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Lord Kitchener was apparently averse to evacuation to the last, in which General Birdwood supported him, fearing the effect it would have on India and Egypt. Lord Kitchener, to the last, hoped that the navy would attempt the straits, and some naval men believed in the possibility of this.
The Admiralty finally discountenanced it. Lord Kitchener relied on the navy, and always regarded the military operation as of minor importance, notwithstanding experts' warnings of the strength of the Turkish defences. The Commission is convinced that the War Office had not prepared proper plans.
Only after arrival on Gallipoli was Sir Ian Hamilton impressed by the seriousness of the task while the naval men felt that they could not force the Straits without strong military help. After the political crisis some of the new members of the Cabinet had to be convinced that the enterprise was justifiable.
Suvla was a failure, and was due to unseasoned troops insufficiently officered, which necessitated consideration of evacuation, and the despatch of General Monro. It is believed that the latter reported that only the Australians and the New Zealanders were fit to maintain a sustained front.
Catlins schools inspected
At the monthly meeting of the Otago Education Board Mr G. A. Turner (organiser) reported that he had visited 21 schools in the Catlins district during the five weeks ended August 15.
The attendance has been more or less seriously affected by an epidemic of colds, which in certain school districts was still very prevalent.
In the schools visited a distinct improvement was shown, and teachers generally were anxious to learn, and were desirous of improving their professional work and status. In two schools - Ratanui and Papatowai - a serious attempt was being made to establish school libraries, and he hoped by the end of the year that all local schools would be so equipped.
With regard to equipment he would point out that few schools had adequate equipment for the teaching of all subjects. Suitable pictures and apparatus for the teaching of geography were, in many cases, entirely lacking. In no school visited had he been able to discover a barometer, thermometer, or rain gauge, necessary instruments for almost any school of practical geography.
Sir Joseph Ward resigns
Wellington: Sir Joseph Ward (leader of the Liberal Party) yesterday tendered to his Excellency the Governor-general his resignation as a member of the Executive Council and as Minister of Finance, Postmaster-general, and Minister of Telegraphs in the National Government.
Sir Joseph afterwards made an important statement in reference to the political position, and outlined his policy for the future. He had come to the conclusion, he said, that now the Peace Treaty was signed and the object for which the National Government was formed had been achieved the truce between the two principal parties in New Zealand was no longer necessary, and he could not now remain in a Government that had been formed for war purposes only.
- ODT, 22.8.1919.
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