There is apparently as great a cleavage, between the local authorities and the temperance reformers in Poona as there ever was in Calcutta. From a memorial which the Poona Temperance Association has addressed to Lord Willingdon, it appears that the local excise committees, created in 1908 in order to assist and advise the district authorities in the matter of granting licences, were not called together for a period of three years until last February. Yet these committees are responsible for all the temperance reforms which have been carried out in Poona during the past five years, notably the diminution in the number of liquor shops and the reduction in the hours during which liquor can be vended. The Poona Temperance Association demands, not merely that the excise committees shall be consulted more frequently, but that they shall be given the powers of a licensing authority. It is claimed – and the justice of the claim seems obvious – that such committees, consisting as they do of people keenly interested in the prosperity of the locality, are far better judges of the advisability of granting licences than the revenue authority which stands to gain peculiarly by granting them on the largest possible scale.

News Items

Unprecedented Damage
A Town Swept Away
European Planter Drowned
(From Our Special Correspondent)
Colombo, Oct 7

Unprecedented damage has been occasioned by the floods. The town of Ratnapura, situated in a large rubber-planting centre, has been practically swept away. Hundreds of villagers are homeless and several lives have been lost. The Acting Governor has telegraphed to the Government Agent of the affected Province instructing him to take the necessary steps for the relief of the sufferers. The floods are now subsiding, and the weather shows signs of improvement. The obstructions on the main line of the railways will take at least ten days to clear. At the time of telegraphing the floods are within five miles of Colombo, and the bar at the mouth of the Kelani River will be cut this evening. The damage in the metropolis is not expected to be great, although several mills situated near the river banks may be flooded.
A European planter named Edward Young and a Ceylonese Government engineer have been drowned in the floods which, however, are now subsiding.

Prime Minister On Transport Monopoly
(From Our Correspondent)
Kalimpong, Oct 7

Longchhen Shetra, the Prime Minister, has now replied to the representations of the upper and lower Chumbi Valley in reference to the Pumdachhong Gourishat trade monopoly between Tibet and Bengal, by which these trader had received a monopoly of the transport trade. He says he is unable to interfere, as the monopoly has been fixed for three years, but he has promised to try to induce the trust to admit other traders as shareholders. The leading traders of the upper and lower Chumbi Valley have left for Lhasa to arrange matters personally with Pumdachhong.

British Committee’s Appeal
London, Oct 7

The British Committee of the Anglo-American Peace Centenary celebrations appeals for sixty thousand sterling to carry out the British programme of the celebration, which includes, besides educational schemes, the erection of a memorial at Westminster and the purchase of Burgrave Manor, the ancestral home of the Washingtons.