Half-Yearly Meeting of The Council, November 27, 1959:
The Half-yearly Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand, was held on Friday, November 27, 1959, in the Board Room, University of Otago, Dunedin.
Roll Call: The following responded to the roll call: President, Professor R. S. Allan, who occupied the chair. Vice-Presidents: Dr. J. K. Dixon, Dr. F. G. Soper. Government Representatives: Dr. G. Archey, Dr. R. A. Falla, Dr. C. A. Fleming. Member Bodies' Representatives Auckland Institute, Mr. S. G. Brooker. Wellington Branch Mr. K. R. Allen, Dr. M. A. F. Barnett. Canterbury Branch Dr. R. S. Duff, Dr. C. D. Ellyett Otago Branch. Dr. F. G. Soper, Mr. H. S. Tily. Southland Branch: Mr. R. W. Willett. Co-opted Member: Dr. J. T. Salmon. Fellows' Representatives: Sir Ernest Marsden.
Apologies. Apologies from the Hon. Minister of Scientific and Industrial Research, Mr. P. N. Holloway, Mr. F. R. Callaghan (Government Representative), Mr. S. Cory-Wright (Hon. Treasurer), Sir Charles Cotton (Fellows' Representative), Dr. A. W. B. Powell (Auckland Institute Representative), Mr. J. Healy (Rotorua Branch Representative), Mr. F. Dorofaeff (Waikato Scientific Association), Mr. N. L. Elder (Hawke's Bay Branch), Dr. W. Cottier (Nelson Branch) were sustained.
Welcome from Otago Branch. On behalf of the Otago Branch, Dr. F. G. Soper welcomed the Council to Dunedin and to the University of Otago. He referred to the arrangements which had been made to meet individual members of the Council the previous evening at the homes of Professor W. E. Adams, Professor B. J. Marples, Professor G. J. Williams, and he hoped that all members would accept an invitation to his home at St. Leonards that evening. Members of the Council were invited to meet Sir Leonard Wright in the Mayoral Chambers in the Town Hall at 5 p.m.
Professor Allan thanked Dr. Soper for his welcome and for the excellent arrangements made for the meeting and for the entertainment of members.
Tributes. The President referred to the recent death at the age of 95 of Professor W. P. Evans, C. B. E., past President and Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and Dr. Soper paid a tribute to his services as a teacher and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Canterbury, as research scientist and as administrator.
The President then referred to the sudden death of Professor E. Percival and Mr. K. R. Allen paid a tribute to Professor Percival's teaching work as Professor of Zoology at the University of Canterbury and also to his research work.
Professor Allan then expressed the very deep regret of members to learn of the death of Mrs. F. R. Callaghan and he extended to Mr. Callaghan the Council's deepest sympathy.
Members stood in respect to the memory of Professor Evans, Professor Percival, and Mrs. Callaghan.
Congratulations. The President then extended congratulations to Sir Charles Cotton, K. B. E., and to Dr. R. A. Falla, C.M.G., on the recent Birthday Honours bestowed on them by Her Majesty the Queen.
Notices of Motion. One notice of motion was handed in by Mr. S. G. Brooker.
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
|Balance at March 31, 1959||3,333||11||8||Printing—|
|Annual Government Grant||5,000||0||0||Transactions, 86 (½, ¾), 87 (½, ¾), Proceedings, 87||3,794||3||3|
|Levy on Transactions, Volume 87||472||15||0||Salaries||1,184||6||2|
|Sales of Publications—||Honoraria Editors, Dr. Barwick (designing plaque)||135||10||0|
|Maori Art||14||18||0||Shelving, Cartage, Student|
|Proc 7th Pacific Science Congress||38||9||8||Labour||51||12||0|
|Travelling Expenses Member Bodies' Share||138||19||4||——||181||16||6|
|Member Bodies' Contributions||192||0||1||Imprest (Secretary)||73||15||3|
|Donations to Publications Fund||10||0||0||(Hon. Editor)||10||0||0|
|Endowment Fund, Interest||163||1||1||Charges (Telephone, Insurance, Code, Bank, etc.)||43||19||7|
|Hector Memorial Fund, Interest||49||17||10||Travelling Expenses (two meetings)||317||17||11|
|Hutton Memorial Fund, Interest||59||4||5||Royal Society of London Symposium: Grant to Delegates||200||5||0|
|T. K. Sidey Summertime Fund, Interest||23||15||3||Royal Society of Victoria Centenary: Grant to Delegate||50||0||0|
|Cockayne Memorial Fund, Interest||15||2||8||N. Z. Science Congress Grant to Wellington Branch||223||7||10|
|Plant Research Fund, Interest||34||11||8||Pacific Science Association Secretariat: Allocation (two years)||240||2||10|
|Hamilton Memorial Fund, Interest||5||14||3||ICSU. Annual Subscription||43||7||0|
|Carter Library Legacy, Interest||8||10||5||SCAR: Annual Subscription||180||13||11|
|E. R. Cooper Trust Fund, Interest||14||6||10||Hutton Grants||102||5||4|
|Interest at Bank of New Zealand||46||7||6||Hutton Medal Engraving||1||2||6|
|Fragments N. Z. Entomology (on behalf of owner)||5||1||3||Fragments N. Z. Entomology||8||8||9|
|Favourable Exchange||0||12||1||Hector Prize and Engraving Medal||51||8||0|
|Transfer from Trusts P. O. S. B. to General Account||288||16||8||T. K. Sidey Summer-time Prize and Engraving Medal||101||2||6|
|Trust Accounts: Audit Fees||8||5||0|
|Interest Paid Direct||37||12||7|
|Transfers from General Account to Trust Accounts||38||15||3|
|Balance as Under||3,351||9||3|
|S. Cory-Wright,||Bank of New Zealand||2,083||17||2|
|Honorary Treasurer.Interest Paid Direct||Less Unpresented Cheques||185||11||4|
|P.O. Savings Bank||1,448||11||9|
|Cash in Hand||4||11||8|
Budget. Mr. R. W. Willett, convener of the Finance Sub-Committee, presented the proposed budget for the year 1960–61. He stated that in view of the satisfactory state of the finances and the maximum output of printing which the printers could undertake, the committee was of the opinion that it should not ask more than the amount of the present annual grant of £5,000. On the motion of Mr. Willett, seconded by Dr. Dixon, the proposed budget was approved and the Finance Committee was authorised to place it before the Minister.
