The centre of Southland's inland railway traffic - a glimpse of Main Street, Gore. - Otago Witness, 18.12.1912.
The deputation representing the Dunedin Expansion League that
waited on the Hon H. D. Bell, Minister of Immigration
yesterday, to make representations to him concerning the
system upon which immigration to the dominion is being
regulated, had the satisfaction of receiving the first
indication that has been publicly offered of the intentions
of the Government on the subject.
Mr Bell discussed the whole question somewhat fully in his
reply, which was marked by the lucidity and explicitness that
are characteristic of his utterances. It was explained by the
Minister that when the present Government came into office
the policy which was in force was to extend Government
assistance to two classes only of immigrants- namely,
agricultural labourers and domestic assistants.
The deputation was assured by Mr Bell that it had been
definitely settled that the importation of farm labourers and
of domestic assistants would be largely increased. That is an
announcement which will be received with a great deal of
pleasure by farmers who experience a considerable difficulty
in obtaining labour and by hard-wrought housewives whose
inability to obtain the services of competent assistants has
rendered their lives almost burdensome.
Mr Bell afforded, moreover, a good deal of encouragement to
the expectation that the Government will generally pursue a
more active policy of immigration than was followed by it's
predecessors, whom, however, he chivalrously defended from
attack on one or two grounds.
He carefully abstained from expressing the opinion that the
Government could employ better methods than have been
utilised in the past, but he made it clear that further
methods would be adopted to induce a flow of immigration.
This declaration was received, also, with feelings of lively
satisfaction throughout the country excepting, perhaps, on
the part of that section of the community which obstinately
refuses to see that the progress of a country is promoted by
the growth of its population.
At the present time it is notoriously the case that the
development of the resources and industries of the dominion
is seriously hampered through a shortage of labour, and if
the Government will only have the courage to embark on a
vigorous policy of immigration it will contribute greatly to
the advancement of our prosperity.
• Recently a foreman in one of the principal railway
workshops (says the New Zealand Officer's Advocate), when
crossing the yard to where some men were busily engaged
unloading a quantity of very heavy sheet iron, picked up a
portion of a human finger nearly an inch in length. On
mentioning the fact to the gang, one of the workmen looked at
his hand and exclaimed: ''By Jove. it's mine. I felt a bit of
a pinch a while ago. but I didn't know my finger was off.''
The square edges to two plates of the iron coming together
had squeezed off the point of the man's finger, at the same
time closing the stump so that no blood escaped.
It seems scarcely credible that such a thing could happen
without the unfortunate individual becoming immediately aware
of it, but assurance is given that the facts are exactly as
stated, and that the accident happened fully half an hour
prior to the foreman making his discovery.
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