100 Years Ago | 21 December 1918


The fact that the Congress of German Soviets excluded Herr Liebknecht from their gathering in Berlin hardly tends to elucidate the relationship of the various Socialist groups in Germany. The relations of the two great majority and Minority factions of the war period are clean enough. Led, the one by Herr Ebert, and the other by Herr Haase, they have coalesced to form the existing central government. Of the Old Parliamentary Socialists there remain the extremists of the old Social Democrat party led by Herr Liebknecht. These constitute the Spartacus group. They are pure anarchists, or Bolsheviks as it has become usual to call them. They are in violent opposition to the Ebert-Haase Ministerial Socialists, whom they dub “bourgeois,” and they have done their best – but failed so far – to subvert by Russian methods such law and order as the Ebert-Haase Socialists have created. The difficulty occurs when an endeavour is made to place the Soviets in relation to the Ministerialists on the one hand and the Spartacus extremists on the other. The recent Congress of Soviets in Berlin refused to have anything to do with Liebknecht and he was left to clamour in the street. Sometimes, however, the constituents of the Soviets appear as extremists who will not tolerate the genuine Constituent Assembly advocated by Herr Ebert. Possibly the Soviets contain the vast wavering mass of non-professional politicians which it is the effort now of the Ministerialist Socialists, now of the Liebknecht anarchists, to win to their side.
A meeting convened by prominent citizens of Poona belonging to all castes was held this afternoon in the Kirloskar theatre to accord support to the principle of Mr. Patel’s Hindu Inter-caste Marriage Bill. It was designedly confined to those who were in favour of the Bill. It became apparent long before the time of the meeting, however, that the oppositionists had rushed in and occupied nearly the whole theatre. Two days before handbills were circulated broadcast, the oppositionists caricaturing the effects of inter-caste marriages and appealing to Mr. Tilak’s authority in opposition to the Bill. The arrival of the conveners of the meeting like the Hon. Mr. Paranjypye and Mr. N.C. Kelkar was greeted with continued hisses, and it was impossible even to begin the proceedings. Thereupon the meeting was declared dissolved. The plan of the oppositionists was to hold their own meeting at this very place, but as that was not allowed they adjourned to Mr. Tilak’s house and held a meeting. There were cries of “The triumph of democracy, the fall of sycophancy” outside the theatre.
The Burma branch of the Anglo-Indian Empire League memorialised the Local Government in May last on the subject of the medical examination of women, protesting against a method they alleged was adopted in certain cases brought to their notice and urging the expediency of entrusting such examination to women doctors wherever this is possible. The Government replied on the 16th August. A notification has now been issued on the subject to the Inspector-General of Civil Hospitals, Burma by the Secretary to the Local Government, who says, I am directed to say that the Government of India have sanctioned the proposal that Local Governments should be given discretion to extend the scope of the notes to articles 50 and 833 of the Civil Service Regulations to any classes of Government service in which women are employed. It is, therefore, desirable that the power of granting health certificates and sick certificates should be conferred on lady doctors in Government service.
Some time ago the Burma Chamber of Commerce called the attention of the Government and Customs authority to articles imported from Japan in boxes marked “Made in Germany,” and protested against their being admitted, as, if made in Japan, the trade descriptions were false while if made in Germany they should be prohibited. The Chamber has also called attention to Japanese handkerchiefs bearing excellent imitations of currency notes of various value which are being sold. The Customs authorities have replied that all goods imported from Japan direct or from Indian ports are being strictly examined.

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