NEWS, VIEWS, AND OPINIONS.
' TVhat is in reality a huge socialistic enterprise is advocated in Great Britain by the Commission on Afforestation. The Teport ot the Commission is a logical and effective application of the principle of collectivism. It assumes that there are 9,000,(XK) acres of waste land unprofitable for tillage or sheep walks which can be converted into national forests- I' recommends the purchase of these lands ior future timber supply and the creation of a forestry industry, Which "iviii employ 18,000 men during the winter months, and ultimately gO 000 men in the maintenance of the entire area, and a large number in subsidiary industries. It describes the scheme as a profitable investment, since at the end of eighty years the State will he in possession oi an estate worth about in excess of what has been paid for it in land purchase, interest a nd forestry expenditures. Radicals, Conservatives, Trade Unionists and Socialists have united in advocating this stupendous enterprise, after conducting a most exhaustive investigation, and the report is so lucid and plausible that it is likely to be made th.c basis of legislar tion with tho. consent of all parties. There can hardly be a more practical object lesson in State Socialism. Labour is to be employed, industries created, and a highly remunerative investment made through the collective agencies of the nation. In the place of waste lands, there will be valuable forest, with a larger heme supply of timber than is now imported. Precisely as municipal industries have been created by ownership of tramways, gas and electric power, which may some day become large sources of irevenue, tbe Commission proposes to provide the State with an immense forest estate, which will supply work for the unemployed and a profitable timber trade in the course of time. It is a measure for effecting a readjustment of a<ricultural resources and values for the benefit of the nation. Belts of barren heath and moor, which are of no value, except for the sporting privileges of the rich, "will be transformed into woodland's, where labourers can be employed on a laroe scale and wealth in timber stored up for future generations.
' "Opium causes half a million suicides 8 year!" Such was the statement recently made by an American clergyman the Rev. A. S. Gregg, of tbe International Eeform Bureau. This is a sweeping generalisation of the type one is used to -earing from would-be reformers, whether their bete noir be alcohol, cigarettes, or drugß. Opium, as a matter of fact, is often a means of suicide—it offers an easy means of death; is more comfortable than drowning, less painful than the knife, and gives a less sudden shock to the system than prussic acid. But whether ft is often the actual cause of suicide is very much open to doubt. In fact it is often looked on as a welcome alternative to a violent c—it from a world of trouble. When a man's troubles are such that it is jamtal to continue to live, and when be has no one's feelings but his own to consider in the matter, the only thing between bim and suicide is tbat strong inetinct common to every creature, which Schopenhauer calls the " will to live." Yet this instinct is so strong that many men, whose reason tells them they have nothing to live for, turn to the relief of drink or drugs in preference to taking the irrevocable step of self-destruction. Sometimes drugs fail to deaden and give relief, and then the " will to live" is
often conquered. The last way out is taken, and in the case of an opium taker the favourite drug is usually the means cf ending things. When a victim to drugs commits suicide it may be only a sign that the drug has proved a failure in the purpose for which it was first taken. In the same way trouble that drives a man or woman to drink may eventually drive them to suicide. Yet when the extreme step is taken, the unthinking blame the drink. Both opium and alcohol are responsible for an awful toll of misery, as well as for much pleasure and brightening of souls; but when the slave to either takes bis own life, one must look deeper than the victim's obvious weakness for the cause.
The birth-place of Edgar Allan Poe, tchose centenary was celebrated at the end of January, has at last been established beyond doubt. That -Poe was born in Boston, and not in Baltimore, as has been previously believed, is proved by the files of "The Reportory," a tri-weekly paper published at that time in Boston. This made known the fact through its theatrical announcements, that at the period of Poe's birth both his father and mother were filling an engagement at the Boston Theatre; that foe, senr., appeared on the boards immediately before and after Poe, junr.'s -nival, and that Mrs. Poe on February 10, just 21 days after the poet's birth, again resumed her part with this company. Relative bo tbe Boston bouse, in which the poet was born, Professor Barrett Wendall, of Harvard University, and W. _. Watkins, a distinguished Bay State antiquarian, have recently produced data and records, which, it is asserted, show that the structure stood on the site of the building now at 62, Car-ver-street. Elizabeth E. Poe, the authors nearest living relative, still maintains Baltimore's claim.
The Rev. L. William Hones, pastor of tie Presbyterian Church at Roscoe, Sullivan County. U.S.A., widely known as the double of President Roosevelt, edits a Weekly paper called the "Roscoe-Roekland Review." In the current number he gives some advice to dairymen regarding the production of sanitary milk. "About a year ago." says the minister, "we offered Dr. Darlington some excellent advice on. the subject of handling milk in the city. He didn't act on it, which was unwise as it was unkind. We now address ourselves to the dairymen." He then says, among other things: "Break the cow of the habit °f wiping her nose with her tongue. The cure for the habit is simple. Place a bit of bitter aloes in each nostril three times a day until the cow ceases her unlovely ta,sk. x; se a sterilised medicine dropper, wiich must be employed only once. These are cheap, costing only three dollars a gross, a dairy of 30 cows would only require four pros* a week. When bossy has learned to appreciate the tender upufting work, place a handkerchief within easy reach of the cow. Saturate it with » little salt water until bossy becomes aeeustomed to feel the humanising effects Of linen. Then substitute cologne. These handkerchiefs should be of good linen, a yard square, and changed three times a fey, Linen bought by the bolt or bale Is cheaper than by the yard, That part of the new method'will ba acquired by the oow anywhere from three months to throe Ye ars, according to the intelligence of the . **ff 384 the gatienoe of the dairyman."
