The Witness - Friday, 7 December 1917

Roll of Honour

FINLAY -- Reported wounded end missing 8th June, 1917, officially reported killed 4th December, 1917, Pte. Andrew Campbell Finlay, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, youngest son of John Finlay, Fairview, Clandeboye, Co. Down.


COPELAND--CHAMBERS -- November 27, at Newmills Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. Jas. Irwin, Frederick, youngest son of the late Mr. John A. Copeland, Fourtowns, to Edith, third daughter of Mr. Joshua Chambers, Ballynagarrick, Gilford.

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SAUNDERSON--WHITE -- December 1, 1917, at First Castleblayney Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. W. H. Smythe, John T. (Sapper R.E.), third son of J. W. Sanderson, C.E., Athlone, to Eva, only daughter of the late W. J. White, solicitor, Castleblayney.


GILLESPIE -- December 4, at her residence, Donnybrook House, Brookmount, Lisburn, Isabella (Isa), dearly-beloved wife of Samuel Gillespie. Interred in family burying-ground, Crumlin. SAMUEL GILLESPIE.

MAGEE -- December 3, at her residence, "Franklea," Moss Road, Ballyclare, Elizabeth, youngest daughter of the late Francis Magee, Ballyclare. The remains of our dearly-beloved sister were removed for interment in Rashee New Cemetery, on Wednesday, 5th December. AGNES MAGEE.

PETTICREW -- December 4, 1917, at her residence, Ballymeglaff, Sarah, eldest daughter of the late Hugh and Mary Petticrew. Interred in family burying-ground, Knockbracken. M. A. MAGEE.

WALKER -- November 29, 1917, at Railway Street, Ballynahinch, Agnes Armstrong, in her 88th year, widow of the late William Walker, High Street, Ballynahinch. Interred on Saturday, 1st December, in the family burying-ground, Annahilt Glebe.

AGNEW -- December 2, at his residence, Stream Street, Downpatrick, J. Henry Agnew.

BELL -- December 1, at Groomsport, John Bell, aged 88 years.

BLACK -- December 1, at the residence of her son-in-law, Alexander Wylie, Francis Street, Harryville, Ballymena, Mary, relict of the late James White Black, Liminary.

BROWN -- November 30, at the residence of her father, Ashfield, Deneight, Lisburn, Evelyn, only daughter of Henry and M. Brown.

BROWN -- December 1, at her residence, Carn, Carnaughliss, Agnes Jane, the beloved wife of Joseph Brown.

CULBERT -- December 2, at her brother's residence, 112, North Road, Belfast, Emily S. Culbert, second daughter of the late James Culbert, Lisburn.

DUFFIELD -- December 2, at his father's residence, Mourne View, Ballynahinch, James Duffield.

EDDIS -- November 28, at 69, Ballymagee Street, Bangor, Mary, widow of the late Captain Robert Eddie.

FYFFE -- December 1, at his residence, Whitehall Street, Clones, A. Fyffe, aged 55 years.

GORDON -- November 29, at his residence, Phyllis Cottage, Annalong, John Gordon.

HANNA -- December 2, at her residence, Avona Cottage, Ballyholme, Bangor, Mary Hanna.

KIRKPATRICK -- December 4, at her residence, The Forge, Cloughfern, Margaret, widow of the late Wm. John Kirkpatrick.

M'ATEER -- November 30, at her residence, The Orchards, Portglenone, Elizabeth, dearly-beloved wife of Alexander M'Ateer. "And there shall be no more death; neither shall there be any more pain."

M'CRACKEN -- December 3, at Ballylough, Castlewellan, Co. Down, Alexander Henry, dearly-beloved husband of Agnes M'Cracken, in his 78th year.

M'KAY -- December 4 (suddenly), at his residence, 25, May Avenue, Bangor, Foster M'Kay, late of Aughnacloy.

NESBITT -- December 2, at his residence, 30, Grove Street, Low Road, Lisburn, James, dearly-beloved husband of Isabella Nesbitt.

NICHOLSON -- Samuel, the dearly-beloved son of Edmund Nicholson, Legacurry, Lurgan.

SOMERS -- November 30, at Groomsport, Mary Ann Somers.

In Memoriam

NESBITT -- In loving remembrance of John Nesbitt, who departed this life on 2nd December, 1912, at Derrynoyd, Draperstown. "To live in hearts we leave behind as not to die." Inserted by his Wife and Family. 14, Brookhill Avenue, Belfast.



Mr. John M'Burney, whose death took place on Saturday at his father's residence, Lodore, I Glandore Avenue, was a painter and an art critic of no mean ability, although his work was familiar only to a comparatively small circle of friends and acquaintances, who, however, fully realised and appreciated his gifts. He was a member of the Ulster Arts Club and of the Joint Arts Committee which advised the Corporation on matters relating to painting, sculpture, and allied arts. The funeral took place on Monday afternoon to Balmoral Cemetery, and was attended by representatives of the organisations mentioned above. Rev. Dr. Park, of Rosemary Street, was the officiating minister, and the funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Melville & Co., Limited, Townsend Street, Belfast.



Presbyterian Chaplain's Letter.

In the course of a letter from "Somewhere in France," to the members of his congregation at Greystones, Rev. A. W. Neill writes:-- Friends, I send you hearty greetings from the front. You will desire, first of all, to know Where I am. Well, the village is named ------, and is about ten or twelve miles behind the line. It is a little straggling place with a church (Roman Catholic, of course), and a few dilapidated houses. We have a fine hut, lit by acetylene, which we have rigged up ourselves, and fairly well equipped in other ways, also. There is a sign-board fixed at one end of the hut, behind the counter, on which is painted, quite artistically, the inscription, "The Ulster Hut, presented by the Presbyterian Church of Ireland." The inscription is the only thing which distinguishes it from any other Y.M.C.A. hut in the area. The Y.M.C.A. authorities are doing their best to give us as good treatment as possible. We have a fine piano, of which the men make good use; there is something of a library, which has been greatly augmented within the past few days; and we have several sets of draughts, chess, and dominoes. We are greatly in need of magazines, music, and indoor games. But our chief lack at present is a few stoves for the main hall. It is bitterly wet and cold. One's heart almost bleeds for some of the poor chaps who come in, sodden to the skin with rain and mud. They have no way of getting dried. We give them hot drinks, and when at all possible bring them into the kitchen to sit beside our little cooking stove for a time. Their gratitude for the simplest acts of kindness is almost humiliating. One feels so helpless at times to do more than ease by a little the miserable conditions under which they live. Were it not for the Y.M.C.A. I do not know what would happen to the men. We can at least offer them a dry room to sit in, with light, recreation, and refreshments. The men are unanimous in their testimony that of all the institutions which the war has called into being the Y.M.C.A. stands easily first.

Of the religious side of the work, more narrowly speaking, I may at once say that the results are extremely gratifying. The response of the men is a source of wonder and joy to me. I confess that at times it takes no little courage to go up to the men at the tables of an evening and say, "Now, boys, we'll have a few minutes interval for prayers." But once you have taken the plunge you find it not so difficult at all. You give but hymn-books, and ask the men to choose their own favourite hymns. A very fusillade of numbers is shouted up, and from these you make your choice. The men sing with great heartiness. Then a few verses of Scripture are read and a prayer offered. Those at home are never forgotten. This is done each evening about eight o'clock; and I should like you all to remember us in your own private devotions. It helps more than you may realise. We have a service each Lord's Day at 6-30 p.m. In the morning the men are all at the chaplain's parade service. We have also a mid-week service each Wednesday evening at seven o'clock. I have been greatly cheered by the attendances at these services. I have had as many as 170 or 180 men on a Sunday evening, and over 100 men on a Wednesday evening. One has a splendid chance at these services. Success depends, humanly speaking, on the leader. He can make the thing dry and formal, or bright, earnest, and pulsing with spiritual life. The men will listen to any real message one may have to give. What is true of the services is true, also, of the whole religious work in connection with the hut. All depends, under God's providence, on the leader. If he shows a true spirit of friendship towards the men, with any real eagerness to serve them, it is wonderful how they will open up and reveal their troubles and difficulties. Some conversations I have had will linger in my memory whilst life lasts. The men are undoubtedly thinking, and they are looking for, and longing for guidance. Such a question as, "Do you think, sir, the war will leave the world better?" has been the opening of a very instructive and inspiring conversation more than once. That question seems to haunt me. It is so often asked, and sometimes from very unexpected quarters. The very spirit that inspires that question is surely our best guarantee for the future. The men ask it because in their heart of hearts they want a better world. And what good thing we sincerely desire God is ready to give.

It is my prayer that the Church may waken up to its opportunities. I would ask that you at home, who have the Church's best interest at heart, pray for those of us who are out here face to face with the task. Help us in that way, and in every other way you can. We have chances now which may never offer again in the life-time of any of us. Pray God that He may so guide and inspire His servants that these opportunities may be used to best advantage. I ask you specially to do your bit in the way of definite prayer to this end. I am here as your ambassador for Christ. You have sent me to do my little share in the great work. I am looking confidently to you to back up with your prayers what is being done here. You are constantly in my thoughts both as a congregation and as individuals. As such I commend you to God's mercy and grace in Christ Jesus. May His blessing and peace be with you all. Amen.



New Education Commissioner.

Rev. Dr. Bingham, Dundonald, ex-Moderator of the General Assembly, has been appointed a Commissioner of National Education in succession to the late Rev. Dr. Clarke, Galway.

The V.C.

How many Victoria Crosses have been conferred during the present war? Most people who have not followed the matter carefully would probably say "about a thousand." The actual number is 370, just one fewer than the combined totals of the Indian Mutiny (182), the Crimean War (111), and the Boer War (78). A good many more must have been earned during the fighting round Cambrai.

Widow's Tea-Caddy Hoard.

When an aged widow living alone at Atherstone, Warwick, was removed to the local workhouse over 100 in gold and silver was discovered secreted in her house. In a tea-caddy hidden under a bed 45 was found. The hoard included seventy-nine sovereigns. On behalf of the Guardians, the relieving officer took possession, of the money.

Teachers and Trades Unionism.

At a meeting of the Central Executive of the National Teachers' Organisation at Dublin, it was decided that the organisation should be affiliated with the Irish Trades Congress. The recent ballot on this question showed 3,579 for and 2,741 against affiliation. It was further decided that the coming executive elections are to be carried out in accordance with the rule in force in 1916.

Death of Pastor Wise.

Pastor George Wise has died in Liverpool, aged 62. In 1886 he abandoned commercial life for lecturing. He engaged in controversies with the clergy of the Church of England, attacking Romanism. In 1903 he went to prison in default of being bound over. Later there were riots and bloodshed, which led to prominent men intervening, and the campaign was thereafter conducted on quieter lines. He established the Protestant Reformers' Church. Hundreds of members of his Bible-class are serving at the front.

Canadian Election Riot.

Violent scenes occurred at Sherbrooke, Quebec, when Mr. Doherty, Federal Minister of Justice, and Colonel Ballantyne, Marine Minister, addressed a meeting on behalf of the Union candidate. Determined attempts were made to break up the meeting, and the speakers were subjected for three hours to uninterrupted attacks from political opponents. To quell the disturbance the fire hose was turned on the rioters, and many of the audience broke up chairs to use as weapons to protect the women present, but their opponents held back. The whole front was wrecked.

Dr. Jowett and Naw York.

Great efforts are being made in New York to persuade Dr. Jowett to break his appointment with Westminster Chapel and to remain at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. It is argued that the entry of America into the war gives Dr. Jowett more freedom of expression than he had before; that he could not hope to exercise such influence in London as be exercises in New York; and that (according to the "New York Sun") "New York and not London is now the centre of the English-speaking world of influence, and hence New York and not London is the platform from which to address the world."

Canada and Conscription.

The ballot taken among Canadian soldiers in Great Britain has been almost unanimously in favour of the Union Government's policy for the enforcement of the principle of conscription. Although the ballot was, of course, secret, it was stated the men had been anxious to show the ballot papers to their comrades, indicating how they had voted. The Canadian officials controlling the arrangements are confident the final result of the military poll will be overwhelmingly in favour of the Government policy.

Sailors' Hardships.

Regarding the torpedoing of the Ellerman liner Hidalgo on August 28, the Imperial Service Guild states that the port cutter was blown to pieces and the port lifeboat and starboard cutter swamped -- leaving one boat for thirty-five survivors, two men having been drowned. A moderate gale prevailed that day and the next, and the men suffered greatly from exposure; seven died on the 29th and following days. Subsequently the survivors were picked up after five days by patrol boats, and several of them had to have fingers and toes amputated, the chief officer losing three fingers on one hand.

Secondary Education Grant.

In well-informed circles it is believed that newer and better methods of distributing the 50,000 promised for secondary education will be adopted. A sum, it is thought, will be set apart to give lectures on educational methods to teachers during the summer holidays. Another sum is given for building, and the balance will be distributed amongst the schools on a capitation basis. The minimum salary of the teacher is raised. Care will be taken to ensure that schools must comply with the rules, for employing recognised' qualified teachers.

Better Educated Children.

Mr. Fisher, Education Minister, speaking at the National Liberal Club, said nothing was more encouraging than the fact that since the war began there had been a very considerable increase in the number of children in secondary schools. The reason was that the mothers had a little more money in their pockets, and the first use they made of it was to afford better facilities for the education Of their children.

Premier's Message.

The "Petit Parisien" publishes the following statement of Mr. Lloyd George to one of their representatives:-- The moment is very serious. Everything must give way before the importance of our object. We have men, munitions, economic and financial resources, and the feeling that we are fighting for the right. Let us strain every nerve now to make unity of direction and control into realities. If we do not waste time, and if we resolve to win the war, we shall do so. We must have will, patience, endurance, and tenacity, and then we shall conquer.

Public Health Scheme.

Dr. Addison, Minister of Reconstruction, the London "Daily Express" understands, has accepted the post of Minister of Public Health, and hopes to carry a Bill through before Christmas for the formation of the new Ministry. The new scheme will throw the whole medical system of the country into the melting pot, and will greatly diminish the powers of the Local Government Board. It will aim at the nationalisation of the medical profession, involving free medical attendance for all without any element of charity.

A Bread Waster.

Frederick Moore, a farmer, of Oxenhope, near Keighley, was sent to jail for three months and fined 10 for a breach of the Wheat, Rye and Rice Restriction Order. The police, on visiting the farm, found stock and pigs eating bread and meal, and also found 53 loaves of bread weighing 70lb. It was stated that defendant had been receiving 92lb. of bread weekly and there were only five in family. Sir A. Yapp's scale allows a maximum of 8lb. of bread per week for men on heavy work, and for those on sedentary work 4½lb. The corresponding amounts for women are 5lb. and 3½lb.

Flour Shortage in Belfast.

