Cabinet 09

White Elephants.

‘An appeal to the ‘few’ who are planning our post-war world – and a challenge to the man in the street to see that they do not create more White Elephants’. So reads the subtitle of Gladys Howey’s White Elephants, written in the last years of the Second World War and which reveals her suggestions of eliminating parochial National Governments and achieving true world co-operation. In her dedication Howey allies herself with ‘fellow rebels against orthodoxy’. Eleven years earlier she compiled a report on the best way to publicise the Wool industry between New Zealand, England and France. This pamphlet once belonged to W. Downie Stewart, and contains his ex libris (bookplate).

Gladys Valentine Howey, White Elephants. Wellington: Valentine Publications, [1944]. Bliss QYG/H. Hocken Library.

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Labour and the Arbitration Act.

William Downie Stewart (1878-1949) was a Dunedin-born lawyer, politician, writer, and ardent bibliophile. His large collection of books and pamphlets were dispersed between the Hocken and Dunedin Public Libraries. After his parliamentary career ended in 1935, Stewart began a writing career, producing books on Sir Francis H. D. Bell (1937), William Rolleston (1940), and the Dunedin Club [1948]. Dogged by ill-health, he was in later years confined to a wheelchair. He never married and died on 29 September 1949. Unlike Hocken and Chapman, he did not have many of his pamphlets bound. Although wrapped in acidic boards, Findlay’s work (on display here) is a little more manageable now for filing.

Sir John G. Findlay, Labour and the Arbitration Act. Wellington: New Zealand Times Company, 1908. Bliss, THW/Fin. Hocken Library.

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Prohibition. Destructive of Temperance. General Election

It is a truism that big books survive and that ephemeral items like pamphlets, leaflets and broadsheets need special attention to ensure their survival. These two cheap giveaways are now housed in acidic brown envelopes and boards. Although not sound conservation practices, this action has saved Downie Stewart’s copies of General Election and Prohibition. Destructive of Temperance from oblivion. In addition, they are now much easy to house – and find!

Prohibition. Destructive of Temperance. Dunedin: John McIndoe, n.d. Bliss QMP/P.; Edward Thomas Evans, General Election. Wellington, [1908]. Bliss TCH/E.; Hocken Library.

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