Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 1931
Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors,
20th May, 1931.
The Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors was held in the Biology Lecture Hall, Victoria University College, Wellington, on Wednesday, 20th May, 1931, at 10 a.m.
Present: Representing the Government—Dr E. Marsden, Messrs B. C. Aston, and W. R. B. Oliver; representing Auckland Institute—Professors Segar and Worley; representing Wellington Philosophical Society—Professor Kirk and Mr G. V. Hudson; representing Philosophical Institute of Canterbury—Dr C. Coleridge Farr and Professor Speight; representing Otago Institute—Hon. G. M. Thomson and Professor Park; representing Nelson Institute—Professor Easterfield; representing Manawatu Philosophical Society—Mr M. A. Eliott; representing Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute—Mr C. F. H. Pollock.
Dr C. Coleridge Farr presided and welcomed Professor R. Speight and Mr C. F. H. Pollock, two new members of the Board of Governors.
Apologies were received from His Excellency the Governor-General, the Rt. Hon. the Prime Minister, and Dr L. Cockayne, C.M.G.
Presidential Address: In commencing his address, Dr Farr asked members to rise in respect to the memory of the late Mr A. M. Wright, who had died very suddenly on the evening after the last Annual Meeting, which he had attended; of the late Mr Carse, of Auckland, Mr Alfred Philpott, Mr Crosby-Smith, Mr F. T. Leighton, Sir Robert Stout, all members of the Institute, and of Lady Hector. He referred also to the death of Sir W. T. Thistelton-Dyer, an honorary member of the Institute; and to Lord Melchett, the mainspring of Imperial Chemical Industries. At the conclusion of his address, Dr Farr was heartily thanked, and was asked to allow his address to be printed.
Notices of Motion were then called for.
Fellowship Election: The election for two vacancies in the Fellowship was then taken, and on receiving the result from the Hon. Returning Officer (Professor Segar), the President announced that
Dr E. Kidson was elected and that three others tied for second place. A second ballot resulted in Dr D. Miller being elected. Dr E. Kidson and Dr D. Miller were therefore announced duly elected to the Fellowship.
Hector Award: The President then opened the sealed envelope containing the report of the Hector Award Committee as follows:—
“The Committee has considered the claims of the New Zealand chemists in connection with the award of the Hector Medal and Prize for 1931. The Committee is unanimously of the opinion that the medal should be awarded to Dr W. P. Evans, who through many years of study of the New Zealand coals in their chemical, physical, botanical, and geological relationship, and through the stimulating influence he has exerted upon a large number of chemical students, has done so much to advance the science of Chemistry in New Zealand.”
B. C. Aston(Convener).
P. W. Robertson.
Thomas H. Easterfield.
The report was adopted.
Amount of Hector Award: On the motion of Mr Eliott, seconded by Professor Park, it was resolved that the amount of the Hector Prize be £60.
Declaration of Vacancies in Honorary Members' List: One vacancy occasioned by the death of Sir W. T. Thistelton-Dyer was declared.
Incorporated Societies' Reports and Balance Sheets: With the exception of the report and balance sheet of Manawatu Philosophical Society, and the report of Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute, the reports and balance sheets of all incorporated societies were laid on the table and were referred to the Hon. Treasurer for report. It was explained that the balance sheet of the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute had been recovered, but the report had been destroyed in the recent earthquake and fire in Napier.
Report of the Standing Committee for the Period ended 31st March, 1931.
Meetings: Eight meetings of the Standing Committee were held during the period under review, the attendance being as follows:—Dr Farr (President), Christchurch, 6; Mr Aston, Wellington, 8; Dr Cockayne, Ngaio, 5; Mr Eliott, Palmerston North, 4; Mr Hudson, Wellington, 8; Professor Kirk, Wellington, 4; Dr Marsden, Wellington, 5; Mr Oliver, Wellington, 7; Hon. G. M. Thomson, Dunedin, 1.
The Late Mr A. M. Wright: News of the death of the late Mr A. M. Wright two days after the last Annual Meeting, which he attended, came as a great shock to members. At a meeting of the Standing Committee in February the following resolution was carried:—
“That this meeting learns with great regret of the sudden death of Mr A. M. Wright, F.I.C., and desires to place on record its sense of the valuable work he did in the interests of the New Zealand Institute, and the chemical investigation of problems associated with the frozen meat industry of this Dominion.”
A copy of this resolution was forwarded to Mrs Wright, and it was also published in the press.
Board of Governors: The vacancy on the Board created by the death of Mr Wright was filled, in May, by the appointment of Professor R. Speight, of Christchurch, who with Dr Farr now represents the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury.
A further change in the personnel of the Board occurred in May, when Mr C. F. H. Pollock was appointed to represent the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute in place of Mr Guthrie Smith, who had resigned.
New Zealand Institute Act: In February, a committee consisting of Messrs Oliver (convener), Aston, Hudson, and Dr Cockayne, was set up to draw up the necessary amendments to the New Zealand Institute Act and to inquire into the procedure necessary to obtain permission to include the word “Royal” in the title of the New Zealand Institute.
The Amending Bill which was eventually drawn up provided for the appointment of a vice-president, for the financial year to end on the 31st March instead of 31st December, and for the Annual Meeting to be held in April or May. It also transferred the administration of the Institute Act from the Department of Internal Affairs to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Rt. Hon. the Prime Minister, as Minister of the Department, automatically replacing the Hon. Minister of Internal Affairs on the Board of Governors.
Further the following paragraph was added to the Act:—“One additional member may from time to time be appointed by the Board for a term not exceeding two years, save that any such member may, on the expiration of his term of office, be reappointed as a member of the Board.”
The Amending Act was passed by Parliament in October, 1930. The Department of Internal Affairs was subsequently written to and assured of the Institute's appreciation of its services to the Institute during the many years of its association with it.
Vice-President: Following the passing of the Amendment Act, the Standing Committee at its meeting on the 4th November, unanimously resolved that Mr B. C. Aston be appointed Vice-President of the Institute. The President, Dr Farr, mentioned that apparently it was the considered opinion of all members that Mr Aston by virtue of his long and intimate administrative association with the Institute was eminently suited for the position of Vice-President. Mr Aston replying, thanked the members for their confidence in him.
Publication Matters: The last part of Volume 60 was published in April. Acting on an instruction of the Finance Committee set up at last Annual Meeting, the size of Volume 61 was restricted in order that its cost might come within the means of the Institute. This necessitated the last part being a combined Part 3 and 4. Part 1 was published in June, Part 2 in September, and Part 3 and 4 in January last. The contract with Messrs Ferguson and Osborn, Ltd., having expired, and the Government Printer having expressed the desire to again undertake the printing of the Transactions and stating that he would now be prepared to tender for the work, it was decided to call for tenders from all suitable printers, and this was done on the 6th March, 1931. The tenders received have not yet been considered by the Standing Committee. In the meantime Volume 62 is not being proceeded with.
Exchange List: The Timaru Public Library and the Natural History Society, Riga, were added to the Exchange List.
Partial Sets Transactions: A partial set of the Transactions was donated to the Turanganui Public Library, Gisborne, and a few odd numbers to the Dominion Museum. An unbound set of Maori Art was also presented to Victoria University College Library.
Sales: The revenue of the Institute has been increased to the amount of £87 by sales of publications, an increase of over £20 on the previous year.
Library: There is very great congestion in the Library, the incoming exchanges having used up all the available space. It is difficult to know just how the steady influx of periodicals can be accommodated until such time as the new Museum buildings are available.
The Library continues to be used by research workers and is being more and more used by honours students of the College.
Incorporated Societies: The following reports and balance sheets of incorporated societies have been received and are now laid on the table:—
Auckland Institute for the year ended 31st March, 1930.
Wellington Philosophical Society for the year ended 31st October, 1930.
Philosophical Institute of Canterbury for the year ended 31st October, 1930.
Otago Institute for the year ended 30th November, 1930.
Nelson Philosophical Society for the year ended 30th September, 1930.
Owing to the upheaval in Napier, the report of the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute is not yet ready; the report of the Manawatu Philosophical Society is also not yet available.
A suggestion emanating from the Wellington Philosophical Society that the incorporated societies should be known as local branches of the New Zealand Institute was in November referred to the other incorporated societies for consideration. The replies of the societies were read at a meeting of the Standing Committee held on the 20th January, 1931, and were referred to the Annual Meeting.
Institute of Chemistry: A New Zealand Institute of Chemistry has been formed, and it was considered by the Standing Committee that it would be of mutual advantage if the newly-formed Institute became affiliated with the New Zealand Institute. On the 20th January, Mr Aston reported that he had discussed the matter with the Institute of Chemistry, and the suggestion would be considered later on.
Fellowship N.Z. Institute: On the 20th March, Professor William Percival Evans, M.A., Ph.D., and Mr Alfred Philpott, F.E.S., were gazetted Fellows of the New Zealand Institute.
Ten nominations were received from incorporated societies for the 1931 Fellowship and were submitted to the Fellows for selection. The result of the selection was notified by the Hon. Returning Officer (Professor Segar) on the 18th September, and later reported to the members of the Board of Governors.
A letter was received from the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury on the 28th June expressing dissatisfaction with the present method of electing Fellows, but no action was taken, as at last Annual Meeting a committee was set up to report to the next Annual Meeting on the method of electing Fellows of the New Zealand Institute. This committee drew up certain recommendations which will be submitted to the Annual Meeting in May.
Hector Award: At a largely attended meeting of the Otago Institute held on the 6th July, the President of the New Zealand Institute, Dr C. Coleridge Farr, presented the Hector Medal to the Rev. Dr J. E. Holloway, and spoke in high terms of Dr Holloway's botanical work, which is held in high esteem not only throughout New Zealand, but also in the outside botanical world.
National Research Council: At a meeting of the Standing Committee held on the 20th February, it was resolved that a committee consisting of the President, the Hon. G. M. Thomson, Mr Oliver (convener), and Dr Marsden, be set up to report on the proposed National Research Council on the lines set down at last Annual Meeting of the Board. The report of this committee will be submitted to the Annual Meeting in May.
Research Grants: On the 4th November, the Standing Committee considered the recommendations of the Research Grants Committee and approved of eight applications for research grants.
