THE petrol famine could be over by the end of the week. However, decisions taken at 46 Shell depots yesterday came too late to stop Singer, Clydebank, laying off about 4000 workers because of fuel supply difficulties. More schools throughout Scotland were hit because of lack of heating. All four companies involved - Shell, Esso, BP, and Texaco - have made improved offers to their 8000 drivers who demanded a 30% rise and imposed a work-to-rule and overtime ban.


BY 159 votes to 63 - a majority of 96 - the House of Commons yesterday refused to give a second reading to the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill introduced by Wing Commander Eric Bullus (North Wembley - Con) to give judges the power to order the birch for crimes of violence. There was a free vote on the bill, but Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, home secretary, expressed the government's opposition to it, describing it as premature and urging that the 1948 Act which abolished flogging except for attacks on prison warders, should be given a further trial.


ON Mr Winston Churchill's return from delivering an address in Newcastle, he delivered a short address on the question of flogging in the army. He could conceive of nothing more distasteful or abominable than this brutal flogging of people, and if it were true, as he was told it was, that one of these young officers was flogged until he fainted, then, he said, there was hardly any punishment short of the limitation of criminal law.


SALMON fishing on the Tay: The fishing season has commenced and, we are happy to say, offers better than for

several by-past years. From Montrose, 12 boxes arrived by rail and one from Deeside, all for London and Liverpool. A considerable quantity of boxes passed through by rail from the north.


TWENTY female children are to be elected into Millar's Charity School, Glasgow, between the ages of seven and nine years.