New Zealand meat handled improperly

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.
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 overdrawn.

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 matter.

- 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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