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The spectacle of the lavish flow of money in all directions at a time when the Mother Country is reeling under the burden of war indebtedness, when the national revenue is falling very heavily below the national expenditure; and when the public taxation continues at an unprecedented level in a period of peace, so that it has brought into existence a large class of "new
poor", consisting of persons with fixed incomes of moderate amounts, upon whom the taxes fall with crushing severity, is one that has inevitably provided a subject for comment by moralists. It is not necessary for us in New Zealand to look so far afield as Great Britain for evidences of lavish expenditure during the holiday season. There has, it may confidently be asserted, never been a period of corresponding duration in the history of the dominion in which the expenditure of the people has
been upon a scale at all comparable with that of the past fortnight. A very useful test of the extent of ready money that is available in the country and of the volume of private expenditure is furnished in the returns of the amounts that are passed through the totalisator at the race meetings. If we take the "investments" at these fixtures in various parts of the dominion during the holiday season we find not only that they were strikingly larger than at the corresponding meetings twelve months
previously, when the craving for excitement and the temptation to excess were not unnatural symptoms of the reaction after the experiences of the years of war.
Fatal tram crash
WELLINGTON: A shocking tram accident occurred on Saturday evening at the corner of Brougham and Pirie streets, resulting in three men being killed and several others injured. It is assumed that the motorman — a man named Small — must have lost control when the car left the Kilbirnie tunnel, bound city-wards, for it bolted down the steep grade, and left the rails shortly before reaching the bend. It crashed through a fence, burst its way half into a motor shed, and then turned over on
its near side. The crash of the impact, the shrieks of the imprisoned passengers, and the cries of the injured could be heard for a considerable distance. The front part of the car was badly wrecked. A woman passenger says she noticed the motorman leaning forward over the switches as the car rushed down the hill, and the suggestion is made that he lost consciousness. The conductor says he applied the hand brake at the back of the car when no notice was taken of the emergency bell, but this
had no effect. — ODT, 5.1.1920