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A hopeful feature of the debate in the House of Representatives on the Public Works Statement was the stress that was laid on the desirability of promoting the immigration to the dominion of a suitable class of settlers. The need of immigration had become apparent before the war. The losses which the dominion suffered in the war, depriving it of an appreciable proportion of the flower of its manhood and impairing the efficiency of a large number of those who returned from active service, have made it more than ever necessary that additional population shall be attracted to our shores. The lack of labour has been affecting the ability of the Public Works Department to fulfil its programme for opening up the country, and it justifies the conviction expressed by Sir William Fraser that the appropriations of the Public Works Fund for the current year will be largely in excess of the amount that it will be possible to expend. The necessary labour, as the Minister says, is not in the country. Moreover, the capacity of the dominion for increasing its production is clearly dependent upon the labour factor. That the country must produce more largely than it has been doing in the past in order that it may overcome economic difficulties which will have to be faced by all discerning people. This circumstance strengthens materially the argument in favour of the prosecution of a vigorous policy of immigration. It is most desirable, therefore, that plans should be made in the dominion for encouraging immigration. The time is opportune for activity on the part of the Government in this direction. Many thousands of ex-service men at Home, impressed with a sense of life in the dominions, are anxious to migrate.
Would-be tram conductors
Many boys are applying to the Auckland city traffic inspector, Mr J. B. Lindsay, for licenses as tram conductors. In reporting the matter to the City Council that official stated that the ages of these applicants ranged from 10 to 16 years. He said he thought provision should be made whereby no person under the age of 16 should be allowed to act as a conductor of any vehicle.
Tractor use increasing
The way in which farmers in New Zealand are going in for modern machinery was evidenced by a sight witnessed in Albert street recently (says the Auckland Star). No fewer than 22 tractors were lined on one side, extending from Swanson street to Wyndham street. These were a shipment recently landed, and instead of wheels had the tank system installed. It is claimed that one of these tractors can plough an acre of land on a gallon of benzine, and get through eight acres a day.
Rabbits on public land
An Auckland farmer, speaking of the new Act providing for heavier penalties for neglect to destroy rabbits, states that the Government might with advantage pay a little more attention to its own lands, some of which are not only well stocked with rabbits, but also contain a very luxuriant growth of noxious weeds, including the insistent blackberry. He points out that while this assortment of weeds may be very picturesque, the average farmer whose land adjoins looks upon them from a more utilitarian point of view, and with feelings that are far from pleasurable.
- ODT, 27.10.1919.