Notes on the Budget, 1960–61
This year the Budget Sub-committee decided to present the Estimates under five main headings in order to show the various major groupings of expenditure. In addition, an attempt has been made to group the income of the Society. In the case of expenditure, salaries, for example, have been split between the library and the administration in order to give a more realistic view to library expenditure. The overall picture of expenditure is very much the same as that of last year, with certain increases, particularly in printing which will probably be required owing to the inevitable increase in printing costs.
Conferences Travel. This is a separate item from the Pacific Science Congress travel fund, in order that the Society will have at least an item with some money in it to meet travel to overseas conferences other than the regular scheduled conferences in which the Society has a continuing interest.
Two items under “Grants” which will not recur in 1960/61 are the overall £150 grant to the Wellington Branch for the 1960 New Zealand Science and £200 subsidy to the Royal Society of London in order to allow the Chilean expedition scientists to join the Symposium in London.
On the income side there are no striking differences and no marked increases in income can be expected, in fact publication sales may be lower as this year two complete sets of Transactions were sold.
From the point of view of the Government annual grant your Committee can see no real reason for seeking a grant greater that £5,000. It will, if this Budget is approved meet the Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Minister for discussions with the object of seeking a continuation of the annual grant at £5,000 level.
R. W. Willett,
Convener, Budget Sub-committee.
Amendments to Rules. In reporting on behalf of the Rules Committee (Mr. K. R. Allen and Dr. G. Archey), Mr. Allen stated that in the preparation of the Act and Rules for printing, certain informalities had been found and in order that these be rectified notice of motion had been given as follows:—
(1) That the following rule be added to the Society's Rules:—
B. 13. The two Representatives of the Fellows on the Council shall be elected in the following manner:—
(a) In 1960 and every alternate year thereafter, notice shall be posted to Fellows at their last notified address on or before February 1, intimating that written nominations proposed and seconded by Fellows and assented to by nominees shall close with the Secretary on February 28.
(b) Voting papers containing the names of nominees shall be posted to Fellows on or before March 10, and voting shall close with the Secretary on March 31.
(c) All voting papers received shall be counted by the Secretary who shall notify the President as soon as possible of the result of the election.
(d) In the event of a tie the election shall be decided by lot determined by the Standing Committee.
(Note: This is to give legal effect to the informal resolution passed by the Council at the Annual Meeting, 1950, and subsequently acted upon. In rule (c) “Secretary” has been substituted for “Hon. Returning Officer” since this office was dropped when the rules dealing with the election of Fellows were amended in 1956, and since then the Secretary has performed this function in connection with the election of Fellows' representatives.)
(2) That Rule GI. 6(a) relating to Fellows be amended by the alteration of the first sentence to read:—
“Each of the Member Bodies may nominate as many persons as there are vacancies”.
(Note: This is to give legal effect to a resolution of Council at the Annual Meeting, 1947, which was not in proper form. It brings the rule into line with present practice: previously, the four major Branches could make twice as many nominations as there were vacancies.)
(3) That Rule IX-7, relating to the E. R. Cooper Memorial Fund be amended to read.—
The Council shall appoint a selection committee to adjudicate on the applications and nominations received and recommend to the Council the person to whom an award shall be made. The selection committee shall consist of five members as follows.—
(a) one representative of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; (b) two representatives of the University of New Zealand; (c) two representatives of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
(Note: This rule was originally gazetted in this form and is being acted upon by the Council. At the Annual Meeting in 1957 when the E. R. Cooper Memorial Fund rules were adopted the second half of this rule appears to have been inadvertently omitted.)
On the motion of Mr. Allen, seconded by Dr. Archey the above additions and amendments were approved.
A Notice of Motion submitted by Professor Allan to add to the Rules by the appointment of Sectional Committees was deferred until after lunch in order that members might have an opportunity of discussing it among themselves.
