OCCASIONAL NOTE

The home-coming of the son of the manager of the Fort Gloster jute mill seems to have been made the occasion of some rejoicing. For the general public in Calcutta Mr. D.C. Forrester’s record mainly centres round the fact that the shares of that concern, which stood at Rs 8 shortly before the time of Mr. Forrester’s father, are now at Rs 740, having paid Rs 400 in dividends during the war period alone. It is, however, a pity that the real greatness of his work is not more widely appreciated. A little despot who rules something like 8,000 men, he has succeeded in creating for the enjoyment of his workmen a garden city which, if Mr. Forrester possessed half Lord Leverhulme’s genius for advertisement, would be as famous in India as is Port Sunlight in England. One by one a group of nasty bastis set in malarial jungle have been removed with the consent of their inhabitants and the whole has been replaced by rows of the best designed and best drained rough cast cottages that can be seen on this side of India. The settlement, which is grouped round two beautiful tanks, has its temples, its large school and kinema hall, its clock tower and a bazar the shops in which could stand comparison with anything the Calcutta New Market has to show. Twenty years ago the labour at Fort Gloster was shifting, truculent and unreliable; today it is the envy of every mill on the river.

MAINPURI CONSPIRACY CASE

ALLAHABAD, MAY 6

At the further hearing of the Mainpuri conspiracy case Shaukatulla Khan, Superintendent of Police of Bhind, Gwalior State, deposed that he heard that there were three dangerous gangs of dacoits in his district. One of them was under the leadership of a notorious dacoit leader named Baba Lachmananand. He made arrangements to trace this gang on the 31st of January, 1918. He got information of the gang being assembled in a jungle, and went out with an armed force and surrounded them. They intended to wait until the morning before capturing the dacoits, but some of the police party began coughing and the dacoits heard the sound, called out to them and fired. The police party returned the fire and succeeded in accounting for all but one of a gang. Of the 19 dacoits, eight succumbed to their injuries. The leader, Baba Lachmananand was captured with another notorious dacoit named Master Gonda Lall. The case is proceeding.

LEVEL CROSSING ACCIDENT

Babu Ashutosh Guha and Suresh Ch. Sen Gupta, two pleaders of Dinajpur, met with a serious railway accident near the Hilli railway station at the level crossing south of the station last Saturday night. They were crossing in two carts when Suresh Babu noticed the up Darjeeling mail approaching at full speed and jumped off his cart. Ashu Babu was less fortunate. Before his cart could cross the railway line the engine struck it and Ashu Babu, the cartman and the upper part of the cart were caught by the cowcatcher, carried over 100 yards and then thrown off. Ashu Babu escaped with the loss of a tooth and bruises on the forehead. The cartman is lying in hospital in a precarious condition.

PASSAGES FOR OFFICERS FAMILIES

SIMLA, MAY 6

The War Office has sanctioned the provision of passages at the public expense to the United Kingdom for the wives and families of officers and other British ranks, including those ranks not on the married establishment, who while serving with an imperial garrison, including India or a Dominion, have married or whose families have joined them at such places during the war. The concession applies when the husbands are being sent back to the United Kingdom for demobilisation or for transfer to the reserve. Passages will be restricted to Government vessels or hired transports, but in the absence of such accommodation private steamer accommodation will be provided.

THE FRONTIER

SIMLA, MAY 6

The news from the Frontier this morning is conflicting and indicates the imminence of a serious situation. It is difficult to say exactly what is happening but it is understood that the Amir Amanullah Khan has now resorted to devices which are bound to react on the Frontier and are practically certain to cause serious unrest and disturbances on the borders. The new Afghan envoy, Sardar Abdur Rahman Khan, who only arrived in Simla a few days ago from Kabul, where all was then quiet, has expressed the greatest surpr ise at the tur n of events in Afghanistan and the present situation appears to have developed with remarkable rapidity