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SOUTHERN NEWS.

(By Telegraph.— Press Association.) THE GRAIN YIELD. WELLINGTON, Thursday. The area undei "heat in New Zealand is ivJ.3ni acres, arid the estimated yield i-.":; bushels per .i.-iv, a tutal. of 5,325,903 The area under oats is 407.0."" acres, ani the estimated \ jVld 41 bushels per acre, iraking a total of 17,095.554 bushT.'ie area under barley is 48.0"<.'! acres, und the estimate,! yield 34 bushels per afic. the total being 1.061.002 bushels. Tii? amount of whe.it and flour on hand) OH i v cto':>er 31 last wa s 1.761.534 bushels. j Sf-AX/GHTFRMKN'S FINES. CHRISTCHI'RCH, Thursday. A deputation of slaughtermen, introduced r.y Mr. T. E. Taylor, M.1 , ., waited i:p.Ti the Priim- Minister iSir .Joseph j Wardi to-day, in regard to th<- impound- / inp of wasrpV to pay the fines imposed in connection with the slaughtermen's Ffrike some time ago. The men suggr*tt>l that the tines he paid in instalments of i~- ]ier cent, and Sir .Joseph said he would communicate with the authorities asking that the offer be accepted. In reply to a question the Prime Minister said the present Arbitration Act was retrospective, and provision had been made for the collection of. fines. •PREFERENCE TO UNIONISTS. WELLINGTON". Thursday. The suggestion made by -ludge Sim, President of the Arbitration Court, to employers, that it would be in their own interest if they engaged only members of a workers" union, was considered at a specifll meeting of the executive of the New Zealand Employers" Federation, and it was resolved that the affiliated bodies be written to with a view to formulating a united protest against such a proposal. INVERCARGILL BAND CONTEST. IN V ER( A RGILL, Th v rsda y. About a month ago it was decided to take steps to hold a band contest at Invercargill in October next, and the committee set up to approach the business men of the town for a guarantee against loss reported to-night that £"JoO had been pledged and that the prospects for the contest were good. LYTTELTON GAOL. CHRISTCHURCH, Thursday. The Minister for Justice (the Hon. Dr. Findlay) paid another visit of inspection to the Lyttelton Gaol this morning. He said it wa% clear that the prison was in no way adapted for the classification and proper separate treatment of prisoners from 16 to "21 years of age. The system he proposed to adopt would invtsJFJ very slight structural alterations, aia he hoped by its means to effect the ssgwgation of the hardened criminals froKi the first offenders, these latter again being subdivided into two broad classes, according to age. GROCERS' WAGES. WEXXINGTON, Thursday. The Wellington grocers' dispute was . heard by the Arbitration Court to-day. 3Jr Carey, for the union, said the parties had been able to agree on all points J except the question of the wages of as- j sistant grocers and carters' wages, ! fixed six years and a-half ago. These ■ were not commensurate with the cost of living to-day, which had increased by IS to 20 per cent. The union asked that ] assistants over 23 years of age receive £3 a week, and that the wages of youths be in proportion, that the minimum wages of carters be for driving and attending a single horse £2 10/, two horses £2 14/, and for each additional horse 4/ a week, boys under 17 to be not allowed to drive horses. The question for the Court was whether £2 5/ va? a living wage. The Court heard evidence, and will make its aivard later. PARADISE DUCKS. INA'KRCARGII-L, Thursday. At s well-attended meeting of sportsmen to-night it was decided to ask the Government to open the season for ehooting paradise ducks in Otago and Southland. It was said that these ducks were exceedingly plentiful and | had in certain localities, notably the Lakes district, become a nuisance to farmer?, who poisoned them in large numbers. THE CHAMPION SCULLER. CHRieTCHITICH, Thursday. A purse containing over 100 sovereigns was presented to R. Arnst, the world's champion sculler, to-night. It -was stated at the gathering that £500 had been guaranteed to send Arrjst to Canada to meet Durnan, and £200 for expenses in connection with bis match, with Barry. MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS. CHRISTGHURCH, Thursday. The large brick sawmill, occupied by j Watson, contractor, which was' completely destroyed by fire this morn- j ing, was owned by the Christ's College ! trustees, and was insured in the Nor- i them office for £47 5. The contents ' and plant, which were owned by Watson, ! were insured for £1240 in the Atlas I office.. I

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SOUTHERN NEWS. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 67, 19 March 1909

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