Research Grant Policy: It was felt that the New Zealand Institute should follow a definite policy in dealing with applications for research grants, and it was decided to ask the Research Grants Committee to furnish a report on the matter. This report was considered at a meeting of the Standing Committee in May, when it was decided that it be circulated to members of the Board so that the matter might come up for discussion at the Annual Meeting. However, intimation has now been received from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research that there will be no provision on the Estimates for 1931 for research grants for the New Zealand Institute, and consideration of a research grant policy is at present unnecessary.
Carter Bequest: A meeting of the Carter Bequest Committee consisting of Professor Kirk (convener), Dr Farr, Mr Aston, and Mr Hudson, was held on the 3rd April, 1930. Dr Adams was present by invitation.
It was decided to ask the Crown Law Office to draft a Bill to give effect to the decision of the Board of Governors in January, 1929, but before approaching the Crown Law Office, to inform the City Council of the Institute's intention and ask whether, when an Act was obtained, the Council would transfer to the Institute as Carter Observatory Trustees a site of one quarter of an acre in the position already agreed upon and would donate the telescope or sell it to the Trustees at a price not exceeding £500.
A letter to this effect was written to the Mayor of Wellington on the 3rd April, a copy of the letter being sent to the New Zealand Astronomical Society. On the 17th April, the Town Clerk replied that the letter would be placed before the Observatory Committee at an early date. On the 3rd November, the Town Clerk informed the Institute that the recommendations of the Observatory Committee and the Reserves Committee on the matter were reported to the Council, but consideration of same had been deferred pending a report from the City Engineer regarding a proposed road adjoining the site in question.
Science Congress, 1931: The Standing Committee was empowered by last Annual Meeting to inquire into the possibility of the next Science Congress being held in Napier. In July, the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute wrote regretting that it was unable to undertake the organisation of the Science Congress. No further action was taken.
T. K. Sidey Summer Time Fund: In April, Dr Cockayne and Professor Kirk were asked to suggest a design for the proposed Summer Time Medal. They suggested that the obverse side should bear the donor in profile, and that on the reverse side the design should represent the sun's rays from above with the sun's disc or portion of it, while below on each side should be representations of Demeter and Hygeia. These suggestions were approved by members of the Standing Committee and by Sir Thomas Sidey, and instructions were accordingly sent to Mr A. G. Wyon on the 5th May. On the 7th August the design for the medal was received from Mr Wyon, and with a slight alteration was approved at a meeting of the Standing Committee held on the 24th September. Mr Wyon undertook to have the medals ready by May.
Sir Thomas Sidey, in fulfilment of his promise to donate the medal, forwarded his cheque for £120 to cover the cost of it.
The committee set up at last Annual Meeting to revise one of the Regulations affecting the Summer Time Award, reports as follows:—
“I have to report that it has been impossible to obtain a full meeting of the Committee; but I have communicated with the members by correspondence, and find that there is considerable difference of opinion as to whether or not applications for the award shall be called by public advertisement.”
As a compromise I suggest the following regulation:—
“Applications for the award shall be called by public advertisement, and applicants shall be invited to submit a thesis specially prepared on the subject of the award, or the applicants may submit papers already published. The Board shall elect a Committee of not less than three experts to make recommendations regarding the award, and where the subject has a medical bearing, expert medical opinion on the value of the thesis or publications shall be obtained. In making the award, however, the Board shall not be limited to persons who have made application.”
Convener Sidey Medal Committee.
Dominion Muscum: On the 2nd April, a deputation of members of the Standing Committee and others waited upon the Hon. Minister of Internal Affairs to protest against the proposed site on Mount Cook, and also against the proposed allocation of funds in the building of the Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery It was pointed out that it was an integral part of the
proposals under which the Massey Government agreed to grant a subsidy not exceeding £100,000 that the amount available for the Dominion Museum should be £150,000 out of a total of £200,000.
The Minister promised to re-submit the matter to Cabinet. The winning designs for the Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery buildings were announced on the 18th June, and subsequently Mr Oliver intimated that ample provision appeared to be made in the plans for the New Zealand Institute Library. The main room was nearly twice the size of the room in which the Library is now housed, and additional smaller rooms could be found as stack rooms.
Board of Trustees: The New Zealand Institute had no representation on the temporary Board of Trustees, and when it was announced that a permanent Board was to be set up, the Standing Committee resolved to again approach the Chairman of the Board and ask that the Institute might have at least two representatives on the Board. When the Bill eventually came down, it provided only for the inclusion of the President of the Institute as representative. It was resolved to leave the matter in the hands of the Hon. G. M. Thomson, with the result that when the Bill came before the Legislative Council it was amended, and the Act now provides for the President and Vice-President to represent the Institute on the Board, with power to appoint a deputy if necessary to attend meetings of the Board. At a meeting of the Standing Committee on the 4th November, Professor Kirk was appointed to act as deputy when necessary.
London Agency: It was resolved to approach the High Commissioner for New Zealand on the possibility of his office undertaking the agency for the Institute's publications. Later, Dr Marsden was asked to interview the High Commissioner and endeavour to arrange terms. On his return from England, Dr Marsden reported that it was probable that the High Commissioner would undertake the agency without commission charges, and the Prime Minister has now written to him asking him to do this.
Solar Eclipse: The Institute granted £100 from the Research Vote to Dr Adams for his expedition to Niuafou to view the solar eclipse.
Former Honorary Editor: The President of the Wellington Philosophical Society was asked to make a presentation of a cheque for £21 (contributions from the incorporated societies and from members of the Standing Committee) to Mr J. C. Andersen, in recognition of his services as Honorary Editor, and this was done by Mr Oliver at a meeting of the Wellington Philosophical Society held on the 21st May, 1930.
British Association for the Advancement of Science: Shortly after his arrival in New Zealand, His Excellency the Governor-General invited the British Association to meet in New Zealand in 1934. The President of the Institute wrote assuring His Excellency of the cordial support of the New Zealand Institute in the proposal. In replying, His Excellency said that acceptance of the invitation depended upon a similar invitation being sent from Australia and upon the necessary financial assistance being forthcoming from the New Zealand Government. Subsequently, it was ascertained from leading scientific men in Australia that owing to the extremely difficult financial conditions prevailing there, it was considered quite impracticable to ask the Government to issue an invitation to the British Association. The idea, therefore, unfortunately has had to be abandoned.
The British Association's Centenary takes place on September 23–30, 1931. and the New Zealand Institute has been invited to send a delegate. The appointment of a delegate was considered at a meeting of the Standing Committee held on the 4th November, and it was decided to defer appointment until the Annual Meeting.
Second International Polar Year: The International Meteorological Conference held at Copenhagen in 1929 decided to organise a second international polar year in 1932–33. At Dr Kidson's suggestion it was agreed that in the absence of a National Research Council, the New Zealand Institute could most suitably undertake the organisation of the Dominion's share in the proposed Polar Year. The following committee was therefore appointed with power to add:—His Excellency the Governor-General; Dr C. Coleridge Farr; Dr E. Marsden; G. Shirtcliffe, Esq.; W. R. B. Oliver, Esq.; Professor P. W. Burbridge;
H. E. Walsh, Esq.; Dr E. Kidson (convener); Sir Joseph Kinsey; Senior Naval Officer; Hon. Minister of Scientific and Industrial Research; Hon. G. M. Thomson; A. E. Hefford, Esq.; Professor W. N. Benson; Professor D. M. Y. Sommerville; and Professor D. C. H. Florance.
The Minister of Scientific and Industrial Research wrote regretting that it was not practicable for him to accept a seat on the Committee, as in his capacity of Prime Minister he would probably have to give consideration to the matter when approached by the Netherlands Foreign Office.
Correspondence in connection with the proposal has been circulated to members of the above committee and to interested bodies.
Scenery Preservation Committee: At last Annual Meeting a committee consisting of Dr Cockayne (convener), Messrs Aston, Hudson, and Oliver was set up to deal with matters of scenery preservation. This committee has been called together several times since then. Early in the year it was asked by the Department of Internal Affairs to report on the matter of the preservation of Maori rock paintings at Weka Pass, Canterbury. The recommendations of the committee were approved at a meeting of the Standing Committee on the 2nd April, 1930, and were to the effect that the suggestions submitted to the Department by Mr Oliver for the restoration of the paintings should be carried out, and that the Lands Department be asked to declare Weka Pass a scenic reserve. Further, that the Lands Department be urged to appoint an inspector of scenic reserves, and urge that the Scenic Reserves Act be amended. It was considered later, however, in view of the financial stringency, that the present time would be a most inopportune one to approach the Government in regard to the latter recommendation, and it was decided to leave the matter in abeyance for the present.
On the 4th November, Mr Oliver reported that protective measures had been carried out at Weka Pass and many of the rock paintings had been restored. The Lands Department also wrote that the Scenery Preservation Board had approved of the Institute's recommendation that Weka Pass be declared a scenic reserve, but a certain amount of compensation would be required, and funds at the present time were extremely limited, and it had therefore been decided to allow the matter to stand over for the present.
The reported destruction of Pittosporum Dallii at Boulder Lake, and the destruction of native bush at Puketitiri, notified by Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute, were matters that were also dealt with.
On the 25th February, 1931, it was reported that much unnecessary felling of trees was occurring at Tongariro National Park and in other places, and notice had recently been drawn to the destruction by Public Works men of a tree sacred to the Maori. It was resolved that Mr Aston, Dr Cockayne, and Mr Field, M.P., should interview Mr Furkert, Chief of the Public Works, and take any action that was necessary.
A conference, organised by the Department of Internal Affairs, of interested bodies to discuss the question of deer control, was attended by Messrs J. Scott Thomson and Mr E. F. Stead as representatives of the New Zealand Institute.
Another conference on the control of wild life in New Zealand was held on the 24th November, and the New Zealand Institute was represented by Dr Cockayne and Professor Kirk.
Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science: On the 25th February, 1930, it was resolved that Dr H. H. Allan, Dr P. Marshall, and Professor W. N. Benson should represent the New Zealand Institute at the Brisbane meeting of the Association in May. Professor Benson and Dr Allan found it impossible to attend. Dr Marshall's report will be presented to the Annual Meeting.
Standards Laboratory: At a meeting of the Standing Committee on the 20th February, 1930, Dr Farr was appointed to represent the Institute on the Technical Advisory Committee to be set up in connection with the establishment of a Standards Laboratory.
