OCCASIONAL NOTE

The Peninsular and Oriental Company, as today’s telegram shows, continue their policy of absorbing other lines. The Orient Steam Navigation Company in which they have now procured a “large holding of shares,” have an issued capital of less than pound 500,000 and at the present moment appear in Lloyd’s list as the owners of only four vessels, all of them, be it said, of over 9,000 tons register. A “large holding of shares” – as the P. and O. Company interpret a “large holding” nowadays – probably constitutes at least a controlling interest. The Khedivial Mail Steamship Company of Alexandria, the bulk of whose shares the P. and O. Company have now acquired, is a comparatively small concern owning a dozen ships in the Egyptian trade. The absorptions, partial or complete, of the P. and O. Company since the policy was commenced in 1910 now comprise the Blue Anchor, British India, New Zealand Shipping, Union Steamship of New Zealand, Hain, Nourse, Orient and Khedivial Mail lines. Time was when it was of interest to compare their total strength in tonnage with that of the threatened German combine between the HamburgAmerika and North German Lloyd lines. Today they have outdistanced all competitors – except the Controller of Shipping – and combine under the management by far the largest centralised block of tonnage the world has known. The deferred stock of the Company stood in the share list at about pound 670 when the mail left London.

BENARES HINDU UNIVERSITY

The third annual meeting of the Benares Hindu University Court was held on Saturday last. H.H. the Maharaja Scindia was elected pro-Chancellor, the Hon. Pandit Malaviya, Vice-Chancellor and Rai G.N. Chakravarti Bahadur, pro-Vice-Chancellor for two years. H.H. the Maharaja Scindia, who presided on the occasion said, it was in April 1918 that I last had the pleasure of addressing a meeting of the University Court. Since that time the Empire has, by God’s grace been successful in the greatest war in history, while in a more peaceful sphere the Hindu University has made much progress. We have had the report of the Sadler Commission on the Calcutta University – a report full of hope and lessons for the other universities of India. The period which has elapsed since we met last has been one of steady progress, upon which I heartily congratulate those responsible.

MADRAS CHEATING CASE

MADRAS, DEC 3

At the High Court today Mr. Justice Seshagiri Iyer and Mr. Justice Phillips delivered judgment in the appeal preferred by W.H. Lockley, late of the Madras Engineering Works, against his conviction for cheating by the Second Presidency Magistrate, Madras. The charge against Lockley was that he bought a lathe from on board the S.S. Ural for Rs 2,000, the lathe being for Messrs. Oakes and Co., Managing Agents of the Madras Engineering Works, recovered from Messrs. Oakes and Co., a sum of Rs 3,000 and retained Rs 1,000 for himself. In the lower court Lockley was sentenced to three months’ rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs 1,000, out of which a sum of Rs 750 was given to Messrs. Oakes and Co. as compensation. Their lordships after hearing counsel for the appellant held that the evidence fully warranted the conviction, which they confirmed. The appeal was dismissed.

AFGHAN-PERSIAN FRONTIER

KARACHI, DEC 3

In the course of an interview with His Excellency the Governor of Seistan, who has been making a stay of a few days in Karachi en route for Kerbela, accompanied by a numerous suite, a representative of the Daily Gazette learned that the QuettaNushki Railway has now been carried forward to Duzdab on the Persian frontier, about thirty miles south of the south-western point of the Afghan frontier, and about 120 miles south and slightly west of Nasrabad (or Seistan), the capital town of the Governor’s province. He is very optimistic as to the future of Persia and the effect of the Anglo-Persian agreement, if the Persians themselves seize their opportunities. He is also convinced of the great possibilities of the extension of trade between India and East Persia as soon as the Nushki Railway, which is at present used for purely military purposes.

TEN MILLION PEACE FLAGS

In connection with the gift of ten million flags which His Excellency the Viceroy has accepted from Rai Bahadur Seth Sukhlal Karnani, a committee has been constituted in Calcutta to arrange for the distribution of the flags to local governments and administrations in the numbers which these require. Indents for flags should be addressed as quickly as possible to the convener of the committee as the stock of flags is limited. It is hoped that the local peace celebrations committees in various parts of India will formulate the outside estimates to the central committee in Calcutta as quickly as possible.