OCCASIONAL NOTE

It rather looks from Mr. Lloyd George’s Wolverhampton speeches as though he is already up against the old hostility of the masses at Home to a policy of Imperial preference. On November 16, when he wrote to Mr. Bonar Law, his policy included Imperial Preference “but no tax on bread.” On November 22 it included a “preferential tariff for the colonies – this is a sad lapse from the terminology adopted by the missionary of Empire – but “no fresh taxes on food or raw materials.” At present the import and excise duties consist mainly, if not exclusively, of taxes on tea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, spirits and matches. Neither Canada, Australia, or South Africa is concerned in any of these. Their exports to the Home country consist mainly of grain, fruit, wool, lumber, hides and ores or metal. All of these come under the heading food or raw materials, and, in view of this indisputable fact, it is difficult to see how preference is to be accorded to the three leading self-governing Dominions on Mr. Lloyd George’s latest terms. It seems fairly certain that in the end someone will be fooled – probably the Dominions and Mr. Lloyd George’s protectionist colleagues, for the mass of the population of the United Kingdom is adamant on this subject.

WOMAN S BOOK OF PLANS

A Frenchwoman, named Mathilde Carmen Taylor, whose husband is a British soldier now in France, was charged at Wallasey in mail week with having had in her possession photographs, plans, and designs in book-form likely to be useful to the enemy. The book was taken to the police station by the persons with whom the defendant was lodging, and she herself went to the police to complain that it had been stolen from her. When asked to account for her possession of it she said she had been working on munitions at Coventry, and while there she became friendly with a British officer, a captain in the Air Force, whom she told she wished to go in for aeroplane work. He lent her the book, which was issued by the Technical Department of the Air Ministry, and told her that if he did not see her again she was to destroy and not let anyone see it. The Chief Constable said it would be necessary to bring the officer from France to state whether the defendant’s story was correct or otherwise. The defendant was therefore remanded for a week in custody.

PROFESSION TAX

At the High Court today the Chief Justice and Justice Napier disposed of an appeal from the decision of Justice Coutts Trotter on the original side in the case in which the Clan Line Steamer Company sought to recover profession tax paid by them to the municipality of Cocanada, on the ground that they were not carrying on business or exercising their profession within the limits of the Cocanada municipality. The trial Judge found that the agents of the company, Messrs. Riply & Co., issued shipping orders, collected freight, etc., at Cocanada, but that contracts were entered into only by Messrs. Gordon Woodroffe & Co., at Madras. His Lordship held that the plaintiff was entitled to a refund of the profession tax paid under protest. In the appeal Their Lordships confirmed this decision, holding that for the purpose of profession tax the place where business was being carried on was the place where the contracts out of which the profits of the business arose were habitually made.

BRITISH INDIA DOCKYARD ABLAZE

Yesterday evening the British Indian Steam Navigation Co.’s dockyard at Mazagaon was seen to be on fire. Workmen who were there entertaining a Japanese juggler in connection with the armistice celebrations ran to the yard and found that not only the timber yard but the workshops also were enveloped in flames. Shortly after the fire brigade arrived and the fire was brought under control in two hours. About half the timber yard and half of workshops were destroyed, causing damage to the extent of about two lakhs of rupees. The cause of the fire is not known.

HORSES STAMPEDE AT LAHORE FETE

The fire-works displays at the Minto Park fete last evening led to a most unfortunate accident. About twenty horses of the Indian Cavalry stampeded, the guns teams on the right following suit and one of the later charged one of the armoured cars and overturned it. It is stated that some persons were seriously injured, one of whom, an employee in the Military Accountant’s office, who recently served in France, died today in Lahore Cantonment Hospital. A law student is also said to have been fatally injured.