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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, Otago Daily Times, Issue 16627, 25 February 1916
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Sir, —Reading your leading article in today's Times has induced me to send on a few of my thoughts in connection with the subject ot thriu, which wo aro realising more and more-, as the days go by, is to play a very important part in our present war. I have boon studying tho subject of thrift* closely ever si* ice the outbreak of hostilities and have found it very interesting. I fear that in the minds of many there is misappronhension as to what constitutes thrift. Thrift is really tho science governing the management of our resources, so as to obtain all that is obtainable from those resources. Not to use all that we want, and to let tho refuse waste, but so to work in every particle that it serves some good purpose. A general takes his men and distributes them so that their services may bo mudo most cffectivo with as little loss of life as possible, utilises every point of vantage, prevents wastage, and gives us an example of thrift. A housewife goes into tho kitchen to prepare dinner. The meat is cooked in the manner that gives most nutrition with least waste; vegetables are carefully prepared, and tho skins are put into the 6tock pot. Skins and cores of fruit are converted into jelly, and the fowls are fed with tho refuse. This is thrift. Well, now we are on tho eve of hard times. Taxation must come, and it will bo woll our Government taxes the people, not in such a manner as to overstrain the working class, but so a* to consorvo the resources; of tho dominion to' such an extent that cheap, good food may bo obtainable, thus leaving a greater amount of money free for taxes to swe'll the revenue of the country, and pay our share of the enormous amount that is, and will be for many years, needed through this dreadful war. Every penny saved by economising our, lavish food supplies will bo freed for the Empire's benefit. Our orchards aro ladened with an unusual abundance of fruits. This year it is wasting on every hand. Owners of privato orchards in Moagiel and elsewhere are deploring the fact that they do not know what to do with the surplus. Slupposing the Government distributed a fow tons of sugar in the various districts, and tho Women's National Reserve organised jam-making, I believe many people would be willing to make the preserves if sugar wero provided. Collectors appointed by the Government could store jam in depots, and when hard times come, cheap jam and preserves might be bought by tho people, who at present are finding the problem of getting 20 shillings' worth of nourishment, from the expenditure of 25 shillings of hard-earned money, a great tax. Then, again, our shores, Lakes, and rivers are alive -with fish, and we take fish, at rather long'intervals, aa a luxury, because it costs so much. Let us have a Government trawling department and fish market to give the country the benefit of that source of wealth which is at present being largely wasted. When the supply of fresh fish exceeds tho demand, then have pickling tubs and smoke houses to preserve the surplus for winter use. Rabbits also might be collected'-when in season and frozen for use when out of season, and thus our live 6tock—beef and mutton, etc.—might be conserved to a great extent, and more exportation allowed to the countries needing .it. We all realise that our statesmen are having a busy time, but I maintain that it will be to the Empire's interest for our Governments to practise thrift, and so give a lead to the people. The shining sovereign does net swell the church offertories. It is the modest little threepenny piece that keeps the churches going. So the comparatively few wealthy people with spasmodic giving will not fill the treasury, but the organised systematic giving by the mass will prove the long pull and strong pull that will land the lifeboat Endeavour on the flood tide of Thrift into the harbour of National Prosperity.—l am, etc., Elizabeth Pinfold. Mosgiel, February 21.. i THE RECRUITING MOVEMENT. Sib, —It will be a matter of satisfaction to the community as a whole that the Citv Council has decided to do everything in its power to make the voluntary system a success and in accordance *ith the wishes of the Government. It is to be hoped that the St. Kilda Council will take the first available opportunity of reversing its previous decision, And by so doing remove tho undoubted stigma which at present rests on every member of that council who is responsible for the passing of its unpatriotic and distinctly lamentable motion. If members of our public bodies who occupy their positions on these bodies by virtue of the public vote and implicitly possess, certain qualifications which entitle them to represent the wishes and interests of the ratepayers, fail to exhibit a proper sense of their duty to tho Empire at the present juncture, then it is unreasonable to expect the young men to rise to a proper sense of their obligations. It has been made perfectly plain by tho Government that if the voluntary system is found not to be a success, then compulsion will be instituted, but that it would be distinctly opposed to the democratic sentiment of this dominion to introduce such a measure w'ithout first affording the voluntary system every reaeonable trial. When, some few years ago, the present Minister of Defence hinted that he proposed to make arrangements whereby ■ an expeditionary force could be sent from New Zealand in the interests of the Empire if the occasion required, the proposal was met with a storm of protest from one end of the dominion to the other. And when compulsory military training was also brought into force, similar opposition was met with by that portion of the community which fashions its opinions according to the political colour of tne moment. It was a fortunate thing for this community that both these measures were formulated, and those who for political purposes opposed these measures must at the present juncture feel that the dominion is under a deep sense of obligation to the Minister of Defence for the extremely important, arduous, and in many respects thankless task which he has had to perform in the particularly trying and difficult circumstances which have existed since the outbreak of the present wax. We find every now and then that some citizen or other, prominent perhaps in commercial circles, reaping, more than probably, vast pecuniary advantages indirectly as the result of war prices, poses as a dictator and judge as to what policy tho Government should adopt. But before any individual can set himself up as an authority on matters of policy at tne present moment, before any man can with any degree of competence set himself up as a person fit to dictate to the Government, such a person should be able to point to his own conduct and be able to produce some substantial evidence that ho has in his own sphere done his duty to the Empire and rendered some sacrifice. And it cannot be denied that much of the complaint which in tho past has proceeded from many of our citizens who pose as leaders of our commercial and political thought, has not been entirely disinterested and wjthout political motive. Mistakes have been made in tho past, and would have been made under whatever Government might have controlled the destinies of this dominion at the present time. The British Government likewise has made mistakes, which have not been without very serious effect on the progress of the war. But even the individual possessed of the meanest intelligence, must credit every Government as being possessed of every desire to assist, to the best possible advantage, the Empire in its hour of need. Futher', it must be considered that the Government possesses information which the average citizen very properly is ignorant of; that the major portion of the policy relating to the war and matters indirectly connected with it is carried into effect in accordance with the demands of tho Imperial Government, and that, whatever apparent defects may exist to the mind of the all-wise njan in the street, tho wishes of the Home Government must be regarded in every respect, and carried into effect accordingly. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the people of Otago. at any rate, will show. themselves as capable of properly estimating the extent of their obligations as tho prosent juncture, and that tho voluntary recruiting movement will receive that assistance which its importance demands. And it will be oxortemly desirable that tho task of approaching- apparent eligible, will be entrusted to tho6e who have done their duty, andlhave made some sacrifice for the Empire, so that their fitness for dictating to others, will bo unquestioned. It is to bo hoped that, prior to approaching any particular member of tho community with a request that he should volunteer for service, the authorities will make themselves acquainted with tho facts as disclosed by the registration card. Situated as we are, many thousands of miles from the 6ccne of the great conflict, secure from invasion, and wholly because the Grand Fleet has enabled us to bo in this happy position, it surely becomes every member of tho community to exhibit a proper spirit and endeavour with united effort to mako the voluntary system a success, and take such measures as will ensure that any man offering his services for his country, will bo properly provided for, and assured beyond doubt that he will experience no worries of this nature from the moment he puts on the uniform of a soldier. Let us, therefore, banish all animosities, jealousies, and
suspicions of ono another. Living under tho influence of a proper conception of our various duties at the present time, may wo dispel, and I trust, dispel for over, that weighty cloud of indifference to our obligations, which at this hour, fast threatens to dim tho futuro of tho British race. —I am, etc., Trdtii. Dunedin, February 24.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, Otago Daily Times, Issue 16627, 25 February 1916
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