Page images
PDF
EPUB

as

name

as

guide, nor a reference to more than one work on instalment of a well-known work of reference. The German forestry, is requested not to despise it on that original “ Index Kewensis,” the monumental work account, nor to conclude prematurely that the author owed to Sir Joseph Hooker and Mr. Daydon Jackson, has written on a subject he knows nothing about." gives the reference for generic and specific names

The book is a fairly bulky one, and consists of published up to 1885. For names published during thirteen

the next ten years we have the first supplement, the chapters and

twenty-three illustrations, work of M. Durand, of Brussels, and Mr. Jackson. representing different woodland scenes. The opening This makes but slow progress, and has now reached chapter gives an interesting historical account of Ph; the last number appeared at the end of November, English forests and the origin of forestry. The 1903. Hence, while the present instalment carries us, present conditions,

the
future prospects and

for the first half of the alphabet, to the end of last possibilities of extended afforestation are next dealt century, as regards the last ten letters we are twenty

years behind time! with. The sylvicultural treatment of the commoner

As implied in the heading, the supplement inconiferous and deciduous trees, and the financial cludes not only new names, but also synonyms, results to be derived therefrom, is a chapter which that is, those names which, in works published will be read with interest by proprietor and forester in the interval in question, have been transferred

to
other genera

or regarded alike. Planting and natural regeneration are dealt

identical with

names previously published. Thus the eight names with in a satisfactory manner. A chapter on the under Eriachne represent old species, chiefly of measurement of timber and its selling value contains Nees, which more recent workers have transferred much information, which will be of the greatest to Achneria. The inclusion of synonymy, while unuse to the English estate forester. The home nursery doubtedly of value, must add considerably to the and forest management receive their due share of labour of preparation. Moreover, while in some cases

the citation of a attention. The author has not forgotten the arbori- justified, it is in others merely the expression

a synonym is amply cultural aspect of the forester's profession. His of the opinion of one school of botanists, or perha is chapters on landscape forestry and park and avenue only of an individual worker, on a matter about which trees are written with much artistic feeling, perhaps much may be said on both sides. In our and contain many valuable suggestions. The more opinion the great use of the “ Index” is that implied important injurious fungi and animals, including

in its title; the working botanist wants a list coninsects, are dealt with in a chapter under the head taining every published name, he wants it as soon as

possible after publication, and to get an exhaustive ing “Enemies of English Woodlands.” It deals and up-to-date index he will sacrifice much in the way with only a few of the outstanding pests which are of botanical comment, however valuable. Refer him of practical importance. There is probably no pest

to the place and date of publication, and you will earn about which more has been said or written than the his lasting gratitude. He should be able to draw his.

own conclusions as to the relative value of the names. larch canker disease, and we find the author is no

The omission of the date from the references is, exception to the rule. A great many pages are we think, matter for regret; it would have involved devoted to this disease alone. It consists essentially but very little additional labour at the time; moreover, of a criticism of all the theories that have been it is given in the first supplement, an improvement advanced regarding the disease since the introduction instituted by Messrs. Durand and Jackson. There are of the larch. Much of what he says is undoubtedly also other omissions which we shall hope to

rectified in an appendix or addendum. A. B. R. true, but we must confess we find great difficulty in following the author through many of his arguments, Birds I have Known. By Arthur H. Beavan. Pp. especially those which are based upon purely suppo- 256. (London : T. Fisher Unwin, 1905.) Price 5s. sitional grounds.

This little book records the author's experience of Regarding the book as a whole, we find a great

birds during many years in many lands and on many deal of historical detail in its pages. Past and

its sole purpose being to bring to its present methods are criticised without reserve. It creatures of the Almighty.?

readers' notice the ways and habits of these beautiful will not replace any of the already existing text-books With such a preface, and after the author's assurintended for the instruction of the young forester, but ance that he prefers the unquestioning belief of his as an addition to our existing literature on forestry little son in the Bible story of Creation to the Dar

a little taken we may recommend its perusal to those interested in winian theory of evolution, we the subject.

aback at the author's treatment of the Creator's handiwork,

“I have always loved the birds,” he protests.

