PONTYPOOL. > Agents—Jfr. J. Harding, Market Bookstall, and, Aiestrs Jones and Edwards Jone, and E¡J,¡.caI'Js LLANVIHANGEL PONTYMOILE SCHOOL BOABD.—A meeting of this Board was held at the Clerk's offices, Pontypool. Present :—Mr. G. T. Nicholl (chairman), Rev. D. B. Hughes, Messrs. J. Burgoyne, P. Gwatkin, and T. Watkiiig (clerk) It was reported that the Master of Mamhilad School had referred to the question of the water supply, and the Chairman promised to attend to the matter. An application was received from Mr. A. J. Burgoyne for the use of the New Inn School, upon the occasion of a free tea to be held on the first Thursday after peace is declared.— Granted.
TRANSVAAL. PRETORIA, Thursday Afternoon. NITRALS NEK DISASTER. British had unaccountably neglected to occupy hill commanding road. Boers surprised the camp on Wednesday, at daybreak. They crept to within three hundred yards, then opening heavy fire. British resisted desperately, but were compelled to surrender. One squadron of Scots Greys escaped but the enemy delivered two simmultaneous attacks else- where. His plans were well conceived. THE LATEST DISASTER. War Office announces Lieutenant Conolly, Scots Greys, and second Lieutenant Pilkingfcon, Royal Dragoons, were killed in Nitrals Nek affair. 0 Colonel Roberts, Lincoln Regiment, who c' commanded force, was wounded early in day.
CENTRAL NEWS TELEGRAMS TO THE "COUNTY OBSERVER." [TO-DAY'S TELEGRAMS. ] A CONVICT'S ATTEMPTED ESCAPE. I A convict named Irwin escaped from Borstal Prison, on Wednesday night. He had secreted iron lever, with which he pressed open the cell door, but spraining his 0 ankle dropping over the prison wall, he was a re-captured.
ALARMING RAILWAY ACCIDENT. Great Central Express due at Leicester at half-past twelve, had alarming accident. Two newspaper vans caught fire. They were p 0 promptly slipped by driver, saviug rest of train. Sir Charles Cameron, J.P., for Bridgeton, Glasgow, will not seek re-election at next election. Stocks weak. r'=!
The Crisis in China. TIENTSIN, July 5 (via Chifu, Sunday.) I Yesterday an attack was made on the Foreign Settlement from two directions by large bodies of Chinese troops, of which one moved out from the Western Arsenal, while the other advanced on the railway station on the opposite bank of the river. The Chinese are evidently in need of a capable commander. The attack from the arsenal was, if true, directed against what was probably the weakest point of our defence, a point which had hitherto not been pressed; but the Chinese advanced on this side across the open plain without any cover, and the attack was easily repulsed by the shelling of the British guns. The attack on the railway station was made simultaneously, the Chinese, who were in great force, advancing under cover of the fire of eleven guns, to which the British replied with two of the Terrible's twelve-pounders and five smaller cannon. While the guns were hard at it, a force of British, French, Russian, and Japanese infantry moved out to deal with the Chinese infantry attack. More of the enemy's artillery then came into play, and was admirably handled, the shells being thrown incessantly among the allied troops, who suffered heavily. The Japanese, whose behaviour was splendid, executed a well- conceived movement, and succeeded in turning the Chinese left, driving the enemy out of a strong position among grave mounds and irrigation trenches. The Chinese retired to the native city, and the allied infantry then also fell back. The affair afterwards became an artillery duel, which lasted until dark, with little damage to either side. The British Chinese regiment was engaged, and proved very steady under fire. The casualties of the allies have not yet been ascertained. As to the enemy's loss no estimate can be formed. A welcome addition to the defence arrived yesterday in the shape of two more of the Terrible's 12-pounders, with Ladysmith to Tientsin—Immediate," painted on the carriages. Her Majesty's ship Algeriiie has to-day sent up two 4in. guns, which will do much to equalise the weakness of the allies in artillery. This morning I went out to watch the Terrible's guns engaging the fort on the east side of the city. The practice was beautiful. Five shells in quick succession dropped into the fort, and the Chinese fled, without attempting to reply. At the time of writing this message their guns are still silent. Most of the women and children left Tientsin to-day. The remainder will follow as opportunity offers. Two thousand Japanese landed at Taku to-day. Thirteen thousand more are expected in three or four days.—Renter's Special Service. SHANGHAI, Tuesday Night. I have learned upon the highest authority that the Emperor is alive and well. Moreover, he is giving close attention to the present crisis. The Dowager-Empress is like- wise actively working to restore order in the Empire. The tales of poisonings and murders emanating from this place were mere idle native concoctions and surmises.