Maoriland Worker, Volume 12, Issue 227, 11 May 1921, Page 8
" %z ; &.'~j£s, AIXEIS
. Sir Franefe Bell recently: gave his ruling in regard to the la of edition when replying id Harry Holland's protest TQ the case, of Johnson, of Wellington, who was imprisoned for selling banned literature. I writ© "his ruling," because there is no certainty about it at all;; he inter-, prets in his wlay, but any judge may interpret it, differently. Furthermore, seeing, that since the war parliamentary government has practically been suspended, and we are governed by "Orders-in-Council," any Cabinet can amend the "Crimes Act" and extend the Massey-invented crime of "seditious intent" to cover, anything at all that niaS'. be objectionable to the junta.
In a very deceptive appearance of sweet reasonableness Sir Francis Bell writes "under our system of government any party can attain pow.er and hold power, irrespective of its views, if it can persuade a majority of people to agree with those views. To repeat, it is not unlawful to work for constitutional or industrial chJange, so long as lawlessness and violence are not advocated."
To use the classical expression of the leader of the Liberal remnant of the 'Opposition,- ''That is so much eye-wash." During the war, with Mr. Wilford's and other Liberals assistance the Massey Government violated the laws and constitution.
The Triennial Parliaments Act was illegally abrogated, the politicians unconstitutionally perpetuiated their jobs.'
Then the Square Dealers took © census lender their most solemn statement that it was not to be used for conscription, and,, as to be expected, it was so used in spite of these "honest gentlemen's" promise to the contrary.
When the talk was abroad regarding the Military Service Act (for some people),, the Government and its servile press refused to 'allow any utterance against - it.
Sir Francis. Bell's constitutionalists acted on Mr. Dooley's principle of controversy, namely, "first, disqualify your opponent.' , I volunteered for active service, but found that fellow members of the Labor movement who dissented from my views were not legally allowed to use their arguments either in the Press or a public meeting. So much for being able to "persuade ,a majority of people to agree w T ith those views."
Perhaps the one passage that most accentuates the class .nature of the State and Government is to be found in the hypocritical phrase "it is not unlawful to work - for constitutional or industrial change so long as lawlessness and violence is not advocated."
"Lawlessness" is anything that the Cabinet und the Governor-General choose to say it is according to "Order-in-Council." Regarding- "violence —well a fairly large sized volume could be written regarding it and its functions.
M. Sorel, a retired French, civil servant, did write an extremely interesting book on "Violence," an English translation" of which is in the Reference Department of the Auckland Public Library.
However, the less*"Governments and their job holders talk of violence the better, because most of them at present spend the greatest part of their respective budgets on armies and navies and other forms of organised "violence." For four years the chief nations of the earth had their Governments spending millions of money and men, perfecting "violence." New Zealand looks like having to find more money for "violence" than anything else.
Let us see about the "persuading of the majority." Not long ago the miners, who are 'the majority of the people connected with the mining industry, .were persuaded that they wanted an increase in wages and a? five day week. What did the Government do?
