ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOUTH AUSTRA-
LIAN AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
THE above, meeting took place on Tuesday last, at Mr Payne's Hotel, Hindley street, at two o'clock, P.M.; James Frew, Esq., President of the Society, in the chair.
Mr Frew stated that the meeting had been called by advertisement, in terms of the rules of the Society, for the purpose of electing office bearers for the ensuing year, and transacting business. The committee for the season, and a sub-committee on the rules, had prepared reports to be submitted to the meeting, which would be read by the secretary.
The secretary accordingly read a report, which detailed at considerable length the Society's proceedings during the past year, namely- first, the ploughing match at Thebarton, on 1st Sep tember last; second, the cattle show at Mr. Payne's yard, Hindley-street, on 20th October last; and third, the exhibition of seed corn, fruit, dairy produce, &c, on 14th February, in the
The report then proceeds as follows : -
At a meeting of the Committee for the season, held 25th March last, it was unanimously resolved, that in terms of the rules and regulations of the Society, the general meeting of the members should be called upon Tuesday the 7th May. for the election of office bearers and Committee for the ensuing year, and for the dis- patch of general business.
Your Committee have obtained a report from a Sub Committee of their number upon the rules and regula- tions, which is in the following terms :
First-That the Society shall be denominated " The
South Australian Agricultural Society."
Second-That the affairs of the Society be conducted by
a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and twenty-six directors, to be separately chosen, annually, by the majority of the members present at the general annual meetings of the Society. Seven to form a
Third-At all meetings of the directors, any member
of the Society to have a right to be present, and to deliver his sentiments upon whatever subjects may be brought before the meetings ; but upon a division,
shall not be entitled to vote.
Fourth -Any person on payment of 7s. 6d. annually,
entitled to become a member-payable on the first Tuesday of May.
Fifth - The funds of the Society to be deposited in one
of the banks, in the names of the president and treasurer, and on no account to be interfered with, without the sanction of a meeting of the directors.
Sixth-The funds of the Society to be devoted to the
encouragement of agriculture in all its branches, and defraying the necessary expenses of the Society.
Seventh-The directors to fix the number of the prizes
and their amount, and to make all other necessary arrangements for the various competitions and exhibi-
Eighth-The general annual meeting of the Society
shall take place in Adelaide, on the first Tuesday of May, when the direction and office-bearers, and the treasurer, shall give in their respective reports of the transactions of the preceding year, any alterations made in the laws, the directors and office-bearers of the ensuing year chosen, and all other necessary busi-
Ninth - It shall be competent for any six directors, or
any ten members, to address a requisition to the pre- sident, or in his absence the vice-president, to call a general meeting of the body, and in which the business to be discussed shall be stated- a month's notice of each meeting, and of the business, by advertisement in the newspapers to be given, and no other matters to be taken up other- than that contained in the requisi-
Tenth- At all meetings a majority of the members
present and entitled to vote, to decide-the chairman only to vote in cases of equality.
Elerenth-All meetings of the Society and directors to
he called by advertisement in the newspapers, at least
fourteen days' notice being given.
Twelfth-Quarterly meetings of the directors to be held
on the first Tuesdays of May, August, November, and February.
Thirteenth-The Society's Annual Ploughing Match
shall take place io the first week of August.
Fourteenth - The Society's Annual Exhibition of live
stock shall take place in Adelaide, in the second week of September.
Fifteenth.-The Society's Annual Exhibition of seeds,
roots, and other productions of the field and garden, dairy, implements of husbandry, colonial manufac- ture, &c., to take place in Adelaide, on the first week
Sixteenth-An animal having already gained a first
prize at any of the Society's annual shows, is not to he shown again in competition in a class of a similar denomination ; and a ploughman who has gained two first prises in succession at the Society's annual ploughing matches, is not to be allowed again to com- pete.
Seventeenth-Members of the Society or their servants
entitled to compete for prizes.