Seal of the Society. The preparation of a plaque for presentation to the Science Foundation of San Francisco had led to a discussion on the suitability of the present seal of the Society. A sub-committee, with Dr. Barnett, convener, was set up by the Standing Committee to report on the matter. After ascertaming that the Societys seal had been in use since 1868 and that it had been based on the New Zealand seal and after viewing reproductions of the seals of other scientific and learned societies, the sub-committee recommended that no change be made in the Society's seal. It also recommended that certain amendments to Rule C.3 relating to the seal, made in 1939 be gaetted.
The Royal Society's Seal
At the meeting of the Standing Committee on September 24, 1959, the following subcommittee was appointed to prepare a report on the seal for presentation to the next meeting —Mr. K. R. Allen, Mr. R. E. Barwick, Dr. R. A. Falla and Dr. M. A. F. Barnett (Convener).
History. The Sub-committee has been unable to find any precise record of the origin of the Society's seal. It is evident that the New Zealand Institute possessed a seal in 1867 as the rules governing the incorporation of Member Bodies provided that a certificate of incorporation was to be granted under the Seal of the Institute. (See Clause 8 Abstracts of Rules and Statutes: New Zealand Gazette, March 9, 1868, Vol. 1, page XIV, Trans. N.Z. Inst.)
In 1931, Professor James Shelly undertook to prepare an illuminated address for presentation at the Centenary Meeting of the British Association and some correspondence appears on the File (No. 46) in which he seeks an interpretation of the seal. Nothing conclusive emerged.
Following the change of title from New Zealand Institute to Royal Society of New Zealand in 1933, some consideration was given to a change in the design of the seal. For information the relevant extracts from the minutes of the Annual Meetings of 1934 and 1935 are quoted below:—
(1934 Trans. Vol. 64, page 377.)
“Medals and Seal: It was reported that at the last meeting of the Standing Committee a report had been received from Professor Shelley in regard to the proposed alteration of the Society's medals made necessary by the change of title, and the Standing Committee recommended to the annual meeting that Professor Shelley's report and
sketch be submitted to Mr. A. G. Wyon, maker of two of the original dies, for his approval or comment. On the motion of Professor Kirk, seconded by Dr. Farr, it was resolved: “That Professor Shelley be thanked for his report, and that the recommendation of the Standing Committee be approved.”
“In regard to the Society's seal, it was reported that the Standing Committee had asked the Regulations Committee, ‘to examine the seal of the Royal Society of London and other similar societies with the object of arriving at the requisites for inclusion in a seal for the Royal Society of New Zealand, introducing some feature distinctive of New Zealand’. The action of the Standing Committee was confirmed.”
(1935, Trans. Vol. 65, page 434).
“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”.
At the Annual Meeting in 1935 the following rule was adopted:—
“C.3. The seal formerly used by the New Zealand Institute but with the words: ‘New Zealand Institute’ deleted and the words: ‘Royal Society of New Zealand’ substituted therefor, shall be the common seal of the Society until the date of the annual meeting of the Council in 1939”.
At the Annual Meeting in 1939, this rule was amended to read:—
“C.3. The seal formerly used by the New Zealand Institute, but with the legend thereon deleted and the legend: ‘Seal of the Royal Society of New Zealand’ substituted therefor, shall be the common seal of the Society”.
The amendments have never been gazetted and so lack legal effect; this can, however, be done at the first convenint opportunity.
Professor Shelley subsequently went to England and no further action appears to have been taken.
In connection with the plaque he has prepared for presentation to the Science Foundation in San Francisco, Mr. Barwick made a detailed comparison between the Society's seal and letter head and an impression of the New Zealand Government Seal in use before its recent replacement by a modified design appropriate to the new Sovereign. He found a number of minor differences but only such as might inadvertently have been introduced by the artist in making the original copy. He will endeavour to obtain an impression of the New Zealand seal in use in 1867 and will compare the Society's seal with this. He has been unable to find any formal description of the New Zealand seal.
There appears to be no doubt that the central design on the Society's seal is intended to be a replica of the design on the New Zealand seal which was in use when the New Zealand Institute was founded.
Proposed Change in Design. A suggestion has been made that the Society's seal should be redesigned, perhaps with the assistance of the College of Heralds, so that its motif would reflect the aims and activities of the Society. In this connection the Sub-committee made a cursory study of the “Proceedings of the Royal Academy of the Netherlands” published in May, 1958. This volume commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Academy and contains copies of a large number of addresses received from kindred organizations. In most cases these addresses included a copy of the seal of the organisation concerned.
From a rapid inspection it appeared that few, if any, of the designs used embodied a motif representative of the body concerned. On the other hand it was noticeable that in many cases the national emblem was embodied in some form or another. It is obvious that there is ample precedent for the use of the national design in the Society's seal. In fact this practice in other organizations appears to be the rule rather than the exception.
The Society's seal, apart from the change in name, has been in use for nearly one hundred years and the Sub-committee can see no useful purpose in changing it now. It provides a symbol of historic continuity which should not be lightly set aside. To have a new seal properly designed and executed would be a costly matter.
Recommendation. The Sub-committee recommends that no change be made in the Society's seal and that the amendments to Rule C.3, carried in 1939 be gazetted as soon as possible.
