OCCASIONAL NOTE

Mica mining is, according to Mr. Tipper of the Geological Survey, one of the directions in which the co-operative principle might usefully be employed in Nellore. At present the methods of the indigenous miner recall the primitive hole in the ground which Barry in “The Country Girl,” invites Sir Joseph Verity to purchase after inspection. “A number of small holes are dug in a likely place,” says Mr. Tipper, “and any which give a good show of surface mica are continued, being enlarged to enable the coolies to work easily. If mica continues in the pit the work is continued, the hole being enlarged more and more until it eventually becomes a fairly large open pit from which water cannot be excluded.” This system has the supreme recommendation of simplicity, both as regards the actual work and also the supervision of it, because, as Mr. Tipper points out, “all the work is done in the open air, and a man standing on the edge of the pit can see everything that is being done.” Still, as he goes on to obser ve, the mica mining future belongs largely to the European-owned mines, with their better and more economical methods of working, and he suggests that the only chance for the Indian miners lies in co-operation. “It is not every mica mine which is sufficiently valuable or big enough to warrant the whole-time ser vices of a trained mining engineer. It is to be hoped that something will be done in this connection.

ALLEGED CHEQUE FRAUD

Yesterday, before Mr. Das Gupta, Third Presidency Magistrate, J. Miller Crisp, a European assistant employed by Messrs. Hoare Miller and Co., was placed on trial on charges of attempted cheating and forgery in respect of a cheque for Rs 1,000. It is alleged that on Tuesday accused called at Cox’s Bank and presented a cheque for encashment, which purported to have been drawn and signed by Mr. E.B. Shaw, also an assistant of Messrs. Hoare Miller’s, in favour of J. Reid. The Bank authorities communicated with Mr. Shaw, who came and declared his signature to be a forgery. In the meantime, the presentor of the cheque had disappeared. Subsequently, Sub-Inspector of the Hare Street thana arrested accused in Messrs. Hoare Miller’s premises, where it is said he worked with Mr. Shaw in the same room and at the same table. The hearing of the case was adjourned.

HIGH PRICES AND DISTRESS

The District Board of Nadia has already taken steps to relieve the distress consequent on the high price of rice and want of employment in the Meherpur Subdivision of the Nadia District. The SubDivisional Officer of Meherpur, having on personal inquiry, reported the wants of the people there, the District Board at once made necessary arrangements for sufficient relief works, which have been of the greatest benefit. The Co-operative Central Bank of Nadia, of which the Magistrate is the Chairman, has arranged to bring a large quantity of Burma rice to help the poor in the city, and the District Board of Nadia has similarly arranged to bring a large quantity of Burma rice for the poor in the interior of the District. The Magistrate of the District, Rai Jogendra Kumar Ghosh Bahadur, has been taking a great deal of interest in the relief work.

LABOUR CONGRESS

The Trade Union Congress, on a card vote today, passed a resolution on the motion of Mr. Smillie by 2,600,000 to 1,900,000 votes referring back to the Parliamentary Committee the passage in the committee’s report which dealt with direct action, but did not express an opinion on the matter, merely saying that the principle involved was grave. Before the vote was taken the chairman said that if the passage were referred back it would be construed as a vote in favour of direct action on political issues, but the vote would not prevent a direct resolution on the subject later.

AVIATION

The question of the disposal of airships and of Government assistance to aerial commercial enterprise was discussed at a conference in London of representatives of the Air Ministry and persons interested in commercial aviation. General Seely said that when the political situation cleared in about a month the Air Ministry and Admiralty would combine to offer cheaply airships to those who would undertake the formation of commercial air schemes. It was urgent on political grounds that a scheme should be launched as speedily as possible. The meeting decided to form a financial committee to consider details.