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THE CHANGE OF NAME OPPOSED. OTHER SIDE OF THE QUESTION.
A number of Bismarck residents waited on the Premier yesterday, and presented a lengthy petition setting forth reasons against the proposal to change the name of Bismarck to that
of Collins, which was made by a depu tation which saw the Premier last
Councillor G H Voss said the depu tation, which comprised himself Mcssis Alfred Totenhofer, H J
Smith, Levi Newman, Walter Neilsen, W Brockman, Fred Gall, and F and H Fehlberg was composed entirely of residents in the postal area of Bismarck of Biitish and foreign extraction. Some
of the statements, made by the previous deputation were entirely unfounded. The petition he had to present contain ed 120 names of settlers residing in the postal area, whereas the names of the signatories to the former petition were
drawn from the Bismarck ward, com prising Claremont and other districts. The petition opposed the proposal to
alter the name on personal grounds, and the petitioners were practically all of Tasmanian birth, including descend ants of the Danish and German settlers who had really founded the settlement.
The name Bismarck had been given to the place out of compliment to the Ger
man settlers. On general grounds it was urged that the change of name would create bad feeling amongst set- tlers who had hitherto dwelt in amity together. The petitioners appealed for fair play, for which the British nation was noted and quoted the recent pro- nouncement of Senator Pearce in re gaid to the treatment of Germans with in the Commonwealth. Mr Voss said that the produce of Bismarck would compare with any in the State and their shows had won a good reputation Referring to a statement made by a speaker of the previous deputation that
the produce of the district might be prejudiced owing to its place of origin,
Mr Voss contended that there was no foundation in that argument. On the contrary it would be a serious thing if the name were changed seeing that the produce of Bisniaick had an excel
lent reputation and always fetched top prices. The petitioners were not in fatuated with the name of Bismarck as such and did not base their case on the
fact that it had been borne by a Ger
man statesman but the name was a reasonable one and was not difficult to pronounce like so many German names. The settlers of Bismaick all spoke the British language and they had no dif ferences on racial matters. The previ
ous deputation had really other motives than those put forward. Bismarck pro- duce was branded with the name of the grower and the settlement and he had never heard of any objection on account of the name. As a tourist resort the name was an attraction and if the name were changed the traffic would suffer. Bismarck shows had been fam ous for the quality of the produce ex hibited. The war in 1864 between Prussia and Denmark referred to at the previous deputation had nothing to do with them. The fact that Ger
many was abolishing British names was no reason why Tasmania should follow the example. He believed that a large majority of the settlers within the postal area were in favour of the name of the distnct being retained.
Mr Gall said he had come out to Victoria with his father and had rear
ed a family of nine in Tasmania, all true British subjects. If it could be proved that the settlers interests were endangered through the name he would support the proposal to alter it. Some people had signed both petitions the reason being that they were misled into signing the first. The name should not be altered at least, until the war was
Messrs Totenhofer Brockman, and Smith also spoke the tenor of their remarks going to show that the settlers' interests were not jeopardised on ac count of the name of Bismarck.
The Premier expressed his sense of the good taste and moderation with which the deputation had placed its case before him. He regretted that, any feeling should have been created amongst the Danish and German set
tlers who were of the best. Person ally, no one more regretted the calamit- ous war than he did, and no one had a greater abhorrence of those who caused it. He would be the first to resent anything which would cause un happiness to the Bismarck settlers of German descent, or interfere with their habits. They must admit that, in the circumstances a name which perpetuat ed the memory of one of the most un scrupulous but clever statesmen the world had ever seen and one largely responsible for the causes of the pre sent struggle must be distasteful to the people. He regretted, and they must regret that the name was Bis
marck. The deputation desired to re tain a name under which they had built up a reputation for good produce. In Germany today the Germans would not tolerate a town called Asquith or Lloyd George. There was bound to be feel
ing it could not he helped. He would give the matter careful consideration,
and whatever decision he came to they could rest assured that the feelings of
the Danish and German settlers woud be fully considered. He would have to
weigh the arguments adduced by both parties and do the best he could. Had the name been any other the difficulty would not have been so great. How ever he would try to do what was right
in the matter.