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So well impressed was the Hon. W- A. Holman, Prime -Minister" of New South Wales, with some of the papers read at the Medical at Auckland that he proposes to have them read in Australia, to audiences of expert men.

An Auckland message states that the first sod of tlie branch railway to Waiuku was turned yesterday afternoon by the Prime Minister. There was a very large and enthusiastic gathering of residents. This is understood to be the first occasion fin which Mr Massey has officially turned the sod of a railway.

The announcement in the " Mercantile Gazette" of the registration (in Wellington) of " New Zealand Aviation, Limited," as a private company may be regarded as a sign of the time. The new Company's capital is set down as £500, and its object is to exhibit . aeroplanes in the Dominion.

An applicant for the position of county clerk, Kai^ieke County Council, stated as a testimonial that he had had long experience as a volunteer, ''which would be of service to him in dealing with disorderly crowds." The King Country in the eyes of some is evidently still considered a bit uncivilised.

The> Chief Justice at Wellington today dismissed the defendant's.summons for interrogatories in the libel action of 'the' '' iffew Zealand Times " v. the " Dominion," after counsel for the plaintiff had amended the statement of claim by.striking out the , alternative cause or ,'action, ■thus leaving.the question to jbe determined on a claim for .general (damages. ■

Several members, of the Thirty Thousand Club at Napier have been actively engaged in soliciting guarantees towards the necessary £800 to ensure •the holding of the next band contest at Napier. Over £600 had been arranged for, and it is expected that' the amount would be secured.

An agreement has been arrived at by jr-hich the. Napier Harbour Board re"c'eives £20,000 from 'the, Government towards the construction of an embankment across' the inner •!."■ harbour, Napier, ivhich r :>Y} used, inioconnection witli the construction of -the.Bast Coast railway. The' Hawke's Bay County Council pays £25:000 towards the erection of-a ferrotconqre'te bridge across the harbour. In addition the (Council has received.,^£sooo, which is to be deducted from tlie £25,u00.

Thl employees, ;pf Uthe; Ashburton branch, of the New;* Zealand Farmers' Co-operative Association, who held their annual picnic at Caroline Bay, Timaru, yesterday, arrived , back in Ashburton at 7.55 last evening, after having spent an enjoyable day. Races were held on the beach, and the following are the results:—7s yards handicap—A. Lennon 1/ W. Mcllraith 2. 100 yards handicap—F. Thomas 1, O. Moore 2. Married naen's race — W. Clayton 1, W.. C. Smith 2. Visitors' race—F. Robilliard 1, E. Scales 2. Wheelbarrow race—-C McKeegan 1, S. Simpson 2. Three-legged race—O. Moore 1, J. Brown 2.

"The Bradford medical service^ does not cost the ratepayers a penny piece," says the "New Statesman." The increased • grant obtained through an improved school attendance due to the diminution, one might almost say the .extinction, of ringworm, together with the small share Bradford receives of the special £€0,000 Treasury • grant, .more than covers the total cost of the service. Birmingham provides day continuation classes for 600 pupils at a net cost of two shillings per year per pupil." y;

A ratepayer in the Alfredton.district, in Emitting his rates to, the. Master ton County Council (the Dominion states) has written as follows:—"I am"certain that no other, public body in New Zealand or the British Empire would systematically (apparently out of pure cussedness) leave a road blocked like this is. It is a disgrace to civilisation, and a visible and certain proof of the utter uselessness- of the Master-toil Council in general. ..-.'. I would like to see the whole council-buried up .to the. necks "in tlie cursed h'qles.'-.. ■•"■ „;■.:.

It is" often asserted (says the Mataura "■Ensign,") that what is termed "red taps " governs the conduct of some of "the" Government Departments, but according to a report circulating at -EriI vercargill the Government has not a I monopoly of the system. A couple of months ago the manager of a public institution applied to fche secretary of the board for; a spray pump in order to spyay a three-acre patch of potatoes attached to the institution. The' official reply was that the matter would be brought before the next meeting of the board. A heavy fog occurred before the meeting, and the potatoes were found to be badly affected .wi'ih blight next morning.

Sir William Ramsay, speaking at a London spelling reform meeting, said he thought it was a pity that we had not from the beginning adopted the Chinese v 'system of writing instead of our own. The Chinese did not spell; they used symbols which conveyed ideas. The Chinese language had the great advantage that it could be read much' more quickly than any spelt language. It went straight from the symbol to the brain as an idea. Although he would not support the adoption of a new alphabet oh the lines of the Chinese system, lie'felt that it was a pity that 3000 or 4000 years ago our ancestors did not adopt the Chinese system. He urged, them ty adopt simplified -spelling, whenever-reasonable, such as when writing to relatives. :"-

An inspection y of; ,the-: Rangitaiki Swamp, id the Bay-of Planty, which •is being drained by the -Government,, Was made on Saturday Fy" the Prime Minister and the Minister of Railways'. It is expected that the work.-, will be completed in June next. YA" "New Zealand. Herald " reporter, who is accompanying the Rt. Hon. -W. F. Mas^sey and Hori. W. H. Herries in their East Coast tour, telegraphs to his paper that the Rangitaiki swamp comprises between 80,000yand 90,000 acres 'of<• land, a large portion of which two years ago was practically under water. Originally this, land was, worth only about. 10s per acre, but now that the drainage has" reclaimed it the value has gone up to something like'£ls to £20 per acre. To show what.the land in its present state is capable of it may be stated that last year £10,000 worth of fat stock was sold off it. At present it is growing grass, maize, and flax principally, but the future crops are bound to have a in rich, greater variety. It was felt generally by the Ministers and those accompanying them, that, as -in the case of the "Haurakr Plains, this big reclaimed;aroa. is going to be an even greater asset to the, State than, say, Waihi with its gold production. Now that the drainage i.s within measurable distance of being finished this huge area, must shortly become an important dairying centre, and all that seems to he required to assist it along its predestined course is the railway.

The s.s. Cairnross cargo.—Among the Canadian cargo arriving, in Lyttelton about the 28th of tha month is* a shipment of six Ferd Touring Cars for the Ashburton District Agent, Mr G. H. Carson. Several of .these fine Cars have already been sold to local purchasers, and the7''* is now only one Car available. Those intending purchasing a Car this year should not fail to examine these new models, which are examples of very high-class workmanship. Catalogues free on application. 1 45

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LOCAL AND GENERAL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8799, 20 February 1914

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LOCAL AND GENERAL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8799, 20 February 1914

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