Unfortunate birds! His earliest manifestation of this OUR BOOK SHELF.

love was, on his own confession, to endeavour to

catch them with the proverbial pinch of salt! Age Index Kewensis Plantarum Phanerogamarum.

brought wisdom, however, and with the judgment of Supplementum secundum, nomina et synonyma omnium generum

mature years a piece of pork concealing a fish-hook et specierum ab initio anni

was found more efficacious! MDCCCXCVI. usque ad finem anni MDCCCC complectens. Ductu et consilio W. T. Thiselton: he displayed in waylaying with a gun such rare birds

In other places he naïvely describes the patience Dyer confecerunt herbarii horti regii botanici Kewensis

as he happened to discover. Descanting upon the curatores. Abama-Leucocoryne. Pp. 103. (Oxford: Clarendon Press,

glories of Cornwall as a happy hunting-ground, he 1904.) Price

gives a list ‘of the rarities that may turn up here. 12s. net.

during gales, enumerating such species as the golden WORKERS at the systematic botany of seed-plants, and oriole, Bohemian waxwing, hoopoe, and spoonbillall who are concerned that plants should have their just those, in short, which the true bird-lover is most right names, will welcome the appearance of this latest anxious protect. The chance of killing such

see

seas

are

to

assures

[ocr errors]

same

prizes, he
us, makes the ornithologist

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. * despise common bird-life," and look only for [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions rarities!

expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake Concerning the toucan and hornbill, he writes :

to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected “ The Almighty-speaking reverently—seems to have manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE made certain animals and birds (sic) in a spirit of No notice is taken of anonymous communications.] fun, or at least in a sportive mood "'!! And this, too, in spite of a statement on a previous page to the

Historical Note on Dust, Electrification, and Heat. effect that with " an ordinary beak "the toucan would Your readers may remember that in July, 1883, 1 penned be unable to procure the fruit on which it feeds, and a letter to your columns (vol. xxviii. p. 297) describing that, in consequence, “the Almighty, in His wisdom, some observations which the late J. W. Clark and mycīt has provided it with a beak-hand?..

had recently made; among others, one to the effect that We confess we do not like this book; where it is

a small electrical discharge into a smoke-laden atmosphere not mischievous it is puerile. The illustrations could

rapidly dissipated the smoke by coagulating the particles not possibly be worse.

II. P. P.

Some time afterwards we found that the observation had previously been made by a Mr. Guitard, and printed in the

Mechanic's Magazine for 1850-a reference to this fact The Elements of Chemistry By M. M. Pattison being actually contained in that great compendium of

Muir. Pp. xiv + 554. (London : j. and A. Churchill, electrical information, Wiedemann's " Galvanismu 1904.) Price ios, 6d. net.

U.S.W., so that it must be regarded as fully published."

I now write to say that during the labour of indexing, at It is somewhat difficult to understand for what class the Royal Society, Prof. McLeod has come across a much of reader this book is intended. In style and treat- earlier instance of the same observation, showing that the ment it is not well adapted to beginners, yet in its phenomenon was really discovered in 1824. An estrar descriptive matter it is quite elementary. Probably it from Prof. McLeod's letter runs as follows :will prove of greatest service to mature students of “In the course of our indexing we have come across other subjects who wish to gain some acquaintance

a paper that may interest you, if you do not already know with the principles of chemistry without intending to

of it. It is by Hohlfeld, “ Das Niederschlagen des Rauch:

durch Elektricität,' Kastner, Archiv Naturl., il., 1824, study the science practically. The author tells us in

203-206. It is very short ; he refers to the increase of the his preface that his object has been “ to present some

fall of rain and hail after a flash of lightning and deof the fundamental facts, generalisations, principles scribes how he filled a globe with smoke and led into ! and theories of chemistry, lucidly, methodically, and

a pointed wire connected to an electric machine which suggestively.” In this he has had a certain measure caused the smoke to settle." of success, but the general impression left by the book If any importance attaches to the subject, it must deis that in its construction substance has been sacri- pend upon the successful application, in future practice, of ficed to form. When, for example, the author tells so conspicuous a result. Hitherto the only practical appius (p. 89) that weighed quantities of the basic oxides cation of the sort of principle has been the BaO, CaO, K,O, Na,O, have been combined with

coherer used in some systems of wireless telegraphy, weighed quantities of the acidic oxides 1,05, N, O, of which Prof. Branly's porphyrised-copper powder-smears P,o,, P.6, respectively, and that analysis showed the and iron filings-tubes may be regarded as the earliest resulting products to be 'Bal,0,, Can,o,, K,PO,, and examples.

