Th adjourned meeting of the Ashburton Farmers' Union was hold on Saturday afternoon in the A. and P. Association's rooms, when Mr J. Brown was voted to the chair in the absence of the retiring* president, Mr W. Oakley. There was an attendance of seven members, which gradually rose to 16 or 17, and sank again to six, the chairman remarking that it was "legislation by exhaustion."
The. chairman saJd that the meeting had.been called to elect a president for the ensuing year, and. called for nominations. Proposed by Mr W. T. Lill and seconded by -Mr Frampton, Mr W. G. Gallagher (Mayfield) ' was 'unanimously elected president. Mr Gallagher then took . the chair, thanking those present for the honour conferred on him, not only in making him their president, but also in choosing him as one of the Union delegates at. the coming Conference in Wellington. He said he had been a member of the union for a great many years, but had-been unable to follow its activities closely in the past. . He wished to exp'ross his appreciation of those who had so faithfully attended, and supported the union .Many farmers not members of- the union had recognised its' .value and had benefited by its labours on their behalf. As producers, farfluers should Match their interests at this present time of reconstruction when united action . was especially ueceßsary to meet the capitalistic interests that have grown up and amalgamated during the war. The shipping-monopoly he particularly referred' to, for to us the open sea vvas as the breath of life and any shipping combine had got to bo met by strong counter combination on the i>art of the farmers. In regard to primary products, concerted action and the exchange of ideas by farmers was necessary to get the best results, in conclusion, he thanked members for the confidence they had reposed in him, and appealed to the older members to give the benefit of their guidance and experience. . ■"',-'..' • The further.- elections of Union officers was then proceeded with and resulted: Vice-Fresident, Mr J. Williams; secretary, Mr J. B. Christian j auditor, Mr. J. Bowden; treasurer,. Mr C. Rtoid (last three re-elected). Mr Frank' Evans was elected to'•■the 1 committee to fill the vacancy caused by Mi* Gallagher's election as president. . ■. _,: , ■ At this stage Mr G. W". Leadley said he wished to resign his seat on the committee in favour of Mr R.Houston. In resigning, he was acting on the suggestion of those who so often told them what a Farmers' Union ought to be, who knew all about the work of such a body, and who wished the Farmers' Union $o benefit:'by the infusion of new blood. , ' ' ■- '.. ;.■■■•..":," -
MiyW.'; Moses ''agreed with' Mi- Leadley, while Mr J. Williams said thai no notice should be taken of what the newspapers Kaid. -
Mr O. Reid said he did not think the newspapers were altogether at fault for it was true, they had trouble enough in raising interest in the Fanners' Union, but the fault really lay with,, the farming community. He proposed that, as it was a pity to lose the valuable services of Mr Leadley, he should be elected j>atron of- the. union. Mr lleid remarked that he, himself, had had a reminder that he was not wanted.
. The chairman pointed out that there was no provision 'for an appointment such as Mr .Reid suggested.
Another speaker remarked that. a good many were ready to criticise the Farmers' Union, but few came forward to help it along, it would be a pity to lose those who were good speakers for young men who wore often. too frightened by newspaper reporters taking notes to express their views.
Finally, ;Mr. Leadley withdrew his resignation and matters were,allowed to stand as before the discussion.
Mr Leadley then moved "that this branch of the Farmers' Union strongly endorse the proposal of the North Canterbury Provincial Executive that all storage space in the freezing works be at once taken over by the •Government and held under its control until the expiry of the present meat con tract with the/; Imperial Government." 'Mr C. Reid seconded Mr Leadley's motion, and after discussion, in which several speakers'; took sides, it was decided to endorse' the remit, ' because it would be fully discussed at the Conference and "could do no harm," as one .member remarked. :
It was decided to take no ■ action in regard to Mr J. It. Simpson's proposal that the Farmers' Union should protest against the class of land bought by the Government for soldiers. It was -felt , that this protest if made would prejudice the best interests of the soldiers already on such' land besides reflecting'on farmers who had sold land to the"Government for soldier settlement. Mr Leadley pointed out that there were some farmers in the room who would l>« affected by such a protest ... ' . .■■ ■ - . Mr W. T. Lill said that remits'winch were to have been brought before this meeting -for endorsement had not. come tor ward. He wished to raise the question later of the organisation of farmery against the present system of land taxation. The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks'to the chairman. .
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9601, 5 May 1919
FARMERS' UNION Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9601, 5 May 1919
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