OCCASIONAL NOTE

At present consumers of gas are charged, as a rule, by the volume of gas which is supplied to them, but as a result of inquiries which have been made into gas standards by the Fuel Research Board, a change in this plan is contemplated, in the United Kingdom at least. The proposal is that in future gas shall be charged according to the number of heat units supplied to the consumer, and it is said that the President of the Board of Trade is shortly to introduce a Bill giving effect to this and other recommendations of the Board. The number of cubic feet of gas registered in the meter will be multiplied by the declared gross calorific value of the gas per cubic foot, which value will be continuously measured and recorded by a standard form of calorimeter checked by referees. The unit to be adopted in charging the customer is to be known as the “therm,” and it is to be the equivalent of the energy required to raise 10,000 gallons of water one degree Fahr. The gas companies are to be free to deliver any mixture of combustible gases free from sulphuretted hydrogen, and not containing, during the next two years, more than 20 per cent of inert constituents, nor more than 18 per cent during the two years thereafter, nor more than 15 per cent subsequently to that. There is also to be a stipulation, to come into force within five years, regulating the pressure at which the gas is to be supplied.

COAL WASTAGE

DELHI, JAN 31

It is announced that Government of India have for some time had under consideration the question of devising means for reducing the large avoidable waste of coal known to occur at the Raniganj and Jharia coalfields, and due mainly to deficient methods of extraction, resulting in the total loss of a large amount of coal, to the inefficiency in the generation and use of power, and to extravagant methods of coke-making. After consultation with the Governments of Bengal and Bihar and Orissa, the Indian Mining Association, and the India Mining Federation, the Government of India decided as a preliminary measure to engage the services of a recognised authority on modern methods of extraction, with instructions to visit the coalfields.

MADRAS TRAMWAY STRIKE

There was a partial resumption of the tramway service this morning. A number of cars manned by demobilised Anglo-Indians from the Indian Defence Force were run on all principal lines. To guard against any possible attempt by the strikers to interfere with the service, the police were in charge of the cars. It is understood that the service of more Anglo-Indians are being engaged, as also fresh Indians as drivers and conductors. The Tramway Company have also applied to the General Officer Commanding, Madras District, for assistance in case of any trouble arising over the resumption of service. The strikers of the Madura Mills have resumed work. The men assembled at Napier Park yesterday evening and expressed the hope that matters might be set right by H.E. the Governor, who is to be interviewed today on their behalf by Mr. G.S. Aundel.

MURDER IN SECUNDERABAD

A dastardly murder was committed on the night of the 29th inst. in Secunderabad in the Cantonment market, the victim being Mr. D.H. Naidu of H.E.H. the Nizam’s Public Works Department, who is a son-in-law of Rai Sahib R.H. Naidu, Doctor of the Infectious Diseases Hospital. The murder was committed in the house of one Soorajini Bai. The police enquiry has tended to implicate Dr. R.L. Naidu and his brother R.H. Naidu. A revolver, admittedly the property of Dr. R.R. Naidu, was found on the bed in the apartment of Soorajini Bai. It would appear that the doctor, his son-in-law the deceased, and R.H. Naidu were involved in family disputes for a long time. The police have arrested Dr. R.H. Naidu and Soorajini Bai and investigations are proceeding.

RANGOON MILL WORKERS GRIEVANCES

The Hon. R.E.V. Arbuthnot, appointed by Government to arbitrate on the grievances of the mill hands in Rangoon, with Mr. J. Hogg, named by the millowners, and the Hon. A.K.A.S. Jamal, named by the mill hands, have made their award. They recommend, in view of the general increase in the cost of living, an increase of 50 per cent on wages up to Rs 20, an increase of 40 per cent from Rs 21 to Rs 30, and an increase of Rs 25 per cent above Rs 50, increases to take effect from Januar y 1, 1920, on wages paid for December, 1919. The claim for an annual bonus for 1917-1918 was disallowed. Men who might have been dismissed owing to having taken part in agitation should be reinstated.