SOME BOOKS OF THE WEEK.
[Notice in this column does not necessarily preclude subsequent review.
THE Jerre MONTHLIES.—The Nineteenth Century has a notable article on " Foul Play for the Ex-Service Man " in which Colonel Gerald Hurst gives specific details of the cruel boycott instituted by some trade unions against ex-sailors and ex-soldiers. The Amalgamated Society of Engineers, with half a million members, refuses to assent to the employment of 1,750 demobilized sol- diers. The Electrical Trades Unions bar ex-sailors from the trade of electrical wiring. The Leeds Ironmoulders and the Waggon Builders, the Sheet Metal Workers and the Clock and Watch Makers' Union exclude all ex-service men. The leather and boot and shoe trade unions of London will permit only 200 ex-service men to be trained for their trades and insist that such men must be under thirty-five and have lost at least one leg. Mr. Hopkinson was prosecuted by the engineering trades unions for a breach of the Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act in employing some of his disabled comrades of the war in his works at Guide Bridge. The selfishness displayed by organized Labour in these and other cases is truly shocking. We cannot believe that the executives represent in this the real feelings of their members. Mr. J. A. R. Marriott, under the title of " The Heel of Achilles," shows why Great Britain cannot under any circumstances permit Ireland to secede, as the Sinn Feiners propose. Mr. Marriott, being a historian with a logical mind, can see no half-way house between Union and 'Separation, nor can he see how the Government's Home Rule Bill will benefit anyone. He quotes Edmund Spenser's despairing remark- " They say it is the fatal destiny of that land that no purposes whatever which are meant for her good will prosper or take effect." The Bishop of Zanzibar has a vigorous article on " Africa and the Blight of Commercialism " ; he proposes that the League of Nations should form an international committee to inspect the Central African colonies and keep a watchful eye on their condition. Mr. J. H. Harley discusses "The Polish Advance," pointing out with truth that it followed immediately upon the repulse of a violent Bolshevik offensive and that it averted a fresh Bolshevik attack on the south-eastern Polish frontier. Mr. Harley's statement of facts will not surprise anyone who has followed the course of events in Poland, but the enemies of the Poles, trusting to the public's forgetfulness, have completely misrepresented their action. Colonel Repington writes on Lord Kitchener. Mr. William Page's learned article on " The Early Development of London " deserves attention. Lord Ernie, returning to his historic studies, gives an interesting account of that popular mediaeval romance, " The Siege of Troy." —Mr. Archibald Hurd in the Fortnightly Review discusses temperately and with knowledge the prospects of American competition at sea both in warships and in merchant ships. He points out that America has increased her mercantile marine fourfold since the war began, and that she will have at the end of this year 13,800,000 gross tons of sea-going vessels. She finds it easier to build ships than to man them. Even the American Navy lacks half the men that it needs : seventy-three out of a hundred and four destroyers are laid up for want of crews. Mr. Hurd says very justly that " if we are to regain our primacy we must do so by offering, as we offered in 1914 and earlier years, the most efficient service." He adds that, " if by any chance our mercantile marine seriously declined, it is probable that at least half our working population would be thrown out of employment." Mr. Kennedy Jones replies to criticisms of his recent book in an article on " Journalism a Branch of Com- merce." Sir Thomas Barclay records a somewhat inconclusive conversation with a Bolshevik in Berlin. Mr. Marriott dis- cusses the Budget, and, quoting Mr. Gladstone's remark that " Good finance consists more in the spending than in the col- lecting of revenue," he points out that large reductions of expenditure must involve the curtailment of " social reform." Miss Picton-Turbervill states clearly " The Case for State Purchase and Control of the Liquor Traffic." Mr. Stephen Graham's personal impressions of " The Spirit of America after the War " are interesting ; we may note that he blames our Government for undertaking too much propaganda in America, whereas they are usually abused for doing too little.