-Centml News. Lord Salisbury, replying to an inquiry from Mr. Thomas Shaw, M.P., regarding the safety of missionaries in Manchuria, has enclosed the following telegram from the British Consul at ChifLi Consul at Niu Cll wang writes: All Protestant missionaries safely out of Manchuria, but some Danish surrendered SJ miles south-east of Niu Chwang and foreign rescue party started to relieve. All Protestaut missionaries safely out of Shantung province. HONG lOXG, Thursday, The headquarters and one company of the Welsh Fusiliers have received telegraphic instructions from the War Office to proceed to Taku at the first opportunity. They will probably sail on the Taisang next Saturday. The Indian transport Palamcotta has arrived here with the right wing of the 7th Bengal It fan try and the 43rd Native Field Hospital. She proceeded this evening for ¡ Taku. The Admiralty on Thursday afternoon issued I the following telegram received from the naval commander-in-chief in China:- TIENTSIN, July 7. Chinese continue sniping, often shelling the settlement. They are extending their lines along Lutaiau Canal to the north-eastward, and appear in greater force to the west of the city. Yesterday we bombarded the city and immediate suburbs, which stopped the Chinese gun-fire for some time. French settlement and railway station the most subject to attack. To-day another bombardment will take place as yesterday. Am steadily getting more guns up. Ten thousand troops now here more required, but both Russian and Japanese expected.
The Transvaal War. I 13111TISEI DISASTER. r The following dispatch from Lord Roberts was issued by the War Office at eleven p.m. on Th nrsday PRETORIA, Thursday (7.52 p.m. The enemy, having failed in their attempt to get round our right rear, as mentioned in my telegram of the 9th inst., made a determined attack on our right flank yesterday, and, I regret to say, succeeded in capturing Nitrals Nek, garrisoned by one squadron of Scots Greys, two guns of 0 Battery Royal Horse Artillery, and five companies of the Lincolnshire Regiment. The enemy attacked in superior numbers at dawn, and, seizing the hills which commanded the nek, brought a heavy converging tire to bear upon the email garrison. Nitrals Xek is about eighteen miles from bere, near where the road crosses the Crocodile River. It was held by us in order to maintain road and telegraphic communication with Rustenburg. Fighting lasted more or less throughout the day. and immediately on receiving intimation in the earl}r morning of the enemy's strength 1 despatched reinforcements from here under Colonel Godfrey, K O.S.B. Before, however, they reached the spot, the garrison were over-powered. 1:1 The two guns and the greater portion of the squadron of the Greys were captured, as were also about 90 men of the Lincoln Regiment. The list of casualties has not yet reached me, but I fear it is a heavy one. Simultaneously an attack was made on our outpost near Derdeport, north of the town, in which the 6th Dragoon Guards were engaged. The 'regiment, which was handled with considerable skill by Lieutenant-Colonel Lowe, kept the enemy in check until he retired ou his supports, and would, probably, have suffered but slight loss had not our troops mistaken -some Boers in the bushes for our men. Smith-Deriiien had a successful engagement with the enemy yesterday afternoon near Kragersdorp. He inflicted heavy loss on them. Buller reports that the Boers who were destroying his line of railway near Paardekraal I were driven off yesterday after a short action. Hart reports from Heidelbarg that the surrendering of arms and ammunition continues to be made by Boers in that district. [Note.—It would seem that the garrison was about 650 strong. The five companies of Lincolns would represent 500, the squadron of Scots Greys another 120, aud the two guns would have an additional 20 to 30 men. The King's Own Scottish Borderers despatched to render assistance is an infantry regiment.] The War Office states as follows:- Information has been received from General Sir Redvers Buller that 669 unconditionally released prisoners have recently arrived at Ladysmith. Among them are 433 men of the 4th Battalion Derbyshire Regiment, 59 men of the Royal Engineers, 50 men of the Cape Pioneer Railway, 33 men of the Imperial Yeomanry, 26 Mounted Infantry details, 17 men of the Post Office Corps, and other details. I
I Wanted, a Ruler for China. It is clear that the task of restoring order and some form of Government in China, will be infiuitely more difficult, than the settlement of the Transvaal. Mr. Chauncey Depew, who claims to represent the views of his countrymen Rays the policy of the United States will be to establish on the Chinese throne some wise and progressive native Prince, a man of the type of Li Hung ChanAr, and to maintain him in his position by the authority of all the Powers." He is further of opinion that the attempt to permanently conquer and dominate this Great Empire would be an impossible task," and that in order to attempt it, an army of at least two millions would be required. All this is, no doubt, perfectly true, but the first thing would be to find the "WISE AND PROGRESSIVE NATIVE PRINCE." China has not yet been fruitful in the production of such men, and if one were discovered he would find it impossible to govern on anything like European lines in the atmosphere of intrigue which has always surrounded the Chinese Court. The nominal Emperor of China, as we have seen, is not always the real ruler, and only a man of the type of William