OCCASIONAL NOTE

From his message to the Democratic National Committee, it is evident that President Wilson is as full of fight as ever, and that, so far as he is concerned, America will not be permitted to shuffle out of her moral obligation to the world under the plea that her people were not properly consulted when the League of Nations was formulated. The President would have the League of Nations as the battle-cry at the next election, but here he parts company with most of his old friends and supporters, beginning with Mr. Bryan, the former Boanerges of the Democratic party, and ending with Mr. Hitchcock, who recently did battle for the Treaty under adverse circumstances in the senatorial debates. These shrewd politicians are clearly of opinion that the League of Nations “won’t fight,” to use the expressive language of the cockpit, and they are in no mood to sacrifice themselves or their party for the President’s ideals. Mr. Wilson, of course, is in a very different position from Mr. Gerard, formerly Ambassador in Berlin. He has already secured two terms of office as President, and probably does not desire a third, even if all precedents were not against it. He consequently has nothing to lose by a heroic attempt to rouse the American nation to a sense of its duty to Europe. Mr. Gerard, however, wants to be President, and has every reason to believe that any such campaign as that which Mr. Wilson desires would be absolutely fatal to his chances at the next election.

SARDA-KICHHA FEEDER CANAL

DELHI, JAN 14

The sanction of the Secretary of State has been received to the construction of the Sarda-Kichha Feeder Canal. The estimated cost of the work is Rs 200 and half lakhs. It is anticipated that it will irrigate an area of 3,45,224 acres and that the net annual revenue will be Rs 12,70,750, corresponding to a return of 6.3 per cent on the total outlay. The feeder will take off from the Sarda river above Tanakpur, and runs in a westerly direction across the Tarai to the Kichha River. Distributaries will be provided from it to irrigate the Bareilly district and those portions of the Shahjahanpur and Hardoi districts between the Garra and Ramganga rivers. It is believed that the introduction of irrigation in these districts will have an important effect on the sugar cane industry.

TECHNICAL EDUCATION

A Press communiqué of the Bihar and Orissa Government states:- The Government of Bihar and Orissa have noticed with concern that full use has not hitherto been made of the facilities for technical education offered to natives of the province at Indian Engineering Colleges. At Rurki two places are reserved for candidates from Bihar and Orissa and a scholarship of Rs 30 a month for the first two years and Rs 40 a month for the third year is offered. Yet in six years only four students have passed the entrance examination, while in 1914 and 1919 only one candidate presented himself and in 1915 no one appeared at all. The Government are most anxious that natives of the provinces should qualify themselves in increasing numbers for employment as engineers.

PRESIDENCY BANKS AMALGAMATION SCHEME

BOMBAY, JAN 14

In response to a general invitation issued by Mr. S.R. Bomanji, a number of shareholders of the Bank of Bombay held a meeting under his chairmanship to discuss the question of suggesting amendments to the proposed scheme for the amalgamation of the Presidency Banks. The principal subject discussed was whether or not the proposed Imperial State Bank should do exchange business. Mr. Bomanji favoured the idea that the Bank should undertake exchange business and asked that they should emphatically protest at the forthcoming shareholders’ meeting against the restrictions sought to imposed. He asked the shareholders to attend the meeting in large numbers or send in their proxies in his favour.

HIGH RENT IN MADRAS

At a general meeting of the Madras Corporation yesterday a resolution was adopted offering sincerest gratitude to the KingEmperor for the Royal Proclamation, and conveying heartfelt thanks to Mr. Montagu and Lord Sinha for their valuable services in connection with the Indian Reforms. Mr. K.C. Desikachari moved a resolution which had been long pending on the agenda of successive meetings of the Corporation concerning legislation to check the present inordinate rise in house rents in the city and requesting the Government to introduce early legislation on the lines of the Bombay Rent Act. After discussion it was decided that the question be deferred for a month or so in order to be discussed by the Council to the constituted under the new Act.