K. R. Allen,
R. E. Barwick,
R. A. Falla,
M. A. F. Barnett
Dr. Barnett spoke to the report stating that the Standing Committee had agreed with the sub-committee's recommendation that it could find no justification for altering the Society's seal.
He moved, Dr. Falla seconded and it was carried:
That no change be made in the Society's seal and that the amendments to Rule C. 3. made in 1939 be gazetted as soon as possible.
National Bodies as Member Bodies. It was reported that the Geological Society of New Zealand had made inquiries regarding the possibility of affiliating with the Royal Society of New Zealand. After some discussion, on the motion of Dr. Fleming seconded by Mr. Willett, it was resolved.—
That this Council approves the principle that a National scientific body (for example the Geological Society of New Zealand) be entitled to apply to be a Member Body of the Royal Society of New Zealand in terms of the existing rules.
Proceedings. A Notice of Motion previously handed in by Mr. Brooker was placed before the meeting and amended by him as follows:—
That the Proceedings be published in a simpler and briefer form and the Standing Committee be requested to arrange accordingly. Seconded by Dr. Archey.
A good deal of discussion followed, the Auckland members stating that the money spent on the Proceedings was not justified in that the majority of members were not interested in them and did not read them. Many of the reports of Member Bodies were already printed and the repetition of these in the Proceedings was a waste of money.
Dr. Salmon moved, Dr. Duff seconded.
That Branch reports that are published be recorded as received and only those reports which are cyclostyled be published.
On being put to the meeting the motion was lost.
Dr. Archey considered that Member Bodies' reports could be further reduced. To test the feeling of the meeting it was moved:
That the reports of Member Bodies be not published.
On being put to the meeting this motion was lost.
The motion moved by Mr. Brooker and Dr. Archey was then put and on a show of hands was declared lost.
Dr. Archey then moved, Mr. Brooker seconded.
That the resolution passed at the last Half-yearly Meeting of the Council: “That Proceedings be issued to all members of the Society” be rescinded and that they be issued in future without cost as requested by Member Bodies.
On being put to the meeting this motion was carried.
A.N.Z.A.A.S. Professor Allan stated that the Hon. General Secretary of A.N.Z.A.A.S. (Professor J. R. A. McMillan) had recently called on him to place before him a proposal favoured by certain A.N.Z.A.A.S. members in Australia that the partnership between Australia and New Zealand in A.N.Z.A.A.S. should be severed One of the chief reasons for this was the fact that the Australian Association could then call on the Australian Government for funds to support the Association.
Professor Allan said he had invited the views of a number of scientists in New Zealand, who in the main offered no objection to the Australian proposal.
At the invitation of the President, Professor G. J. Williams, New Zealand Secretary of A.N.Z.A.A.S. attended the meeting and reported that he had attended a meeting of A.N.Z.A.A.S. when this proposal was discussed. He was opposed to any dissolution between Australia and New Zealand. He felt that such a move would tend to isolate New Zealand still further from the rest of the scientific world. Professor Williams stated that the meeting had expressed its opinion that there should be
no dissolution in the Association. Dr. Soper stated that he would have been very sorry to see this link between Australia and New Zealand severed—he considered it would have been a retrograde step.
Professor Allan extended the thanks of the Council to Professor Williams for his report on the situation concerning A.N.Z.A.A.S.
Expressions of Opinions by the Society. Dr. Dixon opened the discussion on this matter stating that the Standing Committee would like some direction as to how far the Royal Society of New Zealand should speak as a body on matters of scientific importance. Sir Ernest Marsden stated that the Royal Society was a society of individuals and should express no opinions as a body on matters impinging on policy. He quoted the policy of the Royal Society of London which does not accept responsibility for expressions of opinions by its members but sets up specialist committees and communicates their views. Dr. Dixon considered the Society should have the courage to express its views on major matters of scientific interest. After further discussion Mr. K. R. Allen seconded by Dr. Salmon moved:
That it is desirable that the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand should formulate and communicate to appropriate quarters its opinions on major matters affecting the advancement or proper utilisation of science.
Dr. Fleming seconded by Dr. Soper moved the following amendment:
That it is desirable that the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand should formulate and communicate to appropriate quarters the opinions of its members on major matters affecting the advancement or proper utilisation of science.
On being put to the meeting the amendment was carried and became the substantive motion which was carried.
Presidential Address. At the last Annual Meeting in his remarks from the Chair, the President said “It would be preferable, I think, when a President elects to deal with domestic issues, that his views should be delivered to Council and discussed by Council during the same meeting of the Council. This is an issue which, I think, the Standing Committee might discuss”.
After a brief discussion, on the motion of Dr. Fleming seconded by Mr. Willett it was resolved:
That in future the Presidential Address be delivered to the Council either at its annual meeting or before the local Branch at the discretion of the President.
Fellowship R.S.N.Z. On the motion of Dr. Fleming, seconded by Sir Ernest Marsden it was resolved:
That Notice of Motion be brought forward at the next Annual Meeting (May. 1960) to increase the number of Fellows of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12.30, resuming at 2.15 p.m.