—In the Contemporary Review Lord Haldane has a cautious paper on " The Nature of the State," with a reminder that public opinion is always changing. Sir Charles Mallet begins a vigorous denunciation of Mr. Lloyd George with the odd remark that " the chief event in home politics during the past few weeks has been the revival of the Liberal Party." Dr. Hagberg Wright explains " Hungary's Appeal to England " ; he proposes that Hungary should be excused for making war on us and our Allies, and should be allowed to dominate the Slava and Rumanians within the old frontiers of Hungary. This is impossible. But there is no reason why the Magyars and their neighbours should not trade together. The political changes need not affect the Magyar farmers nor the factories of Budapest. Professor J. W. Gregory has a valuable article on " The Conservation of our Coal Resources." " So long as the output is not greatly above the 1913 amount, our coal supplies will last for several centuries and the position is safe." We fear that there is little prospect, in the present temper of the Miners' Federation, of the output ever again reaching the level of 1913. Professor Gregory's plea for fuel economy deserves the most serious attention, not because we are exhausting our coalfields but because the output per miner is steadily declining. Mlle. Marie de Perrot gives an interesting account of the progress of reoon- struction in the ravaged northern departments of France.— In the National Review a civilian who served through the war in the Army Service Corps in Mesopotamia and India has a caustic article, headed " Inactive Service," on the obsolete methods of Army administration. He points out that his experience refuted the Socialist theory that " men work harder and better because they are public servants," though it was not necessary to go beyond Whitehall to learn that lesson. He suffered, he tells us, from lack of work as well as from the feeling that much of the work which he did was entirely futile. But the Indian bureaucracy is of course incorrigible. Sir Frederick Maurice, in a note on " Sir Douglas Haig and General Mangin," shows that General Mangin, in his excellent articles on the war in the Revue des Deux Mondea, has done a serious injustice to the British Commander-in-Chief in imputing to him—and not to General Nivelle—the suspension of the Somme offensive in the early weeks of 1917. Sir Frederick Maurice quotes General Nivelle's instructions virtually compelling Sir Douglas Haig to curtail his plans which might:have ended the war a year sooner. Mr. E. K. Mahon's summary account of General Denikin's campaign is of interest and value. Mr G D. CUMMillE1 discusses the highly important question of " Industrial Alcohol," which could be distilled from potatoes and relieve the scarcity of petrol if only the Government would not place obstacles in the way. Mr. A. W. Gore, the old lawn-tennis champion, recalls his " Wim- bledon Memories," and Lord Hartington has a lively and amusing article on " Salmon-Fishing in Low Water."— Blackwood contains the second and concluding part of a British officer's narrative of the operations east of the Jordan during General Allenby's final offensive. Mr. Ward Price describes Dr. Kapp's insurrection as " Junkerdom's Hundred Hours," concluding somewhat optimistically that " militarism and Junkerdom in Germany are causes lost beyond all hope of resurrection." Mr. J. A. Strahan, under the heading of " Oppo- sites," considers the strange fact that revolutionaries in. England are always anti-English, whereas in Ireland they are all national- ists. He thinks that the Celtic Irish like the lower-class Jews, are never absorbed by the general population in the Anglo- Saxon and Protestant countries to which they now emigrate. It is certainly noteworthy that when in the old days the Celtic Irish went to France, Spain or South America they identified themselves with these countries, whereas now they remain centres of unrest in Great Britain or the Dominions or America. Mr. Strahan does not take account of the fact that the earlier emigrants were mostly of a higher social standing than the poor and ignorant peasants and labourers who form the majority of the modern Irish emigrants. Mr. C. E. Montague contributes a witty study of Irish soldiers in a hospital ward, entitled " A Pilgrim of Peace."—The London Mercury has an amusing article on Chaucer by Mr. Aldous Huxley, an appreciation of Mr. Max Beerbohm by Mr. Bohun Lynch, and an article by Mr. Shanks on " The Poetry of John Freeman." The most notable poem is Mr. Geoffrey Dearmer's " Vision of God "- to a soldier in the trenches—which has some impressive lines. Each month sees this admirable review covering a larger part of the field of art and letters. In this number, for example, there is a highly interesting " Letter from Italy," by Signor Mario Prez.