OCCASIONAL NOTE

The cavalier fashion in which Mr. Lloyd George treats the House of Commons is becoming the theme of general discussion at Home. At the end of October four of his own Coalition followers waited on him and pressed for his regular attendance in the Commons. He promised that once the pressure of business had subsided he would be in his place “at least once a week” to answer questions. It is small wonder that odious comparisons are being instituted between the present Prime Minister’s practice and that of the great Parliamentarians from the period of Pitt to that of Campbell-Bannermann. The effect of this neglect of the Legislature cannot be better illustrated than by the appalling poverty of the debate – and especially of the Prime Minister’s contribution to it – on the financial crisis in which the nation now finds itself. The Prime Minister’s utterance was, indeed, puerile enough to cause the great financial statesmen from Gladstone to Goschen and Hicks-Beach to turn in their graves. So long as the Prime Minister could offer the excuse that his absence from Parliament was compensated for by some esoteric influence exerted by him on the conduct of the war. Today they look in vain for any sign of energetic conduct of the nation’s affairs, and it is small wonder that they demand from the Prime Minister more evident signs of toil such as those evidenced in Gladstone’s tireless watches and masterly orations in the place to which the people look for inspiration and leadership.

GOLABARI JUTE PRESS FIRE

A fire, which ought have proved far more disastrous than it did, had it not been for the prompt measures taken by the Press house people, coupled with the prompt arrival of the Calcutta Fire Brigade, took place at the Golabari Jute Press at Upper Chitpore Road, Tuesday forenoon. Shortly after 9 A.M., some of the workmen smelt jute burning and almost immediately volumes were seen. An alarm was thereupon raised and as a preliminary measure eight sprinklers were opened and water poured down on the burning jute. In the meantime, the Fire Brigade had been called and the Chief Officer, Captain Westbrook, with two motors from headquarters and a motor each from the Entally and Chitpore fire stations, made their way at high speed to the scene of the conflagration. By the time the Brigade arrived and the firemen were at first unable to get into the godown owing to the suffocating smoke.

THE INDIAN INDUSTRIAL BANK

DELHI, DEC 2

The Government of India have noticed recent advertisements to the effect that a company under the name and style of the India Industrial Bank will be incorporated shortly with a capital of Rs 5 crores, the secretaries to the company being Messrs. Bando and Co. These advertisements further contain statements that Mr. V.C. French, Accountant-General, Bengal, is joining Messrs. Bando and Co., and will, along with others, be a director of the company. The Government of India desire to state that the implication which might be drawn from these advertisements that Mr. French’s association with the company is in his official capacity as Accountant-General, Bengal, is not correct.

ELECTION RIOTS

MADRAS, DEC 2

A report from Pondicherry says that early on Sunday morning, at the opening of the Bureau de Vote in the principal quarters of the town in connection with the election of a representative for French India to the Chamber of Deputies of the French Parliament, disturbances took place in some bureau. The rioters molested the police and members of the Bureau, whom they chased and carried away the ballot box which was immediately replaced by the Government. Free fighting followed, during which several men were wounded. The police fired on the crowd and as a result it is reported that three persons were killed and some wounded.

TOBACCO CULTIVATION IN BURMA

A Burman friend who passed through Kama, a large village between Prome and Thayetmyo, recently brought me from there a small parcel of the locally grown tobacco, for which he said Rs 1-8 a viss was demanded though he obtained it for Rs 1-4. He ascertained that it was planted from seed obtained in the Shwegyin subdivision where what was called Kyaukkyi tobacco for a long time was thought the best description of pipe tobacco that was grown in the province. The Kama variety is I think an improvement on that grown in Shwegyin, though it is not cut up so neatly, and is slightly dearer in price. But in these days when imported tobacco is about three times its pre-war cost, it does admirably to mix with it, and shows that there are some places in the province not hitherto tried which can grow good tobacco, which if properly cured would find a market outside of Burma.