Fifth International Botanical Congress: As Dr Cockayne was unable to attend this congress, held in Cambridge in August, 1930, Dr H. H. Allan was appointed to represent the New Zealand Institute.
Bequest of Slides: The solicitors of the late Mr J. Crosby-Smith wrote on 9th May, 1930, that his coloured lantern slides of the New Zealand flora had been bequeathed to the New Zealand Institute on condition that they were housed in a fireproof building and from time to time lent out for lecture purposes at the discretion of the Institute. The Otago Institute requested that it might have the custody of these slides and it was decided to comply with the request.
Tongariro National Park: At a meeting of the Standing Committee held on the 25th February, 1931, Mr Aston reported on the action taken by the Board in connection with the hostel and the liquidation of the company which had control of it. His report and that of the Tongariro National Park Board will be presented at the Annual Meeting.
Lord Rutherford of Nelson: General satisfaction was expressed when it was known that Sir Ernest Rutherford's name was included in the New Year Honours, and on the 20th January, 1931, the following resolution was unanimously carried:—“That the hearty congratulations of the New Zealand Institute be sent to Lord Rutherford on his eminent position in the scientific world. The Institute realises with great pleasure that Lord Rutherford has progressed from a primary school of the Dominion to be one of the leading scientific men in the world, and considers that the present peerage conferred upon him is not only a compliment to his unique services to science, but also a great honour to the Dominion. The Institute also recalls that Lord Rutherford's first scientific paper was published in its own Transactions.”
Nature Study in Schools: A resolution passed at last Annual Meeting in regard to the possibility of modifying the syllabus of the Entrance Scholarship examination so as to encourage the study of natural history in its original sense was forwarded to the Registrar of the University of New Zealand, and by him referred to the Professors of Biology in the University Colleges. On the 28th August, the Registrar replied as follows:—
“…The Entrance Board resolved that in view of the report obtained from the Professor in Natural History, the request of the New Zealand Institute be declined.”
Science Courses in Schools: As a result of a resolution of last Annual Meeting suggesting to the Minister of Education that the New Zealand Institute should be officially consulted in connection with any proposed changes in the science teaching in primary and post-primary schools, the New Zealand Institute was invited to appear before the Select Committee on Education, and subsequently Professor Kirk, Dr Marsden, Dr Cockayne, and Mr Hudson were appointed a committee to appear before the Select Committee. Professor Kirk found it impossible to act on this committee.
National Parks: A resolution of last Annual Meeting that the Department of Lands and Survey be requested to allow the New Zealand Institute to elect a representative on the Arthur's Pass and Egmont Park Boards was referred to the Minister of Lands. He replied that on the Arthur's Pass Board the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury was represented by Professor Speight, and an additional appointment could not be made without special legislation; and that the Egmont Park Board is comprised of the Commissioner of Crown Lands for the Taranaki Land District, two persons appointed by the North Egmont, and two by the South Egmont Local Committees. On the 10th April the Minister was thanked for his reply and was asked that in the event of special legislation being enacted, the Institute's request should be considered. He consented to do this.
The report was then taken clause by clause, slightly amended, and adopted.
Arising out of the report:
Scenery Preservation: The Hon. G. M. Thomson stated that several interested societies in Dunedin were making a determined effort to have the tops of Mount Cargill, Flagstaff Hill, and Signal Hill classed as scenic reserves, under the control of the City Council of Dunedin, and so prevent any further planting of these areas in pinus insignis, etc.
Change of Names of Incorporated Societies: Mr Oliver stated that the reason for the suggested change of titles of incorporated societies was that it would bring the New Zealand Institute into greater prominence, and that uniformity of title would give a truer conception of what the New Zealand Institute is and of the local societies' connection with it. The suggestion was that the societies should be known as local branches of the New Zealand Institute; for instance, the Wellington Philosophical Society should be known as “New Zealand Institute: Wellington Branch.”
The opinions of the various societies on the matter were read, and after a good deal of discussion it was moved by Dr Marsden, seconded by Mr Eliott, and carried:—“That the Board of Governors agrees to any steps necessary in connection with the change of designation of any of the incorporated societies to that of local branches of the New Zealand Institute.”
Fellowship New Zealand Institute and National Research Council.
A committee consisting of the President (Dr Farr), Hon. G. M. Thomson, Mr Oliver (convener), and Dr Marsden, was set up to report on the proposed National Research Council and on the Fellowship of the New Zealand Institute.
A meeting of the committee was held in the Dominion Museum on 31st March, 1931, when there were present Dr Marsden, Hon. G. M. Thomson, and Mr Oliver (convener).
The following resolutions were adopted:—
1. That the Fellows of the New Zealand Institute constitute the National Research Council.
2. That the election to Fellowship be in two groups:
(a) Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics.
(b) Biology, Medicine, and all other sciences.
3. That two Fellows from each group be elected each year until the total number of Fellows is 50.
4. That the Committee recommends that the New Zealand Institute impress upon the Government the necessity for obtaining the best scientific advice on all questions of policy.
The above resolutions have been submitted to Dr Farr, who is in agreement with them.
The adoption of the report of the committee on these subjects was moved by Mr Oliver and seconded by the Hon. G. M. Thomson. It was, however, resolved that the report be considered clause by clause. A good deal of discussion took place on the various clauses, and finally it was decided that:—
Clause 1 be: “That the Fellows of the New Zealand Institute with power to co-opt constitute the National Research Council.”
Clause 2 be: “That the election to Fellowship be in two groups:
(a) Physics, chemistry, mathematics, geo-physics, meteorology, and astronomy.
(b) Biology, geology, medicine, and all other sciences.” Clause 3 be: “That at least one Fellow from each group be elected each year until the total number of Fellows is 50.”
On the motion of Mr Aston, seconded by Professor Easterfield, it was resolved that the report of the Fellowship and National Research Council as amended be referred to the incorporated societies and to the next Annual Meeting.
Summer Time Award Regulation: The recommendation of the convener of the Summer Time Award Committee was that Clause 6 of the Regulations be as follows:—
“Applications for the award shall be called by public advertisement, and applicants shall be invited to submit a thesis specially prepared on the subject of the award, or the applicants may submit papers already published. The Board shall elect a committee of not less than three experts to make recommendations regarding the award, and where the subject has a medical bearing, expert medical opinion on the value of the theses or publications shall be obtained. In making the award, however, the Board shall not be limited to persons who have made applications.”
Convener Sidey Medal Committee.
After much discussion of the foregoing recommendation, it was finally resolved on the motion of Professor Easterfield, seconded by Dr Marsden: “That the fact that an award of the prize and medal is to be made shall be announced in the principal papers of the Dominion not less than six months before the making of the award. Theses and copies of published work may be forwarded to the secretary, and will be considered together with any other evidence which is in possession of the Board. Expert opinion shall be obtained on the matter of any piece of work before it is finally accepted for the reception of the prize.”
On the motion of Dr Marsden, seconded by Professor Worley, it was resolved that an announcement be made of notice of intention to award the Sidey Medal on 1st January, 1932, should a candidate of sufficient merit be available.
Honorary Treasurer's Report.
The Balance Sheet for the 15 months ended 31st March, 1931, shows a debit balance of £38 6s 2d, as compared with a debit balance of £287 19s 8d on the 31st December, 1929.
The old amount due to the Government Printer has been reduced from £521 9s 7d to £147 13s 3d. This balance still owing is all made up by interest, and it could therefore well be written off by the Government, particularly in view of our lessened grant.
Since the close of our financial year, advice has been received that our Statutory Grant has been reduced from £1500 to £750. This drastic cut will necessitate a very material reduction in our printing estimates for the coming year. The utmost that appears available for printing the Transactions will be £500. It will be necessary, therefore, to reduce the number of papers and size of the next Volume considerably.
The Trust Accounts maintain their customary satisfactory condition. The Carter Bequest capital now totals £8,256.
The books and accounts have as usual been kept in an excellent manner by the Assistant Secretary.
M. A. Eliorr,
New Zealand Institute.
Statement of Receipts and Expenditure for the Fifteen Months Ended 31st March, 1931.
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
|Balance as at 31st December, 1929||1,635||15||7|
|Levy, Trans. N.Z. Inst., Volume 59||13||1||0|
|" " " " " 60||231||6||4|
|" " " " " 61||53||10||0|
|Research Grants from Treasury||492||10||0|
|" " Refunded by Grantees||43||4||2|
|Contributions Presentation Mr J. C. Andersen||17||17||6|
|Donation from Sir Thomas Sidey (Medal)||120||0||0|
|Interest Post Office Savings Bank||39||16||1|
|Carter Bequest Interest||668||10||7|
|Hector Memorial Fund Interest||105||11||0|
|Hutton Memorial Fund Interest||114||8||6|
|Carter Library Legacy Interest||14||12||4|
|Summer Time Fund Interest||28||0||6|
|Endowment Fund Interest||47||11||11|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund Interest||2||7||2|
|Trust Funds transferred Bank New Zealand||1,335||17||6|
|Transfers from P.O. Savings Bank to Bank N.Z.||800||0||0|
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
|Ferguson & Osborn, Ltd.||1,065||6||11|
|Government Printer (on Account)||400||0||0|
|Charges (Insurance, Bank Charges, etc.)||16||0||1|
|Research Grants Instalments||377||17||0|
|Trust Funds Interest Invested||1,450||12||6|
|Presentation Mr J. C. Andersen||21||0||0|
|Transfer to Hector Fund, P.O.S.B. Account||33||0||0|
|Transfer between Bank N.Z. and P.O.S.B.||1,450||0||0|
|Interest Credited direct to Trust Accounts||845||17||7|
|Balance, as under||1,157||9||10|
|Balance in Bank of New Zealand||208||8||1|
|Short Deposit Treasury||0||0||2|
|Balance in Post Office Savings Bank||943||11||0|
|Petty Cash in Hand||5||10||7|
M. A. Eliott, Hon. Treasurer.
The Audit Office having examined the Balance Sheet and accompanying Accounts required by law to be audited, hereby certifies them to be correct
G. F. C. Campbell,
Controller and Auditor-General.
New Zealand Institute.
Statement of Liabilities and Assets as at 31st March, 1931.
