as examples. The re- port leals with the year ending in March, 1917. Perhaps things have \,hê,nged since thcc

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