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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

News From Overseas

page 6

News From Overseas.

When he returned from Egypt and Gallipoli to New Zealand, Col. the Hon. R. H. Rhodes established the Kitchener Memorial Scholarships, giving £500, while Mrs Heaton Rhodes contributed £250 towards an amount of £l,0OO, to be raised by subscriptions from the public. The Dominion Government is giving £ for£ toward the total sum required. It has now been decided by the Council of Education, that these scholarships shall be agricultural bursaries for soldiers' sons, the object being to foster the study of farming and dairy farming on scientific lines.

Public works in New Zealand are being designed, it has been announced by the Prime Minister, on a scale that will provide employment for no fewer than 12,000 former soldiers as soon as they return to the Homeland.

It is the opinion of the manager of Maffra Beet Sugar Factory, Victoria, that South Australia could become self-supporting as regards sugar. On a visit to Millicent (S.A.) he found that some of the soil is perfectly suited for the cultivation of sugar beet. Pulp-and by-products resulting from the industry would serve as food for stock.

At a sale of building sites on Torrens Park Estate, South Australia, any soldier who bought four blocks was presented with another. All the 85 blocks offered were sold, the prices ranging from 3/6 to 5/- a foot.

Nuggets are still to be found on the surface at Ballarat. Recently, a woman picked one up on the Smythesdale road, its value being £20. In Ballarat South district some smaller ones were found, and near the ground of the old Queen Mining Coy., a nugget worth £5.

War Savings Certificates amounting to £2,500 have been taken up out of undrawn pay by the A.I.F. in Egypt during the past six months. During the same period, the A.I.F. in France and England have subscribed £60,000 through the Pay Office.

The policy of Australia in issuing a a higher rate of pay than any other Nation engaged in the War has been frequently criticised. Provided, however, that the money is not wasted out of Australia, but is converted into Capital remaining in the Commonwealth, the task of financing our heavy war expenditure will be lightened considerably.

The surplus pay invested in War Savings Certificates, combined with the deferred pay due on completion of service, will enable many men on return to Australia to commence in business on their own account, or become producers on the land.

Recent cables from Australia indicate that an active policy is being pursued by the Government with the object of providing farms for soldiers after the termination of the war, and the amount saved by the soldiers themselves out of their pay, and wisely invested, will be of great assistance in enabling them to get a good start.

Small fortunes are being built up by many men in Darwin, judging by their earnings. Mr Myles, M.L.C, who visited the Territory capital, states that money is flowing there as freely as water. One firm is paying butchers and slaughter men as much as £30 and £40 a fortnight, which includes overtime. Even youths earn £l6 or £l8 a month. The average weekly earnings of each of the 20 motor cars that ply for hire in Darwin amount to more than £50.

In the Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Act, provision is made for the appointment of a Repatriation Commission of. seven members, the Minister, by virtue of his office, to be chairman. Recommendations may be made by the Commission to the Governor-General for regulations which will provide for granting assistance and benefits as follows:

(a) To Australian soldiers upon their discharge from service. (b) To the children under the age of 18 years, of deceased or incapitated soldiers; and (c) where by reason of special circumstances the Commission considers that assistance and benefits should be granted to the widows of deceased

Australian soldiers, and may advise upon such matters as may be expedient for the purpose of giving effect to the Act. Until such time as the Department is able to take over control, and the Act has been proclaimed, the Commission cannot legally be appointed. Legal control by the Department cannot be effected until regulations are drafted and approved. Some time ago, Senator Millen invited the following to act as members of the Commission: Lieut-Col. B.H. Owen and Mr H.P. Moorhead, returned soldiers, Sir Langdon Bonython, Messrs Robert Gibson, E. Grayndler, and John Sanderson. Mr Moorhead was a Lance-Corporal in the A.I.F. and lost an arm and a leg on Gallipoli. He is a journalist.

Two lonely soldiers, who by advertisements in Australian newspapers, asked for correspondence, caused embarrassment to the Departmental services, so many letters were mailed for them. Senator G.F. Pearce, Minister for Defence, stated recently that, in consequence of this, soldiers were forbidden to insert such advertisements in Commonwealth newspapers.

Victorian vinegrowers will mark the 1916-17 season as a remarkably good one. The quantity of wine made was 1,300,000 gallons, which, excepting the preceeding season, was greater than the quantity for any previous year since 1912. The crops of sultanas, 103,000 cwts., raisins 40,000 cwts., and currants, 66,000 cwts, exceeded those of all previous seasons but 1915-16.

The increments payable under the Commonwealth Public Service Act in the year, from July 1st., 1914, to June 30th, 1917 amounted to £435,681, while the total o increased salaries due to awards of the Arbitration Court was £ 380,000.

In its report to the Dominion House o Representatives, the Meat Export Trade Committee urges that foreign firms carrying on business in New Zealand shall no be exempt from taxation.

The Victorian Government is considering favorably the proposal, that the buying of land for returned soldiers should be conducted by the State Savings Bank Commissioners.

Grow still more wheat, is Professor Lefroy's advice to Australia. The Professor, who is scientific officer of the British Wheat Commission, states that, though wheat stacked in different states is infested badly by weevils, there is a practical system that will restore the grain to a good condition.