OCCASIONAL NOTE

The questions and answers in the House of Commons on the subject of the Commons’ representation on the joint Committee on the Government of India Bill are very suggestive of the recklessness with which Mr. Montagu defies the conventions of political warfare. Apparently the Secretary of State suggests the personnel of the Select Committee to the Whips and the work is them as good as done. Of the seven politicians nominated to represent the Commons on the India Bill Committee six were the very members who spoke in favour of the Secretary of State’s scheme in the debate on the Second Reading. They had thus expressed their views publicly in advance and, unless they are to become guilty of serious inconsistency, they must continue to support the scheme whatever the evidence put forward. It would have been so easy for Mr. Montagu not merely to have shown his magnanimity by nominating at least two or three independent politicians to the Committee but to have struck a blow at the belief, now so commonly held both in England and in India, that to him the end is everything and the means nothing. As matters are, the personnel of the Commons’ representation can but emphasise the feeling so strong in the Indian Services and among the public in general that so long as he remains at the India Office it is hopeless to expect a return to the old decencies. The appropriate reflection seems to be: “O Liberty, What sins are committed in the name.”

DEATHS FROM WILD ANIMALS

SIMLA, AUG 2

The annual returns which have been published today show that the total number of persons killed by wild animals in British India increased by 1.2 per cent, from 2,139 in 1917 to 2,164 in 1918. Tigers were responsible for 1,001 deaths, leopards for 325, wolves and bears for 338, and elephants and hyaenas for 61. Of 439 deaths from other animals, 136 are assigned to wild boars and pigs and 194 to crocodiles or alligators. As usual Bihar and Orissa, heads the list with 565 deaths, although the number is 90 less than that of the previous year. The decrease was shared by all districts of the province except Manbhum, Ranchi, Puri, Champaran, and Saran. Deaths from elephants were highest in Assam, from tigers in Madras, from bears in the Central Provinces, and from wolves in the United Provinces. The mortality from snakebite among human beings decreased from 23,930 in 1917 to 22,600 in 1918.

FATAL SHOOTING ACCIDENT IN BOMBAY

BOMBAY, AUG 2

Malabar Hill was the scene of a tragedy yesterday when Mrs. Morgan, who was examining a revolver which her husband, Mr. G.N.R. Morgan, had purchased, accidentally shot herself in the head. Mrs. Morgan died from her injuries early this morning. The deceased lady and her husband arrived in Bombay from Home and were staying at Malabar Hill. He purchased a revolver yesterday, showed its working to his wife and left it in her charge. At 4-30 P.M. he heard a report and rushed to the room from which the sound came, where he found his wife with a wound in her head. The revolver was lying on her lap. Dr. Field was at once sent for as also were Majors Hutchinson and Hamilton, who dressed the wound and had Mrs. Morgan removed to the European General Hospital, where she died without regaining consciousness.

KOLAR GOLD FIELDS

OORGAUM, AUG 2

Last night, at nine o’clock Mr. S Pritchard, Superintendent, Kolar Gold Fields Police, accompanied by the Chief Detective Inspector and another, proceeded to Gonamakampally village two miles from here and succeeded in arresting a Mahomedan aged 24 on whom was found 25 tolas of sponge gold valued close on Rs 500 which, it is stated he was conveying for some second party across the country to a third party either in Bowringpet or Kolar. The case is under investigation.

CARE OF BLIND IN BURMA

The Lieutenant-Governor opened a new school for the blind attached to the St. Michael’s Mission, Kemmendine, in north-west Rangoon, built at a cost of Rs 30,000 to which the Government contributed Rs 12,500. His Honour announced that this sum would be increased by Rs 3,000 and that the annual grant would be increased from Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000. Subscriptions amounting nearly Rs 20,000 were announced by the Bishop of Rangoon, the purses, the results of a school collection, being handed to Lady Craddock by blind children. The Rev. W.H. Jackson, the blind clergyman who arrived in Burma less than two years ago and has worked up public interest in the school, announced that there were 17,000 blind in Burma, very few of whom were selfsupporting, and that industrial training was the next step in the school’s career, for which trained teachers from England were necessary