An animated discussion arose at the monthly meeting of the Bathurst P. P. Board, held yesterday, as a result of a circular received by the Board from the Institute of P. P. Board Officials. The circular intimated that an inaugral meeting of the P. P. Board Officials would be held on March 25th, 26th and 27th, and asking that leave should be granted officers to attend the conference. It also stated that if the Board decided to allow the expenses to such officers, such action would receive the authority of the Minister for Agriculture.
Mr. C. R. Brett (Stock Inspector) explained that as one of the founders of the Institute, he had for years endeavored to bring about a conference of inspectors, which would undoubtedly be to the advantage of the stock-raising industry. At the forthcoming conference, lectures would be give by leading scientists, on scientific subjects appertaininf to the raising of Stock and to stock disease. Directors of P. P. Boards and leading pastoralists would be invited to attend the conference, though they would not be eligible to vote on any question under discussion. The conference would be of immense advantage to stock breeders and to the P. P. Board officers generally.
Mr. A. B. Burgess (Secretary) : I do not think it will be of any benefit to us, It is purely for the benefit of the Stock Inspectors.
Mr. Kerr : Would the Board be bound by any decision of the Conference.
Mr. Brett: Not at all.
Mr. Brownlow moved that the Stock Inspector should be given a day's leave to attend the conference and be allowed £5 expenses.
Mr. Burgess at this stage made a vigorous attack on the Institute. He said that on the business paper of the Conference was a resolution in favor of a minimum salary for Stock Inspectors of £400 a year and travelling expenses. Whilst the minimum suggested for Secretaries was £150 a year considerably less than he and other secretaries were already getting. No provision woatever had been made for rabbit inspectors. He did not consider these proposals as equitable, and had decided not to join the Institute. He had mentioned these facts in fairness to the Association.
Mr. A. Stevenson : I have no objection to the Stock Inspector going to the Stock Inspector going to the Conference for the purpose of hearing the papers read, but if the whole of the Stock Inspectors combine as a union, they might eventually overide the Boards.
Mr. Brett: There is not much likelihood of us going on strike.
Mr. Kerr : The salary of the Stock Inspectors should be fixed by the Boards. I thing the Inspector should have the opportunity of hearing the reading of the papers.
Mr. Brownlow: I would like to see the whole of the officers go and have a god holiday, but it would be a bit costly for the Board. Even if the conference carries resolutions in regard to wages those resolutions may never become law. The lnspector should get an allowance in connection with the trip.
Mr. Kerr : We should fix a sum. Mr Brett might stay at the Hotel Australia (laughter.)
Mr. Burgess: I think this is a Stock Inspectors affair. Mr. Lynch or I have nothing to gain by it.
Mr. Stevenson: I do not blame the secretary or the rabbit inspector, who was the most important officer of the Board, for not joining the Institute of they do not want to.
Mr. Lynch, in reply to the Chairman said that he had seen the prospectus and had come to the conclusion that it was no good to him.
Mr Boyd (chairman) to Mr. Burgess: Have you got a business paper?
Mr. Burgess: No. I had one but it was taken off my file. The resolutions I have mentioned were clearly set out.
Mr. Brett: The business of the conference has not been set out yet.
Mr. Burgess: It has ; I have had the business paper sent to me.
Mr. Brett: That was incomplete.
Mr. Burgess: The business on the Agenda paper was primarily in the interests of the Stock Inspectors themselves. The lectures, smoke-socials, theatre parties etc., were merely side-lines.
Mr. Brett (indignantly): The conference has the patronage of the Minister for Agriculture and Chief Stock Inspector and do you mean to say that they would countenance these lectures being given as sidelines?
Mr. Brownlow: I have been somewhat enlightened. When I moved my motion I was under the impression that the Stock Inspector was going to the conference for the primary purpose of hearing the lectures.
Mr Brett: And such is the case. The Boards and ratepayers must benefit by the information received at the conference by the stock inspectors.
Mr. Boyd: I would like to see that business paper.
Mr Stevenson: The resolutions referred to by Mr. Burgess savor very much of unionism.
Mr. Kerr to Mr. Burgess: You would join the Institute, if they made what you consider more equitable provision for your advancement?—Certainly, that would only be human nature.
Mr Brownlow eventually moved that the Stock Inspector be granted leave but no allowance.
Mr. O. S. Webb seconded the resolution.
In reply to a question, Mr. Burgess stated that the Institute, he believed had about 70 members, including one rabbit inspector and 11 secretaries. The other members were Stock Inspectors.
Mr H. E. Brown moved an amendment to the effect that Mr. Brett be allowed £5 expenses but the amendment was not seconded. Mr. C. Boyd remarking that if he were not chairman he would do so.
The motion was carried. Mr. Brown abstained from voting.
Mr. J. J. Sullivan was not present.