OUR SHORT STORY. I FOR A GREATER REWARD. I By MAY WYNNE I "Of course, I understand. Good-day, sir.' f Aline Helton looked up. A man, sun- tanned, and with that look of lean hardness which talked so plainly of hard overseas service, nad come limping out from the Chief's sanctum. The clerks at Messrs. Hudstall Bros, always called Mr. James Hudstall the Chief." ef. The lame man came down the outer office »lowly. He held himself very erect, but there was a look iii those very blue eyes of his which held suffering. He glanced once towards the .desk whore Aline eat. Thet Morice, one of the clej-ks who sat near the -tioor, got up and shook hands. After a while they went out together. Aline's lingers rested idly on her type- writer. She wondered what that nice-look- ing man had been raying to the Chief. He didn't, get what lie w wted, I'm sure," she thought. "I'm sorry, for ho Jooked nice." Then the Chief's bell rang, and she had to hurry off to take down some shorthand notes. It was not till the evening, when she and Ralph Morice chanced to be walking together to the Tube station, that she asked a question. "Who was the man who came to see Mr. Hudstall this morning? lIe looked so dis- appointed." Morice grimaced ruefully. "Oh, Robin nent Poor chap! He'd had hit of a knock-out. Came home with d permanently crooked knee to find his placet; tilled up." Aline looked a trifle anxious. "Was lie ever at the officer" "Yes." "He's sure to get another clerkship, isn't he0 A better "Not. by any means a dead cert. There are not many vacant stools in the City at present. ^.011 fee—or—lady clerks are a new innovation He couldn't help saying that. But Aline had already guessed it. She happened to have a cousin who for long had been "rubbing it in" about the womnn problem, and how, if the sex wanted to dc the thing gracefully, it woulJ. retire to its proper sphere. Aline's cheeks began to burn. A horrible suspicion crept over her. "You mean——" she .stammered. "Oh. you don't mean I have got his desk"" Morice looked uncomfortable. He wished he had gone on ahead this evening. But facts are facts, and he had not been feeling -very friendly towards Miss Helton to-day. "It was his desk-—before the war," he con fessod. "01 course, I don't mean it is your fault in tne least. You 're better at short- hand than Dent, and a quicker typist. Only it is a bit rOlloh on a fellow. And his mater is an invalid now. Health broken down. They are both tremendous patriots, and it look s now as though a grateful coun- try is going to give them the go-by." He merely blamed the country because he didn't quite like to rub it in too much about the women taking "the boys jobs from them. "I suppose I'd better hurry, "said Alin: "or I'll miss the connection. Good evening, Mr. Morice." He looked after her, feeling sore and angry. You bet, she means to hang on," he mut- tered; "they re all alike—selfish crow! 1 expect she only took up clerk's work because she was bored at home." But the next day he regretted rash judg- ment, for a rumour was going round the office. Aline Helton had been in to the Chief and resigned her post. She was leaving at the -end of the week. Morice was on thorns all day to ask Aline if it were true. He couldn't believe it. But it was true. She confessed at once, regarding the questioner with something like scorn in her brown eyes. You don't think I could have been &r' mean as to keep the berth which belonged to, one of our heroes? And disabled, too! I told Mr. Hudstall why I was going, and in the end I believe he thought I was right. He said he had been placed in rather a quandary, as he wished to be fair to me." Morice held out his hand. "You ripper;" he said. Please excuse the slang, "but thi-rc is no other word which quite describes you. -It's splendid! All I can say is if the women are coming out of it like this we shall take off our hats to them in a way we never thought of doing before. Talk of pkying the game He grew qui to excited over it; but Alino laughed—a queer little jerky laugh. I would have been a brute if I'd done. any- thing else," she replied. "And I suppose," hinted Morice, "you'll give up work now?" She was again in a hurry to catch her train. "Not exactly," she replied. It was not till after Aline Helton had left the office that her fellow-clerks began to discuss her action. They had the grace not to allow Robin Dent to hear them. Robin had come joyously back to his old desk, and had had a hearty welcome from the stall'—new and old. Even Mr. Hudstall declared hel was glad Dent was back again. But Morice was not quite at ease about Miss Helton. In a glow of admiratioi: Aline's girl chuin, Bessie Foyle. had con- fided in Morice. "I don't know why Miss Helton left," she "I don't. 1,.iiow why said; "but I think it must have been to make room for Mr. Dent. She's so awfully "c)or, you see, her people—or rather her lather is a curate in Yorkshire. My folk live near. We often say that the little Hel- tons take it in turn to have dinner once a week. I know Aline left home and came to digs in town so that there was one mouth less to feed at home. And now she's toe proud to go home—or too unselfish. The worst of .it is, she's left her lodging, and 1 can't trace her. There! I don't suppose I have any right to tell you this." Morice thought she had a perfect right, but he did not like the story about Miss Helton at all. He had pictured her home a snug little place in the suburbs, which she had loft. He and Dent went out to luncheon every day to th'e nearest A.B.C. shop. It was on his way back to the oliiee one afternoon that he met Aline. He stopped her at once and introduced Dent. "What's the present job?" he asked Aline. She looked thin and tired-; her painful -flush told its own tale. "Not got cnc yet," &he said lightly; "but I shall. I by-by next week." J shall. I hope to