the Conqueror, Oliver Cromwell, or Bis- marck could be sure of having his own way in China. A.s the nominee of the foreigners, he would be par- ticularly obnoxious to the natives, and the Great Powers would tind it almost as difficult to maintain him upon the throne, as to govern the country themselves. That two million European troops would be required for the subjugation of China is altogether an extravagant estimate, for the whole course of history witnesses to the fact that a moderately large force of highly trained and disciplined troops is absolutely invincible as against a mob of barbarians, whatever the number of them may be. We know very well that the population of China runs to hundreds of millions, but there is a limit to the number of men who can be brought into the field, and if Lord Roberts has found it difficult at times to provide for his force, we can imagine how AN ARMY OF A MILLION CHINESE would fare, even with their simple wants, with no commissariat or transport corps. Besides, an army of ten millions of Chinese-if it were possible to feed so many—would be no more effective than one of a half a million: they would simply be in e ioh other's way-and we may be very sure that if the Chinese were at all adapted to war, they would have over-run Asia and Europe long ago, in much the same way as those Aryan peoples from whom we of Britain are supposed to have been descended. It would be unwise at present to speculate as to what the Great Powers may do with China, but it is tolerably certain that they will take some effectual steps to prevent a recurrence of the events of the past few weeks. Anybody who thinks that such safeguard will be provided by changing the person of the Sovereign must be a very sanguine indivi- dual, and it seems scarcely likely that the Powers will undertake what would amount very nearly to a military occupation, in support of their nominee. Such a course would certainly be only a temporary and mostly expedient, and when it failed, as it would almost certainly, the Powers would be no nearer to a permanent settlement than they will be when order has been restored.
National Enthusiasm and Alcohol. The national joy over the recent successes of our arms in South Africa is apt, as the records of the police courts show, to express itself in an increased consumption of ardent liquors (says the British Mimical Journal), Such a mode of showing patriotic •nthusiiisra may be gratifying to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but we may be permitted to doubt whether this public-spirited consideration entered largely into the minds of tbe THOUSANDS WHO GOT DBUNK I in honour of the relief of Mafeking and the capture of Pretoria. If these events caused such a copious pouring of libations of beer and whisky, it is easy to forecast what will happen when the final triumph comes. As regards the general population, doubt- less the fundamental good sense of the British pub- lic may be trusted to prevail sufficiently to avert the danger of a pandemic of ncute alcoholism. But L theie is a class of the community which, it ie to be feared, will be subjected to very severe risk. Already complaints have found utterance that the sailors of the Powerful got too much to drink, although, as far as we know, there is no suggestion that they were appreciably the worse for it. It is to be feared that when the rest of our conquering heroes come home ALMOST IRRE ISTIBLE TEMPTATIONS to drink will meet them on every aide. It I may seem puritanical to seek to repress a very natural manifestation of feeling, and one, too. that is consecrated by national custom. Enlightened patriots, however, as well as moralists and hygien- ists, will agree that the custom is more honoured in the breach than in the observance. Of all possible ways of showing our admiration for the courage and devotion of the men who have been fighting their country's battles, surely the very worst is to poison and brutalize them with drink. Popular enthusiasm often expressed itself in grotesque forms. Lieutenant Hobson, the hero of Santiago, was nearly kissed to death by wild women throughout the length and breadth of the United States, and one has heard of wounded soldiers feebly protesting against having their fevered brows fanned and their faces washed by relays of ministering angels every hour or so throughout the day. But after all, this excess of zeal is better than making heroes drunk and perhaps sowing in them THE SEEDS OF A VICE I that will spoil them as soldiers and ruin them as men We venture to suggest that in all public entertainments that may be aliven to the soldiers and sailors after the war it would be well to follow the excellent example set by the Princess of Wales in the dinners provided by Her Royal Highness in honour of the Queen's Jubilee by excluding all intoxicating drinks. If private hospitality cannot be similarly controlled, we hope at least that all who are interested in the welfare of the men to whom is entrusted the guardianship of this great Empire will do all that lies in them to save our gal- lint defenders from being killed with alcoholic kindness. If they will help in this they will do a good work, not only for their country but for the brave men on whom she depends in her hour of need.