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
|Carter Bequest Capital Account||8,256||16||2|
|Hector Memorial Fund Capital Account||1,184||18||1|
|Hutton Memorial Fund Capital Account||1,314||8||6|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund Capital Account||57||15||1|
|Carter Library Legacy Capital Account||100||0||0|
|Summer Time Fund Capital Account||500||2||6|
|Endowment Fund Capital Account||647||19||6|
|Carter Bequest Revenue Account||33||9||1|
|Hector Memorial Fund Revenue Account||109||12||9|
|Hutton Memorial Fund Revenue Account||171||8||6|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund Revenue Account||4||3||4|
|Carter Library Legacy Revenue Account||49||5||6|
|Summer Time Fund Revenue Account||147||18||0|
|Endowment Fund Revenue Account||103||0||0|
|Ferguson & Osborn, Ltd.||220||4||3|
|Research Grants Fund||807||1||11|
|P.O. Inscribed Stock||2,135||6||10|
|Bank of New Zealand||208||8||3|
|Post Office Savings Bank||943||11||0|
|Petty Cash in Hand||5||10||7|
|Carter Bequest P.O.S.B. Account||33||9||1|
|Hector Memorial Fund P.O.S.B. Account||109||12||9|
|Hutton Memorial Fund P.O.S.B. Account||171||8||6|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund P.O.S.B. Account||61||18||5|
|Carter Library Legacy P.O.S.B. Account||49||5||6|
|Summer Time Fund P.O.S.B. Account||147||18||0|
|Balance of Liabilities over Assets||38||6||2|
New Zealand Institute.
Revenue Account for the Fifteen Months Ended 31st March, 1931.
|Balance at 31st December, 1929||287||19||8|
|Printing, Stationery, etc.||1,342||19||0|
|Charges (Insurance, Bank Commission, Audit, etc.)||19||5||4|
|Levy and Publications Sold||555||5||3|
New Zealand Institute Trust Accounts.
|To Interest Invested||700||7||6|
|By Balance at 31/12/29||65||6||0|
|To Cheque (Dr Holloway)||60||0||0|
|By Balance at 31/12/29||64||1||9|
|To Interest Invested||100||2||6|
|By Balance at 31/12/29||157||2||6|
|To Half Interest to Capital Account||1||3||7|
|By Balance at 31/12/29||2||19||9|
|By Balance at 31/12/29||34||13||2|
|To Certificate of Title||0||2||6|
|By Cheque Sir Thos. Sidey||120||0||0|
|To Interest Invested||150||2||6|
|By Balance at 31/12/29||165||14||6|
|" Interest at P.O.S.B.||39||16||1|
|" Interest on Investments||47||11||11|
The Honorary Treasurer moved the adoption of the various financial statements, seconded by Professor Park, and carried.
It was resolved that in view of the reduction in the Institute's grant, the Prime Minister be approached regarding the wiping out of the debt to the Government Printer.
Report of the Publication Committee.
The general conditions of financial stringency have much hindered the publication of the Transactions during the past year.
The last part of Volume 60 was issued in March, 1930, completing a volume of 665 pages with 63 plates. Part 4 contained 145 pages and 4 plates.
Of Volume 61, Parts 1 and 2 were each of normal size; Part 1 contained 215 pages and 38 plates, Part 2 contained 224 pages and 39 plates. The remainder of the volume had to be compressed into one small double-part of 126 pages with 24 plates, making a total for the volume of 566 pages and 91 plates. This was issued in November, 1930.
Since then, publication of the Transactions has been unfortunately suspended, pending the decision of the Government with regard to the Annual Grant. The reduction from £1500 to £750, which has now come into effect, will severely cripple the activities of the Institute, and a much reduced volume will result.
Part 1 of Volume 62, which is now being printed by Messrs Ferguson & Osborn, Ltd., will be a small part of 77 pages. A new tender from the Otago Daily Times has been accepted to publish the remainder of this volume.
It will be necessary for authors to give the most careful consideration to the condensation of their papers and reduce the number of illustrations to a minimum.
For the Publication Committee.
D. M. Y. Sommerville,
In presenting the report of the Publications Committee, the Hon. Editor stressed the necessity of authors curtailing the length of their papers, and suggested that in papers where there are many illustrations, authors should be asked to contribute towards the cost of the illustrations. The report was adopted. On the motion of Dr Marsden, seconded by the Hon. G. M. Thomson, it was resolved to circulate the report to the incorporated societies.
Transfer of Printing to Dunedin: It was reported that tenders had been called from all the large printing firms in New Zealand, and the lowest tender was that of the Otago Daily Times, of Dunedin. It was therefore decided that in view of the very limited amount of money available, the printing of the Transactions should be transferred to the Otago Daily Times Company. On the motion of Mr Aston, seconded by Professor Park, it was resolved that the Hon. G. M. Thomson be appointed to act for the Hon. Editor in Dunedin, and see the Transactions through the press.
Report of Honorary Librarian.
It is satisfactory to report that the Library continues to grow rapidly by accessions through exchanges with other learned societies, and is being used to an increasing extent by research workers.
Owing to the increasing congestion it will be necessary to store certain serials temporarily in a less accessible place, there being no further room for expansion in the present premises at Victoria University College.
Two new exchanges have been entered into during the year.
When better conditions arise there should be put in hand the matter of preparing a complete catalogue, which would be available for the use of readers. A cognate matter which will require attention is the revision of Mr Archey's Index of Scientific Periodicals in New Zealand Libraries. These two matters are of the greatest importance in order that the fullest use may be made of the resources of the Institute's Library.
D. M. Y. Sommerville,
The report of the Honorary Librarian, Professor D. M. Y. Sommerville, was adopted.
Report of Research Grant Committee.
The Research Grants Committee had three meetings during the year. An effort was made to find from each grantee how long he expected his research to continue and how much he now expected it to cost. Replies were received from all but three grantees, and the information supplied was of great assistance in allocating new grants.
The cessation of the supply of funds from the Government will leave the Committee little to do during the coming year.
In response to an inquiry from the Standing Committee a statement was prepared embodying the principles which the Committee thinks should guide it in allocating grants.
F. W. Hilgendorf,
Chairman Research Grants Committee.
Reports of Research Grantees for Period Ended 31st March. 1931.
Dr C. E. Adams, in 1925, was granted £200 for a research on southern stars. It was proposed to purchase an interferometer, but it was found that the amount was quite inadequate. Mr Hargreaves, in consultation with Dr Comrie, of London, spent a great deal of time on the consideration of a design that could be worked up, and it was decided that he be given £10 out of the grant, and that he be asked to submit a report on his work for the future information of the Institute. This has been the only expenditure from the grant.
Dr H. H. Allan, in 1923, was granted £30 for a research on eocksfoot. He reported on the 8th April, 1931, that during his absence from New Zealand the work had been carried out by Mr Malcolm, of the Feilding Agricultural High School. The three selected plants were increased vegetatively and seed secured from each; one set has been abandoned owing to high susceptibility to rust. General observations confirm the opinion that extra-New Zealand cocksfoots do not provide material at all approaching those long-grown in New Zealand. The selected cocksfoot is fine-leafed, succulent, and much less fibrous in leaf tissues than the common commercial forms. No further expenditure from the grant will be necessary, and Dr Allan refunded an unexpended balance of £10 16s 6d.
Dr H. H. Allan, in 1924, was granted £50 for a research on Mount Egmont forest. He reported on the 8th April that owing to his absence in England, no further field work had been accomplished. He hopes to carry the investigation to a conclusion during the next season, and as the remaining work will not require financial assistance, he refunded the balance, namely £23 0s 10d.
Mr G. Archey, in 1926, was granted £40 for a research on New Zealand Chilopoda. He reported on the 9th April that collecting had been conducted in the Auckland District, at Taupiri, Mamaku, Rotorua, Urewera, and Waikaramoana. A report on the order Geophilomorpha had been prepared. and will be presented for publication after the incorporation of this season's results and the results of a comparison made with type material in England. A further season's collecting should provide material for a final paper revising the whole of the New Zealand Chilopoda. Collecting expenses for the period amounted to £2 15s 6d, leaving a balance in hand of £5 6s 4d.
Mr B. C. Aston, in 1928, took over from Dr J. Malcolm £9 16s 7d, balance of a grant for research on Pukateine. On the 12th March, Mr Aston reported that Professor Barger, F.R.S., of Edinburgh University, to whom quantities of the bark of Pukateine had been sent, reported that the bark had been extracted and the alkaloids separated and examined. He had been able to complete the determining of the constitution of one of the alkaloid pukateine. Dr Fogg, of the Otago Medical School, is also working on the alkaloid which has been prepared by Mr Aston. There is now a quantity of the pure alkaloid pukateine in hand available for further physiological investigation in New Zealand. An expenditure of £1 was incurred, leaving a balance of £7 6s 7d.
Professor W. N. Benson, in 1925, was granted £50 for preparing rock sections of Dunedin region. The whole of the grant has now been expended. Fossils discovered at Boulder Hill have been described by Drs Finlay and Marwick, and are an almost unique fauna. Their features determine the age of the coal in this neighbourhood and that of the oldest fossiliferous beds. The description of the fauna was therefore essential to the understanding of the district. The expenditure for the period amounted to £19s 9d.
Professor W. N. Benson was, in 1929, granted £150 for a geological expedition to Preservation Inlet. The expedition took place in Jánuary-February, 1931 and on the 24th February, Professor Benson wrote summarising the results achieved. He stated that it had been proved that Preservation Inlet region was the correct place to make a first attack on the detailed investigation of the south-western portion of the Dominion. The laboratory examination of the specimens and the preparation of the final account of the expedition's work may take than a year to complete. The whole grant was fully expended.
Mr A. E. Brookes, in 1927, was granted £40 for a study of the Coleoptera of the islands off the Auckland coast. He reported in November that last summer a visit was made to Great Barrier Island. The season proved a very dry one, and beetles were not at all plentiful, but interesting material was found in leaf mould. The result of the trip was that 690 specimens were collected, covering 157 species and 122 genera; 34 doubtful species will have to be compared with types in the British Museum before they can be satisfactorily determined. Expenditure amounts to £23 16s 2d.
Dr G. H. Cunningham, in 1928, was granted £25 for a Mycological Survey of the Tongariro National Park. He reported on the 27th March, 1931, that during the past season he had had little opportunity for extending the survey. However, fourteen days were spent in the Park during the Christmas-New Year holiday season, and nine of these were spent in collecting extensively on the northern slopes of Mount Tongariro, special attention being paid to the fungi of the Ketetahi Blowhole. Collecting was also done in other parts of the Park. and in all some 47 species have been collected, and as time permits these will be named. No expenditure from the grant was incurred during these visits.
