ACCLIMATISATION SOCIETYS' REPLY.
STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT,
The following statement has been made by the President of the Society.
At the interview between the Minister of Internal Affairs and a deputation of residents in the Lake Ellesmere district, it appears that certain statements were made which are entirely contrary to the facts. No application ever came before the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society for permission to collect swan eggs on behalf of the Belgian Fund. In consequence of the prosecution of a lake settler for taking swan eggs and a subsequent appeal by the settlers to the Government for the right of destroying the swans which were consuming their feed, the society appealed to the Government for the sole right of collecting swan eggs, believing that they could regulate such collection better than any private body with a view to keeping the members within reasonable bounds and preventing the extermination of swans. Such permission was granted by the Government, and embodied in an act of Parliament passed last session, giving all 'Acclimatisation Societies the same right in their respective 'districts. There was no question of the revenue thus derived being devoted to the Belgian Fund. (The small revenue now derived jfrom the sale of swan eggs is all that the society receives from 'Lake Ellesmere towards the cost lof ranging the lake for the protection of native game—a large item in the society's expenditure.
The statement that the society last year made £1200 from the sale of swan eggs is so grossly exaggerated that I am surprised Mr Ell should have made it wi fchout first acquainting himself with the real fact. For his information I have pleasure in inform'ng him that the amount received by the society up to date is £117 0s Bd, from which must be deducted the cost of collecting, carts ;e, etc.
With regard to the alteration of the rules: At the two 1.-.st annual meetings strong objection were taken to the general fo:*m of the rules, and the council vis recommended to revise then. This would have been done this year, irrespective of any acti >n taken by the Lake settlers. The rule allowing members to join on payment of a fee of 5/- was struck out, as for over ten yerrs it had never been taken advr.ntage of, and other societies h.id found that a similar rule hid been taken advantage of only i >r [purposes which were not in the [interest of acclimatisation work. The 5/- membership gave no ! sporting rights; all shooting of [native gave, including swans, is ?free, subject to the close seaso; s, which are fixed by act of Pari > ment. The alterations made in the rules do not increase the ci of sport by one penny to anyoi c, and further they make membership of the society more general.
The only payments received by the society hist year for impo *ted game licenses, other than de,*r stalking licenses, amount to Kb 13s. This is the only contribution by shooting men to the funds of the society.C. MORTON ANDERSON, President. Canterbury Acclimatisation Scty.
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ACCLIMATISATION SOCIETYS' REPLY., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3537, 18 April 1916