Horses on the Battlefield. By the kindness of Louisa Lady Ashburton, the annual meeting of the Church Society for the pro- motion of Kindness to Animals was held on Wednesday at Kent House, Knightsbridge. Earl Crew presided, and said that during the war there had been terrible suffering endured by the horses and mules. The Rev Frederick Lawrence, honorary secretarv. said that there was over £ 100 deficit, which be hoped would be made up. On Friday he was leaving 'for Paris, Berlin, St. Peteis'iurg, Stockholm, Copen- hagen, and The Hague to preach in embassy chapels, hold meetings, and interview the Authorities with a view to securing an extension of the terms of the Geneva Convention to those who on the battlefield mitigated or terminated the sufferings of wounded animals. Lady Llangattock afterwards presented prizes for essays on kindness to animals to the boys of the Duke of York's Sohool.
I Information for Emigrants. n From the July circulars of the Emigrants* Information Office, it appears that this is the best season of the year for emigration to Canada the chief demand is for farm and general labourers, skilled miners, and female domestic servants. In New South Wales there is no demand for more emigrants, except female servants, competent men for farms and vineyards, and occasionally for a few blacksmiths and carpenters. In Victoria there is a gocd demand for a limited number of thoroughly skilled plumbers 011 the Melbourne drainage works. Miners are doing well in the mining districts. General female servants are in good demand. In South Australia, in country districts, there is a good demand for agricultural labourers, for men able to work binders and strippers, for boundary riders, and for married couples without children for stations, Ih Queensland there is a good demand for farm labourers and domestic servants, to whom free or reduced passages are be granted. There is also a moderate demand in the South for mechanics, such as carpenters, stonemasons, and bricklayers. In Western Australia the chief demand is for miners, farm labourers, and for female domestic servants. In Tasmania the best opening is for skilled miners and mechanics on the West coast. In New Zealand the building and engineering trades are busy, and there is plenty of work to be had in the mines, saw and flax mills, clothing factories, woollen mills, flour mills, freezing works, brickyards, etc. Uuskilled labourers, can nearly always obtain employment at rabbit-poisoning, scrub cutting, bridge-building, road repairing, fencing, or general farm work. Persons are warned against going to South Africa in search of work, so long as the war lasts. There are large numbers of persons there at the present time, who are out of employment.
Monmouthshire Standing Joint Committee- The quarterly meeting of the Monmouthshire Standing Joint Committee was held at Newport on. Wednesday, Sir Henry Mather Jackson presiding The Committee discussed in camera an application of the chief-constable for an increase of salary, from £4:VO to £5(10. The allowances, amounting to £ 150, would still be granted. The sum asked for would be equivalent to that of the late chief-constable on his retirement. It was decided that an immediate increase of L30 be made, with the promise of a further L30 in two years' time. MONMOUTHSHIRE'S CRIMINAL STATISTICS. In the quarterly return made by the chief- constable, a slight inerease was shown in the number of prosecutions for drunkenuess. With regard to the unenviable position Monmouthshire is declared to hold in the official statistics of crime, the chief-coostable made the following observations. —" That position is brought about solely by a large number of crimes against property (316 crimes per 100,000 of the population). These [ figures 6 include the borough of Newport. Eliminating the borough, the county is in very different position. The crimes are then 270 per 100,000. The total number of crimes against; property iu the county in 1898 was 550. oAhese 176 were cases of coal stealing, involving a total value of L2 14s. 3d. The 550 crimes mvolv«i L375 29. 7d., of which £ 240 10s. ád. was recovered. Our crimes against property, if classified, would certaiuly compare favourably with those of other counties. The system of comparing' the counties by quantity, and not the quality, of crimes is misleading. Our large number of petty thefts are iu no way distinguished from robberies with violence, burglaries, forgeries, &c. The figures, too, are calculated ou the population of 1891. The population of Monmouthshire lias increased nince, probably, 25 per cent., whereas many of the compared counties have not increased to such an extent." P
A SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST A 1 .— WOMAN. I Annie Landers, a single woman, seventeen years of age, living at No. I, Ruperra-street, Newport, -was charged before the borough magistrates on Wednesday with causing the death of Bridget Hearne, an elderly woman, by violently assaulting her on June 21. A quarrel had taken place between the women, and the deceased's version of the affair, as declared to the police, was that Landers asked her for a penny while in Emlyn- street, but she had'nt one to give. An opprobious expression was made use of by Landers, and later, when the two women met oil the deceased's doorstep, Landers knocked her down and kicked her in the face. As the coroner's inquiry was not completed, a remand until Monday was granted.
