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THE LATE MR TREFLE. The death of Mr J. Louis Tretle. the Minister of Lands, after an operation for appendicitis, has caused genuine _ regret. Even, those who disliked his politics respected his I'onesty of purpose- and Vi-ls conscientious application to even the minutest, details of his position. It is not always that one can accept, without some reserve a Premier's statement about a colleague. But probably no one will miarjv\ with Mr Holman's eulogy .on Vt Tretle:—"The country loses m Mr Trene one of the most attentive, patient. and conscientious servants it ever had ; and we lose a colleague and. friend vhese value we shall realise more and more as his absence is felt." Not a word there seems to have been overstated. Mr Trefte's lather is a farmer, who is still living at Temora. _ Mr Treiio himself spent a good part of his life on thy. farm. His ability and perseverance -were shown own there by the fact that }.,-, became- the champion moucthman of the locality. Later lie became part proprietor vi a newspaper, the Temcia - Independent. and subsequently entered politics in the Labor interesi,. 'His promotion was rapid, and he naturally had a large following s,monc his feilow'-auriculturists. strong physique seems to" have temp-ted him to co'itim-..' In ardnors and exhausing work i--ng after he ousht. to have taken a rest The verdict is thai, when he did put him-elf uvhU-i- treaimeut, it was too Lite, lie had not itiongth enough to rally after the opeiation. "KILLIXG ITS LEADERS."' '•TWun-.-.-vaev in Australia is killing it* leaders." So unreservedly declare:- Mr Holmnn. As Mate Premier he speaks -Velingly. lie not only has- to bear tjio strain o"t" admi:iisrr:«ti;.m and to defend the policy of lii? party again.--!, the attacks ot the deposition and a_ain:>t the legitimate criticism which it- is >o admirably calculated to elicit, He has also to put. uu with rieree, and sometimes spite;-,:!, denunciations from the extremists of his own r-nrtv. This is the bitterest- I'iU ot all. Honesty, however. .oinpeis me to say mat r comes in the way of just retribution. Men attain to hL-h" oiike by advocating theories which appva! to the envious and the uninstnieted, and which therefore, secure the big vote whk-h is the passport to W uer: But when tliev are in oihoe, even :f thev did not know it before, they d:scover that ihese iheorie> are impracticable. li;stead of confessing the f.ict. thoy *• potter" along, throwing a sop here and a sop there, in the mat-net- with which we are now so painfully familiar. Have they any ritrht to complain it the more ♦ horoiijhuoing ;irara;i; those who .-upported them demand'that they shall carry out the, platform on which thev were ele.-tc<L and denounce them for their violations of that platform as vigorously ac their voci'mlary will permit? No fewer thin five Federal Labor Ministers and three State Labor Ministers have died prem.iturely during their term of dike. The most obvious cause is that, in addition to the ordinary burdens of otik-e. lliev are middled with { in-practicable t)ieo T ies. which bump up against the fact? of human nature at every turn. Assuredly Mr TrehVs death was not hastened by attacks from his own party. Hia devotion to the leasehold system* of tenure, in preference- to the freehold which every landholder inevitably I covets, however, may have had something ■ to do with it. "STAND AND DELIVER." j One of the theories which naturally finds j ptithusiastio support anions working men is that tb>< Government ot the day arc hound U> tind employment for those who need it. When they were on the stump gentlemen who now bid pert folios in Labor Ministries diligently propagated it. N--.w thev were existed to "make good." There are hundred* <>f ways in which the men out of work could make themselves useful to some or oilier of their fellow - citizens, and Governments might reasonably !« expected to give them ail due iacllitiw towards that end. But not_ a. §k of it. As soon as the- ..rdiiutvy job tciws to an end for any cause the men >re sedulously tauglit that they are. eih iitled to quarter the:n*y!evs_ <>ti tlte_ Government. There is an obvious limit to the extent to which tic .-vveral Governments can mce-t .stick a claim. That of our own State have been compelled to put on half-time the men they have taken on, as they are unable to pay them full wages. The demand, however, continues insistent. At Broken Hill the unemployed waited tui the warehousemen, 'and. "demanded"' a handsome donation. All this is in .strict accordance with the outcry that the working man is under no obligation to make his services valuable* or acceptable to others; but must be spoonfed by others as soon as he i& out of work, is it .surprising that Ministers who try to administer the affairs of a great country on such a principle as this die voting'' BEER.