Dr K. M. Curtis, in 1928, was granted £50 for research on the control of black rot in hops. On the 31st March, she reported that the tests comprised treatment to diseased soil before planting new sets; treatment to new sets before planting them in diseased soil; treatment to soil adjoining infected soil, when the plants were already planted. The last method has been found to be most effective. Generally speaking, sulphate of iron gave the best results of the annual treatments. It was applied at the rate of Ilb per hill over as wide an area as possible round the hills. The whole of the grant was expended and the experiments are being continued.
Dr H. G. Denham, in 1928, was granted £75 for research on the essential oils of Pinus Insignis. On the 4th April he reported that the work was complete, and a paper covering the results obtained has been written by Mr T. H. McCombs and published in the last number of the Journal of Science and Technology. The expenditure during the year amounted to £23 12s 6d, leaving a balance in grantee's hands of £9 9s 4d.
Dr C. Coleridge Farr, during 1924–1927, was granted £400 for a research on helium in New Zealand. He reported that the examination of the possible sources of helium had been carried as far as desirable, and a paper showing the results was published some two years ago. Expenditure amounted to £254 15s 11d; a balance of £45 4s 1d is in the Institute's Research Fund Account, and the remaining £100 has never been paid over by Treasury.
Dr C. Coleridge Farr, in 1922, was granted £15 for research on the physical properties of gas-free sulphur. He reported that although it has not been possible to proceed with the research during the last year, more work is contemplated. There is an unexpended balance of £4 18s 1d.
Professor D. C. H. Florance, in 1928–29, was granted £58 for research on oscillation crystals and supersonic waves. He reported on the 14th April that a preliminary account of the work on quartz crystals was published in the Philosophical Magazine, vol. 8, 1929. The work had been continued by Mr Harding, M.S.c., and a thesis on the subject had been submitted to the University
of New Zealand. Since Mr Harding's departure to England, Mr Peddie has continued the work, and the problems under investigation are comparison of the modes of vibration of different crystals with a view to determining which modes are purest; investigation of the sound field produced by thin vibrating crystals—this has been explored by powder methods and is also being investigated by light methods; and investigations of the effect of amplitude of vibration, and of frequency on the velocity of sound waves produced by piezo-electric crystals. The whole of the grant has been expended.
Dr O. H. Frankel, in 1929–30, was granted £42 12s for research on the cytology of New Zealand plants. He reported on the 4th April that during the past season a large number of fixations were made from various species of the genus Hebe, altogether over 30 species. Some chromosome counts on temporary stains helped to establish definitely that Hebe is a polyploid genus, comprising species with 20 and 40 chromosomes, and probably further related numbers. Fixation in the genus Coprosma proved more difficult, but some definite counts were obtained. Expenditure amounted to £17 10s 11d.
Dr J. K. H. Inglis, who, from 1923–1930, has been granted £125 for research on the essential oils of native plants, reported that work during 1930 was done on the essential oils in the New Zealand Pepper Plant and in Black Pine. Considerable progress was made with both materials, and papers will be ready shortly for publication. Quantities of oil have been extracted from White Pine and Totara, and these, together with oil from Red Pine, are being worked on now. Signs of very decided seasonal variation in the oil constitution have been found, and further work is planned to investigate these changes. Repairs have been carried out on the large still. The whole of the grant has been expended.
Mr G. Jobberns, in 1926, was granted £75 for correlation of shore platforms of the N.E. coast of the South Island. He reported that he has two short papers published in Volume 59, Trans. N.Z. Inst. The whole of the grant has been expended.
Mr F. V. Knapp, in 1925, was granted £25 for investigation of Maori Artifacts. He reported that owing to his absence in England, he has not completed this research. He had hoped to explore camping sites at Golden Bay and Pakawai in 1931, but finds the curtailment of his grant will not allow of this, as the small balance of £3 8s 6d available would not be sufficient, and he has therefore decided that it will be best to relinquish the amount. The total expenditure has been £9 14s.
Mr A. W. B. Powell, in 1925, was granted £50 for a survey of the Molluscan Fauna of the Manukau Harbour. He reports that several papers have already been published, and considerable progress with the Manukau Harbour survey has been made during the year. This survey requires at least another year's collecting and seasonal observations before it will be possible to finalise the paper. The whole of the grant has been expended.
Research Committee, Auckland Institute, in 1925, was granted £65 for an ecological survey of the Inner Waitemata Harbour. Through Mr Powell, it reported on the 8th April that during the year three whole days had been devoted to dredging operations, and a good series of samples and specimens had been taken. Work on the special reports and general ecological work is proceeding. There is an unexpended balance of £3 6s 11d.
Mr F. W. Short, from 1925–29, was granted £189 for investigations upon the constitutions of several constituents of New Zealand essential oils. He reported on the 4th April that a paper describing the isolation of aromadendrene from the oil of eucalyptus variflora had been published in the Journal of the Royal Society of N.S.W., 1930, and he enclosed a reprint of the paper. Work is now being done on the chemistry of totarol from Podocarpus totara, and of podocarpic acid from Dacrydium cupressinum and Podocarpus dacrydiodes. The whole of the grant is spent.
Mr H. F. Skey took over in 1927 from Captain Isitt a grant of £36 10s 9d, and later was granted an additional £175. He reported that the research is still in progress, but the results of flights are now regularly forwarded to the
Director of Meteorological Services, whose department bears the expense. Similar pilot balloon observation has been initiated lately in Wellington and Auckland, and it is desirable that the Christchurch flights should be continued for some years at least, so as to enable adequate correlation of results with synoptic charts. Expenditure amounts to £173 3s 7d.
Mr H. D. Skinner, in 1929, was granted £20 for a research on line fishing among Maoris. He reported on the 1st April that Mr Teviotdale visited sites along the north shore of Foveaux Strait. The expenditure amounted to £8 16s 7d, and £5 was refunded by grantee.
Professor R. Speight, in 1928, was granted £150 for geological work in Mount Somers district. He reported that the area has been almost completely surveyed. Portions have been mapped by compass and chain survey, but owing to the departure of Mr Sylvester from Christchurch, mapping on the original plan has been discontinued, and reliance placed on Lands and Survey maps for the fixing of boundaries. A fossil collection has been made and will be dealt with by Dr Marwick, who has kindly consented to do so. A series of analyses of igneous rocks has been made by the Dominion Laboratory, and further analyses of limestone, coals, and fireclays promised. The economic possibilities of the district are being considered. Only £100 of the grant has been paid over by Treasury, and the expenditure has amounted to £32 12s 1d.
Dr G. H. Uttley, in 1928, was granted £35 for research on Bryozoa. He reported that owing to his removal to Invercargill he had temporarily to discontinue the work, but it has now been resumed. There is an unexpended balance of £6 11s 2d.
Messrs Wild and Zotov, who, in 1928, were granted £10 for research on the sexuality of New Zealand Coprosma, reported that a paper on the preliminary studies has been published in the Transactions. The extent of the parthenogenetic reproduction is being studied in the species C. grandifolia, C. lucida, and C. robusta. No definite results are yet confirmed. Hybridism is also being investigated. An account of these studies is in an advanced stage of preparation. During the year expenditure amounting to £2 6s 8d was incurred.
Professor F. P. Worlcy, in 1923, was granted £25 for research on the chemistry of essential oils of New Zealand Flora. He reported that no expenditure was incurred during 1930–31.
Mr R. M. Laing, in 1924, was granted £100, and in 1929, an additional £25 for research on Marine Algae. He reports that the work is still in progress, and several collecting trips have been made during the last fifteen months. The second part of an investigation of the New Zealand Gigartinas has been sent to the editor of the Transactions for publication, and the third part is in active preparation, the work being done with Mr H. W. Gourlay. There remains an unexpended balance of only £1 3s.
On the motion of Professor Speight, seconded by Professor Park, the report was adopted.
Proposed Research Grant Policy.
1. In making a grant, consideration should be given to the importance of the research, the training and capacity of the grantee, and the opportunities he has of prosecuting the research.
2. Preference should be given in the first instance to investigations which appear to have an economic bearing, but purely scientific investigations should be by no means excluded. (See Committee Report—Trans. Vol. 49, p. 536, 1917).
3. There is no difference in eligibility for grants between Government officials, employees of institutions such as universities, and individuals not in paid employment.
4. The fact that an applicant has access to the laboratory or field and apparatus supplied by the institution to which he belongs, may be a recommendation for a grant, as this access must facilitate his research.
5. At the same time, care should be taken that grants are not used for the purchase of books or equipment that the institution to which the grantee belongs might reasonably be expected to have purchased for its own work, but only for equipment beyond the scope of the institution's work.
6. Reasonable travelling expenses on a research are regarded as a suitable object for a grant, but applications for living expenses while travelling will not in general be looked upon with favour.
7. The financial position of the applicant in respect of his ability to undertake the research without monetary assistance may be taken into account when an application is being considered.
F. W. Hilgendorf,
Chairman Research Grants Committee.
It was resolved that the policy as set out by the Research Grants Committee, with the deletion of paragraph 2, be adopted.
Tongariro National Park.
Report of New Zealand Institute's Representative on Park Board.
As representative of this Institute on the Board of the Tongariro National Park, I have to report a very great increase in the responsibilities of the Park Board during the past year.
Two full meetings of the Board, held at the Chateau, and four meetings of the Executive, held at Wellington, were attended by your representative.
