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NOTES ON NEWS.

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NOTES ON NEWS. There has been too much talk of broken pledges in connection with the married THB MARRIED MEN. men agitation. It is the easiest thing in the world to make such a charge, and a number of news- papers have been repeat- ing it ever since it was known that some of the groups of married men who attested under the Derby scheme were to be called up earlier than had been anticipated. Everything that appears in a newspaper is, of course, true, especially if it is re- peated often enough. The newspapers took a good deal of trouble to twist Mr. Asquitli's and Lord Derby's words so cun- ningly as to give some colour to the charge of broken pledges. The result was that a large number of men who had been wearing khaki armlets with a great deal of pride really did think that the Govern- ment had broken faith with them. They accepted the assertion of the newspapers, which, on their part, thought they saw an excellent opportunity to discredit the Gov- ernment by exploiting the dissatisfaction of the married men and encouraging them in the belief that they had a grievance. It is easy enough for the newspapers; they present the case as they wish it to No BROKEN PLEDGES. appear, and admit no case for the defence. But when the married men, taking the newspaper presentation of their case, put it before Mr. Asquith and Lord Derby and talk to them face to face of broken pledges, the case is different, and the accused have no difficulty whatever in showing that all pledges have been, or are being, fulfilled. The married men, in short, have no case at all so far as broken pledges are concerned, and with every effort being made to take single men from munition-making and other services and draft them into the Army, the only ground of grievance left to them is that the youngest of the mar- ried groups have been called a few weeks earlier than had been thought likely. That is a flimsy foundation for a national agita- tion. Mr. Long has stated that as a result of the combing process 300,000 men have WAR AND INDUSTRY. already been withdrawn from the starred trades. If any proof were needed that the starring in the first place was done in a hurry and with- out due care, this statement would supply it. Of course, all these 300,000 will not be available for the Army, but a good propor- tion of them should don the khaki. There are some people who declare roundly that all the single men ought to be taken. On this point Lord Derby has something to sav. "I cannot imagine," he says, "any man being so foolish as to believe that really possible. I assure you that from my point of view nothing would give ine greater pleasure, for it would mean men, and it would save me from a great deal of trouble and other things. At the same time, however, it would absolutely ruin the industry of the country. No man who calls himself a patriot could do anything except weigh, and weigh as closely as he can, in the balance, the claims of these two great demands now made upon the country—industry on one side, the Army and the Navy on the other." That, as has often been pointed out, is what the Government has to do—to hold the bal- ance, to see that the fighting Services do not lack men, and that the t, industries of the country are carried on. Nobody regrets the abandonment of the proposal to tax railway tickets. The Chan- RAILWAYS AND MATCHES. cellor W of the Exchequer had estimated that the revenue from the impost would be about five mil- lions, but the tax would have fallen heavily on particular classes, concessions would have had to be made, and the final yield from the tax would pro- bably have been so small as to make it not worth the trouble. So railway fares will remain as they are. Concessions have been made with regard to the match tax. The threatened strikes and processions and withholding of supplies will not come off, and the Chancellor and the match- makers are quite friendly with one another. All matches made in this country before April 5 have been exempted from duty, and the duty on the larger boxes of matches is to be halved. Auto- matic lighters are to be taxed, so that people will not use them and do without matches. Everybody is now expecting to hear that those traders who put up the price of matches immediately the taxation proposals were announced have returned the extra money to their customers. Though there need be no doubt that the Navy jvill in time be able to defeat the fORE SHIPS WANTED. new German submarine campaign as it did that of last year, it would be idle to deny that during I .I I the past few weeks the pirate boats iiave inflicted uoon our mercantile marine a considerable loss which we can ill afford. Our oversea expeditions make huge de- mands upon our tonnage, and a great fleet of merchant ships is constantly employed in conveying supplies to the armies in France, Mesopotamia, Salonica, and else- where; while we are also sending enormous quantities of material to our Allies. The tonnage available for bringing supplies to our own shores would therefore be consider- ably restricted even without the operations Of enemy submarines. Every effort is being made by the Government to ensure that the fullest and most economical use is made by the Navy and Army of the ton- nage which has been requisitioned, but something more than this is needed, and our building yards should be busy night and day turning out ships for the mercan- tile marine, always providing, of course, t-h? the needs of the Navy are not neg- ected. It is stated that the building of a large number of merchant ships in our yards cannot be proceeded with because labour is not available. But this is & matter of the most vital importance, and the necessary labour for the completion of these ships will have to be found. Those people who demand that every man of military age shall be secured for the Army would do well to bear the point in mind. There has not been so much talk about the need for younger generals since the OTTR YOUNG GENERALS. publication or an interest- I ing table showing the I ages of the commanders 1 of the armies of some of the belliererent nations. For it appears that the average age of the British gene- r als is considerably lower than that of both friend and foe. It is, in fact, seven years less than that of the French gene- rals, and nearly ten years less than that of the Germans. Young generals may or may not be the best generals; but those who make the demand evidently think they are and their minds should no longer bo troubled on that point. The age of the German generals is indeed remarkable. The mighty Hindenburg himself is near the seventy mark, and Von Maekonseji is beyond -At, while Yon Haesler, who was for tome time directing the Verdun opera- tions, has, by reason of strength, attained to four score years, and is probably now quite of one mind with the Psalmist, that fiis strength is labour and sorrow.

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j THE BRITISH FRONT.

IGERMAN COAL. I

BABY'S STRANGE DEATH. J

HOME OF A PICTISH CHIEF.I

LEAP AMONG SHARKS. I

ALIEN FINED AT SOUTHAMPTON.I

"PLENTY TO EAT."

NAVAL APPOINTMENT.

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I LINER OUTWITS SUBMARINE…

COLLECTING NEWS AFTER A RAID.…

TERRIBLE WORTHING TRAGEDY.I

I ITALY AND GERMANY.

I GALLANT RESCUE AT BEXHILL

I STEALING A MAIL BAG. a -

I BEWARE OF DAFFODIL BULBS.…

f —————-—————— I FACTORY…

! MESOPOTAMIA. I

MAJOR COMMITS SUICIDE. I

AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY. I

I SINN FEINERS FINED.

I A TORPEDO'S POWER.

,LORD CLANRICARDE DEAD.I

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AIR RAID ON CONSTANTINOPLE.

AN EX GUARDSMAN'S CLAIM.

IN PLACE OF WEDDING RINGS.

FROM BROKEN CRYSTALS. j

ROUMANIAN ARMY.I

MOTHER AND BABY IN WELL I

I MILLIONAIRE S SON -JOINS…

I BOGUS SOLDIERS.

SUPPLY OF STEEL HELMETS. I

PASSED AS MEDICALLY FIT. 1…

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CLUB WINDOW. I CLUB INDOW.

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