Perhaps, however, I may direct attention to my paper Na,PO,, we are inclined to doubt the statement, and

to the British Association (Report for 1885, pp. 7431 seq!: also to doubt the wisdom of adducing imaginary in which this electrical action on visible particles is likened experiments in confirmation of a formal rule. On

to chemical agglomeration into molecular aggregates, leadp. 252 we find the equation

ing to an electrostatic theory of chemistry, a matter wortby

of, and now receiving, sustained attention. * Na,O+N,OG (heated)=2NaNO3."

May I further take the opportunity of amending an over

sight? Mr. Clark and I came across the fact of the elesWe wonder if the author tried the experiment; the

trical deposition of smoke while we were experimenting practical instruction to heat would almost indicate

on Tyndall's dark plane or dust-free space seen near hot that he had.

bodies in illuminated air, a matter to which attention had

been directed by a notable investigation of Lord Ray Richard Jefferies : his Life and Ideals. By H. S.

leigh's (see Nature for 1882, vol. xxviii. p. 139). It turned

out afterwards that we Salt. New edition. Pp. vii + 119. (London : A. C.

were not the only experimenter:

on this subject, Lord Rayleigh's letter having also roased Fifield, 1905.) Price is. 6d. net.

the attention of that eminent specialist in dust researchet. The fact of a new (and cheaper) edition of this work Mr. John Aitken, of Edinburgh; and though we put being called for may be taken as an indication of lished our account of dust-free spaces due to heat in the the hold the writings of the great pioneer of the true

Philosophical Magazine for March, 1884, his corresponding type of nature-study have taken on the popular mind. investigations and explanations were published a month In the preface, the author emphasises his opinion that Edinburgh, vol

. xxxii

. p. 239: and to him accordingly

or so earlier in the Transactions of the Royal Societs and the real claims of Jefferies to literary immortality are

belongs priority in such parts of this matter as are not based on his later works of the type of “ The Story covered by my preliminary letter to NATURE of the Juls of My Heart”; but there can be no doubt, as the previous, which doubtless includes many things that were author himself is fain to admit, that “ The Game. practically anticipated by Lord Rayleigh himself. keeper at Home ” and “Round about a Great Estate" I mention this now because I have been rather too ape are the volumes which have made the name of to forget it, and have omitted to mention Mr. Aitken': Jefferies household word. Biographers and name when, if I had had all the circumstances consciousts eulogists may make what efforts they please to alter before me, I should certainly have mentioned it. In parthe verdict of the public; but in such cases the old ticular, in a history of the coherer principle contained in maxim that the vox populi is vox dei still holds

my little book on “ Wireless Signalling," third edition good. To the great majority of readers Jefferies will

p. 75, I speak of the explanation of the dust-free space Continue to be known solely by his inimitable (if some

round a hot body, due to a molecular bombardment

having been first published by ourselves, instead of be times too realistic) descriptions of rural life and

Mr. Aitken, whose name, I regret to say, does not appear character. Although in small type, the new edition

this is the oversight I wish to amend. of his life is well printed on good paper. R. L.

April 12.

OLIVER LODGE

a

our

con

Tbe late Prof. Tacchini.

then vet will be the velocity of the condensational wave. As a tribute to the memory of the late distinguished

And if P be the pressure and rl the volume of gas which Italian astronomer, of whom an obituary notice appeared

can be held in solution by the volume V of the liquid, in the columns of Nature last week, may I be permitted

then ✓PirD will be the velocity of the gaseous wave. to add a few personal reminiscences? Prof. Tacchini took If we accept Laplace's law of density, P/D will increase part in the eclipse expedition of 1875 to the Nicobar

with the depth, and r will probably decrease, hence the İslands. He joined our party from India, where he had

velocity of the gaseous wave will increase (Proc. Cambeen staying from the previous year, having been com

bridge Phil. Soc., vol. xii., part v., 1903). missioned by his Government to make observations on the

Harlton, Cambridge, April 10.

