Britain gets new PM

Newly-appointed British prime minister Ramsay McDonald (centre) leaves Buckingham Palace with MPs...
Newly-appointed British prime minister Ramsay McDonald (centre) leaves Buckingham Palace with MPs J.H. Thomas (left), J.R. Clymes (rear) and Arthur Henderson. Otago Witness, 11.3.1924
LONDON, January 22: Mr Baldwin has arranged to confer with his colleagues today before he sees the King.

Mr MacDonald at midnight told the press: "What one feels at the moment is far from elation — it is a terrible responsibility; but fail or succeed, I can only say that no Government responsible for the affairs of this country will ever have more honestly tried to serve it than we shall. I am very proud of the Labour Party."

Borrowed from library

A bicycle was stolen from the front of the public library on Monday night. Acting-detective Sneddon yesterday arrested a boy, 19 years of age, who will be charged with the offence at the City Police Court this morning.

Thousands to leave NZ for expo

During the next few months there will be a record homing-flight on the part of New Zealanders eager to visit the great exhibition, which will open in England next May. 

It is estimated by one authority, closely in touch with shipping conditions, that there will be an exodus of nearly 10,000 people from the dominion during the next few months.

Every boat on every route, timed to leave between February and May, will carry a full passenger list, and bookings are already so heavy that those who intend to visit England for the exhibition and have not yet arranged their passages are advised to do so at the earliest possible moment. 

March, April, and May are always busy months in respect to overseas travel, but this year the demand for accommodation will probably establish a record.

The bookings, although heavy, are not yet greatly in advance of those of last year, but a notable point is that they are very much ahead of time. 

As far back as last August intending passengers pencilled their bookings for March and April, thus obtaining the best of the accommodation.

A certain amount of accommodation is still available by most of the lines, but those who leave the booking of passages until the last moment are courting disappointment. A representative of the firm of Messrs T. Cook and Sons stated that a large number of New Zealanders were booking not merely for England, but for Nile and Palestine tours en route. 

The Continental tour would also be taken by many on their way to England, the favourite route being from Marseilles, through the Riviera, Monte Carlo, Naples, and Venice, thence via Switzerland to Paris and London.

Baby slump

The birth-rate has fallen in 12 out of 14 of the principal towns during the past year. Hamilton urban area holds the enviable position of having improved upon its already high rate, the births having been 26.84 per 1000 of population as against 25.69 in 1922. Nelson urban area is the other district where an increase has been recorded, last year’s figures being 21.25 as against 19.85 in 1922. Fewest babies per 1000 of population were recorded in Timaru, where there were 17.67, a decrease of 4.13 upon the previous year’s figures. Hastings has the notoriety of having decreased by the largest rate of any of the 14 towns, having dropped by 5.77, the figures being 20.32, as against 26.09. Auckland has remained practically stationary, the decreases being 19.70 in 1923 as against 19.23 in 1922. Wellington records 19.23 as against 21.26 last year, Christchurch 18.80 as against 19.73, and Dunedin 17.80 as against 18.70.

ODT, 23.1.1924  (Compiled by Peter Dowden)