OCCASIONAL NOTE

The Hon. Mr. W.E. Crum, in his presidential address at the annual meeting of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, reviewed some of the leading topics which have engaged the attention of the Chamber during the past year, and the retrospect affords some ground for satisfaction. Considering what the Empire has passed through during the last five years, there is something to be thankful for when we find the president of the Chamber of Commerce peacefully discoursing on such subjects as currency, fiscal policy, and experimental farms. In one important matter Bengal has been more fortunate than other parts of India. Mr. Crum attributed its comparative freedom from serious labour trouble to the fact that employers have been particularly solicitous for the welfare of their workmen. That this, however, as Mr. Crum said, does not always secure immunity from strikes is shown by the experience of Madras mills where the conditions of labour are “as nearly ideal as it is possible for them to be.” The result of industrial peace in Bengal has been greatly to the advantage of both employers and employees and of the general community as well. There are several other subjects in Mr. Crum’s address which will repay detailed consideration. Not the least important of them is the bridging of the Hooghly. As bridge-builders the Government have not hitherto appeared to advantage, but it must be admitted that they have been handicapped by war conditions.

HOOLIGANISM IN BURRA BAZAR

The Commissioner of Police met some of the leading residents of Burra Bazar yesterday and at their request special patrols of armed sergeants will be placed in this area and a special staff deputed from the Detective Department to run bad livelihood cases against known bad characters. Government have been asked to legislate in order to give police magistrates power to remove from Calcutta up-country and other foreign bad characters who have no proper means of livelihood. On the other hand the Commissioner of Police has asked the Marwari residents to assist the police by giving evidence against known bad characters, which up to the present it has been almost impossible to get anyone to do.

NEW CAWNPORE HOSPITAL

Sir Harcourt Butler will open the Georgina McRobert Memorial Hospital in Cawnpore on Monday the 1st March. The hospital has been built and endowed by Sir Alexander McRobert principally for the benefit of European and Anglo-Indian residents of Cawnpore. The hospital is situated in the heart of the Civil Lines on a plot of land measuring about ten acres and it is estimated that the cost of buildings and equipment will exceed four lakhs of rupees. His Honour will also on the same day lay the foundation stone of the Sonatana Dharma Arts and Commercial College. The College authorities are aiming at the establishment of a first grade commercial college at Cawnpore. PUNJAB AND

THE REFORMED COUNCILS

LAHORE, FEB 27

A Punjab Government Press communiqué just issued publishes the proceedings of the committee which has advised the Lieutenant-Governor on certain matters connected with the Reform Scheme. The opinion of the committee is now under the consideration of the Government. The committee has made various recommendations regarding the urban and rural electorate, the distribution of urban and rural seats, the franchise for the Legislative Assembly and votes for the Council of State. For the University seats the committee advised that the franchise should be extended to all fellows and honorary fellows of the Punjab University, all M.As and M.Sc’s and all other graduates of seven years’ standing of Punjab or any Indian university or any other recognised university of the British Empire. The Sikh members, however, pressed a claim for a larger share of representation.

ELECTRIC TRAMWAYS FOR BANGALORE

BANGALORE, FEB 27

The question of constructing electric tramways in Bangalore has been discussed very frequently in recent years. Before the war broke out the Government of Mysore sanctioned a scheme, but it was held in abeyance owing to the impossibility of obtaining materials at a reasonable price. As soon as the Armistice was concluded the Chief Electrical Engineer was requested to take up the question and he submitted a note to the Government of Mysore approving generally the suggestions of the Chief Electrical Engineer and directing investigation of traffic prospects and the preparation of estimates.