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NOTES ON NEWS.

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11 ■■11 ■■11 'I-. — .— ■■■ I. — »»■ NOTES ON NEWS. That the Labour Exchanges Bill has passed Ato second reading without a division is a fairlv LABOUR EXCHANGES BILL. I good indication that all parties in the House of Commons are so far favourable to the prin- ciple of the- measure as to be willing to give it a trial. Points of detail remain, of course, to be settled, and no doubt there will be administrative difficulties encountered when the Bill passes into law, but on the whole the measure should be able to do a good deal of what its supporters hope for it. It will not bring the millennium; it does not even stniii at the source of the unemployment evil; its operations will be solely in the direction of organising the labour market so that the unemployment which exists, and which will continue to exist even when the new law is fully operative, may be dealt with in a systematic and sensible manner. Mr. Churchill put the matter very well when he said the object of the exchanges would be to find men for jobs and jobs for men. Anybody who has studied only superficially the problem of unemployment! will know that a great deal of useful work may be done by that sort of organisation. There is considerable reserve of casual labour in every industrial centre, which is called up when trade is brisk and goes back into the reserve when work talis off. It frequently happens, however, that when there is no work for the reserve in one part of the country men are wanted in another. Under present conditions the unem- ployed men have no means of finding out where work is to be obtained, and so iose their chanctt of getting employment. The Exchanges, properly conducted, will supply the information, and, when necessary, -,vill also provide appli- cants with the means of travelling to the place where the work is. The result should be to bring about gradually a decasuaiisation of labour, and to clear the way for a determined attempt to deal with the ivhole problem. Some idea of the variety of matters which come within the administration of the Local CHILDBED* IN WOPKHOUSES. Government Board may be gained from a glance at the topics touched upon in the discussion which took place in the House of Commons a few nignts ago upon the vote for the salaries and expenses of the department. Children in workhouses, unemployed women, workless men, vaccination, the adulteration of food, tubercu- losis, infantile mortality, the cultivation of waste land, and afforestation were some of them, and the list could be very much extended. The tremendous importance of these things surely justifies the opinion that the Local Government Board should be placed upon a level with the other great departments of State. If the Board of Trade is to be promoted, certainly the Local Government Board ought to get a step also. Perhaps the most interesting of the subjects dealt with in the course of a dis- cursive debate was that of the maintenance of children in workhouses." For some years past the removal of the little ones from these hope- less institutions has been proceeding gradually, but there are still many who have no other home. Plenty of objections may be urged against cottage homes and scattered homes, but they are at least much to be preferred to work- houses as nurseries for future citizens. This question of the children is one of the most difficult cf the many problems connected with the Poor Law. There are few people who find anything good to say about basaars, notwithstanding their THE ONLY WAY. popularity with the authori- ties of all kinds of institutions as a ready means of raising money to pay debts and pro- vide the sinews of war. They seem, however, as Bishop Stubbs has written in reply to a letter from one of his clerqy, to be the only means of raising money. The Bishop admits with sorrow that they are not the best way, but so long as the elements of gambling by raffles and such like things and the stimulus of personal competitions are eliminated," he does not go so far as to forbid them. It is to be feared that while institutions are in need of j money, bazaars will continue to flourish until a great change takes place in our poor human j nature. If people would only give direct to deserving objects the money which they give now in a roundabout way by purchasing useless articles at bazaars the whole problem would be solved. They will not do that, however; they wAnt something for their money, and so they permit themselves to be wheedled into buying sofa-cushions and teapot-cosies which they do not really need, paying an extravagant price j for them, and consoling themselves with the j reflection that they are suffering in a good cause. It should comfort nervous people to know It should comfort nervous people to know that there are about three hundred and fifty READY, AYE READY! British ships on a war tooting just now in British waters. The naval manoeuvres have begun and there is mimic j warfare in the North Sea. After all that has been said and written about the Navy lately, there is a grain of comfort to be found in the fact that the number of vessels engaged is greater than has ever taken part in any previous manoeuvres. It is re- assuring also to know that the mobilisation at the naval ports was carried out with remarkable expedition and with complete success. This is claimed by naval experts as a triumph for the new system of nucleus crews, of which an ex- planation may be given for the benefit of the uninitiated. Under this system every vessel fit for service has the principal part of her crew all the year round, and when the order for mobilisa- tion goes forth, the balance of the men go on board from the depots, and the ships are at once read t; for service. In the old days the reserve ships had no crews at all, and had to be manned when occasion arose by men and officers who had to spend much time in getting used to the ships, and who sometimes found, after the vessels got to sea, that they were a long way from being fit for service. The advantages of the present system if war broke out in bad earnest will be obvious to everybody. It is undoubtedly true that the approaching State visit of the Czar of Russia to this country COMING OF THE CZAR. is not regarded with enthusi- astic approval. There are those who say that the hos- pitality of the nation ought 11 not to be extended to the Czar, and even those who favour the visit are probably actuated more by motives of policy than of respect for the system of government of which he is the head. And it is the motives or policy which generally rule in these cases. Great Britain and Russia are friendly Powers, and there exists between them a diplomatic under- standing or agreement. It was only reached after many years of mutual suspicion and thinly-veiled enmity, and it is inconceivable that that understanding should be imperilled by an ungracious refusal on the part of one of the "high contracting parties" to receive a visit from the Imperial representative of the other. True, opinions differ as to the wisdom of having entered into the understanding, but it is an accomplished fact, and it would cer- tainly seem to imply the observance of civility, at least. Such an outburst as that of one of the Labour members in the House of Commons the other night ir" therefore, much to be re- gretted. There are times when it is wiser not to express private opinions, and this was one or those times.

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