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LONDON, March 18.

At a dance given at Bermondsey Town Hal a prize was offered to the ugliest lady, the balcony patrons being the judges. Make-up was allowed.

It is understood: that ■ there is now.: no doubt of Mr Balfour's intention to retire soon. The end of the Peace Conference, indeed, will mark the close of his official life. He will, it is said, be succeeded at the foreign Office by Lord Curzon, who has enjoyed much of his confidence, ;.and-. has ; represented > hin* on many occasions during the war.

At a country conference in Newcastle on the subject of destruction by rats, the yearly damage was put at more than £15,000,000, and suggestions for dealing with the pests were referred to the County Council. The jeteri^ary inspector for Newcastle jde*cTlirea\ t^.«£~^^ of rat skins was superior to the linjag in many 50----guinea fur coats. 7

Sir A. Steel Maitland, spfealjfng; at Leeds, said we had to face keener foreign competition in the future.than in the^past. In meeting this there was information which could best be collected by a central office, and this the Government were taking up. Smalll firms would receive valuable assistance regarding Customs regulations, packing, etc. There was being built up an organisation through which reliable information on trade matters would be available.

At a dispersal sale of antique;: and other household: furniture at the historic house of. Urrard, Killiecrankie, near which the Battle of Killiecrankie was fought, some high prices were realised. Chief among these was £58 for several pieces of old .chairs, got in an outhouse, and which at first were considered to be of no value. They turned out, however, to be the incomplete parts of four Queen Anne chairs, and on being put up were keenly competed for by two bidders, who ran the price up £o the s^n^ttamed. It is understood that a; reward is being offered ; ifor the remaining parts of the chairs. ;

. The unexpected dismissal of some 300 London women 'bus conductors has caused dismay among those of the thousands who are left, who like their job and hoped that it would be a long time before they were demobilised. Of course it has always been understood that they , .vyxmld,- give up their" places to the( men when they returned,' and_ on those grounds they are quite willing to goi Some of the smartest of them have been ladies' maids; others, very efficient, have been domestic workers,;, and, they must often have enjoyed telling former mistresses to "pass further up there."

The visit of the Queen of Roumania 'to the- King and Queen at Buckingham Palace this week has a greater interest for Scotland than is generally ytinderstJood; As the eldest daughter of the late Duke of Edinburgh, she is to be consulted by the King as to whetherl she or her sisters have any objection to this title being revived by his Majesty in order to bestow it uocin one of his sons. It is fully expected, that her Majesty will give a willing assent; to this, and it may, be that this title,,..will thenibe bestowed unon,,;Pririce "Albert, the second son of the; King and Queen, in the; Birthday honours next June.

We have; been trained during the war; to submit meekly to the insolence and tyranny of, some tradespeople, says a writer in the London "Evening News!" The part of the householder has been merely to pay, in humble spirit, whatever charges were asked of him and to look as pleasant as he could in the process. But I thought our trade masters, who honour us by receiving our custom and too much of our money, had mended their manners with the end of the war until I heard of the experience of a Kensington young lady to-day. This girl received a blouse back from the laundry very badly laundered indeed, and returned it with a polite note asking that it might be given a little further attention. In due time the blouse was again delivered to her. On it was pinned a piece of paper bearing the answer to her letter. It was —"Do it yourself."

The story of how one of our largest battleships went on the rocks at full speed and was' successfully refloated by the Admiralty is told by Mr David Masters in' an article on the miracles of naval salvage in this month's " World's Work." The battleship, in trying- to avoid a patrol boat, was taken out of her course by heavy weather, and went ashore. The double 1 bottom was flooded, and the outer skin riddled with holes. Everything movable was taken- out of the ship. A steel plate was fitted by divers over the-.damaged floor of the stokehold, and a- thick poultice of cement spread over it to make the patch watertight.* The stokehold > was then pumped out and the water in the double bottom was forced out under pressure from huge air pumps. In this way the battleship was lightened sufficiently to enable her to be towed off. While the work was ■• proceeding she was protected by screens of submarine hunters, who were on the alert day and . nigh b;<

More of' the sensational case in which diamondsl valued at £4000/ are alleged to haye 1 been stolen from Mr Giles, a Hatton Garden broker (who, later found them buried in a garden in Dublin), wa|s heard at the Marlboroueh Street Police Court yesterday, when Clara Whiteley, 21, was charged on remand t vvith,: beiiig conKerned^jyitK..*^rin"%ot\iuiettstody with the theft of. the jewels. She was remanded for a week, bail being refused. Mr Frampton, for the prosecution, stated that when Mr Giles went to a flat in Groat Portland Street, where it had been -represented to him a wealthy American friend of the; accused might buy tho gems, he heard the door click, > and realised that he' had heen trapped. Finding that he could not open the door, he smashed a, window and shouted to the people in the street to stop defendant as she left the flat. She, however, i-eached a taxi-cab .and 'got iiwav, Mr Giles was released from the flat by the police after three-quarters of an hour. ;

On March 10, when defendant attended at her bank she was arrested.

Mr Giles, in evidence, described how he visited a house in a suburb of DubV lin. and after digging under a narcissus bed came upon a cardboard box containing the missing diamonds.

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Bibliographic details

HOMELAND MAIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9609, 14 May 1919

Word Count

HOMELAND MAIL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9609, 14 May 1919

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