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Mesopotamia (official): We surprised the enemy and crossed the Diala River by moonlight on Thursday, and established a strong post on the right bank.
We then bridged the Tigris, and a strong detachment marched up the right bank and found the enemy six miles south-west of Bagdad, and drove the Turks back two miles. We forced a passage of the Diala on Friday, and advanced four miles towards Bagdad.
Our right bank forces dislodged the enemy from their second position, and bivouacked on the captured ground in a dust storm and a violent gale. We forced back the Turks three miles west and south-west of Bagdad on Saturday.
•''Perhaps there is no class in the community which suffers more by the war than the clergy, especially the country clergy, with miserably small stipends'' (says Bishop Averill in the Church Gazette).
''They suffer in silence. Their miserable pittances are too often not paid regularly. They are too loyal, too self-sacrificing, to make their sufferings public, and so their sufferings are unseen and unheeded. God give us imagination this Lent! Every congregation should pay its vicar a stipend of at least 250 per annum, even in country parochial districts. In spite of war taxation, it is possible to buy motor cars as never before, and is it not possible to pay the clergy a 'living wage?' Do the people know or care what their clergy are receiving? Sympathy would in many cases remove the causes for criticism. What about the Easter offerings this year? It is my wish that the Easter offerings in every parish and parochial district should be handed to the vicar, and should not be counted by the church officers or registered in the vestry book. What a splendid opportunity for real almsgiving, loving sympathy practical Christianity! The parish finances will not suffer, for God will see to it that they don't suffer if the congregation is kind, sympathetic, and unselfish.''
•Evictions are common enough in some countries, but are rare occurrences in New Zealand. Considerable interest therefore attached to one that took place lately at Opunake, when an old man who had lived on Crown land for years was forcibly dispossessed.
The sheriff from New Plymouth, accompanied by two policemen, proceeded to put his belongings outside the whare. The old man, who considered he had a spiritual right to the land, had built the whare, fenced the land, and planted it with fruit trees, and made other improvements, and, as he objected to the Agricultural Department using the Crown land, he obstructed the officials, but in vain. The law of eviction was read, and then the police pulled the whare to pieces, placed it on a vehicle, and removed it to the police station yard.
•The Mount Burke Run (Wanaka district), hitherto held by the Messrs Bullock, has been subdivided into three runs. Two of these will be offered on the small-grazing-run tenure for discharged soldiers only. The areas are 7080 acres and 6760 acres respectively.
The third run will be offered to the general public under the pastoral license system. The area is 30,930 acres. It is expected that these blocks will be available for ballot about the middle of April.
- ODT, 13.3.1917.
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