On the basis of the latest figures relating to petroleum output in Burma, it looks as though the motoring world in India may have to await the competition of American freights and Persian oil production before it can hope to secure a return to the halcyon prices for petrol in vogue before the war. In other words, the petroleum output of Burma for 1917 has suffered a considerable setback as compared with the figures for the previous year, having been only 272,795,191 gallons against 291,769,083 gallons in 1916. Bearing in mind the fact that the latter figure represents Burma’s record output, the falling off might possibly be looked upon as a merely temporary phenomenon, but it has to be noted that the latest figures are the lowest recorded since 1912, when the total (according to the Rangoon Gazette) was 245,335,209 gallons. Of the two principal oil-bearing areas Yenangyaung is admittedly showing diminishing returns, while the output of Singu is on the up grade. With regard to the latte field, there was a sudden and alarming fall in its productivity between the years 1908 and 1911, but in the latter year it began to recover itself, and has gone on recording satisfactory increases ever since. It remains to be seen whether Burma has or has not reached its high water mark as an oil producing country.
FATAL ACCIDENT AT OORGAUM
About 9 o’clock last night while Edward Thomas, fitting shop foreman, Champion Reefs Mine, was returning home from the club at Oorgaum on a motor cycle, he appears to have run into a vehicle of some sort near Oorgaum new circular shaft, where his dead body was found a little later by Messrs. Trythall, Kendall, White and Weir, who were going from the club to their homes at the Mysore Mine by motor. They found near-by a carriage shaft about a foot long with a brass ferrule. They conveyed the body to the mines hospital where the police are holding an inquest today. The only external injury is a contused wound on the left breast. It is presumed that impact with the shaft broke some ribs which penetrated the heart and caused death instantaneously. Deceased was only 34 years old and has a wife in England.
PROPAGANDA IN CHINA
Mr. King recently asked in the House of Commons why a journal called Truth was produced by the Ministry of Information for circulation in the Far East without expert correction; whether Dr. Giles, Professor of Chinese at Cambridge University, had declared that the publications of the Ministry for use in China were of a low type, as from an educated man, childish, and the title Truth W.S., in Chinese ears, absurd. Mr. Stanley Baldwin, in a written reply, states that Dr. Giles, Professor of Chinese at Cambridge University, is not acting as adviser to the Ministry of Information. The letterpress of the journal Truth, since the first few issues, has been produced under the expert supervision of Dr. Lionel Giles, of the British Museum. In his opinion, the letterpress is not of a low type. The style is neither too literary nor too colloquial, but calculated to make the widest appeal to the general public in China.
RANGOON COOLY STRIKE CASE
A.R. Bhimani, H.R. Mehta, S.P. Murthi and M.K. Rao, who were recently convicted under the Defence of India Act and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment each, reduced to one year by the Chief Court, in what is known as the cooly strike case, will be released from jail tomorrow morning as an act of grace by the Lieutenant-Governor. In view of the armistice concluded, the Local Government has taken into consideration the sentence of one year’s rigorous imprisonment passed on A.R. Bhimani, H.R. Mehta, S.P. Murthi, and M.K. Rao by the Chief Court on appeal for a breach of section 24A of the Defence of India Rules of 1915. Sir Reginald Craddock fully endorses the views taken by the appellate court that these persons are men who, for the sake of other schemes, without scruple accepted the risk of causing irremediable harm, and that an exemplary sentence calculated to act as a deterrent was called for.
When Germany addressed herself to President Wilson she evidently had in mind two possibilities. Neither has materialised. Germany hoped the conversations would reveal divergencies of views among the Allies which she could profitably exploit, but she also wished to anticipate peace moves by Austria and Turkey so that they could go to the conference table as a solid alliance. It is authoritatively stated that the Allies at Versailles maintained perfect harmony and by detaching Turkey and Austria they have left Germany isolated. In consenting to the evacuation of France and Belgium, Germany calculated on being allowed to withdraw unmolested and securing, with pourparlers and the winter interregnum, five months wherein to reorganise her armies for the conduct on a shorter line of a new war whose defensive character should unite all her people.