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As regards the age of the plant-bearing beds the possibilities range from the Permo-Carboniferous to the Rhaetic; the former is regarded as the more probable.
A considerable section of the paper is devoted to "General Considerations suggested by the occurrence of Glossopteris in Antarctica" (pp. 25-39). The uniformity of the Devono-Carboniferous flora throughout the world is contrasted with the appearance of more or less distinct Northern and Southern Floras in PermoCarboniferous times. In the northern region there is no evidence of seasonal changes or of glacial conditions, while in the south glaciation was widely prevalent, and the fossil trees show annual rings in their wood. In fact, as the author points out, the Glossopteris Flora is generally associated with glacial deposits. The interesting suggestion is made that Glossopteris may have been a gregarious and deciduous plant.
The prevalence of glacial conditions in the southern hemisphere at that period adds to the difficulty of understanding how a highly organised vegetation could have flourished so near the Pole as Lat. 85°. No explanation, unfortunately, can be given; the author contents himself with the cautious statement: "That there has been a considerable change of climate is certain, but the palæobotanical data cannot be be regarded as evidence favourable to an alteration in the position of the earth's axis." (p. 41).
Prof. Seward regards the Antarctic discoveries as supporting the late Dr. Blanford's view that the Glossopteris Flora may have been first differentiated on the great Antarctic continent, towards the close of the Carboniferous epoch (p. 42).
The concluding words of the memoir command our sympathy: "The heroic efforts of the Polar party were not in vain.. They have laid a solid foundation; their success raises hope for the future, and will stimulate their successors to provide material for the superstructure.'
D. H. S.
FUTURE COMPETITION WITH GERMANY. HE current issue of the Bulletin d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie nationale (May-June, 1915, No. 3, vol. 122) is of special interest, inasmuch as it gives the views of men, each eminent in his own particular sphere, on the reasons why much of French trade has been captured by Germans; and also their suggestions for preventing the commercial aggression of the Germans after the war. The bulletin begins with a short preface by the president, M. Léon Lindet; this is followed by suggestions by M. Niclousse to the following effect: (i) A statute is to be passed for stopping foreign, and especially German, individuals, companies, or products from masquerading as French. It is urged that all machines, apparatus, and products should be of French manufacture and, if possible, invented by a French(ii) A circular to be issued by the Syndicate
of Mechanicians, Boiler-makers, and Foundrymen, urging the public to avoid purchasing anything of German or Austro-Hungarian manufacture, and to buy rather from the Allies. (iii) To prevent Frenchmen from acting as agents for the enemy. (iv) To employ no German means of transport.
Much of the French material was made in districts now occupied by Germany; it is sad to read that 95 per cent. of the steel made by the Gilchrist-Thomas process, 90 per cent. of the iron ore, 100 per cent. of steel tubes, 76'6 per cent. of rails, etc., formerly made in France, are now in German hands. On the other hand, iron alloys, cast-iron, spiegel-iron, iron coated with zinc, copper, and lead, have been little affected.
It is also hoped that duties will no longer be levied on raw materials; French manufacture has hitherto been handicapped by this.
The Syndicate of Pharmacy also suggests that French medical men be circularised, and that lists be furnished them of substances of German origin which should not be purchased. The Society of Lithographers, in its report, states that lithographic stones, previously obtained from Munich, may be replaced by plates of zinc and aluminium with advantage. Bronze leaves, and bronze, copper, and aluminium powders, it appears, have not been made in France; it is recommended that their manufacture be begun. The German success has been largely due to long credits; they sell machines, and by their banking system can afford to wait long for payment. Subsidised German transport gives German manufacturers a great advantage; it is often cheaper for a Frenchman to send his goods through Hamburg than directly from one part of France to another. A better French consular system is called for, as well as the revival of apprenticeship, and the more loyal co-operation of workmen.
Portland cement has not been troubled with German competition in France; but the machines are of German make. It appears that 80 per cent. of the cement works are in territory at present occupied by the German army.
Agricultural implements, though made to some extent in France, have largely been imported from the United States. It is suggested in this report that lending corporations, trusting for repayment to the honour of the borrowers, would be of great service, and that they would rarely have loans out to defaulters.
Such are the reports on various industries. They all reprobate German methods as unfair, while giving credit to the Germans for great industry and power of organisation.
