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The Air Ministry is prepared to hand over the existing airships and equipment, and to consider the granting of a subsidy of £250,000 annually. For the preliminary stages designs have been prepared, and the construction contemplated is for a type of airship for Imperial intercommunication. These will be the largest in the world, carrying a 20-ton freight to Egypt in 40 hours and to India in 80 hours. A series of flights from the Croydon Aerodrome have been arranged for the Prime Ministers to participate in.
State control of orphanages
Strong opposition was voiced at the Dunedin Presbytery meeting yesterday to a Government proposal to extend State control over orphanages and philanthropic services. The Rev G.H. Jupp said they were aware of the trouble that had been caused by the State seeking to lay its hands on all children who have lost their parents. The churches were supposed to have been guilty of doing various things “under the guise of philanthropy’’ in “obsolete” institutions. They desired that a resolution on the subject should come straight from the Presbytery, and he moved — “That the Presbytery, having considered the proposal of the Education Department to make orphan and destitute children the wards of the State, is of opinion that the proposal is very dangerous, and views with extreme disapprobation the terms used in referring to the social service of the church — ‘That the State has allowed private enterprise, under the guise of benevolence, to step in and handle the children of the State under a system that is obsolete,’ and makes an emphatic protest against any interference with the work being carried on by our Social Service Association.”
The latest census figures, which are subject to the verification of a recount, show the dominion to be a community of 1,216,974 souls, exclusive of Maoris. This represents an increase of 10 percent in five years. The record is by no means startling, even when we make allowance for the loss of population, actual and potential, through the war. A population, which, 25 years ago stood at less than three-quarters of a million has not doubled itself in a quarter of a century. Actually the increase has been about 73 percent. At this rate there will be no danger of overcrowding for many years to come. Taking comparisons further back, we find the population to be today a little more than four and a half times as great as it was 50 years ago. Half a century ago it was just over a quarter of a million. The general returns compiled from the census are of particular interest in their reflection of the growth of the North and South Islands respectively. The tendency towards a more rapid increase of population in the North has been marked for a good many years past. The latest figures furnish convincing proof that it is still in operation. As against 738,671 persons now resident in the North Island, the South Island can show only 478,305, being therefore in a minority of 260,368.
— ODT, 8.6.1921.