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if it were not, the political leaders can and will end it. But the hold of Socialism upon the Labour Movement will only be relaxed when the patent defects of our of present system have been remedied. Co-partnership and all that it implies can remedy these and can open the way to the new and more stable social order of a propertyowning democracy. To lead in this great work is the prime constructive task of Unionism in its day of power. If it neglect it, a period of Socialistic experiment is inevitable. Finally, the Trades Unions organisation upon which the Labour Movement and the Labour Party mainly rely has its own difficult problems to solve. It has to abandon vicious methods, which have added to its strength in the past, but which, if persisted in, will bring a heavy reckoning. Yet the Trades Unions are a necessity in a highly industrialised country, and for the sake of the working classes they must carry out these reforms. If the Government of the day is appealed to by the Trades Unions to assist in this work, by introducing any legislation which may be necessary, the appeal will be answered with alacrity. But the Unionist Party has had too long an apprenticeship in public affairs to act, for the purpose of achieving reform by short-cut, in advance of the public opinion concerned, or to introduce, on any plea whatsoever, legislation which would be political and proscriptive in nature.
Both Unionism and Labour have thus their urgent tasks. With its tasks Unionism must proceed without digression and without pause; because Unionism, both for the nation's sake and for its own, cannot afford to fail. Will Labour, on its side, have the vision and the courage to fit itself for the future?
Art. 9.-THE BAD WEATHER.
THE Cool, wet weather, experienced in England during the past summer and autumn, has been a matter of general comment, and has produced afresh a demand for information regarding the cause or causes of prolonged abnormalities in the weather. It is curious to note how short are the memories of many people, so far as the weather is concerned. The fact that the last three summers have been cool or wet has given rise to a fairly widespread impression that we never get any real summers now.' Already the memory of the extraordinary summer of 1921, with its long drought and seemingly endless succession of sweltering, cloudless days, is fading away. This is, apparently, merely an example of the well-known fact that the mind is incapable, without external aid, of forming a correct perspective of the relative importance of the various links in a chain of events leading up to the present time. We are all inclined to criticise good-humouredly our British weather; but the fact remains that it is fortunate for us that the normal condition of the weather of this country consists of a succession of more or less rapid fluctuations. The experience of the summers of 1921 and 1924, during which those fluctuations were generally absent, demonstrates that prolonged extremes of weather, whether 'good' or 'bad,' do not satisfy us; they leave us fretful; we mourn the lost opportunities and the spoiled pleasures; we are powerless in the face of a relentless sun or a continuous downpour.
From the beginning of April 1924 the rainfall over an area extending across the South of England and Ireland was persistently above the average for the season and the locality, and the Home Counties, on the whole, suffered in this respect as severely as any other district of the British Isles. In May the fall was more than a hundred per cent. in excess of the normal; while in August the excess was only a little more than ten per cent. of the normal. Most will agree that August was a very disappointing month; but many will be surprised to know that the immediate causes of this were the low temperature, the lack of sunshine, the persistent clouds, and the large number of days on which rain fell-20 to
22 out of 31 in the Home Counties-rather than any great excess in the total quantity of rainfall.
The highest temperature in the shade in London last summer was 90° F., and it was observed on July 12. This value does not compare unfavourably with the 'absolute extreme' of 100° F., reported in London in the hot summer of 1911. The second week of July 1924, produced, in England, the only summer-like conditions of the year. More than fourteen hours of sunshine in the day were frequently recorded during that week.
An important fact connected with the weather of that summer was that the excess of the rainfall over the normal for the locality was not as noticeable in Scotland and the North of England, as in the southern districts. Now, the normal rainfall increases in amount towards the north, so that this general statement does not necessarily imply that the summer was genial in the north; for, indeed, it was not so. The statement does, however, indicate that the abnormality of the summer was due to causes which were more effectively operative over the southern districts than over the northern districts. Another fact worthy of note is that the months of February and March 1924, were dry over the whole country; in Scotland they were extremely dry. The rainfall there remained below normal continuously from the beginning of the year to the end of April, except for a tract of country in the Western Highlands, where a slight excess probably occurred.
When we turn to conditions over the continent of Europe we find that widely different kinds of weather were experienced in the various countries. A long drought of about four months' duration occurred in Spain; on Aug. 16 there had been no rain in Madrid for a hundred days. A temperature of 102° F. in the shade was recorded at Malta in September, this being the 'record' for the month. Further north, in France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, the summer was unfavourable, there being numerous thunderstorms, and, in some cases, serious floods. Freshly fallen snow was lying in the Bernese Oberland down to an altitude of 3000 feet above sea-level, on Aug. 28. In Finland, on the other hand, exceptional heat and drought appear to have occurred during July and August, and serious forest fires were reported.
Thus, it can be said, generally, that in the extreme north of Europe the summer was fine; in England, France, Germany, and other Central European countries it was wet and unseasonable; in Spain and over the Western Mediterranean there was another area of fine weather. The transition between the northern fine area and the central wet and cool area is indicated by the relatively small excess of rain in Scotland as compared with Southern England.
The normal state of affairs in the average summer is different. Central Europe is usually very warm; but there are alternating periods of thundery rain. Summer is the wettest season of the year in Central Europe; but the rain falls in relatively brief showers. Warmth is pronounced and sunshine abundant. These conditions are normally reflected in the English summer; but are modified to the extent that the warmth and rainfall are much less pronounced. In the north of Europe cloudy weather, with more or less persistent rain, is usual in summer; while in Spain the summer, on the average, is dry but not rainless.
The summer of 1924, in England, cannot be described as in any way unprecedented. The following table gives a comparison of monthly totals of rainfall at Kew Observatory, near London, in 1924, 1903, and 1921; 1903 and 1921 being respectively the wettest and the driest years on record. The average annual rainfall at Kew Observatory is 23.80 inches.
RAINFALL AT KEW OBSERVATORY (INCHES).
In every month of 1903, therefore, the rainfall exland, ceeded, and, in most cases, greatly exceeded, the corretries sponding fall in 1924, except in the months of January, the April, and November. The summer of 1879, which, like 1903, was a disastrous year for farmers, was also decidedly wetter than 1924. It would be easy to multiply the the examples of wet summers.
What are the causes of these abnormal seasons, and is it possible to foretell them? It must be at once admitted that the ultimate causes are at present unknown; and that it is not yet possible to forecast the character of the seasons in this country with any degree of accuracy. A great deal of work has been done in correlating seasonal variations of weather in different parts of the globe, and in tracing the connexion between such weather variations and various other natural processes; e.g. the strength of ocean currents, including the warm Gulf Stream and the cold Labrador current. It is, for example, known that there is a 'see-saw' of barometric pressure between Iceland and the Azores. When pressure in Iceland is low in relation to its normal value, there is a strong probability that it is relatively high at the Azores, and vice versa. This particular relationship, which has been evaluated numerically, is of considerable importance in the investigation of seasonal anomalies for this country. For the difference of pressure between Iceland and the Azores is a direct measure of the average strength of the current of air passing into Europe from the west-when the difference of pressure is nil there is, on balance, no west wind (i.e. if a west wind exists in one part of the line it is balanced elsewhere by a compensating east wind); when pressure at the Azores is considerably greater than that in Iceland the average west wind is strong.
In this country Mr. C. E. P. Brooks, of the Meteorological Office, has been specially active in tracing statistical relations between various meteorological and hydrographical factors, and the weather of the British Isles in subsequent seasons. He has, for instance, shown that fluctuations in the cold current which flows south from Davis Strait past the coast of Labrador can be associated with corresponding fluctuations in the seasons in England. If the Labrador current is strong in January to March,