The new town hall at Maori Hill, Dunedin, which includes
the Post and Telegraph office and, on the left, the fire
brigade station. - Otago Witness, 11.12.1912.
SIR. - The statements made by Mr Dennison in the House of
Commons with regard to the handling of frozen meat in England,
as reported in your issue of the 5th inst., are not a bit
The surprising thing is that Mr Buxton, on behalf of the
Board of Trade, confessed that it ''had not heard of these
matters'', for the methods of handling at certain ports have
long been notoriously careless, not to say flagrantly
injurious, both to the colonial producer and the British
consumer. Five years ago, after making a tour of the West
Coast ports of Great Britain, on behalf of the Government of
New Zealand, I presented a report, in the course of which I
drew special attention to the improper handling of meat from
this country. At Avonmouth and at Manchester there was
nothing to complain of, for the appliances and methods there
are of the best and every care is taken, but it was very
different at Liverpool and Glasgow.
I personally watched the discharging of New Zealand frozen
mutton at the Liverpool docks, and described in my report how
it was roughly thrown from slings into a mess of slush and
dirt, left partly exposed to rain, and then carted to the
cool stores in open drays. At Glasgow boxes of beef from this
country were similarly treated, being left sometimes for
hours exposed to the sun's heat or to heavy rain, amid dirty
dock surroundings. The harbour authorities, to whom I made
representations on the subject, said it was no business of
theirs to attend to such matters; the keepers of the cool
stores declared it was no concern of theirs; I was told that
the Canadian Government had provided stores, officials, and
appliances to ensure proper handling of produce.
In my report I pointed out how we probably could, by
co-operation with Canada, or by imitating its methods, secure
the interests of our producers; but the report once it was
printed and circulated was ''quietly inurned'', and no action
taken. As the Government then proved itself indifferent to
the interests of the producers, it may be some small comfort
to know that the British Board of Trade has promised to look
into the filthy handling of frozen meat, in the interests of
the consumer. It is to be hoped that our Government will see
it to be its duty to assist in the work of reform in this
- I am, etc., J. Liddell Kelly.
• The spread of the motor, with the consequent disappearance
of the horse, is not confined to the cities.
''It doesn't matter where you go in the country now you will
see motor cars owned by farmers,'' said a resident of Little
River to a Press reporter.
''It is not very long ago since there were no cars owned in
the district, but now I can count many, not only here, but in
most other parts of Canterbury."
Even the old coach is being driven out of usefulness by
motors, and a motor service for milk delivery is spoken of. I
suppose before long horses will not be required for ploughing
and similar work on the farm.
• The steam whaler Hobart will sail from Port Chalmers today
on her return trip to Norway, She will be followed later by
the barque Mimosa, the whaling company owning these vessels
having decided to abandon New Zealand as a whaling station.
Both of these vessels have been engaged in whaling in
Tasmanian and southern New Zealand waters for the past 12
months, and during that time only 40 whales - chiefly of the
humpback species - were secured; consequently, the venture
has so far proved a most unprofitable one.
- ODT, 10.12.1912.
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