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Ex. 13. Commerce and Industry

Great Britain is one of the most important commercial and trading centres in the world. Britain buys more goods than she sells; her imports exceed her export. Not being a great argi-cultural country, England has to obtain her food supplies largely from abroad. She also has to import many raw materials, such as wool from Australia; timber from Sweden and Finland; cotton, petroleum and tobacco from the United States. Wine and fruit are imported from France, Italy, Spain, and the Dominions; dairy produce from Denmark and Holland, and so on.

One of the most extensive industries in England is the textile industry,- immense quantities of cotton and woollen goods and artificial silk are produced and exported. English leather goods are also in great demand in other countries. Great Britain is noted for its coal mines and for iron and steel goods, and it supplies many countries with certain classes of machinery. Another leading industry in this country is shipbuilding. The motor industry is also very flourishing.

Ex. 15. Mothering Sunday (Mother's Day)

Mother's Day is traditionally observed on the fourth Sunday in Lent (the Church season of penitence beginning on Ash Wednesday, the day of which varies from year to year). This is usually in March. The day used to be known as Mothering Sunday and dates from the time when many girls worked away from home as domestic servants in big households, where their hours of work were often very long. Mothering Sunday was established as a holiday for these girls and gave them an opportunity of going home to see their parents, especially their mother. They used to take presents with them, often given to them by the lady of the house.

When the labour situation changed and everyone was entitled to regular time off, this custom remained, although the day is now often called "Mother's Day". People visit their mothers if possible and give them flowers and small presents. If they cannot go, they send a "Mother's Day card," or they may send one in any case. The family try to see that the mother has as little work to do as possible, sometimes the husband or children take her breakfast in bed and they often help with the meals and the washing up. It is considered to be mother's day off.


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