The rice situation in Ceylon shows no sign of amelioration; on the contrary it is, according to information gleaned from both public and private sources, extremely critical. Mr. A.M. Ghose, a Bengali correspondent resident in Ceylon, writes that the commonest rice is now selling at twelve annas a seer, or Rs 30 per maund, which is more than three times the price in Calcutta. “If the present dead-lock continues longer,” writes the Times of Ceylon, “the stocks of imported rice will be exhausted, and a large number of people, including our estate labour force of about half a million, will be faced with starvation. Even if the Government of India sanctioned fresh shipments of rice today these could not arrive until some time after existing supplies have come to an end at the present rate of consumption.” Our contemporary ascribes this state of things to “the Ceylon Government’s not having been able to find an effective way of approaching the Government of India.” The correspondent already referred to also blames the Ceylon Government, but his indictment relates rather to the neglect of rice cultivation during the past few years, which is mainly responsible for the present shortage. Ceylon, he points out, used to be the granary of Southern India; now, she produces only half her own needs. He describes a typical rice producing tract, with a perfect rice growing climate, and a magnificent system of irrigation.
BOMBAY LABOUR TROUBLES
At a meeting of the Bombay Labour Settlement Committee, Sir Narayan Chandravarkar presided. He welcomed Mr. N.N. Wadia’s suggestion of the creation of an Industrial Council and Court to settle all disputes between labour and capital, and said he himself felt during the last strike that such a council, entirely composed of real representatives of capital and labour, drawn from their own respective classes, would have gone a long way to effect an early and amicable settlement of the strikes. Sir Narayan suggested that the Labour Settlement Committee should defer further steps to see if the Millowners’ Association will act on Mr. Wadia’s suggestion. After some discussion, it was decided that Sir Narayan should urge the Governor to appoint a commission of enquiry into labour conditions.
LIVE SHELLS IN A HARDWARE SHOP
Remarkable facts were disclosed in connection with the Coroner’s inquest on the body of an up-countryman named Joyram, who died at the Medical College Hospital from injuries sustained by the explosion of a live shell in a hardware shop in Cornwallis Street. The Sub-Inspector in charge of Jorasanko thana stated that the owner of the shop, Baraich Kalwar, had purchased 60 maunds of old iron in the shape of used shells from the firm of Messrs. Jacob and Co., of Bowbazar Street, who had purchased the same at the Exchange. The owner of the hardware shop stated that the deceased was engaged in sorting the shells purchased by him when one exploded, with the result that three persons, including the deceased, were injured. The Coroner adjourned the inquest.
POONA, FEB 12
The fifteenth night of the All-India Interregimental Championship Boxing tournament brings proceedings to the semi-final stage. Tonight the semi-finals are down for decision, while Saturday has been fixed for the finals. As the programme draws to a close interest in the championship grows space. This was much in evidence last night when some good bouts were witnessed in the Bantam, Light and Feather Weights. The most interesting fight was undoubtedly that between Rifleman Williams of the 3rd Battalion, King’s Royal Rifles and Lance-Corporal Hynes of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders. Williams, who proved the winner, shaped very well and gave a good exhibition of clean fighting in his hard tussle with the Highlander.
BENGAL PROVINCIAL CONFERENCE
Arrangements for holding the forthcoming Bengal Provincial Conference during the Easter holidays, are being pushed ahead. Besides the collection of funds, members of the Reception Committee are now arranging for the housing and the boarding of the delegates. A site has been selected near the Hospital for the pandal and the District Magistrate has been approached for permission. Public bodies in the Province recognised by the Indian National Congress have been requested by the Secretary of the Reception Committee to send in their nomination regarding the Presidentship of the Conference by the 20th instant, as, according to the constitution the President must be elected a month before the Conference. Intending volunteers have been asked for enrolment. The Reception Committee will shortly hold a meeting to elect their Chairma