5 AUGUST 1916, Page 1

Evidence has been published to show that during the last

few months the large towns in the North of France have been subjected to a forcible evacuation, young girls and boys and their parents having been separated under menace of death and trans- ported to German labour colonies. The proceedings of the pressgang at Lille are described by a French lady writing on April 30th, and show that these raids and the rounding up and deportation of the victims were carried out " with every imaginable refinement of cruelty." We quote from the Times of last Saturday:- " It was 3 o'clock in the morning when these heroes, headed by their bands and armed with bayonets and machine-guns, came to carry off the women and children, God knows where, and God knows why I They say that it is far from the front, for work in no way connected with the war ; but we already know that these unhappy children have been received with stones in districts where the population had refused to worli for the Germans and had been told that they were volunteer workers. It was a devilish lie. . . . At Roubaix Guard officers refused, in view of the calm and worthy attitude of the inhabitants, to carry oft women and children in the night. Here it was the 64th Regiment from Verdun which did it. Some said they would rather have remained in the trenches."