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IOTEIS FRO PW A ll. THE DEAR FOOD CRISIS. LUMNDRY TROUBLE8. Paris, Dec. 11. With a clashing of cymbals and loud fanfaronades, the Economies Commission was heralded into embryonic existence. Ea-President Fallieres was to be, at the head of this new body, his particular quali fications for such a post being 'his extreme economy principles when he was at the head of the State. Never was the Elysees run with Inch frugality, it would seem, the. official tradesmen being in positive despair. Thus here, again, .was the right man to be in the right place; but some thing seems to have happened to make L, Falleres prefer a' winter sojourn in Biar ritz. As his stay in these southern climes is announced as likely to be of a pro longed character, everyone is wondering whether such procrastination as regards a momentous economic decision is entirely favourable to the national defence. Mean while the Government has created a new Under-Secretary of State of Supplies and Alimentation in the person of M. Joseph Thierry. The dear food crisis has led. also to the alipointment of M. Claveille as Director-in-Chief of Transports. Here is one whose very first act of office stamps him as, the right man in the right place. For many years'head of the Western State railway. he has had unique experience in that particular branch, and his selection for the handling of France's rolling 'stock has been' hailed as one of Parliament's really opportune pieces of work. As a pre lude to his activities M. Clavelle gave the officials of the -Rennes station a lea-, son in functional decorum. Arriving at that particular junction with a heavy trunk, the new Director of -Transports found the platform deserted, not a single functionary being in sight. Without more ado 'L. Claveille placed his baggage on a truck, wheeled it to the guard's van, and was about to put things in order therein, when an irate official appeared. The lat ter's summons, to the stranger to "get down" remained disobeyed; the station master was called, and with a whole re tinue of gaping acolytes, he ordered the unknown passenger to furnish his name and address, in view of a prosecution for "interfering" with railway officials, and breaking regulations. "Very well," re plied the `nysterious stranger; "regulations say that every oticial must be at his post;. and in your station nobody is. "That is not your business," said the stationmaser. "Indeed?" retorted the obstreperous pas senger, alighting from the van, and band ing over his card. "My name is Claveille, Director of Transports; leave my baggage where it is, and try in future to attend to travellers with a little more method." Things are now working smoothly at Rennes, as will probably be the cs ere long in every - other railway ' iim and depot throughout France. - According to M. Charvet, the ehemisier of the Place Vendome, the laundri crisis is far more serious. than it would seem to be at a casual glan?e. There is no doubt that the "blanchisseries" will have to close sooner or later for want of coal, even though some agreement may be reached for the present. '?'The 'question of coal for the Paris laundries is one which. is farmtore difficult than the public kn ws, said M. Charvet to a correspondent of the "Petit Parisien." It is a question of civil and military rights conflicting, which natu rally in the present conditions is not easy to deal with. The situation is simply this: In June the syndicate of Paris laun dries, comprising some three thousand mem bers, collected a sum of 400,000 franc which it paid to the Government for coal. The Government accepted the money, but now it declares not only that it is im possible to deliver the coal at the stated price of 80 francs but also that it cannot be delivered at any price, and there is the "rub"--the money has not been returned to the syndicate iM. Charvet is not a member of the syndicate, but he sees clear ly the justice of their cause. When asked whether his- laundry would close he said that as long as there was gas in Paris the gas companies would supply him with coke, and he would remain open. "I will not close my laundry," continued M. GChariet, "because I am faced with the question of throwing 400 people out of work-" Of all the sad sights which this war has produced, I can think of none sadder than that of the wards in a hospital situated on the Caen canal and set aside expressly for contagious add tuberculous cases. This hospital contains 400 beds, and in one of the wards, holding 65 beds, there are men of all ages literally coughing up their life's blood. The others are those just able to get about, sitting together, muffled up to their chins in greatcoats, and trying to forget their troubles in games of draughts or cards. Each has the same hectic look and the racking cough. Those who are sufficiently convalescent are allowed out for two hours a day, weather permit ting, and it is a pitiful sight to meet these once valient French soldiers creeping along the canal banks and country roads. Beyond the round of the doctors nothing occurs to break the deadly monotony ,f their day. The only visitors permitted to enter the building are those who come 'o visit their dying or to bring away their dead. The priest of Herouville, their aumonier, a most devoted man, does what he can to brighten their lot. At all hours he goes to the hospital, his "musette" filled with what he can glean from' his generous donors. The men are always on the look-out for him, and they signal his arrival to those who are too ill to lift their heads from their pillows. Io these he wings the supreme words of consolation, for many, alas! go forth to that bourne from which there is no re turn. The death of two brothers in each other's arms at the front is related in private despatches. They were Corporal Jean and Saveur Henri Dubois. An officer writes: "Trhe elder. Jean, was hit by a sniper's bullet, and lay in the open under pouring rain when Henri, at the risk of his life, hastened to him with a pail of drinking water. Just as he reached him and as sas offerinmg the drinking water, a sniver shot him. He clasped his brother as the latter rose to take the water, and they died in each other's arms."