At the time of writing the last report, the writer had not visited the new building designated as “hostel,” a term quite inadequate to convey an idea of the palatial nature of the building erected as a private venture to attract and accommodate visitors to the Park. The steps leading up to this development are given in my report for 1929. (See Tongariro National Park Act, 1922. and Section 36 Finance Act, 1928). The Tongariro National Park Tourist Co., Ltd., sought and obtained power from Parliament to borrow another £20,000 for the purpose of erecting and equipping a hostel and laying-out of grounds (see Section 45 Finance Act, 1929). The Public Trustee, who was secured in repayment of principal and interest by debentures issued by the Board with Government guarantee, had therefore lent to the Park Board £60,000 for the purpose of lending to the company for construction and furnishing the hostel, the Board being secured by mortgage and chattel security lease on the furniture, etc. The Board also lent an additional sum at its disposal, making altogether £63,750 secured. The Company defaulted in the payment of the December, 1930, instalment of interest, a little over one year after the opening of the Chateau Tongariro, as it is now called. Matters received the earnest consideration of the Board, and after several meetings it was decided at a full meeting of the Board, held at the Chateau, to take over the management and apply to the Supreme Court, Wanganui, to sell the lease, including the chattels, by auction. This was effected at Wanganui on 30th March, 1931, the Park Board purchasing the property for £61,000 (£46,000 lease, £15,000 chattels). Throughout the changes in the management from the Company to the debenture holders, and from these to the Board, the Chateau did not close its doors, but continued to run as a going concern. On February 3, 1931, the disastrous Hawke's Bay earthquake was severely felt at the Chateau, but it had no injurious effect on the building. The financial statements furnished to the Board by the Company were submitted to this Institute's honorary treasurer, Mr M. A. Eliott, who, inter alia, reported as follows:—
“It is interesting to note that the actual receipts total very closely the estimated receipts when the Company was formed, when it was originally estimated that the total receipts would be £29,500, of which £24,650 would represent payments for board…. With careful and economic management it should be possible to pay interest on the £63,000 owing to the Park Board.”
It will therefore be seen that the default of the Company was not due to want of patronage on the part of the public, seeing that the original estimates of attendance were fully realised.
While every sympathy must be felt for those shareholders and debenture holders who have lost heavily in their venture, they have the consolation of knowing that their lost capital has not only been the means of erecting a permanent memorial to their enterprise, but has enabled the Board to exhibit to
all classes of visitors requiring every grade of accommodation a National Park which is destined to become famous throughout the world.
The Chateau, said to be the best hotel in New Zealand, together with the lodges and outside cubicles situated at 3800 feet above the sea, is capable of housing over 300 guests. There is an eighteen-hole golf course being laid out in front of the entrance, while tennis and other games can be played at the Chateau. Winter sports are a special attraction, and a motor road is in course of construction, which will take the enthusiast up 2000 feet higher than the Chateau to the ski grounds. The National Park railway station is some ten miles from the Chareau, and as supplies of food, milk, butter, meat, vegetables, and even cut flowers have to be brought from even a longer distance than from this station, the question of the lease or the establishment of a farm to supply the Chateau must arise. The views of this Board of Governors are sought as to the desirability of allowing further areas of tussock lands in the Park to be broken up and grassed for cow and sheep farming; pigs are already raised and fattened at the Chateau on kitchen refuse, excellent bacon being the only food product at present raised there.
It appears probable that under the management of the Chateau by the Board, it will be far easier to exercise control over the amenities of the Park than if a portion is leased to a money-making company. One has only to look at the care exercised at the Waitomo Hostel in the preservation of the caves and their contents by the Tourist Department officials, who realise that the wonders theie are an asset which must not be destroyed, to understand that the best guarantee that the birds, forests, and vegetation generally will be preserved intact at the Tongariro National Park is that everything, including the Chateau, should be under direct control by the Park Board.
B. C. Aston,
N.Z. Institute Representative.
Mr Aston moved his report as representative of the Institute on the Park Board, which was adopted. He asked for an expression of opinion as to whether he should advocate the establishment of a farm in the Park to supply the Chateau with produce. It was resolved to leave the matter to Mr Aston's discretion. On the motion of Mr Eliott, seconded by the Hon. G. M. Thomson, it was resolved that the question of holding the next Science Congress at Tongariro National Park be kept in view.
Report of New Zealand Institute's Representative on the New Zealand Institute of Horticulture.
As recorded in my 1929 report (see Vol. 60. p. 15, May, 1929). the New Zealand Institute of Horticulture continues to do good work. At the Eighth Annual Meeting and Conference a variety of subjects was dealt with, and the Banks Annual Lecture, inaugurated in 1926, was delivered by Mr W. R. B. Oliver, a member of the Board, who took as his subject. “National Botanical Gardens.” Monthly meetings of the Executive Committee are held in Wellington, all of which during the present year have been attended by your representative.
The first National Flower Show, under the auspices of the above Conrerence, representing the New Zealand Horticultural Trades Association, the Association of Directors of Parks and Reserves, and the New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, was highly successful, and an official dinner was a further attraction of what will in future be known as “Horticultural Week.”
The most outstanding of the Institute's activities are the granting of the Diploma of the Institute by examination or otherwise, and the issue of a very promising Journal of Horticulture. The shrinkage of funds, due to the depression, has somewhat curtailed activities in publishing, but an effort is being made to increase the membership, the subscription being only 12s 6d per annum, of which 2s 6d goes to the local branches. It is hoped that a systematic canvass will increase the membership to such an extent that the Institute will be able to maintain its activities with little curtailment, and provision is being made for
this canvass to be carried out. The Institute has in the past received a Government grant of £100 per annum, the income from other sources being about £250, from receipts of fees from examinations and subscriptions from members.
B. C. Aston.
Mr Aston presented his report as representative of the New Zealand Institute on the New Zealand Institute of Horticulture. The report was adopted.
Board of Trustees National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum.
As Vice-President, the writer is one of the two representatives of the New Zealand Institute on the Board of Trustees of the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum, constituted by the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum Act, 1930.
Since the Act was passed, five meetings of the Board have been held, and attended by your representative.
The new Board had inherited certain arrangements made by their predecessors, including the site chosen for the buildings, the plan for the erection of the new buildings, and the contracts made in connection therewith, and the necessity of the demolition of the great brick structure known as the Mount Cook Barracks or Gaol, which occupied the position chosen as site for the new Art Gallery and Museum. At the first meeting the amount of subscriptions promised, collected, or accrued interest thereon was stated to be £98,128 2s 1d, of which £56,934 14s 7d was in the bank.
The erection of the carillon tower and steps has been authorised, and is being proceeded with, the tender of P. Graham & Co. for £17,110 being accepted. The contract for the demolition of the barracks has been accepted, and this work is now almost completed.
The important question of the building stone to be used was a matter in which the writer took particular interest, seeing that Dr Marshall had expressed very decided views in preference of New Zealand stone instead of Portland stone. In looking into the matter, it appeared to the writer that Dr Marshall's opinion was unassailable, especially as it was supported by very positive opinion from the Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department (Mr Furkert). At the meeting on 3rd February, which the President's deputy (Professor Kirk) was unable to attend, I appointed Dr Marshall to act for the President at the Board, and this gave the opportunity for him to explain his preferences for Putaruru vitric tuff over Portland stone. The Board at this meeting adopted the New Zealand stone.
Errata.—After the word “arrangements” in paragraph 3, insert “validated by Section 11 of the above Act.” After the word “predecessors” in paragraph 3, add “the provisional Board of Trustees constituted under Section 64 Finance Act, 1929.”
B. C. Aston.
Mr Aston, as one of the Institute's representatives on the Board of Trustees, read his report, which was adopted.
Report on Meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. By Dr P. Marshall.
In accordance with instructions. I duly represented New Zealand at the meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Brisbane, May 28—June 4.
The meeting was attended by a large number of representative scientific men from all States of the Australian Commonwealth. It happened that I was the only New Zealand delegate present, though two other scientific men had accepted nomination as president of two of the sections.
At the first Council meeting on Wednesday, May 28, a letter was read from Otago University, asking that the name of the Association be changed in some way so as to indicate the definite inclusion of New Zealand. This matter had
been brought before the Council on several occasions, but there has always been a decided wish to continue the old title, which has stood for over 30 years. I spoke on this subject at the Council meeting, pointing out the want of precise meaning in the title. A small committee, consisting of the President, General Secretary, and myself, was appointed to consider the question and report later. At the reception by the Lord Mayor of Brisbane in the Town Hall in the afternoon of the same day, I was asked to reply to the speech of welcome on behalf of the visitors. Since several of the earlier speakers had referred to the use of the word “Australasian,” with pointed reference to the New Zealand, delegate, it seemed advisable to refer to the matter again. I therefore pointed out that the wish for a change in the title in no way implied antagonism to the Continent of Australia, but merely a wish to maintain the individuality of New Zealand.
It seems that a favourable impression was made, for at the final meeting of the Council, the report of the committee was adopted, viz.: “In future the title of the Association be ‘The Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science.’” Thus the New Zealand objection was fully met. I feel that New Zealand is greatly indebted to the kindly consideration and accommodating feeling of Australian scientific men in thus agreeing to a change of title which has become established by such long usage, and for which many members had devcloped an affectionate regard.
The working sessions of the Congress began on May 29, and lasted until June 5. My work was mainly in association with the geological section, at which there was a large attendance. Many subjects were presented for discussion, as shown in the programme sent in with this report. Each of the subjects was spoken to by a large number of members, and the exchange of views cannot fail to be profitable to all. It is certainly of great importance to hear at first hand the Australian view in regard to the many geological questions on which the Australian Continent is equally involved with New Zealand. From a commercial standpoint the discussion on geophysical methods for discovering mineral oil was probably the most important. The other discussions were of a more technical nature, though, in general, the subjects were treated in a manner that was more practical than academic.
It will perhaps be remembered that a special invitation had been extended to me to deliver an evening lecture to the whole Association on the subject of the Coral Reefs. This was duly delivered on the evening of May 29, and I enclose a letter kindly sent me by Professor Richards, chairman of the committee of local organisation in regard to it.
I think it is a matter for regret that time and distance, as well as the question of expense, so often prevent New Zealand scientists from attending the meeting of the Association. I feel that they would derive a stimulating encouragement in their work, and would gain great advantage from personal discussion with men who are studying the same subjects as they themselves, often from a slightly different angle.
His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir John Goodwin, was present at several of the public functions and public addresses, and entertained the Association at a garden party at Government House. The Lord Mayor and Corporation of Brisbane gave an official reception at the Town Hall, and afterwards the Government of Queensland entertained members at a river excursion.
On all sides I was treated with the utmost hospitality and cordiality as the representative of the New Zealand Government and of scientific bodies in New Zealand.
The report of Dr Marshall, who represented the New Zealand Institute at the Brisbane meeting of the Association, was adopted.
Great Barrier Reef Committee.
Five meetings were held during the year 1930.