The Xecessarv Commodities Commission had sufficient gumption to fix the price of beer afc a point above, instead of below, the figure at which if can be profitably rcbailed. Publicans, in consideration of the increased excise, were permit-led to siek W per pint. But some of them discovered that, they could still sell at- threepence-, and the others, if in thickly populated neighborhood.?, find that, they have to follow suit, or lose their trade. The local brev.-ei-s made up their minds to " pass on " the. whole of the excise to their customers. "But Melbourne brewer* are able to Rubetantiaily "shade" their q notations. The prospect is, therefore, that the great beer trade, except, in localities in which one holism has a virtual monopoly, will go on in the future very much a.* it has done in the pasts If the wheat-growers had been treated with the ramc consideration as the brewers and millers there would be less complaining among them. A STOKM IX A TEACUP. The "bobbery" between Mr Peakin and Mr Mahon, the Minister of Estemal Affairs, proves to be, after all. only a storm in a teacup. The Commonwealth Government had. decided to be represented at the Panama- Krhibition, and had appointed Mr Do akin president of the Commission. ißut on the breaking out of the war, Ml" Nielsen, who represents this {Statu in America, arrived at the conclusion that the show would be a very one-horse affair, and that it would tiot he worth while for Australia to l* represented. He communicated this opinion to the Commission. ''That body, however, had formed their own opinion to the elfect that as a certain expenditure had already been incurred, if would be better to go on with- the project. Three of the sLt States represented on the Commission agreed with .Mr Nielsen and withdrew. The three harder Stattjs t<,-ok the other new. and continued their preparations. Mr MahonV complaint against Mr Deakin is thr.t he did :) t communicate to the Federal Ministry the opinion which had been expressed by Mr Nielsen. The Minister lays great- stress on this. and seems to believe that the, •'x-Premier has been guilty of a grave dereliction, it, however, he had been as wide awake as lie, should have been, he would have known everything Mr Nielsen had to say without troubling Mr Deakin. THE LABOR BULLETIN'. The Labor Bulletin for the third quarter of the year, just published by Mr Knibbs. the Federal Statistician, gives the results of some very arduous and painstaking inquiries, now tnade for the first time. The index number of wholesale prices of necessary commodities advanced by 6 per cent. On" the, other hand, a slight decrease is shown in the cost of living, a cheapening of dairy produce having counterbalanced the advance in other articles. The total increase in weekly wages effected during the quarter by the industrial tribunals and by mutual agreement was £6,684, which represents an increase of 4s 8d per week in the wages of the persons affected. It would be impossible to speak too highly of the industrious application of which, these carefully-compiled and complicated tables bear the marks on every page. At the same time, one cannot help asking whether the same amount of effort applied to vindicate the great principles which rule, or which ought to rule, in transactions between man and man, would not have been more fruitful of good results. The figures do not, of course, give any details -of tie course of industrial events in the

fourth quarter of the year, when they began to do effected by the war. Even yet the influence of this stupendous calamity has not been fully experienced. SENTIMENT TRIUMPHS OVER SENSE. The Belgians, in common with most other European nations, are accustomed to make, considerable use of horseflesh as food. it is sold by butchers as beef and mutton are with us. There is nothing revolting u. the practice, considered on its own merits. The horse is a clean animal. It can only thrive on clean food and water. Some pastoralists, therefore, imagined that a present of 50 or 100 horses, past work, but healthy and in good condition, would be very welcome to the distressed Belgians. They will not have the opportunity of ascertaining whether their surmise is correct. The Federal Government promptly prohibited the export of the animals' Sentiment is vindicated, but valuable assistance is withheld. It would he an eye-opener, by the way, to learn how dearly Australia is paying, and how much deprivation the common cause is suffering, because, for instance, of the dominance of "the trades union sentiment," among others. It is freely declared that our warlike preparations are costing double what they ought to cost because of the reverence paid to this fetish. That raav or may not be quite accurate. But. if true, it would mean that the assistance which the Commonwealth is rendering to the Empire is reduced by one-half of what it. might and ought to" be. But sentiment continues to triumph over sense, and the administrator who i* able to grapple with the evil has not yet. made his appearance. Janua.rv 12.

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Issue 15706, 21 January 1915

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER Issue 15706, 21 January 1915

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