JOHN HARKNESS, Sub-Committee Your Committee wish they could here close their report ; but it will he necessary that they should shortly advert to certain proceedings which have lately taken place in consequence of a requisition, purporting to be from " The undersigned members of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia," to meet at Messrs Lambert's rooms on 27th April last, at one o'clock, " to elect office-bearers for the current year, and to transact general business." A meeting was held accordingly, when a report was read, purporting to be that of "The Committee of the South Australian Agri- cultural and Horticultural Society to the general meeting on 27th April, 1844 ; " and a Committee of management nominated. The report is published in the Southern Australian of 30th April, and also an account of the proceedings which thereupon took place. To this your Committee would beg here simply to refer. Upon these proceedings your Committee beg to draw the at tention of the members to the following remarks :
I-Upon the supposition that the requisitionists met as members of this society (which the terms of their report renders doubtful), the requisition was got up without the knowledge of Mr Frew, the annual president, or of Mr Wotherspoon, the annual secretary. A cording to the rules of the society. requisitions for meetings of the society ought to have been addressed to the president, and called by the secretary. The omission of the names of the president or secretary, prevented many members from attending. But at all events, the meeting was irreegular, as being contrary to the rule which prescribes that the office-bearers are to be appointed at the stated annual general meeting of the mem- bers. The requisitionists could only call a meeting for a similar purpose at a different period, by first obtaining the rule to be altered, which was not done. The report was not drawn up by a regular meeting of the committee, but by a
few self-elected individuals, who met together, without inti- mation to the president or secretary for that purpose.
2. -With regard to the name of this society, your committee have to explain that it originated with a few individuals whose primary intention was to hold a ploughing match. At the first regular meeting'of the members, however, which took
place upon 19th August, 1843, they resolved to constitute themselves into a permanent society, to be called ' The South Australian Agricultural Society." Its objects were the encouragement of agriculture in all its branches. There was no active institution of the same name in existence in the
province at that period. The society known as " The Agri- cultural and Horticultural Society" became extinct on 20th Octoberber. The society known as "The Market Com- mittee'' is also understood to be dormant or extinct. Your committee have further to report, that at the end of January last, your secretary of his own authority added the words
"and Horticultural" to the name of this society, which it will be for the present meeting to reject or confirm.
3. -The report states, " The Committee have seen an ad- vertisement in the newspapers calling a meeting of another
agricultural society, &'c. But upon Mr Wotherspoon enquiring at the meeting at Messrs Lambert's rooms - in allusion to Mr Stephens' remark that there was but one society-what was the meaning of the phrase
' Another Agricultural Society,"-he was informed that "the truth was, there was only one society - the two had
coalesced." When this coalition took place, if it was done formally, your committee cannot discover. It cannot have taken place at the time the deputation waited upon his Excellency the Governor, as subsequent to the deputa- tion having reported the result of this interview with the Governor, the following entry in the minutes is found ; - "17th January 1844. The committee recommend that
" a communication should be opened with the two other ' societies in the province, whose objects are similiar to those "of The South Australian Agricultural Society.' with the "view of effecting a coalition." This meeting was attended by the Hon. W. Smillie, Messrs Stocks, Stephens, Stevenson, and the Secretary, and bears the signature of Mr Stocks as chairman. The next meeting of ihe committee of the South Australian Agricultural Society was held at the Bank of South Australia, where, the minutes of the previous meeting were "read and confirmed." The members present were the Hon. Wm. Smillie, Messrs Frew, Stephens, J. Morphett, Stocks, Stevenson, and Wotherspoon, and the minutes hears the signature of Mr Frew as chairman. Up to that date, therefote, no change of name, and no formal coalition had taken place. A coalition between two Societies could only be effected by consent of the members of each, at a meeting called for the purpose ; none such took place- but your com- mittee humbly apprehend that the only coalition which, under the circumstances, could take place, was the simple act of the members of any of the other societies becoming members of this society, by paying their entrance fee of 7s 6d, and getting their names added to the roll. If this is what if meant by a coalition, it certainly to that extent took place. But members so joining, were equally with all others bound to observe the rules and regu- lations of the society, which the requisitionists, by the way they called their meeting, and by their anticipation of the stated annual meeting of the society, have not done. It may only be added that no committee of a society appointed for a special purpose, can go beyond the duty then confided to them, and that when this special duty, is performed, their obligation is to render an account to the body or society by whom they were appointed. It is quite clear, therefore, that the com- mittee named upon 10th. November and 13th January last, to make the arrangements for the late exhibition of grain, seeds, fruits, &c, having been appointed for that specific purpose only, by "The South Australian Agricultural Society," could not, as such, coalesce with, or create another society ; and it is to a meeting of the members of this society alone, to whom they can properly tender an
Your committee do not consider it necessary to add any further remarks upon this subject, and leave the matter in the hands of the society. They consider, in bringing the matter thus forward, they bave performed a simple piece of duty, as part of their last act of office, namely, to render a faithful account to those by whom they were appointed. They cannot conclude, however, without expressing their deep felt regret and sorrow, that any misunderstanding should have taken place upon a subject where, for the interests of their adopted country, only one feeling of unanimity should have prevailed, and they still indulge the earnest hope that some means may be fallen upon by which may be obtained that hearty co-operation of every party who has the desire to promote the interests of the colony ; and that that har- mony and cordiality now so unhappily wanting, may be re- stored and perpetuated.