by—by next week." d She passed on, leaving Morice dismayed. "Pretty girl," commented Dent. "Pal of yours?" In the fullness of his heart Morice told the tale. Robert Dent was horrified. "Lock here," he stormed. "Something must be dene. She'll be starving Poor -el,ild-.sh(-, cnh- looks a kid—and I've taken the bread out of her mout II" Morice laughed ruefully. "It is aa frost." he replied, "but how can we find her?" When they get back to 'ev ap- pealed to Besmo Povle. Morice always went to Bessie in his troubles. She was one of the girl clerks whom he felt would never be out of place. But that may have been be- cause he was in love with her Bessie enthused at once. "You needn't look as if you'd committed murder," she told Robin. "Wero sure to find her, but what then? You can't find her an office stool "She will have her own," growled Dent. "What do you think?" Bessie smiled. "That you a.re rather a brick she confessed. But the finding of Alino took longer than Bessie bargained for, and when at latri't sho roponted success her pretty face was grave. "It was about time 1 did find her," she tiaid. "She's nearly starved herself to death. Poor old Allie! And I cxpoct h'¡¡ been writing home to say she feeds on the I' fat of the land." Robin Dent groaned. "What can he asked. It was Robin's mother who answered the I question. Robin's mother was one of those people who always seem to have sensible sugges- tions to meet a difficulty. "Miss Beadle was asking me if I knew of ,a really nice companion," she said. "It will be just the place for this brave little girl. I will go to Park House at once." And everything "arranged itself." Robin hoped she was happy. Ho hoped so to the extent of calling at Park House on every possible occasion tc put the question to Aline. They were friends at once, though Aline had been so terribly embarrassed when he tried to thank her for her sacrifice that he had desisted. "loii't it a pity." quoth Robin slyly, "that instead of 'downing tools' the busi- ness can't be settled after your example? If women only knew He paused. "Knew what?" asked Aline innocently. "The way to a man's heart," he concluded. Aline was smiling. How like a man'. "Perhaps they don't want to know, she hinted. Robin felt that he had blundered badly. Why on earth- dou't care if they do or don't." said he; "it's only you-IAJine. you're laugh- ing, dear! And if you only knew how I'd rehe-arsed it all—worked it oitt--to say- only I forot-one does forget when one's life's happiness is wrapped up in it. But "After all," whispered Aline, as he drew her close, "it is the best way of solving the problem, isn't it? Only, Robin, you haven't clearly explained He stooped to kiss her. "You won my homage," he said, "by what you did, you brave, true woman. But you won my love for what you are-the dearest—the ■" But the rest was only for the hearing of the one woman in the world.
SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION. I It id not always necessary tlltt a fire I should he started with a name maker, suet ao matches. For instance several valuable havrieks have often been burned up owinq to the heat generated by the hay itseif. If the grass is too damp when it is ricked, it is.inclined to ierment and to take fire in the centre, consuming slowly until the outer ail is reached, and the whole mass bursts intc Harne.. Again, there are other materials which will take fire if they are piled in heapt" Many ships have been lost through the com- bustion of cotton in their holds, and num- berless factories have been burned down through quantities of oil-damped cotton waste being left in the corners of work- rooms. It is to be borne in mind that all veget- able niatter- stacked when it is damp i, liable to catch fire. Plax, hemp, jivte, and tan have all been ior One of the most serious caused in this way was that of Tooley-strcet. in 1SC1. Quantities of jute spontaneously ignited, and started a cOllfiagratiollwhieh lasted for four weeks, and cost £ 2,000,000. When engaged in exploration on the Arctic coast of British America, Professor A. Stone discovered what he believed to be an active volcano. It was a huge cliff, 2,00C feet high, glowing with flame, and the ex- plorers thought they saw streams of lava pouring down the sides. The supposed vol- cano was, however, an enormous coal fire. The rock was seamed with strata of soft coal, which had fired spontaneously. Pos- sibly this mass of fuel had been burnin? for centuries, it was thought by the explorers.
THE STRIKE RECORD. I One hardly needs to be told that the "record" for striking is held by the miners. Miners do more than twice as much striking as all other trades combined. Statistics for the twentieth century stow that 1,050 miners strike, as compared with about 500 of all other trades combined. Next to miners as strikers rank the textile workers— that is, the cotton spinners and woollen mill operators. Third in the list are the metal workers, of whom about CilC-Üfth of the number of collier.-) strike. Fourth arc builders; fifth transport workers (including railway men); and sixth, but a long way behind, people engaged in the clothing trades. The main bone of contention as a cause of strikes is the question of hours of labour. Two other principal causes are the employ- ment of non-unionists and disputes as to working arrangements. Up to 1914 a small majority of strikes were settled in favour of the employers. The average was as fol- lows: Out of every 100 strikes, 32 per cent. were settled in favour of the employers, 27 per cent. in favour of the workpeople, while the remaining 41 were either compromised or left unsettled. Out of 1,000 strikes, no fewer than 6.38 are settled by direct negotia- tion between masters and men, 205 are settled by the efforts of a third person act- ing as mediator, and 58 by what is called arbitration.
