The author proposed to alter the time of the clock at the equinoxes so as to bring the working-hours of the day within the period of daylight, and by utilising the early morning, so reduce the excessive use of artificial light which at present prevails.
Mr. Travers said the clocks could be managed by having different hands. He did not think we were far enough advanced to adopt the plan advocated by the author of the paper.
Mr. Harding said that the only practical part of Mr. Hudson's paper had long since been anticipated by Benjamin Franklin, one of whose essays denounced the extravagance of making up for lost daylight by artificial light. Mr. Hudson's original suggestions were wholly unscientific and impracticable. If he really had found many to support his views, they should unite and agitate for a reform.
Mr. Maskell said that the mere calling the hours different would not make any difference in the time. It was out of the question to think of altering a system that had been in use for thousands of years, and found by experience to be the best. The paper was not practical.
Mr. Hawthorne did not see any difficulty in carrying out the views advocated so ably by Mr. Hudson.
Mr. Hustwick was of opinion that the reform spoken of would have to wait a little longer.
Mr. Richardson said that it would be a good thing if the plan could be applied to the young people.
Mr. Hudson, in reply, said that he was sorry to see the paper treated rather with ridicule. He intended it to be practical. It was approved of by those much in the open air. There would be no difficulty in altering the clocks.
3. Mr. Harding read a short paper entitled “An Ornithological Note.” (Transactions, p. 376.)
Mr. Travers said it was like the statement that the kiwi laid one egg which took two years to hatch. He presumed that Mr. Harding wished to caution people against such unreliable books.
Sir W. Buller said that such blunders ought to be corrected. He had occasion to take a similar course with blunders of leading writers when dealing with New Zealand natural history, such as confounding the kakapo, a nocturnal parrot subsisting entirely on mosses and other vegetation, with the kea, or sheep-killing parrot, from the mountains. It would be a mistake not to correct such statements. It was not surprising to find mistakes of this kind in the class of books referred to, the product of paste-pot and scissors, and got up for a foreign market.
The President said that it was to such blunders as those pointed out by Mr. Harding that many erroneous views regarding our natural history may be traced. He mentioned several instances.
4. “Further Notes on Dactylanthus taylori,” with specimens and drawings of the flowers, by T. Kirk, F.L.S. (Transactions, p. 496.)
Sir W. Buller said it was a curious thing that this plant was so sporadic in its distribution. With the exception of the locality mentioned by Mr. Hill, it appeared to exist in single plants distantly scattered over the country. It was first discovered by the Rev. R. Taylor. In his
” New Zealand and its Inhabitants “there is a good figure of the flower. This is one of the most interesting things in his book. Mr. Taylor made mistakes in the ornithology of the country, but he was most observant and devoted to natural history. It was satisfactory to learn from the President that this plant had been met with in the Rangitikei district, and he hoped it would yet turn up in his own bush in the Manawatu.
Mr. Maskell said, if it were likely to be found in the South he would get some friend to be on the look-out for it.
The President said that the plant occurred at the Thames, East Cape, New Plymouth, Upper Whanganui, and Rangitikei, but was most plentiful at East Cape. He could not speak positively about the South.
Sir W. Buller exhibited the following :—