Mr Thornber, in moving the adoption of the report, said -
It had received the anxious and careful consideration of the committee, and he most firmly believed it to be a true and correct report from first to last was. It was not necessary to re mind them of the circumstances which had recently taken place, which he was sorry to say were calculated to create divisions, and to cramp those efforts which had hitherto been directed in so useful a channel. In the report were detailed the real facts respecting their proceedings, and without re- capitulating them, he would submit that report to the judg-
ment of the society.1844
Mr Benjamin Greig seconded the motion.
The report was then put to the meeting and carried unani-
Mr T. K. Auld, the treasurer, reported upon the state of the funds. He was sorry to state that he had not re- ceived the report of the committee who had charge of the late exhibition, but he would give a report of the funds so far as he had control over them. The total amount he had received was £79 ; and the amount ex pended in prizes and expenses was £73 8s, leaving a balance in hand of £5 12s. The treasurer's report having been approved of, the chairman said the next step would be the appointment of the office-bearers.
Mr Harkness said that as a committee had drawn up a report upon the rules which was embodied in the report, by the committee for the season, he would now move that those regulations should be separately submitted to the consideration of the general meeting.
A short discussion took place as to the necessity of this, seeing they were embodied in the report already agreed to. It was ultimately agreed that they should he separately submitted, and the motion having been seconded, the chairman proceeded to read the rules and put them seriatim to the meeting.
On the fourteenth rule, which relates to the exhibition of live stock, in the second week of September, being read, Mr Lambert, who had shortly before entered, rose and said, that on hearing the announcement read, of an
exhibition oí live stock for the second week of Sept. by this society, he could not but desire to know from the chairman, whether this was a separate and distant society from that which had held a meeting at his - Mr. Lambert's - rooms a short time ago. Although the meeting had been held at his rooms, he had not attended it, and all that he knew of its proceedings was derived from the public newspapers. He observed, however
that that society intended to have a show of live stock in the first week of September. While such exhibition must be of great advantage to the public, it was certain
that if two should be held, either one or other must suffer
severely ; and it would be much more generally bene- ficial if they were both united. He was therefore very anxious to know whether there was only one, or if they held themselves a separate and distinct society.
The Chairman said that this society was formed a con- siderable time ago, and was acting in conformity with its established rules. As to the meeting, to which Mr Lam- bert alluded, he must say that this society knew of none other, and had no official notice of any other being es- tablished ; he had seen a report in the newspapers as to a society, but it apparently had no proper organisation, no rules, president, or treasurer. Their present business was to consider the report of a committee which had revised their standing rules, and Mr Lambert's remarks, if he had any to make, would, he thought, come better after those
had been considered.
