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NOTES ON NEWS. All earnest students of the problem of unem- ployment have long since recognised the need tor some such scheme of LABOTSR Labour Exchanges as that EXCHANGES, embodied in the Bill which has been introduced by the President of the Hoard of Trade. Organisation of some kind is absolutely necessary before the problem can be dealt with in any effective manner, and Labi tr Exchanges represent at once the most obvious kind of organisation and that which seems likeljf to be the most effectual. They cannot eradicate the evil, but they can, if properly conducted, do a good deal to minimise its effects. At present a man who is thrown out of employment is at a "loose end." He applies for work to the employers in his own town, and, failing to get it, probably tramps the country in search of a job. His search is aimless: he has nothing to guide him chance takes him in one direction and he finds no work. whereas if he had gone in the other he might have found what he sought. A properly organised system of Labour Exchanges will at least better this condition of things. Workmen will know where to go to obtain information as to the places in which work is to be had, and employers who want workmen will know where to find them. In Germany Labour Exchanges have been in existence in the great towns for years. and excellent reports have been made as to their usefulness. There is no reason why they should not do an equally good work in this country. Another highly important proposal is that for z, a system of unemployment insurance which is associated with that tor COMPULSORY Labour Exchanges. It is UNEMPLOYMENT intended next year to intro- IHSCEAKCE. duce a Bill applying such a scheme to five trades, a uni- -versai system not bemg considered practical at this stage. Those five trades, however, employ two and a quarter millions of workmen, and the average of unemployment amongst them is high, overing almost half of the total of the unem- ployment of the country. The fund for the payment of unemployment benefits will be made up by contributions from both workpeople and employers, while the State will also pay a substantial share. It is clear that the workmen are vitally concerned in the matter, and they will probably welcome the opportunity afforded them of paying a small weekly contribution in order to insure against the accident of unem- ployment, jnst as they pay their pence to a friendly society to secure medical attendance and sick pay during illness. Employers, too, will no doubt recognise the justice of their helping to maintain the reserve of labour which is a necessity of our industrial system. The provision that the payments are to be compul- sory upon all, workmen and employers alike, is essential to the success of the scheme. Some people have permitted themselves to be a little frightened by the weird and wonderful I stories ot a phantom airship, TERROR or fleet of airships sailing BY over the country by night, NIGHT. carrying powerful search- lights, manoeuvring marvel- lously, and travelling at an incredible speed. In a few years' time, perhaps, when airships have become as familiar as motor-cars, they may be able to do even more wonderful things. At present, however, the cold and unromantic truth is that there is no airship in existence which can be made to do .half the amazing feats which are attributed to this mysterious vessel. After all, the science of aviation is still in its infancy, and there are not many airships I in existence at all. It is pretty certain that those of which the world has heard most are the most perfect yet designed, and certainly none of those can be directed and controlled with the ,certainty and the independence of wind and weather which seem to be characteristic of this Flying Dutchman of the air. That something has been seen is certain, of course, but any tales of man-carrying airships need to be taken with a big grain of salt. It seems highly probable that the whole sensation is either the work of the advertising expert or a practical joker. Lord Roberts is a great soldier, and perhaps more trusted and idolised by the nation than any other of our military LORD ROBERTS heroes. His splendid service AND THE to the Empire and his mastery ARMY. of the profession which he has se brilliantly adorned ensure tor his views on the Army and national defence a respectful hearing and careful consideration. Therefore when he calls our Army a sham, as he did in the House of Lords last week, many people begin to wonder whether he may not be right. He has a small opinion of the Territorials, and thinks they would be of little use even if they were at full strength. There is, perhaps, in this something of the contempt of the pro- fessional for the amateur, for which allowance has always to be made. It is to be said, how- ever, that even though the Territorial Army scheme may not be perfect, it promises better than any scheme the country has known as yet. Lord Roberts, of course, has a scheme of his own, which he advocates with earnestness and, no little force. Without going as far as to advocate the usual form of conscription, he is yet in favour of some sort of compulsory ser- vice, and Capt. Kincaid-Smith, who recently tested the feeling of his late constituents on that very point, was given an answer which does not seem to hold out much hope for the fulfil- ment of Lord Roberts' desire. Owing to the discussion of the Budget pro- posals, the Dreadnought agitation has been thrust somewhat into the FOUR background of late. The MORE matter comes again into DREADNOUGHTS, prominence in consequence of » the announcement that the four contingent Dreadnoughts, for the con- struction of which, if considered necessary, the Government asked for power in the Naval Estimates, are to be put ;n hand. This an- nouncement is not official, but the authority on which it is made is said to be unimpeachable, and the further statement is made that the Government have been led to realise the necessity of the extended programme in con- sequence of the International situation, and the anxiety which is felt in this country as to whether our Fleet is indeed adequate in view of the great activity of other Powers. It will be remembered that the Government proposed to order the construction of the four extra ships only in case the rate of building by other nations made it probable that in the near future our naval supremacy would be endan- gered. It may be assumed, therefore, that, presuming the announcement of the enlarged programme is correct, the need is considered to be imperative.


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