rONTYPOOL BOARD OF GUARDIANS. I At the Union Workhouse, Griffithstown, present —Mr. W. L. Pratt, J.P. (chairman), Mr. Mulligan, Miss Davies, Rev. P. A. Degen. Major D. E. Williams, Messrs. W. P. James, J.P., T. Taylor, E. B. Ford. T. Wintle, P. Eckerslev, and Mr. F. T. Bircham (Local Government Board Inspector.) TRAINING A DEAF AND DUMB BOY. I The Clerk said that he had heard that a builder and carpenter, near Usk, had taken an interest in the boy Meara, whose parents lived at Twyoyffrwd. and it was possible he might be willing to tnke him as a half-time apprentice. If this could be done the lad could be trained, and, at the same time, go on with his studies. It was resolved that the Clerk -make enquiries. MASTER'S REPORT. I No. of inmates in the House, 164, an increase of one on the previous fortnight, and a decrease of 21 on the corresponding period of last year. Number of vagrants relieved during the fortnight, 24. Number of children in the Cottage Homes, 31. The Master also stated that two boxes of flowers had been received from Rev. D. O. Davies, S. Luke's Church, Pontnewydd, which had been distributed ..amongst the wards and the children. LEAVE OF ABSENCE. I Dr. O'Keefe recoommended that Nurse Anderson, be given leave of absence. Some time ago she had been ill and through pressure of work resumed duties before being perfectly recovered. Since then she had been iu indiffereut health, and needed an extended holiday. It was resolved that Nurse Anderson be given leave of absence for three weeks. ..LI .,5;
THE BAND PARTY. I To the Editor of THE ÜOUNTY OBSERVER. I In connection with the late Fete, I beg, on behalf of the Band Fete Committee, to tender most sincere thanks to the ladies who kindly presided at the -various tables and to their assistants, also to all those who kindly gave their time and services or otherwise assisted in making the occasion a success. Thanks to their efforts and the generous manner in which subscribers responded to the appeal for assis- tance, the Band funds, previously at a low ebb, have been increased by the addition of a good sum. LESLIE R. LUCAS, Hon. Sec. Usk, 12th July, 1900.
The Housing; Question. The recent conference at Leicester, on the subject of the housing question was only one of .many which have taken place, and it was, moreover, but one of many illustrations of the increased interest which is felt throughout the country, in this question. In the course of the past few weeks several aspects of the housing problem have been discussed publicly. Mr. Chaplin's Housing Bill, which has now passed its third reading, in the House of Commons, makes some progress. It does not, however, profess to be a settlement of this question, which, sooner or later, will clearly have to be dealt with by more adequate measures. One point in connection with the Housing problem was also raised, on a motion for the third reading of the Clerkenwell and Holborn Provisional Order Bill, when attention was drawn to a very important point by Mr. Pickersgill. When it has been proposed in London to clear an insanitary area, and rebuild, it has ,happened almost invariably that THE WHOLE AREA HAS BEEN CLEARED before building has commenced, and in some instances years have been permitted to elapse between the pulling down and rebuilding. In this way, the people who have been displaced are forced into the surrounding neighbourhood, itself probably overcrowded, and new slums are created. If the new dwellings are to be placed on the site j of the old, it is, of course, impossible to erect all the new tenements before the old ones are demolished, but Mr. Pickersgill asked, very reasonably, that the re-building might proceed parri passu with the demolition, and it was assured by Mr. Collings that the Home Office would watch the matter. Then there has been also the important circular of the Local Government Boar-d to sanitary authorities, summarising the "powers afforded by the Housing of the Working Clisses Acts, for dealing with insanitary dwellings, and urging the local authorities to put them into ..force whenever required. The document deals with two subjects-the erection of artisan dwellings, and the course which should be taken where houses already in existence are in an insanitary condition. It is, perhaps, to be ,/regretted that the Local Government Board do cl not say more on THE SUBJECT 01' PROVIDING NEW DWELLINGS, for which there is, in many districts, the most extreme need, but no doubt it was felt that liU1o that might be said on this point would J '"complete, because at the time a farilitTe'f afF firliaraeDt for extending the .facilities