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NEWS NOTES. I

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NEWS NOTES. I The forthcoming visitation of Mr. Chamber- lain to South Africa, in order to permit of our Colonial Secretary's inspection on the spot of the actual situation, is regarded on all sides as a laudable movement. It makes for practicality and efficiency, as against the bad old ways of hide-bound bureaucracy. The personal investi- gation of the highest authority in any govern- ment department into the issues involved in administration is the thing to encourage. The Transvaal Colony is going to go drasti- cally to work in dealing with the question of the sale of intoxicants, which is well. There will be a system of local option, supplemented by the formation of "trusts" in the public interest; and there will be a prohibition of the employment of barmaids, boys, or blacks in the vending of the drink. Such stringent measures will win the approval of teetotallers every- where. Lord Rosebery said a good many things in the course of his Edinburgh speech which other political speakers of variant view would strongly controvert; but most folk of the common sense sort would be inclined to endorse the spirit of his recommendation that a man of the special- istic ability of Lord Kitchener might advan- tageously be employed as Secretary of State for War instead of having his gifts wasted in India in a command that many an officer of smaller calibre than himself could compass easily. Such an appointment, possibly, would upset the War Office but that need not occasion very much regret. The idea is a bold one, and both in- teresting and notable in these humdrum days of precedent. Somehow or other, although the Education Bill discussion has enlivened things locally in certain towns, the municipal elections do not seem to make the stir they used to do; and we fear the tendency on the part of the ratepayers is towards apathy. We regret this is not for the general good. Organised hot partisanship may work mischief, but the leaving of public representation to self-seekers and strenuous log-rollers is far worse. Those who find the funds for local government and have the choice of the personnel of the authority should seriously set themselves to select fit and proper representatives. It is everybody's business; and, unfortunately, that is what is most likely to receive neglect. General De Wet has gone home, having, pre- sumably, had enough of the talking and begging business, which does not suit a man of his tem- perament at all. Some of the other ex-Generals are handing the hat round yet; but the game flags, and can hardly be worth the candle. Apropos, it is said that the ex-Generals have made a statement to the effect that they pro- longed the war on account of the effusive recep- tion of Mr. Kruger in Paris. The poor Boers confused the City Council President-who was the welcomer of the veteran runaway-with the President of the Republic, and prophesied intervention from France! They are undeceived now! The battle of the locomotives of the future will be, apparently, between petrol and elec- tricity. The North-Eastern Railway Company are buying petrol engines for utilisation in the haulage of light traffic on their system, at least by way of experiment. If the petrol reaches expectation, proposed electrification may be set aside. Conceivably disputes in the coal industry have expedited coming changes. Why does not the Government hurry up and settle outstanding questions as to the pay of Reservists ? The demonstrations of discontent which are being made publicly in London and elsewhere are about the worst conceivable re- cruiting agency. Lord Charles Beresford is among the perennial sticklers for efficiency. He told a Woolwich audience on Saturday that our Navy as a whole was very good, and that we had every reason to be proud of it. Whenever the Navy was called upon he could assure them it would do its duty, and do it well. The Navy wanted, he contended, more practice in gunnery. The guns they now had were second to none in the world. With more practice we should get efficiency. The man who could put his shot where he desired was worth his weight in gold in naval war. His gunnery efficiency meant the winning of actions and the saving of ships. Lord Charles Beresford speaka of what he knows. It is understood that the programme for the training of Militia battalions next year will provide for their being embodied in brigades. This year, for special reasons, the training was of a less arduous character, but it is thought that the brigade system of instruction will produce increased efficiency and add more zest to the work than under the old regime. The experiment was made last year, and proved eminently successful, and therefore its applica- tion to the whole of the force is expected to be highly advantageous. The training of Militia as Field Artillery is also to be extended. The Pacific Cable has been successfully com pleted at Suva (Fiji). From Fiji the crew of the Anglia, the vessel which had the distinction of laying the final section, sent a congratulatory message to the King addressed to Buckingham Palace. It was the first message to be sent over the northern section of the line which con- nects Vancouver with the Fiji Islands. In view of the marked increase in the number of cases of lunacy, several suggestions, we hear, are being made for bringing about a better state of affairs. One is to the effect that special hospitals should be established for the recep- tion of such cases, and that not too much anxiety should be displayed on the part of the medical staff to get a good percentage of cured" cases. Another is that an alteration of the law is necessary. Some consider that it would be better to make the accommodation better than is at present the case. This seems a logical view. By the death of Mr. Henry Chandos-Pole Gell, the Shire Horse Society loses one of its most active members and a familiar figure at the annual shows at Islington. He was well known throughout the country, ow- ing to the deep interest he dis- played in agricultural questions, and it was largely owing to his efforts, coupled with those of the late Hon. E. K. W. Coke, that attention was directed to the importance of the Shire Horse. It was in order that this now famous breed of draught horses might be deve- loped to a higher pitch of perfection that he helped to found the Shire Horse Society.

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IMPRISONMENT IN RUSSIA.

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K.i. 'k TOWN TOPICS. (

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PUBLIC MEN ON PUBLIC MATTERS.

! A SCANDALOUS CASE.I

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I SALVINI ROBBED. I

! THE MURDERED EMPRESS. I

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.-,-..-GUARDS REVIEWED.

! THE CHATHAM TRAM ACCIDENT.

IILEGIfoTx^XAON REFORM.

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