UNDER this term we have come to denote a question of most pressing- importance at the moment. It not only affects our present and prospective national welfare; our very existence as an Empire is directly and immediately concerned with it. This arises from its bearings upon war and agriculture. Nitrogen compounds are absolutely necessary to the manufacture of munitions; they are no less indispensable to the production of food. All nations, therefore, and, for obvious reasons, especially those which arc locked together in a life-and-death struggle, are eager to solve it, and under the compelling strain of a dire necessity an extraordinary measure of success is attending their efforts. This is more particularly the case with Germany, owing to the special circumstances of her position, and to the fact that she and the other Central Powers are practically cut off from external supplies of combined nitrogen products.