Roll Call. The afternoon roll call was as for the morning session.
Sectional Committees. Professor Allan, having given notice to add to the rules of the Society Clauses B.14–24 dealing with the appointment of standing Committees a; authorised by Section 9 (ii) of the Royal Society of New Zealand Act, 1953, the proposed clauses were considered and after some amendments were adopted as follows:—
B.14. The Council may appoint Committees representing the several branches of science, and called Sectional Committees. The members of each committee shall be chosen with a view to secure, as far as is possible, a representation of the several sub-divisions of each branch of science, and to obtain the assistance of Fellows who are specially qualified to advise the Council in respect to particular parts of science; where the constitution of the Fellowship is such as to make it necessary or desirable the Council shall have power to appoint non-Fellows to such Sectional Committees.
15. Each Sectional Committe shall advise the Council, or any of the officers of the Society, upon matters referred to it by the Council, or by any of the officers, and otherwise shall make to the Council such suggestions as it may think desirable touching the branch or branches of science which it represents.
16. The Council shall appoint a member of each Committee to serve as Chairman of that Committee, and to be the channel of communication between the Committee and the Council or officers.
17. The Sectional Committees shall be four or more in number, including
(1) A Mathematics and Physics Committee including mathematics, astronomy, statistics and operational research, theoretical and experimental physics, meteorology, crystallography and geodesy.
(2) A Chemistry Committee.
(3) A Geology and Geophysics Committee.
(4) A Biological Sciences Committee including botany, forestry and agricultural science and zoology.
18. The Committees shall normally consist of six members, and it shall be in the power of the Council to add to the number of any Committee, if at any time it may seem desirable to do so.
19. Any member of the Council who desires to attend the meetings of any Sectional Committee, of which he is not at the time being a member, shall be entitled to do so and to take part in the deliberations of the Committee.
20. The duration of membership of Sectional Committees shall be at the pleasure of the Council: shall be reviewed bienally, and normally shall not exceed a period of six years at a time. The appointment of new members, after the initial setting up of the Committees in 1960, shall be made by Council at alternate Annual Meetings of the Society. Vacancies, by death or otherwise may be filled by Council, or by the Standing Committee thereof at any time.
21. Each Sectonal Committee shall determine the procedure to be adopted in exercising its duties and normally shall report to Council each year in time for its findings to be considered at the Annual Meeting of the Society Each Committee may if need should arise, report at any time to the Standing Committee of the Council.
22. In reporting its findings on matters referred to it each Sectional Committee shall, through its Chairman, indicate whether it expresses a unanimous view or a majority decision. The Chairman shall report to Council when on an issue referred to it, and after due deliberation, the Committee is divided in its opinion.
23. The Chairman of Sectional Committtess shall have the right, after joint consultation, to make representations to Council concerning the work of the Committees.
24. The Sectional Committees and their Chairmen shall, in the first instance be nominated by the President, and appointed by Council and shall commence then duties as from May 31, 1960.
Conservation Research and Administration. A report on the Conservation policy in New Zealand was submitted by the Conservation Committee as instructed by the Annual Meeting, 1959.
The Committee's recommendations were.—
(1) That a Parliamentary Sub-committee be set up without delay to investigate and report upon conservation practice in New Zealand with the object of setting up a National Conservation Council along similar lines to the Nature Conservancy of England.
(2) That this Council when set up shall be responsible to Parliament or, if that is not possible under New Zealand law, to the Prime Minister's Department.
On the motion of Dr. Archey seconded by Dr. Falla, the report was adopted.
Dr. Falla who had represented the Royal Society of New Zealand at a conference called by the Minister of Works concerning the conservation of New Zealand's natural scenic resources held on Tuesday, November 24, 1959, reported on the proceedings at that Conference. He said the meeting had agreed to the setting up of a National Conservancy Council along the lines adopted in many overseas countries.
Report of the Conservation Committee of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Conservation Policy in New Zealand
The Wellington members of the Committee met in Wellington on October 19, 1959, to consider what action should-be taken to bring the 1951 Committee's Report into line with present thought on this subject. A draft was prepared for further consideration by members and from this the final report and recommendations appended below were decided upon: — Recommendations.
(1) That a Parliamentary Sub-committee be set up without delay to investigate and report upon conservation practice in New Zealand with the ultimate object of setting up a National Conservation Council along similar lines to the Nature Conservancy of England.
(2) That this Council when set up shall be responsible to Parliament or, if that is not possible under New Zealand law, to the Prime Minister's Department.
Statement. Preventing destruction or injury to the landscape and keeping it in the right state to enable the most varied, plentiful and useful plant and animal life to flourish upon it, preserving that which is unique and irreplaceable by all means in our power and utilizing that which is useful with wisdom and care is what we call “Conservation”.
The conservation of the natural resources of the Dominion is vested in seven Government departments and as many, if not more, acclimatization societies, operating under no less than thirteen Acts of Parliament, as follows:—
Goverment Departments: (Those marked (R) operate divisions for scientific investigation). Agriculture (R), Forestry (R), Public Works (Soil Conservation) (R), Marine (Fisheries) (R), Tourist, Internal Affairs (R), Lands, Acclimatization Societies.