The British Barrier Reef Expedition having returned to England, the Committee has decided that, apart from expenditure in printing, no large scheme of expenditure should be undertaken at present.
Mr F. W. Moorhouse has been appointed by the Queensland Government to carry on marine biological work on the reef. This is to be mainly of an economic nature, including investigations on turtle, beche-de-mer, sponges, fish, and oysters.
The Trustees of the British Museum have agreed to undertake the full publication of the results of the British Barrier Reef Expedition.
W. R. B. Oliver,N.Z. Institute Representative
on the Committee.
This report, presented by Mr Oliver, the Institute's representative on the Committee, was adopted.
Hutton Grant Applications: Two applications for grants from the Hutton Fund, one from Mr F. J. Turner and one from Mr C. E. Christensen, were read and referred to the Research Grants Committee for recommendation to the Standing Committee.
British Association for the Advancement of Science: An invitation to attend the Centenary of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, to be held in September, 1931, was received. It was resolved to appoint Professor D. M. Y. Sommerville to represent the Institute at this celebration. It was resolved that the preparation of a scroll containing the congratulations of the New Zealand Institute on the occasion of the British Association's centenary be left in the hands of the President and Vice-President.
International Research Council: It was resolved to ask Sir Richard Glazebrook, F.R.S., to act for the New Zealand Institute at the forthcoming General Assembly of the International Research Council at Brussels in July.
Pacific Science Congress: Invitations from the National Research Council of Canada to send delegates to the Fifth Pacific Science Congress, to be held at Victoria and Vancouver in June, 1932, were received. It was resolved that the matter be left in the hands of the Standing Committee to appoint delegates.
The possibility of an invitation being sent to the Pacific Science Congress to meet in New Zealand in 1935 was discussed, and it was left in the hands of a committee consisting of Mr Aston, Dr Marsden, and Dr Marshall, to report to the Standing Committee on the matter.
Faraday Celebrations: The Institute received an invitation to send a delegate to attend the Faraday Celebrations, which will commence on 21st September, 1931. It was resolved that Professor Sommerville should represent the Institute.
University of Cambridge: The University of Cambridge is commemorating the centenary of James Clerk Maxwell on the 1st and 2nd October, 1931, and the New Zealand Institute has been invited to send a representative. It was decided to ask Professor Sommerville to represent the Institute at this centenary also.
Professor Sommerville thanked the Board for the honour of representing the New Zealand Institute at these various functions.
Notices of Motion were then taken:
Vice-President: On the motion of Mr B. C. Aston, seconded by Professor Kirk, it was resolved that a committee consisting of the President-elect, Professor Kirk (convener), and Dr Marsden, be a committee to report and define the duties of the Vice-President, and that the question of an Honorary Secretary be referred to the same committee.
Hector Observatory: On the motion of Professor Kirk, seconded by Professor Easterfield, it was resolved that it be a request to the Minister for Scientific and Industrial Research that the name of the Dominion Observatory shall be the Hector Observatory.
Title of New Zealand Institute: On the motion of the Hon. G. M. Thomson, seconded by Professor Park, it was resolved that steps be taken to have the word “Royal” incorporated in the title of the New Zealand Institute.
Secretary: On the motion of the Hon. G. M. Thomson, seconded by Mr Oliver, it was resolved that Miss Wood's title be altered from “Assistant Secretary” to “Secretary.”
Natural History in Schools: On the motion of the Hon. G. M. Thomson, seconded by Professor Kirk, it was resolved that this meeting of the Board of Governors draw the attention of the Minister of Education to the action of the Education Department in displacing the teaching of botany in Girls' High Schools, and trusts that Natural History teaching will receive its proper place in the curriculum of all High Schools.
Dr Cockayne: On the motion of Professor Kirk, seconded by Professor Easterfield, it was resolved that this meeting express its gratification at the success that is attending the measures taken for Dr Cockayne's restoration to health, and conveys to him its hearty sympathy and good wishes.
Biology Teaching: On the motion of Dr Marsden, seconded by the Hon. G. M. Thomson, it was resolved that on account of the national importance of agriculture and industries derived therefrom, and also from the point of view of a balanced education for life, it is the considered opinion of the Board of Governors of the New Zealand Institute that an increased and better teaching of biology should be developed in New Zealand schools, and that this resolution be forwarded to the Prime Minister, to the Minister of Education, and to the Director of Education.
New Zealand Institute Act: On the motion of Mr Oliver, seconded by Mr Hudson, it was resolved that a committee be appointed to report to the Standing Committee, alterations required in the New Zealand Institute Act and Regulations. The committee to be Dr Marsden, Mr Aston, and Mr Oliver (convener).
Natural Science in Schools: On the motion of Professor Worley, it was resolved that a committee, consisting of Professor Kirk (convener), Hon. G. M. Thomson, Mr Oliver, and Mr Hudson, be set up to go into the teaching of natural science in all schools of the Dominion.
Carter Bequest: Professor Kirk, as convener of the Carter Bequest Committee, read the report the committee had drawn up in connection with the negotiations with the Wellington City Council. On the motion of Professor Kirk, seconded by Mr Aston, the report of the Carter Bequest Committee was adopted, and the committee discharged. Professor Kirk also moved the following resolution, which was carried:—“That the letter from the City Council be
acknowledged, and that the Council be informed that the Institute, as at present advised, does not regard itself as justified in agreeing to the proviso that it should, at this time, buy a particular mirror and construct and mount a telescope, at very great expense to the Carter Fund; further, that it does not see its way to construct an observatory primarily to house a telescope that is not, whether through gift or purchase, a Carter Memorial Telescope; that the proviso as to representation of the City Council on the body controlling such an observatory as was contemplated is one that the Institute would readily have agreed to; that the City Council be thanked for its consideration of the proposals submitted to it, which proposals the Institute regards as now definitely disposed of.
Fellowship Election, 1932: On the motion of Mr Hudson, seconded by Professor Kirk, it was resolved that two Fellows be elected in 1932.
Correspondence: A reply (23/3/31) from Lord Rutherford of Nelson to the Institute's letter of congratulation was read and received. A letter (12/3/31) from the Danish Acting Consul covering the presentation to the Institute by Dr J. Schmidt, of the “Dana” medal, was received. It was resolved that the medal be placed in the Dominion Museum.
A letter from the Hon. Minister of Finance (1/5/31) regretting the necessity for reducing the Institute's grant was received.
Election of Officers: President, Professor H. W. Segar; Vice-President, Mr B. C. Aston; Hon. Treasurer, Mr M. A. Eliott; Hon. Editor, Professor D. M. Y. Sommerville; Hon. Librarian, Professor D. M. Y. Sommerville; Hon. Returning Officer, Professor H. W. Segar; Managers Trust Accounts: Messrs Aston and Eliott; Representative Tongariro National Park Board, Mr B. C. Aston; Representative Institute of Horticulture, Mr B. C. Aston; Representative Great Barrier Reef Committee, Mr W. R. B. Oliver; Representatives on Wild Life Council, Professor Kirk and Dr Cockayne.
Election of Committees: Research Grants Committee (re-appointed), Dr Hilgendorf (chairman), Professor Speight, Dr Denham, Dr Farr, and Mr C. E. Foweraker.
Library Committee: Re-appointed (Professors Sommerville, Kirk, and Cotton).
Finance Committee: Re-appointed (Messrs Eliott, Aston, Dr Cockayne, Dr Marsden, and the President, ex officio).
Sidey Summer Time Award Committee: Dr Marsden (convener).
Professor Easterfield, and Professor Hercus.
Hector Award Committee: Mr Elsdon Best, Mr H. D. Skinner. Mr W. R. B. Oliver (convener).
Votes of Thanks were passed to the President, Dr C. Coleridge Farr; to Victoria University College; to the Press; and to Miss Wood.
Date and Place of Next Annual Meeting to be left in the hands of the Standing Committee.
Travelling Expenses of members to the Board were voted.
Delivered at the Annual Meeting at Wellington on 20th May, 1931.
Before I proceed with the remarks I have to make, I would ask you to stand while I refer to some of those who have passed away.
At the last Annual Meeting, held about sixteen months ago, we had with us Mr A. M. Wright, and he and I travelled down by the same ferry steamer that night. On the next evening he was taking part in a dinner to celebrate the formation of a local branch of the Institute of Chemistry, when his end came suddenly and quite peacefully. He just ceased to live. I need not give an account now of his work. He was one of those who formed the connecting link between science and industry. He took a keen interest in the more or less academic operations of our Institute, and at the same time he was a leading authority upon the scientific problems connected with the frozen meat trade. We shall miss him from our midst to-day.
Others to whom I may refer are Mr Carse, of Auckland, Mr A. Philpott, of the Cawthron Institute and Auckland Museum, Mr F. T. Leighton, who acted as secretary of the Institute during Mr Aston's absence in England, Sir Robert Stout, and Lady Hector, who, as the widow of Sir James Hector, was a link between the past history of our Institute and the present time. Sir James Hector was mainly responsible for the early traditions of the Institute, and the solid foundations on which it was built were largely laid by him. One only of our hon. members has, as far as I know, died, viz., Sir W. T. Thistelton-Dyer, late Director of Kew Gardens, whose name is, of course, well known to you all. There is, too, one other to whom—though he was not connected with our Institute—I should like to refer. Lord Melchett, the mainspring of Imperial Chemical Industries, died during the year. As Alfred Mond he succeeded his father, Dr Ludwig Mond, in the management of that great firm of chemical manufacturers, Brunner, Mond, and Co., which later on, by absorbing several smaller concerns, developed under the guidance of Lord Melchett into Imperial Chemical Industries, which is probably the greatest chemical manufacturing organisation that the world has ever seen.
As regards the occurrences of the year, there are one or two events which I should like to refer to.
Change of Title:—
One of these is the change of title, which I suggested last year. I am greatly in hopes that this meeting will authorise your incoming President to take the necessary steps to bring about the suggested change, a change which I venture to think would clothe the Institute with that dignity and distinction which, by its many years of unostentatious work, it has most justly earned. Inquiries which have been made indicate that in the Institute's case there should be no great difficulties, and the steps which must be taken are now known to us.
