OCCASIONAL NOTE

The scheme for a circular railway, put forward by Messrs. Hoare Miller & Co., has at least had the effect of drawing attention to the problem of rapid transport in and around Calcutta. A letter which appears elsewhere gives the names of members of the Committee, to be known as the “Calcutta Communications Committee,” which has been convened under the orders of the Government of India to decide how the problem can best be solved. The Committee is a strong one, though it is curious that the Calcutta Tramways Company is not represented. Mr. H.E. Williams, as Secretary to the Committee, intimates that public bodies are being asked to give evidence, and that, should any private individuals, wish to submit written statements. They may be invited to appear before the Committee should it be considered necessary. This procedure promises economy of time, and is of good augury accordingly. The Committee appointed by the Bengal Government to inquire into the rent and land values question will soon have completed its work. The Improvement Trust has had the subject of means of locomotion under consideration on its own account, and some time ago appointed a committee to report on localities which need improved communications and the most suitable routes and means of conveyance to serve such localities. Thus the allied questions of rents and communications are being approached by different bodies, and sooner or later the city may expect some relief from its congestion.

SMUGGLED GOLD

A sensational raid was made by the Madras Customs authorities upon a gang of sovereign smugglers in the neighbourhood of Tiruvamur village in the district of Chingleput. Information was received by the Customs authorities that a certain individual from Pondicherry had despatched two large consignments of gold on a catamaran to be smuggled into British territory near Madras. A party of preventive officers were detailed to watch along the sea coast. A catamaran containing the smuggled gold arrived at 6 P.M. on Monday last, and when the gold was landed on the sea shore, the party pounced upon the smugglers, arrested them, and took possession of the gold. Information about the arrest soon reached the neighbouring village of Tiruvamur and the villagers turned out in force and assaulted the Customs officers, tied them up to trees and recovered possession of the gold.

AMRITSAR APPEALS

The Privy Council has reserved judgment in the appeals of twenty persons against sentences of death and one against sentence of seven years’ imprisonment in connection with the Amritsar riots. Sir John Simon, for the appellants, contended that the ordinance appointing the commission which tried the applicants was invalid, because it exceeded the powers conferred by the Imperial Parliament. He held that the only charge which could be dealt with by the commission was that of being taken in arms and in the act of committing an offence. None of the defendants had been so taken, for all were arrested some days after the riots. Applicants were entitled to trial in an ordinary court.

BOLSHEVISM THE ENEMY OF ISLAM

DELHI, FEB 20

Bolshevism is at present engaging the attention of those who control the destinies of nations. It is the duty of Islam, which directs a great portion of humanity and reflects their sentiment to proclaim its attitude to all Mahomedans and to the world in general. Whatever may be the basic principles of Bolshevism the fact that their application is harmful to humanity, to social life, and to the rights of individual property, makes it quite impossible to reconcile them with the principles of Islam. Since the birth of Islam until now attacks upon life and property, theft, massacres, villainy and rape have always been condemned, and our sacred literature not only condemns but imposes penal sentences for such acts. Islam requires general progress, tranquility and happiness.

NEW LOAN TO CHINA

A memorandum has been sent to the Chinese foreign office by the British, American, French and Japanese representatives, stating that in view of the urgent requirements of the Chinese Government, these Governments are prepared to recommend the issue of a loan of five millions sterling on secured and specified revenue on condition that firstly the North and South resume peace negotiations forthwith; secondly, that a portion of the loan shall be used for the disbandment of unnecessary troops; thirdly, that the four Allied Governments and the banking groups effectively supervise the application of the proceeds of the loan and the disbandment of the troops.