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OUR LONDON LETTER. .

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OUR LONDON LETTER. fFrom Our Special CorrespmdenAj Ever since Mr. Lloyd George introduced his Budget it has been darkly rumoured that a "split" would take place in the Liberal Party on the question of the land taxes. There are many wealthy landowners who are also Liberals, and, in common with the rest of humanity, they are not brimming over with eagerness to be taxed. Within the past few days the announcement was made that the disaffected members had formed a Cave," and would oppose the taxes on unde- veloped land for all they rrere worth. The little band includes men of weight and influ- ence, and it is evident that if they care to push matters to extremes they may be able to make things exceedingly unpleasant- for the Government. They have had an interview with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer and stated their views. The answer, as might have been expected, was to the effect that, while being willing to con- sider amendments in detail, the Government definitely declined to throw overboard any of their main proposals for the valuation and taxation of land. The "Cave" will not take any further action for the present beyond moving amendments to the Finance Bill, but it is understood that they will decline to fall into line with the rest of the Ministerialists. It is a long time since Society had such a "lion as Lieutenant Shacldeton, who, being modest, as all brave men should be, must find the "lionising" which he is now undergoing rather a severe trial. No Society function is complete without this man of the moment, and distinguished hostesses are eagerly suing for the honour of having him as a guest at their parties. Learned societies are making much of him-and truly he deserves it. Ban- quets innumerable are given in his honour, all sorts of kickshaws are offered up at his hrine, and the poor man is expected to eat a whole lot of things which possibly may not agree with him. He told an interviewer the other day that when he and his companions were away in the "awful solitudes which sen- tinel the Pole," subsisting on a very plain -diet and not too much of it, they often talked of the meals they would have when they got back to London. The vision has materialised, in good truth. It is a good thing that Lieu- tenant Shackleton has youth and good diges- tion on his side. It takes a brave man to do what he has done in the Antarctic, but he may be excused if he comes to the conclusion that to act fully up to the part of a Society idol is a much more fearsome business. I remember a Drury Lane pantomime years ago, in which poor Dan Leno and Herbert Campbell, anticipating events, went sailing over London in an airship. They were not quite sure of their whereabouts, and after Dan had issued the command to his crew, "Back water!" and the ship had been stopped, he looked over the side, and announced, "Yes, it's London; the streets are up." They have been up a good many times since, and the season for the annual re- pairing orgies will soon be here again. It will Jaegin early next month in the city of West- minster, and will go on until some time in October. Most of the work will be done in the West-end after "everybody" has left town. In this part of London, at least, some regard is being paid to the convenience of the public, and the Westminster Council, re- -cognising that even after "everybody" has gone away there will still be a good many people left, has made inquiries as to the most suitable dates for upsetting the arrange- ments of the different streets. Would that other Councils would do likewise' A week or two back I referred to the great naval pageant which Londoners and visitors will have the opportunity of witnessing next month, when a considerable proportion of the vessels at present engaged in the manoeuvres will be berthed in the Thames, the forty-mile line of warships extending from Southend to the Houses of Parliament. The details of the official programme in connection with this remarkable naval display have now been completed, and it is clear that jio effort will b- e Spared by the Admiralty and the City Corporation to make the affair a memorable vent. There will be over a hundred vessels representing the various types in the Navy, and an opportunity will be afforded of view- ing at close quarters some of the finest, vessels of our first line of defence. It is an -opportunity of which Londoners will cer- tainly take full advantage, and it cannot fail •to attract crowds of visitors from the pro- vinces. The City Corporation will spend thousands of pounds in connection with the visit. There have been some extraordinary ques- tions asked in Parliament at one time and another, but one which was placed upon the paper by Mr. Leverton Harris the other day is certainly deserving of a niche in the museum of Parliamentary curiosities. It bore upon the question of what are and what are not minerals within the meaning of the clause of the Finance Act dealing with that subject. "Which of the following sub- stances," Mr. Harris asks, "are to be con- sidered minerals," and goes on to enumerate eighty-seven of them, nearly all of them entirely unknown to ordinary people, and all with names of fearful and wonderful con- struction. One was inclined at first to com- pliment Mr. Harris upon his erudition and industry, until one noticed that all the minerals in this formidable list have names beginning with the initial letter of the alphabet. It appears, therefore, that the hon. member is only at the beginning of his sub. ject. As there are about twelve thousand different kinds of minerals, he has plenty of scope for further questions. Some 'time during the present year, prob- ably in the autumn, it is hoped to complete arrangements for the stone-laying of the Central Young Men's Christian Association headquarters in Tottenham Court-road. The new building will provide accommodation for a large number of young men, who will be able to obtain all the advantages of a well-ordered club, while for a comparatively small sum they will be able to secure excellent quarters. A number of educational and other classes will be established to afford the advantages of a business college or technical institution. The committee are anxious to make it easy for the young man to improve his technical knowledge, and at any rate to give him as good a chance as his German contemporary. The social and recreative side, as well as the religious, will not be overlooked. Gymnasia and provllsion for games are a part of the scheme, but whilst the Y.M.C.A. is essen- tially a religious organisation, there will be no attempt to confine the social and educa- tional benefits of the new headquarters to those who are members of the association. About P.83,000 is needed to complete the cost of the building. A. E. M.

SECRETS OF BEAUTY AND GRACE.

I THE LODGER'S LULLABY.

MDOG DISPUTE.

[No title]

BRITISH SHIP SHELLED I

A MAN OF RESOURCE.

RAILWAY TRAGEDY.I

OLDEST OF THE HUMAN RAOE.

"A TERRIBLE INSULT.!

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Advertising

MR. BIRRELL AND HENRY cI.

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Advertising

TELEPHONING 2,500 MILES.

X17 TO PAY GAS BILL,

WATER ON THE BATTLEFIELD.

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MURDER VERDICT APPEAL.

RELIGIOUS RIOTS.

CHALLENGE TO A DUEL.

TRY THIS TO-DAY.

BALLOON FALLS 2,400 FEET|

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LADY MISSIONARY MURDERED,

RAILWAY AGREEMENT.

EXPRESS DERAILED.

FUNERAL STOPPED,

NEW PORT OF CALL.