Germany and the Gas Mantle

From letters page of the Daily Express, 29th February, 1916

To the Editor of the Daily Express

Sir.—Mr. Arnold White’s criticism of our lack of method and foresight can be multiplied many times over. He speaks of wolfram. This is found in Cornwall, and yet the deposits are only worked in a half-hearted manner.

An important case which might have been mentioned by Mr. Arnold White is the question of thorium supplies, on which the manufacture of incandescent gas mantle, depends. Thorium is obtained chiefly from the monazite-baring sands of Brazil, which contain from small quantities to 2 per cent of thorium. This sand went before the war to Germany, as that country has the only plant capable of dealing with it! We now have to purchase thorium, I understand, at ridiculous prices from the United States.

May I ask how Mr. Arnold White obtains his information about china clay? The freight to the Potteries used to be 7s. When was the freight to the Rhine “three shillings lower” – 4s. -?

M.E.
Hampstead, N.W.

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