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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 5

Craft Correspondence

page 126

Craft Correspondence.

Wellington, 25 Sept., 1891.

The annual report of the Government Printer has been published. The year 1890, he reports, was one of considerable activity in all branches, and the fourteen printing machines were kept fully employed. 4062 orders were received, consisting of 29,935 forms or pages, from which 31,596,355 copies were printed; the total value of work being £32,487. The expenditure for wages and overtime amounted to £18,207. The rate of progression during the past four years shows an annual increase in the value of work of about £4000. It will be necessary to largely supplement the working plant, and among the contemplated additions is type-casting apparatus, which it is expected will do away with the inconvenience caused by runs on sorts. The foundry, it is anticipated, could be worked in conjunction with the stereotype branch at little extra cost for labor. The profit and loss account shows a credit balance of £6,867, being over ten per cent. on the capital employed. Reference is made to the destruction by fire of the old Government Printing Office, causing much loss of lithographic plant, and of Government publications, some of which it will be necessary to reprint. The stamp-printing branch was placed under the control of the Government Printer in October last. The new machinery introduced had had a perceptible effect in cheapening and expediting the production of stamps, without recourse to overtime, and with a less expensive staff. A small issue of Samoan stamps was made during the year; also the new series of Government Insurance stamps; and the new 2½d and 5d postage stamps were produced for the first time in the month of December last. The complaints made respecting the gum used had been remedied. Reference is also made to the stereotype branch, railway-ticket printing, and the stationery department. It is interesting to note from the returns in the appendix that the cost of printing « Hansard » was £3,195 10s, and that the time occupied in « authors' corrections » of the same amounted to 3,436 hours.

At the meeting of the Trades Council on the 17th inst., the following resolution, of which notice had been given the previous week, was discussed and unanimously passed:— « That it is necessary in the interests of the working classes of the colony that first-class bona fide Liberal newspapers should be established in the principal cities of the colony, and that with a view to obtain one such newspaper in Wellington, a committee be appointed to ascertain and report upon the guaranteed measure of support that will be accorded by affiliated and non-affiliated bodies to such newspaper if established. » A committee was appointed to consider the best means of carrying the resolution into effect, to report at a future meeting.

Auckland, 23 September, 1891.

Trade is still very quiet, and a good few hands are out of work.

It will no doubt be satisfactory news to most of your readers, especially to those who have been immediately connected with the affair through having to pay levies struck by their Unions, to know that the bootmakers' strike has ended. On the 14th inst. the local executive held a meeting to consider the position, and as a result of that meeting they decided to declare the strike ended from that date. The Union had been for some time past in communication with the southern Unions, and a wire was received advising the ending of the strike. This has been done, and the victory may be said to have been gained by the employers. The strike began in March last, and continued for six months, during which period it is estimated that the Unions have spent close on £6000 in strike pay. Want of sufficient funds on the part of the Unions is assigned as the cause of the termination of the dispute. The men have decided to accept the « statement » drawn up by the employers just after the strike had begun, although they do not consider it satisfactory. Several of the warehouses and factories kept half-holiday on account of the strike being ended.

A sad affair indeed was the fatal accident by which Mr Thomas George Sibbin lost his life here on the 5th inst. Poor fellow, while enjoying an afternoon's pastime at his favorite game, football, he got a fall, and died an hour and a quarter after the accident happened. Deceased was a member of the firm of Sibbin & Brown, printers, of Albert-street, and served his time under the late Mr Atkin, of High-street. He was much respected, as was evidenced by the very large attendance at his funeral, the Craft making a good show. Deceased leaves a wife and three children to mourn their loss. I am glad to say that the public generally are endeavoring to render substantial help to the bereaved family.

Great interest was taken in the libel case Hugh Shortland v. the proprietors of the Observer (Messrs Kelly & Baulf). The decision was in favor of defendants.

The Eight-Hours Demonstration, which is to be held on 9th Nov., promises to be a big affair. Circulars have been issued to all the trade unions, friendly societies, &c., asking them to take part, and preparations on an extensive scale are going on. The committee have decided to devote three-fourths of the day's takings to the memorial of the late Mr S. D. Parnell. This will be a grateful tribute to the worthy man whose name will ever be associated with « Eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, and eight hours for recreation. »

The female comps on the Star are gradually diminishing in numbers. On the 16th inst. Miss Simpson dropped the stick and was married to Mr Pardington, of Ponsonby.

At a special meeting of the Auckland Typographical Association, held on the 19th September, a local scheme for federation was discussed and approved. Copies are to be sent to the various Typographical Societies in New Zealand, for their approval. Mr J. Regan tendered his resignation at this meeting, and the office of President is now filled by Mr S. Gibbins.

Sibbin & Brown's printing business is advertised for sale as a going concern, on account of the death of T. G. Sibbin, who has conducted the business for some years. This would be a good opening if trade were in anything like a fair condition.