afforded for the purchase of land. A digest, howe,ver, of the Housing of the Working Classes Act is m course of preparation, and will be sent to the local authorities as soon as it is ready. When the Councils and Boards have all the information before them they will find, if they study the subject, that they have very extensive powers, both with regard to the provision of artisans' dwellings and the closing of insanitarv property. Of the two questions, the former is in the majority of cases, the more important because if you close insanitary property, when the -evicted tenants have nowhere else to go. you only increase to that extent, the evil of overcrowding. Afore than one London parish could be named 'Where that fact has been demonstrated where the local authorities have refrained from closing insanitary houses because they considered that the *ess of two evils was to leave them tenanted. ====-
1 MUCI* DESPISED CARROT.—One has always MjoKea down upon the cmot as a very ordinary vegetable, and only to be tolerated in stews or e,XCept» perhaps, in its extreme youth. a French doctor has discovered the blood micf ™°nderful properties for purifying 5,' conseq*ient]y, for improving the £ £ AiQnriAl ♦r1fnSe^u5?t^' ou ^ie other side of u ? carrot is being much sought after, and chefs are exercising their brains so as to cook it in many new and attractive ways. j
[CENTRAL NEWS to the COUNTY OBSERVER.] I [FRIDAY'S TELEGRAMS.] CHINA. WASHINGTON, Friday. Japan is purchasing large supplies of war material in America. I LI HUNG CHANG. SHANGHAI, Thursday. The prevailing European opinion is that n Li Hung Chang's departure from Canton would be a grave mistake, as troubles are feared in his absence. NEWCHANG. Advices from Newchwang up to Monday last state that an attack from Boxers was expected, but no outbreak had then taken place. ALL FOREIGNERS MURDERED. Central News regrets to announce that C, official telegram received in London from Pekin, states that all foreigners in Pekin were murdered on July 6th. Central News says (later) :—Message reporting massacre of Europeans in Pekin reached one of London Legations this morning. News emanated from China official sources. Japanese Officials in London deny that there is secret agreement between England C) 'n and Japan concerning despatch of troops to China.
I- ItM.ltli(M) at Aldcrshot. Major General Hunter, Inspector General of Auxiliary Forces paid a. visit to Aldershot on Friday last, when he inspected some of the Militia forces, including the R.M.R.E.(M.) The parade was on Laffan's Plain, about two miles march from barracks there were about 15 battalions of Militia on parade. After inspecting the men, the General and his staff, including German and Austrian Attaches, took up their position at the saluting point, and the regiments marched past; the R.M.R.E.(M.) headed by their own band were the first to march past, and they all returned in quarter column. Major-General Hunter after, wards called the commanders of the different regiments together, and expressed his admiration of the physique of the men, but complained of a portion of the clothing, and has forwarded his complaint to the War Office. The band of the regiment played some capital programmes of music at the Crystal Palace on Thursday and Saturday last, when their playing was much appreciated. We understand they are to be engaged there every Thursday and Siturday until September.
Sew Regulations for Volunteers. A urate ot new regulations under theVolullter Act, 1900, governing special engagements by members of Volunteer Corps was presented to the House of Commons on Tuesday night. It sets forth that a Volunteer may contract first for military service in Great Britain for not longer than one month, in the absence of a Royal proclamation calling out Volunteers generally, or. second, to proceed on active service to any part of the w. rid. All VoJuuteers shall be f 1 gible for special engagements for military service in Great Britain. Volunteers wishing to engage for active service abroad must be between 21 and 35 years of ape* regards physical standards they must meet the requirements of the Regular Army of the same arm. They must be physically fit (to be tested annually), must have been two years efficient, and be marksmen or first-class shots. iAn omcer volunteering for service abroad must, ustead of the above qualifications, have obtained the school of musketry certificate, attended a school of instruction, passed examination in tactics, and been attached to Regular forces for the full period prescribed for his arm of the service. He must be medically fit.
