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The most distressing feature of the scourge has consisted in the blow which has descended on families that have at one stroke been deprived of both parents. There have in Dunedin alone been several instances of the death of both husband and wife within a few days of each other — in most cases within 24 hours of each other. As the victims have been young people, generally between 30 and 40 years of age, the families that have been deprived of their natural guardians are not large, but they are certainly composed of very young children, none of whom will for many years be in a position to contribute to his own support. The Minister of Public Health suggested in effect in the House of Representatives the other day that widows who were left with large families as the result of the epidemic should be dealt with by the charitable aid authorities, though not, he had the seemliness to add, strictly on charitable aid lines. We are not sure that he did not also hint that the sad case of these sufferers from the epidemic furnished a suitable object for the bestowal of private generosity. Any suggestion, however, that the orphans of victims of the epidemic should from their tenderest years be brought within the class of recipients of a cold public charity merits nothing else than prompt rejection. Surely it is possible to devise some better means than this of providing for their needs.
Some new ideas about the delivery or carriage of mails by aeroplane were given to the House on Friday by Sir Joseph Ward. When he returned from the Home Country he had little to say about the carriage of long-distance mails by aeroplane. On this occasion he said that in his opinion an aeroplane could be used freely with great advantage for the carriage of inland mails in those most inaccessible and remote parts of the country. When it was possible to use an aeroplane for this work it would be possible to improve very much the postal facilities afforded to remote settlers. Sir Joseph said that he had had a long interview on the subject with representatives of the Auckland Flying School, and from information he had obtained he was satisfied that an aeroplane could be used with advantage and with no extra cost for the rapid and regular delivery of back-block mails.
Veteran escapes conviction
A man with the excellent military record of having served four years on Gallipoli and in France, twice wounded and decorated, was before the City Police Court on Saturday morning on a charge of having used obscene language. The Magistrate (Mr H. A. Young) said that, considering defendant’s length of service and distinguished record, he would be convicted and discharged. The trouble in this case had arisen through excessive drinking. The police stated that a more serious charge might have been preferred against defendant, who was exhorted to leave liquor alone. — ODT, 2.12.1918
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