Reference to the shortage of flour was made at the meeting of the Belfast Corporation by Councillor Andrews, who said the flour trade was at present in a very serious condition, and if a distribution of supplies were not made promptly many of the poorer classes would be practically faced by starvation. There were several grocers who had only a few days' supply, and if their stocks were not replenished soon he did not know how their customers would fare. The larger firms were getting supplies, but, failing prompt action, some of the smaller firms would be wiped out of existence. There were nearly 200,000 bags of flour available for distribution in Belfast at present, but they were going to a few of the bigger firms. The Lord Mayor said this was a very important question. Last week, when he was in London, he had an opportunity of meeting the committee of the Flour Millers' Association, and they promised to give the matter their careful consideration and to have the grievance which had been complained of remedied at once.

Workmen's "Tips," Earnings.

The question whether a workman's tips should be taken into consideration in fixing an award under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act has been decided by the Law Lords in the House of Lords in the case -- the Great Western Railway Company v. Helps. The man, a porter at Bath Station, met with an accident and in claiming compensation maintained that his tips, as well as his wages, should be taken into consideration. The arbitrator found in his favour, and was supported by the Court of Appeal. The Law Lords now dismissed the appeal of the railway company with, costs, holding that tips were earnings.

Sinn Fein Policy.

Speaking at a Sinn Fein demonstration at Dundalk, Mr. De Valera, M.P., said his opinion was that the Irish Convention was set up for no good purpose. They should get ready for a Convention that would certainly come -- the Peace Conference; if not they would lose the finest opportunity of getting Ireland's ease, put before the world. If they took that course, and if the nations of Europe turned out to be liars, they would have lost nothing, but would have their eyes opened. Parnell said long ago that he stood for Grattan's Parliament, and something more; they stood for the same policy. If they had Parnell now he would be with them, and not with John Redmond. Their policy was that, though they got bits here and there, they proclaimed to the world that nothing would satisfy the aspirations of the Irish people unless complete sovereign independence. They had never said there was a short-cut to freedom, but maintained it was to be attained only by serious effort and readiness to make sacrifices.

War-Made Millionaires.

The income-tax figures which have just been issued show that there are three times more millionaires in the United States, this year than last. It is not specified whether this circumstance has arisen from, increased war profits or from a greater vigilance on the part of Government officials in discovering millionaires, It is pretty certain that the chief fight in the session of Congress will be over the proposed increase of excess profit taxes and over the Bond issues, for Mr. M'Adoo, the Secretary of the Treasury, intends to ask power to issue bonds for 1,700,000,000.

Ulster and Crime.

Opening the Ulster Winter Assizes at Belfast, Mr. Justice Dodd said there were fifty bills for investigation, as compared with seventy-one last year. Four of these were for murder. On the police reports -- from Roscommon to Belfast -- he was satisfied that all the districts were reasonably free from crime. In Roscommon there were only 7 cases reported against 5 last year; Sligo, 13; Leitrim, 11; Donegal, 17, against 33 last year; Co. Derry, 4, against 12; Derry City, 10, against 6; Cavan, 16; Fermanagh, 5, against 10; Armagh, 17; Monaghan, 11, against 10; Down, 33, against 20; Antrim, 23, against 35; and Belfast, 75, against 84. In the latter case, detections were 61, or 81 per cent., against 64, or 76 per cent.; and burglaries were 29, against 22.

Belfast High Sheriff's Hospitality.

On the opening day of the Ulster Winter Assizes the High Sheriff of Belfast (Alderman Wm. Tougher, J.P.) entertained Mr. Justice Dodd, the members of the Grand Jury (of whom the Right Hon. Robert Thompson, M.P., D.L., was foreman), and other prominent citizens at luncheon. Grace was said by the Rev. Dr. Workman, and the catering was entrusted to Messrs. Thompson, Ltd., Belfast, the manager (Mr. John Donnelly) supervising the service, which was excellent. After luncheon, the toast of "The King" was submitted by the High Sheriff, and loyally honoured. The Lord Mayor (Mr. James Johnston, J.P.), in proposing the toast of "Our Host," said, the High Sheriff had done a great deal for the city, and had worthily upheld the traditions of his office. (Applause.) The toast was cordially received, and the High Sheriff, in reply, said it was a great pleasure for him to be associated with the Lord Mayor and the members of the Corporation in working for the welfare of the city. Sometimes the Corporation was attacked, but he though its members were splendid representatives of that magnificent city. He was glad to have been able that day in some measure to show his gratitude to his many friends for the kindly interest they had always taken in him, and the great credit they gave him for his public work. They had not suffered to any great extent from the food restrictions, and he hoped they would shortly have such a crowning victory that the food question would not trouble them further. He had always endeavoured to perform any civic or administrative duties entrusted to him to the best of his ability. (Applause.)

Commercial Temperance League.

The annual meeting of the Belfast Branch of the National Commercial Temperance League was held in the Central Hall, Rosemary Street, when sixty wounded soldiers from the victoria Barracks Hospital and the Craigavon Neurasthenic Hospital were entertained. Alderman S. T. Mercier (president) occupied the chair. Mr. Robert Greer (secretary) reported that sixty-five new members had joined the League during the past year, 350 wounded soldiers had been entertained, and two new beds had been endowed in the U.V.F. Hospital. The following officers were elected:-- President, Alderman S. T. Mercier, J.P. The names of the following were added to the list of vice-presidents -- Messrs. W. A. M'Creary; C. Bulla, J. F. M'Carey, J. Crowe, S. Quinn, J. A. Thompson, and E. Garratt. Chairman, Mr. A. L. Crowe; vice-chairman, Mr. W. H. Cooper; Executive Council, A. Dornan,. G. London Ward, A. L. Edgar, J, H. Barr, A. Hunter, L. S. Leslie, S. Davison, W. Houston, J. W. Chiplin, H. Jones, R. J. Dalzell, R. Whiteside, S. J. Anderson, and A. M'Neilly; hon. treasurer, Mr. J. J. Martin; Musical Committee, Mrs. M'Carey, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Cooper, Mrs. Jones, Miss C. Naylor, Miss Erskine, Miss L. Gwynne, Miss Thomas, Miss Hargreaves, Miss Munro, Mr. W. Houston, and Mr. H. Jones; convener, Mr. Robert Green; hon. secretary, Mr. Robert Green. The wounded soldiers were formally welcomed by Alderman Mercier, and they were later addressed by the Rev. J. A. Kelly. A varied entertainment followed.

Record Canadian Loan.

Sir Thomas White, Canadian Minister of Finance, in a statement, said that, though it would be a week more before the dual returns were received, he would not be surprised if the aggregate of the Victory Loan reached $350,000,000 (70,000,000) or more from 400,000 to 500,000 subscribers. Sir Thomas White described this as a tremendous achievement for Canadian patriotism. He observed that the largest loan ever issued to Canada before the war in London, was $30,000,000 (6,000,000), and added -- "It would appear that this loan has been the most popular and successful launched by any of the Allies since the outbreak of war. On an average one in every three or four families throughout Canada subscribed. The loan will enable Canada to support the war and furnish fresh credits to the end of next year."

Future of the Labour Party.

Referring to the new constitution of the Labour party in a speech at Oldham, Mr. Clynes said the Labour party offered to every man and woman who works by hand or brain better scope for political activity. The success of their movement in its new phase would depend very largely upon the energy and devotion of the members belonging to the constituent organisations and upon the cultivation of the spirit of fraternal unity between the old members and the new. Nothing but disunity could wreck the promise of the reconstituted party and delay their conquest of political power. The next five years would be decisive in their influence upon the fortunes of the party and they could neglect no means of building up the movement for the emancipation of the people and the creation of a democratic State.

Submarine Horrors.

Describing the operations of German submarines off the Irish coast, Mr. W. Frost, formerly U.S. Consul at Queenstown, said the inoffensive sailors of the little Russian barque Madura were slaughtered while trying frantically to do anything the submarine wanted. He saw the fragments of the captain of the Anglo-Californian carried ashore with the mutilated corpses of his eight men, their crime consisting of having tried to run away from destruction. In the Favestone case the submarine turned its guns upon the lifeboats and shot the captain and four men, and so in the Rowanmore case and others. The enemy seized the lifeboat of the Cairnhill and placed its nineteen men on the submarine's deck. They threw everything out of the lifeboat and filled the water cask with salt water. They then submerged, leaving the nineteen men floundering in the sea, with no refuge but the gutted lifeboat. Submarine officers took snapshots of twelve men drowning, and a U.S. merchant officer was made touch off the bombs which destroyed his own vessel. The Randon sank in a minute after being torpedoed, and out of thirty-two men only four survived. The Vedamore sank in five minutes, losing nearly half its crew of twenty-five men. Of the twenty-eight of the Biserta's crew only eight men were left on the surface.

Future of the Jews.

"The first constructive effort we have made in what we hope will be a new settlement of the world" -- that was Lord Robert Cecil's striking description of the Government's declaration in favour of the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, at the London Opera House. The occasion was a demonstration of thanks to the Government. Among the speakers were Arab Sheikh (in Arabic) and an Armenian delegate. Mr. Herbert Samuel roused enthusiasm by crying in Hebrew, "Next year in Jerusalem," a prayer which, he said, now had a new significance. Sir Mark Sykes, M.P., pleaded the cause of the Arabs and Armenians, and declared that the Government's pronouncement was a turning point in the history of the whole world. Mr. Zangwill, the Chief Rabbi, Dr. Gaster, and Dr. Weizmann, and Mr. N. Sokolow, who conducted the negotiations with the Government, spoke, the last-named announcing that an entente cordiale had been accepted in principle between the Jews, the Arabs, and the Armenians. They looked to the creation of an Arab kingdom and the realisation of Armenian national hopes.

Irish Freedom Now.

Speaking at Castlewellan, County Down, Mr. John Dillon, M.P., said that what he complained of in the Sinn Fein agitation was the methods by which it was conducted, and the stupid strategy on which it was based. From the speeches and writings of the Sinn Fein leaders the Orange Unionist Party in Ulster could find abundant material to justify all they had said against Nationalist Ireland. Nothing, indeed, had ever been said in his experience against the Nationalist leaders by Orange leaders in Parliament nearly so scurrilous and offensive as was now said by the Sinn Fein leaders. Anybody who endeavoured to kill the Irish Convention, and put an obstacle in the way of agreement, was the greatest criminal that could be against the Irish cause. The Sinn Feiners would stake all on the Peace Conference. It would be madness to wait on the Peace Conference, for, when it assembled, the Great Powers of Europe would be too busy with their own affairs to give any heed to Ireland. The Sinn Feiners had put all their money on a German victory. He did not believe the Germans would win, and he believed, further, that if they did win, they would give very little to their Irish dupes. The time to win Irish freedom was now, whether the Convention came to an agreement or not. If they took proper advantage of the friendship of America, which still remained to them -- thanks to the Irish Party -- it would be possible long before the war was finished to assert and establish the liberties of Ireland.


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The Witness - Friday, 14 December 1917

Roll of Honour

RANKIN -- Killed in action in France, 23rd Nov., 1917, Second-Lieutenant R. H. Rankin, 15th Batt. Royal Irish Rifles (Y.C.V.), second son of John A. Rankin, Meadowlands, Balmoral, Belfast, grandson of the late John Rankin, Tonduff, Bushmills, and of Robert Johnston, late of Gorticareen, Coleraine.

WATTERS -- Died of wounds in France, on 19th October, 1917, Second-Lieutenant James Campbell Watters, of the South African Heavy Artillery, second and much-loved son of Rev. F. and Mrs. Watters, The Manse, Wynberg, Cape Colony. Deeply mourned.


PENNY--WILSON -- November 30, by special licence, at the Manse, Antrim, by the Rev. W. A. Adams, B.A., Robert Penny (Canadian Expeditionary Force), fourth son of the late Richard Penny, Broadisland, Whitehead, and Abernethy, Sask., Canada, to Mary K., younger daughter of the late William Orr Wilson and Mrs. Wilson, Lake View, Antrim.

Golden Wedding

REA--SMITH -- December, 12, 1867, at Aughnacloy Parish Church, by Rev. C. L. Garnett, John Rea, Drumasloggy, Aughnacloy, to Mary Ann Smith, Tullyvar, Ballygawley.


HERON -- December 6, 1917, at her residence, Anwee, Raffrey, Co. Down, Margaret Elizabeth Heron. Deeply regretted. MARY ANN HERON.

CROOKS -- December 9, at his residence, Priory Park, Bangor Road, Holywood, William, the beloved husband of Agnes Crooks.

DALY -- December 7, at the Cottage Hospital, Bangor, Agnes Daly, relict of James Daly, late of Rossborough, Dublin, in her 85th year.

DUDLEY -- December 9, at his residence, Laurel Lodge, Sydenham, John Stuart, second son of the late Guildford Moffatt Dudley, formerly of Bagnalstown, County Carlow, and dearly-loved husband of Jane Dudley, aged 72 years.

ELLIOTT -- December 9, at her residence, Ballyeaston Road, Ballyclare, Elizabeth, wife of the late John Elliott.

GILPIN -- December 11, Hugh, youngest son of John and Mary A. Gilpin, Balteagh, Portadown.

HILLIS -- December 9, at her residence, Aghagallon, Lurgan, Ann Jane, widow of the late George Henry Hillis.

LINDEN -- December 8, Matthew Robert Linden, Cornwall Villa, Holywood, aged 71 years.

M'CONNELL -- December 6, att the residence of Wm. Angus, Portavo, Co. Down, Robert, only son of the late Wm. J. M'Connell (formerly of Ballymena).

M'KEE -- December 11, at her residence, Ballygilbert, Crawfordsburn, Margaret, widow of the late William M'Kee.

M'KINSTRY -- December 11 (suddenly), at his residence, Grahamstown, Ballyclare, William James M'Kinstry.

NEWTON -- December 10, at his residence, 6, Glenview Terrace, Ballysillan, Samuel Newton.

SHERLOCK -- December 11, at the residence of her son-in-law, Hugh A. Craig, Ballyrobin, Muckamore, Martha M'Cullough, widow of the late Hugh R. Sherlock, Springval, Muckamore.

SLOAN -- December 6, at her residence, Ballydawley, Crosspatrick, Coagh, Margaret, relict of the late Thomas James Sloan.

STEEDMAN -- December 7, at his residence, Clifton Terrace, Coleraine, Andrew Steedman, in his 88th year.

WILSON -- December 8, Samuel Joseph (Sam), son of the late Samuel Wilson, Portadown.

WYLEY -- December 6, at the residence of her son-in-law, James M'Bride, Aboo House, Finaghy, Julia, relict of James Alexander Wyley, Drumadarragh.



Ministerial Tribute.

The remains of Mr. Foster M'Kay, late of Bangor, were interred on 6th inst. in the family burying-ground at Glennan, Co. Monaghan. A short service was conducted in the house by the Rev. W. A. Hill, B.A., and the service at the grave was taken by the Rev. John Davidson, M.A., D.D., of Glennan, and the Rev. R. J. Barkley, B.D., of Aughnacloy.

