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CORRESPONDENCE., Issue 7994, 24 August 1889
(We do not hold ourselves responsible (or th opinions expressed by our correspondents.] FROZEN* FISH, TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —I was speaking to a flshcui’er in Port the othet day about the scarcity of fish at present, when he informed me that there would be little or none for the next three months, when I proposed that the fishcurers ought to import it from Home in a frozm state, especially about this teason of the year, when it is so plentiful in the Old Country. Wo send Home mutton, why not bring out fish ? By last mail I got a paper (the ‘ Leith Burgh’s Pilot’), and in it I read the following : An Open Invitation. —Why should people complain of the expense of food when 811b of fresh haddocks are to bo had for threepence ? Strange as this may appear, it is nevertheless true, for at the fish market at Newhavm yesterday morning (28th June) sales were perfectly impossible even at that low figure. The quantity of haddocks lauded was almost unprecedented. Boxes were opened, and people invited to help themselv-s. Not content at this gratuitous offer, and imagining that they might realise some profit, soma were induced to purchase boxes full at very low prices; but failing to get quit of them all consigned the balance to the sea. Several who were too lazy to return the boxes, and probably disgusted with the proceeds of their custom, tossed these receptacles after them. All sorts of fish were plentiful during the week. Prices for good qualities were fairly good at the beginning, but fell, if possible, by the end of the week below aero.
Now, when fish is scarce in the market here it is very plentiful at Home, and could be sent to London by rail or steamboat within a few hours, when it could bo frozen, as there is every facility now on the Thames for exporting fish to the colonies; and 1 ara sure i£ the fishcurers here were to take it up judiciously it would pay handsomely. Who would not purchase a “ caller haddie ” or herrin’ ? judging by the eagerness that people came and bought up the shipment Messrs A. and J. M'Farlane imported. Fish is always very plentiful during the months of May, June, July, and August. I have seen boats come into the Port of Leith laden with small and large fish ; and cod, ling, etc., could be bought for 4d, 6d, and 9d, according to size. The action of the Fishery Board at Home is harassing the fishcurers at present, and the attention of all interested in the fishery industry of Scotland is being directed to the present action of the Board, and they are taking immediate steps to resist, by all means in their power, the arbitrary confiscation of barrels of fish. At present the Fishery Board charges 4d per barrel for branding—a tax which may be reasonably regarded as an export duty. Too much is not asked, therefore, by the curers when they petition for freedom to export, irrespective of the size of package, and insist on the abolition of the Board’s powers of confiscation, and the repealing of that part of degenerate and antiquated Acts of Parliament relating to the cure, size of package, and export of fish. I will be very glad to afford any information or facilitate in any way any inquiries which anyone might wish to make regarding this new enterprise, which could easily be opened up by next year.—l am, etc., T. M. Baxter. Dunedin, August 24. SCHOOLMASTER OR WHAT? TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—Being a subscribers your paper for the past fifteen years, I claim space for the insertion of a few words to correct a letter signed “ Parent ” in your issue of the 20th lust. In the first place he makes mention of the children having to be in school by nine o’clock a.m. all the year round, and being half an hour earlier than the town schools, I don’t think it gives our teachers their proper due to make the town schools a criterion, considering the low average attendance of the children on the roll, and the way they come dribbling into the school. Without the least exaggeration they come in up to half-past ten two-thirds of the year. If “Parent” would cons der this, I think ho would agree with me that all things are done for the best. In the second place, your correspondent says that the children only get half an hour for lunch, which I must put down as wide of the truth. In no single instance have I known these children get less than one hour for dinner since I have been in the district, and that is upwards of two years. In regard to them being kept at school on the Saturday previous to the examination: As a rule the head-teacher is generally noth fied of the inspector’s coming on a certain date, which happened this time to be three weeks earlier than usual. He very naturally told the children of it ; at the same time advising them to spur up. Now I have it on the authority of my own children that the pupils proffered their services that same day for the following Saturday, and they were told by the master that it would be of no use. However, as time went on, on the Friday they were asked to hold up their hands all who were willing to attend on the Saturday, there being no compulsion in the matter whatever.
Had “Parent” put his grievance before the School Committee, I have not the least doubt he would have got satisfaction. Instead of that he went to the_ Education Office, and was the means of getting the two sharpest of our inspectors to come down and put the children through the most rigid examination that was ever experienced in this district. Notwithstanding all that, we had the very fair result of 88 per cent, of passes, thanks to the teachers for the same, r— l am, etc., Rout. Hakdie, Secretary St. Leonards School Committee. St. Leonards, August 23.
CORRESPONDENCE., Issue 7994, 24 August 1889
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