TROUBLESOME INSECTS. I It seems practically impossible that in sects should be able to stop railway trains, but this has frequently happened, especially so in the ca.')e of locusts and worms. On one occasion a train going from Rome t;> Avezzano, in Italy, was stopped by a dense cloud of locusts, which settled oil the wheels and on the rails in swarms. As the train advanced it squashed thousands of them to a pulp, and this made the railw so siippcry that the train could not go on. When a railway train was stopped by worms, which happened on the Warwick-Kil- larney line, in Australia, it suddenly stopped dead. and nothing could be done to restart it. The wheels slid back, but could not ad- vance. The rails were found to be covered with worms, and, as in the former case, when squashed by the wheels they made the line too slippery for the train to go forward. Italy seems to be a particularly unfortu- nate country in this respect, as swarms of white butterflies have been known to settle on the railway lines, and so make transit ex- tremely difficult. Once in French Guiana thousands of little green frog's suddenly took up their abode on a railway track, but, his- tory keeps silent as to whether they quickly hopped o-ft-in this or to the other world
DENTJSTRY FOR ANIMALS. During the past few years dentists have been having the time of their lives. Accord- ing to one writer: "Now that the war is over, people are Hocking to the dentists like so many flies, and a large number of them are demobilised soldiers, who are taking ad- vantage of the Government offer to give them dental treatment aud new dentures free of cost to themselves. "The animal dentist, too—the man who looks after the molars of wild beasts—has also been pretty busy. Animal dentistry is as risky as it is fascinating. The firing of rough or uneven teeth of a lion or tiger re- quires not only strength but nerve, for one cannot put a wild animal under gas like a man or woman. To extract an animal's tcoth is far from an easy busin-tss, and in many cases it is easier to pull a screw from a piece of oa by means of a paii" of pliers. "Animals arc occasionally fitted with new dentures, but not very often. More has been done in this line in America than any other country, but a well-known menagerie owner once h-ad an old pet bear fitted out with a complete set of false teeth. The plates were glued to the mouth in order to keep them in place."
Aged 72, Mr. Henry Gimber, a black- smith and vridower, married at Peter- borough his neighbour, Mrs. Betsy Moun- tain, 75, a widow. Operative plumbers in Asliton-under- Lyue aud surrounding districts demand an increase of 6d. per hour. They are already uaid £ 5 2s. for a 44-hour week
fALL RIGHTS RESERVED, j THE LABOUR MOVEMENT. By FRED MADDISON. Mr. Lloyd George may have made some impression on employers oy his Sheffield speeches, though that is very doubtful, but they have left most of the workers quite cold. This is unfortunate, for there is no gainsaying the imperative necessity of in- creasing production to the highest possible pitch consistent with proper regard for the worker. Distribution of wealth must be conditioned by its creation. This has been said over and over again by men whost knowledge of economics and industry gives them far greater authority to s peak on such a subject than the Premier. He and hi* colleagues in the Ministry have reduced the question to a parrot-cry, which falls mostW on deaf ears. The audience Mr. Lloyd George had at the Cutlers' Feast needed an address on excess profits rather than a lec- ture on work for other people. "What the average workman notes is that Ministers who urge him to do more could not them selves do much less in that national economy which is their special task. Judged by what they have effected this last year they have indeed proved elackers. THE INDUSTRIAL CONFERENCE. At the time of writing the threatened break-up of the National Industrial Con- ference had. happily, been averted, or rather postponed. It was hoped that out of this body would evolve an Industrial Council J which would serve as a kind of Supreme Court of Appeal, never so necessary as now, when the Government assumes to such a large extent the responsibilities of em- ployees. If the cause of the trouble which has arisen is traced to its source it will be 'found to be the old one—a suspicion that the Government is tricking labour. First of all there was the revelation made by Mr. Lloyd George about the long preparationf which had been made to defeat a general strike. The body called together to help the Government in a crisis remained ir ignorance of them-at any rate, the labour men were. Then the deadlock over the in- clusion of agriculture in the Eight Hours Bill is attributed to underground influences in the Government, which may be excused seeing how the Conservatives preponderate. Probably by the time that these lines ap- pear, Mr. Lloyd George will have induced the reactionaries to give way and so save the situation, but he will not succeed in creating real confidence in him. THE PREMIER'S PROPHETIC VISION. I To the delight of his audence of rich people at the Guildhall, Mr. Lloyd George took credit for the careful preparations the Government had made to break the railway strike. Now, everybody knows that the main factor in these efforts was the supply of food, and it is equally well known that it had been decided to wind up the Food Ministry, Mr. G. 11. Roberts announcing in May that this was about to be. done. It la also common knowledge that it was labour pressure which was mainly responsible for the Department being continued. How does this fit in with the Premier's claim? This is the answer given by the official organ of the N.S.P.: "According to Mr. Lloyd Georgt he foresaw the railway strike seven months before it happened, and three months later hE wanted to scrap the only means of seriously ceping with the emergency which he clearly foresaw! We have not had a high opinion of Mr. Lloyd George, but we confess we have never appraised him so low as this. Ever if we believed all that he says regarding his prophetic vision, all the greater condem- nation does he merit for allowing the rail- way negotiations to drag on interminably." A RESCLT OF THE RAILWAY STRIKE. I 1. 