Preaching in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor, last Sabbath morning, the Rev. W. A. Hill, at the close of his sermon, in the course of an appreciative tribute to the deceased said -- We are met this morning under the shadow of a great and unexpected loss. Mr. Foster M'Kay, who was the clerk of the kirk-session of this congregation, passed away very suddenly on Tuesday last, and we shall see his face no more. He was present at both services last Sabbath, and took his usual round of duty in connection with them. Mr. M'Kay's boyhood was spent in Glasslough, where his parents lived, and he was brought up under the ministry of the Rev. Robert Wallace, of Glennan, and later under that of the Rev. Dr. John Davidson. In his young manhood he came under the mighty influence of the 1859 Revival, and surrender his life to the keeping and service of the Saviour of men. During the eight-and-fifty years since then he wore the white flower of a blameless life, and was known as a man of genuine and upright character, deep and strong convictions, and fine moral courage. He was a man of retiring but lovable disposition, sincere and stedfast in his friendship, and had a passion to glorify his Lord and Master in helping and uplifting his fellow-men in every way that lay within his power. For nearly fifty years he resided in Aughnacloy, and held responsible positions in that town and neighbourhood, and was a member of the Presbyterian congregation there, and clerk of its kirk-session for forty of those years. During all that time he was never once absent from the services of the sanctuary, except in the case of illness, and when he came here he maintained the same high record. Soon after his conversion in 1859 he became, a Sabbath-school teacher, and continued to discharge the duties of that sacred office with fidelity till the day he left the congregation in Aughnacloy to come to Bangor, and many of his old scholars from time to time bore testimony to the help they had received by his sound teaching and consistent living. Being a life-long total abstainer, the noble cause of temperance found in him an active and untiring worker. The work of the Presbyterian Church as a whole claimed his earnest attention and hearty sympathy, and for more than forty years he rarely, if ever, failed to attend the meetings of the General Assembly and the local Presbytery. But he was intensely loyal to his own congregation and its minister. The strength and beauty of Mr. M'Kay's character owed their origin and development to his communion with God. He practised the presence of God. He lived amid the eternal realities; he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. We as a congregation will miss him greatly, and I will miss him more for we have sustained a very great loss by his departure. But there is another whose loss is incomparably greater -- for he was a most devoted and affectionate husband -- and to her in the unspeakable sorrow of this sore bereavement we offer our most respectful and heartfelt sympathy. Also with his sister, who is here, and with the members of his family in distant parts of the world, we deeply sympathise, praying that to them there may abound the strong consolations of the God of all comfort.



The evolution of mechanical devices during the past twenty years has been truly phenomenal. In this connection one cannot help recalling October of 1898, when a word unknown to our citizens was first printed in our columns -- now a "household word" all over the world. That word appeared in a paragraph advertisement inserted by a well-known local merchant, whose name ever since has been "linked" therewith "by an indissoluble union." We refer to the word Gramophone, and our advertiser was Mr. T. Edens Osborne, now of 11, Wellington Place, Belfast, who holds one of the most extensive stocks of Gramophones and records in Ireland. Instruments from 70s to 110 on view; also Booksafes, Filters, Edison Phonographs, Sapolio, &c. -- Correspondent.



We regret to record the death of Mr. James Horner Eakin, of Drumcovett, County Derry. By his death Ireland loses one of its most interesting and devoted of local historians, and throughout the North-West, particularly in County Derry, there will be a keen sense of bereavement at the sad news. A staunch Presbyterian, he was among the most interesting, instructive, and thorough historians of the Church he admired and loved. The utmost sincerity and unselfishness characterised his daily life, his many fine qualities of head and heart winning for him lasting friendship among all sections of the community. Mr. Eakin was at one time a valued member of Limavady Board of Guardians, a position he was compelled to relinquish owing to failing health. A short time back one of his daughters, who is in a military hospital, was decorated in recognition of her splendid services. The funeral to Banagher Presbyterian Churchyard was largely attended.



Sabbath week was "Roll of Honour Day" in First Bangor, and the services, in attendance, spirit, and feeling, were worthy of the day and the congregation. The names of the lads who had joined the colours were read out from the pulpit at both services. The evening service was the special one, as, by the kind permission of Lieut.-Colonel M'Cammond and officers, the band of the 3rd Battalion R.I.R. led the praise service, and in addition Mr. Bishop presided at the organ, the special items being the "Angelus" (Massenet), Roll Call parts 1 and 2, Funeral March (Chopin), and Last Post. Rev. W. J. Currie preached, and took for his text Rev. xii. 2 -- "They loved not their lives unto death." He pictured in beautiful and glowing language all that the lads had done and are still doing, and the many sacrifices they had made, and pointed out the duty devolving upon those of us who are not in the fight, to keep the lads supplied with every comfort, to) enable them to keep carrying on. The entire service was most interesting and impressive. Special retiring collections were taken up, and a handsome sum raised for Christmas gifts for the lads.



New Bread at Christmas.

To avoid any interference with the holidays of bakers at Christmas and the New Year, the Food Controller has issued a general licence permitting bread which has been made less than twelve hours to be sold and exposed for sale in England, Wales, and Ireland between December 24 and 27, and in Scotland December 29 and 31 and January 2 and 3.

Limit to Women's Boots.

The Army Council have issued an Order, prohibiting the manufacture after January 1, without a permit from the Director of Raw Materials of boots for women with uppers exceeding 7in. in height if of leather, or 8in. in height, if of any other material, from the seat of the heel to the highest point of the top of the upper. The purchase or sale of such boots without a permit is prohibited after February 1.

Tommy's Xmas Box.

Mr. Bonar Law announced in Parliament that the orders that warrant promulgating the new rates of pay to the men of the Navy and the Army (a 1s 6d minimum) have been issued. "Although the exact dates of payment must depend on the circumstances of particular cases, I quite expect that payment will be made to the men before Christmas, except in the more distant theatres of war."

Moderator Visits Parliament.

Among the Irish visitors to the House of Commons last week was the Moderator of the General Assembly. Dr. Irwin occupied a seat in the strangers' gallery during the earlier proceedings, and was an interested spectator of the obstructionist tactics to which Nationalists appear to have committed themselves in respect of the remaining stages of the Franchise Bill.

Drinking among Woman.

It was stated at the annual meeting of the Aberdeen Union of Women Workers, that the increased price of spirits had not had the restrictive effects which the society anticipated. Women who formerly could not get drink because of the lack of money had taken full advantage of the absence of husbands and had fallen into evil habits. The removal of children from their homes was a last resort, and over 100 had been placed in homes.

A People's Party.

Mr. Arthur Henderson, addressing the South Wales Miners' Council on the re-organisation proposals of the Labour party, said the Representation of the People Bill rendered it necessary for them to create constituency organisations so that men and women might become members of the party as individual citizens. In view of the situation created by the war they were desirous of creating such an organisation as would permit of Labour candidates being nominated wherever there was a prospect of success being achieved. The Labour party hoped to become a people's party.

The Unwritten Law.

Archibald M'Quilken, Royal Engineers, aged twenty-five, pleaded guilty at the Ulster Winter Assizes to the manslaughter of Wm. Davidson, on August 3, at Moneycarry, Co. Derry, and was allowed out on his own recognisances. Mr. Justice Dodd stating deceased's widow was entitled to take civil proceedings. The "unwritten law" -- which had neither justice nor mercy behind it -- must be abolished in Ireland, and obedience to the law must be enforced. What they were greatly deficient in in Ireland, added his lordship, was discipline.

Imperial Federation.

Mr. Herbert Samuel, M.P., at Huddersfield, outlined a scheme of Imperial federation for the British Empire after the war. The overseas dominions had not hitherto taken the active part they should have in the management of affairs common to the Empire as a whole, such as foreign policy and the making war and peace. He thought a good plan would be for each dominion to be represented in an Imperial Assembly consisting of eighty to one hundred representatives, and thus secure the greatest measure of agreement upon Empire matters, all decisions reached to be transmitted to the various Parliaments of the Empire for ratification or otherwise. That proposal would still leave sovereign authority to the various constituent Parliaments.

Church and Sinn Fein.

Addressing a Sinn Fein meeting at Cork, Mr. De Valera, M.P., said that recently an attempt had been made to get the Catholic Church to oppose their movement. He assured the meeting that those who tried that would fail to get them embroiled with the Church. Just as the true interests of the nation could never be opposed to the interests of religion, so in his opinion the interests of Labour and the interests of the nation could never be opposed. They would do all in their power to ameliorate the condition of the labourers, but they could not consent to turn their National movement into a Labour movement which, he knew, the Labour people did not expect.

A Gigantic Wage Bill.

Messrs. Harland & Wolff, Ltd., the world-famed shipbuilding firm, have created many records both in regard to tonnage output and the amount paid in wages to their workmen. Last pay-day a new record was made so far as the sum disbursed is concerned, between 120,000 and 130,000 passing from the firm into the pockets of the workers at Belfast, on the Clyde, Liverpool, and Southampton. It is gratifying to be able to state that the Queen's Island men participated to a great extent in this gigantic wage bill, no less than from 60,000 to 70,000 being handed over at the pay offices on the Queen's Road to the Belfast workers. This enormous output in wages was partly due to the first payment to the workers of the latest increases, a proportion of which elated from the beginning of October.

Government's Determination.

Speaking at a meeting in London to inaugurate the Anglo-Roumanian Society, Sir Edward Carson declared that the British Government had never swerved in their determination to carry out their duty towards Roumania. Peace talk under present conditions was both mischievous and misleading. No one nation could end this war by merely obtaining its own selfish ends. It was the Government's determination to go on until we had attained the common object for which we had entered into the war, and if there was any compromise outside the conditions which he laid down it would not he the present Government which would make such an ignominious peace.

Milk Railed to Irish Cities.

Considerable interest attaches to a statement issued by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction showing the total quantities of whole milk brought by rail into the cities of Dublin, Belfast, and Cork during the eight weeks ended 24th November last, and during the corresponding period in 1916. A total of 156,212 gallons was brought by rail to Belfast in the period stated this year, as against 140,549 gallons last year. To Dublin, 241,563 gallons were brought by rail in the period of eight weeks to 24th November last, as compared with 206,359 gallons in the 1916 period, and the corresponding figures for Cork are 80,051 gallons this year against 89,335 gallons last year. These quantities represent only milk brought by rail into the cities named, and do not take any account of milk produced locally in those cities.

Nation of Commercials.

Rev. A. Wylie Blue, speaking at the annual meeting of the Belfast and North of Ireland Branch of the Commercial Travellers Christian Association, said the British people might in a sense be called a nation of commercial travellers. As a people, we believed we possessed something which the world needed to buy, and the German would, if he could, have wiped Britain and her commercial travellers of the globe. But the Hun was not going to be allowed to do that. They as a society based on Christian principles abhorred dishonest trading. German trade methods would spell the degradation of commerce. Since the war began the world had received a vivid idea of German methods of propagating trade. Those methods were enough to make devils laugh with joy. Commerce was based upon honour and upon the pledged word, and Germany struck at the roots of all contracts by tearing up a scrap of paper. The war could not end until the power which had wrought so manifest a wrong upon a peaceful world was conquered, and until in defeat Prussia learned the old lesson that "it is righteousness alone which exalteth a nation."

Increase of Naval Ratings.

The Vote to increase naval ratings from 400,000 to 450,000 was agreed to in Committee of Supply of the House of Commons, after some criticisms by Mr. Lambert, who described the new shipyards as the latest form of Government waste, and Commander Bellairs, who said the navy was competing with the army for man-power.

The New Standard Ships.

Sir Leo C. Money stated in Parliament that the number of standard ships completed and started on voyages up to Nov. 30, was seven, the gross tonnage being 47,234; one of the vessels had been sunk. The tonnage completed and purchased in Nov. was within measurable distance of the tonnage lost by enemy attacks. A considerable number of ships were approaching completion.

As Bad as a Military Defeat.

The explosion of the large chemical factory at Griesheim, near Frankfort, on the 22nd ult., it is now stated, involved the complete destruction of one of the greatest munition factories in the world, and a disaster for Germany comparable only to a serious military defeat. Every concern in the country is affected by the loss, which includes all war materials, dyes, &c. It is impossible that the works can be reconstructed during the war.

The Lord's Coming.

Most Rev. Dr. Crozier, Primate of All-Ireland, preaching at the morning service in the Parish Church, Dundalk, said he could not help often thinking that the end of the dispensation was drawing near. The world was filled with tears and drenched in blood as never before. There were wars and rumours of wars. The Gospel had been preached among the nations. Palestine would possibly be restored shortly to its people as their home. All pointed to us of His coming.

Purchase of Cattle.

The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland are informed that from Monday last the military authorities ceased for the time being to purchase cattle for export from Ireland to Great Britain. Farmers and others proposing to bring cattle to market should note that this cessation reduces to a considerable extent the demand for fat cattle. It is understood, however, that the cessation does not apply to the purchase of cattle for slaughter in Ireland.

Boy's Long Hours.

Messrs. White, Palmer, & Co., spice manufacturers, were fined 30 at Woolwich, for employing a lad of sixteen otherwise than in accordance with the factory rules as to hours of employment of young persons. The boy, it was stated, worked continuously, with the exception of seven and a half hours for meals, from six a.m. Monday until 8-30 p.m. on Tuesday. He recommenced on Wednesday at six a.m., and worked continuously, except for meal hours, until 8-30 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday he began again at six a.m. and worked until one p.m. on Saturday. The factory inspector said it was necessary to go back to the evidence given before the Sweating Commission of 1840 to find a case anything like this.

Bishop and Drink.

Presiding at a conference of the National Temperance League, in celebration of the centenary of J. B. Gough, the temperance orator, at Gaxton Hall, the Bishop of London asked why the temperance movement had not converted the nation. It was not because of the middle class, but the classes above and below it. The great middle class was the strength of the movement. The Prime Minister had not taken the wisest and best course in dealing with the liquor trade. The result of his action had been that in the desire to be patriotic, and to disregard seemingly less important issues, there was not now a single penny paper on the side of the temperance movement, and the man in the street was not in it. Indeed, the trend of things just now was like an east wind!

A Lord in the Pulpit.

Following upon his recent House of Commons speeches, in which he fell into an eloquent pulpit vein that impressed if it did not quite convince the majority of his fellow-members, Lord Hugh Cecil has taken to appearing as an Advent preacher in one of the London churches. This month he is delivering Friday afternoon addresses in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields on "Death," "Judgment," and "Hell." While disclaiming originality, he managed in his first discourse to propound some rather peculiar opinions. He does not regard death as a passage to a state of activity, but to one at first of restriction and limitation, and therefore would not speak of it generally as a deliverance but as a discipline. Yet he rejects the mediaeval doctrine of Purgatory.

Allies' Cause in Danger.