A long article follows by Prof. Henri Hauser, of Dijon, on "German Industry as a Factor in War." He attributes to the Germans the good qualities of regular, methodical work, and a sense of, or even a genius for, organisation. "It is the union of the laboratory and the factory which has created German wealth." "It is also to be remarked that there is a close link between the director's office and the library of the economist,
the geographer, and the historian." "The German chemist and the German commercial traveller walk side by side to conquer the world." These and other similar aphorisms explain the astonishingly rapid growth of German industry.
Nothing is more erroneous than to describe Germany as an over-peopled country. Of the 67 million Germans, 17 millions are tillers of the soil; but every year peasants throng into the towns; there are above 45 towns of more than 100,000 inhabitants. Cereals and meat have to be imported to feed 20 million Germans. Cotton is the largest import; its value is about 500 million marks, or 25 million pounds sterling. Germany requires much capital; new companies and ventures are continually being started; and owing to the system of credit, it may be said that she swallows capital before its birth. Companies with an imposing capital rest on the credit of industrial banks; these on Central banks; these again on the Deutsche Bank, which is guaranteed by the Reichsbank, that is, the credit of the whole German State. order to pay for her imports, foreign trade is essential to Germany; she must sell her manufactured products. This war is being waged to keep and to gain foreign commerce. Konrad Hönisch, the Social-Democrat, said: "It is the social interests of the proletariat, even more than any political considerations, which render the victory of Germany imperative." The Industrial State is therefore condemned to participate in a "Welt-politik."
Prof. Hauser gives instances of "dumping"; e.g., in 1900, iron wire cost in Germany 25 marks per 100 kilograms, and elsewhere 14 marks; in 1902, the Coke Syndicate forced the consumer to pay 15 marks a ton, while coke was sold abroad for 11 marks. But the gain exceeds the loss; the State-supported syndicate makes this possible. In the former instance there was a loss on foreign trade of 859,000 marks, but a gain on home trade of 1,117,000 marks.
The Germans form companies abroad, largely from foreign capital; but the majority of the directorate are Germans. For example, the Banque des Chemins de Fer orientaux of Zürich has a board of eight German directors, one Austrian, five Swiss, one French, and one Belgian. The ordinary shares are all held by Germans; the preference shares, with a lower rate of interest, by the foreign subscribers, for the low rate of interest does not tempt German investors. In Italy a similar state of things exists. All large concerns, such as the Nord Deutscher Lloyd, the HamburgAmerika line, the Deutsche Bank, the DiscontoGesellschaft, Siemens-Schuckert, Krupp, and Guison are subventioned by the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs; furthermore they are helped by a kind of industrial espionage, as well as by guarantees and subsidies. "Germany was in a blue funk' about her commerce. What would become of Essen, of Gelsenkirchen, of all Westphalia, if the Roumanians, Greeks, and Serbs were to order their cannon, rails, or locomotives from Glasgow or Creusot? War appeared preferable to
Germany than a huge commercial crash, and the iron hand replaced the velvet glove." "Little by little the idea of a necessary war-a war almost to be wished for-became the desire of the working classes; failing it, they might starve, and their employers, the capitalists, be ruined." "After the great war is over the commercial war will be on us again. We must prepare now."
To this essay there follow some interesting articles by M. Delloye, by M. Ernest Fourneau, director of the Laboratory of Therapeutic Chemistry at the Pasteur Institute, M. Justin Dupont, Prof. Wahl of Nancy, M. Legouëz, and M. Ribes-Christophle. Among other observations we note one stating that French manufacturers usually only keep pace with current demand for goods; when a period of prosperity sets in, he cannot supply the increased demand, and his customers are driven to buy German goods; for Germans have always reserve plant ready for an emergency. For this reason they are able to execute orders more quickly; what it takes three months to supply in France can be delivered from Germany in a fortnight. M. Fourneau gives much interesting information on German drug manufacture; he concludes: "You know that fraud and slimness pass in Germany for quasi-virtues. Germany, after having tried to frighten its adversary by its terrifying appearance, knows well how to appear humble, insignificant, and invisible." M. Dupont directs attention to the enormous task before the Allies of overtaking the German colour manufacture, which has been elaborated during the past forty years. Drugs, dyes, and explosives are so interlaced that the byproducts of one manufacture often serve as the raw material of the others. M. Ribes-Christophle treats of German commerce in Argentina. False labels for goods, and adulteration are common. German firms, too, supported by their banks, i.e., by the Central Government, sell at first at a loss, until they have killed out competitors. Their banks, of which there are branches in Argentina, act as company-promoters.