Mr Lambert said he was anxious that there should be no division in such an important matter. He thought it would be better that there should be only one cattle show
Mr Wothers poon, the secretary, said Mr Lambert seemed to assume that which was not the fact, that the society in- terfered with the meeting which had been held at his rooms It was precisely the reverse. The South Australian Ag- ricultura! Society had gone on for a year under certain rules and regulations, and were now proceeding under them with their ordinary business, but the party over the way
had interfered with, and acted contrary to, those rules. It was stated by one of the speakers at the meeting in ques-
tion (Mr Stephens) that there was only one society, and the report read to the meeting seemed to intimate that this was the society referred to, but upon his asking the mean- ing of the phrase in the report then read, which alluded to "Another Agricultural Society." Mr Stephens said that
in truth there was only one, for the two had coalesced. Now he only knew of one, being that of which they were now holding the annual meeting in terms of the rules. If
these other parties opposed them, and took other chances
they might be sorry for it, but they could not change their rules or meetings on that account.
Mr Giles said that his opinion was that there had been considerable irregularity, but where or how it had arisen he did not know. It appeared, however, that in this so- ciety there was a want of money, without which they could not well go on, and as it appears that almost all the in- fiuential persons had joined the other society, he had come to the present meeting with the expectation that the two if there were two, would be amalgamated, and that the secretary would become secretary of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society. The other might be a right or a wrong society, but it had evidently the means of carrying out the great objects of this society. He had come for the purpose of proposing an amalgamation, and that the se- cretary and other officers should be combined. Then thej would get money, and the means nf getting up a proper show of stock, and a ploughing match, which he wished to encourage. If there were two shows, some would go to one, and some to another, and there would be no proper determination as to who had the best stock. In these ctrcum- stances, eren supposing they had not been properly treated he thought it would be better that they should make a sacrifice of regularity for the sake of the advantages of union to the colony. It was clear there had been irregu- larity, but he thought it would be better for the sake of union and their common interests and objects, that they
should be overlooked.
Mr Giles moved "That the two societies, if there be two, " be from this day amalgamated that the committees be " united, and that Mr Wotherspoon be the secretary of the " Agricultural and Horticultural Society, if he will favor
" us with his services."
Mr Lambert said he had great pleasure in seconding the motion. He thought that any other course would only create disunion, which would be prejudicial to all parties
while a union, which would comprehend all the most in- fluential persons, would very much improve the prospects
of the society.
The chairman said that no one could be more anxious than he was that some plan should be adopted to settle the present misunderstanding. He was of opinion that the colony was not fit to support two societies, and would be glad to see some arrangement made. With reference to the motion which Mr Giles had made, it could not properly he put as an amendment to the regulation which he had read. The rules were excellent in themselves, and should be adopted, whatever was the result of the proposed motion. He would put it as a substantive motion, after the rules
were read and considered.
After the rules were discussed and adopted, Mr Frew accordingly read Mr Giles's motion.
Mr Harkness said that, before that motion was put, he wished to make a few observations. In the first place, the motion was irregular, because it proceeded upon a supposi- tion. It said, " if there were two ;" but he thought there could be no amalgamation until it was proved that there were
two societies. He was quite willing to admit that there had been a good deal of irregularity, and by different parties, but that irregularity could not make another society if there was none in existence. There had been he knew an Agricultural and Horticultural Society, but it is not known when the pre- sent society of that name commenced. The previous society of that name was, be understood, broken up. Even at the previous years' annual exhibition, it did not seem to act, for the prizes were given by private parties, and in the month of October a general meeting had been called by advertisement, and the property and funds distributed to the members. The so-called Agricultural and Horticultural Society that now acted, had arisen from a committee of this society. This so- ciety had appointed them, and they had not given in an ac- count either of the funds they had realised, or of their pro- ceedings. He thought that in such circumstances it would
only be reasonable to enquire into these mattera, and to deli- bera tebe fore taking any s'eps for ajn amalgamation. It would be right, for instance, to inquire whether they had made any
rules and regulations, and on what terms the proposed union should take place. He would do much for the sake of peace,