Mr. Churchill, speaking at Bedford, said the situation was more serious than it would have been reasonable two months ago to expect. The cause of the Allies was in danger. At no time had there been less excuse for patriotic men making a mistake or being misled by sophistries and dangerous counsels. Our war aims were perfectly clear. They were exactly what they were in August, 1914, and we did not intend to diminish them by one jot or tittle. This was what Mr. Asquith, Lloyd George, and President Wilson meant when they spoke of "reparation, restoration, and security." More than this we did not ask, and less than this we would not take. By the collapse of Russia, Prussian militarism had gained a new lease of life. President Wilson's statement of war aims was good enough for him.

The Lansdowne Letter.

The Earl of Kerry, Lord Lansdowne's eldest son, has addressed the following letter to Mr. R. W. Greensmith, of Dalbury Lees, Derbyshire:-- I am coining down on the 15th inst. to speak at the meeting arranged by the West Derbyshire National War Aims Committee, and I hope then to make my position and views on our war aims quite clear. I must say at once that these do not coincide with the views expressed in Lord Lansdowne's letter to the "Daily Telegraph," but rather with the sentiments in President Wilson's admirable speech of a few days ago. I think more has been read into Lord Lansdowne's letter than was either in it or intended by it; but there were some passages to which I certainly cannot agree so long as we are able to keep going, and this I hope we may do, in spite of everything, until victory has been secured.

Ulster Association in London.

With the object of considering how best to assist the war aims propaganda, the members of the Ulster Association in London held a special meeting in the Caledonia Room of the Holborn Restaurant, at which an address was given by Lieutenant-Colonel R. A. Sanders, M.P., a vice-chairman of the National War Aims Committee. Colonel Sanders, while promising to bring before his committee a suggestion to the effect that the Lord Mayor of Belfast and the Mayor of Derry should be invited to take the initiative in setting up local committees, said nothing to indicate that the question of Ireland has received any real consideration. Later refreshments were served, and a musical programme, specially arranged by Mr. R. Y. M'Kinstry, was submitted, a feature of which was the singing of Miss Norah Scott, late of Belfast. At an interval Mr. E. E. O'Neill, one of the oldest and most enthusiastic members of the association, was made the recipient of a token of regard and esteem on the occasion of his returning to Belfast to take up an appointment.

Welfare of the Blind.

The Solicitor-General for Ireland (Mr. Arthur Samuels, K.C., M.P.) introduced to the President of the English Local Government Board (Mr. Hayes Fisher) a deputation anxious to obtain his sympathy for promoting the welfare of the blind in that country. The deputation consisted of Mr. W. A. Wade (Secretary for Ireland of the National Institute for the Blind and member of the St. Dunstan's Advisory Committee), Mr. J. H. Hewitt (manager of the Association for the Employment of the Industrious Blind, Belfast), Mr. Byrne (Drumcondra Institute), Mr. Dickinson (secretary of the Richmond Institution), and Mr. W. Armstrong. These gentlemen asked for the establishment of a separate Advisory Board for Ireland. They also brought under Mr. Fisher's notice other matters relating to the interests of the blind, pointing out among other things, the differences as to educational facilities and opportunities for training in different parts of the United Kingdom. Mr. Fisher gave the deputation a very friendly hearing, and they came away with the feeling that the interview had been distinctly favourable.

New Farmers' Association.

An organisation, to be known as the South-East Antrim Farmers' Association, was formed in the Protestant Hall, Antrim, at a meeting over which Mr. George Craig presided. Rev. Dr. Irwin, Killead, who was one of the speakers, said he had urged on the farmers for the past twelve or fourteen years the importance of such an association as they were about to form. He was pleased to know that the body was to be non-political and non-sectarian, and he sincerely hoped that nothing would come in to divide them from the real objects of the association. A misconception might arise that the farmers were organising themselves to thwart the Government in the carrying out of its orders. That was not the intention of the farmers. They desired to assist the Government, but they also wished to see that justice was done to the farmers. There was no use in the Government making regulations that they afterwards found could not be carried out, and if the Government in the future consulted with such an organisation as theirs the results would be satisfactory to everyone. In conclusion, he said that if such an organisation had been in existence twenty years ago there would be no scarcity of food to-day.

Demobilisation Pay.

It is stated that the Government has arranged to give a twelve months' unemployment benefit to all soldiers after demobilisation, as well as month's pay, including allowances. The aim is to insure that all men shall have their chance on leaving the army, and that there shall be no source of complaint as between demobilised soldiers and those who may be continued in the service.

The Danger of Pessimism.

Preaching at the Chapel Royal, Dublin, the Lord Lieutenant being amongst the congregation, the Right Rev. Dr. Gregg, referring to the war, said that pessimism affected the atmosphere, and where tempered with suspicion, was a public danger. The nation with the strongest nerves was going to win, and they needed all their nerves, as the effect of war weariness was beginning to make itself felt. After alluding to the disappointments in the operations and the failure of Russia, he said that Lord Lansdowne's letter had considerably heartened the enemy. However, there was plenty of reason for hope.

War's Deciding Factor.

Mr. Prothero, President of the Board of Agriculture, speaking at Nottingham, said the war would be decided in the prosaic region of the human belly. Victory would go to that side which could command the last sack of wheat and the last stone of meat. He alluded to the changed conditions in regard to the overseas food supply and to the financial strain and lack of tonnage. We should grow every ounce of food that we could raise at home. Landowners and farmers must make greater sacrifices and take even greater risks than heretofore.

Consumption in Ireland.

A White Paper shows that during the period from January 1, 1915, to December 31, 1915, the number fo insured persons and dependants of insured persons, receiving sanatorium benefit in Ireland under the National Insurance Acts was 3,134 -- 1,642 males and 1,492 females. Of the total number, 2,824 were pulmonary cases, and 310 non-pulmonary. During the same period the number of cases of tuberculosis receiving treatment in Ireland was 4,932, of which 1,836 were residential, 415 dispensary, and 2,681 domiciliary.

Ireland and Labour.

Most Rev. Dr. MacRory, Roman Catholic Bishop of Down, at the annual meeting of the Belfast St. Vincent de Paul Society, said that great social and political changes were coming, he believed, soon. The day was coming fast when labour would demand a fuller share in the profits of industry, and would not be contented to see a handful of employers raise vast fortunes in a few years largely from its own sweat and toil, and when it would no longer be satisfied to live so near the verge of poverty.

Huge War Salvage Scheme.

General L. W. Atcherly has been appointed Director of Salvage, assisted by a Board of twelve experts, with General Sir J. Cowans. The object is to collect and bring back from France unused or half-used war material and to work it up again. Enormous quantities of copper, steel, &c., which would otherwise have to be brought from overseas, will be available, thus effecting a valuable saving in tonnage and money. There are dumps so extensive that it will take 1,000 men weeks to remove the stuff.

Ireland and Man Power.

Discussing the question of man power, the "Morning Post" says -- Englishmen, Scots, and Welshmen will not easily submit to further sacrifices if the Irish are to be treated as favourites. They will ask -- they are asking -- if those requisitions are necessary why is Ireland left out? And the Government have no answer. What can they say? That because Ireland arranged a rebellion with the help of Germany and shot down English soldiers Ireland is to be favoured above all other nations? That Ministers are afraid of the Nationalists in the House of Commons? That the enforcement of military service in Ireland would ruffle the philosophic calm essential to the deliberations of the Irish Convention? Or that, in four words, the Government are afraid? These things may be true, but it is far from expedient to utter them, and the alternative is silence.

Appeal to Ulster.

The London "Evening Standard" says -- The question of the extension of conscription to Ireland is a matter of high policy for the Cabinet alone. There are good arguments both for and against conscription in Ireland, but, on the whole, well-informed opinion inclines to the view that the balance of advantage lies in leaving Ireland -- for the present at least -- outside the Military Service Acts. "What a striking demonstration, I hear it said, of the attachment to the Allied cause would be furnished if Ulster came forward at this stage and voluntarily submitted herself to conscription."


The death has occurred of Mr. Joseph T. Cardwell, Loanda House, Newry, in his sixty-first year. Deceased, who was an auctioneer, had been a member of the Newry Board of Guardians, the Newry Urban Council, and was one of the original members of the Newry Port and Harbour Trust. For the past eight years he was chairman of the Carlingford Lough Commissioners.


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The Witness - Friday, 21 December 1917

Roll of Honour

BURNETT -- Killed in action on November 20, in the battle of Cambrai, Lance-Corporal Henry Wilmer Burnett, Seaforth Highlanders, only son of Rev. Lawson Burnett, senior minister of Donoughmore, Newry.


CLARK -- December 8, at Novara, Antrim, to Mr. and Mrs. James L. Clark -- a son.


BLAINE--BLAIN -- December 5, 1917, at Moira Presbyterian Church, by the Rev. S. Murray, B.A., Cargycreevy, Andrew T. Blaine, Insurance Broker, &c., Ashvale, Annahilt, Co. Down, to Elizabeth (Lizzie), third daughter of Robert Blain, of Carricknaveagh, Saintfield, Co. Down.

KNOX--DUNWOODIE -- December 19, 1917, at Donacloney Manse (special licence), by Rev. John Dunwoodie (brother of the bride), assisted by Rev. Thomas Boyd, Scarva Street, Rev. James Irwin, Newmills; Rev. Joseph Moorhead, Anaghlone; and Rev. Samuel Murray, Cargycreevy; the Rev. Robert Buick Knox, of Ballydown, to Sarah Ann, daughter of the late James and Mrs. Dunwoodie, "The Laurels," Cargycreevy.


PATTERSON -- December 18, at her mothers residence, Mossgrove, Ballynahinch, Lizzie, youngest daughter of the late James Patterson. Funeral to-day (Friday), 21st inst., at one o'clock.

BLAIR -- December 17, at the Royal Victoria Hospital, William John, the beloved husband of Sarah E. Blair, Lisnalinchy, Ballyclare.

COOKE -- December 12, at Cavendish Hotel, Eastbourne, John Cooke, Queen Anne's Mansions, London, late of Melbourne, Australia, and formerly of Belfast.

COOKE -- December 17, at 25, Albert Street, Bangor, George, beloved husband of Jane Cooke (late of Ballymaconnell).

COONEY -- December 18, at Lakeview, Enniskillen, Emily Maria Cooney.

FAIRLEY -- December 15, at his parents' residence, Windsor Avenue, Lurgan, John Francis (Jack), aged 20 years, fifth and dearly-beloved son of Thomas Fairley, ex-Head-Constable, R.I.C., and Lizzie Fairley.

FOXALL -- December 13, at Rostrevor, County Down, James Joseph Foxall, son of the late Joseph Foxall, of Dublin.

GILLESPIE -- December 16, at the residence of his grandmother, Dundesert, Crumlin, Samuel Palmer, infant son of Samuel Gillespie, Brookmount, Lisburn.

HALL -- December 15, at his residence, Averard, Marlborough Park, Belfast, Thomas Hall, last surviving son of the late Thomas Hall, of Hallstown, Magheragall, Lisburn, aged 77 years.

HILL -- December 15, at his residence, Quaker Buildings, Lurgan, Thomas Hill.

LYNESS- -- December 14, at Whiteabbey, Amelia Selina Lyness, eldest daughter of the late Thomas John Lyness, of Glenavy.

MAGEE -- December 17, at her parents' residence, No. 3, Lagan Terrace, Lisnatrunk, Lisburn, Maud Annie, eldest and dearly-loved daughter of Thomas and Sarah Magee.

MOORHEAD -- December 18, at his residence, Ballinode, Joseph Moorhead.

REID -- December 10, at Netherleigh, Strandtown, Mary, eldest daughter of the late James Reid.

ROBINSON -- December 1, at the residence of her cousin, Mrs. Young, Ballemont, Coleraine, Ellen, widow of the late W. J. Robinson, C.E., City Surveyor.

ROBINSON -- December 14, at his residence, Ballyhannon, Portadown, John Robinson, in his 85th year.

SMITH -- December 12, at her son's residence, 7, Somerset Avenue, Bangor, Mary, relict of the late Charles Smith, Coollattin, County Wicklow.

WALKER -- December 16, at Bottear, Red Hill, Dromore, County Down, Mary Ann Walker.

WILEY -- December 11, 1917, at the Adelaide Hospital, Dublin, Mary, beloved wife of William Wiley, Ballidian, Ballybay.


Mr. SAMUEL GILLESPIE desires to thank his many kind friends for their sincere sympathy and letters of condolence in his recent sad bereavement; also to those who sent beautiful wreaths and floral tributes. Hoping this will be accepted by all. Donnybrook House, Brookmount, Lisburn.

In Memoriam

SHANNON -- In loving and affectionate remembrance of John Shannon, Hibernian House, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, who died 17th December, 1914, and Susan D. Shannon, 14, Indiana Avenue, Belfast, daughter of the late John Shannon, Muff, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, who died 24th December, 1916, and were interred in New Cemetery, Ervey.
   "'Tis sweet to know we'll meet again,
    Where parting is unknown;
    And that the ones we loved so well
    Are only gone before."



Inconclusive Peace Danger.

The Archbishop of York in a New Year's letter speaks of the danger of an inconclusive peace. His Grace says -- We want a peace that will endure, that will bring freedom for the nations to live their own life; but what chance will there be of freedom if Germany is able to say "it was my army that withstood the world and compelled it to ask for peace."

Gifts to U.V.F. Fund.

Some time ago Mr. Edwin Hughes, of Dalchoolin, Craigavad, made an offer to Sir Robert Liddell, that if he could get nine other offers of 500 to the Ulster Volunteer Force Patriotic Fund, that he would be willing to give the sum of 500 also. This offer was completed on Saturday, when Sir Robert Liddell received a sum of over 600 from Cookstown, and he has now received from Mr. Hughes a cheque for 500.

Ninety Ships Sunk Without Trace.

Mr. Havelock Wilson, speaking at Grimsby for the Merchant Seamen's League, said that Germany was the first nation which had disgraced the honourable traditions of seamen. Over ninety British ships had disappeared, and not one man had been left to tell the tale. They had disappeared owing to the crimes of the Germans, who had turned their guns on open boats. Councillor A. Bannister said that Grimsby had lost 545 fishermen alone, who had left 258 widows and 531 children. If they added men serving with minesweepers the total was 800 men, leaving 1,000 children.

Irish redistribution.

It has been arranged for the conference on Irish Redistribution to meet in the Speaker's Library in the second week of January. The Nationalist representatives will be Mr. Clancy and Mr. MacVeagh, and the Unionist representatives Mr. Denis Henry and Mr. Coote. The Speaker will preside and have a casting vote.

The Standing Committee of the Ulster Unionist Council has passed the following resolution -- "The Standing Committee has observed with surprise and regret the weakness of the Government over the question of Irish redistribution. The intolerant attitude of the Nationalists in this matter and their determined refusal to facilitate the removal of our admitted under-representation in the Imperial Parliament has made a deep impression upon the minds of Ulster Unionists, and we fear has given them another proof of how little fair play or toleration can be expected from the Nationalist party."

Not a Surrender.

