Follow Us:

100 Years Ago | 12 March 2020

On this day a century ago, these were some of the news items The Statesman readers got to read about India and the world.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |


The news that Enver, Djemal and Talaat, the triumvirate who brought about the entanglement and ruin of Turkey, are all in Germany, and that the first named has had the effrontery to offer his services to Russia for employment in Afghanistan is pretty disgusting, if it is true, but after all it is no more disappointing than the weakness which has permitted their German fellow-criminals to slip through the fingers of the Allies. After all there is no moral difference whatever between the Huns and the Turks. The individual German criminals have probably made themselves personally responsible for fewer murders than Talaat, Enver and Djemal, but it is extremely probable that if they had been placed in the same position as these worthies they would have committed just as many, if not more. It is common ground that some of the worst atrocities in Armenia were carried out with the connivance of Sanders, the German Generalissimo at Constantinople. There is every reason to assume, in any case, that these three rascals must be left to a higher than human retribution; and if it be true that Enver has volunteered to go to Afghanistan it may well be that justice, of the shortest and sharpest kind, may overtake “the Napoleon of the Balkans” in that hospitable and highly civilised country.


Before Mr. B.D. Hazra, Deputy Magistrate of Alipore, the Calcutta Excise authorities prosecuted Rakan Ali of Watgunge and his wife for illegal possession of a large quantity of contraband opium without a licence. The woman appeared in a burkha and the prosecution witnesses stated that they would be able to identify her, if she took off her veil. The Magistrate asked Babu Bejoy Krishen Basu, vakil for the defence, to request the woman to take off her veil, but the vakil submitted that the woman was a pardanashin and that he could not request her to do so. The prosecution pleader thereupon asked the Magistrate to order the veil to be taken off. The Magistrate remarked that he had no power to order it. The prosecution thereupon withdraw the case and the two accused were acquitted.


At Nottinghamshire Assizes, Harry Wright Burnett, managing director of Burnett and Co., wagon builders and repairers, of Doncaster, a firm employing several hundred hands, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Harold Gadsby, whom he knocked over with his motor-car at Ranskill in the Great North road soon after the man had left work at a neighbouring engineering factory. For the defence, it was urged that it was impossible, having regard to the time at which according to his own workmen the prisoner arrived back at his place at Doncaster, that he could have been on the spot where the accident happened. Mr. Justice Horridge, in sentencing Burnett to nine months’ imprisonment with hard labour and ordering him to pay the costs of the prosecution, expressed entire concurrence with the verdict.


The seven millions of people in London give away more than pound 100,000 every year to beggars, according to the London Mendicity Society. Mr. F. Starling, the secretary told a Daily Chronicle representative that a case was recently brought to his notice of a beggar who was found with nearly pound 100 in his possession in gold, silver, and copper. Some of the men on the list of the official records have as many as 30 convictions against them. Recent reports from the plain clothes police employed by the society show that there is an increase of beggars. If the public would use a little discrimination and resolutely shut their eyes to cases of which they know nothing save from the information supplied by the beggar himself.


The railway strike is over. The men returned this morning. A serious position threatened to develop yesterday when over 4,000 coolies employed in the coaling sheds in harbour struck simultaneously. The previous evening notices written in Sinhalese and Tamil were posted at the coaling depots and elsewhere, calling upon the men not to return to work. Employers were taken by surprise when 4,000 to 5,000 coolies struck without stating the reasons. The authorities made every effort to learn the cause of the strike, but the men treated the matter with indifference. Employers went to the extent of intimating their willingness to consider any grievances and receive a deputation. They visited the coaling ground where strikers persuaded the men to lay their grievances before them, promising to ventilate such.