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I NOTES ON NEWS. I xvet us hope that while the new recruit- ing scheme is being tried for all it is worth there may be a truce be- THE RECRUITING CANVASS. tween the advocates of compulsion and the sup- porters of voluntary en- listment. The scheme which has been formulated by Lord Derby in conference with the Parliamentary Re- cruiting Committee and the Joint Labour Recruiting Board seems an excellent one, and there is strong ground for hope that it will produce good results. But it must have fair plny. It is admittedly the last chance for the voluntary system, and all of us, whatever our own opinions on the sub- ject may be, must do our utmost to make it succeed. It is our task now, for the great point in the scheme is that whereas recruits have hitherto been found by the military authorities, civilians are now made responsible for bringing them to the military authorities to enlist, clothe, equip, and train. In order that the greatest pos- sible number of recruits may be raised, it is important that the compulsionists and the voluntarists should hold their hands and their pens from attacking one another and this system or that, and throw the whole of their energies into .the effort to make Lord Derby's campaign the success it deserves to be. Nothing could be simpler than the new scheme. It provides that every man of military age, who is "un- A STRAIGHT QUESTION. starred "—that is to say, who is employed in some industry which is not to recruited—shall be can- vassed. The canvass will be conducted on similar lines to those followed in the case of a general election. Here, however, there will be no rival candidates. The men will be asked to join the Army, and the can- vassers will press for reasons in the event of a refusal. Lord Derby, who has long been in favour of compulsory service, has pledged his word to do his utmost in this attempt, and he appeals to those who think as he does on the matter to give him their assistance. "No man, he says, "has the right to say that any system is a failure unless he has done his best to make it a success." As to the number of men required, it is certainly very large. Lord Derby puts it thus strongly: "To make a voluntary system a success at such a crisis as this really means that every man who would in a conscript country be taken compulsorily should offer his services voluntarily; and to those who have hitherto hung back from enlistment, giv- ing to themselves various reasons for not eo doing, I would urge that they should ask themselves the following question: Is the excuse that I give to myself for not joining, one which would be held to be effective in a conscript country? It is a straight question, and there must be an honest answer. There are many people who would like to know how they are to manage to live on half their incomes and HALF YOUR INCOME. pay the other half to the State either by t tt'i.. I or loan. That, according to a member of the Government, is now the duty of every citizen. With every desire to do everything possible for the country in the present crisis, people are wondering how this par- ticular service is to be rendered. Nobody, says a writer in a daily paper, is more puzzled about it than the middle-class man of small means. No doubt the problem is a difficult one for such a man, but it is surely more difficult for the working-man of much smaller means. Both are, as a I matter of fact, living up to their incomes, and, so far as the vast majority are con- cerned, exercising the most watchful and rigid economy. It is, in short, for many men an utter impossibility to live on nine- tenths of their present incomes, let alone one half. But the call for economy is, nevertheless, an urgent one. Huge sums are still being spent on luxuries and things which people could very well do without at a time like this. If the recommendation to live on half-incomes cannot possibly be followed by most of us, there are others who could retrench to an even greater ex- tent. All of us must do what we can, and those who have most must help to bring up the average. Very general satisfaction has been caused by the abandonment of the pro- THE HALFPENNY POST. posal for the abolition of the halfpenny post. It was from the first by a long way the most un- popular proposal in the Budget, and it aroused a greater volume of protest than all the other proposals plt together. We can smile under increase' income tax, dearer tea and tobacco, duties on pianos and gramophones and cinema films, but we must have our picture post- cards, our circulars, and our newspaper post. The abolition of the halfpenny post would have hit many interests besides those connected with picture postcards, and would certainly have hit the Post Office itself very hard indeed. If the Government could have counted upon a penny stamp. being sold in every case, or even in the majority of cases, where a halfpenny one is employed, there would have been a great deal to say in favour of the abolition of the halfpenny post at a time like this, when the State wants every penny it can get; but the result, so far as one can judge, would have been very diffe- rent. It would have meant, in short, a very serious diminution in revenue, and as soon as that became clear, the proposal was abandoned. From many parts of the country come complaints of the landlords who have RAISING THE RENTS. raised the rents of their house property. In some places the tenants have refused to pay, and, in one district, at any rate, their attitude has compelled the landlords to climb down. The increases have generally been made in those districts where there has been a large influx of workers in muni- tion factories and workshops or in other industries which are prospering through the war. The increase in p the number of workers has, of course, created a great demand' for houses, for men and their wives and families must live somewhere. The landlords have seen their chance, and apparently seeing no reason why they should not act in war-time after their manner in days of peace, they have put up their prices for both new and old tenants. In one case it was put forward seriously in defence of the demand that the workers were earning much more money now and cculd therefore afford to pay a higher rent, as though the prosperity of the tenant made the landlord's house of greater value! Mr. Lloyd George, who is naturally interested in all that concerns workers in munitions, is taking the matter in hand, and he will probably make it clear to land- lords that they must be satisfied with a fair rent, and that their attitude is mean and unpatriotic.

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