OUR LONDON LETTER.
AN INDUSTRIAL TRUCE. ARTHUR ORTON AGAIN. (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.)
October 2.—Writing a week ago I gave details of the current savings of the British working-man and his investments in the Post-office Savings Bank, in life assurance companies, building societies, and similar aids to thrift. In spite of 1,250,000 unemployed men and women, the savings were unexpectedly large. Another and less pleasant aspect of the matter has been revealed by Sir Robert Hadfield, the well known iron and steel master, who shows how much greater the savings might have been. Sir Robert is a fellow of the Royal Society, and the inventor of manganese steel. In his time he has been president of the Iron and Steel Institute and the Faraday Society. If any man can claim to speak with authority upon British in- dustry it is Sir Robert Hadfield. In a re- markable article in "The Times" Sir Robert urged that thc chief obstacle to trade revival is to be found in strike losses. Strikes and the fear of strikes are preventing the proper use of capital and the re-establishment of confidence and stability. In Sir Robert Hadfield's view, the only remedy is more regular work. Unless more work is done, not only will unemployment continue, but it will in- crease. In building up his argument, Sir Robert quoted some remarkable statistics from a paper called "Industrial Peace," showing that no fewer than 315,000,000 working days were lost to industry be- tween 1900 and 1923 owing to strikes. These 315,000,000 working days represented £157,000,000 in wages, apart from the losses to workers in associated trades. Whereas the average loss of working days between 1900 and 1906 was 3,000,000 days a year. The average in the eight years preceding thc World War was 12,500,000. Since the war ended there has been a further increase, and the average for the five years since 1918 has been no loss than
30,000,000 days a year.
If threats of strikes are the trouble in the world of work, playtime also has its worries. A tussle is in prospect over thc closing-time of hotel cabarets, an enter- tainment which has established itself in recent months in competition with the Lon- don night clubs. During the exhibition Beason the West End hotels were allowed to keep open on five nights a week until 2 o'clock. The idea was to brighten Lon- don by allowing visitors to dance or watch a bright entertainment after the theatres closed at ll o'clock. In particular, Aus- tralian and American visitors welcomed the 2 a.m. rule, which gave them something to do in thc small hours without encounter- ing the dangers and temptations of a night club. The early hours party on the Lon- don County Council, the licensing authority for the metropolis, however, objects to hotel cabarets remaining open until 2 a.m., and they are supported by many L.C.C members who represent suburban districts where to go to bed at 2 a.m. seems sinful. Supporting the early closing movement are the theatre managers, who object to cabarets in any form, and, particularly, to the respectable ones run by such hotels as the Metropole, Prince's Restaurant, and the Piccadilly. During the last six months
the cabaret idea has become almost as popular as hotel dancing. A leading West End hotel may attract 700 people a night to its cabaret performance, and it is natu- rally reluctant to lose such a source of re-
lt is not very obvious why hotels like the Metropole and the Piccadilly should close half an hour ofter midnight, while obscure dancing clubs in Soho may remain open until dawn, flouting the liquor laws and making illicit profits in every direc- tion. No one doubts that, if their sale of alcoholic drinks ended at the time the law ordains, every night club in London would close in a fortnight. The large hotels, however, cater for a better class of patron and dare not risk their licenses. At present, the latest hour for the sale of alcoholic drinks in club or hotel is 12.30 a.m., and there is no proposal to extend the time. The only question is whether the hotels should remain open for dancing and carbaret entertainments. As a fact, licensing in all its forms is in a state of chaos. Chocolates may not be purchased in a theatre after 8.30, however much the sweet tooth of the lady fair may de- mand them. At Brighton, one may dance in an hotel on Sunday; in Margate, one may not. It is allowable to buy a drink in a Pullman car, but not at a station bar. A glass of beer is procurable during a Rugby football match in Richmond, but not at the Association ground in Chelsea. The licensing laws require simplifying, and progress would not seem to be along the line of favouring those who evade the law, as does the present policy in connection with night dancing and drinking. A West end cabaret is usually run by a little syn- dicate, who collect a few hundred pounds of capital and open a dancing hall in a dis- used stable or underground hull in the Piccadilly district. Generally the syndi- cate is in debt to their landlord if the ven- ture is not an immediate success. It pays the landlord not to be over-grasping, as there are big profits for him if the venture does not fail.
I KILLED ORTON.
The last survivor of the Orton family is a lady who calls herself "Theresa Mary Doughty Tichborne." Some months ago Miss Tichborne got into trouble with the authorities for threatening Sir George Lewis, the well-known society solicitor. According to her own story, she fell ill in Holloway Gaol and, believing she was on her death-bed, wrote a letter to the Home Secretary making yet another revelation in the ever-green Tichborne mystery. The final revelation is that:—
"The claimant shot Arthur Orton dead during a quarrel."
Thereafter, the self-styled Roger Tich- borne could never tell the whole truth, because he feared the murder might be dis- covered. In other words, the butcher, Orton, claimed that he was Tichborne all the time, but was betrayed into his career of fraud and lies by the fact that he was also a murderer.
"In 1885," says the claimant's daughter, "my father confessed to me under an oath of secrecy that he met Arthur Orton in the bush at Wagga Wagga in the early part of 1866, that they quarrelled, and my father shot and killed Orton."
The claimant's daughter says that the so-called Orton knew a great deal about certain matters in which Miss Tichborne's father had taken part and threatened to expose him. Wagga Wagga, at any rate, will be interested in the Tichborne reve- lations as given in "The People." More interesting, however, than these belated disclosures is the story of the early life of the claimant's daughter. Born at Wagga Wagga in the year of the alleged murder, Theresa Mary came to England when nine months old. For 58 years she had been a victim of "The Case." Her earliest recol- lection was being called "Little Miss Tich- borne and, as a small child, she went to stay with Lady Tichborne, the mother of Sir Roger, on several occasions. When the claimant was sentenced to four- teen years imprisonment in 1874, after trials which lasted 103 days and 188 days, "Little Miss Tichborne" was eight years old. She was 17 when her father was released. At once the claimant was the centre of a vast company of cyco- phants. He drank brandy in immense quantities. When he was persuaded to embark upon a lecturing tour the venture was a great success. Money poured in, and, everywhere the claimant was feted. "Miss Tichborne" acted as her father's secretary and shared in the entertainments. The claimants immorality and habits of life, however, were too bad, and she left her father, her place as secretary being
taken by her sister Henrietta. For a time
Theresa Mary made a living on the stage under the name of "Agnes Tichborne," but she was forced to change it. Finally, the Tichborne trouble reasserted itself, and Theresa Mary was sent to gaol for threa- tening to shoot one of the Tichborne family. A second period of imprisonment followed upon threats against Sir George Lewis, solicitor of the Tichborne family. Miss Tichborne has lately been released from Holloway Gaol. lt is to be hoped she will now be freed from the curse of her birthright.