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-w in ■ - — »■—■WaRV i." NOTES…


-w in ■ — »■—■WaRV i." NOTES ON NEWS. With regard to the rationing of ir.cnt, I Food Control Committees in different parts i NATTONAL MEAT KATIONS. or the country have taken time by the fore- lock by introducing local schemes. From all ac- counts these seem to have werited iairiy well, and they have, at. any rate, had the good result of minimising the queue nuisance and of abolishing it altogether in some cases. The scheme for London and the Home Counties comes into operation on Monday, the 25th, and it is now announced that a month later, on March 25,. a similar scheme will be put iato force in certain other parts of the country. In the interval all committees in whose districts queues are still preva- lent. are being urged to adopt temporary registration schemes. This is good advice, a-ad the committees which adopt it will be the better able to secure smooth working for the official scheme when it comes along. At present, as is natural, we are all antici- pating all eorts of difficulties which will beset butchers and consumers alike. There will certainly be hitches here and there, but if everybody concerned does his or her cheerful best to conform to the rules and regulations, and to make light of incon- veniences, the scheme should work well and equally. It has been clearly shown that the rationing is a necessity, and it is oul- common sense to make the best of it. A word of warning will not be out of :plaGØ in commenting upon Mr. Bonar OFTK STOCK OF WHEAT. Law's recent statement that we had two million quarters of wheat in stock in December more I than at the end of 1916. The statement has a comfortable and reassuring look, but it would be disastrous if people hastily as- sumed that so far as bread and flour are concerned there is no further need for .Jauxiety. Mr. Bonar Law said something else- as well. He emphasised the fact that this country is under obligations to assist its allies with foodstuffs. We are not feed- ing ourselves alone. As British ships supply the greater part of the world's seaJborno needs in peace, so they still have to do in war. It is something to be proud of, ,a.nd to be loyally carried out to the utmost of our power. France and Italy must share in the American wheat, and are doing so. Apart from this fact, it has to be remembered that the demands upon tonnage for bringing men and munitions iacross the Atlantic this year will be. enor- mous, and if we had now in stock no more wheat than we had at this time last year we should be in a much graver position before long than we have ever been in. All the injunctions to economy in food, and especially in bread and breadstuffs, remain in force, and, indeed, should be more liter- ally obeyed, because in addition to the other factors bringing about the shortage, there are now transport difficulties in America itself owing to the strain on the railways in moving the troops from place to place. The cat less bread" notice cannot yet be taken down. Freedom of the Seas" is a phrase of which we have heard a good deal lately. There are different ideas FREEDOM OF THE SEAS. ideas as to its precise meaning. The engaging Count Reventlow, as might have been ex- pected, has its own interpretation, wnicn may or may not be the official German one. It has, at any rate, a decidedly Ger- man appearance. "What we understand to-day by this doctrine," he says, is that Germany should possess such maritime territory, with naval bases, that at times of war we should be able, with our navy ready, to obtain for ourselves the command Of the seas." Count Reventlow is per- I fectly frank. "Freedom of the seas," ac- cording to him, means the freedom to sweep everybody else off them. Those neutrals who have from time to time com- plained of the- sea way of Britain may well ask themselves if they are likely to be any better off when Germania rules the waves. At the same time, it has to be remembered who and what Count Reventlow is. He is simply a fire-eating German journalist who has said a great many foolish things since the war began. We do not assume even in this country that our journalists speak for the Government and the nation, and though Lord Robert Cecil did Gount Reventlow the honour of quoting him in Parliament, it would perhaps be just as well to remember that lie does not speak for the German Government, while allow- ing that when the German Government does declare itself on the subject its defini- tion of the phrase may be not a bit more acceptable to us than Count Reventlow s. Lord D' Aberron, the Chairman of the liiauor Control Board, had some interest- FUTURE OF THE DUINK TRADE. ing things to say at Man- chester about tho future regulation of the drink trade, and he docs not seem to have nleased the licensed victuallers in his audience. The kasis of State Purchase, when it comes to be dealt with, must be the pre-war profits, he says, and not those at present being made. On this point it is interesting to note that many breweries are paying larger dividends than ever before. Also Lord D'Abernon is not in favour of the restoration of the old conditions as to hours, nor as to the prices charged for drink. At present prices, he says, intoxi- cants are not only being sold but fought for. He is of the opinion that conducting the trade on these lines will ensure more efficient service and less dangerous tempta- tions. Nobody, in fact, will be one penny the worse, but considerably the better, and he declares that it will be possible to in- crease the State revenue from the "Trade" to between eighty and a hundred millions annually. To sum up, he said that the taxation of alcohol could furnish the inte- rest on about £ 2,000,000,000 of war debt, without reducing trade profits below the pre-war standard; and that this taxation, taken together with the alleviations and developments rendered possible, would con- duce to maintaining sobriety and national efficiency at their present high level, and would facilitate social progress. After which his audience, packed by licensed victuallers, passed, with cheers, a resolu- tion calling upon Lord D'Abernon to resign from the Board of Control! One of the very many interesting items (tf tnews which come over from America BOMBS BY THE MILLION. these days is one sta-ting that Congress is being asked to vot." ;jv(,r fifty- five million pounds— pounds 1 f,), aeroplane "ombs. It will be a conger, task for those who are expert in these things to work out just how many bombs can be hiade for the money. The Americans have along intended to do great things in the air. They are making machines by the thousands, and training airmen by tens of thc)tlsands, and they are, it seems, going to Hianufacture bombs by the million. The new8 should give the enemy furiously to think.

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