April 20—April 26
Sir John Simon, Chancellor of the Exchequer, made his Budget speech in the House of Commons on Tuesday. lie announced increases in the income tax, petrol and heavy oil taxes, and the duty on tea.
The income tax increase will not affect about two million small income taxpayers as it will not operate on the first £135 of taxable income.
Steps are to be taken to check taxdodging, and these are to be retrospective..
Sir John Simon revealed in his Budget speech that the Government have bought sufficient wheat, whale-oil, and sugar for the needs of the civil population for a period of some months.
These purchases were kept secret to preveat a rise in prices.
Agreement with Ulster
Viscount Craigavon, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, has announced that new agreements have been entered into with Britain. They cover Northern Ireland's share in rearmament, expenditure on unemployment assistance, and agricultural subsidies.
Mr. Wyndham Lewis has had a picture rejected for the Royal Academy. Mr. Wyndham Lewis stated afterwards that he thinks the Academy does not know what art is. He will continge his fight for the recognition of modern art and artists. Mr. Augustus John has resigned from the Academy in protest against the rejection of Mr. Wyndham Lewis's picture.
Air Mission to U.S.A.
An Air Ministry Mission has gone to the U.S.A. to investigate the possibility of the purchase of aircraft for the R.A.F. in the U.S.A. and Canada. It is thought that the early production of a number of longrange bombers is urgently needed. The U.S. might waive the rule which forbids the export of war aircraft types till two years after they have first been put into service.
The sending of this mission to the U.S.A. is said by many to substantiate the slew that the British organisation of the supply of aeroplanes for the R.A.F. is in a state of confusion.
Sir Samuel Hoare, the Home Secretary, has stated that nearly all the million volunteers needed for air raid prccautions must be enrolled before the end of the summer. He also said that by the end of the year there must be a comprehensive scheme of air raid precautions in every important area.
The Air Ministry terms for shadow fac tories have now been disclosed. The firms will receive a profit of about £300 per 'plane produced for the Government, plus a bonus if they produce below a certain fixed price.
English Minister In Rome
Mr. Hore Belisha, Minister for War, had nearly an hour's talk with Sr. Mussolini in Rome, while on his way back from Malta.
He stated in Rome that it gave him particular satisfaction to come to Italy at the moment when the historic friendship between Great Britain and Italy had been reestablished.
Herr Henlain, leader of the German Nazis in Czechoslovakia, has made a demand for territorial autonomy. He rejects the Czech offer of a new charter of rights for the minority. His further demand for a change in Czechoslovakia's foreign policy has met with a refusal from the Cezechoslovakian Cabinet.
The Czechs are indignant both at the suggestion that their country's foreign policy should be changed to suit Berlin, and at Herr Henlein's deeleration of faith in the full Nazi creed.
Mr. Hemming, Secretary of the chairman's sub-committee of the Spain NonIntervention Committee, has stated that unless he gets £80,000 by Saturday he will wind up the whole machinery of nonintervention.
Of the major Powers, only France has maintained her contributions up to December 8.
M. Blondel, French Charge D'Affaires in Rome, has had several talks with Count Ciano, Italian Foreign Minister, in the hopes of initiating general conversations between the two governments after the model of the Anglo-Italian conversations which have been successfully concluded.
At the same time the French Prime Minister, M. Daladier, is to come to London for conversations with the British Government The French Cabinet have accepted M. Daladier's plan for financial reform and
inereese in production. M. Deladier is reported to have said that France must work harder if it wanted to avoid a dictatorship.
An agreement between Eire and England was signed on Monday. The agreement provides for the transfer of coast defences to Eire, and for the payment to Britain of SIO million, in settlement of all claims. Dr. Douglas Hyde, the poet and professor, is to be the first president of Fire. Dr. Hyde, though not a Catholic. has been agreed upon by the two principal parties in Eire.