The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research undertakes natural history investigations bearing on agricultural, forestry and soil conservation problems. The department includes an Animal Ecology Section and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has set up an Animal Ecology Research Committee, an advisory body representative of its own department and of Marine, Agriculture, Internal Affairs, Forestry and Soil Conservation departments, the Private Forest Owners, Royal Society of New Zealand, University of Otago, South Island Acclimatization Council, the Federated Farmers of New Zealand, with Mr. E. G. Turbott as co-opted member. Lands and Tourist are not represented.
Acts of Parliament. Injurious Birds, 1908; Scenery Preservation, 1908; Reserves and Domains Act, 1953, 1956, 1957; Tourist and Health Resorts Control Act, 1908; Forests, 1939; Animals Protection and Game Act, 1954; Nature Plant Protection Act, 1934; Introduction of Plants, 1927; Noxious Weeds, 1928; Rabbit Nuisance, 1928; Fisheries, 1908; Soil Conservation and Rivers Control, 1943 1959; National Parks Act, 1952, 1955, 1956.
In addition there are many National Park Boards and Domain Boards operating under special Acts, such as Tongariro National Park Act, 1922; Egmont National Park Act, 1924; Peel Forest Act, 1926.
With such a maze of controlling departments and statutes it could hardly be expected that a sound national policy on the preservation and development of the country's natural resources and wild life generally could emerge. Even in the field of scientific research, where it should have been possible to evolve a co-ordinated plan each department has pursued its own way with consequent overlapping in some directions and serious gaps in others.
Present departmental committees on conservation are ineffectual as they possess little if any statutory powers. Although scenery preservation is one important aspect of conservation, scenery as such receives no consideration whatsoever under existing conditions. Departmental committees continue for so long with protracted inquiries that continuity is often lost through retirement or other loss of personnel. The invesigations of the Public Service Commissions Committee on Wild Life, which spread over two years, showed this clearly and demonstrated that any success achieved in conservation depended on the personal relationships of officers of the Public Service rather than on any administrative machinery.
Although we are by no means fully informed as to the interdepartmental administrative problems involved, we would suggest that an independent Conservation Council would prove
most satisfactory. Being unconnected with any one department it could the better give impartial consideration to conflicting departmental policies. We wish here to make it clear that we are not referring to supposed departmental or personal rivalries, but simply to the undeniable fact that departmental policies are frequently at variance; being directed towards different responsibilities, they must be so, and will remain so until they are brought into review by a co-ordinating National Council.
The separate controlling authorities in New Zealand, having different administrative problems, pursue independent policies. These policies are not co-ordinated, and sometimes conflicting thereby not only stultifying progress, but also doing great harm.
It is clear also that these different authorities would not, indeed they should not, accept a national policy derived only from the experience and determined by the sectional responsibilities of any one of them.
It is also abundantly clear that the various policies pursued by the different departments concerned with conservation are not based on adequate knowledge of the various situations as would be supplied by properly conducted scientific research. There is woefully too little research into conservation problems in New Zealand. Whether we recognize it or not, as a community within the next five to ten years the demand for biologists to solve problems forced upon us by circumstances will far exceed the supply from our universities at present rates of training.
This situation calls for the immediate establishment of an independent Council with statutory powers and as widely representative as possible. Such a Council might well be preceded by an investigatory committee such as preceded the establishment of the Nature Conservancy in England, but such an investigation must not be allowed to delay unnecessarily the establishment of a National Conservation Council.
G. Archey (Convener),
R. A. Falla,
A. L. Poole,
J. T. Salmon,
N. H. Taylor.
Musum Management Committee. Dr. Fleming stated that he had no formal report to present. The matter of revising the Management Committee's constitution was proceeding.
Technological Museums. In accordance with an instruction of the last Half-yearly Council Meeting a committee consisting of Mr. F. R. Callaghan (Convener), Dr. Falla, Dr. Fleming and Dr. Salmon was set up to seek the opinions of interested bodies in the establishment of a New Zealand Technological Museum or museums. A conference of these bodies was held on October 29, 1959, and was fully attended by the following representatives:—
Royal Society of N.Z.: Mr. F. R. Callaghan, Drs. Falla, Fleming and Salmon.
Returned Services Association: Mr. C. J. Tustin.
Education Department: Dr. B. C. Lee.
Art Galleries and Museums' Association: Mr. H. C. McQueen.
Turnbull Library: Mr. C. M. Taylor.
War Histories Branch: Mr. M. C. Fairbrother, Mr. Ward.
N.Z. Manufacturers' Federation: Mr. A. R. Dellow.
Federated Farmers of New Zealand: Mr. J. G. Pryde.
Department of Internal Affairs: Mr. E. J. Fairway.
The following two resolutions passed at this Conference for reference to the Royal Society were considered:—
1a. That this Conference recognises the need for a repository in New Zealand for housing technological material and recommends that steps be taken to establish the nucleus of a Science Museum in the Wellington area.
