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A number of young men drank to excess while in Timaru, and the scene on the return journey was indescribable. Three constables who were passengers proved powerless to keep order.
The train was described as a Donnybrook from end to end. Nine windows were broken. The first trouble was started by a man objecting to another pulling a woman through a window at a stop. Thereafter it spread to the whole train.
One peacemaker was seized by the wrists and held over the opening between the platforms. The train was going at full speed, and his life was only saved by the interference of other passenger. Women and children were screaming, and the floors of the carriages were described as being covered with vomit.
These facts were made public to-day, when seven young men appeared before Mr Bartholomew, S.M. They were all fined £5 each for offensive behaviour on a train. Three of them were also fined £3 each for using obscene language.
Huge demand for telephones
The inability of the Telegraph Department to satisfy the large number of demands for telephones was referred to by the Postmaster-general (the Hon. J. Gordon Coates) at Auckland. The Minister stated that the applications in the Auckland city area alone amounted at present to about 500 over the number that could be accommodated on the switchboards.
The department, he stated, would do all it possibly could to meet the extraordinary demand. Whatever was done to minimise the existing inconvenience, especially to the business section of the community, would be only of a temporary nature.
Something would have to be done to ease the congestion as much as possible, pending the completion of the western electric automated system, which, it was expected, would be in full working order in Auckland in about 18 months.
Labour regional newspapers
A movement is afoot in Labour circles in the dominion to establish Labour daily newspapers at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin (states the Christchurch Press), and a canvass for share capital has been already started.
It is considered probable that the scheme will prove more successful in Auckland, and that the first of the four Labour dailies is likely to be established in that city.
This is based largely on the experiences of the Labour Party in the northern city in connection with raising campaign funds for the recent general elections.
— ODT, 22.1.1920.
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