I CURRENT TOPICS. I jin. CHAMBERLAINS CAREER. I Mr. Chamberlain is generally regarded as one of the younger statesmen with the future still before him. He is nevertheless nearly half way through the sixties, having completed his sixty-fourth year last Sunday. As is well known, he was born and educated in London, and went in his early business life to Birmingham, where he made a fortune. Mr. Chamberlain has been three times Mayor of Birmingham, and three times married First in 1861, to Miss Kenrick, who died in 1863—secondly in 1868, to another Miss Kenrick. who died in 1875, and lastly in 1888, to the present Mrs. Chamberlain, who was a Miss Eudicott, of New York. Mr. Chamberlain first turned his attention to politics in the early seventies, and put up for Sheffield at the General Election in 1874. He was not successful, but was returned for Birmingham in 1876, and has represented one or other of its Divisions ever since. Both in commercial and political circles, Mr. Chamberlain liaq always had to make his own way in life. U nlike many men who drop into easy places, whatever the Colonial Secretary has won he has had to fight for, and his future, still open to many possibilities, is one of the problems of the day. PROBABLE DISSOLUTION XEXT YEAR. The present Government, which is already one of the longest of the present reign, is unique in this respect that the Cabinet, both as regards Ministers and their offices, is precisely the same as when it was formed five years ago. Many ex-Cabinet Ministers have died during this time, and there have been several minor changes in the Government, but the Cabinet remains the same. In any event the Dissolution will bring many changes, but this is now scarcely expected to take place this year. The difficulty of bringing the war in South Africa to a definite and conclusive result, and the formidable aspect of the troubles in China, render the prospect of an early Dissolution much less likely than appearances pointed to a month or so ago. Many also think that the enquiry into the alleged hospital scandals in South Africa should be completed before the Government goes oat of office, and the recently appointed Commission can hardly present its report until the latter end of the year. THE ABANDONMENT OF EUROPEANS AT PEKIN. There has been nothing more terrible since the massacre of Cawnpore, than the abandonment of the European community at Pekin to its fate. No one will question the wisdom of the Admirals' decision that under the circumstances, no attempt at relief was possible, but nevertheless it is not surprising that the world should be moved to deep indignation that nothing could be done to avert this ghastly climax. Many people on the spot foresaw the present troubles months ago, and, though it is always easy to be wise after the event, it is singular how little heed was paid by the several Governments to the many warnings of coming peril. It is clear that when the Empress- Dowager was pretending to suppress the Boxers," she was working for the extermination of the foreigners. But one would think that the Ministers would have rightly divined the real truth of these proceedings, and have acted accordingly. If they could not have induced the Pekin Government to abandon its murderous projects, they could have, at least, withdrawn the Legations and foreign residents to a place of safety in Tientsin. It is true the British could not have removed without the other Legations, but then if some had to stay behind to be killed, they need only have been a very few, and not the many. The three or four hundred marines (of whom 75 are British) sent up to Pekin for- the protection of the Legations, only added to the provocation, without being in any way effective tor defence. The seizure of the Taku Forts might also have been delayed until it was certain that all persuasive methods at Pekin had failed. Once free of the "entanglement" of Pekin we could have afforded to regard the situation with equanimity. No doubt much in this deplorable state of affairs is due to the Powers paralysing one another. Even a month ago, when things began to be critical, Japan might have saved the situation, had all the Powers been willing to leave the principal part of the task to that country. As in the last Concert of Europe, over the Armenian question, we have the same protestations of perfect accord between them, but it is only too clear that to some extent civilisation has been divided against itself, and with the same deplorable results as before. ] HIGH PRICES, On all sides householders are feeling the pressure of high prices, and it will surprise no one to find bread going up. Wheat, which fell to an average of 25s. 8d. last year, seems likely to return to something like the figures of 1898, when the average price was 34s. per quarter. The rise is due to the probable shortness of the foreign supply, but reports are not always reliable, and it is quite possible that the American crop will turn out much better than many experts affect to believe. The prospects of our own crops are of little consequence as affecting prices. Though the total prod action last year was about a million quarters less than in 1S98, the average yield per acre was the best on record- It is too early to place any reliance upon the estimates this year, but, even if the yield is below the average, it seems likely that the farmers will obtain the advantage of higher values. THE PRiOE 01' COAL. There is, of course, no compensation to consumers for dear coals, and gas, and high prices I generally. Coal which might now be expected to be at the lowest summer prices, seems stationary I at about half as much again as it used to be, aud many householders are undecided whether it is better to buy the usual winter's stock or to wait on the chance of lower prices in the autumn. Gas is also going up everywhere by sixpence or more per thousand feet. At the recent meeting of the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company, it was stated that the profits for eight weeks last April and May were equal to the profits of