Eighth Meeting: 19th October, 1910.
Present: Mr. R. M. Laing (President), in the chair, and twenty-five others.
Animals Protection Act.—A letter was received from Colonel R. Heaton Rhodes, M.P., re the proposed alterations in the Animals Protection Act, and also a copy of the Act introduced into Parliament by Sir W. J. Steward, M.P.
The following resolution was carried: “That this meeting of the Institute most heartily approves of the Bill introduced into Parliament by Sir W. J. Steward to provide for the protection of birds indigenous to the Dominion, and hopes that it may be accepted by the House during the present session of Parliament.”
Dr. Moorhouse expressed, on behalf of the Canterbury Acclimatization Society, its hearty support of the measure.
Papers.—1. “The Geology of the Kermadec Islands.”
The physical features and geological structure of the islands comprising the Kermadec Group are described, and an attempt is made to record the order in which the various volcanic materials were laid down.
The islands are built up almost entirely of volcanic matter, but fragments of hornblende granite are included in the pumice tuffs forming the most recent crater in Sunday Island, whilst some of the older tuffs, which are submarine, contain fossil corals and molluscan shells. According to the author's observations, the first eruptions were submarine, but shallow-water conditions obtained. The structure of Sunday Island shows it to be built up in comparatively recent times on a submerged base, and that it never exceeded its present dimensions more than can be accounted for by marine denudation. It is contended that there is no evidence to prove that any land actually existed above sea-level in the vicinity of the Kermadecs when the first volcanic eruptions which resulted in the present islands took place.
The biological evidence which, with apparent exceptions, seems to support the supposition of an oceanic origin for the Kermadecs is briefly reviewed. The presence of the Pacific rat (Mus exulans), the candlenut-tree (Aleurites moluccana), and the Polynesian ti (Cordyline terminalis) is perhaps suggestive of a continental connection; but the author has elsewhere given reasons for supposing these to be introduced by Natives, of whose occupation on Sunday Island there is ample evidence.
2. “On some Further Experiments on the Effect of Artesian Waters on the Hatching of Trout,”
The experiments and observations recorded in this paper are a continuation this year of those carried out in the winter of 1909 by Farr and Florance. Further evidence is adduced that both the mortality amongst the unhatched eggs and the disease known as “blue swelling” are due to want of aeration, and diminish as the water becomes more normal in its gas-content. An endeavour is made to decide the particular constituent in excess or defect in the water to which the troubles are due. The evidence points to their being either owing to the little oxygenation of the water, or to there being too much radium-emanation in it. Excess of nitrogen exists in the water, as with last year's result, and the possibility of either the mortality of the eggs or “blue swelling” being due to this is discussed and shown to be small. The thanks of the authors are cordially tendered to the Council of the Acclimatization Society, and to Mr. Charles Rides, the director of the fish-hatchery.
3. “On the Physiological Effects of Radium-emanation,”
The author gave a general account of the properties of radium, paying special attention to those relating to its enormous energy. He then summarized the known effects of the emanation on different diseases and pathological conditions, the question of its effect on cases of cancer and goitre receiving the attention that the prevalence of those forms of disease demands. At the conclusion a very hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Dr. Symes for his interesting and informing address.