The intelligence of the British novel reader as a subject for mockery by the London "Saturday Review"—as follows: "lately being in a large seaside town, we went into the chief lending -library, and sought a book by Trollope." (A wise man and a man of taste this!) "'Trollope!' said the shop girl. • No, we've nothing of Trollope's now. I think he is read out. I are never asked for him.' We walked down the town to another library. Again we found Trollope read out. ' Nobody , wants that kind oi writer to-day,' said the shop girl. ' I have Thackeray's novels up there ' —pointing to a high shelf —' but they might as well be taken away for any inquiries tbat are ever made about any of them.' This girl was bright and frank; for when asked what sort of ' novels people wanted to-day, she replied,
' light, frothy stuff, with plenty of sensation.' " The girl was right, but only in a measure. Some allowance must be made for the fact that readers who care for Thaekery or Trollope are likely to possess the works of those writers on their own shelves, and whether in a "seaside town " or anywhere else, they go to a lending library and ask for light, frothy stuff, because, while they find it momentarily amusing, they do not care enough about it to buy it and preserve it. Some commentators are apt to forget that a, casual dip into ephemeral fiction is quite •compatible with a lifelong devotion to the masters of the novel. j/i ,■« _
A writer in the current number of " Modern Business " once asked Mr. Gamage, the bead of the well nnown firm of that name, what he thought of advertising as a factor in the building up of a great enterprise. " Why," was the reply, "it is everything. 1 have realised that from the very first when I almost covered my whole window with a poster. Y r ou must let the public know what you are doing. Advertising isn't a luxury, nor an experiment, but an absolute necessity. 1 may have the largest stock of the best goods at the lowest prices in Britain, but .1 shan't sell them unless the public know I have them; and the only way I can let them know is by advertising in as big a fashion as I can. And always advertise truthfully. It is fatal to exaggerate. The public always find you out; and, indeed, I don't myself know anything more infuriating than the discovery that things are not what they were advertised to be. Wherea-s, by giving a customer much more than he expects, or as much, you make a friend of him and he comes again. So strong, indeed, are my opinions on the matter of truth in advertising, that 1 would never allow an unduly laudatory adjective to be prefixed to any goods 1 was advertising. And then, again, I am a firm believer in the illustrated alvertisement."
The opinion tbat the middle classes in Great Britain are losers by the survival of the foolish old notion that emigration to the larger oversea lands of the Empire is only to be regarded as the last resource of the necessitous, is expressed by the "Standard of Empire." Judged by the facts of modern life it shouid be regarded rather as a first and most promising resource by all who are gifted with health and energy and enterprise. As regards the question of financial means, while it is undoubtedly true that such countries as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand offer better chances of making a good living to the man without capital than he can find in the older and more crowded centres of civilisation, yet it is crass folly to assume that because of this they hold no special attrac-1 tions for tbe -man with money, in either small or large amounts. There is no doubt, conitinues the writer, about it | tbat a level-headed energetic man who is possessed of some small means can, in nine cases out of ten, make better and more profitable use of those means' lin the colonies than in the Old Country. The opportunities are more numerous, I the competition is less keen, and tbe I rewards are higher. Capital, allied to energy and intelligence, is worth more i per centum here than at Home, is a | concluding opinion of the paper.
Like the Englishman, the Norwegian is going to fight for bis beer if necessary, and there has recently been published throughout Norway the manifesto of a widespread organisation, which intends to combat the Prohibition movement. The manifesto has the signatures of 650 leading men and "women, seventy of them physicians, and invites every community to organise against the aggressive Prohibition party. Its programme is "to protect individual and commercial liberty, to oppose the misuse of intoxicating drinks, to erect asylums for drunkards, and to spread the knowledge of sound principles of living, of health, and hygiene." The new organisation will not be affiliated with any political party, but will prepare to fitrbt the Prohibitionists at all local elections. Its motto is "Liberty and civilisation against Prohibition and coercion." Part Press hails it with enthusiasm as a practical instrument to free the country from Prohibition.
I There is a great deal to be said for food which looks and smells appetising. Psychologists at any rate and physiolo- | gists probably would say tbat these 'qualities in the food stimulate the digestion of it by the people who eat it. But i there are reasons for believing tbat in I the effort to please the eye the food manufacturer uses chemical processes which by no means promote the welfare iof our alimentary tracts; and this may explain the problem which so greatly puzzled Mr. A. J- Balfour at Cambridge !a few years ago, and which was why the rural population of to-day should be less sturdy than tbe roughly-fed Highland rustics of his youth. Tbe rustics of a generation or more ago ate no "canned °oods" and no "processed" foods. Professor Bailey has recently called attention to some of the methods of bleaching and dyeing as applied to food. The demand for white bread —which arose out of a recollection of the time when the (cheaper breads were made from rye flour or from badly milled wheat flour —has led to flour "bleached by electricity." Well, electricity has something to do with it; but its bleaching action is that of producing nitrous and nitric acid fumes, as well as oxides of nitrogen. These have, as Professor Sheperd has recently shown, a powerful antiseptic action, and retard digestion for a longer or shorter time. They must make the bread less digestible. Then, again, sulphur fumes are used for dyeing fruits. Tinned asparagus is bleached white by sujlphites. Crystallised cherries are sometimes first bleached and then dyed with coal-tar colours—like a piece of dress material —in the fashion desired. _omato ketchup, frequently made of rotten tomatoes, is brought up to standard by preservation in benzoate of soda, and afterwards coloured by aniline dyes. Jams and jellies are nearly always artificially dyed. Extract of lemon., mustard, tinned peas and other vegetables, and gelatines are all coloured to taste; and, quite apart from the grosser forms ef adulteration, are without doubt _rejudicial te digestion, - ,
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