Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

7 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



A LOOK ROUND. I "Old King Coal." I [BY SENTINEL. "] I THERE is another call on us for A economy, one which will cause nearly as much inconvenience as economy in food, but one which it is not less necessary to heed, if we are determined to win the war and to be good brothers to our Allies. This time the U-boats have very little to do with it. At the bottom of the difficulty over the coal supply lies the fact that our sturdy miners have been called upon to do their duty as soldiers, and that the places of the young and strong have been taken by older and weaker men. There are many other reasons, some of them difficult for those who are not familiar with the ins and outs of the coal trade to understand. But that is the main one. It is simply another way of saying that even a coal-miner cannot be in two places at once, and that, as the first necessity of the moment is to keep the ranks of the Army full, we civilians have got to make the necessary sacrifice and to keep smiling." Coal is at the bottom of everything, especially in war time. It drives our ships it smelts the iron from which is made the steel for our guns and shells; it is the raw material of most of our new explosives. The depth charges which destroy the U-boats; the bombs with which our aeroplanes disturb the billets and communications of the Huns, and thus save the lives of count- less of our soldiers; the shells which Granny despatches into the enemy batteries all derive their force from coal. And, if that is true of our own Army, it is not less true of the French, the Italians, the Belgians, and all our other Allies. But these are all, except America, dependent on Great Britain for coal. Italy has none, or very little, of her own. The mines of France and Belgium are in the hands of the Ger- mans. So, if the war is to go on, Britain must send coal to France and Italy, not only to keep the home fires burning" but also to keep the armies supplied with munitions. Any failure to do so would be paid for with the blood of the soldiers who are bravely fighting for our safety and the freedom of the world. We send a great quantity of coal to Italy, but hardly a tea spoonful reaches the people for domestic use It is all required for the manufacture of guns and ammunition. There are only eight Italian cities where there is any longer anv gas. In the evening the people sit in the dark, and they are cutting down their olive trees for fuel. That is just as if we should cut down our orchards in Somerset and Kent, in Worcester- shire and Herefordshire, and burn our apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, and plum trees. That fact ought to bring home to us the scarcity from which the people who threw back the Austrian attack on the Piave and turned the tide of the war are suffering. We must be the good brothers of these people, and help them even if our kitchen fires themselves burn low. Coals are indeed now black diamonds," as they have often been called. It is high time to think what are are going to do to eke out the coal ration which is all we shall be able to get. Of course, we look to the Government to take all fitting measures to increase the supply. But we must help ourselves as well. The natural substitute for coal is wood, and of wood their ought to be no pcarcitv at all. Our timber trees are being felled right and left, and there must surely be a large-supply of top end lop which can be made available for the home hearth. That is one resource. Another is the dead boughs of which the trees would be all the better relieved if arrangements could be made for them to be cut. And there is any amount of waste wood besides. Furze or gorse, again, may be burned, its it once was in former days when coal was scarce and dear. In other places there is peat to be obtained. It all wants organisation, and, of course, labour is scarce. But it is the sort of thing we could organise for ourselves, tnd for which a good part of the labour could be supplied by old folk, women, and children. Why not call village meetings and get together a village fuel committee in each place to inquire into the resources which are available and the best means of geting the stuff cut up and distributed to the homes of the people fairly? We need not always wait for the Government to tell us what to do, though it is in all cases desirable to let the Government know what we e-re doing and ask if it is all right.



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