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The most striking feature of the Government's action in conceding to the late strikers at Portland their demand for a second butcher's shop in the town is not so much the weakness of Its decision-since the appeasement of the lawless is seem- ingly its fixed policy-but the par- tiality thus shown towards strikers as against soldiers who desired to set up again in business on return from active service. Miners and
| others who defied the Prime Minis-
ter's order to end a strike aimed at victimising an unfortunate trades- man for asserting his legal rights are propitiated without delay by Minis- terial action. Senator Keane, in charge of rationing, himself an- nounces issue of a permit for the second shop, communicating direct with the Minister for Commerce, who allows a quota for meat; and pre- sumably the Minister for Labour w11] conform by causing a revision of allocation of local man-power. But when a returned-soldler bootmaker was denied permission to take over the one shop extant in a Sydney suburb, only the anger aroused by ventilation before a public inquiry brought about a departmental change of face. The Commissioner who recently investigated rationing ad- ministration condemned with justifi- able indignation cited cases of one ex-soldier denied the right to resume bricklaying, another refused the right to return to his retail store, closed when he enlisted, and an official witness could not say what number of discharged men had been simi- larly disappointed in applications. During the referendum campaign the public heard much of the Government's desire to do Its utmost towards the rehabilitation of ex Servlcemcn. Their claims on its consideration are evidently still sub- ordinate, however, to those of union- ists who wish to pursue a vendetta against a butcher brazen enough to believe In liberty.