1 My worst fears of the effects of the rail way strike on Mr. Pringle's chances have unfortunately, been realised. He has paic the price of holding what may be called th< middle position—the only one which really fitted the situation. The Conservative almost invariably gains when the Govern ment of the day which he c-upports taket what is considered a strong line against t body of men who cause a good deal of incon- venience to the public, unless, of course, il is a constituency distinctively working clas: and trade unionist in its composition. The I.L.P. candidate benefited by liii-j indiscrimi nate support of the strike just because i1 was a strike. By this a number of trade Il, ionists were drawn from Mr. Pringle In a class feeling of loyalty to the railwaymen On the other hand non-party votes werE I, lost to him for exactly the opposite reason His views on nationalisation probably made the latter defection easier. Rusholme is ? real disappointment. WAR PROFITS TAXATION. I That it is not only an incurable Radiea' who thinks that Mr. Lloyd George mighl have more profitably to the nation dis- coursed on profits rather than work at the Cutlers' Feast, may be seen from this quota tion from the "Times": "What prospect if there that the plain citizen will listen to the Government appeals to stint his alreadj straitened expenditure, or that Labour wil abstain from continual agitation for in creased wages, so long as individuals are fai with the immense profits of the war years and company after company announces en hanced dividends on capital watered t( more than double its pre-war bulk?" WThj does not the author of the Limehouso speed speak in that way? TEACHERS' STRIKE IN THE NORTH RIDING. I In the North Riding there has been strike of teachers for over three months and there is no wonder that some parent! are getting tired of their children's educa tion being neglected. If there were any rea and widespread interest in tho schools, sncl a strike as this would have been impossible Unfortunately, education is regarded b) great masses of people as a necessary evil and one may safely venture the opinion t-ha" a good many of the Norih Riding electors would not mind if the schools never opened At the headquarters of the N. U. T. they ar( having a iievv experience. So clamorous arc many of the branches for permission to use the strike weapon to enforce their demanc that Sir James Yoxall and his colleague.' have their work set out to restrain them There is little wonder at this restlessness when London women tram conductors an paid higher wages than female teachers, or for the matter of that, many males. MR. If-kVELOC& WILS()'S REMINDER. I So completely has Mr. llavelock Wilson thrown himself into the arms of the reac- tionaries that a heavy discount » placed on his utterances by Labour men and his old friends generally. Still, v.e know that gofcd things can come from unlikely quarters. Thus Mr. Wilson has jlkt made a strong point which trade iinicti leaders would do wetl to take to heart. He tells them that they are continually crying out for Govern- ment help to accomplish objects which the could attain hv their own efforts. That self-reliance which has been the strength oi British trade unionism is giving way to de- pendence on the State, which means, in practice, a few Ministers. Mr. Havelock Wilson has been consistent in his opposition to the polrcv of Socialists in seeking to cur- tail trade anion action and enlarge the function of the State in things industrial.
< £ 36,978,0!?" has been paid in out-of-work donations. There arc 55,000 troops in Ireland. London Museum was re-opened at Stafford House, S.W. Twenty-five appeals are down for hearing by the House of Lords. major -stopher Lowtlier, the Speaker's son, said at Carlisle that it was impossible to expect the new earth until we had dis- charged our liabilities in the old hell. Sir Oswald Mosley's sale of the Rolleston Hall estate realised £ 137,000. A lot includ- ing the bakery where the first Standard bread was made fetched -L'SOO. Many lots were withdrawn* In memory of Captain J. E. Raphael, the Rugby International, who died of wounds in 1917, a table has been unveiled at St Jude-on-the-Ilill Church, Golders Green, N. W.
I EPITOME OF NEWS. Dr. Addison, Minister of Health, is ua well. Esthonian newspapers say an English bank has lent 110,000,000 to Esthonia. Paris has crestored lighting restriction to save coal. Board of Trade Order which fixed maxi- mum prices for motor spirit has been re- voked. Dr. II. R. Kenwood, Stoke Newington, is the new president of the Medical Officers of Health Society. Uruguay has ratified the peace treaty with Germany. The discharge of men from the dockyards at Portsmouth has been resumed after its si/sponsion on account of the railway strike. Mr. Justice Lush is not about to retire. He has recovered, and resumed his judicial duties. Two boys who were fined at Caerphilly for trespassing laughed at the penalty, and were promptly lined another ten shillings. Five French soldiers at Ludwigshafen, in the occupied zone, shot a young girl who had insulted them. They are to be court- martialled. By a graceful concession to British cus- toms the French Minister of Agricu lture has permitted the export of turkeys to Eng- land for Christmas. Owing to an outbreak of measles, Tauntor (Somerset) is placed out of bounds for al