Fred Ellis Hits Out
Maoriland Worker, Volume 7, Issue 258, 9 February 1916, Page 5
Fred Ellis Hits Out
1 CHASINC THE "CRABITALLS."
The Va& sends the following clip[jintc from one of the llol.v City dailies: Asked at tho Trades Hall yesterday what ho thought of tho I'rinic Ministers reply to the unti-consciiption manifesto of tho recent Labour Conference, Mr. F. Ellis, secretary oi . the Federation of "Unions, made the followin;? statement: — "At the conclusion of his reply the Prime. Minister .spoke as follows:— 'Wβ know "our duly, and will do our di 1 1 ,,?, and will do if, to the bc,«t_ of our ability. "Wβ are giving tho voluntary system a good trial. If it fails (and ifc has not failed yet) then to do our duty as a community there is only one alternative—conscription—and tho latter must be adopted when that time comes.' I. am glad to sec that the Prime Minister, as head of the Government, knows his duty, but ho is not tho only one. There are a lot of people who also know their duty, but are not in a position to givo effect to it. "If he (the. Prime Minister) wants the voluntary system of recruiting to eontinuo a success, why does ho not consider tho question of compulsion in another direction. I notice, that at the iifst sign of a shortage of recruits, the veiled threat of conscription is held out. Why does he not use. his threat to the holders of wealth? If he did th.it, then he, the head of the Government, need not be afraid in regard to getting a plentiful supply of recruits. But. no, he wants the voluntary system to continue. If the system of compulsion is introduced, then there will be an increased demand for compulsion of wealth, which not suit him or his supporters. Returns issued to date show that the worker is doing hi-s duty in die. mutter of voluntary enlisting, and also in the matter of voluntary subscribing. Are those people with the weuhh doing their dutyr , T, with otLers, do not tiling so, and we look to the Prime Minister to make them. "Why continually ask for voluntary subscriptions to queen carnivals, etc.? Why not raise the money required to cover all expenses by taxes, then ieveryone would he doing their share? To illustrate what, I mean, why not tax the people direct, not indirect? ! With an income tax starting at, say. J a man receiving £3 os. per week, or j £169 per year, (id. in the £, and conjtinue on the following scale: — ;C291. to £500—9(1. in the. £. j £.301. to £750—15. in the £. £751. to. £1.000—25. Gd. in the £. £1001. to £looo—ss. in tho £. £1.501 to £2000—75. Gd. in tho .(.'. £2001 to £3000—10s-. in the £.
"A man going to the war gives his ali—his life. A man with sin income, SAY, of £750 to £1000 should bo prepared to giro Jit least one-eighth, and -i. man with £2000 or over, hull', and 'he has still sot inoro . tlisin hall" ~i.i)'. " is income and his life loft. Tin. , oilier man sacrifiocs liis lit*, , or is iiiainwv! for lifo. Another niothod in whicli quite a lob of rovoimo could h- derived. snc'> as ammmlated resorvo funds ot wealthy companies, sucli ns nienf. sas, shipping and such like —k't.v not tako soino of tlicso I liaro fl)' , the local Gas Company's published bnlanno-slu'ofc before mc. To lake hall "I their reserve fund, .ClOS.lKin. would not hurt them as much as some «»f ilicworkers are beiny: hurt to-day by ",'vinsx voliintjirily one week's wa<.'»s *o tli% prese.nl. carnival fund. It is idle to continue, tlie workers that it would be killing tin- ixoose tluit laid !thf. "(ilfleil egg'if we touched fh<- ;>r(.•utiiidated funds of these companies. ! because any present' laxalion Im- I he wtir is only a (lea bit u> them, they f»n srill |>ay their dividends. Why. the On? roinpany. f.>r lhe «:ir year !01."> paid 10 |j«-i- cut. and added .1:10.01)0 lo their reserve fund. t 0 quote this. Hiouirh. only a.s an illustralioni. In addition to laying seven and a half miles of-«iuain>. and supplying over IOOn additioal meters, and this, in a roar of notional crisis. But I do not
Holy City Gas Tank Tilted
wish to bo misunderstood. It i« not thfj ilO per cent. dividends that I am alter, it is ilieir accumulated funds. If the Government is sincere, and makes tlie people with the mmiey pay, and doos not • continually drain the worker and give those enlisting ;t decent J'oninneration for their dejjeiidents, it would get all the recruits it. requires. It is not taxation through the Customs, or through indirect methods, but through a direct tax on incomes, on the .scale that I have suggested. Tho worker has proved that he is patriotic, because it is ho who is enlisting today, and he who has provided the carnivals with a. large percentage of funds. Tt is he who is milking tho sacrifices. and in a number of cases can ill afford to do it; but our wealthy friends who are getting record prices for wool, can still drive their motor-cars. They aremaking no sacrifices, but tho worker is. If the Government tho assurance that it intended taxing the man with the wealth, and out of that tax to mako better remuneration for the man's dependents, the Dominion at least would be able to give, the .Allies the assurance that New Zealand will be able to fulfil its part as far as recruits are concerned. The amount of discontent amongst the workers at the s»nt time regarding this voluntary tax thai i,i being levied can only bo expected."