Farewell to Lord Bledisloe.—In co-operation with the Wellington Philosophical Society, a farewell function to Lord Bledisloe was organised and took place on the 19th February. The President, Professor Speight, and Dr Marshall, President of the Wellington Philosophical Society, gave addresses eulogising the services to science rendered by Lord Bledisloe during his term of office and expressing the regret of scientific societies at his departure from New Zealand. Professor Speight stated that a formal resolution of appreciation would be passed at the annual meeting of the Council and published.
Portrait of Lord Rutherford.—In the course of his remarks at the farewell function, Lord Bledisloe announced that he had that day presented to the Prime Minister, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Art Gallery and Dominion Museum, a copy of a painting by Oswald Birley of Lord Rutherford of Nelson, which, he hoped, would be hung in the Art Gallery.
As the obtaining of the portrait had been a project of the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Standing Committee, at a meeting held next day, resolved to thank Lord Bledisloe for his very generous action.
The report of the Standing Committee was received, and after it had been considered clause by clause, on the motion of Professor Speight was adopted.
Finances.—The Vice-president explained the position regarding the finances of the Society, stating that the Finance Committee had recommended that only £375 be expended on Volume 65. He considered that the Government should be approached for an increase in the grant. After some discussion, which was taken in committee, it was resolved on the motion of Mr Aston, seconded by Mr Pycroft, that a deputation consisting of Professor Kirk, Professor Speight, Dr Marsden, and the new President wait upon the Government and urge an increase to the present grant. On the motion of Dr Turner, seconded by Professor Park, it was resolved that the financial position of the Society be laid before member bodies and an appeal made for such help as they can afford.
Further discussion on the financial position was deferred until consideration of the Hon. Treasurer's report.
Donation of Publications.—Dr Farr stated that the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury had recently been given by the Trustees of the late Dr L. Cockayne his copies of the Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. He moved: “That the thanks of the Royal Society of New Zealand be accorded to the Executors of the late Dr Cockayne for making up as far as possible the copies of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London in the Library of the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, thus making an almost complete set of these Proceedings available to all workers in the Dominion.” Seconded by Professor Segar and carried.
Otago Institute's Title.—The position regarding the proposed change of title of the Otago Institute to Otago Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand was explained by Dr Marsden, who stated that the matter was in the hands of the Crown Solicitor at the present time.
Dr Marsden moved that a committee be set up to watch and consider the interests of member bodies and that the committee be the President, Mr Aston, Professor Kirk, and Dr Marsden. Seconded by Mr Pyeroft and carried.
Sidey Summer-time Award.—It was stated that there were sufficient funds to enable the Sidey Summer-time award to be made in 1936. It was resolved that the Standing Committee be authorised to take steps to have the award made in 1936.
Science Congress.—Professor Speight remarked on the success which had attended the Science Congress and on the large amount of work which the Otago Institute had given to it. He stated that the Society should express its appreciation to the Otago Institute for the excellent manner in which the Science Congress had been organised. The Sections had been well attended, and the papers submitted had been of a high order. His own experience in the Geological Section was that he had never attended better meetings. The success of the Congress had been so great that one wished that these Congresses could be held more often. At a later stage the following resolution was moved by Professor Speight and carried unanimously:—
“The Council wishes to express its sincere thanks to the University of Otago for its great assistance to the Fifth New Zealand Science Congress in granting the use of its buildings for the 1935 meeting, and to the Otago Institute not only for its hospitality in connection therewith, but also for the excellent arrangements which helped so materially towards making the Congress a notable success.”
A discussion took place regarding the holding of future Congresses, and on the motion of Professor Kirk, seconded by Dr Marsden, it was carried that the suggestion that in future Congresses a membership fee be charged be referred to member bodies for consideration.
Dr Turner objected to the principle of charging a fee, as it might debar students from attending the lectures.
Professor Speight stated that papers had been contributed by non-members of the Royal Society. It was suggested for the benefit of future Congresses that too many papers, some of which had been read previously, had been given, and that it would be an improvement to have one free afternoon to enable visitors to view the city.
Hutton Applications.—An application from Dr Marshall for £25 for the purchase of a microscope goniometer and £15 for field work in connection with the mineral “tuhualite” of Mayor Island and the occurrence of the spheroidal granite of Karamea was granted. Exchange to be added to the grant of £25.
Mr Harold Service was granted £4 10s, plus exchange on draft to England, for expenses in connection with geological work at the Bluff.
Dr O. H. Frankel, who in 1932 was granted £25 for cytological research, applied for permission to utilise the grant at the John Innes Horticultural Institution in London. Permission was granted.
Pacific Science Congress.—Correspondence between Dr H. M. Tory, President of the Fifth Pacific Science Congress, Dr Gregory, Chairman of the Hold Over Committee, and Professor Speight, the President, regarding the possibility of holding the Sixth Pacific Science Congress in New Zealand was read. The letters from Drs Tory and Gregory stressed the general desire that the next Congress should be held in New Zealand. It was reported that the Standing Committee had discussed the matter, and in view of the commitment to hold the A. and N.Z.A.A.S. meeting in Auckland in 1937, that it would not be possible to hold a Pacific Science Congress in that year, and it had therefore been decided to approach the Government to ascertain if financial assistance would be forthcoming in 1940, which would be the jubilee year of Wellington.
The action of the President and of the Standing Committee was approved.
Some discussion took place regarding the amount of expense involved in holding a Congress and the scale on which previous Congresses were held, including the printing of the Proceedings of the Congress.
It was finally decided to await a reply from Dr Tory regarding the suggested year, and if finances are available to allow the Standing Committee to act in the matter.
Seal.—When the title of the New Zealand Institute was altered to the Royal Society of New Zealand, the wording on the seal was altered accordingly. The Regulations Committee had considered the matter of obtaining a more appropriate seal, but in view of the expense entailed, it suggested, and the Standing Committee recommended, that the seal as altered be adopted as the seal of the Royal Society of New Zealand for the next four years and that designs for a new seal to be ultimately adopted be obtained from Professor Shelley. On the motion of Dr Marsden, the recommendation was adopted.
Wild Life Control.—The report of the Wild Life Committee was presented by Dr Oliver, convener of the Committee, who moved:—
“That this Council approves of the proposal that the Government set up a Board to preserve the native flora, fauna, and other natural monuments of New Zealand to advise the Government on such matters, and that a committee be appointed to draw up a scheme for carrying out this objective.”
This was seconded by Mr Pycroft and carried.
It was further resolved on the motion of Dr Marsden:—
“That Dr Oliver (convener), Mr Aston, Professor Kirk, Dr Marshall, and the President be appointed the committee (with power to add) to report to the Standing Committee, which has power to act.”
Lord Bledisloe.—On the motion of Professor Speight, it was resolved: “That the Council places on record its sincere appreciation of the great service rendered to science during his term of office by Lord Bledisloe, late Governor-General of New Zealand. As first Patron of this Society, Lord Bledisloe showed a sympathetic and personal interest not only in its special activities, but also in all pertaining to the welfare of the Dominion in scientific matters, particularly as regards agriculture.
“The Council therefore regrets that he was unable to continue his stay for a further period, and respectfully extends to him and to Her Excellency its sincerest wishes that they may long enjoy a full measure of happy and useful life.”