The Marquis of Lansdowne has, through his private secretary, written to a correspondent as follows:-- "You invited Lord Lansdowne to discuss with you, by means of correspondence in your local Press, various points arising out of his recent letter to the "Daily Telegraph". He is quite ready to defend the statements contained in that letter. He feels, however, that you have not read it with sufficient attention, for you are apparently under the impression that he has suggested an ignominious surrender; that he is responsible for the proposal for a wholesale rearrangement of the map of South-Eastern Europe; that he desires to abandon our naval supremacy; and that he is prepared to he content with an international compact, in which our only security would be the word or signature of a German Minister; Lord Lansdowne has made no proposals of the sort, and he feels sure that no useful object would be achieved by commencing a correspondence upon these wholly mistaken assumptions."

Lord Kerry and His Father.

Lord Kerry, son of Lord Lansdowne, at Matlock, referring to his father's recent letter, said that meanings had been read into it which were not intended, adding that a statement of his own regarding the letter was not meant for publication. At the same time he admitted that Lord Lansdowne's views, as he read them at the time, did not commend themselves to him. Lord Kerry added that he had discussed these matters with Lord Lansdowne, who assured him that nothing was further from his thoughts than to suggest a line of action differing from President Wilson's. Lord Kerry strongly condemned the scurrilous personal attacks made on Lord Lansdowne on the matter.

Government's Duty to Ireland.

Concluding a vigorous speech at a meeting in Derry, the Marquis of Londonderry said -- "What I desire to say to the British Government is that they must use their power to bring Ireland into the war. It is a duty which the Government owes to Ireland, because it is possible to realise that all the nations in the world who have stood with the British in the cause of right and humanity will point the finger of scorn at Ireland for generations, that while we went forward and gave our best, Ireland hung back, prepared to enjoy all privileges for which we fought and gained, yet only gave in small degree of her best and made but small sacrifices. I should like to see utilised the 200,000 young men in Ireland who are not taking their part in the war, who are idling, and are a prey to the agitator, or victims of German intrigue; a hindrance to the British Empire instead of an asset. I wish the best in Ireland, the loyal elements, would urge on the Government to bring these men under those standards now being upheld against barbarism."

Shipbuilding Output.

In the House of Commons Sir Eric Geddes, in a statement on shipping affairs, explained first the increased attention that had recently been given to ship repairing, which enabled the Government to provide tonnage much more promptly than by new building. In June they were repairing 27 per cent, of the salved tonnage; to-day they were repairing 80 per cent. He also gave figures showing that if we complete the year at the recent rate of shipbuilding we shall arrive approximately at the figure of the year 1913, which was the year of record output in our shipbuilding history. Sir Eric also gave information about the new National Shipyards,-which are to be three in number. Two will be used only for the assembling of parts of standardised vessels, and prisoners of war and unskilled labour will be employed in these. He repeated his previous statement that the submarine menace was held, but not mastered. The First Lord closed with an appeal to men and women to take up work in the shipyards

Civil Service Salaries.

The Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Government employees have issued awards on claims from organisations representative of nearly 150,000 Civil Servants with remuneration ranging to 500 a year. The lower paid classes receive an additional 6s a week (men) and 4s (women). The more highly paid classes receive as bonus a percentage of their salaries. The classes of temporary employees of the General Post Office represented before the Board are given a further 6s.

Germany's Peace Overture.

An official statement from Berlin declares that Germany made the peace offer of September under the impression that a neutral Government had been asked for a statement of German war aims, and that the inquiry was made with the knowledge and sanction of the British. Government. It is declared that Germany received no reply from Britain, and only learned from Mr. Balfour's statement in the House of Commons that a reply had been sent. So far as the published documents and Mr. Balfour's statement are concerned, Germany has not yet stated her war aims.

Church and State in Russia.

A Petrograd message intimates that the People's Commissioners will shortly issue a decree for the separation of the Church and State. Among its provisions will be the confiscation of estates, arable and meadow lands and farms belonging to the Church or to monasteries. The Metropolitans, Archbishops, Bishops, Archimandrites, and Archpriests will be forced to hand over to the State Treasury the gold, silver, and precious stones in their mitres, croziers, crosses, &c. All privileges of the clergy are to be abolished, and, moreover, the clergy of all denominations will be obliged to serve in non-combatant branches of the army. Religions instruction will not be obligatory.

Shipping Losses.

A greater proportion of the total ships were sunk during the last five months. Dr. Macnamara told a questioner in Parliament, than during the previous five months. At the same time the number of attacks were considerably less. In November, as regards overseas trade, an equal proportion of inward and outward vessels were sunk, and every precaution was taken to reduce to a minimum the danger of spies. Sir Leo C. Money said to another member that of the inward cargoes of wheat only 3.3 per cent. was lost in September and 0.7 per cent, in October. Of all homeward bound cargoes in the same period the loss was 3 per cent., 1 per cent. being food, and of British tonnage one-eighth were food ships, one-third coal, and the remainder miscellaneous or ballast outwards.

Pensions Concessions to Sailors.

Mr. Hodge, Minister of Pensions, speaking at Portsmouth, said that in the Navy there were certain grievances that he had discovered by meeting the men. The separation allowances were not 89 good for the sailor as the soldier. Sometimes a naval man went weeks before his pension was settled, and that was unjust; but as the result of conversations with representatives of the Admiralty the injustice would be remedied in the direction of continuing the allowances for three weeks and separation allowances for five weeks, so that this, would give men a better chance. The Admiralty were also considering the question of making the same allowances as to Soldiers on discharge, and he believed in a week or two this grievance would be righted.

Worst Road in Ireland.

At Dungannon Rural District Council a letter was read from Rev. John Watson, B.A., John Street Presbyterian Church, Dungannon, referring to their medical officer's report dealing with the conditions of National school life in the district. Mr. Watson mentioned that some time ago the National school at Claggan, near Dungannon, where many of the undesirable conditions referred to in the medical officer's report were absent, was closed in the most arbitrary manner by the National Board without the least attention being paid to local opinion. As a result many of the pupils had to walk three or four miles from home to another school along a road which the National school inspector had termed "the worst road in Ireland." Evidently the comfort and health of the children were of small concern to the Board of Education. He had submitted to the Board a statement on the matter which had not been and could not be controverted. A resolution was unanimously adopted supporting the protest of the Rev. John Watson in the strongest possible manner.

No Half-Way House.

Mr. Lloyd George, addressing a meeting at Gray's Inn, London, declared that the Government, and with them the British nation, were in agrement with President Wilson's speech, and warned the people to watch the man who thought there was a halfway house between victory and defeat. There was none. A League of Nations was the right policy after victory. Without victory it would be a farce. Victory was the vitalising force. We ought never to have started unless we meant at all hazards to complete our task. To make terms with the triumphant outlaw among States meant, abasing ourselves in terror before lawlessness. It meant ultimately a world intimidated by successful bandits. Victory was an essential condition for the security of a free world. "I would," said Mr. Lloyd George, "regard peace overtures to Prussia at the very moment when the Prussian military spirit is drunk with boastfulness as a betrayal of the great trust with which my colleagues and I have been charged. We are breaking through the enemy's barrier." It would be folly to underrate the danger created by the Russian withdrawal, the greatest folly of all not to face it. That American democracy was taking up the struggle against military autocracy was the most momentous fact of the year, and had transformed the whole situation. For the time the heaviest share of the burden was ours. We must square our shoulders to bear the increased weight. There was no ground for panic. Nothing else could defeat us now but shortage of tonnage. We must save another three million tons of food imports next year.

The Halifax Disaster.

At the inquiry into the Halifax disaster, an officer of the munition ship said the Imo violated the rules of navigation, and that there was nothing for the munition ship to do but to full speed astern. Rumours that there were suspicious characters on the munition ship or that a fire was caused by an incendiary were denied. The Cunard Steamship Co. has subscribed 1,000 to the fund. Mr. W. Long stated in Parliament that 544 bodies had so far been identified.

Sir Leo Chiozza Money, answering a question by Mr. Houston, in the House of Commons said five British steamers and one tug were seriously damaged in the recent disaster at Halifax. He regretted to say the loss of life on these ships was also very serious, about two-thirds of the crows having been lost. A few of the British ships were slightly damaged.

Ravages of the Gale.

Reports from all parts of the country indicate that the gale on Sabbath caused extensive damage to house property, live stock, and crops, and a general breakdown of the telegraphic service in some places, and disorganisation of railway services. In Cork a man was killed by the collapse of a house, and near Castlebar a woman died from exposure. A remarkable feature of the gale was the large number of trees which have been uprooted throughout the country, and in many cases they caused a stoppage of vehicular traffic. In Belfast a rapid thaw set in after the snowstorm, and there was some flooding in low-lying districts.

National Expenditure.

The Select Committee on National Expenditure, in their second, report, state that the gradual growth of expenditure upon the war is due, not only to new services and increased demands, but also in no small degree to the increase in wages and prices of commodities purchased at home or calculated as involving a national outlay of about 180,000,000 a year. It is recommended, on the question of prices, that steps should be taken to avoid the creation of new credits in financing the war; that measures for the limitation of profits should be continued; and that a single policy under one authority should be adopted in all industries in the determination of wage questions.

Man-Power Problem.

Mr. Clem Edwards, M.P., in Parliament gave notice of a motion declining to proceed further with the Consolidated Fund Bill until a definite statement is forthcoming from the Government on the man-power problem with an assurance that they intend immediately to take proper steps to enlist all available single men of military age in Great Britain and Ireland. Sir Auckland Geddes, according to an official report, assured the Miners' Federation Executive that there was not the slightest intention of introducing anything in the nature of industrial conscription or industrial compulsion.

Milk Prices.

The Belfast Food Control Committee has fixed the price to be charged for milk within the county borough at 1s 10d per gallon wholesale and 2s 4d per gallon retail, which means that the consumer must pay 7d per quart instead of the 6d per quart fixed by the Irish Food Control Committee. In explaining the decision of the committee, the Lord Mayor (who is chairman of the committee) states that it was proved to demonstration that milk could not be produced and sold in Belfast at the Controller's prices, and they were confronted with the possibility of a stoppage of production. Neither he nor any member of the committee could regard with equanimity the possibility of the milk supply of the city being interrupted.

British Sailors' Boycott.

Could there be any surprise, asked Lord Beresford, speaking at Hull, that British merchant sailors had decided to boycott Germans and their goods after the war? He proceeded to mention that -- Ten thousand sailors had been murdered by the U boats, and 4,080 were prisoners undergoing cruel privations. Fifty-seven vessels had been sunk without trace. From Hull alone 560 seamen had been assassinated. Lord Beresford also mentioned that the mercantile marine had transported 15,000,000 men to the seats of war; 2,000,000 horses and mules; 500,000 vehicles; 25,000,000 tons of explosives; 51,000,000 tons of oil and fuel. The dockers, declared Lord Beresford, were going to back the seamen in the boycott of Germany after the war.

First Heroes of the War.

At the Royal Albert Hall, London, a choral commemoration of the first seven divisions who met and stopped the German onrush in the autumn of 1914 was held. Prior to this the men were offered hospitality by the Lord Mayor and Corporation and various of the city companies. The men, who looked fit and well, included representatives of the Life Guards. Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Royal Horse Guards, and of the Rifle Brigade. The King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family were present at the commemoration. The interior of the hall was splendidly decorated with banners I worked by relatives of the men bf the original seven divisions. A large proportion of the audience were survivors of Lord French's original Expeditionary Force.

Peers and Redistribution.

In the House of Lords' debate on the Representation of the People Bill, the Marquis of Salisbury protested against smuggling through a Bill of that magnitude while the country was thinking of something else -- viz., the winning of the war. With regard to Irish redistribution, he urged caution before accepting proposals based on the passing of another Bill. Why, he asked, should they go out of their way to increase the authority of Sinn Fein? The attempt to deal piecemeal with Ireland was altogether indefensible. Viscount Bryce spoke against the enfranchisement of women. Lord Parmoor favoured proportional representation (as did Lord Salisbury and Lord Burnham). Earl Russell supported the inclusion of women, but said the disfranchisement of conscientious objectors was a blot on the measure.

Bishops' Christmas Message.

The Bishops of the Episcopal Church in Scotland have addressed to members of that Church serving in his Majesty's Forces a message, in which they say:-- "Once more Christmas and New Year draw near. How heartily we wish we could say that the end of the war was also drawing near. But, whether the end is far or near, we desire to give you a very cordial greeting for Christmas and the New Year. In the name of the clergy and fellow-members of the Church we wish to renew our warmest gratitude to you, and to all your comrades, for all you and they have done and are doing for us and for the great cause for which our country is fighting. We have you in constant remembrance in our prayers, and we long for the day when we may, if God wills, welcome you home again. Nor can we forget the many gallant men who have laid down their lives. To God's gracious mercy we commend their souls. We earnestly hope that your Christmas may bring you such joy as these stern times will allow. We shall be remembering you that day, and we trust that the coming year may be happy in the restoration of a just and lasting peace far the world."

War Aims.

Speaking in the House of Commons, on a vote for the National War Aims Committee, Mr. Dillon said it was absurd to attempt to educate, the people of the country on the war aims of the Allies when they did not know now what they were. It was perfectly manifest that unless they could maintain unity of purpose with President Wilson, and the United States they should lose the war. If the propaganda were undertaken in Ireland very awkward questions might be asked as to how the Irish case squared with the alleged aims of the war. Sir E. Carson failed to understand what was the object of the speech of Mr. Dillon. He could not understand any hon. member who cared for his country getting up at a crisis like the present and trying to the best of his ability to make mischief in the first place between the peoples of this country, and in the second place to make mischief between this country and Russia by statements which, so far as he (Sir E. Carson) knew, were absolutely without foundation. Whilst the hon. member complained over and over again that we refuse to declare our war aims, he never suggested that the people who originated the war should suggest their war aims. The men who had brought this calamity on the world were, above all, the men whom Mr. Dillon should ask to declare their war aims.

Teachers and the Grant.

The Irish Teachers' O.E.C. have issued a statement in which they say that, having the White Paper regarding the allocation of the supplementary grant for Irish primary education before them, the detailed criticism of the scheme, as outlined in Parliament in July by the General Secretary in October still holds good. The statement proceeds -- "For the reasons then set forth, and as no attempt has since been made to meet the reasonable representations therein contained, or to remedy the glaring defects of the scheme as then pointed out, we have unanimously agreed not to accept these proposals, and to direct the whole strength of our organisation towards having them withdrawn and the money now available more suitably allocated. We direct attention to the wholly unconstitutional action of the Government with regard to the new grant and conditions governing it. This action is in direct and ostentatious opposition to the expressed opinions of the entire elected representatives of the country-- Parliamentary, urban, and rural, of the Press, members of the Hierarchy, school managers of all denominations, teachers, and even of their own nominated body, the National Board.

