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Mr J. 6. Sinclair, hon. treasurer of tho local relief fund, has received the following letter, which explains itself Huntly, December 18, 1014. Mr J. S. Sinclair, . Dear Sir,—l have your letter of the 16th inst. asking for further information re amounts distributed to the relatives of the victims of the/Huntly disaster. The amount of £35 per. week does seem small, but when you realise that it means £1,820 per annum, and by a rough actuarial calculation 1 made, a distribution of £16,000 by the time tho youngest child is 14 years or age, it assumes quite a different appearance. We are paying out on tho following basis :—To each widow 15s per week, and to each child under 14 years of age ss, with the exception that in the two cases where tho children are both motherless and fatherless we are paying 7s 6d per week to each child. The weekly amounts vary from 15s per week to the few widows who have no children under 14 to £1 18s 6d per week to a widow with seven children.

I should have explained that, with the object of placing all on the one footing, wo hav© reduced the payments by the amount of any pension received, so that our fund helps to level things up tor those who are not entitled to the pension. Thus the last-named widow above receives £1 18s 6d from us and 11s 6d from the pension, while if she was not entitled to receive the pension wo would pay her tho whole £2 10s per week. As none of the widows have to pay high rents, they are fairly well off under tho present arrangement, and are, I believe, content. Of course, wo would like to pay thorn more, but wo must cut our garment according to our cloth.

There will be a fair amount of compensation to come to each one, and each family has already received £SO from the Miners’ Eeliof Fund (administered by the Public Trustee), and a largo quantity of clothing was sent to us, and has been distributed.

Our fuucl has now reached £6,039 19s 9d, and 1 believe it will reach £7,000, and perhaps £B,OOO. Then the Opposition Committee have, they say, £2,000, which they have offered to hand over to us on condition that we took on to our committee the four Huntly members of their committee Personally, I was opposed to having anything to do with them, but we want the money, and I knew that if we refused to accept their offer they would make a great outcry about it in the papers, and that would prejudice this fund, and perhaps other fuiids, in the public mind. In tho interests, then, of the people in distress, w,o agreed to accept the offer, on condition that the joint committee immediately proceed to put matters in train for placing the money in the hands of the Public Trustee under a proper deed of trust. I believe the Wellington Committee is considering this today. Any other information yon may desire, I shall bo only too glad to supply.—l am, etc., F. Hahius. Hon. sec. Huntly Mines Disaster Relief Committee.

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THE HUNTLY RELIEF FUND, Issue 15684, 24 December 1914

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THE HUNTLY RELIEF FUND Issue 15684, 24 December 1914

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