but he thought that a sacrifice of order and truth should be the last resource. It appeared to him that the conduct of the gentlemen in question much resembled the case of the unnatural mother before Solomon-(laughter)-their child had died for want of nutriment, and they have taken the living one. They had no Solomon to judge betwixt them in this case, but he would be glad to leave the decision to
the colonists. He believed that there were a number of ho- norable men in that committee, and he could only suppose that many were under the influence of deception, otherwise why not account for the funds they had received to the so- ciety by whom they were appointed. If they wished to make a new society, ii would have been better, and he thought more honorable, to have done so openly and in a straightfor- ward manner. He was not much acquainted with the gen- tlemen in question, but he was of opinion that most of them were very little acquainted with agricultural pursuits; now if the farmers were coming forward and taking the manage- ment of the Chamber of Commerce out of the hands of the merchants, they would be laughed at. He would not, how- ever, laugh in the present case, but he thought it unreason- able to suppose that men brought up at the desk, or as sur- geons, or in the army and navy, could understand the manage- ment of agricultural affairs so well as the farmers themselves. He was convinced that many had been put forward in the late requisition and meeting without knowing how they were put. Mr Harkness concluded by saying that he earnestly wished every individual to combine for the common good,
and would leave the whole matter in the hands of the meet-
Mr Giles said it had been suggested that a deputation should he appointed to settle the disputes and he would therefore add to his motion as follows:- In order to bring about this very desirable object, I would move that three " gentlemen from this meeling, and three gentlemen from the " meeting assembled in Messrs Lambert's auctions rooms on "the 27th day of April last, be nominated and appointed to " settle the differences at present existing between the friends «of agriculture and horticulture in this colony.**"
Mr Lambert having approved and seconded thia addition to the motion, the Chairman read it to the meeting.
Mr Thornber said he had en amendment to propose. How- ever desirable it was to have the advantage of the influence and respectability of the other gentlemen, still there was something due to themselves. They, the Agricultural So- ciety. had interfered with no existing society, and had only not at first taken the title now adopted by these other gen- tlemen, because there had been previously a society of the same name, which was in disrepute and with which they feared to be mixed np. They had gone onregularly since the formation of the Society, and it was no fault of theirs that the present opposition had arisen. At the same time as it was really exceedingly desirable that they should act in union, he would propose-"That the Secretary put himself in com- munication with the president of the meeting held at Lam-
'bert's rooms on 27th April last, and request their co-opera- 'tion with the South Australian Agricultural Society." .
After some discussion in reference to the nature of the co- operation, in the course of which it was elicited that the mover meant a combination or coalition. The chairman put the amendment and motion to the meeting, when the amend- ment was carried by a considerable majority.
The chairman proposed an adjournment of the meeting for fourteen days, to await the result of Mr Witherspoon's communication. This was opposed by Mr Harkness.
Mr Giles said that he was certain there was no unkind feeling, on the part of the gentlemen who attended the late meeting, towards the society, but the contrary, and he had attended the present meeting with the sole object of pre- venting a collision. He certainly could not wish that they should sacrifice truth or principle, but at the same time it was their duty to endeavour to prevent disunion. There was only one opinion at the late meeting, with regard to Mr Wotherspoon, that they couId not have a better secretary ; and having had opportunities of witnessing his active, zealous, and unremitting labors, he did not know how they could get on
without him. For his part he would be very sorry to see a society of the kind without Mr Wotherspoon as secretary. Mr Giles then detailed what had taken place at the previous meeting, as to the re-appointment of Mr Wotherspoon, and concluded by expressing an earnest hope that they would
take measures for healing the division that had been made.
Mr Harkness, however, thought that the society could not properly suspend its regular business for the sake of a pro- bability. Many persons there had come twenty, thirty, or fifty miles to attend the meeting, and he considered no suf- ficient reason was given why the office-bearers should not be at once elected. He moved, " that according to the laws of the society, this meeting proceed to the election of office bearers for the ensuing year.
The motion was seconded by Mr Hogarth.
Mr Wotherspoon said that this would be stultifying the previous resolution, which opened a door for reconciliation. There could be no hope of a favorable negotiation if this motion was carried. He therefore moved as an amendment That the meeting adjourn for a fortnight, and in the meantime nominate the Chairman and Mr Giles, as a deputa- tion to assist the Secretary in the proposed correspondence .
Mr Thomson seconded the amendment.
The amendment was carried, upon which the meeting separated.