The following resolution has been passed by the Belfast and District Assistant Teachers' Union -- "That we condemn in the strongest possible manner the proposed method of allocation of the Equivalent Grant, and demand that, for the present financial year and as a temporary expedient, the sum voted for primary education in Ireland be distributed as follows:-- Convent teachers, 34,500; junior assistant mistresses, 25,000; inspectors, suborganisers, and training colleges, 5,000; teachers on pension, 9,500; balance, 310,000, equally amongst teachers, irrespective of grade or position. We also demand that a committee similar to that appointed in Scotland be set up, so that a more just scale of salaries and a more just method of allocation than that contained in the White Paper proposals be devised."

Food v. Drink.

By a email majority Glasgow United Free Church Presbytery adopted a motion calling on the Government to prohibit the manufacture of strong drink, and declaring that until that was done appeals for food saving were idle and foredoomed to failure, and that the Presbytery could not take part in such a campaign.

Canadian Elections.

The Canadian General Election on the question of conscription has decided in favour of Sir Robert Borden's Unionist Government and of immediate compulsion by a substantial majority over Sir Wilfrid Laurier's policy of taking a referendum before putting compulsory military service in operation. The official summary gave the following figures -- For Government, 128; for Opposition, 87; majority, 41. Sixteen constituencies had not been heard from, and the elections in four others had been deterred. In view of the figures given, it is plain that even should the whole of these seats go to the Opposition the Government would have a majority of over 20. Sir W. Laurier was defeated in Ottawa, but was elected by a large majority in Quebec East.

Death of Belfast Teacher.

The death of Mr. W. E. Robinson, B.A., a well-known Belfast educationist, took place at his residence, Clonlea, Taunton Avenue, Lansdowne Road, Belfast. Mr. Robinson, who was headmaster of Duncairn Gardens National Schools, took a prominent part in the recent formation of the Belfast and District Branch of the Principal Teachers' Union, of which he was elected the first president. He was born in Belfast fifty years ago, and, after undergoing the usual training, he was appointed principal of Agnes Street Methodist National School, and in 1903 was appointed principal of Duncairn Gardens School. He graduated B.A. in Queen's University in 1914. Recently Mr. Robinson organised a huge children's choir in connection with the Irish Temperance League Festival held in the Ulster Hall.

Vatican at Work.

Preaching in Newtonbreda Presbyterian Church to the brethren of the Belfast Branch Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, Rev. Joseph Northey (Macrory Memorial) appealed to the members to stand fast in their liberty. In our own land the Sinn Feiners were boasting that they were on the German side. It had been said (and it had never been seriously contradicted) that they had received much money from Germany. We knew they had fought against Britain, and they were waiting to fight again when the opportunity came. Ireland had not been doing its duty. What was the meaning of this? It meant that the Vatican was at work, using all the power it could to overthrow Protestantism and to win back its old place among the nations. We Ulstermen almost grew angry when we heard it said that the Government should conscript us and leave the other parts of Ireland out. We did not trust those men. Recent events showed that we could not. What would happen if the Union were dissolved and we had an Irish Parliament? If we were determined before, we were now doubly determined that we would stand fast in the God-given liberty under the Union Jack.

Bombing Fatality.

During bombing practice at Newtownards military camp, a bomb carried by Corporal Parker, R.I.R., a native of London, exploded prematurely, killing the corporal on the spot, and so seriously injuring Major W. G. Hall, R.I.R., that he succumbed. Second-Lieuts. G. Hull and Corry were also injured. Major Hall was the second son of the late Major W. J. Hall, R.A., Narrowater, Warrenpoint, and uncle of Captain Roger Hall, the owner of the beautiful castle overlooking Carlingford Lough. He was aged 51, and was a most popular officer. He was connected with the Ulster Division, having been second in command of Colonel Wallace's battalion. His wife is a daughter of Sir S. O'Grady Roche, Bart., of Corass, Limerick.

Sensational Kaiser Story.

The New York "Tribune" publishes an account of the Kaiser's interview in his yacht with Mr. W. Bayard Hale in 1903. The Kaiser predicted a world war. He attacked the Catholics of Germany and elsewhere, England, King Edward, and the Japanese, boasting of victory, and pledging himself to free the Holy Land from the infidel, damning the Japanese and the Anglo-Japanese alliance, declaring an understanding between himself and Roosevelt, avowing friendliness for China, predicting a war between the United States and Japan unless there was an American-German alliance, and broadly hinting at the disloyalty of the British Pacific colonies. The interview was suppressed through the efforts of the German Foreign Office.


General Skalon, who took an active part in the Russian armistice delegation at the German Headquarters, says a Berlin semi-official message, was found shot dead his room, in which was a farewell letter to his wife giving his reasons.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Major D. G. Shillington, in memory of his son, killed in action, Lieut. T. G. Shillington, has given 100 to the Methodist Sunday School, Portadown, and 100 to the Graigmore Orphan House.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Mr. John. Cooke, who has died at Eastbourne, was a member of a Mountpottinger family; he went to New Zealand in the 70's, and founded the refrigerating works from which the first "Canterbury lambs" were sent to England. He became the largest exporter of foreign meat, and held a prominent-position in Australian business till his departure for England a few years ago.




Preaching in Drum Presbyterian Church, Rev. Wm. Armstrong paid a touching tribute to the memory of Captain R. S. Flood, M.C., Royal Irish Fusiliers, son of Mr. R. I. Flood, R.D.C., Millvale, Co. Cavan, an honoured elder of the congregation. Mr. Armstrong, in the course of his remarks, said -- Captain Flood was a splendid type of manhood, strong, vigorous, and courageous. Our dear young friend is gone. We shall never see his face on earth again -- gone in has youth, gone in the zenith of his influence and power. When I saw him last in his paternal home a short time ago, so strong, so vigorous, so jubilant, so impregnated with the martial spirit, so flushed with the hope of final victory, and wearing with honour his various distinctions. It is hard to think that he lies to-day in France in a soldier's grave, his strenuous life ended. The Rev. John N. M. Legate, Presbyterian chaplain, who knew the deceased personally, writes thus in a letter of condolence to his parents -- "He was a general favourite with all who knew him, a man of splendid character, and highly esteemed by officers and men; and his untimely death, which we deplore, has cast a gloom over us all. His parents eulogise him for his filial obedience, his wonderful charity, and his sterling principles, and his brothers and sisters were attracted to him with feelings deep and strong. Knowing his family as we do, and considering the irreparable loss sustained by the death of a dutiful son; we assure the family that our tender sympathy flows out to them, and our earnest prayer is offered up on their behalf. May the gentle wing of heaven be thrown around them. May the God of all consolation impart to them that support and strength which they so much need. May their beloved one have fallen asleep in Christ, so that they may not sorrow as others which have no hope; but inspired with the conception of glorious recognition, and thrilled with the thought of social intercourse, may they live the Christian life at high pressure, so that beyond the swellings of Jordan all may meet around the Throne washed in the blood of the Lamb."


Mr. S. W. Boyd, J.P., Claremount House, Ardenlee Avenue, Belfast (of the firm of Boyd & Co), Hill Street, has received a number of tributes to his son, Second-Lieutenant Cecil V. Boyd, Royal Irish Rifles, who, as already reported, fell in the Cambrai battle. His colonel writes -- "I would like you to know, that he died gallantly doing his duty. He was a great favourite here, and his death is universally regretted by us all."

His company-commander writes -- "His death in action was as glorious as was his life. He had fought and had finished his course. Cecil's life was not a long one, but in sacrificing it in such a great cause he has accomplished much."

A brother officer says -- "His company had been ordered to attack at 10-30 and take a most important German position. He left in high spirits at the head of his men, and after fighting his way up to the position took it along with a German machine gun. He had gone forward to the front of the position, to see that all was clear, when a bullet hit him in the right side of the head. I had to go up to this position that night, and had orders to hold it at all costs, so you will perhaps realise the importance of the position Cecil had so nobly fought for and won. I had his body carried in and buried. His men were very proud of him, and everywhere he was considered one of the best. We have lost a good pal and a splendid officer."

His chaplain writes -- "As a Presbyterian padre of the Royal Irish Rifles, I write to express my deep sorrow for the death of your gallant son. I know that any words of mine must seem weak to assuage a grief so deep as yours, yet may I suggest the thought that your son laid his life upon the altar of righteousness and humanity, and thus reveals his spiritual kinship to One who has laid down His life for the world. This should afford some solace. Your lad has not shamed his kith and kin. He has not lived in vain. He was a gentleman respected and beloved by all, and a thorough good and daring officer."


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The Witness - Friday, 28 December 1917

Roll of Honour

MURRAY -- Killed in action, December 12, 1917, Private George T. Murray, Royal Irish Regiment, eldest son of Mr. T. D. Murray, City Missionary, "Eglish," Cliftonville Circus, Belfast.


FOSTER -- December 25, at her residence, 14, Maryville Park, Belfast, Susan Margaret Elizabeth (Bessie) Foster, B.A., youngest daughter of the late Rev. James Foster, Newmills, Co. Tyrone. Funeral private. No flowers.

WATSON -- December 20, at Ashfield, Cornascrebe, Portadown, Alexander, the beloved husband of Sarah Watson. Friends please accept this (the only) intimation.

CALVERT -- December 21, at his residence, Rickamore, Templepatrick, David Calvert.

CARSON -- December 17, at her residence, Ellenville Terrace, Lisburn, Eliza Amelia, widow of the late Samuel Carson, Hillhall Road, Lisburn.

CHISHOLM -- December 20, 1917, at his residence, Knockinagh, Whiteabbey, John Chisholm, Solicitor.

DORNAN -- December 24, at her residence, Crossgar, Elizabeth Dornan.

GETTY -- December 19, at his residence, Danesfort, Garvagh, William, youngest son of the late Andrew Getty, Ballyoglagh, Mosside.

HOUSTON -- December 25, at her residence, Ballykillare, Crawfordsburn, Ann Houston.

KIRKPATRICK -- December 23, at her residence, Knowehead, Ballyrobert, Mary Jane, relict of the late John Kirkpatrick.

MacBRIDE -- On Christmas Day, at Beaconfield, Knock, Henry Norman MacBride (late Royal Garrison Artillery), younger and dearly-loved son of Joseph and Phoebe MacBride.

MARTIN -- December 20, at her residence, 64, Sandhurst Gardens, Stranmillis Road, Belfast, Annie C., widow of the late Thomas Martin, ex-Head Constable, R.I.C., and Clerk of Petty Sessions, Pomeroy and Carrickmore.

MOORE -- December 21, at Dundesert, Crumlin, Miss Anna Moore, aged 76.

MOORHEAD -- December 22, at Donaghadee, Minnie Moorhead, daughter of the late Rev. Robert Moorhead, of Loughaghrey.

M'CLELLAND -- December 26, at his residence, Riversley, Banbridge, Andrew M'Clelland, in his 75th year.

M'KEE -- December 21, at her residence, Stuart House, Stewart's Place, Holywood, Hannah Maria Hunter, the beloved wife of John M'Kee.

PORTER -- December 24, at his residence, Tyneholme, Raglan Road, Bangor, John Porter, 34-36, High Street, Belfast.

REA -- December 26, at the Post Office, Dervock, Sarah Rea.

REID -- December 23, at her residence, Ewemount, Crew, Glenavy, Jane, widow of the late Francis William Reid.

SANDS -- December 19, at Phoenix Lodge, Dunmurry, County Antrim, George Sands, Architect and C.E., youngest son of the late Joseph Sands, Belfast.

STEWART -- December 22, at 2, St. Jams's Street, Margaret, daughter of the late Samuel Stewart, formerly of Carrickfergus.

THOMAS -- December 22, at 105, Antrim Road, Belfast, Elizabeth Skeffington, widow of the late W. Thomas, Tenbury, Worcestershire.

TORRENS -- December 23 (suddenly), at Connor, Dr. J. L. Torrens.

TURNER -- December 26, at his residence, Mullacarton House, Magheragall, Robert Turner.


Random Readings


If you, a drafted man, believe that statistics tell the truth, you will feel as safe in France as you usually do in the streets at home. So says Roger W. Rabson, the eminent statistician, quoted by the "Popular Science Monthly." Furthermore, he says, that the man who is connected with the heavy field artillery is no more likely to be killed than one in the employ of a railroad. However, he does not hold out such high hopes for the lieutenants, sergeants, and corporals, the death-rate being very much greater among officers, than among privates. Also, the mortality is higher among volunteer corps than among drafted men. Sixty men per thousand are now being killed in the war, and about 150 men out of each thousand are wounded.


It is not generally known that the three stripes of colour that make up the French national flag are not equal in width. When the tricolour was first authorised in France, in 1792, the positions and proportions of the three colours were not stated, and such variety of flags was seen that two years later the National Assembly declared that the national standard should be formed of the three national colours in equal lands placed vertically, the hoist being blue, the middle white, and the fly red. For years the flag was made in this way; but, although the bands were equal, they never looked equal owing to an optical illusion, the blue appearing wider than the white and the white wider than the red. At last, after many experiments, it was officially decided that in every hundred parts the blue should be thirty, white thirty-three and red thirty-seven.


Human beings, as is well known, boast five senses; but the scientists argue that the dog goes one better, and possesses six. What the sixth-sense is has long puzzled the best authorities. It is something more than the mere sense of smell, as the following instances show. It is possible, for instance, for a dog to make its way into a crowd of people and pick out its master. In so doing the animal uses its sense of smell, but there is another qualification to be accounted for. Cases have frequently been reported where dogs, after being taken long journeys by train, have been lost amid their new surroundings, eventually to find their way home again. Such a case is that of a retriever which was taken by train to St. Albans, returned to its home at Highgate Hill. It took a retriever two days to cover this distance, and the dog was well-nigh exhausted when it reached Highgate Hill. How is it possible for a dog to pick out its way in such a manner? one might ask. The dog has undoubtedly more than the five senses credited to human beings, but scientists have yet to tell us what the extra one is. When the dog has been taught to speak, we may perhaps have the problem solved from self-experience.



The many friends of the Mission to Lepers in Ireland will learn with regret that Mr. John Jackson, F.R.G.S., the editorial secretary of the mission, has passed away with tragic suddenness. Mr. Jackson joined the staff of the mission, as secretary for London and district in 1894, since when he has devoted himself assiduously and with untiring zeal to the welfare of the suffering lepers, in whom his interest was first awakened by an address given by Mr. Wellesley Bailey in London. Mr. Jackson travelled extensively in the interests of the mission, visiting the United States, Canada, the Hawaiian Islands, India, China, and Japan. He was a fluent and able speaker, and has advocacy of the cause in Great Britain and Ireland and in the United States and Canada called forth most generous response, and gained for the mission a host of friends and supporters. Mr. Jackson's interest was not confined to the Mission to Lepers, for he was the founder of the "All Nations Missionary Union," an inter-denominational missionary society which has rendered valuable financial assistance to missionaries in all parts of the world. His death will be a great loss not only to the mission, but to the Church of Christ in general.



Woman's 4,575 Profits.

