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LONDON LETTER. I

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LONDON LETTER. I MORE LETTERS ON THE WAY I FtlOM PRETORIA. GERMANS LOSING THE LEADI PENCIL TRADE. .30, BOUTKRIK-STRSltr, E.C., LOXDO, SUNDAY NIGHT. THE APPUOI'ltlATION HILL. There is only one more opportunity for debate ere the session closes on Wednes- day. It will bo of a general character, on the second reading of the Appropriation Bill on Monday. Members may then talk on almost ever\T conceivable subject- Very few members are left in town, and as all the subjects of the day have been dis- cussed it is unlikely there will be a pro- longed debate on Monday. Moreover, there are seven Bills in front of the Appro- priation Bill, and five of them are for tho consideration of the Lords' amendments. MORE QUESTIONS ArOUT THE UELIEF }"OUU; -.1. bucking to his guns. Sir El!ts Ashinead- I Bnrtlett will once more ask Mr. Brodrick on Monday for information as to the advnnvo of the relief forces towards Peking, a!so with regard to tlie present pc tion of the Ministers and other foreigners in Peking. The answers Sir Ell? may obtain have been anticipated b? news that reached London 011 Sa<ordav? night, to the ('foctt)Mt the B-,iti ?, Americans, and Japanese were making the advance, and that the Russians and French were guarding the li'ies of com- munication. This information is more likely to be authentic in that it confirms the information I hid last vreelc. THE l'ltO-DOKU COTlltKSI'ONDENCE. JixFraordinary Tumours are curi?ent con- Mrn! g the correspondence with the t enemy of whieh several British members]' of Parli^ament-, have been guilty. Mr. Sec- rotary Chamberlain's opininn that the cor- respondence is not treasonable does net cover several letters now on the way home, which he has not seen. It is said that in these letters are several very grave matters which may possibly call for prose- cution. Among other rumours current is i one coming directly from Pouth Africa to the effect that there are in existence papers showing that previous to the Jameson Raid the Transvaal Government had been preparing for war. It is said that the Boer delegates now in Europe had succeeded in carrying away these papers. Mr. John Brigg, the member for the Keighley Division, is on Monday going to 11<1. Mr. Chamberlain if he has any knowledge of these matters. Mr. Brigg is not the man to ask such a question lightly, and Mr. Chamberlain may pos- sibly he able to throw some new light on the situation. THE FIRST ARMY CORrs. That, nebulous quantity, the alleged First Army Corps, is again to be brought under the notice of Parliament. Sir Howard Vincent thinks the Army Corps might be made a concrete fact, and has put down iiotict- of a motion, which, no doubt, will re-appear next session. The motion declares that the First Army Corps for foreign service ?bo-,i](I 'I)c knpt at AJdprshot coiip!et? in t he proportion of arms, guns, horses, ambulances, wagons., &c.. ready for immediate embarkation. The motion also declares that the general officer commanding at Aldershot, with the staff of that district, should proceed with the Army Corps on its being ordered on active service, and likewise the brigadiers, with their respective brigades. Also that, 'll1Pon mobilisation the Second Arm' Corps. with its staff, should re-place the First at Aldershot. WAR OFFICE ACCOUNTS. the clumsy wav in which thp War Of!iCf' IIcco'l!l'h al' IÅpt present us with ?tili, anomah". that. whereas the tota) eo--t of diP war i,p till February 1 next is est i- mated at sixty-nine millions, it appears from the provision made all if the cost were eighty-one lyli Ilion t is to sav. the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken borrowing power for fiftv-six millions, of which he has alread' y availed himself to the extent of forty millions. Added to the fiftv-six millions is an amount of twenty-five millions defrayed out of taxation, namely, nine millions from the surplus of last year and sixteen millions from taxation in the current year. But of the fiftv-six millions which the j Chancellor may borrow sbe or seven mil- lions is a margin in excess of his estimates, and several millions are for expenditure not directly due to the South African Wa r. Deducting twelve millions for these I two items, we get the sixty-nine mil- lions which the war is estimated to cost, and of which twenty-five millions are to be defrayed from taxation and forty-four from loans. A LOST LEADER. General Christian de Wet, whose death is reported from the effects of sholl firo was tho most brilliant, daring, and suc- cessful of the Boer generals. He was a descendant of the famous De Witts who made a great deal of history in thp seven- teenth century. One of them was an admiral, and vied with De Rnyter and Van Tromp in the eourage and dash of his attacks on the British fleets, Thp report of De AV et's death is unconfirmed a, I write, hut in anv case the days of his marauding are numbered, for Lord Kit- chener has been told off to wind up his account. It was De Wet who caused so much suffering to the irniv in its advance on Biocmfont?in via Paardeberg bv his dashing .?'uro of the ?rpat convov. Since th"n D" Wet has p?'-iodicaHy raided the British communications or dashed at isolated Dm?ts. a]way to our great ]os,. THE LEAD FEXCTT, TRADE. I Hero is an interesting note in the diplomatic return issued this morning on the trade of Bavaria concerning the pencil trade of Germany. It appears that the pencil export trade, in which Bavaria, with her important, pencil factories in Nuremberg, is largely interested, has of late suffered severely froni the competi- tion of large American pencil-makers at New York and elsewhere, some of which turn out from 12.000 to 18.000 gross per wep!t- 1" spitf of efforts in Germany to cheapen the nroductic n, so as to counteract the effect of heavy import duties in foreign countries, the common and medium qiialiti? of German pencils are said to be aliu(wt driven from the field. The in"nions I;iboiir-?av?ng maC'hinNv of the Ameri- can factories and their large scale of pro- duction. and especially the cheaper price at which they can supnlv themselves with cedar wood are the chief causes for the failure of German makers to hold their own. The fact is that Germanv is prac- tically d,>penelent. on the United 'States of America for her supply of suitable cedar wood, and has to put tin with what she can get, the Americans keening the best, for themselves; thpn again comes the cost of transport of the timber and an import duty on arrival in Germany. Tn 1898 1.332 tons of cedar wood, worth £235,000. were imported. COMPRESSED TURF AS FUEL. In the present high price of eoal it might be worth fli, of merchants to turn their attention to the desirability (If pui chasing some of the compressed turf of which there are inexhaustib'e ouantities on the extensive moors in Rllr1!Ã-;n. In Germany and other places this compressed turf LS largely used' for firing in private houses, as well as wood, instead of coal or coke. The only English eoal regularly imported is anthracite, which is used for the so-called American self-regulati'lg stoves, burning continuously day and night. Certainly, if thp price of coal con- tinues to increase as it is doing at th" present time, wn" slid, substitute will hare to be provided for the household.

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