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-I MOTES AND COMMENTS.!

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MOTES AND COMMENTS.! There is a refreshing novelty about the American way of conduct-1 ;!ing warfare. Our Cousins have re-1 piused to conform with the old diplo. matic usages, publishing documents ^world-wide that we and the govem- i'ments of the Continent would keep fin a dark pigeon-hole until the edge ?of their piquancy had worn off, and jfjnaybe their usefulness had disap- Ipea-red. We owe to the United States a clearer conception than we had originally with regard, to many points concerning the origin of the gvar. The duplicity of the Kaiser ag been brought into sharper ■•relief. And now it appears as hough the American method of idping things-trampling without re- ject to the ancient proprieties upon .:tradition-is going to be of assist- gap,e to us in estimating the pro- gress of military operations. Mr. k eicI the American Secretary of ar, is issuing a weekly review of; ,o. war, which discusses with re- markable candour problems in. which everyone is interested but I aboyS which we learn little that is aufcfeoriiaMvo. When the lamented 1 Lord Kitchener spoke periodically in the House of Lords we had some- thing approaching these weekly re- views, but Iris statements lacked but Ii-?s 'Lacl.:ed their fra,kness ec)ntem- Mr. Baker tells-lis, for instance, that wo have overcome the neces- sity for a long winter bait. The potency of tbe Allied material and men, the accumulation of the technical means of combat, and the preparations which have been going on for many months, he says, will make possible for the British and and French Commanders to triumph over natural obstacles, and, ,ith v. few short. intervals, we may ex- pect the offensive to press forward, j This is the most heartening state- ment that has been made since the close of the summer. Last winter, the weather conditions on the Sc-mme compelled a cessation of active operations in October. The winter of 1915 was stagnant. ) J Mr. Baker is right, the winter or 1017 will result in very decisive changes. For if we can go on deepening the Y pres wedge, if the French can follow up the Soissons offensive and turn the Hindcnburg i line, the spring will see the Germans in strange straits. Already the plain of Laon is lying before the French and the enemy salient of St. Gcbain is threatened. The British are holding on grimly to: their hardly-won positions on the edge of the great Houthulst Forest, j Before us, in this sector of the line, we have a task of tremendous difficulty to accomplish. A corre- spondent with the army says that he believes the Germans intend to hold the forest as long as possible, fighting stubbornly every foot of the way back iu order to keep this thick screen for the battery groups that probably lie between its upper edge and the Yser marshes. Pri- soners have asserted that the Houthulst woods will be defended at all cost. Although largely swamp and broken jungle, they still con- ceal a number of German machine- gun refuges, little islands of con- crete in stagnant ponds woven to- gether in a bewildering labyrinth bv a network of raised footways and  br;QF¡: slen d er bridges. Forest fighting, as our experience j in the Ancre Valley and north-east of Albert showed, is a bloody busi- ness. In Wales we shail ever re- member Mametz and High Woods the struggle in Deville Wood was even more sanguinary. But if we intend to clear out the great forest which now supports the German defence—and Haig may have quite other plans than to capture it iiv direct attack—we are infinitely better armed for such work to-day. Our artillery did amazing execution in the Ancre offensive; men who have been in the 1016 battles and j this year's fighting declare that they cannot be compared for in tensity and destructiveness. The Houthulst Forest barrier will (1)t be the obstacle to our progress Hut the woods from iiametz to the Bazentins were last year. j Even the casual reader of the war news will hYencted that there is greatl y increased gun activity. The artillery is going its hardest every day, and not merely as a prelimiu nry to an assault. All along the hue from the Somme to I pres, and thence up to the coast, the sound of the guns is unceasing by day and night, and in the quietest sector there is a perpetual hammer- ing at the opposing front by big guns and small, by raiding parties and other minor offensives, which move the line forward and straighten it out. Mr. J. A. Spen- der, who recently visited the front, says that he has heard these activi- ties questioned; but he answers that they are seldom questioned on the fighting front. There you will find a great repug- nance to the quiescent policy which would permit the trench lines to settle down into an inter- minable underground existence, in which the opposing forces watch each other and do nothing. Every active British officer makes it a matter of personal pride that the J lines opposite to him shall not be a rest-camp for the enemy. To have done and to get home, and, in the meantime, to use all possible energy to that end, is the uÜversid desire." ) aeSlre. As to the effect this ceaseless pounding (alternating with well- thought out and directed jumps) is having upon German nerves, we turn to the American War Secre- tary's review for evidence. Mr. Baker says that. the Riga offensive was undertaken with a view to bolstering up the moral of the country, and more particularly ,n order to be able to-meet impendin i internal difficulties. The German High Command, he declares, has! invariably picked out a weakened objective in order to be able to re- cord a success which should be of political rather than military value. An island off the Finnish coast in the hands of tbe enemy is in no way an offset to the recent Allied i victories in Flanders. Sound stra- tegy demands that no such diver- sion of forces should be undertaken at so crucial a moment. And he concludes: If the enemy had any confidence of being able successfully to stem the tide of the Allied ad. vance in the West, he would throw every ounce of his strength into the balance in Flanders, and, if pos- ¡ sible, by crushing the Allied armies, I bring about that peace with vic- tory which the German has often stated was his objective. Ger- many by extending her lines in the East has merely added to tbe length of her line of communication. p Miss Ann Louisa Bailr. who rliM on Tuesday at Eeher, was 100 on January 7 last.

APPEAL TRIBUNAL ——II>

MUNITIONS COURT. I

SIR JOHN SIMON. I - I

THE IV.ABIP-IOGION. j

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"I STOLE THE LOT" I

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ENDANGERED LIVIS. 1 -&IJ

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ALLOTMENT TENURE.

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COUNTY FOOD PRICES.

MALTHOUSES GUTTED.

RESPECTED IN I-LANDOVER)

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