100 years ago: from our archives

Early morning mists surround Mitre Peak, Milford Sound. — Otago Witness, 16.7.1919   COPIES OF...
Early morning mists surround Mitre Peak, Milford Sound. — Otago Witness, 16.7.1919 COPIES OF PICTURE AVAILABLE FROM ODT FRONT OFFICE, LOWER STUART ST, OR WWW.OTAGOIMAGES.CO.NZ
Aviation developments

The conquest of the air is proceeding apace. Within the last few weeks British aerial enterprise has bridged the Atlantic in entirely successful non-stop flights, accomplished by aeroplane and airship respectively, and an American seaplane has crossed it by a sectional voyage. The great Admiralty dirigible R34 holds a record for her type which, judged by the statement that her sister-ship is being prepared for a long journey and by accounts of the power and dimensions of other airships now nearing completion to the order of the Admiralty, may soon be surpassed. It would be rash, indeed, to prescribe any limit to the possible achievements of giant aeroplanes and airships in the near future.

Secret black list

London: The most remarkable black list in the world, by which every British Prime Minister knew the names of the men who had committed some crime too heinous to permit of them being made members of the Government, and which in the interests of the community it was not advisable to proceed against in the courts of law, has just been revealed by a correspondent to a London weekly paper. Says this writer: "People in general probably do not know that there is, or perhaps I should say there used to be, an inner and secret function of the Constitution, or at any rate of the Administration, which was never even faintly alluded to in books or newspapers or common talk.

"It used to be whispered that a Prime Minister when he went out of office handed to his successor half a sheet of note paper with a few names upon it, perhaps only three or four.

"They were the names of men who ought not to be given any of the great posts in the gift of the Prime Minister because they were men of specially bad character or men who had some fault which made them untrustworthy.

"These were the men upon whom dire suspicion, though perhaps barren of legal proof, had fallen; men who had committed some supremely disgraceful act, who had lied in their own interests and against the interests of their native land, who had betrayed their colleagues to some foreign Power, who, in order to levy or to resist blackmail, had imperilled the welfare of their country; men who had consciously or unconsciously taken a bribe: men who must be regarded as utterly bad men, however low the standard applied, and however lenient the judges.

"Yet though deeply tainted men, they had contrived to escape exposure, and for all the world knew were of the highest character. Hence the need of the secret list."

New mail service

The Chief Postmaster advises us that a motor service for the carriage of northern letter mail matter has been instituted. The car, which will run its maiden trip today, will leave Dunedin daily at 6am, dropping mailbags at Palmerston, Oamaru, Waimate, Timaru, Ashburton, and Christchurch, arriving at the last-named town in time to connect with the ferry steamer for Wellington. Mails for Wellington, Wanganui, New Plymouth, and Auckland will be despatched direct to those towns, but letters for other parts of the North Island will be sent to Wellington for distribution. Letters from places south of Dunedin will be included in the mail matter.

 -ODT, 9.7.1919

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