The election of M. Deschanel as successor to M. Poincare in the French Presidency comes as a surprise to outside observers who had naturally assumed that M. Clemencean, after his signal services as Premier, would have the first refusal of the chief post. The Grand Old Man of France, however, will soon be eighty years of age, and, despite his marvellous energy, he may have deemed it wiser to avoid committing himself to seven more years of official life even though the functions of the President may be less exacting than those of the Prime Minister. He is reported to have expressed his willingness to stand as a candidate for the office, but one is almost driven to conclude that the report must have been erroneous. In any case M. Paul Deschanel has now been duly elected President, thus attaining the culminating point of a political career which has lasted for thirty-five years since he was first elected a deputy and came into note as one of the Progressist Republican group. He was elected Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies in 1896, and became President of the Chamber in 1898. He was reelected to this office in 1901, was rejected in the following year, but was elected again in 1912. The fact that he was born in Brussels, – where, in 1856, his father was living in exile on account of his opposition to Napoleon III – is not without a certain appositeness at the present moment.



The first course at the Staff College, Quetta, will finish on the 1st of September and the second course will commence on the 1st of October. Entrance for this course will be by nomination by H.E. the Commanderin-Chief in India. The number of vacancies to be filed is 54, of which approximately one-quarter will be allotted to officers of the British service, and it is expected that a certain number of officers from the Overseas Dominions will attend. The age limit will be 35 years on the 1st of October, but special cases up to 37 years will be considered. Recommendations for admission will be made by General Officers Commanding to the Chief of the General Staff, Army Headquarters, India, and will be accompanied by details giving age and length of service on the 1st October.



There is promise of a settlement of the millhands strike. At a fully attended meeting of the Labour Settlement Committee yesterday evening, Sir Narayan Chandavarkar presiding the reply of the committee of the Millowners’ Association expressing willingness to make such concessions as may be necessary provided it is understood that no strike pay will be given and that the mill hands first resumed work was considered. It was resolved to publish in the vernaculars the correspondence between the Labour Settlement Committee and the Millowners’ Association, and sub-committee consisting of Sir Narayan Chandavarkar and others was appointed to draft the proposed leaflets. The meeting further resolved to make a representation to His Excellency the Governor to the effect that the millhands were willing to resume work on condition that their demands be considered by the millowners within four or five days of such resumption of work.



The steamer Malita sailed from Bombay on the 2nd January, carrying 647 British officers and other ranks to England. This brings the demobilisation of the British garrison in India practically to a close, the only remaining personnel to be despatched being those remaining in hospital and those who have agreed to defer their demobilisation or extended their service up to the 30th April, 1920. 4,227 temporary Indian Service Officers have been released, which, excluding those who have agreed to defer their demobilisation, leaves only a very small number still to be released. The demobilisation of Indian officers and other ranks has now been opened to a limited extent and establishments are being reduced as circumstances permit.


A representative meeting of subordinate employees of the Government Telegraph Department, Lahore, was held at the Empire Cinema today to make representation to Government for increased pay and house rent in view of prevailing high prices and the high cost of living. About two hundred men representing various departments, from conservancy men and peons to the Deputy Superintendents were present. Mr. Bhawe, Deputy Superintendent, Technical Branch, presided. One or two representative from each department addressed the gathering all of whom pointed out the hardships they were experiencing owing to the abnormal high prices of foodstuffs and other necessaries of life and the inadequate pay they were getting at present.