Annie Morgan, wife of an ex-goalkeeper of a Manchester football club, now in the army, was at Manchester fined 10 for using her house for the purpose of receiving moneys for gambling on football matches and horse races. The books showed that from January 19 to December 1 the receipts were 7,115 and the profits 4,575. The defence was that business being done by correspondence was legal.

When Parliament Reassembles.

At last the Government has arrived at a conclusion of its long deliberations over manpower. A new Bill on the subject is to be introduced on the very first day that the House meets after the recess. This is Monday, Jan. 14th. Evidently no time is to be lost, for the second reading will be put down for the following Thursday. It is hoped also to introduce the Redistribution Bill for Ireland shortly after the recess.

Canadian Election.

The supporters of Premier Borden, whose Government was returned by an overwhelming majority in the recent election, confidently predict that when the voting of the Canadian soldiers now in Europe has been recorded he will have a majority of sixty seats. Before the election both sides had claimed the the soldiers in Canada and of the women, Laurier's backers insisting that the former's vote would be a revelation to the Dominion.

Ulster Liberal Unionists.

The annual meeting of the Ulster Liberal Unionist Association was held in the Ulster Reform Club. There was a very large attendance. The usual business of the association was transacted and officers appointed. Mr. Adam Duffin, LL.D., was appointed president for the coming year; Mr. Stewart Blacker Quin, vice-president; Mr. R. T. Martin, honorary secretary; and Mr. John Sinclair, honorary treasurer. The Executive Committee, consisting of fifty members from various parts of Ulster, was also appointed.

Hon. Miss Brodrick Sent to Jail.

The Hon. Miss A. L. Brodrick, sister of Lord Midleton, was conveyed to Cork Jail for refusing to comply with the National Insurance Regulations. At the Petty Sessions she refused "to act as tax-gatherer for the British Government or to recognise a law which was called into being to bolster up the tottering fortunes of an English Administration and to provide patronage and jobs for their Irish allies." Miss Brodrick has spent 17,000 in building and endowing a hospital at Ballinacurra, and is an active Gaelic Leaguer.

Orangeman's Tragic Death.

A sad fatality took place at Moy, County Tyrone, in connection with a celebration of the anniversary of the "Closing of the Gates of Derry." An Orange drumming party paraded the town, and a middle-aged farmer named William J. Millar, residing at Charlemont, obtained permission to beat one of the large drums. He took his place in the procession, and had beaten the drum, for a very short time when he fell dead on the street. A pathetic feature of the case is that the deceased's wife died only three weeks ago, and they have left a child three years old and the deceased's mother, an old woman of seventy-three years of age.

Food Scandals in Germany.

Referring to complaints about inequalities in the distribution of food in Germany, the Basle "Nachrichten" says it has aroused such popular exasperation that only the armistice on the Eastern front has prevented an explosion. The hope of obtaining food from Russia and a speedy peace alone restrains the disciplined German workmen. Dealing with a number of scandals that have been revealed in connection with the unfair distribution of food by German municipalities, profiteering and discrimination in favour of the moneyed classes being alleged, the "Vorwaerts" shows that in some cases foodstuffs were sold at 500 per cent. above the Government-fixed maximum prices. The pan-German papers try to show that the failure of the food distribution is really the failure of Socialism.

A Plea for Sunday Drama.

Speaking at the City Temple, London, Mr. H. B. Irving referred to the "illogical and humbugging" attitude towards Sunday entertainments. "You can," he said, "see a roaring farce or a lurid melodrama on the cinema, but you cannot see that great genius Shakespeare on Sunday. Those who care for Shakespeare may feel some anxiety about the future of Shakespeare on the stage. If we were ever to concede that whilst we could be religious and say our prayers on Sunday morning we might be allowed some worthy form of drama later in the day, it seems to me that Sunday might very well be dedicated to Shakespeare's plays alone." Prejudice against the stage had not all gone. A committee which was combating a serious disease refused the help of a worthy play written by Brieux on the subject, and as a result the committee lost 12,000.

Kaiser's Boast.

When visiting the Second Army on 22nd December, the Kaiser addressed the troops. He said -- Such a defensive battle as has been fought in 1917 is without parallel. A fraction of the German Army accepted the heavy task of covering its comrades in the East unconditionally, and had the entire Anglo-French Army against itself. In long preparation the enemy had collected unheard of technical means and masses of ammunition and guns in order to make his entry into Brussels over your front, as he proudly announced. The enemy has achieved nothing. The most gigantic feat ever accomplished by an army, and one without parallel in history, was accomplished by the German Army. I do not boast. It is a fact and nothing else. The admiration you have earned shall be your reward, and at the same time, your pride. Nothing can in any way place in the shade or surpass what you have accomplished, however great or overwhelming it may be. The year 1917, with its great battles, has proved that the German people has in the Lord of Creation above, an unconditional and avowed Ally, on whom it can absolutely rely. Without Him all would have been in vain. Every one of you in unparalleled drumfire, did superhuman deeds. We do not know what is still in store for us, but you have seen now, in this last of four years of war, God's hand had visibly prevailed, punished treachery, and rewarded heroic perseverance. From this we can gain firm confidence that in future also the Lord will be with us. If the enemy does not want peace, then we must bring peace to the world by battering in with iron fist and shining sword the doors of those who will not have peace.

Brewers and the Day of Prayer.

The Brewers' Society have unanimously decided to recommend brewers to support the proposal that all licensed houses should be closed for the sale of alcoholic liquor on Sabbath, January 6, the day set apart by the King for prayer and intercession.

No Alcohol for U.S. Soldiers.

All alcoholic beverages, other than light wines, have been prohibited to members of the American Expeditionary Forces in France. Soldiers are forbidden to buy or accept as gifts whisky, brandy, champagne, and liqueurs, and commanding officers are instructed to declare out-of-bound any places where they are sold.

Flax and Root Crops.

The Department reports that the total produce of the Irish flax crop in 1917 is 2,457,865 stones, as against 2,318,652 stones in 1916, the areas involved being, respectively, 107,705 acres as against 91,454 acres. The yield of turnips is 4,624,834 toils in 1917, as against 4,435,911 in 1916, while the respective acres are 293,452 and 262,814 acres. Mangels yielded 1,834,184 tons in 1917 and 1,627,834 tons in 1916, the corresponding areas being 93,074 and 80,434 acres.

Ten Sons Lost in the War.

Ten sons from the home of Mr. and Mrs. G. Ball, of Vancouver, have been killed in action during the present war. Six years ago Mrs. Rail, who was a widow with five sons, married her present husband, who was a widower with eleven sons. All these enlisted in various branches of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, and ten of them have been killed. Mrs. Ball herself was wounded while serving as a nurse in the Boer war.

Sir A. Yapp and Prohibition.

Writing to a Greenock clergyman, in acknowledgment of a resolution in favour of prohibition, Sir Arthur Yapp points out that prohibition is a question of high politics, and that the War Cabinet is directly responsible. At the same time he desires to draw attention to the fact that the brewing industry was the first to be compulsorily rationed. Sir Arthur adds that, through an association which he has the honour to represent, he believes a great deal has been done to keep the men of the country from drifting into habits of intemperance.

Irish Munitioners.

The London correspondent of the "Manchester Guardian," writing in reference to the return of a large number of munition workers to Ireland for the Christinas holidays, says -- "It is believed that a transfer of labour on a large scale back from England to Ireland will be necessitated in the New Year in connection with the munition-making developments now going on in Ireland. The contemplated increase in the cultivation of land for food-producing purposes is also likely to lead to the return of large numbers of labourers now engaged in munition works here."

Tea Prices.

By the Tea (Provisional Prices) Order, No. 2, 1917, the Food Controller has made further regulations as to the prices of tea, pending the arrival of Government tea. The effect of this and the previous order may be summarised as follows:-- Maximum price at which teas may be sold until 30th December, 1917 -- Class A, 2s 4d per lb.; Class B, 2s 8d to 3s per lb.; Class C, 3s to 3s 4d (up to 4s in Ireland); Class D, 4s per lb.; Uncontrolled, 4s per lb. On and after the 31st December the maximum prices will be -- Class A, 2s 4d per lb.; Class B, 2s 8d to 3s per lb.; Class C, 3s to 3s 4d (Up to 4s in Ireland); Class D, 4s per lb.; Uncontrolled, 4s per lb. On and after the 31st December the maximum prices will be -- Class A, 2s 4d per lb.; Class B, 2s 8d to 3s per lb.; Class C, 3s to 3s 4d (up to 3s 8d in Ireland); Class D, 3s 8d per lb.; Uncontrolled, 2s 8d per lb.

Gift to U.V.F. Hospital.

Mr. Ernest A. Boas, writing to Sir Robert Liddell, hon. treasurer of the Ulster Volunteer Force Hospital, states -- "I hear from Colonel Mitchell that the committee of the U.V.F. Hospital have arranged to bring the orthopaedic department of the hospital absolutely up-to-date, by the erection of a number of whirlpool baths and the installation of the latest electrical equipment for the treatment of orthopaedic patients. I understand that the cost of these additions to the hospital, irrespective of the building, amounts to 1,050. I have pleasure in informing you that some friends of the Ulster Volunteer Force Hospital would like to defray the expense of this installation, and that on the completion of the installation and on its being in working order, I am authorised on their behalf to hand you a cheque for the above-mentioned sum.

Premier's Appeal to Farmers.

Another strong appeal to increase food cultivation to the utmost possible extent was made by the Prime Minister to Chairmen of War Agricultural Committees. Their very security depended on saving ships, and by increasing cultivation they would avoid the necessity of bringing enormous quantities from overseas. The Government wanted, if possible, 3,000,000 acres cultivated, and if within the next 100 days they could carry out the programme planned they would save millions of tons of shipping. The Government would do what they could to get men out of the army for ploughing, and the conditions of the employment of prisoners by farmers would be made easier. Greater use should be made of women, and the Government hoped to provide 30,000 more unskilled labourers and 15,000 horses, and to double the 2,000 tractors by February, doubling that number again in March. The seed for corn and potatoes would be amply supplied, and the output of fertilisers increased.

Food Control Crisis.

A crisis has now arisen in connection with the Irish Food Central Committee, which has been meeting constantly during the last month. Two members of the committee have resigned their positions, one being Mr. R. A. Anderson, secretary of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, and the other Mr. Harold Barbour, who has for years been prominently connected with the co-operative movement. At a meeting of the Food Control Committee two members -- Messrs. Farren, (Dublin) and Waugh (Belfast), who are both Labour representatives, left the meeting as a protest against the manner in which affairs were being conducted, their objection, it is understood, being that anything the committee did was absolutely useless, inasmuch as decisions arrived at were overruled by the authorities in London. Other members of the committee, while not following the action taken by Messrs. Farren and Waugh, expressed sympathy with the attitude they adopted, and spoke in terms of the strongest denunciation as to how things were being managed.

Memorial to Minister.

Mr. Robert T. Harpur, Eglantine Avenue, Belfast, has intimated his desire to commemorate the ministry of his brother, the late Rev. James Harpur, by presenting to the Methodist Body the sum of 4,000 towards the erection of a new church in Belfast. He is joined in the making of this handsome gift by Mrs. Harpur, Chlorine Gardens, Belfast, widow of the deceased, and both, it appears, intend to raise among their relatives an additional 1,000 in behalf of the project.

Ireland Left Out.

Sir A. C. Geddes, Director-General of National Service, in an order published in the "Gazette," postpones the operation of the Ministry of National Service Order, 1917, as respects Ireland until March 1, 1918. Under the National Service Order referred to the powers and duties relating to the provision of men for the army were transferred to the Director-General of National Service.

Viceroy and Irish Conscription.

It may be taken for granted, thinks the "Pall Mall Gazette" "Clubman," that practically the whole Irish Government is opposed to it, and that Lord Wimborne, on whom the War Cabinet must necessarily rely for advice, is not a conscriptionist. "He told me a week or two ago," continues "Clubman," "and in effect he told the House of Lords the same thing. There has undoubtedly been strong pressure by the conscriptionists, but without knowing definitely, I have good reason to assume that the War Cabinet do not think conscription in Ireland worth while just now."

Food Control.

A meeting was held last week at the offices of the Food Control Committee, at Kilworth House, Dublin, when, in addition to several members of the committee, the following attended:-- The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Lord Mayor of Cork, Mayor of Derry, Mayor of Waterford, and other prominent business men. An interesting discussion followed on several urgent questions, such as the shortage of flour and butter and other commodities, and resolutions were passed to give reflect to the conclusions arrived at.

Warning to Irish Farmers.

The following has been issued by the Department of Agriculture:-- In view of the extension in the area under tillage next year, the attention of farmers is directed to the importance of making provision for securing in good time such horses as will be required to carry out the coming season's cultural and harvesting operations. The existence for some time past of an embargo on the export from Ireland of horses suitable for agricultural purposes has resulted in a good supply of such animals being available in the country at the present time, and farmers are advised to take advantage of the opportunity thus afforded for purchasing such, horses as they may require for the coming year. If steps are not at once taken in this direction, farmers may experience a difficulty later on in procuring animals suited to their requirements.

Disobeying Orders.

Tire following official communique was issued in Dublin -- No. 1682 Private Russell Benjamin Everett, Eastern Company, Non-Combatant Corps, was tried by district court-martial at Arbour Hill Barracks, Dublin, on this date, for, when on active service, disobeying a lawful command given by his superior officer. The finding of the court was "guilty," and by a sentence signed on this 22nd December, 1917, the court sentenced the accused to be imprisoned with hard labour for two years. The finding and sentence of the court were duly confirmed by the officer commanding Dublin district.

Bequests to Charities.

Mr. Boughey William Dolling Montgomery, of Mount Lyons, Antrim Road, and 20, Callender Street, Belfast, partner in the firm of Messrs. John Preston & Co., linen merchants, Belfast, who died 4th October last, second son of the Rev. Thomas H. Montgomery, M.A., Ballykeel House, left personal estate in the United Kingdom valued at 123,250 13s 11d, of which 9,584 12s 4d is in England, estate duty amounting to 12,637 14s 4d having been paid. The testator left 1,000 to the Protestant Orphan Society for the Counties of Down and Antrim; 100 to the Representative Church Body of Ireland for the upkeep of certain family graves, and 600 for the parish of St. James, Antrim Road, Belfast; 250 to the Orange Widows' Fund; 250 to the Masonic Orphan Boys' School, Dublin; 250 to the Masonic Female Orphan School, Dublin; 250 to the Jubilee Masonic Annuity Fund, Belfast; 250 to the Belfast Masonic Widows' Fund; to the Ark Masonic Lodge No. 10, his Past Master's jewel and a presentation silver cup and salver.

Charity Organisation.

