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WAKARI SITE. THE' PURCHASE CRITICISED* Tho Hospital Board’s decision to purchase what is known as Mr Tiihum’s pro-j<ert-y at Wakari for a- secondary hospital lanio in for a certain amount, of criticism at last night’s meeting of the board. The Dunedin Municipal Association _ and tho Hospital Saturday Association forwarded letters m reference to the same, and tho chairman (Mr Walker) at a _ later stage answered questions that had been put to him by the editor of the * t 4 l ar in that . vening’s issue of the paper. Tho first letter rend was from the secretary of tho Dunedin Municipal Association, who wrote that tho executive had passed tho following resolution; —“That

the executive of the association are surprised at tho action of the hoard_ ni (1) deciding to purchase the Wakari site and buildings for a secondary hospital when .-.•iitvnry to the esp c-s v. ids.. uf the Minister ox Public Health, and thus acting! contrary to the Act; 12) proceeding wita the purchase when contrary io the medical expert opinion as to its suitability; (3j that the wooden buildings which arc ap- \ patently part of the purchase money ap- | pear to he useless as parr of a public in- < st Ration, which in all cases must Ire built | of brink or stone: (4) that this executive respectfully suggest that tho re.-olution dealing with the purchase of the above property should he rescinded without delay pending the decision of the Minister of Public Health and Inspector-General of Hospitals.” Tho Chairman said Unit if the Municipal Association had been in possession of all the facts hr l was sure they would never have carried the resolution they had. The letter was received. The Hospital Saturday Association wrote with reference it. the hoard’s decision to •erect the observation ward at Wakari. The letter stated that when the association. offered in 1912 to set apart half the collection to erect this ward it was on the understanding that such ward would be erected at Pine Hill. The deputation that waited on the association on November 4. 1912. assured them that that was the site recommended by the medical cx•perts. The money already handed over and yet to come was allocated on the understanding that the board had definitely decided to erect the build me- at Pine Hill. Therefore, in the present circumstances, the association were withholding their proportion or this year's collection pending fuller information regarding further change of .site. Tho Chairman mid that he wa- rather flad that this letter had come in, so that e would have the opportunity of assuring the public that the Hospital Board did not receive the whole of the money. The position in regard to the hoard was this: When the executive of the association, or a certain number of them, approached the board, the board willingly agreed to forgo half or the proceeds to be given to the Hospital. 'il;e public, he thought, were under the impression that the whole of the pro reeds were to go to the Hospital. As far as he personally was concerned, he would lie willing to give the whole of their donation fi> the Belgian fund. He certainly thought that the association had no right to with bold _ tho hroney. . They were taking up a position that eyas absolutely unfair. In the first plac£T the first part of their letter was correct. The idea at that time was that the institution should he erected at Fine Hill, but since then circumstances had arisen that made it impossible for that to be carried into effect. He noticed by the public Press that the money collected had ngen given to the various institutions to which they were allocated, and ho could hardly understand the letter from the association. So far they had received in Xnon- - . It must ho admitted that when the allocation of the proceeds were deter- i mined on the Hospital had to gel their | proportion. He thought that the position taken up was a wrong one. and would no She association harm. Mr Talboys thought it would he well for the chairman and some member? to meet the association and explain the position-. He thought a quirt talk would pvercom-s all, ditKrnlties. The Jotu-r said that the money was for the erection of the hospital at Pine Kill, but, as a mat"ter of fact, the question as to where it was to be was never raised. Ho thought it would he well to have the matter amicably settled. The Chairman did not- think, so far as the board were concerned, they sh-.-uM '|o cap in hand to the association. If they had asked for particulars in regard to his matter the hoard would have Im-eii pleased to have given them, but to pass ■jft resolution withholding the money was a slight on iho board. The- position he took "up was that if they liked to vithjiold the money, let them withhold it. . Mr Talboys : I don't think they have [the power to do so. : Tho Chairman ; T don't think they ■fcave, [ Air F. J. Camming said h<- was present j ■ftt tho meeting of the association, and although he did not take any part in tho 'discussion, he was perfectly .satisfied ihat Aho wording of the resolution -was most •unfortunate. Ho was satisfied that the E sedation had no intention whatever of sting any reflection on the board, but feather to respect fully ask that some information be given them us to why the priginai intention was not carried nut. The association had no intention of with- I holding the money. They knew that they ■coaid not do so. They wanted some, reason for the board departing from tho original idea—to give the money collet ted for four or five years for a specific purpose, namely, the erection of a consumptive wing at Fine Hill. Dr Marshall Macdonald said it was quite obvious that the resolution had "been engineered by same members of the Hospital Saturday Association. He was Bure that there must be a large number j of members of the association who would j 'disapprove of the resolution. Other societies were not asked to give up half of j their share of the crllcrti-.n to the Bi I- j gians. Why. than, was the Hospital the I only one asked to give nn part of their i Share? The fair thing would have been | to set aside a certain amount for the | {Belgians, and then to have divided the ! rest. The question of the Fine Hill site I was only a quibble. It was an untair 1 'and ungenerous quibble, tired by some 1 members of the association to bring about fur unpleasant state of affairs between the | association ami the h- ard. cud ho did not j think they should assist that mmonty on j the association. | On the- motion of Mi- Scnrr it- was 1 agreed that- the association's letter bo received, and that the secretary forward the- explanation asked tor. Later in the evening, when the reports were under consideration, the Finance Committees report, which contained the follov ring clause, was adopted In reference to pm chase of land at Wakari, tho terms as submitted by the board have been approved, interest to be paid half-y, ariy. t > he com tinted from date of possession, such p'-sses-aiou to be given on March 1. 1915. A sab-committee consisting of Mrs .lackeon and Mrs Ferguson, tho medical superintendent,, and the controller of stores* has bean authorised to report in regard to inquiry from Mr Tilhunr if this hoard desire to take- over at vaPiatron any of the- house :V-,,: stock, garden tools, etc. The Chairman next referred to a. suh-Ipa-der in the ‘Evening .Star.’ in which rjie editor asked him to give an answer to --£» following three qimst ions : (1) Did the board's legal advisers over give an opinion respecting the validity of this proposal to create a new institution at a cost exceeding £250 without tho sanction of tho Minister being first obtained, as directed by the Statute? (2) Is it a fact that the door is still open for resuming negotiations for tiro acquisition of the additional 32 acres at Firm Hill, so sti-ongly recommended bv tho honorary medical stall? (3) What authority is there for the statement that has been made, on the authority of the chairman, himself, that hospital accommodation is likely to be needed in the early future for invalided olUa-’-s or soldiers from the theatre of war?

