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NOTES.

Tpß bulkiness m proportion to yalue of ceramic manufactures, and the comparatively simple machinery and appliances required for the production of pottery goods of the commoner sorts, naturally suggest the possibility of producing them within the colony, and so doing away with the necessity of importation from beyond seas. Accordingly it is not surprising that m more places than one more or less successful attempts have been made to establish pottery works m New Zealand. Perhaps the most important of these was started a good many years ago at Milton, m Otago, and which we once had the. pleasure of visiting. Various kinds of clay suitable for the production of wares of different descriptions, ranging from the commonest yellow pottery up to white china ware, "are found m the neighborhood, and even at the time of our visit, now several years ago, a large variety of goods was being turned out with creditable finish. The factory has had a chequered career. It at first, we believe, belonged to a limited liability company, and subsequently, if we recollect rightly, bepame the property of Bishop Neville. i Still later it was taken over and worked on their own account by a number of the quondam employees, m whose hands it may be at the present moment for aught we know. But whether this be the case or whether it has again passed under Other management, cetfajn it ft tbat it

is now turning out some really excellent goods, as any of our readers can see for themselves by taking a stroll down East street and looking m at tho windows of Mr H. Zander, where is to be seen a large variety of articles — ranging from, ordinary jam pots up to finely-finished Majolica-ware, which would bear favorable comparison m all respects with the output of the potteries of Staffordshire and Worcestershire, and which are sold at prices which prove that we can patronise local industry without paying for the privilege. We are very glad indeed to see this example of success m one of the many directions m which local productions can be turned to account by local labor, and we look forward to the time when m the matter of pottery, as well as m woollen aud other manufactures, the colony will itself supply all its own wants.

It ib pleasant to find ministers of religion occasionally condescending when m the pal pit to give their hearers sound and sensible advice upon matters pertaining to everyday life — matters we mean which, while having a distinctly moral, and m a sense even a religions bearing, are at the same time not directly connected with questions of religious oreed or of theological doctrine. And such a pleasure was experienced by those who listened at St Stephen's Church on Sunday morning to the helpful, manly, common-sense sermon of the Rev Thos. Hamilton. Referring to the d.fficult problems presented by the present abnormal condition of Society, the heaping up of riches m the hands of a selfish few, and the deepening miseries and poverty of the many, Mr Hamilton 1 admitted that these conditions existed m more startling apposition at Home than here, but went on to say that the recent revelations as to the existence of " the sweating system " m our larger centres of population proved that a like state of things was being gradually developed m New Zealand. He alluded to two factors which, among others, are operating m this direction, viz., the displacement of a large amount of human labor by the employment of labor-saving machinery, and the rage for cheapness. He pointed out that the buyer who pressed the retailer for a reduction of a fair price asked for, compelled the tradesman to bring pressure to bear upon the manufacturer, who m his turn passed on the pressure to the employee, who was, perhaps, even now, compelled to work long hours at poor wages, and urged upon Wb hearers that they should remember at the coming Christmas those who were earning their bread hardly, and sometimes even with tears, and instead of running after cheapness be content to pay a fair price for the goods they purchased. Well said Mr Hamilton I there is good gospel as well as sound political economy m the doctrine, "a fair wage for a fair day's work " for everybody would get on better m the end it everybody were willing to pay everybody a fair price for his work or his wareß.

Apropos^ Mr Hamilton's reference to the effect of the wonderful extension of the employment of machinery, we have just come across a very suggestive article m the columns of the " South Australian Advertiser," from which the following extract will not be out of place m this connection ;— -" Perhaps the most interesting topic dwelt upon by the chairman of the United Trades Union Congress, at Bradford, was the eternal competition of new mechanical invention, and a continually increasing population. This is the great problem which makes the present dark and the future darker still. (Stated concisely, it means more people wanting work and less work to give them. Probably no one would wish to arrest the triumphal inarch of science. No one would wish to its Application to the practical works of life. But we cannot ignore the fact that every freßh discovery m the region of applied science is a further invasion of the field of labor. To whatever branch of industry science has been practically applied, its application has been associated with a diminution m the need and use of human machinery. For instance, m the use of the steam hammer, one man now does the work of ten. In the bottle trade one man does the work of six. In the manufacture of agricultural implements, where 15 or 20 years ago 2145 men were required, 600 do the work now. In the production of machinery itself, which thus displaces human labor, there is a saving of 25 per cent, and m the production of metals it reaches 33* In the boot and shoe trade mechanical appliances enable one man to do the work of five, while m one branch — the making of children's boots — one does the work of six. In papermaking ten do the work which formerly occupied a hundred. In shipbuilding one does the work of five or six ; m clothing of from six to nine. In round numbers, m the production of any given article it is calculated that there is* saving of 40 per cent. The inevitable consequence of all this is a reduction of hours. The several trades m England are m favor of an eight hours day. But whether this is to be effected by legislative enactment or organised effort is not a settled question."

Talking about what the parsons have been talking about lately it may be remarked that Temuka is not the only place blessed with a clergyman possessed of good Bound common sense, or of the only one who gives utterance to it. As witness the sound and sensible utterances of the Rev E. A. Scott at the breakingup of our High School the other day. Mr Scott hit the nail fair and square on the head when he said that schoolmasters were only too often held solely blameable for non-success when the larger share, if not the whole, of the blame fairly belonged to the parents and to the pupils. Half the troubles of the teachers m our publio schools are directly traceable to bad home upbringing, and to carelessness, inattention, and laziness on the part of children who won't learn or don't try to learn. If a child be well disciplined at home he will be far more amenable to discipline at school, and habits of industry and diligence inculcated by parents m the home life will go a long way towards insuring the ! exhibition of those qualities m scbop.l lifo. Then again if a proper respect for the parents' authority be firmly and kindly exacted, a proper respect for the authority of the schoolmaster will be readily conceded. Yes, Mr Scott, you are quite right, the parents and t^e pupils themselves ore often very much more to blame than the unfortunate dominie upon whose head all the blame jb generally yiffted,

The members of the Ashburton County Council, with the Seoretary and the Engineer, paid an offioial visit to the Irrigation Farm nt Elgin this afternoon. In response to the invitation of ihe Council a large nnmber of farmers attendee 1 . After inspecting the orope, and partaking of refreshments provided by Mopara Friedlander Bros., agents for the MeßHoy Manufacturing Company, one of the Maseey mowers was set to work on the irrigated oow-graei, and gave a very satisfaotory trial.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881218.2.29

Bibliographic details

NOTES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2016, 18 December 1888

Word Count
1,461

NOTES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2016, 18 December 1888

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