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A good number of farmers assembled on Mr T. Gawn's farm at North Taieri yesterday to witness a demonstration by the Avery bulldog kerosene tractor, and generally they were satisfied that in these days of scarcity of farm labour it would prove of inestimable value to farmers. The machine used, although one of the smallest of the kind, gave a fair indiction of what it is capable of by drawing a three-furrow Reid and Gray patent plough as rapidly as a team of four horses, and cut a 12-inch furrow six inches deep, while in addition it harrows with still greater speed. It was really a revelation to those who had not previously seen this machine at work. One important factor about it is that it is capable of ploughing eight acres a day at an average cost of 2s 6d per acre, and, further, that it can be used to work thrashing mills, chaffcutters, reapers and binders, potato diggers, mowing machines, and for every kind of traction on a farm, thus supplanting the need of horses, which in these days are a considerable item. Some 200 of this type of machine are now being used in connection with the extensive production scheme being carried out in England, and are said to be working most satisfactorily. The New Zealand Government, too, has experimented with this machine, and judging from the testimonials received from the Agricultural Department by the agents, it has proved a great success.
A Press Association message from Wellington states that a meeting of the Executive of the New Zealand Returned Soldiers Association decided to protest emphatically against the practice of the press in identifying offenders as returned soldiers wherever possible.
The association was of the opinion that references to returned soldiers in connection with offenders was disproportionate to the instances where returned soldiers figured more commendably. As an instance, it was stated that at a recent law examination in Auckland, at which 100 candidates presented themselves, returned soldiers headed the list in seven subjects.
But this, so far as was known, passed without comment by the press.
Numerous inquiries are being received by local fruit dealers for gooseberries, in which there is a decided shortage this season. A prominent dealer ascribed the shortage to the fact that the borer had got into many of the trees, and replanting has not been extensively carried out.
Low prices were realised for gooseberries three years ago, and growers in consequence had reduced the areas under gooseberries very considerably. The quantity of the fruit coming forward this season is said to be less than has been offered for some years.
Presbyerians support proposed home
Speaking at the meeting of the Dunedin Presbytery yesterday morning, the Rev. A. Cameron stated that the committee of the Presbyterian Social Service Association had made arrangements with Messrs Fetcher Bros. to proceed at once with the erection of the first part of the proposed old peoples' home, which will be located on a 10-acre site at North-East Valley, donated to the association by Mr John Ross.
- ODT, 5.12.1917.