! In recaul to quest ion No. 1, the Chairi man said: " I 'might say ' No.' Wo have (g:)in> on exactly the same procedure as we | have followed on previous occasions.” Tin' I pun-chase of the ground in Cumberland street, costing 1 over £9,C00, was purchased in exactly tlio some way. “As a board ws think we 'acted quite legitimately in doing what wo have done.” Ito was vciy glad that question N<>. 2 had appeared in the public Press, bn-ausc during the hut day or two he had heard it stated that the land was open to nurchtise if the board had gone about it in the light way—the right way was to give more money—and that the only trouble was that they had not offered enough money. “I wish to give that an emphatic denial. Tiro board entered into negotiations tluuniglt throe agents for the purchase of this property. It wars not a question of money. The board were prepared to treat if they had been given the onport- nitv. The a gouts, who did their very best in regard to the matter, could not got an opportunity to purcliaee. We made offers. It has been said outside by some very much interested in tho matter tlnii the beard never made mi oiler. That iiu iuvovvH'.d,. The beard did make an [offer, and file letters showing that they J did are in tho office. Furthermore, a lady | mouther o£ the hoiird interviewed the (.Sisters, and wa„ in hopts that they w onld i ewe to terms in some way. but they i linally decided that they would not soil i under any c.millions.” The Chairman j added that a. letter to this effect was published—the lathes would not sell under any conditions. The lady member of the hoard also ’odd them i hat that was the position they took up, Tim Chairman said lie was not aware that he would have to answer question No. d, hat he might say that in discussing the mutter with the. editor of tire ' .Star,' and in asking him to publish the correspondence between the- board and tire Wuhan parties, he told him that there was a. probability that accommodation would be required for invalided soldiers. He told him that on the authority of the medical superintendent, and it was perfoi ily right, he u nieisieoii. Tho editor ill- n inCiiired him that he was a .vary of it. -Mrs l-'cigmoi. that while else was in WehSnyion she was assured that there would a.-I K> tho slighter* Double ; about tho hoard's purchase. Ur Macdonald said that anyone wanting nn answer the second question should have add i-, feed it tr> the owners of the [no party at Fine Hill. They were the proper persons to addiws that question to; not the hoard. This end; d the discussion.

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THE SECONDARY HOSPITAL, Issue 15707, 22 January 1915

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THE SECONDARY HOSPITAL Issue 15707, 22 January 1915

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