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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55

Auckland Benevolent Society. — To the Editor

Auckland Benevolent Society.

To the Editor.

Sir,—The annual report of the above society states, "that not one known deserving case of real distress has gone unrelieved." This is "gratifying." It speaks well for the freedom of this, large city from real distress, and this is not all. Sir, this distress has for about twelve months been relieved with the modest sum of £97 15s 4d, proving how little distress there has been. This is again gratifying. The report also states that this charitable work has been done "at a trifling expense." Let us examine. The sum of £97 15s 4d has been expended in relieving distress, and, according to the society's accounts, it has cost £126 11s 6d to expend the £97 odd. Is this "a trifling expense?" It has cost the society over 25s to administer every 20s of relief. This needs no comment. The society is now in funds, has a cash balance to credit of £406 1s 7d, which sum, if administered free of expense, would at the same rats as this year relieve the distress in the city for the next four years, or even saddled with the "trifling expense" of 125 per cent., for about the next two years. The society has, therefore, ample funds, and there is no need for a charity Sunday or charity boxes. I hope the society will reconsider this matter and deter appeals until there is occasion. Great credit was given to the ladies for their exertions in the labour of this society, and they deserve more praise than they received. I am sure they have not charged a penny of commission for collecting subscriptions, nor a penny for administering relief, and in these two departments lie the heavy work of the society; the rest, which costs 125 per cent, upon the mount expended, is a mere bagatelle, which a am sure the ladies could do quite as efficiently as it is done, and at 100 per cent, off. I think the sooner the masculine clement is eliminated, and the whole management given to the ladies the better. Men are great in making speeches, and drawing up reports, but, in the practical work of charity, they are nowhere with women, and I have no doubt if the whole affair is left in their hands they will make a fair show in speech and report-making also, when these are needed.—I am, &c.,

A. Campbell.