trocJps and members of Q.M.A.A.C. proceed iûg on leave. From January 1 to October 1, 191 J-, thE excess of French savings banks' deposits ever withdrawals amounted to 750,-51,431 francs—a record. Upkeep of the Portuguese Army ir France cost £ 28,000,000. No decision has yet been made by the Cabinet regarding the date of the ejection of the permanent cenotaph in Whitehall in place of the present temporary structure.. M. Paderewski, the Polish Premier, haA left Paris for Warsaw. Twenty millions of marks in gold !from thE Reichsbank have been despatched to Eng. land by the Belgian National Bank. Captain W. J. West, an ex-Mayor of Battersea, has been invited to stand as Liberal candidate in the Thanet by-election. Queues of Americans are waiting outside shipping offices in Paris. Unless more ves- sels arc put on the Transatlantic passenger service a large number of Americans will probably be stranded in Paris until after Christmas. ,to the provisional res,,ilt of the According to the provisional result of the census on October 8, the population of Berlin is 1,S97,86-1--173,393 lees than in 1910. A potato grown by Mr. R. Gutteridge, farm bailiff, of Frindsbury, Kent, weighs 31b. 3}oz. Lieut.-General Sir James Wolfe Murray, a former Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, j died at Cringletie, Peeblesshire, aged 67. Owing to a pail of tar setting fire to his signal-box, Charles Herd, stationed at Rosyth railway crossing, was burned to death. Herr Hans Berg, captain of the Moewe when she captured the British ehip Appaiii, has returned to Germany from captivity in the United States. The two sites given just before his death by Lord Portman +o the borough of St. Marvlehone for the erection of workmen's dwellings, cover approximately 80,000 square fed, awl not 8,000 square feet,, as pre- viously stated- Among other fod, 2,700 bags of sugrl were burnt by a fire at Tilbury Docks. More than 100 cases of influenza, occurred among the troops during the voyage of the transport City of York from India. For 30 years secretary of the Bath and West of England Agricultural Society, Alderman. Plowman, an r, ex-mayor, has died, aged 75. "People are oSering £ 20 for the key of a house," said a man who told the Thames magistrate he had tramped all over London in a vain search for rooms. A deputation from Lowestoft visited the light cruiser Lowestoft at Devonport, and presented gifts of plate from the town and private persons. Pleading not guilty, Francis Taylur, tradesman, was at Matlock, Derbyshire, sent to prison for four nionths for assaulting two p'irls aged nine and twelve during a kinema performance. A foreign officer wearing many war deco. ratons fell from the boat-train near Orping. ton (S.E. and C.R.) while on his way to Paris, and died later in Guy's Hospital. Seen swaying on a ladder. Charles Farr, 58, a carpenter, of Kentish Town, was found by the foreman to be dead. At the inquest at London Hospital he was said to have died from heart trouble. The battleship Malaya has been selected to convey to German ports the Allied Naval Mission, of which Rear-Admiral Charlton id the head. The Mission is going to see how far the Germans have carried out naval dis- armament. William Piper, 39, a North Woolwich In bourer, swallowed his false tooth-plate, which, i^fter being located by X-rays, was removed by an operation through the side of his neck. He died, however, and at the inquest a verdict of "Misadventure" was re- corded. When Messrs. F. A. Page, ltd., butchers, of 97. Tower Bridge-road, S.E., were fined £ 15, with- £5 5s. costs, for overebirgl ii (Z 8d. on a leg of mutton the defending solicitor said the manager was under the impression that he was entitled to charge for delivery and booking in excess of the maximum price. Mrs. Noble, of Queen-street, Portsmouth, has been found dead in Stokes Bay. Rabies has been confirmed in a sow at Cwmbran (Mon.), and in a dog at Barry. Burned while smoking in bed, Thomas Bowen, of Treherbert, Glamorgan, has died. The executive committee of the Laboui Party has sent a series of questions or Russia to Mr. Balfour. One is: Are then still a number of British troops, including volunteer detachments and technical instruc tors, still remaining in the territories for merly included in the Russian Emp* ire (witi the exception of -trans-Caucasia")? Mr. Edward Iloti, li. vicc-presidcnt of Yorkshire Miners' Association, is to be Labour candidate for Don Valley. L.C.C. tram drivers and conductors are to be given two days' leave with pay in recog- nition of their services during the railway strike. There were 2G deaths from starvation in England and VV'ales last year. A shortage of sugar continues in various parts 'f America. j So that compulsion will be unnecessary, Australian banks are subscribing the balance of £ 3,500.000 to the Victory Loan, which totalled £ .21,500,000. The Duke of tbt. Abruzzi and his party have left Italy on a scientific expedition to discover the sources of the Webi. Shebeli river, which (lows from Abyssinia through Italian Somaliland into the Indian Ocean. According to the Melbourne "Herald, the Australian fleet of 14 vessels has been sold to a London syndicate. A number of pork burchcrs. charged with having had dealings with tke enemy, have been arrested at Liege. Sir William Ewart, Bt.. head of the firm of William Ewait and Co.. flax spinners and linen merchants, (lied at Belfast, aged 74. I According to the Paris newspapers, the former Minister, M. Delcasso, intends to re- sign his seat in the Chamber, and will seek re-election for a constituency in Alsace A horse was burned to death and an un- dertaker's hearse and several coffins were destroyed by a fire at Chatham. A farm belonging to Lord EUesmerc and carrying the riLrht to a pew in Wigan Chnrch was withdrawn at £1,000 at an auction.