2a. That the Royal Society in association with the Art Galleries and Museums Association of New Zealand and N.Z. Manufacturers' Federation, prepare a skeleton plan and organisation for a repository and science museum in the Wellington area; then convene a meeting of businessmen and others interested to discuss these proposals; the Royal Society afterwards to approach the Hon. Ministers of Education, Scientific and Industrial Research and of Industries and Commerce.
Report of Technological Museums Committee
At the November, 1958 Half-yearly Meeting of Council held in Napier the following two resolutions were passed:—
1. That the Royal Society set up a committee to investigate and report on the need for, and possible organization of Technological Museums in New Zealand.
The Committee is: Mr. F. R. Callaghan (Convener), Dr. R. A. Falla, Dr. J. T. Salmon and Dr. C. A. Fleming.
2. That the Committee seek the opinions of the Director of the Dominion Museum, the Librarian Turnbull Library, Returned Services Association, War Histories Branch, Internal Affairs Department, A.G.M.A.N.Z., Education Department, and the New Zealand Manufacturers Federation on the question of establishing a New Zealand Technological Museum or Museums.
Pursuant to these resolutions, the Technological Museums Committee convened a meeting of representatives of the organizations mentioned in resolution (2) which was held in the Dominion Museum on Thursday, October 29, 1959. A full attendance of representatives was present at the Conference.
Two resolutions were passed for reference to the Royal Society:—
1a. That this Conference recognizes the need for a repository in New Zealand for housing technological material, and recommends that steps be taken to establish the nucleus of a science museum in the Wellington area.
2a. That the Royal Society, in association with A.G.M.A.N.Z. and the New Zealand Manufacturers' Federation, prepare a skeleton plan and organization for a repository and science museum in the Wellington area; then convene a meeting of businessmen and others interested to discuss these proposals; the Royal Society afterwards to approach the Hon. Ministers of Education, Scientific and Industrial Research and Industries and Commerce.
It was also thought that a Press statement giving publicity to Technological Museums should be issued on the occasion of the Half-yearly Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
The Technological Museums Committee considers that this Conference:—
(a) Indicated that there is a substantial interest in the establishment of Technological Museums.
(b) Revealed the need for a more thorough understanding of the scope and purpose of different types of museums appropriate to New Zealand.
(c) Regarded the existence of an element of urgency in at least collecting and storing safely much material in danger of being lost.
(d) Felt that by establishing a repository initially, this would both stimulate the preservation of material, and reveal the need for proper museum buildings and other facilities to make best use of this material.
(e) Thought that a progressive programme, surveying and co-ordinating the sporadic efforts already being made, and working in collaboration with a wide circle of interests would be the most appropriate policy to adopt.
F. R. Callaghan (Convener),
R. A. Falla,
J. T. Salmon,
C. A. Fleming.
Some members took exception to the Wellington area being specified. It was pointed out that a good deal of material was already available in Wellington and that there was a possibility of a site and buildings being available. This was to be considered as merely a pilot project and would not preclude such museums being established in other centres.
After some further discussion on the motion of Dr. Falla it was resolved:—
That the Royal Society's committee on Technological Museums continue its investigations with a view to meeting the Ministers of Education, Scientific and Industrial Research, Agriculture and Industries and Commerce.
Ninth New Zealand Science Congress. Mr. Willett, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Ninth New Zealand Science Congress reported that the Congress
dates would be May 12–17, 1960, and that there would be twenty-five participating bodies in the Congress.
The first circular had been printed and was now being circulated to all members of the Royal Society of New Zealand and to participating bodies.
The meetings would be held in Victoria University of Wellington, the opening session being held in the Wellington Town Hall, when the Congress would be opened by the Rt. Hon. the Prime Minister.
The President thanked Mr. Willett for his report.
Rutherford Lecturer and Itinerary. The President reported that he had submitted to Sir Lawrence Bragg the proposed itinerary for his New Zealand tour. This provided that Sir Lawrence Bragg would arrive at Auckland on approximately September 2, 1960, leaving for Australia from Christchurch on October 2.
National Committee on Oceanography. A letter from the New Zealand national oceanographic committee which had been asked if it would be prepared to act as the New Zealand Special Committee on Oceanic Research was referred back to the Standing Committee with power to act.
International Council of Scientific Unions,
Special Committee on Oceanic Research
Formation of National Committees of S.C.O.R.
Extracts from circular letter from the Chairman of S.C.O.R. (R. Revelle), April, 1959:—
“I have the honour to inform you that the International Council of Scientific Unions has established a Special Committee on Oceanic Research (S.C.O.R), with the primary responsibility of continuing, on a long term basis, the programme of international co-operation in oceanic exploration so successfully initiated during the International Geophysical Year.
“The Committee is concerned with those problems of oceanic research which involve the active collaboration of scientists from different fields, for example: biologists, meteorologists, geophysicists and geologists as well as physical and chemical oceanographers.
“As Chairman of the Special Committee on Oceanic Research of I.C.S.U., I would appreciate it if that scientific body of your country which is a member of I.C.S.U. or one of the International Scientific Unions, would designate such a committee which will act for S.C.O.R. as National Committee of your country”.