O. FISHER. transit of Venus of 1874. The Italian Government sanctioned his remaining in India until the following year in

The Ancient Races of the Thebaid. order that he might make use of the opportunity with the instruments in his charge for the observation of the forth- On my return to Oxford I saw Prof. Pearson's letter in coming total solar eclipse. Of the little band of observers your issuo of March 30. who assembled on the Island of Camorta in April, 1875,

Since Prof. Pearson admits that he is not an anatomist, most are happily still with us. Vogel, the introducer of it would serve no useful purpose to discuss with him the "* orthochromatic photography, has passed away, but

anatomical value of the criteria which Mr. MacIver and Pedler, Waterhouse, and others will remember the pleasant I employed in our analysis of the skulls of the ancient camaraderie which existed between ourselves and

inhabitants of the Theban province of Egypt. Italian colleague. The expedition failed in its object The letter may be regarded as an interesting record of through a cloudy sky, and we were all more or less the a method of interpreting percentage values adopted by a victims of intermittent malarial fever ; but we made the professed statistician.

ARTHUR THOMSON. best of adverse circumstances, and under conditions which,

Oxford, April 8. to many a party of observers similarly placed, would have been extremely trying, the good understanding which the There is an old saying that all good science is shortmembers had arrived at among themselves helped to lighten hand common sense. I am sorry that Prof. Arthur Thomthe burden of our disappointment. Not the least weighty son does not think it worth his while in the case of his just factor in the formation of this good fellowship among the published far-reaching negroid cranial criterion to representatives of different nations was the geniality of vert the esoteric methods of the anatomist into simple Tacchini, with whom we parted on the P, and 0. steamer language for the benefit of other readers of NATURE, if Baroda on the homeward voyage with every regret.

not for that of the “ professed statistician." I hope he April 15.

R. MELDOLA. will meet me later when I ask him to discuss, as I propose

shortly to do, the mathematico-statistical treatment of his

volume, which is of a somewhat remarkable character. Propagation of Earthquake Waves.

Meanwhile, in order to expedite those further investigations MR. Rudzki, in his letter to MATURE of April 6, observes

by prosessed craniologists which his discovery is exciting, that it is only for perfectly elastic and isotropic bodies

it would be of great value if he would tell us to what that the separation of the dilatational (normal) from the

negro series he, a priori, applied his criteria, and what tortional (transverse) wave takes place with certainty”;

percentages of pure negroid, non-negroid, and intermediate crania he found in that series.

KARL PEARSON. and his conclusion is that " it is more than highly improbable that the effect of internal friction would neutralise the effect of zolotropism." If the term "internal fric

Inversions of Temperature on Ben Nevis. tion" is intended to refer to the effect of pressure, this objection was forestalled by Major Dutton by the remark

The recent letters of Mr. Dines and Mr. Rotch (VATURE, that towards this more compact and continuous con

February 16 and March 30) have suggested that a note dition (of a compact mineral substance with a feeble pro

as to the occurrence of temperature inversions on Ben nounced cleavage), the pressure of great depths in the

Nevis may be of interest. earth should, it may seem, tend to bring the material

During the thirteen years 1891-1903, occasions were not subject to it.'

infrequent when the temperature at the top of the mounTo me it is refreshing to learn that any objection can

tain (4406 feet) was higher than that at the base. These be raised to the view that the two speeds of earthquake

inversions have been grouped according as the summit are respectively condensational and tortional, the

temperature was the higher, (1) at one hour at least of latter being held to prove a high degree of rigidity for

the day ; (2) at each of the twenty-four hours of the day ; the interior of the earth.

(3) on the mean of the twenty-four hours of the day. To examine the question whether the interior is to a

The total number of cases in the thirteen years was as

follow's :considerable depth liquid or solid formed one subject of

Clas: 1. Class II. my “ Physics of the Earth's Crust, and I came to the

January

3 conclusion that it is liquid ; and, so far as I am aware, February

18

5 my arguments have never been refuted. On this question March Sir A. Geikie writes (NATURE, February 9), “the geo- April logical belief rests upon a large body of evidence from Mar the structure of the terrestrial crust, which it is difficult

June or impossible to explain except on the supposition of an

July internal mass which, at least in its outer parts, is suffici

August ently liquid to emerge at the surface as molten lava."

