6 OCTOBER 1866, Page 3

The discussion about smoking in railway trains has come up

again, and numberless plans are proposed, all of them more or less feasible. The best, however, seems as yet to have escaped atten- tion. It is practised on some lines in Italy, where smoking is allowed everywhere except in the centre compartment of each carriage. Everybody knows the rule, anybody who dislikes smoke seeks the centre, and the lady who sits elsewhere is under- atood to have forfeited her right of protest. Smokers smoke and abstainers abstain, one compartment is always sweet, and nobody is annoyed. In England smoking is not so universal, and the rule might be reversed, the centre compartment being the only one for smokers. Attempts at a total prohibition, which guards and public alike consider unjust, are sure to fail, and indeed are 'utterly unreasonable. If people like to smoke when travelling, -why should not the railway companies meet that taste as well as :any other? A carriage is not a church or a stall at a theatre, -where, in the opinion of divines and lessees, one ought to be made amcomfortable.