The Standing Committee considered this request and suggested the New Zealand Oceanographic Committee. As no reply came from the Committee inquiries were made and the following letter has been received from the Acting Director of the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute:—
“I have your letter regarding representation of the New Zealand Oceanographic Committee on the Special Committee on Oceanic Research (S.C.O.R.) of I.C.S.U.
“Mr. Collard who has been acting as Secretary for the Committee left New Zealand in the past fortnight to return to England and I have not been able to trace your earlier letter or any previous correspondence on our files.
“There is a suggestion being put forward to various persons at the present moment that a Marine Sciences Society should be formed to take part in the Oceanographic Section of the Royal Society Congress next year and it would seem to me that in view of the present limitations on the activity of the New Zealand Oceanographic Committee that this Society might be a more appropriate organization to represent New Zealand on S.C.O.R.
The present objects of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society shall be:—
a. (1) To provide a means for persons engaged in marine research to foregather at least once a year for the purposes of discussion and a mutual exchange of information.
(2) To act as a spokesman where required on behalf of the interests of marine research in New Zealand.
(3) To participate in Royal Society and A.N.Z.A.A.S. meetings as an adhering body.
b. Membership shall be open to all persons with an active part or interest in marine scientific research.
c. The Society shall not engage in the publication of a periodical but may issue cyclostyled news-sheets from time to time.
While it may not be very satisfactory to suggest holding over this matter until the actual formation of a Society which is at present still being considered, it does seem to me that such a Society would be a more suitable body for New Zealand representation.
D. E. Hurley,
Tercentenary of Royal Society of London. It was reported that Dr. C. A. Fleming, who was leaving for England next year would represent the Royal Society of New Zealand at the Tercentenary celebrations of the Royal Society of London.
A message from the Royal Society is to be prepared for presentation to the Royal Society of London on this occasion.
Royal Society of Victoria Centenary. The prepared greeting from the Royal Society of New Zealand to the Royal Society of Victoria which it was proposed to present to the latter on the occasion of its centenary was displayed to the meeting and approved for presentation by Dr. Fleming who is representing the Royal Society of New Zealand at the celebrations.
Hochstetter's Centenary. An account of Hochstetter's life and contribution to New Zealand science has been written and its publication in the Proceedings was authorised. The President conveyed to Dr. C. A. Fleming the congratulations of the Society on the publication of a translation of Geology of New Zealand by the brilliant Austrian geologist, Ferdinand von Hochstetter, which has just been released from the press.
Earthquake Risk. Mr. Willett, convener of the Earthquake Risk Sub-committee, submitted a report which stated that the Institution of Engineers and the Institute of Architects has a committee working on this problem and he had suggested that the Royal Society of New Zealand should also be represented on the committee. The Chairman had expressed his interest in the proposal which he will place before his committee when it meets probably in the New Year.
Earthquake Risk Sub-Committee
Acting on the instructions of the Annual Meeting of the Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand, I have made approaches to the Committee of the Institute of Engineers and the Institute of Architects, with the object of the Royal Society joining forces in this problem. I have suggested that the Royal Society would be happy to nominate a representative on that Committee and thus we would avoid two committees drawing upon the same technical advice and knowledge.
Their Committee has expressed its interest in this proposal, and the Chairman, Mr. Murphy, will place the matter before the next meeting of his Committee which should be near the end of the year or early in the New Year.
In my capacity as Director of the Geological Survey I have been advising this Committee, and I would be pleased to see the Royal Society have representation on the Committee thus avoiding any overlap in the preparation of data.
R. W. Willett,
Convener. November 12, 1959
United States National Academy of Sciences Post-doctoral Fellowships. A further letter from the Director of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences regretted the delay in requesting applications in continuation of the scheme for Post-doctoral Fellowships in the United States. The letter stated that financial allocations for the scheme had not yet been made for the current year but it was hoped that some definite action could soon be reported in which case New Zealand would be advised immediately. The letter was received.
Scientific Exhibitions in Schools. A letter was received from Professor L. H. Briggs in which he invited the interest of the Royal Society of New Zealand in a scheme for encouraging scientific exhibitions by secondary school pupils. He had seen these exhibitions organised by the Science Foundation in San Franscisco with marked success.
The President stated that he did not see how the Royal Society could do more than express its interest in the scheme and wish it well. This was agreed to.
Travelling Expenses. Letters from Mr. J. Healy and from the Secretary of the Rotorua Branch regarding the time involved and the cost of travel in attending a meeting of the Council in Dunedin were read. Dr. Archey stated that although he liked the meetings held in other centres he was concerned at the cost to the Society and he thought that an annual two day meeting would solve the difficulty. Others expressed the view that the Half-yearly Meeting is essential and that it did stimulate interest in the places in which it was held.
The matter was referred to the Standing Committee for further consideration.
It was resolved that travelling expenses incurred in attendance at the present meeting be paid.
Votes of Thanks. The President expressed the Society's indebtedness to the Standing Committee, to Dr. Dixon who chaired the meetings of the Standing Committee and to the Secretary.
He warmly thanked Dr. Soper, the Otago Branch and the University of Otago for their hospitality during the meeting and for the arrangements made for the meeting.
A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the President, Professor Allan, for his able conduct of the meeting.
The meeting closed at 4.15 p.m.