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The Rev. J. U. Davis recently delivered a lecture at Dunedin on “ Out of Work,” in which he showed the large number of persons out of work in that city. In concluding his remarks he referred to the fact that the monthly accounts of the merchants are rising • rapidly in proportion to their turnover. He added : —“ This is very significant ; it shows that the retailers are allowing more and more credit to their customers ; and unless the bankers show grace, and the merchants show pity, the mercy and generosity of the storekeepers to the poor—a mercy and generosity that always show in bad times—will meet the melancholy and undeserved requital of insolvency. I have found nothing in my enquiries more suggestive of the obstinacy of the present distress than this increased indebtedness of the storekeepers, unless it be the alacrity with which so many of our impoverished neighbors accepted a bare sustenance at Hindon and Mullocky Gully. All could not do that; men accustomed to light muscular work , and dapper duties would shrink from it and be useless for it. It takes twelve months to , make a good navvy out of a farm laborer ; it would take more to transform a draper or a clerk into a bad navvy. Yet tb^^ — abound in our streets. There is no dfHMBM their numbers. Poor devils! ' name is “Legion,’ for they are many. These are only specimens. They are hot exhaustive statements, but as specimens they are fairly and painfully suggestive. There is yet another consideration or two. The building societies could unfold a tale most harrowing when you read between the lines of dry figures. The presence of febrile diseases must be ascribed in a measure to diminished food and anxious worry as well as heat and drought. Even • servants’ wages are gone down, and girls have more difficulty in getting places, so that help from this side is less available, and, to crown all, the very cautious estimates made by the Government proves to have been excessive by a quarter of a million for the year. ”

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 89, 20 April 1880

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A CLERGYMAN ON THE DEPRESSION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 89, 20 April 1880