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NOTES ON NEWS. 1 NOTES NEWS. 1 It was a happy thought of the Controller and Mr. Clyues to send re- assuring messages to the FoOD OoN- troops at the Front about TROLLEB. AND the food situation at THE TROOPS, home. There is reason tc believe that many letters from home during the last tew weeks have been none too cheerful. Food difficulties have been exaggerated, and men in the fighting line have had added to their other burdens worry caused by melancholy ac- counts of wives and children standing for hours in butter queues and meat queues, and going short of this, that or the other thing. Of course, this has been hard on a good many people, but, after all, what we at home have had to bear hitherto has been only inconvenience and annoyance, not privation. It is natural enough that wives should write to their husbands about these things, but it is much to be wished that they would make the best and not the worst of things, remembering that the men at the Front need all the cheering up we can give them. The messages from the Ministry of Food officials should do something to set the matter right. Lord Rhondda tells the men that he hopes queues will disappear under the new rationing scheme, and Mr. Clynes, whilst asking them not to be misled by false re- ports of the starvation of dear ones at home, states that fair distribution is guaranteed, and that if famine is to finish the war it ;g the enemy and not Britain that will first go down. So many astonishing things have been done by this country since it became a great military power THE ARMY that even Mr. Macpher- IN FIGURES. son's story of what the War Office has accom- plished in one year-last year—seems almost in the natural order of things. To get the full meaning of the figures lie gave we must get ourselves back if we can to the position of four years ago. Then we shall see the full measure of the miracle. During 1917 no less than 7,000,000 men were conveyed to the various fronts. To such proportions has the Army grown from that little Expeditionary Force which crossed the Channel in August, 191-1. That was the most interesting figure in Mr. Macpherson's account, but there were others hardly less interesting—500,000 animals, 200,000 vehicles, 90,000,000 tons of stores! They are stupendous. And looking through the items which go to make up that last figure, noting the quan- tities of tea, sugar, condensed milk, meat, and so on which these millions of men have, consumed, it is easy to see that a certain amount of shortage at home is in- evitable, and to feel a profound respect for the organisation which has made all these and many more wonderful things possible. aThe boy in the aeroplane," to quote Maj8r Baird, the Under-Secretary for the Air Ministry, has been WORK OF doing magnificent work THE AIRMEN, at the Front. The ac- count of the work given in the House of Commons by Major Baird showed that in the month of September last in France alone 139 enemy machines were destroyed by our airmen, and 122 were slrot down out of control. But our airmen fight not only airmen. Here is the tale of one day's work of another kind: Thanks to the spotting by our airmen, 127 enemy batteries were "successfully en- gaged to destruction," 28 gun-pits were destroyed, 80 damaged, and 60 explosions of ammunition caused. As showing to what extent the airmen have become the eyes of the Army, the statement should be noted that in September 15,837 photo- graphs were taken. People at home are now beginning to learn how important it ia 111 modern' war to secure the command of the air. It gives to the general who has it an enormous advantage, and the general who loses it fights thenceforth in the dark both as to the dispositions of his opponent and the effect of his own guns. That our airmen are well. on the way to secure such command is clear enough from the recent dispatches of Sir Douglas Haig, and for the last few weeks the figures of our air successes make even those quoted by Major Baird look small. Summer Time" will begin on March 24, and end on September 29. This will give us an extra five "SUMMER weeks as compared with TIME" last year. In deciding to COMING. extend the period the Homo Secretary has taken into consideration the exceptional circumstances of the present year. The shortage of food makes it a matter of the first importance to increase as much as possible the production of food on allot- ments. Great efforts arc being made to extend the acreage under cultivation, and the Food Production Department's repre- sentations in favour of earlier "summer time" were backed up by many associa- tions of allotments-holders, whose mem- bers wanted all the daylight they could get for work 011 their gardens in the early spring months. The Coal Controller also put in a word, having in view the neces- sity for economy in fuel and difficulties of transport. Apart from these considera- tions, which make "summer time" a prac- tical necessity, the great majority of the public heartily approve it for its own sake. Surely there can never have been so bene- ficent a reform so easily effected. How long should we have had to wait for it if War conditions had not opened our eyes to its value? Now that a start has been made with compulsory rationing, and we are all, Jt is to be hoped, doing our RATIONS IN utmost to bear cheer- GERMANY. fully whatever incon- venience the system may bring, it may help us to compare our lot with that of the German people. The "Weminsterr Gazette," which has been studying the German papers, says: "In Berlin the weekly average bread ration in December was 4-Ilb., to which was added about half an ounce of hulled barley and farinaceous foods. The Berliner could count on about nine ounces of fresh meat a week, and one egg a month. He re- ceived on the average a fraction over an ounce of butter and nearly two ounces of margarine. He could obtain nearly nine pounds of potatoes a week, about six ounces of sugar, and two ounces of arti- ficial honey, which, to judgo from the fre- quent complaints about it. is very in- ferior stuff." His ration is completed by a little over four ounce ■ of jam per week, and "a horrid nlixt. known as coffee substitute," but he < Id also buy a certain amount of ycgda 1 's and per- haps a little cheese." On whole, it will be seen that we may congratulate our- selves. We are better off all round very considerably, and at present have only found it necessary to ration meat, fats, und sugar, while we are spared artificial honey and coffee substitute.









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