Otago Witness , Putanga 2515, 28 Haratua 1902, Page 29
In the course of a speech opening a , bridge at Rikiorangi on the 20th the Hon. Mr Duncan, Minister of Lands, referring to the . Conciliation and Arbitration Act, said there was just one thing he had to complain of, and that was the tendency to try and bring all workers down to a dead level. The - minimum wage was all very well, but workmen and women should be paid according to their ability. There should be a differentiation as to Jhe payment superior workers received. He admitted the Government had been a little dilatory in the matter of South African trade. Steamers should have been nrun to the Cape two years and a-half ago. > He was of opinion the frozen meat companies should combine to further their own interests, and he was glad to see the Farmers' Union taking up the question of markets instead of leaving legitimate profile to the middlemen. It is understood the Union Company is lodging a claim for £3000 as salvage against the owners of the barque Gladys. The Wellington Harbour Board on Thurs- ' day agreed to affix the seal of the board to a, five years' agreement with the engineer (Mr Ferguson), at £1750 per annum, Mr Fisher, j M.H.R., alone dissenting. j Dr M'Arthur, S.M., was occupied on Thursday with the cases of the Colonial , Treasurer against D. M. Douglas, a claim i for £86 15s 3d, and interest, and against | Hugh Douglas, a claim of £135 4s 6d, and I interest. The defendants are Crown tenants at Wainuioru, Wairarapa, and the claim is for promissory notes which have been di cihonoured. After the disastrous bush fires in 1898 defendants, at their own request, were j granted a sum of money to aesist them in xesowing their land, and promissory notes (were taken in exchange. They now set up 'the plea of infancy, and in answer to that •the department urged that as defendant?, though minors, could under the Land Act take up land they were liable for any contract incidental to that land. FoTty stablemen from the transport Anglo-Canadian, which has arrived to ship remounts for the Cape, have been arrested on a charge of refusing to obey the commands of the officers of the ship. This vtesel, before coming to New Zealand, had made a voyage from Fiume Adriae to Port i Elizabeth with horses, and the deck hands are composed entirely of foreigners. The men under arrest aTe aliens — Austrian*, Montenegrians, and Greek. They complain of having been badly fed on the ship. NELSON. A man named Harry Goodwin has been j missing at Collingwood since Tuesday night, and fearo arc entertained concerning his safety. WEST COAST. At Westport a charge of obtaining an old-age pension while possessing £236 was dismissed because the information was not laid within six months. Mr Hawkins, S.M., very much regretted that under the circumstances he had no jurisdiction. He felt quite sure that this was not an exceptional case. Many were drawing pensions obtained Jbj barefaced lying. It was an unfortunate oversight on the part of the Legislature that no adequate provision had been made to imeet cases of this sort. He believed that (the ecandal occasioned through the robbery of the State by unscrupulous pentioners Should lead to amending tho act next session. He knew of applicants who complained of the intricacy of the new old-age /pensions forms. The true root of that com plaint was that the questions were too searching for people who wanted to defraud the State and yet run no risk. The present case wa& an example of this looseners of the ISOJ forms, whioh enabled an accused
to conceal iiis banking account; but the alteration in, (the forms forced on him the virtue of necessity, and disclosed his banking account. The accused could thank the flaw in the act for escaping the couisequences of fraudulent misrepresentation. His Worship "would advise the Crown to sue the acouseu for the amount unlawfully obtained. CANTERBURY. An inquest was held as Aehburton on the body of a young girl named Mary Stevens, employed as a servant at Patterson's Boarding House. The medical evidence showed that deceased had taken medicine given by some person for the purpose of procuring abortion. The police investigated the case, but found no trace of where the medicine had been prooured or the name of the person who procured it. The girl refused to divulge the name. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony — viz., death from peritonitis and inflammation, caused by a recent miscarriage. The Timaru Hospital Board confirmed the refusal to grant £200 to a separate institution at Waimate to erect a ward for consumptives. The refusal is based on the possibility of the Government establishing State sanatoria for consumptive?. The board dealt with the question of plague precautions, and resolved, in reply to a deputation from the Borough Council, that, while willing to lend tents procured at the time of the first scare, and beds and bedding if these can be spared, also a nurse if one volunteers and can be spared, and _ will also assist as far as possible with advice a» to medical and nursing staff, the board declines to undertake any responsibility in the matter."