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Scraps of battalions and remnants of shattered divisions are being captured, mixed up with other troops in endless confusion. Captured German officers did not attempt to minimise the gravity of the catastrophe. The enemy were forewarned of the Australian advance below the Somme, and massed their machine-guns, which averaged one to every two yards. The preliminary advance of the tanks largely neutralised them. The Germans are now thoroughly afraid of the tanks, and fairly have them on the brain, as captured documents reveal, reporting their presence in all sorts of places where our tanks never reached.
Pressure on high schools
In the course of a reply to a deputation at Invercargill yesterday, urging the provision of additional accommodation at the Boys' High School and the Technical College in that city, the Hon. Mr Hanan (Minister of Education) said that while he found there was need to direct attention to the system of financial grants to education boards and to the keeping of accounts by these bodies, there was also ground for dissatisfaction with the manner in which some high school boards of governors had been managing their finances, leading to the result that liabilities would have to be faced which one board in particular would have difficulty in meeting. The question of inadequate accommodation at the two schools was not, he said, confined to Invercargill. The increasing number of young people who were attending high schools and technical schools had brought similar applications to him from many parts of New Zealand, some of them involving substantial sums.
Police seek wage increase
The Wellington Police Force is asking the Minister of Justice to consider the question of increased wages. Since the war broke out the policemen have been getting a bonus of 15 a year, which, of course, does not go far to restore the difference between the purchasing power of the sovereign in prewar days and what it is today - between 13s and 14s. The force is also asking for an improvement in working hours. It is pointed out that a man who lives half an hour's journey from the station must leave home at 8.30 a.m. to be on duty by 9 o'clock. He is relieved at 1 p.m., and is required to report at the station at 5 o'clock, being finally relieved at 9 p.m. This means that his day extends over 14 hours, although he has been working only eight hours.
West Coast telephones
In discussing telephone matters with a deputation at Greymouth, Mr Shrimpton (telegraph engineer) said that he was looking forward to the time after the war when Greymouth and other West Coast subscribers would be able to ring up business houses in Christchurch and other East Coast towns. It was only the difficulty of obtaining material that prevented the department from at once inaugurating the new system. - ODT, 28.8.1918