The impression gained from these articles is that German trade is largely fraudulent, sometimes honest, always methodical; that it is regarded as the duty of the State to support it by all means, moral and immoral; and that France must take steps to exclude it if she is to retain her position as a manufacturing nation. What these steps are has not yet been indicated. We shall look forward with the utmost interest to their decision; but it should be one taken in concert with the Allies. WILLIAM RAMSAY.
PROF. PAUL EHRLICH.
ONLY recently we lost Löffler, one of the
pioneers of modern bacteriology, and now Paul Ehrlich has passed away. He died on August 20, as all good workers might wish to die -suddenly in his laboratory, in full harness, and before the rust of age had dimmed his powers.
Born in 1854 at Strehlen, in Silesia, of Jewish
parents, he was one of the many distinguished Hebrews who have contributed to make Germany's fame what it is in the world of science and art. He was educated at the Gymnasium at Breslau, and afterwards at the Universities of Breslau and Strasburg, where he graduated in medicine. From the outset of his career he took the deepest interest in the chemical relationships of living matter and in the affinities of various reagents for living cells. One of his earliest researches was upon the effects of certain aniline colours upon living tissues, and he devoted much attention to staining methods, devising new stains, and Ehrlich's hæmatoxylin and Ehrlich's triacid. stain are stock solutions in the present-day biological laboratory. An investigation on staining methods for the tubercle bacillus led to the discovery that certain dyes possessed a peculiar affinity for this bacillus, and this fact tinged his whole philosophy, and suggested the conception of the specific affinity of certain chemical groups for particular cells and tissues.
He carried out pioneer work in hæmatology, differentiating and classifying the various forms of leucocytes or white blood-corpuscles.
His bent now turned largely on chemical lines. Diphtheria antitoxin had been discovered by Roux and Behring, but discrepancies in its standardisation came to light, and Ehrlich set himself to elucidate the cause of these discrepancies. As an outcome of this work a method of standardisation was evolved which exists to this day, and the strength of diphtheria antitoxin is now practically always described in Ehrlich "units." This work led on to an investigation of the mode of genesis of antitoxin, and the publication of the now famed "side-chain theory" of the formation of anti-bodies in general.
Ehrlich also performed some notable researches on cancer, and developed the atreptic theory of certain forms of immunity, but this investigation was dropped before long, probably because he foresaw that it was unlikely to bear fruit.
He now returned to some of his earlier work on the specific affinity of dyes and other substances for certain cells and micro-organisms, particularly the protozoan parasites. In trypan red he found a substance which attacked certain species of trypanosomes and cured the infection caused by them, but he failed to find a substance which would cure the allied trypanosomiasis in man. Besides dyes, a large number of complex organic compounds of arsenic and mercury were prepared and tested by himself and his assistants, and resulted in the discovery of "606," or salvarsan, as a cure for syphilis.
in his steps, will widen into a broad highway. Ehrlich was honoured by almost every university. He was Croonian lecturer of the Royal Society, and joint recipient with Metchnikoff of the Nobel prize, and his genial and striking personality was well known to British bacteriologists. In 1897 he was created Geheimrath, and in 1911 Wirklicher Geheimrath.
In the present strife of nations, we British will be the first to recognise that in the death of Paul Ehrlich a great man, worthy to be ranked with Pasteur, Lister, and Koch in his particular line, has passed away.
FREDERICK VICTOR DICKINS, C.B. THEN it became known to the friends of F. V. Dickins only a few days ago that a serious surgical operation had been suddenly called for, they sadly recognised that the end was probably not far off. Heart failure and the weight of over seventy-seven years closed his life on Monday, August 16.
Dickins was a remarkable man and had enjoyed a singularly varied and interesting life. Medicine first attracted him, and after graduating (1861) M.B. and B.Sc. in the University of London, he served for five years in the Navy between China and Japan. Then he took up law, and having been called to the bar in 1870 he practised in Yokohama for many years, and at this time began to give increasing attention to those Oriental studies which occupied him to the end of his life. In 1882 he became Assistant Registrar to the University of London, the late Arthur Milman being then Registrar. It was in this capacity that he became known to the large circle of eminent men connected with the university, and especially the examiners. Soon after his appointment the practical examinations of the university were considerably amplified in scope, and examinations in practical physics were introduced for the first time. It is not too much to say that the successful conduct of these examinations at the outset was largely due to the energy of the assistant registrar, who not only obtained the necessary apparatus, but set up much of it with his own hands when required for the use of the examiners. A technical assistant for this business was employed later. He succeeded Milman as registrar in 1896.
