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News and Notes.

Erostv nights and sunny days have followed each other with monotonous regularity of late —in fact, the weather has been so fine that the Otago Times was led to picture the district as suffering from iwith stock-owners at their wits end to keep life in sheep and cattle.” A more extraordinary misstatement of the true position of affairs,” remarks the Mataura Ensign, "it would be difficult to conceive. Southland is not only easily wintering its normal flock and herds, but tgousands of animals imported from other districts are being turned into ‘Prime Canterbury/ and in addition to finding plenty of feed, fodder is being railed by' the train load to North Otago.” And not only Canterbury stock, but Canterbury settlers are coming South, and, unlike the stock, are coming to stay. Quite a number of farms have changed hands, the buyers in many cases being Northern men. Some claim' that the influx is due to the advertising value of the Southland Court at the Exhibition, and others attribute it to the comparative cheapness of land in Southland. Whatever the cause, the “new blood” is welcome.

Southland has the reputation of being exceptionally wet, and cold, and bleak, but if the fine weather lately experienced continues, our critics will have to change their tune. !As things are, we can afford to smile at our detractors and enjoy the fun that is made at our expense, the latest example being published in The Triad, which is giving a series of racy spectacles of New Zealand’s cities. Invercargill’s features are thus humorously exaggerated : —“ Invercargill is a small Scotch village at the base of the South Pole. Its inhabitants are mostly Scotch, who left their old homes but brought their old climate, or as much of it as they could carry. Rain and cold in Invercargill are not weather, but climate. No one goes to Invercargill to eat the lotus, or anything else they do not pay for. When the first settlers left their birthplace it was because it was pegged down. The name of the place is used in the North for cooling beer when ice runs out. Northern doctors find that the word Tnvercargill’ repeated in the ear of a feverish patient who has once lived in that place, will reduce his temperature immediately. When you look across the main street in Invercargill the horizon,is jnst in the middle. A syndicate has arranged to use it as a support for the power wire in an electric car service. The people talk about their beautiful harbour, but it is all. Bluff.”

Leaving Invercargill for Wellington, •our legislators are still engaged in the good old game of wasting time in discussing bills that haven’t the ghost of a chance of becoming law. 'This, however, has redeeming features from a Ministerial point of view, for it enables the Cabinet to cope vjith the deputations which have pouredt into Wellington re tariff •changes, bringing with them all kinds of exhibits, including boots largely made from cardboard and other things more or less remote from leather.

The Standard Oil Co., in America, lias been fined about six millions sterling for breaches of the law, enabling it to control the output and price of kerosene, but the Company, of which John D. Rockefeller is the head, will now appeal to the higher court. In imposing the fines the judge regretted that he whs unable to send the violators of the law to prison, since their actions wounded society more deeply than counterfeiters of coin or mail-hag thieves. 4-

The New Zealand Tablet evidently believes that there is rot much in the anti-Chinese agitation, for it declares that “Six months of a vegetable famine, or of famine prices for things green and soft and lucious, would knock the Dutch gilding off at least one phrase of the Anti-Chinese movement, and leave even “ white "New, Zealand” orators resigned to the virtues, as well as the faults, of th)o slant-eyed market gardener from the Hoang-ho. ’ ’ In other words we are asked to believe that the white man is unequal to the task of growing sufficient vegetables for his own use.

It is stated that recent decisions by the Arbitration Court in Sydney will mean an additional £60,000 a year to workers in certain trades in that city, and they probably deserve

it, for the free-trade centre had an evil name for sweating. If >aH accounts are true, however,protectionist Melbourne is not much better; but if organisation can prevent it there is not much likelihood of low wages long hours ruling in New Zealand. Hitherto, country labour has been practically unorganised, but on Monday last the Canterbury Farm Labourers’ application for a n awtard came before the Arbitration Court at Christchurch. Over 7000 farmers from all parts of Canterbury were cited, and so many attended that the Court room was crowded out, and the door had to be locked to prevent an ingress of additional defendants. Canterbury branch of the Farmers’ Union contended that there was acMr D. Jones, president of the North tually no dispute between the farm workers and the employers, and that the case had beozi brought prematurely. The Court reserved its decision on the question,*and the president stated that if it wore held that the case was properly before the Court the whole matter would be referred by the Court to the Conciliation Board for investigation and report. What has happened in Canterbury will happen elsewhere in the Dominion, and the Farmers’ Union will probably receive large accessions to its ranks a s a counterblast to the organisations on the other side..

The Peace Conference at, the Hague is still considering proposals for the benefit of the world at large, but meantime Britain has had a review of her fleet, in which Ifjl vessels took part, while the United States is sending a fleet to the Pacific for a similar purpose. They don’t want to fight, but if there is any fighting to be done they won’t be caught napping.

The sculling race for the championship of the world between Charles Towns (N.S.W.) and Webb (N.Z.) took place on the Parramatta River on Shturday last, and was won by Webb, who was five lengths to the good at the finish. Towns claimed a foul, but it was disallowed. Webb has already received a challenge, and promptly told the other oarsman to come to Wanganui.

A serious railway accident occurred near Rotorua on Saturday night. A goods train was bound from Auckland to Rotorua. The train, a longone with two engines and a large number of trucks and a passenger carriage was ascending a steep grade three miles on the Rotorua side of Putaruru, when all the trucks, the carriage, and the guard’s can became detached from the engine, and want down hill at a terrific puce till reaching a culvert, when they went over an embankment into a gully UO feet below. J. Lowe, : he guard, was killed. James Dwyer and Iyer, assistant guards, have each a broken arm and other injuries. Kingdom a platelayer, was injured internally, sustained concussion of the brain. It is said, that the brakes refused to act. Forty head of cattle were killed outright, and the loss, including the damage to rolling stock, is estimated at £50,000.

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News and Notes., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 17, 10 August 1907

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News and Notes. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 17, 10 August 1907

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