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OUR LONDON LETTER

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OUR LONDON LETTER [from Our Special Corrupondtnl."] There is a growing- feeling among sup- porters of the Government that it would be a good thing if more Ministers would, follow the example of Earl Curzon and Mr. Lloyd George in making public speeches. It is not a good thing that hostile critics of the Government and of individual Ministers should have mutters all their own way. People are only too prone to tliink that if no defence is made to attacks upon public men it is because no defence is possible. Xo doubt men of deeds are needed in these days, but men of words also have their part to play, and those Minist-crs most skilled in platform oratory might do very useful ser- vice to the Coalition Government at this juncture; besides which they would infuse fresh spirit into the nation and encourage it to greater efforts. Earl C'irzon's defence of the Cabinet- even of the Twenty-Three—was very timely. People have heard so much about "the Twenty-Three" that many of them have a mental vision of twenty-three men of twentv-threo separate minds and opinions, all squabbling over questions connected with the war, unable to come to any decision, and hampering all the efforts of the naval and military men. Lord Curzon set himself to dispel that illusion, and we get a very different picture of the Cabinet. Its mem- bers do not spend their time in viewing or reviewing, modifying or amending, endor- sing or rejecting, the decisions of the V> ar Committee of six members. The War Com- mittee. as a matter of fact. has an abso- lutely free hand. Its decisions are circulated to the Cabinet; not one has ever been over- ruled. and in ninety-nine cases out cf a hundred they are not even delmted. But even a War Committee of Six is considered too large by some critics, who would reduce it to three, two, or even one. if the heaven- sent Man could be found. "And. say. Lord Curzon, "if there was only one, in two months' time there would be a public appeal to cut off his head." In face of the assurance that the War Committee has a free hand there doss not seem to be much in the agita- tion for a smaller Cabinet: for, as Lord Curzon says, it is not strange if the business of a great Empire in a war like this re- quires a score or more men to carry it on. The sensation of the moment is the quarrel between Mr. Lloyd George and the News," whose hero he has been for years. It waa "A. G. G." who began it. He startled hie readers one Saturday morning with an "Open Letter to Mr. Lloyd George, in which he pictured the Minister of Munitions as the man who made the crisis in the Cabi- net and not only one crisis, but criifts after crisis. "A. G. G. who is Mr. A. (5. Gardi- ner, the editor of the "Daily News," accused Mr. Lloyd GeoTge of being hand and glove with those who are directing the newspaper campaign against Mr. Asquith and the Government, and of being the moving spirit in the whole business. Other men appeared on the stage, but really, according to A. G. G. they only danced whale Mr. Lloyd George pulled the wi-res. "A. G. G." declared that the Minister of Munitions was scheming for supreme power, rather fancy- ing himself in the role of Dictator. It is true that others besides A. G. G." have been saying th ese things, or something like them but they have only whispered them, whereas A. G. G." has shouted them to the world. Mr. Lloyd George has called Mr. Gardiner an assassin, and described his arousations as "pon gas," whereupon "A. G. G." says again what he said before, only more so. It is a nice state of things between two old friends There is great joy among the noble army of bowls players, who have just begun opera- tion in the parks ¥1 the London suburbs. The Daylight Saving scheme will give them an hour's extra play. Tennis players, too, welcome the Bill, and, indeed, open-air people of all sorts. I understand that the joy is somewhat mitigated in the case of those who hold gas shares, for the putting on of the clock will certainly effect a large saving in artificial light. The more one thinks of the beneficial results which should follow the addition of another hour of day- light to the day, the more one wonders why on earth some such scheme was not adopted as soon as it was suggested nine years ago. The second report of the Central Liquor Control Board affords very remarkable evi- dence of the effectiveness of the Board's operations in reducing drunkenness. In all the scheduled areas the police reports record greater sobriety and a general improve- ment in conditions, better order in the streets, more comfortable homes, better cared-for children, and better timekeeping at works. Figures given for London show that while in the three months following the outbreak of war convictions for drunken- ness in the metropolitan district numbered 17,053, in three months following the im position of the no-treating order the totai was 8,343. "The figures given," comments Sir E. Henry, "are remarkable. They eon firm police observation that many fewet drunken persons are to be seen in the streets, and they indicate that the measures taken by the Board have had a very marked effect." It looks as though it might be pos- sible after all to make a nation sober by Act of Parliament, in spite of the oft-quoted dictum to the contrary. One of the finest things in this war is the cool courage with which the officers and men of the mercantile marine have gone about their business on the great waters, though Germany was doing her worst with her submarines. Many of them have stirring talcs to tell of encounters with the undersea boats. There is the Wandle, for instance. The bluff-nosed old collier which thousands of Londoners have seen pushing her way up the Thames to Wandsworth. She has had a fight with a submarine and come off winner, and delighted Londoners the other day showed their appreciation of the pluck of her captain and crew. Their pluck is typical of the entire merchant service, and it must be gall and wormwood to the Germans to learn that in spite of the submarine "blockade." which was to have starved ua out and reduced us to submission a year rr more, ago, our overseas trade is still prosper- ing, and ships continue to enter and leave our ports much as though no German sub- marines existed. A feature of the Board of Trade returns for April is the increase in British exports, the value of which v.:s Y,4,648,106 more than in the corresponding month of last year. The total value (f British exports was only £ 3,129,000 be-low the April of 1914, be fore the war. During the four months ended April imports ex- ceeded exports by £ 156,307,003. A. E. M. I

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| TWO ZEPPELINS DES: I TROYED.

IZEPPELINS OVER TRAWLERS.…

I[N MEMORY OF CAPT. SCOTT,I

I LINER'S FIGHT WITH U BOAT.…

IlORD CLANRICARBE'S FORTUNE.I

I LORD DANGAN ENLISTS.

I"TRAITOR TO HIS COUNTRY."…

IA SOLDIERS HORSE.I

POLICE SUED FOR DAMAGES. I

ADULTERATED CREAM. I

DRESS OF THE DAY. I

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COMFDLSIGN BILL.I I^

I PREMIER AND BELGIUM.

LORD KITCHENER ON KUT. I

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OUR CHILDREN'S CORNER.

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