The Moving Finger
Maoriland Worker, Volume 8, Issue 322, 25 April 1917, Page 4
The Moving Finger
G *TS» moving , fllnger writes; and, V G inreJOff trrtt, moves on."—OMAK. V C 0
Questioned at his Hataitai meeting ; by.a political opponent—a working "<man—about his former membership of the Wellington Socialist Party, Mr. '&. A. Wright, M.P., became very angry, ' very reckless and very indiscreet. If the "Dominion's" report is correct (and the fact that Mr. Wright has not contradicted it may be taken for proof that he accepts it as correct), he declared that the Social Democratic Party of New Zealand had "two wings, one industrial, and the other political," and he went on to say that, while the industrial wing had its headquarters in Brussels, tho political wins had its headquarters in Berlin. Further referring to the Social Dcmo•cratic Party, Mr. Wright said: "It was •a German organisation. When I came to study the situation I found that the two wings were closely united, and that the political branch was the dominant one. The less said about Jhe Social Democratic Party the bettor. The people of New Zealand will not stand a German organisation."
It is not necessary to tell a New Zealand constituency that Mr. Wright slated an inexactitude when he described the N.Z. Social Democratic Party as a German organisation. It would be an insult to the intelligence of a fourth standard schoolboy to assume that, he could be sufficiently lacking in knowledge of current history not to know that Mr. Wright was uttering what was not a fact when lie made that allegation. We have no fear whatever that so foolish a lie would carry any weight with the electors; but we are concerned about Mr. Wright's own position. Either he made the statement wickedly and wilfully, knowing it to be false, and solely for the purpose of attempting to injure the Labor ticket, or he made it in ignorance believing it. to be the truth, and without taking the ■trouble to investigate.
We may take it for granted that when Mr. Wright made his more or less muddled statement regarding the respective headquarters ot the "industrial and political wings of tho Social Democratic Party,' he referred to theindustrial and political sections of the International Labor movement —the International Secretariat of Trade Unions olMhe one hand, the International Socialist Bureau on the other hand. The International Socialist Bureau is the international political expression of the Labor movement, and it is this which Mr. Wright 'says is the dominant section. It is therefore the 1.5.8. which Mr. Wright >asks the electors to believe is a Ger•man organisation with headquarters l in Berlin. Let us see how much the veracity of Mr. Wright is worth. The International Socialist Bureau, prior to the war, had its headquarters at Brussels, Belgium. Since the invasion of Belgium,-the Bureau has shifted its headquarters to .The Hague. The chairman of the "Bureau is the wellknown Bel?rium Socialist, Bmile Vandervelde, now Minister of Munitions in the Belgian Cabinet; its secretary is Caroillc Huysmans, a member of the Belgian Parliament; one of its executive members is Albert Thomas Minister of Munitions in the French Cabinet. The- late Keir Hardie was an executive- member till his death. The British Labor Party is an affiliation; and Arthur Henderson, M.P. (now a member of : theßritish Cabinet), is an executive raember-of the British section. ❖ ❖ V * livd'ace - of there is-only >one-ctmrse tbafc-an honest man finding himself in Mr. Wright , s position could take, the fullest public apology for--the-untruth given publicity by him. The- question is, Wall Mr. Wrigbktake-tbat action? If he made his statement wilfully, knowing it to be untrue, he is quite unfit to occupy any public position. If he made it as a result-of'pure ignorance in a moment of passion, he is equally unfitted to-be entrusted with the care of the puMrc services. Since Mr. Wright was formerly a member of 4he>WeJfißSTton-.SociaKst Party, and an adherent of tbe Red Flag, he might have been expected to understand the true>position of the- International- political? organisation of Labor.
Thereis.yet another matter to be ■explained by Mr. Wright. At last Thursday's meeting of Wellington City Council, he arose and asked how it happened that Councillor Hutcheson'3 name appeared in the list of nominations although he-had announced that he was' not again standing as a candidate for the Council. Councillor Hutcheson, of course, replied that the Mr. Hutchison in the list of nominations was.the L.R.C. nominee, and not himself. Now, Mr. Wright's question implied that he did not know that the Hutchison nominated was not Councillor Hutcheson; and yet at a previous meeting at Clyde Quay, Mr. Wright staled that the Hutchison nominated was NOT Councillor Hutcheson! This writer thinks that, even if the class interests Mr. Wright stands for did not disqualify him as a candidate for working class support, the people should demand from its elected representatives a higher, standard than Mr. Wright's conduct betrays. OTUS.
Gisborno had-a dry Easter. This docs not refer to the weather, but. to the thirstiness of the place, for the local "Times" says: "There has been a clean sheet-at the Police Court all over the Raster holidays, and so far' there arc no occupants-oL -Ihc police cells to be called 1o account Iliis morning. This. fact*.gpc&ks well-lor ,iie-sobriety? conducUof the.