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At a meeting of the committee of the association last night a communication was received from headquarters stating that Base Records were now following the custom of England and Australia in the matter of omitting from the discharge all remarks regarding character. The reason for this departure from the old form appears to be the difficulty in assessing a man's character. It is, of course, impossible to get the soldier's O.C.'s version, and the old form was therefore adjudged at Base Records by the director on the soldiers' crime sheet. Under that system men who had splendid fighting records but who made slips while on leave appeared with a bad sheet, while men who did not possess the others' good records came out with a good discharge. Base Records state that the present discharge signifies a good character in default of any endorsement to the contrary. The committee decided to ask employers not to look for characters on discharges that are not favourably endorsed.
Milk production records
Mr W. M. Singleton, Assistant Director of the Dairy Farm Division of the Department of Agriculture, refers in the department's journal to the trial of the dairy cow certificates of records of milk production which are now kept in almost every up-to-date dairy farm in the dominion. The cow is on her trial. Her milk production and the butter-fat it contains are all carefully recorded. The "loafer'' cow finds her way sooner to the butcher than she would do if no particulars were kept of what she was yielding. This applies to the butter-fat in her milk as well as to the volume of milk the cow gives. Since this check on the dairy herds has been instituted, the productivity of the New Zealand cow has attracted attention outside the dominion, with the result, as Mr Singleton shows, that an export trade in pure-bred dairy cattle has been established. He thinks that the distance of New Zealand from Europe may negative any idea of exporting cattle to countries north of the Equator, although if import regulations permit he should not be surprised to see limited exports even in Britain. The issue by the department of certificates of record has now been in operation six years, and already 1001 certificates have been issued and 108 repeat certificates besides.
Oil strike at Kaikoura
CHRISTCHURCH: The Kaikoura correspondent of the Press states that whilst Horne Bros. were boring for artesian water at the Farmers' Co-operative sheepyards, they struck petroleum at a depth of 60ft, the gas and flames from which destroyed the derrick and gear. All efforts to smother the flow were unavailing, and the flames are still as fierce as ever. Petroleum has been discovered on other parts of the coast, but no effort has been made to utilise it.
Suffering from the effects of ptomaine poisoning, a well-known Mokoreta man, in Mr John Brannigan, was removed last Saturday to the Southland Hospital, and is now progressing favourably. A defective salmon tin, part of the contents of which Mr Brannigan had eaten, is believed to have caused the trouble. - ODT, 12.3.1919.