Dickins read widely and was familiar with the chief advances in physical and natural science, in which he took great interest. But his speciality
was Japanese and, to a less extent, Chinese language and literature. After retiring from the registrarship in 1901 his leisure was therefore naturally occupied with his favourite studies, and we owe to his pen the two volumes of "Primitive and Medieval Japanese Texts," published by the Clarendon Press in 1906, and the translation of the charming Japanese "Story of a Hida Craftsman" in 1912, besides other works.
Dickins was a member of the Athenæum, but owing to failing health and distance, he retired from the club two years ago.
THE Royal Society is compiling a register of scient fic and technical men in Great Britain and Ireland, who are willing to give their services in connection with the war. The register will be classified into subjects, and will ultimately constitute a large panel of men of standing, whose services will be available whenever any Government department or similar authority requires specialist assistance. The register is being co-ordinated with those independently compiled by other societies and institutions, but the Royal Society would be glad to have applications for forms from such members of the staffs of colleges and technical institutions as have not yet been registered by any society. The Royal Society is also drawing up with the co-operation of the principal societies and institutions, a list of scientific and technical men actually on active service in His Majesty's forces. Any names, with rank and unit, for this list will be gratefully received by the secretaries at Burlington House, Piccadilly, W.
We learn that Mr. M. T. Dawe, formerly a member of the gardening staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, sometime Superintendent of the Botanical and Forestry Department, Uganda, and lately Director of Agriculture, British East Africa, has been appointed Agricultural Adviser to the Government of Colombia.
THE Chilean war vessel General Baquedano, which
has recently returned from Easter Island, has brought
news of the Easter Island Expedition of Mr. and Mrs. Scoresby Routledge up to June 8, at which date the expedition had been fourteen months in residence, during which time a careful survey had been made of the existing antiquities and such ethnographical information collected as is still available.
THE Hutchinson medal for research, of the London School of Economics and Political Science, has been awarded to Mr. R. C. Mills for his thesis on “The Colonisation of Australia, 1829-1842: the Wakefield Experiment in Empire Building," and the Gladstone Memorial prize to Mr. C. M. Jones.
WE regret to hear that Capt. W. E. G. Atkinson, son of the late Prof. Atkinson, of the Staff College, Camberley, was killed at the Dardanelles on August 6. Capt. Atkinson was educated first at Clifton College and afterwards at the Wye Agricultural College, where he had a very successful career. In 1902 he left Wye and proceeded to the Rothamsted Experiment Station as a post-graduate research worker. Prior to that date there had been very few such workers at any time, and none for a number of years. Capt. Atkinson was the first of the modern contingent, which has since swelled considerably. He worked with Mr. Hall on the problem of quality in wheat. Millers and farmers alike recognised the marked differences between varieties of wheat, some the so-called strong wheats-giving grain of high baking quality, possessing great capacity for forming large, well-piled loaves, while, others-known as weak wheats-gave rise to squat, heavy-looking loaves, much less attractive in appearance. No satisfactory
chemical work, however, had been done to explain the cause of these differences; a certain number of analytical investigations had been made, but these aimed rather at discriminating between the strong and the weak wheats than at the elucidation of the cause of strength. Under Mr. Hall's guidance, Atkinson worked out the various analytical data for a series of wheats of known baking properties, and was thus able to eliminate the unsatisfactory methods, and fix attention on the better ones; in particular it was demonstrated that the percentage of nitrogen largely, but not entirely, affords a measure of strength in wheat. This information has proved valuable in subsequent studies of the problem. Capt. Atkinson then took an appointment as lecturer in agriculture at Reading, but later on went in for actual farming, a course he had always desired to follow.
