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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3

Wellington, 15 February, 1889

Wellington, 15 February, 1889.

Our craft has been in a somewhat sad state during the past month, and is likely to continue so until the House begins its session again—but when that will be there is no chance of guessing. Some twenty comps in the Government Printing Office are now on half-time, and are thankful even for that small mercy.

The fifteenth half-yearly report of the Wellington Branch of the N.Z.T.A. has just been issued, and was presented this evening at the general meeting. The following is a précis of the report:—The Board of Management regret to record a period of severe depression in the trade, with anything but a cheering outlook, there being a number of hands unemployed, and twenty on « half-time » at the Government Printing Office, with no immediate prospect of improvement. This has caused a heavy drain on the funds, as a number have been compelled to claim unemployed benefit. The rule regarding these benefits requires your immediate attention, as, if the rule is to be administered as printed, the amount of subscription per week will require raising, or else levies to augment the funds must be struck. There has been a deal of dissatisfaction regarding this matter, and your Board press it as an urgent one. In accordance with Clause 2 of the last Annual Report, an advertisement was inserted in the Evening Post and the leading country journals, notifying that compositors in this provincial district must join the Association prior to the 31st December, or a fine of £2 would be inflicted for not doing so when application was eventually made. This had the effect of bringing a few men to the front who would otherwise not have joined. During the half-year the Secretary has had to write and answer (jointly) no less than 148 letters to various parts of the colonies. The Federated Trades Union Council invite the discussion of an « Eight-hours Day. » During the half-year the Board instructed the Secretary to communicate with the various overseers and readers in the city, with the view of obtaining their support as hon. members. The result has been that all the overseers in the Government Printing Office (except one), and all the readers, with one exception, have signified their willingness to do so. In the private offices no response has been made. Deputations have waited on non-union masters with a view to getting their offices on a fair footing, but the only result was the remark, « If the masters form an association, we will willingly join. » The Board were of opinion that, as they are now affiliated with the Trades and Labor Union, and the Australasian Typographical Union, the continuance of the Branch's support to the Executive Council of the N.Z.T.A. is no longer necessary, and would recommend the Branch at this meeting to take action to sever their connexion with the Council, on account of the heavy drain upon the funds. The attention of members was drawn to the increase of apprentices in the Government Printing Office, there being eight at present employed at case. This is more than is allowed by rule, and, if possible, should be reduced by the members working in that office. The number of members on the roll is 80, as against 96 at the last Annual Meeting. The receipts for the half-year amount to £93 4s 7d (inclusive of bank balance and cash in hand at beginning of half-year.) The expenditure aggregates £74 12s 4d, leaving a credit balance of £18 12s 3d—besides this there will be due as refunds from the Executive Council a considerable sum of money for advertising, out-of-work and travelling allowances.

In the anniversary supplement of the Evening Post (January 22) was an article written by Mr Wallace, headed « The 49th Anniversary of New Zealand. » Several remarks in this historical article have been corrected by correspondents, such as names of vessels, and dates. The latest correspondent is Mr W. H. J. Seffern, author of « The Early Settlement of New Zealand, » which has already appeared in a New Zealand paper, and which is still running through the European Mail. The particular portion of Mr Seffern's letter to which I would draw attention is the latter part, which reads thus:— « I would suggest to you the formation of a New Zealand Historical Society, to which all who feel interested in the past history of New Zealand could belong. There are many, I feel sure, who would contribute information, which will be lost if some means are not taken to obtain it whilst they are living. To my knowledge valuable records have been destroyed after the death of old settlers, merely because those who had the disposing of them did not know their value. I have written to the Registrar-General on this subject, and I hope someone in Wellington will take the matter up. » I understand that one of the features of the Dunedin Exhibition is to be a collection of literature, documents, and relics bearing upon the history of New Zealand. To my mind, the Jubilee Anniversary of our colony would be the most fitting year to form, and Dunedin, at the time of the Exhibition the place to establish, the society suggested by Mr Seffern.

On Wednesday last (13th) a new publication made its appearance in this city under the title of The Effective Advertiser, being a well-edited 4-pp. demy-folio advertising medium, price free gratis for nothing. Mr D. Haggett, late foreman of the Timaru Herald job office, is the owner.

After an appeal to its subscribers and the public, which has been heartily responded to, our Watchman has issued a guarantee that it will come out regularly during the next twelve months.

Mr H. B. Vogel, of this city, evidently inherits some of his father's well-known literary ability, and has also a taste for literary work. In the Young Folks' Paper for January—a London publication of wide circulation—a very well written although rather mysterious tale appears, entitled « The Haunted Saloon, » to which his name is attached as the author.