MR W. Klauer, secretary of the Seaford Progress Association, has received the following communication from the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, under date of 17th January 1921:
“I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 21st ult., asking that the commission will take the necessary steps to have the Seaford district deleted from the Order granted the Frankston and District Gas and Electric Light Co, in order that supply can be obtained from the Melbourne Electric Supply Co.
The question of revoking the whole Order as proposed by the Frankston and Hastings Shire has now been considered by the Commission, and I have this day communicated with that Council, making certain suggestions, which should enable the Council to reach finality in the matter.”
A letter has been received by the Council, as stated above, but its contents have not been made public.
The matter will come up for discussion at next Council meeting.
A LOT of unnecessary profanity amongst motorists was caused on Sunday last by the action of the Shire Council in leaving the crossing at Wells Street to the beach in an unfinished state of repair.
Scores of motor cars negotiated the area of deep loose sand which separated Bay Street from Wells Street, but it proved a trying experience.
Chauffeurs emerged from the ordeal with a wild eye and savage visage.
The repairs to the crossing have now been completed, and as the job only took three or four days it seems reasonable to inquire why the Council did not start the work on Monday instead of Friday, and thus save a lot of unnecessary inconvenience to Sunday visitors..
A MEETING to further the object of securing a bowling green for Frankston was held last night.
The shire president (Cr W. P. Mason) occupied the chair. Mr Milner Macmaster (hon sec) reported that he had interviewed from 80 to 100 people on the subject with encouraging results.
A deputation was appointed to wait on the Council on Thursday next to ask permission to construct a green on the reserve near the tennis court – Messrs E. Barrett, Macmaster and Young being appointed to represent the views of the majority.
Cr Oates intimated that he was opposed to the green being placed on the site proposed.
He contended that it would be encroaching on the rights of the people who used the foreshore for picnic purposes.
The greens would be open to the public and the land required would be small, not greatly exceeding 80ft by say 200ft.
The result of the deputation will be awaited with interest.
WE have received for publication from Mrs Annie Peebles, a letter in which she asks for space to correct a few of what she terms, “the many vicious untruths circulated during Cr Oates unwarrantable and unjustifiable attack on my son at the repatriation meeting.”
Mrs. Peebles then says, referring to her son – “(1) It is not true that we financed him; (2) We know he was trying to sell the business; (3) He does not owe his father any money; (4) My affidavit was so twisted and misquoted that no one could recognise it in its original form.”
Mrs Peebles then proceeds to ask “Why should Cr Oates drag our personal and private affairs before the public?” and suggests that it was done to “discredit and blacken the character of a man brave enough to shoulder the responsibilities which others shirked.”
“The Standard” regrets that Mrs Peebles should seek to re-open this question, as the matter has already been carefully and exhaustively dealt with by the Repatriation Committee, to which her son, Mr R. E. Peebles made his appeal.
He made certain charges against Cr Oates but when asked to substantiate them before the Committee he was totally unable to do so.
Mrs Peebles’ reference to Cr Oates “unwarrantable and unjustifiable attack” on her son is ridiculous.
It was young Peebles who accepted responsibility for putting Cr Oates on the defensive, although the enquiry disclosed the fact that others were behind pulling the strings.
If Mrs Peebles had any “disclosures” to make which would have given any weight to her son’s charges, she should have given her evidence before the Committee at the proper time.
She certainly did send in an affidavit which read as follows:
“I, Annie Peebles, married woman do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare that some time ago Mr Strong came up to me in Bay St and told me he had left Oates and if Roland was thinking of going on with the case against Oates he would join with him.
On the strength of this statement, I communicated the information to my son.”
Mr Strong, at the enquiry, emphatically denied the truth of Mrs Peebles’ Sworn Statement and stated that he had always maintained that Cr Oates had treated him fairly.
Young Peebles could not produce an atom of evidence in support of his many allegations. His own witnesses were responsible for the statement that he was under financial obligations to his parents, and Mrs Peebles assertion to the contrary does not help to clear the position at this stage.
It was also distinctly proved in evidence that Peebles was endeavouring to dispose of his share of the business unknown to his father and his partner, as was also the fact that Peebles owed his father money at that time.
The action of the Committee in finding the charges disproven, and exonerating Cr Oates, has received general public endorsement.
Cr Oates really insisted on the enquiry being made public, and he made it clear that his dealings with Peebles throughout had been open and above board. Those who know Cr Oates best were not surprised that he came through the ordeal with flying colors.
His long and creditable career as a public man has established for him a reputation for straightforwardness and fair dealing that is not easily shaken.
Cr Oates has done a great deal to assist returned soldiers.
He did far more to assist Peebles and Strong in their new enterprise than many others would have done.
When Peebles was quietly endeavoring to dispose of his interest in the business the firm owed Oates considerably over £100 for milk supplied, and this despite the fact that they had raised the price of milk to the public while Oates was still delivering to them at the old rate.
By the exercise of reasonable business ability Peebles and Strong should have succeeded in their enterprise. Instead of that they steadily lost ground until things reached such a stage that Peebles, evidently thinking it wise policy to get out, tried to sell his share in the partnership.
It was at this stage that Oates stepped in, and in a perfectly legitimate way insisted on provision being made for the payment of his milk account.
Peebles admitted that no undue pressure was used by Oates, and that the ultimate sale of the business to Oates was not a forced one.
The transaction, apparently did not suit one or two people whose active antagonism towards Cr Oates is very well known.
They thought they saw another opportunity of dragging Cr Oates’ name through the mire, and were not slow to embrace it. There is little doubt that Peebles was in the hands of those people, and was largely influenced by them in formulating his charges. All this was made perfectly clear at the enquiry.
Whether they succeeded in keeping within the law on this occasion is a question for Cr Oates and his legal advisers to consider.
FROM the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 28 January 1921