PENSIONS IN MEDICAL DEPARTMENT

To The Editor Of The Statesman

SIR, – It is hoped that these few lines in The Statesman will meet the eye of some authorities at Simla who can do something to cause some information to be given about increasing the pensions of the Indian Medical Department. The retired men continuing service cannot afford to wait any longer in suspense, and some announcement should be made as to whether they and their families are to starve in these days on the old, obsolete rates of pension. Take the case of an officer who has spent, say, forty years in service, in peace and on field service in the late war. Can it be in any way considered just to give him a pension of Rs 200 which has depreciated so much in value as to be equivalent to about Rs 130 nowadays? It is hoped that Gove r n m e n t w i l l b e p l e a s e d t o m a k e a n announcement early as to the increase of pension, which, as stated above, is at present fearfully inadequate for a families man. BRITISH JUSTICE.

LITERATURE FOR THE TROOPS

To The Editor Of The Statesman

SIR, – I have learnt that there is a very urgent and increasing demand at the hospitals on the Frontier and for the troops at the front for literature and I am anxious to make an appeal to the public through your columns to supply this want. The Government of India is issuing an order that any book or paper handed in at a Post Office with the intimation, either written or verbal, that it is for the troops at the front, will be accepted and sent free of charge to Lahore, where arrangements will be made for distribution to the various fronts. May I urge your readers to take advantage of this opportunity and send all newspapers, particularly illustrated papers and magazines, and books suitable for the troops that they can spare, to relieve the tedium of the long hours in camp and in hospital?

FRANCES CHELMSFORD.

Viceregal Lodge, Simla.

DANGERS AT STEAMER GHATS

To The Editor Of The Statesman

SIR, – It is a matter of surprise that accidents are not more frequent. The gangway is composed of three or four planks lashed together, with no hand rail. The planks sometimes overlap each other or some are loose and springy, which does not give one a sure footing. They are always wet and slippery when there is any rain. Very often when I have crossed over to the steamer overnight, I have found only two or three planks more or less shaky. I never cross without misgiving and on one occasion I very nearly fell into the river at Naraingunge, but was saved by one of the servants of the steamer, who had the presence of mind to seize hold of me by the arm and drag me up. The planks were wet and my foot slipped. How the poor Indian ladies with their heavy draperies and closely veiled faces manage to cross in safety is marvellous.

PRO BONO PUBLICO.