23 JANUARY 1909, Page 26

Thom's Official Directory. (A. Thom and Co., Dublin. 216.)— We

are glad to see again this admirable Directory. There is nothing quite like it elsewhere. Of course England is too big for a single volume of the kind, but it would be possible for Scotland. Meanwhile, here is another of the advantages of living in Ireland ; you have this excellent book to turn to, and you also escape a number of taxes. The Directory is full, as might be supposed, of interesting figures. Ireland brewed in 1908 '7,349,014 gallons of spirits, retained 3,084,951 for home use (about three quarts per head of population), and exported the rest to England and Scotland. This means a total duty of £4,032,037 (at 11s, per gallon), but £2,032,837 was paid by consumers in England and Scotland. Is this, we wonder, reokoned in the "over-taxation" of Ireland. More than a thousand offences against the Excise-laws were detected by the Irish Constabulary in the course of the year. The figures about horses, cattle, &c. are most interesting. Here are the exports from Ireland to England for the years 1880 and 1908 :—



Horses and Mules 582,053 634,859 Asses 186,245 241,188 Cattle 8,921,026 4,791,829 Sheep 3,561,861 4,129,628 Pigs 849,046 , There is an increase under every item, which is the more striking when we remember that the population has diminished from about five millions and a half to four millions and a half (the Censuses of 1881 and 1901). A rough calculation of value (£15 for horse, £1 10s. for ass, £9 for cattle, £2 for sheep, ..e2 10s. for pig) shows an increase of more than £9,000,000. And this flourishing industry Mr. Stephen Gwynn and his friends are doing their best to destroy !