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At present one of the main considerations is the supply of food to the civilian population. Our zone is mainly an industrial one, set in a district of moderate agriculture and pastoral capacity. Factories have had to dispense with thousands of workmen owing to the scarcity of raw material and lack of markets. Burgomasters state that people in poor circumstances are suffering in health from want of nourishment. This number is over 10,000, and there are in addition 54,000 who are willing to pay for a grant of army rations, which equal one soldier's ration to four people.
There are in addition 400 Allies and neutrals, mostly Italian, who need assistance in one of the sub-areas. There are 3000 children suffering from lack of proper nourishment. The position is complicated by hoarding, and what is known as the schleischsandel system, or sale of food by the hoarders to people who can afford to pay for it. In some parts the milch cows have been killed to supply meat. The situation as regards meat has, however, been somewhat relieved by the sale of our useless horses. The potato shortage is serious, and supplies will not last beyond the middle of next month.
Effects of alcohol
Large audiences greeted Mr W. D. Bayley (vice president of the Winnipeg Labour Party) yesterday in the Octagon Hall at 3 p.m. and in the South Dunedin Town Hall after the conclusion of the church services in the evening. Mr Bayley carried his audience with him by the clearness of his logic, alternating pathos and humour, and the solid facts of prohibition in Canada. Mr Bayley said prohibition was the logical solution of the evils of liquor, because these arose from the physical effect of alcohol. By pouring alcohol on the white of an egg the hardening effect on the albumen of nerve and brain matter was shown. This interference with nerve tissue accounted for the lack of self-control with the resulting tragedies that too often occurred when men were intoxicated. Consequently the only reasonable solution to liquor evils was to stop its use as a beverage. Prohibition was successful (said the speaker). Quotations from leading public men of Canada demonstrated beyond a doubt that gaols were closed, crime reduced, public drunkenness eliminated, poverty decreased, children were better fed and clothed, and business was benefited by elimination of credit and bad debts. The use of drugs had not increased, and hotel accommodation had improved.
On Saturday the Otago Yacht and Motor Boat Club tendered an outing to the children of the Industrial School and Presbyterian, Catholic, Salvation Army, and Anglican Orphanages. Over 300 children took part. Commodore A. C. Hanlon, in the Inishfree, headed the procession of 16 motor boats down the main channel, through the islands, and round via Portobello to Broad Bay. The weather was beautifully calm, and Broad Bay was reached about 3.30 p.m. - ODT, 2.3.1919.