This year is the centenary of three notable scientific events. The first of these is the centenary of the formation of the British Association, and the centenary meeting is being held in London in September, for the first time in the Association's history. It is hard to estimate the influence of this great Association on the world's advancement. Its meetings are of a different nature from those of the more rigidly scientific societies and are attended, as you know, by many who are not active scientific workers, but are intensely interested listeners. This Annual Meeting would seem a fitting opportunity to pass a resolution of congratulation on the work the British Association has accomplished.
Two other occasions which I would like to bring before the notice of the local Institute are those of the birth of James Clerk Maxwell, who was born in Edinburgh on June 13, 1831, and who was the first Cavendish Professor of Physics at Cambridge. The fact alone that Lord Rutherford of Nelson is the fourth of this brilliant band should commend the anniversary of Maxwell's birth to us, but there are other and wider reasons why general notice should be taken of it.
The other centenary is that of Michael Faraday's epoch-making discovery of the induction of electric currents. This, too, has a personal interest for us here and for me in particular, for many of you will remember Sir William Bragg, who was president of the Australasian Association meeting which was held in Dunedin in 1903. Sir William is Faraday's successor, though of course not immediate successor, at the Royal Institution in London, where Faraday's great discovery was made. To me the connection is even more intimate in that Sir William Bragg was one of my early teachers.
These two men, Maxwell and Faraday, were, as you all know, practically the founders of electrical science and electrical engineering as we know it to-day. Faraday's discovery of the induction of electric currents by the movement of magnets is one of the solid foundations of all modern transmission schemes. The other foundation was Oershed's discovery some twelve years earlier of the magnetic effect of an electric current. There can be no doubt that the simple, honest, unostentatious work of these two investigators has had more beneficial influence on the progress of the world than all the bickerings, quarrels and strife, and high ideals and ambitious of parliamentarians and statesmen, though it may be that there are politicians alive to-day who do not know the names of either of them, and I think it is certain there are many who have not heard of both of them. When to these we add the name of Maxwell, that great mathematician who developed theoretically the fertile ideas of Faraday, we have a trinity of investigators whose work for the industrial and scientific progress of the world will always remain. It is well then that their names should be known and honoured. The Faraday Centenary is on August 31.
The deplorable earthquake which happened in February last in Hawke's Bay, focusses our attention once more on these matters. It must be realised—indeed, it probably is realised—that New Zealand, like Japan, is in a region of the earth's surface more liable to such disturbances than some others. We cannot help these things, but as scientific men we can point out what has been already learned, and indicate the steps which should be taken to increase our knowledge. And here I would like to say from this presidential chair that at present, whatever his pretensions may be, no one can predict these disasters. Localities where 'quakes are not unlikely can be indicated. but neither the exact place nor the time can be foretold. There are some who claim to be able to do so, but their claim will not stand the light of scientific examination. Such persons very often do not even know the rudiments of scientific inquiry, and are in themselves very often otherwise ignorant. I do not say they are always charlatans, for I have no doubt that they have in their own minds satisfied themselves they are right, but so are those who claim to be King George V, or some other distinguished person. These claims are not based on exhaustive scientific inquiry, and it is only by these means that the knowledge will come which will enable us perhaps to predict these most disastrous events. That time has not yet come. It quite probably will come in the future—there are some promising indications that it will—but still much has been learned. And one thing that has been learned, and has come out with startling clearness, both in Japan and in Hawke's Bay, is that where the earthquake occurs in thickly-populated districts the resultant fire is more disastrous than the actual 'quake itself. In these days of town-planning, steps can be taken and should be taken to put in fire-breaks, so that the fire, which is sure to start, may find itself checked and unable to spread to other places not already alight.
It is important, too, to keep a watchful eye on the fault movements always taking place. It is unfortunate for New Zealand that the main earthquake line in this country seems to run through the North Island, extending as it does from Hawke's Bay to the West Coast of the South Island.
Since the Murchison 'quake a good many additional seismographs of the latest patterns have been obtained, but so far these have not yet been set up in all cases. I could say a great deal about these matters and other things which have come before me as one of your representatives on the Observatories Committee, but as I understand that difficulties which stood in the way of complete co-operation between the various activities involved are just about to be removed—if they are not already removed—it is unnecessary perhaps to refer more in detail to them. I would, however, strongly urge the most complete co-operation and unity of control, for it is only in this way that progress can be made.
Fellowship and National Research Council:—
Though these questions have been before committees during the year, and recommendations will be made concerning them, definite progress in these respects depends on your discussions to-day. Events which have come before me during the year have more than ever convinced me that there are occasions when the strong consensus of scientific opinion, expressed as it could be by a National Research Council, would be useful. If such a council could be combined with the Fellowship, it would improve the status of both bodies.
The Dominion Museum:—
At last the affairs of the Dominion Museum are reaching finality, and I was exceedingly pleased to receive an invitation to be present at the laying of the foundation-stone of the new building at the Mount Cook site, which took place last week.
Whilst some of us no doubt may regret that the present site cannot be maintained—indeed, I do myself—yet, no doubt, the Mount Cook site will not, even now, be unsatisfactory, and will in time become more suitable, as the Museum and Art Gallery themselves attract a better class of building in the neighbourhood, for a noble pile of buildings is to be erected. I think I may say that the Standing Committee is very gratified with what has been done. The New Zealand Institute receives a very proper representation on the Board of Trustees, and will, we understand, have an even greater influence on the Management Committee of the Museum itself, as distinct from the Art Gallery. The Act provides for two representatives on the Board of Trustees, viz., the president and vice-president, but, very wisely, provision is made for the appointment of deputies in case of inability to attend. In my own case, I have considered that some Wellington resident would in every way be a more suitable representative than myself, and Professor Kirk has very kindly acted for me in this respect. From the number of notices of meetings of the Board of Trustees which I receive, I conclude that the Board is getting to work actively and energetically, and I feel that we may well congratulate the Trustees, and especially Mr Troup, on the progress that has at last been made. May I add, as a resident of another city, that it is not from any want of interest in the Museum that I have asked Professor Kirk to act for me, but from the conviction that this was much the most sensible thing to do.
The financial position of the Institute is a matter of grave concern. I may perhaps be permitted to point out, as indeed I did last year, that the work of the New Zealand Institute is performing a public work in the publication of some of the scientific papers which are read before the local Institutes. I say some, because it is by no means all of the papers which come before the local Institutes which are accepted for publication, but only those which, after passing the critical eye of competent scrutineers, are deemed of sufficient merit for publication. No doubt, more culling can still be done and will
be done, but too drastic cutting down of the size of some publications will react on the scientific work being done, and that in turn will damage the scientific reputation of the Dominion, and also, indeed, hinder its industrial progress. Science is ascertained knowledge, and the scientific publications of a country are a record of observational and experimental ascertained fact, very often regarding the resources of that country. It is undoubtedly the scientific advance of the past 50 years that has been the main cause of the industrial development. For some years past, the Institute has had to draw on the resources of local Institutes, mainly to pay a debt which had been incurred whilst our printing was being done at the Government Printing Office. When other arrangements became possible, we were gradually, with the aid of support drawn from the local Institutes, enabled to reduce the debt, and had practically managed to wipe it out when the present depression came upon us, and we have just been informed that not only has our vote been cut down to half its former value, but also our research grant vote, which we have had for many years, has this year been totally abolished. These things are a serious blow to the Institute's activities, as our resources from the Government have thus been cut down from about £2500 to £750. This covers a grant for general purposes of £1500, and a research vote of about £1000. All of us, of course, recognise the seriousness of the financial depression through which we are passing, and trust it will soon be past. When this takes place, we shall look confidently to the Government to restore us to the position we have occupied so long and, I think, so honourably. We are performing a public service, and have a right to expect sufficient financial aid. The local Institutes are entirely supported by their local voluntary subscriptions, and have their own provincial duties to discharge. The encouragement of science in the district, the establishment of scientific libraries for workers in science, the encouragement and in some cases the actual support of local museums, is their work; the publication of the best of the work done by them is ours. It is not an encouragement to a man if, besides devoting a great deal of time and labour without thought of payment to the elucidation of a scientific question, he also has to pay for the cost of making the results of his efforts known to the world in general. He is, as it were, asked not only to give his knowledge, his energy, and his time to the public without fee, but also to pay the public for the cost of the present. Under such circumstances—if they continue long—the gifts so given, the volume and merit of scientific work done, that is to say, is likely seriously to decline, to the detriment of the culture and knowledge of the Dominion and to its discredit in the eyes of the outside world. I therefore very seriously hope that as soon as these present clouds of depression clear away, the New Zealand Institute's finances may be put on so satisfactory and permanent a footing that it will be unnecessary to continue this improper taxation of local affiliated societies—a taxation, be it said, rendered necessary by the high cost of printing at the Government Printing Office, as we soon discovered when, with Ministerial authority, we were permitted to go into the open market with our work.
The New Zealand Institute Act:—
As was agreed last year should be the case, application was made for certain amendments in the New Zealand Institute Act. A special committee was appointed to consider these, and in due course a Bill to amend the Act was introduced into Parliament. Whilst this Bill was before the House, the valuable suggestion was made that power should be incorporated in it so that apart from the regular Government nominees and members otherwise elected, the Board of Governors itself should be able to add the name of one extra member. It was felt that occasion might arise when it would be most useful to have the advice of someone who was not on the Board, and the claim I am referring to, which was finally incorporated in the Act, gives this power. As this matter had not been before the Board of Governors or the committee, I communicated in writing with the various members of the Board regarding it, and am glad to say the suggestion (which was not my own) was unanimously approved.
It is in consequence of the new Act that we are meeting to-day instead of in January as we have hitherto done, and it is also in consequence of it that we now have a vice-president—the first of whom is Mr Aston. I feel sure you will agree with me that the immense amount of work Mr Aston has done over so many years points him out as a most suitable occupant for the new position.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the various members of the Board for their help during the two years in which I have occupied the presidential chair, and which will terminate in a few hours, and in particular I should like to say how much I have appreciated the cheerful, pleasant, and efficient way in which our assistant secretary, Miss Wood, has put me right in the many places where otherwise I should have gone wrong. May I finally make the suggestion that as, most unfortunately under stress of circumstances, we have had to reduce the remuneration she receives, we should at any rate give her her due and alter her title from assistant secretary to that which she really occupies, namely, secretary. If the word assistant is at all required, which I do not think it is, a much more just title would be assistant president, for without her advice and assistance I fear the affairs of the Institute would speedily become entangled.