September To produce arguments on the opposite side of the ques- October

15 tion is another matter, and that derived from the two November speeds of earthquake propagation is perhaps the strongest. December

24

5
I was consequently led to inquire whether the same result
could not be obtained on the hypothesis of a liquid magma

Year
158

33 holding water gas in solution, subject to Henry's law that the same volume of gas can be absorbed by a given

Thus inversions occurred at all seasons, but inversions volume of the liquid at all pressures. The result which I continued throughout the twenty-four hours of the civil obtained was that two waves would be propagated with day only in February, November, and December, and those different velocities, the one a condensational wave depend- of Class III. only between September and March. The ing on the elasticity of the liquid, and the other a wave average difference of temperature between Ben Nevis and depending upon the pressure and the volume of the gas Fort William ranged from 16°.8 F. in April to 14°:4 in which could be held in solution by a given volume of the December, the mean for the whole year being 15o4. Hence

inversions were at all seasons large departures from the If e be the elasticity of the liquid and D its density, usual conditions.

waves

Class III.

[ocr errors]

7

[ocr errors]

11

8

22

[ocr errors]

liquid.

The greatest inversion was recorded during the great ago. We are afraid the delay does not reflect creditfrost of February, 1895, when at 9 a.m. on February 19 ably upon the enterprise, energy, or constructive the summit was 170.6 warmer than the base (Ben Nevis ability of the numerous groups of manufacturers who 33°:6, Fort William 16°0). The longest continued in

are interested in obtaining the greatest possible faciliversion occurred during November 2-5, 1897, when the summit temperature was the higher for fifty-eight con

ties in the use of duty-free alcohol in the arts. This secutive hours, the mean daily temperature on November 4

attitude of laissez-faire is seen, and commented upon being 9°7 higher on Ben Nevis than at Fort William.

by the committee, in connection with the apathy and The Ben Nevis observations, of course, afford a com

general ignorance of manufacturers with respect to parison only between the conditions at the summit and the provisions of Section 8 of the Finance Act of those at the base of the mountain. It is more than prob- 1902, which gave the commissioners of Inland able that on many occasions when the summit temperature Revenue large discretionary powers as regards the becomes nearly, though not quite, as high as that at the use of spirit for industrial purposes. The committee base, there is an inversion of temperature in part of the point out that advantage has not been taken of the air-column between the summit and sea-level.

lct to the extent that might have been anticipated.

ANDREW Watt, Scottish Meteorological Society, Edinburgh, April 12.

and they have been surprised to find in examining the witnesses sent by the various Chambers of Commerce, who certainly ought to have had official know.

ledge of its existence, how very inadequate has been Stanton Drew.

their acquaintance with its provisions. The mysteries of this group of circles-the next in In view of this general indifference one is tempted importance to those of Avebury and Stonehenge-are not to inquire whether the manufacturers have had any yet fully unveiled, even by the very remarkable astro- real grievance, since they have made so little in. nomical discoveries made in them by Sir Norman Lockyer dividual or collective effort to remove it. There is or by his interesting description of them. The diameter of the north-east circle is 97 English feet,

certainly no evidence that any collective effort has

been made in the past, or, if it had been made, that or 100 of an old Mediterranean foot of 11.64 inches. This is within an inch or two of the diameter of the outer

the Treasury or the Revenue authorities would not sarsen ring at Stonehenge, which is in itself a very

have sympathised with it. The Exchequer, at all significant fact. The diameters of the south-western and

events since 1855, when the present system of de central circles are respectively 150 and 380 of this old

naturing spirit came into existence, may be said to foot, so that the diameters of the circles (within a very have disclaimed any idea of collecting a revenue on slight working error) are in proportion one to the other alcohol used solely as a raw material and for purely of 5, 77, and 19, the latter being the Metonic cycle number. industrial purposes. If the hitherto existing system

The distances between the various parts of the group, of denaturing and control had proved so irksome that subject to a working error of from to { of i per cent. the development of chemical industry was impossible, only, are :Centre of cove through great circle to centre of north- have been troubled with the question long ago.

it might have been supposed that Parliament would east circle=14 diameters of north-east circle. Centre of great circle to Hauteville's Quoit=5 diameters

But as an actual fact the languid interest of the of the great circle, or 19 diameters of the north-east circle,

chemical manufacturers neededapparently, to be the latter being the Metonic cycle number.

supplemented by the quickening influence of the Centre of south-west circle through great circle to

internal-combustion engine, and the possible appliHauteville's Quoit = 7 diameters of the great circle.

cations of spirit as a motor-fuel supplied to a jaded Centre of great circle to two stones too far to the west House of Commons engaged in the discussion of a to be shown on the plan in NATURE =9 diameters of the Finance Bill that stimulus which was necessary to great circle.

secure from the Chancellor the promise of the deWith the exception of the last, anyone can test these partmental inquiry, which it would seem the great proportionate distances by the plan given in NATURE, but body of manufacturing chemists was too lukewarm who will tell us what was the meaning or object of them ?

to ask for. A. L. Lewis.

