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OUR LONDON LETTER. -i

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OUR LONDON LETTER. i [From Our Special Co,respQn dent.] London. The debate which took place in the House of Commons on the question of the employ- j rnent of discharged soldiers, a debate which followed an unfortunate collision between a demonstration of the latter and the police, was notable in that it exhibited the uni- versal desire and intention to do justice to the men who served in the war. The most striking feature of the debate was Sir Robert Home's speech. The Minister of Labour was able to show that of the 2,800,000 men who have been demobilised | since the armistice was signed, 81 out of every 100 have returned to or been found employment. Considering the comparatively short period involved, and the complexity of the task, it is remarkable that there should be only 19 out of every 100 demobilised men uuemploved. It is clear from Sir Robert Home's "speech that the Government is not in the least wanting in desire or determi- nation to get this minority fixed up without avoidable delay. Its record in this matter mast, I think, be admitted to be such rs to entitle it to congratulation and confidence, THE LIE DIRECT. Mr. Churchill's (speech on the Army Esti- mated was anticipated with keen interest, delivered with characteristic vivacity, I will be read with satisfaction by the aver- age citizen. The matter of the relations between the Army and the civil population in time of industrial strife i6 one of great importance. The suggestion had been made, and a stolen document had been used to support it, that it was the intention of the Government, if possible, to use the Army for what is commonly called strike-break- ing-. Mr. Churchill gave that monstrous suggestion its quietus. He pointed out that there is an obligation on the Government to see that the great mass of citizens are not plunged into privation, misery, and confusion through any sudden breakdown of vital organisations. But to take precautions to deal with such a breakdown is one thing, and to uae the forces of the Crown as blacklegs in a Labour dispute is quite another. The distinction is one which must be apparent to everyone who is not incur- ably prejudiced against the maintenance cf order by any means or in any circum- stances. CHESTERTON IN CHURCH. I went the other day to St. Paul s Church in Coveut Garden to hear an address by Mr. G. K. Chesterton. That brilliant man did not look very happy in a gown and in a pulpit, neither of which wad any too big for him. Like many distinguished writers, G.K.C. is no orator. His manner of speech is quiet, conversational, and argumentative. If I understood him aright, he thinks that what he calls the "servile tendencies of modern social legislation" are going to land us in a condition rather worse than that of the slavery of £ he ancient world, and much worse than that which prevailed in the Middle Ages. It is a gloomy prediction, and one not, I think, justified by the facts. Of course we had some epigrams. For in- stance It was no use giving a man more time to himself unless you give him himself in that time." Also we had some of those typical analogies in which Mr. Chesterton revels. lie found, for example, a connect- ing link between St. Valentine and V alen- tine's Day. The Saint was in vows, and Valentines are voin,s This sort of thing is very pretty, but it seems to me very un- convincing." It is like arguing again.st vegetarianism from the fact that ⢠the majority of people who commit suicide on Hampstead Heath drown themselves in the Leg of Mutton pond, and saying that healthy people desire, even when dead, to be as dead as mutton. HOUSING. I Warm and general congratulations were showered upon Dr. Addison, who has been in charge of the Bill in the House of Com- mons. when the Housing Bill passed its final stages in that House. It is not too much to say that this measure will, if it is worked thoroughly and wholeheartedly by the local authorities, change the face of this country and diminish, almost to the point of extinction, that housing problem which has so long been one of the planks in the platform of social reformers ill this country. The BiH was only introduced on March 18, and, considering the drastic and far-reaching character of its provisions, its passage through Parliament has been speedy and pleasant. Various matters have arisen for criticism and amendment, but in all quarters there has been goodwill towards the Bill, and the single desire to make it as effective an instrument as possible for the purpose for which it was framed. It is to te hoped, and I think it may be expected, that this Parliamentary unity in support of the Bill may be reflected in the country in all the steps that are taken to make it operative as quickly as possible. THE POLICE UXREST. I The recurrence of unrest among the Lon- don police, and to some extent throughout the County and Borough police forces of the country, is a serious matter. The Govern- ment has announced decisions of import- ance both of a negative and of a positive character. It has decided, as was to be ex- pected, that it is impossible to recognise the Police Union. If there had been any doubt about this the disgraceful letter of the secretary of that union, in which he I practically apologised for the police for doing their duty in a recent riot, must have removed it. On the positive side substan- tial increases of pay, which arc to be re- trospective, and a representative organisa- tion within the police force for the presen- tation of grievances individual or collective, have been provided for. As a body the police have no Bolshevik sympathies, which is more than can be said of some of those who are trying to exploit them for political I purposes. THE COGERS. I spent an interesting Saturday evening recently with th £ Ancient. Society of Cogers. This venerable debating society is the last survivor of the tavern debating societies that were numerous a century or mere ago. The foaming ale and the Ion, clay pipes of those elays have no place in the meeting of the present day Cogers who assemble in the parish hall of the ancient church of St. Bride's, Fleet-street. The society has a con- tinuous history from 1755 down to the pre- sent time. Its debates have, it would seem, -iner-eased in decoium, but they certainly have not declined in quality or wit. The standing subject of debate is the "Events of the Week," and that subject is "im- proved"âto use a word applied by our grandfathers to sermonsâwith great skill and vivacity. Many well-known journalists, barristers, and politicians, including a fair sprinkling of Labour men, are members of the Cogers, and there Ãr" no,pl:ice in London, not excluding Parliament itself, where a I man who has a taste for the strong meat of argumentation can feed more liberally upon that enlivening fare. i

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I JUMPING TO ENGLAND.

WRECK OF TROOP TRAIN.