eight months last year. Altogether it is estimated that the coal trade could comfortably pay the cost of the Boer War out of the money made by the successful boom in prices. Fortunately for the consumer this state of things is not likely to last, and the more loudly interested parties talk of no fall in prices for two oe three years, the more certain it is that a fall is not far off. There are not wanting indications that the great activity in the iron trade has spent itself. This was one of the principal causes of the rise in coal, but, with orders falling off, the exceptional demand for coal will also come to an end, and the competition of larger supplies, brought forth by the higher range of prices, will probably soon have the inevitable tendency to lower rates. There was much the same state of things for a time in this country, after the Franco-German War, which led to the great boom in the iron and coal industries in 1872 and 1S73, but afterwards there was a great slump, and for a long time coal then remained at a very low level of prices. I A XEW USE rOB OXIDISED NITROGEN. I Some time ago Sir William Crook propounded a theory that the world would be unable to keep up its supply of wheat without the aid of new resources. He was, at the time, president of the Dover meeting of the British Association, when he looked to the utilisation of the nitrogen of the atmosphere as the means by which alone the world would be able to keep up its food supply. It is said that Nikola Gesla, the great electrician, has now discovered a means of setting free the atmospheric nitrogen, making it possible to acquire an unlimited supply of a most potent fertiliser of the soil. What is equally important is the statement that the oxidised nitrogen can be obtained by a comparatively cheap process, and if this is true we should soon hear more of Gesla's discovery. I SIP ID O ON TRIAL. There seems to have been a good deal of the farcical element about the trial of Sipido, who shot at the Prince of Wales, at Brussels, on April 4th. The procuring of a corpse from the hospital and firing neatly a hundred shots into it, with the identical revolver to show that it was not after all such a deadly weapon, is a peculiarly revolting incident, and no one will be surprised that the trial has ended much in the same way as that of the notorious Major Lothaire for the cold- blooded murder of Mr. Stokes in Central Africa. It is true Sipido has been technically found guilty, but as the Belgian jury decided that he had acted without discernment" it is practically an acquittal, and all his accomplices who instigated him to the crime have been released. The Prince would probably be the last to call for the lad's punishment, and no one in this country would ask for vengeance, but, at the same time, the whitewashing of such miscreants is not without its significance. If it is open to any hare-brained youth to commit such crimes, with the certainty of obtaining that dearly loved notoriety which attaches to them, and, at the same time, incurring but little personal risk, the Belgians cannot be surprised if Royal Princes carefully avoid their country in future. I THE U. S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Senator Chauncey Depew's anticipation with regard to the presidential election in the United States ie, that the Republican candidates will be returned with absolute certainty, and that, too, with a larger majority than has been seen by the present generation. The general opinion of those who are best able to judge, seems to be in the same direction. President McKinley's period of office has been one of great prosperity in trade, and it need scarcely be a matter for wonder if the people of the United States, who are persuaded firmly that the trade of the country depends largely upon its fiscal system, decide to leave well alone. Colonel Roosevelt, the Republican candidate for the Vice-Presidency, is extremely popular in the States, and his canvass is no doubt a source of strength to his party. ASHANTI XEWS. Amid the alarming reports from China, it wa at any rate some relief to receive from Ashanti the intelligence that the Governor and garrison of Coomassie had been able to effect their escape, a small force of native soldiers having been left behind with rations up to July 15th. For several weeks the fate of the garrison had been a subject of grave anxiety, chiefly ou account of the character of the enemy, who, like the Chinese, have no spark of mercy in their composition —and are absolutely regardless of the usages of civilised warfare. THE SOUTH AFRICA INQUIRY COMMITTER. I Mr. Balfour certainly acted wisely in yielding to the expressions of opinion from both sides of the House with regard to the composition of the committee which is to proceed to South Africa to inquire into the arrangements for treating the sick and wounded. If it were agreed that the committee should consist of a majority of medical men, then it would scarcely have been possible to find three men more admirably qualified for the work than those who were nominated, but whilst the medical profession is one of the most honourable in the world, at the same time thete is a general belief that, as Mr. Labouchere put it, Members of the profession are inclined to stand by one another, and, however, conscientiously the committee of three might do their work, it would certainly be suggested that they had doue their best to shield the members of the profession of which two of them are distinguished representatives.
Royal Show, 1901. In view of the Royal Agricultural Show to bo held in Cardiff in 1901, the following CDuoties have been grouped by the Royal Agricultural Society in District F Stafford Salop, Warwick, Worcester, Hereford, Giousester, and South Wales. South Wales includes Glamorgan, Carmarthen, Pembroke, Cardigan, Lrecon, Radnor, and Monmouth, A ° l°ca^ prize committee was held at the Cardiff Town-hall on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Robert Forrest in the chair. Suggestions as to tha. prizes that should be awarded were considered.