OUR LONDON LETTER. i I [From Our Special Correspondent.] London. The reassembling of Parliament has served to emphasise the extraordinary con- cern of the Government, and of men of all parties, to deal effectively with the serious condition in which the nation finds itself As Lord Milner said in the House of Lords the other day, grave as the position is, it is not desperate, or dire enough to justify the inclaiiclioly, predictions in which some people are indulging. The potential wealth of this country and of the Empire make such prognostications grotesque. Even at the moment this country is in a better financial position than any other except the United States and, perhaps. Japan. The defeat of the Government on a clause of the Aliens Bill, while it is not in any sense a critical e\'ent,, may not be without its value if it serves to expose the stupidity of the oft-repeated state-nent that this Parliament is » servile creature of the Government innrpa.hlp or uiJwilling to express it&clf. At Westminster and in the political clubs there is a tremendous, serious interest in national affairs just now, and this is but the' reflex of the Govern- ment's thorough-going zeal in the task which faces it at the beginning of the second session of what has aptly been j called the Reconstruction Parliament. I Å TRAGEDY OF r.IVIG. The death was announced the other day of Mr. F. B. Cummings, who, under the pseudonym of W. N. P. Barbel lion, wrote that remarkable book, "The Journal of a Disappointed Man," which appeared with an introduction by Mr. II. G. Wells not long* since. With no advantages of meiins 0*1 influence, he worked his way to a re- cognised position as a scientist and did some notable research work. He was, how- ever, the victim of a creeping paralysis which seized him quite earlv in his career, and has now prematurely closed it at the age of 30. Although his book records the stoical and sometimes cynical courage with which he faced what he knew must be a brief existence, and although it shows how such a supreme disappointment wa? borne by a fine mind and a sensitive spirit, few men have lived more usefully or, in a sense, more successful v than this you^^ scientist. How many youn? men of 30 wa? have died after working in any field 0? science or letters have had a leading article in the "Times on their decease5 The death of Mr. Cr.mrnings at all events will put an end to the theory, which 'I often fic,trd developed, that his book was really 111<> work of II. G Wells Iiirtiself-- and that "W. -N. P. lIarb-Illloii had no real exis- tence. AGRICULTURE. I have rarely seen a more ceepiv-m- terested audience than that which assembled at the Caxtoll Hall to hear the Prime Minis- ter expound the policy of the Government with regard to agriculture. All sections of the agricultural community were repre- sented landowners, land agents, farmers, smallholders, and agricultural labourers. Guarantees for cultivators, a reasonable fixity of tenure, improved housing and transport, increased co-operation, scientific development, and technical education, to- gether with an attempt to bring the people back to the land by abolishing the insuffer- able dulness of rural li fe-these, as the reader will know by this time, were the main points which Mr. Lloyd George made. The agricultural labourer will, of course, continue to receive a minimum wage, and Mr. Lloyd George appealed to those who speak for him not to attempt to drive too hard a bargain in these difficult times. Such an attempt would react against the whole industry, and the labourer would feel the reaction first and most. The Prime Minister was definite in his declaration that there must be a settled policy for agriculture, and that never again must this, our greatest in. dustry, be suffered to sink into the condition from which it was rescued by the exigencies of war. IRELAND. I There is much interest in political circles in the work which is being done by the Cabinet Committee, which is seeking a settlement of the age-long problem which confronts us still in Ireland. It is idle to indulge in speculation as to the precise character of the recommendations which will result from these sincere deliberations. The Government is pledged to a solution on the ba-sis of self-government, and the. problem is how to find such a solution consistently with the effective safeguarding of north- east Ulster" against those dangers which, whether they be real or not, are felt as much as ever in that quarter. The one hope- ful thing in the situation (in addition, of course, to the fact that the Cabinet Com- mittee is at work) is the disposition of men of all parties to seek a solution, and to avoid such bitter controversies as this matter has engendered in the past. The whole situa- tion has been changed by the war, and whatever happens I think it may be safely predicted that Ireland will never again be- come a dividing influence i;:i British poli- tics AN ENVOY FROM RUSSIA. General Dobrjansky, the representative of General Judenitch, the Russian General Officer Commanding-in-Chief on the Baltic front, has been in London, charged with the duty of thanking the British Government, a.s representing the British people, for the help they have given to the forces of law and order in Russia now engaged in fighting the Bolsheviks. In a brief conversation I was fortunate to secure with General Dobrjansky, he made it very clear that sc soon as the forces of revolution are quelled, he, with Generals Kolchak Mnd Deniken. in- tend to set up a provisional government until such time as arrangements can be made for the election of a Constituent Assembly on a democratic basis. He was specially definite in declaring that there is no possible chance of a restoration of the monarchy. He is certain, he told me, that every member of the Imperial family has perished. In any case the days of a monarchy in Russia are over. BRITISH OIL. The decision of the Government that no royalties shall be paid in respect of oil found below the tsoil of this country seems to be having the effect of stimulating those who are interested in the possible resources of this country in oil. Those resources are believed to be considerable, and geologists have for many years maintained that in East Anglia and elsewhere oil might be found in profitable quantities. Recent inquiries and experiments go to support this view, and I hear that commercial operations have already begun in the county of Nor- folk. Oil is one of those commodities for ) which we have in the past been almost en- tirely dependent upon supplies from foreign, and often distant, countries. It will be in- teresting to see to what extent that depen- dence can be removed by the development of our own resources, and it is good to ,ciiow that in this, as in a good many similar cases, British capitalists and scientists are devoting themselves with great application fO the creation of home supplies. No doubt they are not uninfluenced by purely commer- cial motives, but that does not alter the fact that every new development of industry in this country, especially in the case of indus- tries hitherto non-existent among us, is g-reatly to the advantage of the nation from the standpoint of its defence, as well as from that of its commercial prosperity. —
1.969 new students have matriculated at Cambridge this term, more than 750 above previous record. Lord Swansea's antiques, eold at Single- ton Abbey, realised £ 28,000. Rochester Labour Exchange has been gutted by fire, all the records, including registration for employment, being de- stroyed. A telegraph boy who was bound over at Aldershot for destroying telegrams said he felt too lazy on occasions to deliver them. Trade in pawn tickets in France has been abolished. Traffickers in pledges often made 50 to liO per cent. by exploiting the poor.
