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As the value of the bequest approximates to a quarter of a million sterling, the responsibility that devolves upon the trustees is considerable. They took steps at an early stage to secure the services of a private commission, consisting of leading New Zealand scientists, to advise as to the best procedure in carrying out Mr Cawthron's wishes. The members of this commission were eventually appointed an Advisory Board for a term of years, and they have made various recommendations. These recommendations include the establishment in or near the city of Nelson of an institute in compliance with the terms of the bequest, of which a museum shall be an integral part.
Great stress is based on the desirability that instruction in, and the performance of, research work should constitute the chief feature of the work of this institute, and agriculture and fruit-growing are indicated as industries in connection with which research may most suitably be encouraged. It is recommended, also, that provision should be made for systematic research on other subjects, such as the chemistry, physics, and biology of soils, the development of forest lands, the utilisation of clays and other minerals, and the fishing industry. The educational importance of an institution of this kind is most strongly emphasised.
Child labour criticised
It is believed (says the New Zealand Times) that some employers are in the habit of engaging the services of schoolboys, or even small boys not attending schools, to work in the early hours of the morn or late at night. The practice is regarded as most reprehensible, and the Inspector of Factories is determined it shall cease. In a case wherein two defendants, a baker, and the father of the lad, were charged with a contravention of the law, Mr R. T. Bailey (Inspector of Factories) said the lad was but 11 years of age. He worked both before and after going to school, and received from 6s to 8s per week. The practice was a common one, and the consequences to the boys, both physically and mentally, were serious. They were unable to carry out their school work and become fitted for the stern battle of life. There was a duty cast on parents to educate their children, and not to exhaust them with labour before and after school, so that, as in some cases, the little ones had dropped off to sleep during school hours.
Making room for soldiers
Complaint was made by Mr E. R. Stewart at the meeting of the executive of the Returned Soldiers' Association last night, that many employers in Dunedin were "not playing the game'' by failing to discharge their female employees to make room for returned men. He moved - "That the attention of the Employers' Association be drawn to the fact that some firms are employing female labour in positions which could be filled by returned soldiers.'' Mr McLean pointed out that the discharging of female labour was a very big question, but he thought they might reasonably ask that men should be employed in positions held by men before the war. - ODT, 30.7.1919