Female labour to take place of men in the front

A threshing mill at work in a splendid crop of Dreadnought wheat on Mr Burrell's property at Totara, North Otago. The yield was 60 bushels to the acre. - Otago Witness, 14.3.1917.
A threshing mill at work in a splendid crop of Dreadnought wheat on Mr Burrell's property at Totara, North Otago. The yield was 60 bushels to the acre. - Otago Witness, 14.3.1917.
Miss Florence Birch, secretary to the Y.W.C.A., waited upon the Reserves Committee of the Wellington City Council on Monday with reference to the employment of girls as gardeners.

Miss Birch said that it was the endeavour of the association to help as far as possible in providing female labour to take the place of men who had gone or were in training preparatory to going to the front. There were branches of labour where it was essential that females should take the place of males.

One of these, she said, was gardening. In England girls had been successful in helping to work farms, and in Christchurch the question had been taken up to some extent. The Y.W.C.A. desired to place gardening on its syllabus, but at present there was no opening.

What was required was for a class to be formed where girls could receive instruction, and ultimately an opening might be found for them in the public reserves as assistants to the gardeners. The chairman (Mr G. Frost) said that the committee had not considered the question.

The recommendation was a good one, and it might become essential to make sure of female labour in gardening. He suggested that Miss Birch and Mr Glynn (head gardener to the council) should meet and discuss the proposition and place the result before the committee.

Miss Birch, in reply to the chairman, said that it was desired that girls should do any kind of work and not necessarily fancy work only.

Mr Frost said it might be possible to set up a class at the Technical School. The suggestion by the chairman that Miss Birch confer with Mr Glynn was agreed to.

•Another attempted hold-up is reported from Palmerston North. According to the Standard, two armed men accosted Mr L. H. Collinson as he was returning from business on Saturday night.

Mr Collinson reached his residence in Ferguson street at about 9.30, and he was met at the gate by the men, who carried revolvers and ordered him to keep quiet and go out on to the road, and, retaining his presence of mind, called out loudly for assistance.

This frightened the would-be highwaymen, who turned and ran. The alarm was heard by Mr Frank Mowlem, who was proceeding along Linton street, with his wife and children, and he repaired the scene as quickly as possible, and, catching sight of one of the fugitives, who had turned into Linton street, set off after him.

He was quickly getting to close quarters when the quarry wheeled round and, presenting his revolver, threatened to shoot his pursuer.

Mr Collinson and others were now seen approaching, and the man turned and made another bolt for it; sprinting across the street he jumped a fence and made good his escape. The matter was at once reported to the police.

•The Police Department is at present inviting applications for temporary positions in the police force. Recruiting for the force usually extends as far as 10 or 12 men per month, but this has entirely ceased, while vacancies, owing to the retirement of men going to the front, have become more numerous than ever.

In consequence of this applications are being invited from men ineligible for active service to act as temporary constables, and considerable response has been made to the invitation. The applications are probably amply sufficient to cover present requirements.

•Mr J. S. Evans (chairman of the First Canterbury Military Service Board) states that the paragraph in which he is reported to have declared that it was humbug for farmers to say that labour could not be obtained, was misleading, in as much as it did not give a correct account of his utterances.

He was referring to a case which had come before the board, and in commenting on it said that as long as such instances were quoted the board could not be otherwise than sceptical concerning the shortage of labour.

Certainly he never inferred that farmers, like other people, were not being inconvenienced on account of labour shortage, but since there were competent men seeking employment it was plain that the dearth of labour was not actually as acute as some appellants would like the board to believe.

•Drawing up agreements between workers and captains of industry often entails much hard work, it being a well-ascertained fact that a basis of understanding is difficult to reach.

As an instance, a representative of the workers in the typographical industry informed the Arbitration Court on Monday (says the New Zealand Times) that one clause alone had taken 26 hours to settle.

This would give the court an idea of the amount of work the court had been saved by the parties having managed to reach an understanding by the conciliation method.

- ODT, 9.3.1917

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