Cancelled all leave of members of the Defence Force, had all arms and ammunition, other than in actual use, stored away and specially guarded, the forts in Auckland (to my own personal. knowledge) were under stricter discipline than they had been even during the war- Secret and armed organisations calling themselves Settlers and Citizens' Committees, Citizens! Defence Leagues, Farmers' Unions, etc., were allowed to "organise" for "violence." None of these bodies were prosecuted. ...■■ Thousands of Hindu coolies at Fiji, again the majority, thougbt they deserved better conditions, but did the Government see to it that the will of the mapority prevailed? The ."Tutanekai": : was sent with soldiers of the New Zealand Defence Force whose "exhibition of Lewis gunnery greatly Impressed the strikers." H.M.S. Veronica was up till recently in Auckland, but again there was a strike of the "majority of the people" on the sugar plantation, and the H.M.S. Veronica "defends New Zealand" by going to the Islands. Quito recently Mr. Field, M.P. for Otakl, said lie would take up a gun against ft Ttinor" Government o,nd ho has ■novor been prosecuted. OUiev Curmern "squatters, and business men have throntoned to w violonco ntfnlnpt n Lnbor (lovormnent. nn<l t,o Import CliinoKO oooHoa to luuit tho worKora, oi c. β-nrt none havo boon pvoswiuioil, nor havo tho iwu>ore which pubHtfwfl ttootr yiftw«;been Bvoat'culert. ,
Sα it is quite cTe&r that. majoflfy;|l rule i§L not to. pertain -in. industry,/J| and fttrtaer It 13 aa clear as - day-*.,M light, that organisation . for. is condoneel, if not encouraged, the ttenemp-tft the' minority. None- at M the Massey Governments'- ererhad vx-jm jnajority-.-of votes behind- it. press refuses to permit a fair. _dis, J # eusslon, in," its columns, and it :Siyeel.-m specially perverted and distortedcounts of happenings both in New.M Zealand and abi'o,ad. • ' Vm
So one Is • compelled to "arrive <a£ ■ the following conclusions* ..'. . "IB (1) That organisation for violence by'the owning minority in an try is permissible and appreciated.^ (2)' That tne "Government's Defenß Forces and Police are tO ; be at tB service of this minority as instance during the Miners, Waiersiders aB Sugar Workers' disputes.- B (3) That the law is administerß - - in the interests of the minority fir industry and if technical. - nojnß should provide an avenue Jot escaaß for the majority their Council" will make good the defiß ency. •' ' B (4) That "free discussion" Is prß hibited by ruling the voice of tB majority, either oral or printed, B being "seditious. , ' . . /■ So much for the logic of Sir FraifM , cis BeJLL's case. Behind his guardee statements there lie the class interß ests" he. upholds. Hansard's accounß of his speech : on the "Arm's Aβ shows with a nbon.-day /brilliance .that the motive underlying thH "Arm's Act"-and this law; of "Sejß itious Intent" is that of craven fean The fear of a ruling parasitic minoM Ity who see the slow awakening 1» the vast majority, which carries thelM and their institutions on Labor's li« bjack. . . IS It is a form of screwing down iimg safety valve,, and; we may bo peimiffl ted to remind them without. "sediti-M ous intent," that that is usually m dangerous occupation unless the fii'taS have been drawn. m For years tlie Government of Hi|| imperial Majesty the Czar of all thfl Russias, prohibited free ..discussioail prohibited /the printing and circuliH tion- of all literature dealing wills Socialism and Communism ; or forniM ing unions, but 1917 saw. .the end $m Czardom and tlie main props of capgff ' italism knocked -away. r^| Men whom I have had the hoiKyl of knowing, Goldenburg, -Wadis! Sfibeftel, and others saw that liteia| ture was printed and circulated. I'nev Social Democratic Labor Party, theg Social Revolutionary Party, the J ish Bund carried on their propa-H ganda and they won out. To tell use-, to , appeal to public opinion and thenß make that appeal "seditious" andlll therefore- almost impossible, to tellw us to refrain from violence whi)stH the &upporteys of minority rule arejß perniitied and encourasred to orgas-w 1 ise- for violence, to abrogate even ittMa pettifogging devices of ary government and rule, viz.,. "o]-J| ders-in-Council" backed up by *yx New Zealand Defence Foijee, T and Police is but a "mockery- fi The State paid and sanctioned :- ganised violence may hold the. ty j| like it did at. WaiW, 19-2.. i-:]:c ft in 1913-14, and like it-tloes new," l*«$& there shall conie;_a time wncn. ti i & State of the minority property own- Iff ers and exploiters shall find that thf || ! propertyless hired slaves in tliei' ffl forces of repression are no longe m I reliable. " Their "loyalty" will I >j£ gone and as the army of the Kaise pX a and Qzar melted away so shall t!i<s|L. armed force at the disposal of the Massey Government. They have inJS augurated the Dictatorship of tto» Few; what will be their attitude if -«|« one day establish the Dictatorship «§« 'Labor? ' _ ' -!«