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(Per Press Association.)

HASTINGS, February 24. The Right Hon. W. .F. Massey formally opened the Hawko's Bay Produce and Cool Storage Company's new premises at Hastings at noon today. Mr E. H. Williams (chairman of the company) introduced ,the Prime Minister to the fruit-growers who attended the ceremony.

Replying to the address of welcome,' Mr Massey said that he was glad, not only as far as Hawke's Bay was concerned, but in the interests of the Dominion, that the fruit-growing industry was not to be allowed to languish. In different parts of New Zealand people were beginning to realise that fruitgrowing was destined to become $, very important'industry, and that New Zealand possessed a suitable soil and suitable climate, and that lately there had been a • good market—almost an unlimited market—for .apples. He was referring to South America.' Last session he took the' opportunity, as Minister of Agriculture, of asking Parliament for a sum of £25,000 for the purpose of granting loans to fruitgrowers' associations who desired to make provision for cold storage. The amount was sanctioned, and although he had not yet actually received tne £25,000, from recent events in the London money market he expected to receive it shortly, and those associations wliich required assistance would then be to come along to the Crown for loans, when he would do all in his power to help the industry. The limit on loans would be £3000.

Continuing, the Prime Minister said that his experience from one end oi the Dominion to the other was that hi pears and apples growers were able to produce the equal of anything in the world, not excepting those supplying the London market. (Applause.) Now that there was a good market the industry should go ahead by leaps and bounds, and he felt sure that when the £25,000 granted by Parliament had been spent judiciously and advantage--1 ously, a further sum would be granted, for the same purposes. ; In the afternoon Mr Massey opened J the lona Presbyterian Girls' College ; Havelock North—a splendid brick building situated on the Havelock Hills. The Rev. James Patterson presided at the opening ceremony, aiK., presented a gold key to the Prime lVliiiistor, and also gold keys to Mr Hugh Campbell, of Breadalbane, and Mr Mason Chambers, of Tauroa—two gentlemen who presented 12 acres of 1 land on which the college is built. In ■ the morning the Prime Minister was waited on by a deputation from i Chamber of Commerce, who requested the Government to grant a subsidy to wards the cost of bridging the Rangitikoi River on the Napier-Taihape Road. Mr Massey promised to lay the request before the Minister of Public Works. A deputation also urged the Govornment to se,t up a commission to inquire into the titles of Native land on the route-of the East Coast railway, and that these lands should be purchased before the line went through. Mr Massey replied that it was the policy of the Government to acquire lands on the route of new railway lines, and as much as possible would be pur.chased on the East Coast route. _ He wouldflay the request for a commission to inquire into the Native .titles, before J'the Native Minister. The Prime: Minister and the Hon. I<. M B. Fisher are being entertained a a banquet by the fruit-growers this evening.

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Bibliographic details

PREMIER ON TOUR., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8803, 25 February 1914

Word Count

PREMIER ON TOUR. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8803, 25 February 1914

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