At a meeting of the executive of the Belfast Charity Organisation Society, Mr. B. Campbell Ferguson, M.A., LL.B., lecturer in the Municipal Technical Institute, Belfast, was appointed secretary of the Belfast C.O.S., in succession to Mr. Robert Drysdale, now secretary to the War Pensions Committee. Mr. Ferguson, who had at distinguished university career, has specialised in social subjects, and during last session he was one of the lecturers in connection with the course of social training in the Queen's University. Has knowledge of local conditions, gained in organising work in the city; his special knowledge of the Irish Poor-law system and the Public Health Acts, and his investigations into the working of the Trade Boards constitute a valuable basis of experience for carrying on and further developing the work of the Charity Organisation Society. It may also be mentioned that Mrs. Johnson, the registrar of the C.O.S., has been appointed to inspector under the Customs and Excise Department of the Government for Old-Age Pensions and Military Separation Allowances, and she has, therefore, resigned her work in connection with the C.O.S., which she has served efficiently for eleven years.

Sir H. Plunkett's Complaint.

At the annual meeting of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, in Dublin, Sir Horace Plunkett, the president, said an increase in the production of home-grown food had become a question of public policy essential to the national security. He felt rather bitterly that their organisation, which had been laboriously built up out of the best elements in rural Ireland, and which now felt its responsibility in doing this very work, upon which the whole welfare and future security of the nation, depended, had not been properly recognised as an agency in doing that work. The following resolution was adopted:-- "That this general meeting of the Co-operative Agricultural Societies of Ireland declare their earnest desire to increase production from the land to the utmost limit of their resources; at the same time they would point out that ill-advised Government action, whether in fixing prices, securing guaranteed prices, grading products, and otherwise, will affect injuriously the farmers' efforts, and that such measures can be safely and satisfactorily framed only with the advice and sanction of the farmers' representatives."

Convention Prospects.

Sir Horace Plunkett, chairman of the Irish Convention, speaking at the annual meeting of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, said the members of the Convention were making progress, and had agreed on many things. There were some things on which they were not agreed. He could not tell them yet, if they would be able to present a unanimous report, but he could tell them that at the end of their deliberations they would leave the Irish question better than they found it, because they had agreed to many things, and those who came to complete the task which they left unfinished would find that they had much simpler work to do than the Convention had. Part of their work was most troublesome in trying to untangle the problem of the completion of land purchase. For his own part he had never made a study of the question of land tenure, because he had devoted his whole life to the less exciting question, not of how to get the land, but how to make the best use of it; but as far as his judgment went, the work that had been done by the sub-committee of the Convention, upon that problem was very likely to produce a solution that the country would approve. This report had not yet been debated in full Convention, but the many experts on the subject whom he had consulted were quite pleased at the results so far attained. It was perfectly true that they had often been on the rocks, and probably would be on the rocks again; but there were always tugs lying by, ready to pull them off. They would get off somehow, and he himself was very hopeful of the ultimate result.

Premier's War Review.

The Premier took the opportunity of the motion for the adjournment of the House of Commons over the Christmas recess to make a survey of the war situation. He dealt first with food queues, and warned traders, particularly those with multiple shops, that they must take steps within the next few days to prevent the justifiable discontent of the people on this matter. As regards shipping, the estimates of acquisitions had not been realised but the losses had been lighter by hundreds of thousands of tons than had been anticipated. He eulogised the work of the Shipping Controller in utilising tonnage to the best advantage. In reviewing the military position the Premier deplored the disappointment caused by the defection of Russia and the set-back in Italy; but pointed to the greatness of our own achievements in France and Flanders, in Palestine and Mesopotamia, and in East Africa. He then referred to the necessity for a reserve of men to hold on until America was ready, and to the far heavier losses of the Central Powers than of the Western Allies. He quoted his own Glasgow speech against those who asked for a statement of war aims, pointing out that the withdrawal of Russia altered the claim in regard to Constantinople; and urged that autocratic Germany could not be relied on to make a permanent and honest peace. In conclusion he announced that the promise that the trade unions would be consulted before "combing-out" of trades hitherto protected was resorted to. Mr. Asquith also spoke, recommending the Chancellor of the Exchequer to impose additional taxation in the next Budget. Mr. Adamson, chairman of the Labour party, referred to inequality of sacrifice, and made a demand for the conscription of [--?--]

Fire at Krupp's.

A fire broke out in Krupp's factory at Essen, and Dutch workmen, who were ordered to leave for Holland, say an explosion occurred in an electric power station, the building being seriously damaged, while the works took fire. The works have grown immensely during the war, and the hands employed represented "two army corps," women being a fourth of the whole personnel. As a result of previous raids on Essen the town was ordered to be isolated.

A National Economy.

The Coal Conservation Sub-Committee have issued an interim report, to the Ministry of Reconstruction regarding electrical power supply in Great Britain. The sub-committee proposes to supply all industries with electrical power generated at big super-power stations -- not more than sixteen in number for the whole country -- and eliminate or combine all smaller stations. The primary object of the scheme is to economise coal by a national electrical power supply. Fifty-fire million tons of coal out of eighty million tons used in the United Kingdom for the production of power, could, it is stated, be saved. This, with the saving of by-products now wasted, would effect a national economy of 100,000,000.

Teachers and Trades Unionism.

At a meeting of Coleraine National Teachers' Association under the presidency of Mr. J. J. Strange, Castlerock, the following resolution was passed unanimously:-- "That we, the Coleraine National Teachers' Association, here and now decide to sever our connection with the Irish Teachers' Organisation as the only method left to us to register our protest against the action of the C.E.C. in forcing the affiliation of the Irish Trades Congress on such a doubtful majority and on such short notice."

No Milk for Afternoon Tea.

The Liverpool Food Control Committee has decided upon a scheme for rationing the milk supplies of the city. Notices are to be issued to all milk-sellers asking them to strictly ration their customers and reserve any surplus there may be for supplying the inhabitants of poorer districts. A feature of the scheme is that the supplying of milk for tea between three pm. and five p.m. in hotels, restaurants, and cafes is to be prohibited. Neither is milk to be utilised as a beverage nor in the manufacture of ice-cream.

Economy Campaign.

Sir Arthur Yapp, in a New Year message, urges the country to make a tremendous economy effort during the week, 30th December to 6th January. He wanted, to let our American friends know that the food which they are sending us by their own voluntary self-denial and economy is being received by the people of this country in the same spirit. The pro- gramme of the Food Economy Campaign for the New Year is of a distinctly positive character, such as systematic educational methods, the development of central kitchens, and the collection and utilisation of waste. If the country will rise to the occasion it may yet avert the hardships which a compulsory rationing system would involve.

Pope's Xmas Message.

The war and peace entered largely into the Pope's reply to the customary Christmas address from Cardinal Vannutelli, doyen of the Sacred College, his Holiness expressing determination to persist in his endeavours as representative of the Prince of Peace. He deplored that some quarters did not deign to hear his words, while others did not spare their suspicions and calumnies, but he consoled himself with the reflection that his invitation to peace could be compared to the corn of wheat about which our Divine Master spoke -- "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone, but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." The present calamity, his holiness added, could never finish until men return to God.

Australia Against Conscription.

Mr. Hughes's second referendum vote on the question of Australian conscription has been defeated even more emphatically than the first, which went down by 6l,000 votes. The voting was -- Against, 1,050,000; for, 870,000; majority, 180,000. It is believed the majority is largely due to the solid vote of labour unions smarting under the defeat of recent strikes, to the strong anti-conscription campaign carried on by Archbishop Mannix, and to the failure of the industrial classes to appreciate the larger issues involved.

Food and Labour Short.

At Woking Sir Arthur Yapp, Director of Food, said that labour was so badly needed that he would not be surprised if the State shortly stopped all luxury trades. Although more U-boats were being sunk, yet the menace would be extremely serious until we could build ships faster than the enemy could sink them. At Holloway Sir Arthur said that for every person who grew potatoes this year there must be three in 1918. Speaking at the London Mansion House, Sir Arthur said that "very soon it would be necessary for everybody to carry sugar in their pockets."

The Duke Scheme.

Three new Divisional Inspectors -- a "Court of Appeal" for teachers under the Duke scheme -- have been appointed -- Messrs. W. H. Welply, J. P. Dalton, and L. S. Daly, described by Dr. Starkie as the best men the Board could get. Dr. Starkie strongly urges the teachers regarding the grant controversy to demand the doubling or trebling of their war bonus, which he thought would very probably be granted if supported by the Commissioners, the first monthly payment (15,000) being paid with their salaries in January, about three weeks hence. There was no possibility of the withdrawal of the White Paper.

American Shipbuilding.

Mr. Hurley, chairman of the Shipping Board, Washington, speaking to the members of the Senate Shipping Committee, i said that 1,427 ships, aggregating 8,573,108 tons dead weight, are under construction. Seventy-four new shipyards in the United States have been opened since January 17, employing 149,270 workmen. Merchant ships since August 12 show an increase of over forty per cent. Two to three shifts are being instituted where formerly there was only one. When the tonnage being prepared is compared with the annual output of the American yards in pre-war times, amounting to 615,000 tons, some conception of our undertaking may be obtained. Some time must be granted for the proper expansion and development of the necessary labour and of directing the forces.

General Allenby -- Allah Nabi.

It is interesting to learn on the authority of a Hebrew scholar, who is in correspondent with friends in Palestine, how the people them came to regard General Allenby. To them, his successive victories deepened the awe which his name first created among them. They pronounce the name differently from what we do, with the result that they came to look upon him as a prophet of God and a deliverer. The first part of the General's name is pronounced in the East by Jews and Arabs as Allah, and the last part, of the name forms a distinct word -- namely, Nabi -- that is, prophet. So Allah Nabi (Allenby) was looked upon as God's prophet. Their hopes and confidence were placed in him long before he reached Jerusalem, and his proclamation on arrival, assuring the population that the Holy Places would be respected, added to the esteem which his military prowess had evoked.



The death occurred on Christmas Day of Mr. H. Norman MacBride, late Antrim R.G.A., younger son of Mr. Joseph MacBride, Beaconfield, Knock, a well-known Belfast printer, and secretary of the Belfast Municipal Unionist Association. Educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, he joined the firm of H. MacBride & Son, Adelaide Street, of which his father is principal, in 1914. He was a member of the East Belfast Regiment U.V.F., and on attaining his eighteenth year, he joined the Antrim R.G.A., and served in that unit, until overtaken by illness in July last. He was a member of Civic Masonic Lodge. His elder brother, Mr. T. Gamble MacBride, holds a commission in the Royal Irish Fusiliers.



Mr. Gilbert Reid, an American citizen and ex-missionary, has been (says the "Daily Mail's" Tientsin correspondent) deported by the American' authorities in response to a request by the Chinese Government. This is taken to indicate further action against the pro-Germans residing in China.

Mr. Gilbert Reid has worked as a Presbyterian missionary in China on and off since 1882. In 1894 he founded the "International Institute of China" under Chinese Government auspices, the object being to "promote harmony, friendliness and peace between China and other countries." He lived in Shanghai.



The news of the death, of Dr. J. L. Torrens has caused a melancholy sensation in the Connor district. The sad event occurred with tragic suddenness while he was attending a patient at Tardree. The deceased had been a medical officer under the Antrim Board of Guardians, for nearly thirty years, and was held in the highest esteem by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. He had been in ill-health for a considerable time, and suffered from heart trouble. He was a son-in-law of Mr. John Dinsmore, J.P., Crebilly Castle, and both he and Mrs. Torrens took a deep interest in philanthropic work, especially war charities. Deceased was a member of the Presbyterian Church.



On Monday, 24th inst., the funeral took place of Mr. Alexander Watson, amid many tokens of sorrow and regret. The chief mourners were -- Mr. James Watson, brother; Dr. Joseph Watson, John Watson, R. C. Watson, and W. M. Watson, sons; Dr. Quin and W. Quin, brothers-in-law; Dr. W. Moneypenny and Dr. H. Moneypenny, nephews. Mr. Watson was a well-known and highly-respected and very successful farmer in Cornascrebe. He was far beyond the average man in intelligence, had a good grasp of public questions, and was a ruling elder for many years in Clare Presbyterian Church, of which his uncle. Rev. John Bell, had been minister for over fifty years.

Prior to the removal of the remains a service was conducted in the house by the Rev. R. J. Whan, who, after giving a short exposition of the 90th Psalm, in the course of his address said -- "We are met to-day in the house of mourning, in the presence of death, to pay our last tribute of respect to a good and worthy man, to sympathise with the sorrowing ones, and to follow to the grave the remains of one who bore an honoured name and lived a useful and exemplary life. Alexander Watson was a man of conspicuous and transparent honesty of purpose and uprightness, who lived a spotless life, and, maintained a blameless character, while his unfailing confidence in God and trust in his Redeemer never wavered. He was an affectionate husband, a kind father, an obliging neighbour, a faithful friend, warmly attached to his Church, and greatly devoted to the congregation of Clare, of which he was a worthy and model ruling elder for upwards of forty years, and where he was revered by his fellow-worshippers and members of the congregation. Our sympathies, which are genuine and sincere, go out to-day to his widow in her sore bereavement; to his children here gathered together, and to the other friends and mourners; and we pray that the covenant God of Israel may be their guide and comfort and protector all through life's journey." At the graveside the service was conducted by the Revs. Mr. Baillie and R. J. Whan.



A large circle of friends will regret to hear of the death of Mr. John Chisholm, solicitor, which occurred at his residence, Knockinagh, Whiteabbey. Deceased, who was fifty-five years of age, was a son of the late Mr. John Chisholm, of Regenfield, Carnmoney. He was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and Queen's College, Belfast, and was a graduate of the Royal University of Ireland. He qualified as a solicitor in 1891, and enjoyed an extensive practice in Belfast. As chairman of the Admission Committee of the Royal Victoria Hospital and a member of the committee of the Throne Hospital he took a deep and practical interest in the work and welfare of those institutions. He was a great lover of music, and was on the committee of the Belfast Philharmonic Society. He was connected with Carnmoney Presbyterian Church. He married a daughter of the late Mr. Henry M'Bride, J.P., of Hydepark Bleachworks, and that lady, with a son and a daughter, survive him.



At the service in the Donaghmore (Newry) Presbyterian Church on Sabbath morning, the following resolution of sympathy, on the motion of Mr. Archibald Murdock, seconded by Mr. R. W. Shannon, was put by the Rev. H. C. Stuart, and passed, to the Rev. Lawson Burnett, B.A., the senior minister of the congregation, on the loss of his only son:-- "We, the members of the Donaghmore Presbyterian Church, of which you are the senior minister, and to which you ministered so long and son faithfully, desire in this your hour of bereavement, to convey to you and the members of your family, our inexpressible sympathy in the irreparable loss of your only son on the battlefields of France. We cannot help recalling his bright boyhood days amongst us, and his most amiable and courteous manner, gaining for him admiration and friendship wherever he went. We know that he responded to the call of duty; and in his supreme sacrifice you will have the satisfaction of knowing that he fell in the defence of a righteous cause. Such sorrow coming to you in the evening of your life reminds us of the many messages of sympathy and hope you conveyed to us when the angel of death visited our homes. And our sincere prayer is that you may now find him who is a refuge from the storm and a covert from the tempest imparting to you the needed consolation and comfort that earthly friend is able to bestow."


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