By the EARL OF WICKLOW
The news this week in Ireland refers rather to the future than the present, and concerns two of man's most important preoccupations—work and food.
The Irish Transport and General Workers' Union have threatened to serve a week's notice on the Transport Company in respect of 3,000 workers, as the men who are employed on Road Transport
have rejected the Company's wage offer. At the same time 3,000
the two Trade Unions. It would seem that the new Labour Disputes Court will soon have its efficacy tested. It would be 3,000 pities if the first constructive effort to deal with the conflict between Capital and Labour fails to perform its function.
The omens as regards food are all favourable. Fruit is expected for Christmas. The tea ration is to be increased and, owing to the failure to exact the expected price in England, the Government is expected to subsidise turkey producers so that their birds may be sold in the home market. At the same time it is satisfactory to hear that 20,000 Irish cattle and 5,000 horses have been set aside as gifts to Europe in addition to more than £30,000 which has been sent by the Irish Red Cross this year for relief of distress on the continent.
WIND FROM NORTH
The new Education Bill was under discussion in the Northern Ireland House of Commons on Thursday, when an estimate for £2,250,000 was passed for the purpose. A Unionist Political Education Conference took place some days previously in Belfast when the Northern Ireland Minister for Education was the prin cipal speaker. The chairman, Lady Clarke, Ieft the platform as a protest against the new Bill. Her objection was based on the fact that religious instruction in the schools is to be undenominational. Lady Clarke's action had an immediate effect.
The audience began to sing " Derry Walls " and the National Anthem while the Minister was trying to speak and there were cries of " Get rid of these fellows, we want another Cromwell."
On Friday, in the Dail, Mr. McEntee announced the intention of the Government to withdraw the Public Health Bill. In its place it is proposed to formulate two new Bills with a Minister in charge of each.
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No comment can be made at this change of plan until it is seen what exactly is intended. It is. however. a pity that twenty days should have been wasted over a discussion of a Bill which was not proceeded with.
Some months ago the acquisition of land for a tuberculosis hospital was pressed forward as a most urgent matter. Like the Public Health Bill
it also was dropped. It does seem that there is confusion in the Government mind about this very grave problem and the manner in which it should be tackled. Mr. McEntee has, however, promised a Mother and Child service ; a complete tuberculosis service; and new and improved health clinics, and county and district hospitals.
The Town Clerk of Holyhead has written to his opposite number in Dun Laoghaire, asking for a joint conference for plans of mutual assistance and development of the two ports. It has been rumoured that the Irish Mail Boat service may pass to the Dublin-Liverpool route arid this of course would be a serious matter for both ports which at present get the benefit of the mail transport.