Great cry has been made in the past that the

hindrances to a free and untrammelled supply of ALCOHOL IN INDUSTRY.

alcohol have cost us the coal-tar dye industry, which

originated in this country, and at one time flourished THE HE committee, consisting of Sir Henry Primrose, here; but the committee apparently have had little

K.C.B. (chairman), Sir W. Holland, M.P., Mr. difficulty in ascertaining how "little wool" there is J. Scott-Montagu, M.P., Sir William Crookes, Mr. in this cry. They say they are satisfied that the Lothian Nicholson, Dr. Somerville, of the Board of assertion, as a statement of historical fact, is destitute Agriculture, Dr. Thorpe, the director of the Govern- of substantial foundation. In their opinion the main ment Laboratories, and Mr. Thomas Tyrer, appointed cause which led to the decadence of the industry in last autumn by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to this country is that which we have repeatedly insisted inquire into the use of duty-free alcohol in the arts on in these columns, viz. the failure of those reand manufactures have got together their evidence sponsible for the management and for the finance of and published their report with commendable prompti- the industry here during the years 1860-1880 10 tude. The report, we are glad to find, is unanimous, realise the vital importance of its scientific side, and and this unanimity has doubtless not been without its their consequent omission to provide adequately for influence in accelerating the business of the committee its development on that side. and the appearance of their report.

It is true, however, that after signing the report, The subject, as was to be anticipated, has not been the two Members of Parliament named were induced without its difficulties, for, as the committee state, a to modify their assent to the unanimous finding of duty that yields more than twenty millions a vear is the committee as to the real cause of the decline of a public interest that cannot be trified with; but, as the coal-tar dye industry in this country. It will be usual when men are determined to find a solution, it interesting to see from the evidence, when this is is remarkable how purely academic difficulties tend published, what support Sir William Holland and to disappear. Now that the suggestions of the com- Mr. John Scott-Montagu are able to find for the mittee are before us, the wonder is that they should view they express in their letter to the Chancellor. not have been given effect to a quarter of a century In reality, alcohol" plays a very small part in that industry, and of this “ alcohol ” methyl alcohol formidable competitor-spirit could be used in manuis the most important variety. Large classes facture duty-free and pure with scarcely any reof the coal-tar colours-alizarin, indigo, and by far straint. This, too, is one of the illusions which the the greater number of the azo dyes-require no inquiry may serve to dispel. As an actual fact, in spirit at all in their manufacture either directly or practically all cases, with the exception of that of indirectly, and these represent the larger pro- smokeless powder, in Germany duty-paid spirit must portion of all the colours produced. It is perfectly be used unless the spirit be subjected to some authorcertain that for at least 75 per cent. of the whole oui- ised process of denaturing prior to use. As regards put of coal-tar dyes alcohol does not enter into price, and that is the principal factor, the committee account even now, and therefore whatever causes may think that the grant of the export allowance would have hindered the prosecution of the industry in this make the average price of industrial spirit in the country, the question of "alcohol" is not one of Cnited Kingdom even lower than the average price them.

in Germany. The price here, exclusive of the cost of Although it has destroyed some illusions, corrected | any denaturing, and this denaturing may be what is many misstatements, and, as in this example of the called ad hoc-that is, dependent upon the use of coal-tar colour industry, set many matters in their something which is necessary to the manufacturetrue perspective, the report is eminently constructive would be about 7d. the proof gallon, or about ud. in character. To what extent the representations of the bulk gallon at 64 over proof-the strength manufacturers have actually aided the committee in common in industrial spirit. That is as low as the formulating their main suggestions remains to be minimum price paid by users in Germany in 1902, seen, as the evidence has not yet been published. when spirit was abnormally cheap, and is much These recommendations are as follows :

below the figures of 15 d. per proof gallon, or 253d. (!) That an allowance be granted to all industrial per bulk gallon, prevailing in Germany at the prespirit, whether of British or foreign origin, at the sent time. Further, it is important to remember that rate from time to time prevailing for the allowance the price of spirit in this country, where all materials to British plain spirits on exportation.

