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A further handicap was the want of proper system, resulting in waste of time and labour. Prior to the Hospitals Act Amendment of 1910 it was upon the town and county councils that the enforcing of local precautions in cases of infectious disease devolved.
A few of the larger councils, say 5 per cent of the whole, carried out this work only fairly well; the remainder left it alone, with the result that in such instances the officers of the Public Health Department itself had to do their best to cope with the work.
The hospital boards had risen to their obligations better than the councils did, but much more was required. Practically none of the boards liked the responsibilities thus placed upon them, and the work was neglected because few of them would employ sufficient officers for the purpose.
The total cases of infectious diseases in the dominion, the witness continued, were increasing very much of recent years, medical men being of the opinion that while some of the increase was owing to largely unavoidable causes, a considerable portion of it was through the non-enforcing of reasonable precautions.
Woollen mills cannot cope
With the ending of the war, and the consequent cancelling of further orders for the manufacture of khaki, it would naturally be assumed that the New Zealand woollen mills would be able to cope easily with the demands for cloths for men's suitings.
The opposite state of affairs, however, exists. The woollen mills of the dominion are being rushed with orders, and cannot meet the demand. One reason given to a member of our staff who made inquiries yesterday into the shortage was that owing to the absence of supplies from Britain stocks of New Zealand manufactured cloths were completely depleted; and, further, that orders for Home cloths are now being daily cancelled in view of the fact that they are at a very high cost, and that the dominion manufactured clothes, quality for quality, can be purchased much cheaper.
The prospects of purchasing tailor-made suits at a lower value in New Zealand do not, however, appear very promising. For instance, the quotation today of one Dunedin tailor for a navy blue suit is 11 guineas, the cloth itself costing over 6. Under the circumstances there is a steadily growing tendency to go in for suits cut by a tailor, but made up in a factory, chiefly by girl labour.
On Saturday some 60 sailors from the Hospital and Red Cross Convalescent Home journeyed to Milton in motor cars supplied by the Otago and Southland Women's Patriotic Association, the women of Milton, and Otago Patriotic and General Welfare Association, Miss Helen Williams, Dr Fitzgerald, and Mr A. S. Adams.
On arrival there at 1 p.m. they were reinforced by the soldiers in the district, and all were conducted to the show grounds, where the Mayor (Mr King) warmly welcomed them on behalf of the citizens of Milton and the district.
A large marquee had been erected, in which an elaborate banquet was provided, and ample justice was done to all the good things provided by the women.
- ODT, 4.4.1919.
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