OCCASIONAL NOTE

The programme of business to come before next week’s meeting of the Imperial Legislative Council is not yet complete, but from the published list of subjects which are expected to be included it appears that Mr. Sarma intends to relieve the tedium of such topics as the census, Government securities, and workmen’s contracts, by raising another discussion upon the headquarters of the Government of India. He proposes that the headquarters shall be established permanently in one place, and that, if necessary, a new and suitable centre shall be selected for the purpose. The debate, if it takes place, will no doubt lead to the usual result. The annual official migration is an institution which has survived the great war, and may be regarded therefore, as proof against any argument. The agenda set down for the meeting of the Bengal Legislative Council will include a vote of thanks for the Royal Message, for the Royal assent to the Reforms Act, and for the announcement of the Prince of Wales’ coming visit. A resolution to this effect will be brought forward by Rai Radha Charan Pal Bahadur, who as an orator may be said to have specialised in such subjects. Another resolution congratulates the Government, Mr. Montagu, and Lord Sinha on the Reforms Act, but, judging by the notices of amendments, there seems to be a risk of the Council becoming entangled in a controversy over the apportionment of these congratulations. PATNA UNIVERSITY The committee recently appointed to consider certain recommendations of the Calcutta University Commission, in so far as they affect the construction of the new buildings for Patna University, has concluded its sittings after passing the following resolutions:- (1) That accommodation for post-Intermediate classes only should be provided at present in this new University area; (2) that the University buildings should be constructed for a three years’ degree course for honours students, and a two years course for pass students, but that they should be so designed that extensions can be made to provide for a three years’ pass course later on, should it be considered necessary; and (3) that a provision for teaching arts subjects should be provided in the central University building, the accommodation in colleges being limited to a few of the rooms required for tutorial work.

TO DEVELOP INDIAS FOREST RESOURCES

DELHI, JAN 29

It has long been recognised that the development of the forest resources of India is hampered by the inaccessibility and isolation of forest bearing tracts and the absence of up to date methods of extracting and utilising timber. The question of obtaining experts to deal with these problems has recently been considered by the Government of India, and it has now been decided, with the approval of His Majesty’s Secretary of State for India, to create a Forest Engineering Service, paid on the same scale as the Imperial Forest Service. It is proposed that the recruits to the new service should be trained in Canada and America, where the subject of timber extraction and utilisation has long been studied and improved methods.

ROYAL CLEMENCY TO POLITICAL OFFENDERS

RANGOON, JAN 29

In pursuance of the Royal Proclamation of clemency to political offenders the Lieutenant-Governor has been pleased to cancel all executive orders hitherto in force under the Defence of India (Consolidated) Rules 1915. The restraints which were placed upon the liberty of 33 British Indian subjects of His Majesty have accordingly been removed. The Lieutenant-Governor has further been pleased to direct the immediate release of 41 persons sentenced to transportation for life under sections 121 and 122 I.P.C., in connection with varying acts of rebellion against the State. In addition, the securities of newspapers and presses in Burma under the Indian Press Act 1910, in all cases in which the security prescribed has not been enhanced or forfeited in the past, are being cancelled.

MADRAS TRAMWAY MEN S STRIKES

MADRAS, JAN 29

The Madras tramway strike continues, and, judging from the attitude of the men, there does not seem to be any prospect of an early settlement. The company has therefore secured the services of about sixty demobilised men belonging to the I.D.F., and these have already been given training. Cars are now being got ready to start a service tomorrow, which will necessarily be on a reduced scale. The labourers of Messrs. A. and F. Harvey’s Madura mills struck work last evening. The reason for the strike is said to be the dismissal of a mistry, who, the labourers declare, was punished for his interest in the newly started Labour Union