NOTES ON NEWS. In connection with the high wages pent tne Federation of British Labour has made the following suggestion in a recently-issued memorandum: If steps could be taken by the countries adhering to the League of Nations to prevent goods produced by under- paid labour from being sold in competing countries below the cost at which they would have been sold if wages cost had been as high as in the latter countries, much would be done to attain the object at which the Tioague is aiming. In many cases it may otherwise prove impossible for high. wages to be maintained in the face of competition with countries whe-se wage cost is very low, In forwarding this memorandum to the Board ci Trade they express stron g disap- proval of the Government's action in not giving more than 12 days' notice before withdrawing the system of Import Restric- tions, and not consulting the representatives of organisations in the different industries Hi looted. Key Industries. I In regard to "Key Industries," the memorandum continues: "There are a num- ber of industries which have grown up, or have been greatly expanded during the war, which claim they will be seriously injured, If not entirely destroyed, should a system of ireo importation from abroad be allowed, while production costs in this country re- main at an" inflated level. Many of them are industries of great national importance, vmd claim to come within the definitions of Key Industries.' It is therefore of great importance that they should not, through lack of understanding of the true position, suffer an injury which may perhaps prove irremediable." Trades mentioned as severely threatened by competition from countries whore wages are low include jute spinners and manufacturers, boot and shoe laces, silk nnd cotton bindings, clastic braids, cords, webbings, carpets, hosiery (cotton, artificial silk, silk) and fabric gloves, etc. Preferential Tariffs. I Reports from Berlin state that negotia- tions are taking place between England. t-ranee, Italy, Belgium, and Spain with a view to the establishment of preferential tarifl's for these States, which undertake commercial action against Germany. The aim of the movement is to be to make it difficult to obtain raw materials such as cot- ion, metals, and rubber for which the con- tracting parties are to be given monopolies. Motors for France. I In regard to the question of foreign tariffs, it is interetiilg to note that British motor manufacturers, who found the 70 pel cent, import duty on foreign motor-cars en- tering France prohibitive of business—ever American mass production could not over- this barrier—are to have the tariffs re- duced very shortly by something like 40 pei cent. The reason for this is that French manufacturers are swamped with orders for :ars. and France's need of road transport to supplement the congested railways is at pre- sent so great that the Government has come to the conclusion that the only way 3ut of the difficulty is the admission of foreign cars. Presidential decree is only necessary for the lowering of the tariff, and no voting on the matter is required. British importers of cars will find the British Chamber of Commence in Taris the best source of further information in this matter. I 4&uz-ce of fiirt b Ware the 'Flu. i The Ministry of Health announce that during the last few weeks there has been in t-ie great towns in England and Wales a slight but gradual increase ill the numbei oi deaths attributed to influenza, and a co- incident rise in the number of notifications of acute primary and acute influenzal pneu- monia. Tne increase appears to have been associated with preyailing mdeorologicaJ conditions, and does not apparently signify more than the usual variation in catarrhal and lung diseases generally, which may be expected at this seas-on of the year. Whilst the possibility of a fresh outbreak of in- lfuenza cannot be excluded the data avail- able does not at present afford any indica- tion of an immediate recrudescence of the disease in epidemic form. Goods Traffic Problem. I The distribution of goods scheme proposed by Mr. A. Gattie is strongly criticised by Mr. J. Pepper, assistant goods manager, Midland Railway, who says that the chief difficulty in regard to Mr. Gattie's scheme was the very large floor spaco required foi his machinery. In large centres there was every tendency for the population to get furtner and further away irom any expen- sive congested centre. With a central depot every ton of jnerchandi-e would have to b< carted further and further away from the centre. The fundamental difference betweer the railway method and Mr. Gattie's wai that they sorted gobds by means of docu- ments, and Mr. Gattie by pressing buttons The operating difficulties were all against 2 London goods clearing house. The Railway Executive have, it is said, a good scheme foi the handling of goods traffic, and this woulc have been in operatijp years ago but for th( war. The Emancipation ofWomail. I The House of Commons will have to deal with the Sox Disqualification Bill, which promises to arouse a good deal df interest. The Bill, as it at present stands, is designed to confer certain rights upon spinsters and widows, but the women's organisations are pressing a number of widening clauses. Lord Robert Cecil is expected to speak in suppprt of these amendments, which would give the women equal right of entry into the Civil Service, with special regulations as to pctets overseas, and confer on a wife the same privileges as those possessed by her husband in regard to the magistracy and jury ser- vice. Help the Disabled. I Statistics just issued show that so far the national scheme for the employment of dis- abled men has brought 20,216 workers into 3,000 business undertaking's where 445,56( workpeople are employed. The number re- quired to make up the percentage in the re- maining 450 firms, which have given an undertaking to engage disabled men, is 1,071. Much remains to be done to induce firms to recognise their patriotic duty of employing the full quota of the men who fought, and became afflicted. A man at Chelmsford who lost his left leg has been engaged as a clerk at £ 3 a week, but more interesting is the case of a Reading man, with a fractured thigh, who has got a job as an erector at JE4 a week. The Reading University Board has taken on disabled men to fill the places of women as porters and iittendants. And this is as it should be.
BRITISH MUSIC. I ENDEAVOUR TO ASSIST NATIVE TALENT. -N-InVE, I In order to enable present day British composers of the best pianoforte music to place their works before the public, the Repertoire Series" has been published by Me ssrs. Ascherberg, Hopwood aud Crew, I Ltd., in a uniform edition. This endeavour, which has been most heartily received by the trade, will remove the reproach that foreigners had better opportunities of ob- taiiiiii., a hearing in the homes than had native talent. In order to secure the most representative works of varies-, schools, the "Repertoire Series has been edited by Mr. G. H, Clutsam. the well-known critic, and Mr. T. F. Dunhin.H.C.M. The composers ?zl* r C. A, St.an- of the first twelve pieces are. Sir C. V. Stan- ford, Messrs. John Irehind, YorkBowen, Pe.rcival Garratt, Percy Pitt, Norman O'Neill, Joseph Speaight^ Arnold Bax, Her- bert Howells, G. H. Outsail;, and T. F. Dunhill.
