Formal mandate needed

A  snow train on Mount Ruapehu, central North Island. One of the delights of mountaineering is to...
A snow train on Mount Ruapehu, central North Island. One of the delights of mountaineering is to glissade down the easy slopes of the mountain, after reaching the summit. — Otago Witness, 20.1.1920.
In view of the approaching parliamentary visit to Samoa, Mr M. J. Gannon writes to the New Zealand Herald urging that there should be placed in the possession of the high chiefs of Samoa a formal document, in their own language, setting forth the terms of the mandate and New Zealand’s obligations thereunder.

He says if no documentary record is given the chiefs and the people they will have to rely on an interpretation in the Samoan tongue, of an address delivered in English language.

The recollection of the mandate and its terms will depend upon the accuracy of its interpretation, and the memory of the Polynesian listeners, even at an assembly where the language used is understood by all present.

Misconstruction and misapprehension as to the meaning intended are possible, and when the parties so desire, wilful perversion of facts may not be unavoidable.

A formal document in Samoan would, in Mr Gannon’s opinion, go far towards gaining the confidence and respect of the Samoans, and their reliance on New Zealand’s administration of their affairs. — Own correspondent.

The fluent Australian soldier

Speaking at a reception in Perth (Western Australia), General Sir William Birdwood expressed his amazement at the Australian soldier’s wonderful command of language (says the Sydney Sun). 

He had one exceptional opportunity, he said, of learning for himself something of the Diggers’ capacity in that regard.  It was a cold day in winter, and it was his custom to keep himself warm by running from battery to battery or from battalion to battalion.

He met a soldier, who said, ‘‘It is pretty cold, sir,’’ to which he replied, ‘‘Yes, but the best way to get warm is to run.’’

He set off, and the soldier ran alongside.  After about a couple of hundred yards the man said, ‘‘When do we get the rum, sir?’’ 

‘‘Rum! I did not say rum; I said run!’’ exclaimed the general. That settled the soldier, and at once identified him as an Aussie. The general heard a wonderful flow of language till he was out of earshot.

Keen demand for sealskins

An auction sale of confiscated sealskins was conducted yesterday by Messrs Waters, Ritchie, and Co. yesterday.  A total of 13 real fur sealskins was auctioned, and the lot was secured by Mr R. J. Simpson, of the Alaska Fur Stores, for £183 12s 6d. 

This works out at £14 2s 6d per skin, which is a very satisfactory figure.  The skins were seized by the Customs boarding inspector at Dunedin on the arrival of the steamer Stella here on November 20 last from the Campbell Islands, being salted like ordinary hides.

— ODT, 29.1.1920.


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