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When Mr Churchill returned from Mesopotamia recently, he intimated that a king would be chosen as part of a newly-constituted government. Yesterday we learnt by cable that the choice of the Council of Notables has fallen on Prince Feisul.
The British High Commissioner (Sir Percy Scott) will now consult the people in order to ascertain their feeling respecting the proposed ruler.
The mandate cast on Great Britain the task of framing an organic law for Mesopotamia, this law was to be prepared in consultation with the native authorities, consideration being given to the rights, interests, and wishes of all the populations inhabiting the mandated territory.
The aim of the mandate was the creation of an independent state, and the negotiations preceding the selection of a king have been directed towards that end. The Arab state of Irak will, under the rule of King Feisul, be friendly to Great Britain, and his record of faithful service to the Allied cause should make him generally acceptable.
Education reform criticism
Reform of the education system in its various aspects certainly occupies much attention from time to time, and the discussion which took place at this week's meeting of the High School Board of Governors on the proposal for the abolition of that body revealed wide differences of opinion. While it may be suggested with some show of reason that there are too many bodies at present controlling education, the question as to the best method of unified control is still unsettled. The proposal to abolish the High School Board of Governors and transfer the powers at present possessed by that body to the Education Board, itself a body whose constitution and existence are subject to periodical attack, is not calculated to inspire general confidence. Professor Thompson pointed out that if the abolition of the Board of Governors would in any degree undermine the individuality of the secondary schools then the gain on the administrative side must be considerable in order to even up the scale. There is no conclusive evidence that the advantages arising from a change would be of such a character. Beyond this there is the ever-present menace of centralisation. Whether the fear is justified or not it is very generally felt that the Education Department is desirous of centralising control of education in Wellington, and we are convinced that those most keenly interested in perfecting education machinery outside Wellington are uncompromisingly opposed to such a step.
Otago Chess Club thriving
Judging by the number of telegraphic chess matches the Otago Club is playing this year, the game is becoming increasingly popular. In the eighties the club had a strong membership, approximating 100, but at one stage the club numbered just over 20. The present membership is fairly strong and increasing, and there are quite a number of promising players in addition to veterans whose skill at the game has been long proved.
The telegraphic fixtures this year constitute a record, matches having been played with Auckland and Masterton, a match being in progress with Oamaru, and others arranged for with Wellington, Nelson, and Christchurch.. — ODT, 23.7.1921.