——————— J Rejecting an offer of 18s. a day, Bedlin?- ton, Northumberland. Council cartmen ha\o gone on strike for Xl. The Board of Agriculture' intention to transfer the Flax Production Branch ulti- mately to private enterprise is to be carried into effect immediately.
I FUN AND FANCY. Kloseman: "Let me give you a piece of advice." Knox: "What's the matter with Mary: "And did the doctor pay a visit?" lack: Oh, -ves -and the visit paid the loctor." Little Arthur: "Father, what is the chief lutv of an election agenF" Father: "Cfiiefly, my boy, to count c-hickene before they're hatched" Teacher: "What is an alibi?" Bright Boy: "Being somewhere where you ain't." Teacher: "What is the Order of the Bp.th?" Small Boy: "eLI. Johnny comes tirst, then me, then W iHie, and then the baby." t h en Wiliie, axid theri the Lanigan: "Can yez wroite?" Flanigan: "Yis: but Oi haven't learned to read my wToiting yit." He: "I wonder when you'll learn to make a cake like mother used to make." She: 'Probably bv the time you learn to make a salary like father used to make." Teacher: What is velocity?" Pupil: 'Velocity is what a man puts a hot plate down with." Mistress: "I saw the milkman kiss -011 this morning. In future 1 will take in the milk IDyself." Jane: "It would be no use, mum. He's promised never to kiss anybody but me." Irate Father: "I thought you said you were worth ;LI,000 a year." Would-be Suitor: "Yes, tir, so I am; but I oniv get £ 150. She: "I looked at the sweetest hat to-day for only three guineas." lie: "Thank good- ness you didn't buy it, if it cost as much as that for a look Edith: "Jack told me I was so interesting and so beautiful." Marie: "And yet you will trust yourself for life with a man who begins deceiving you even during his courtship "What is the chief use of brpad-" asked the school inspector. "The chief use of bread." answered a lad in the front row, rather surprised at the simplicity of the question, is to spread butter on." Maude: "You have no business to kiss me." Aleck: "N o, I never combine business with pleasure." "I'm afraid," said the actor whe'i a cab- bage came within an inch of his li'^e, "that somebody in the audience has lost, his head." "No. no, I haven't forgott c>i the money I owe you. but I must ask you for a little more time." "To pay it?" "No; to forget it." t d, t l i(, n3t,,irallet, Box: "I hear your f' .^fnd, tho naturalist, has met with an accident. What was it?" Cox: "Someone gave him a tiger cub. and said it was so tamo it would eat off hi* hand, ancl it did" Mrs. Playne fat the party) "Do please excuse me. Mrs. Short, but I muet, really get some beauty sleep to-ni^ht." Hostess: ''Yes, I'm sure you need it, 1I:6. Playne." Mater: "I'm afraid that young man is extravagant." "Nonsense, mother! Why, he was here four hours last night, and he only kissed me three tinier!" Schoolmaster: "You can't remember a thing. Come to my room after school, and I'll give you the soundest thrashing you ever had:" Pupil (who suffers from lapses of memory): "Yes, sir; I'll tie a knot in my handkerchief." Doctor: "Do you talk in your sleep?" Patient: "'No: I talk in other people's. I'm a clergyman." Dora: "What shall I sing for you, Jack:J" Jack: "Have you a song with a refrain?" Dora: "Yes." Jack: then please re- frain." Ike: "The doctor said I needed a change of air." Mike: "And what did the missus sav to that?" Ike: H Oll. she just bought a new record for the phonograph. He: "Once and for all, I demand to know who is the master in this holPse?" She: "You will be happier if you don't find out." Angry Parent: You ought to be ashamed of youMclf. Tommy I I've a good mind to thrash you Small Son: "Well, mother, if you'll promise n-t to whip me I'll be awfully ashamed Mother (at telephone): "Oh, John, our daughter has married the chauffeur!" Father: "Well, perhaps he'll have some object in keeping down the repair bill now." Johnson: "They tell me that Dobbs is an awful grumbler." Jackson: "He is. He is the kind of fellow who blames his face be- cause it needs a shave." "It is possible to have too much of a good tiling," remarked the Philosopher. "les," agreed the Mere Man: the dog with the shortest tail runs the least danger of having tin cans tied to it." "John," asked the teacher, "what is a synonym-" "A synonym." said John, "is the word you use when you can't spell the other one."
THE WAY I TO BE STRONG The possession of physical fitness is P a more urgent necessity than ever ( in these times. Health is essential J to all who would maintain that high I efficiency which is increasingly in I demand. Physical fitness and all that the term implies—vigour, i energy, activity, a sense of well-being and a capacity for hard work or full enjoyment—can only be realised if a the digestive system Is sound and healthy. The way to be strong is so easy that it is astonishing how many people miss it. You have just to keep your digestive system in good order and you will rarely be ailing. It is, therefore, well to remember that, in the great majority of cases, a good digestion can be ensured by the use of Beecham's Pills. This famous medicine will strengthen the stom- ach, promote appetite, stimulate the liver and kidneys, regulate the bowels and purify the blood. All those who value sound and stable health will be well advised to take BEECHAM'S In PIUS. Md. j j In bcxes, labelled Is'3d and 3s-0d. I— — —