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It is now nearly a fortnight since the public was informed that the achieve ment of the departmental scheme for the elimination of butter exports from
Western Australia hinged upon the establishment of a trust fund for equali sation purposes, that such a fund could only be raised by means of a deduction from the present artificially raised value of butterfat, and that such a deduction could only be made by the factories. It was then stated by the 'Director of Agri culture (Mr. G. L. Button), the chairman of the recently appointed Dairy Products Equalisation Board, that the co-operjatlon of the factories would need to be secured under an agreement which would be sat isfactory to the board and the factories. At that stage official pronounagments
end. out rumour has not been altqgetner inactive. Butterfat producers are natu rally anxious to know how matters stand, and it is to be hoped that there will be no undue delay by the Interests concerned in determining (if thttf has not already been done) and njaking known their attitude towards this scheme, which has the twofold object of securing the utmost possible retiorn to the producer while improving the quality of West Australian butter. Towards those objects there can be no dofcbt as to the attitude of the dairy farmeis. who must see themselves within measurable distance of securing some of the reforms for which they have been pressing for months past, and for that reason aksie — in spite of rumours to the contraxs — it is not easy to believe that butter fac tor ies, however much some of them pnay
be Inclined to chafe at restraint, will be willing to risk any sacrifice of goodwill upon which, especially in the present over-tjRctoried condition of the industry, their existence obviously depends. - Fighting in Arabia. The two Independent rulers who divide almost all Arabia between them are now at war. Though the British Government is preserving neutrality, the sympathy of the Government of India, at least, will be with Ibn Saud, who with Is fierce and puritanical Wahabls emerged from the Nejd in 1926 to drive King Hus sein faom Mecca and the Hedjaz. thus becoming the ruler of nearly all Arabia except the Yemen. The Imam Yahya off the Yemen, 'Which is the south west comer of Arabia, has always been an awkward neighbour. He troubled the Turks, and after the Peace Conference he occupied part of the Aden Protector ate for some years, and finally had to be bombed out of it from the air. Ibn Saud complains that when he evacuated some disputed frontier territory for the sake of peace, the Imam occupied It with his forces. Geographically it would appear that a contest between the Yemen and the rest of Arabia should be one-sided but the small principality has a heavy
monsoonal rainfall, and its hills and mountains are relatively densely popu lated, so that the disparity in strength is not great. British observers prophesy that the 'war, which has been brewing for some time, will be Indecisive. The Yemenis are no match for Ibn Saud's horsemen and modern weapons on. the plains, but are adepts at guerilla war fare, and are expected to hold their mountains. These fall in precipitous escarpments except on the north-east, whence they slope gently to the desert. But the quick capture of the port of Hodeida indicates that Ibn Saud's tanks and light artillery are upsetting predic tions. Italy is Interested as the area Is separated only by a narrow strip of sea .from Eritrea and Italian Somallland.
England't Captaincy. If the statement of the London 'Daily Telegraph' that Chapman is to lead the M.C.C. team which will meet the Aus tralian aide on Saturday next be correct it suggests] that the Marylebone authori ties have him in view as England's leader in the Tests. Chapman has led England to victory in Australia, and although he was superseded by Wyatt when the Australians were in England previously, the victory of Woodfull's team could .hardly be attributed to faults in his leadership. In his best form Chapman was a dangerous forcing bats man and a- brilliant and inspiring fields man; but his cricket has deteriorated in recent years. Playing thirty-one Innings for Kent last season his aggre gate was onjy 553 and his average nine teen. Insisting, as they do, that the captain shall be an amateur, the Eng lish authorities find their field of choice Is a somewhat narrow one. Were he available, Jardlne's strategic and other gifts would probably ensure his selection. In his absence there does not appear to be any county captain who possesses, in abundant measure, the qualities de manded by some critics for the position. Wyatt, cited as Jardine's lieutenant in Australia, has captained the home side in England and last season led Warwick shire with no little success. For the county he scored just on 1,600 runs with tan average of 51, and fielded finely. Wal ters, who captained Worcestershire against our men last week, scored over 2,000 runs with an average of 51; but he suffers to some extent from the sin of comparative youthfulness and lacks ex perience In 'big' cricket. Carr. Not tingham's captain, has the contrary fault, being forty years old. Another name mentioned Is that of B. H. Lyon, who leads Gloucestershire and is described toy some critics as the best county cap tain in England. It is questionable, however, whether the importance, of the captaincy Is not over-emphasised. Eng land could hardly afford to include as a leader any man who would be a 'pas- senger' In- all other respects.