CAPTAIN ARTHUR KELLAS, R.A.M.C. (T.F.), who was killed in action at the Dardanelles on August 6, was senior assistant physician at the Royal Asylum, Aberdeen. He was a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, having taken the degrees of M.B. and Ch. B. in 1906, and that of D.P.H. in 1907. In 1914 he obtained the new diploma of psychiatry in the University of Edinburgh. His tenure of office at the Royal Asylum was a strikingly successful one; on both the therapeutic and the administrative sides he evinced gifts of no ordinary type. His work in the Physiological Laboratory of the University was characterised by qualities of a very high order, and marked him out as a man of notable promise as a scientific worker. Added to this his singular personal charm has made the sudden ending of his career to be widely and deeply deplored..
We regret to note the death, on August 20, at the age of fifty-one, of Mr. W. Hugh Spottiswoode, son of Mr. William Spottiswoode, a former president of the Royal Society. Mr. Hugh Spottiswoode was for a time a manager of the Royal Institution, to which, in 1899, he presented his late father's collection of physical apparatus; he later gave his father's mathematical MSS. to the London Mathematical Society.
THE death is recorded in the Victorian Naturalist of Mr. F. Manson Bailey, of Brisbane, at the age of eighty-eight years. Mr. Bailey, who died on June 25 was Colonial Botanist for Queensland from 1881 until within a short time of his death.
We regret to record the death, on August 14, at the age of sixty-one years, of Capt. E. W. Owens,
chief examiner of masters and mates.
A BRONZE bas-relief-the work of Mr. S. N. Babbis about to be erected in St. Paul's Cathedral in memory of Captain Scott and his companions who perished in the Antarctic. At the request of the committee responsible for the memorial an inscription for the memorial has been written by Lord Curzon, which reads as follows:-"In memory of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N., Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson, Captain Lawrence E. G. Oates, Lieut. Henry R. Bowers, and Petty Officer Edgar Evans, who died on their return journey from the South Pole in February and March, 1912. Inflexible of purpose,
steadfast in courage, resolute in endurance in the face of unparalleled misfortune. Their bodies are lost in the Antarctic ice. But the memory of their deeds is an everlasting monument."
In addition to his name being expunged from the list of honorary members of the laryngological societies of Vienna and Berlin, in consequence of his having protested in a letter to the Times against the barbarities of Germany in the war, the name of Sir Felix Semon has been removed from the Internationales Centralblatt für Laryngologie, which journal he founded twenty-five years ago. We learn from the British Medical Journal that, in consequence of this action, all the British editorial contributors to the Centralblatt who have had an opportunity of seeing the declaration have withdrawn their names from and resigned their editorial connection with it. Among these are Dr. Peter McBride, Dr. H. J. Davis, Dr. Logan Turner, and Dr. Watson-Williams. They have taken this course as the only effective protest open to them against the affront to a British colleague for whom they entertain the highest respect involved in the removal of his name from an international journal founded by him. Their American collaborator, Dr. Emil Mayer, has also severed his connection with the journal as a protest against the step taken by the editor and publisher.
WE notice, from the second edition of the "War List" of the Manchester Municipal School of Technology, that the following members of the staff of the school have joined H.M. Forces on active service, in addition to those named in NATURE of July 15th:Prof. A. C. Dickie, department of architecture, 2nd Lieut. Manchester University O.T.C.; F. S. Sinnatt, department of applied chemistry, Capt. Manchester University O.T.C.; F. Bowman, department of mathematics, Naval Instructor; J. L. Owen, department of applied chemistry, Lce.-Corpl. R.A.M.C. Sanitary Corps; W. W. Stainer, department of electrical engineering, 2nd Lieut. 3/4th Batt. Royal Sussex Regiment.
THE twenty-sixth annual general meeting of the Institution of Mining Engineers will be held at Leeds on September 15, when the following papers will be communicated:-Some effects of earth-movement on the coal-measures of the Sheffield district (South Yorkshire and the neighbouring parts of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire), Prof. W. G. Fearnsides; Compressed air for coal-cutters, S. Mavor; Gasproducers at collieries for obtaining power and byeproducts from unsaleable fuel, M. H. Mills. During the meeting the Institution medal for the year 1914-15 will be presented to Dr. J. S. Haldane, in recognition of his investigations in connection with mine air.
THE annual exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society is being held as usual (it closes on October 2) at the Suffolk Street Galleries, and although it of necessity suffers in some ways by reason of the war, special efforts in possible directions have, we think, brought the interest of the show fully up to its usual level. The contributions from America are note