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OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT.

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OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT. Since the unhappy week in December, when we had to receive, with what resignation we d summon, news of our successive checks at Stormberg, Magersfontein, and Colenso, there has been no such eager awaiting of intel- ligence in Loudon from the seat of war as we have just passed through. From the moment it was known that Lord Roberts had left Cape Town for the front, popular expectation ran high, and what has happened since to justify it has by this time passed into history. Perhaps the most striking sight in connection with the Bore recent news, as far as the metropolis itself was concerned, was presented in the streets on the morning it became known that General French had reached Kimberley. The intelli- gence was at,ome placarded in the windows of newspaper offices in Fleet-street; and, as the omnibuses passed, laden with those bound for their offices in the City, the passengers looked, then rose and cheered lustily. Outside the Mansion House, where the news was promptly posted, an immense crowd speedily gathered, and the enthusiasm was intense, while a striking illustration of it was given by men passing in the street who, although utterly tmknown to each other, exchanged the news and shook hands over it as they parted. There Was no display of bunting, waving of flags, oc parade of bands of music; but the popular joy was exhibited in unmistakable fashion, and in a Way that seldom has been seen. As one of the Ministerial measures for the I present Session is a bill to provide the taking of the decennial census next year, the more interest may be felt in that which will be taken in the United States this spring. The special building for the accommodation of toe chief officials concerned is now nearly ready for occupation and it stands on the site of the oldest round house in America, and lies almost within the shadow of the dome of the Capitol at Washington. Some of the rooms will be used for printing pur- poses, and many, of course, will be occupied by statisticians and clerks, while it is intended that one shall be sufficiently strong to be secure not only against fire and water, but even earth- guakes. Some oi these apartments will be irge enough to accommodate five hundred clerks, while one wing will have space for two thousand two hundred people, with a separate desk for each. The first of May has been fixed lor the starting of the enumerators on their founds, and some are anticipated to finish in a iortnight, while by the beginning of June reports, it is expected, will commence to reach the census building. Our own preparations will scarcely be upon so extended a scale, but, they will be very large nevertheless. Another statistical inquiry of much import- ance which is about to be undertaken concerns London aflone, for that is the quenquennial •eejessraent for rating purposes of the house property of the metropolis. It is, of course, see more important this year because the new XtOndon municipalities will come into being next November, and their expenditure will, to come extent, depend upon the rateable value of each. A curious point is already being' dis- cussed in connection with the approaching valuation. It appears that at the last assess- ment, five years ago, many of the rating Authorities called in the assistance of rating surveyors for the larger and more difficult por- tion of the work; and in some cases these were paid by a percentage on the increased rating. That, however, obviously gave a direct interest to the rating surveyor to make assessment as high as possible; and, although he might- not yield to the temptation, it is never desirable to place such in any official's way. The suggestion is accordingly being made that the surveyor should be paM by a percentage on the old assessment, and that seems likely to be largely adopted. This week there has been afforded the first outward and visible sign that at last the Strand is definitely to be widened. A hoarding has been placed around the Roomed dwellings at the narrowest part, the materials of which they are com- posed have been sold to professional house-breakers," and the work of demolition has begun. Holy well-street and Wyph-street, the two thoroughfares at their back are not yet to be touched, but they are not to stand much longer; and we shall accordingly see at laO distant date the actual commencement of the new great thoroughfare running direct from the Strand to Holborn. The improve- ment has so long been talked of that even the zsost sanguine among us had began to despair of even seeing it accomplished. "Thirty years ago, when it tfas definitely decided to erect the new Palace of Justice1 in the Strand, Parliament came to its re- solution partly upon the promise that the Strand would at once be wide'n'ed and what i vas promised in 1870 is only beginning to be accomplished in 1900. The all night-workers of the metropolis are more and more being catered for in the way of travelling accommodation just now; and the more enterprising aroang earrailway-managers are vying with each other in the endeavour to provide for a, steadily growing demand. The latest proof of" s is the promise of Mr. C. J. Owens, the general manager of the London and South-Western Railway Company, to put 8ft a new train from the Waterloo terminus to Kingston at half-past two every morning, while there is being considered a return train from Kingston to Waterloo, by way of Richmond. It is a striking illustration of the varied interests which are serve$,,in i SUC4 a matter that the former train was mainly asked for by the men employed upon the morning newspapers,' while the latter would especially suit those engaged in the great fruit, flower, and vegetable market at Covent-garden. More and more of these through-the-night trains are certain to be wanted in the capital, while the all-night ser- vice of tramcars which the London County Council started on their lines south of the Thames a twelve month since has had so much success as more than to justify experiment, None but those with practical experience of metropolitan life, indeed, can imagine what a huge floating nocturnal population has to be provided for in this and various ways. It is, perhaps, a misnomer to call anything connected with snow a burning question, but there is always keen trouble between the London householder and' his local authorities when snow falls. The law on the subject used to be based upon the old proverb that if ever f- ione cleared his own doorstep, the whole path- way would be clean; but nine years ago the Legislature altered this to an enactment throw- ing upon the various vestries the task pf re- moving the snow. Every householder ac- quainted with the ways of these bodies fcretold at the time that, while flae oM system was very far from perfect,, the new one would always prove a failure, and that forecast has been shown once more within very recent days to prove it. The jprudent householder has his footpath cleaned 3aovv as he always used to do, but the vestries pit still and wait for a thaw. If it comes they declare they have done their duty, for the ftnnw has gone; if it does not, they pride them- aeives on having saving the rates, and they let the snow stay; but the law remains virtually a d letter. R. -=

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