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oil NEAREST AND DEAREST ENEMIES.

GE^.YUNY'd FOOD DAYS.|

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ZEPPELINS. I On Monday evening it was generally known in London that the Zeppelins were on thcr way to this country, and people were expecting a "straf- ing" somewhere within the range of the Metropolis. But it did not come off; other districts were favoured in- stead. The police here have issued a new and stringent warning to people to keep under roof during a I Zeppelin raid. This is taken to imply a greater risk from falling projectiles from our own guns. But London take.; the Zeppelin menaco calmly. The Germans were never more mistaken in their lives than when they thought that the dropping bombs on babies' cradles would oreate panic, and a de- sire to sue for peace, on the part of the British public. The air outrages only intensify a grim determination to exact the uttermost reckoning. BROKEN ENGAGEMENT. The engagement between Major Richard Lloyd George, son of the Minister of Munitions, and Miss Dilys Roberts, has been broken off. Miss Roberts is the daughter of Sir John Roberts, of Carnarvon, and a close friendship between the two families re- mains unimpaired by the ending of the young couple's engagement. Miss Roberts has frequently stayed at No. 12, Downing street, and has attended many functions in town with Mrs. Lloyd George and her daughter. When the war broke out, Mr Richard Lloyd George and his brother enlisted, and both now hold commissions. WIDEAWAKE SEXTON. An amusing passage-at-arms occurred at the Labour Party Conference be- j tween Mr James Sexton, secretary of the National Union of Dock Labourers, and Mr Egerton Wake, 'commissioner' of the Fnion of Democratic Control. "It is sad to see friend Sexton digging his own grave," remarked Mr Wake, Quick as lightning came the reply from Mr Sexton, "I've already dug your grave, old man. This isn't my first Wake." The conference roared with laughter. Mr Sexton, besides) j attending to his duties as a Labour leader, finds time to do a good deal of literary work. A new edition of his remarkable play, "The Riot Act," has just been published. MR SMILLIE'S ADMISSION. In a speech delivered at Glasgow, Mr Robert Smillie, President of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, said that he ca.me away from the Lab- our Party oonforence W at Bristol feel- ing t hat the pro-war section—-Vre- actionaries" he caned themhad won hands down on most of the subjects that had been I MR SHAW'S PREFACE. Mr Shaw has written the usual lengthy preface to a new volume of his plays. The preface is longer than any of the plays the book contains. It deals with Christianity, and, so rum- our goes, Mr Shaw reread carefully the whole of the New Testament be- fore writing it. In the case of "Pyg- ,malion." which is to be included in the new puhlication, the author has written a sequel, changing the dramas- tic form to that of ordinary prose narrative, and continuing the history of the persons in the drama. THE REOPENED GROUPS. Since the reopening of the Derby groups attestations and enlistments have been going on steadily through- out the country. With the prospect of the provisions of the Military Ser- vice Act becoming operative at the beginning of March, single men have naturally formed the great majority of the recruits, but marri.ed men have also come forward in good numbers. The classess already called up have yielded, after all deductions have been made, a satisfactory proportion of soldiers. The enlistments have varied greatly in different areas, some of the mining, shipping, and munitions dis- tricts producing comparatively few re- cruits, but taking the country as a w hole the Derby scheme is bringing as many men to the Colours as there was any reason to expect. A STARRING SCANDAL. I Surely one of the most scandalous of the many anomalies in starring is contained in the announcement that "more official encouragement has been forthcoming for hunting this week, even to the length of permitting men absolutely necessary for the mainten- ance of hunting to be starred and specially reserved." The excuse for this favouritism shown to one of the most useless and expensive of the pas- times of the rich is that hunting helps to improve the breed of horses which we need for the army! But we do not need horses for the army now so much as men and munitions. And if there is a need for horses it can be amplv met by supplies from the Domin. ions and South America. When the House reopens one of the Labour Mem- bers should put a question about this latest manifestation of the selfishness, under a cloak of patriotism, of the rich. SALUTING OFFICERS I Tt is noticable in the London streets I that very few private soldiers salute the officers they pass. The War Office issued this week an order reminding soldiers of the army regulation on this matter, and stating that the militarv police have power to take the name of a soldier who fails to salute an officer. If a soldier who fails to salute is on leave he is liable to have his leave cut short, and there are other punishments. Saluting does not come easily to democratic soldi era who have never made obeisances to people in private life. The Colonials, par- ticula-rly, appear to honour the saluting regulation more in the breach than the observance, and ev.en in camp they do not kow-tow to officers. There is a story of a Colonial officer who paraded his men, and told them that I a British General was due shortly to inspect them. "Clean up your buttons," &aid he. "Make youselves look spick and span-and for God's sa.ke don't call .me Alf." MR ANDREW FISHER. The Right Hon. Andrew Fisher, the ex-Labour Premier of Australia, the new High Commissioner for the Com- monwealth. in this country, arrived in London on Sunday. Among those meeting him on the platform were Mr Arthur Henderson and Mr Will Crooks, both of whom are his person- al friends. The late Mr Keir Hardie onoo gave Mr Fisher's biography suc- cinctly in a few sentences. "When I knew him first," said he, "Andrew was the secretary of a miners' lodge in Ayrshire. After a time the employers victimized him. He went to Austral- ia. Now he is Prime Minister." AN AUSTRALIAN STORY. The Australians, like the Amerioans, are fond of "tall'' stories, and here is one which concerns Rockhampton, in Queensland, the hottest district in the colony. A Rockhampton man, having long cherished a wish to see the Eng- lish village where his parents came from, took a trip to London, but caught a chill and died. Aust-raliin friends in London cremated him. in accordance with his last wish. Curiosity made them open the furnace trap and look in, whereupon the Rockhampton man sat up, and in peremptory tones bade them 'Shut that door. This is the first time I've felt warm since I left Rockie.' SOLDIERS ON FARMS. It may not be generally known among farmers that by application to the military authorities they can get the help of soldiers to do urgent and necessary work on the farms. Fur- lough will be granted to the soldiers for a period not exceeding one month. The farmer must pay 4s. a day if the man provides his own board and lodgings are provided by the farmer. The working hours are to be those cus- tomary in the district, and no charge will be made for travelling expenses. If a farmer wants his son or one of his former labourers, who is serving at home, efforts will be made to satisfy the request. 1 RATS. How to destroy rats and other farm j pests is the subject of a new leaflet from the Board of Agriculture. The difficulty of keeping down the number of rats is the absence of concerted action, for if one farmer tries to ex- terminate them unaided by his neigh- bours, he will' find his premises in- vaded by fresh arrivals from adjacent farms. The Board point out, there- fore, that the destruction of vermin is essentially a matter for local effort, but that it should not be isolated or unsystematic, and they advise occu- piers of farms or buildings to join to- gether with a view to making a sys- tematic attempt to reduce the pests over as large an area as can be con- j veniently dealt with.

PONTARDAWE GUARDIANS -I

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