may be freely used, and where none of general use (2) That imported methylic alcohol be relieved from is subject to taxation, is a stable price. In Germany the obligation to pay the surtax imposed by the the conditions of production are largely artificial and proviso to Section 8 of the Finance Act, 1902, and of very doubtful economic soundness, and they tend that methylic alcohol be accorded favourable treat

to wide and rapid fluctuations in price. ment in the matter of denaturing.

The main report is supplemented by a valuable re(3) That" ordinary," i.e. unmineralised, methylated port by the chairman, Sir Henry Primrose, and Dr. spirit should contain only 5 per cent. of wood-naphtha Thorpe, the principal of the Government Laboratories, instead of 10 per cent. as now.

on the working of the spirit regulations in Germany, (4) That no charge should be made on manu- based upon personal inquiry and observation in that facturers for the regular attendance of Excise officers country. So much stress was laid by certain witto supervise denaturing operations or the use of de- nesses upon the system and regulations established in natured spirit, in factories taking the benefit of Germany in connection with the industrial use of Section 8 of the Finance Act, 1902.

alcohol that it was thought very desirable to procure (5) That where spirit is allowed to be denatured information at first hand upon that subject. This with special agents, such agents should be subject to report may, it is hoped, serve to correct much misofficial test and approved, and that accounts should apprehension which appears to exist upon the benefits be kept by the user showing receipts of spirit into

of State-aided alcohol in Germany. There is ample store, the issues thereof from store in detail, and the proof that the German user of spirit is not greatly quantities of the goods produced.

benefited by the policy which the agrarian party has (6) That in the manufacture of fine chemicals and succeeded in fixing upon him, and is, indeed, at times pharmaceutical products, spirit specially denatured greatly injured by it. should be allowed only where the manufacture is kept

In reply to a question asked in the House of entirely separate from the manufacture of tinctures Commons on Tuesday, the Chancellor of the Exand other preparations in which spirit remains as

chequer announced that he has decided to deal with spirit in the finished product

the subject of the committee's report in an omnibus (7) That the regulations governing the sale by re

Bill which he will introduce to the House, and not in tail of “mineralised " methylated spirit should be

the Budget and Finance Bill as originally proposed. made less stringent and more elastic.

The committee are of opinion that any special cases not touched by the above recommendations can always

THE CAPITAL OF TIBET. be met under the powers conferred by Section 8 of the AL

LL who have read in the columns of the Times Act of 1902. This Act provides adequate and entirely

about the mission to Lhasa will welcome in a satisfactory machinery for securing that the spirit more concrete form the story as re-told by Mr. Landon may be used in a condition that is suitable and in the two handsome volumes now given to the public. appropriate to each particular purpose of manufacture. In an expedition carried out under such conditions as The machinery is elastic-much more so than is the those which governed Colonel Younghusband's corresponding machinery in Germany-and it permits mission, the special correspondent becomes a distinct of every reasonable process of denaturing, or even in factor in its success. The working men of the party, the last resort of the use of spirit in a pure state.

even if they have eyes to see and the rare gift of For more than this it would be impossible to ask.

recording their impressions faithfully, can but present The committee believe that their recommendations, such generalisations as may be gathered during the if adopted. will place the manufacturers of this coun

few intervals hastily snatched from the worries and try in respect of the use of alcohol in industry on a

anxieties incidental to the routine of an abnormal footing of equality, in some respects of advantage state of existence. Usually they see but little, and as compared with their competitors abroad. Amongst that little from the restricted standpoint of their own the witnesses who appeared before them they found idiosyncrasies. a very general impression that in Germany, at any By Perceval Landon.

1 "Lhasa ; an Account of the Country and People of Central Tibet, &c.” Vol. i. Pp. xix+414.

Pp. xi + 426. rate—and Germany is always alleged to be our most (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1995.) Price 428. net.

Vol. ii.

« PreviousContinue »