WHAT THE PAPERS SAY
Observer, Rōrahi XXXIII, Putanga 9, 9 Whiringa-ā-rangi 1912, Page 3
WHAT THE PAPERS SAY
IT is, we think, somewhat unfortunate for the advancement of Education
that the three important portfolios of Finance, Defence, and Education have all been entrusted to one Minister. It appears that the Hon. Mr Allen's time and energies have been fully occupied in dealing with Finance and Defence matters. This is, we think, greatly to be regretted.—Dunedin " Star."
There is little doubt that these comings and goings of cadets and others must, if judiciously conducted, be of much advantage to the comers and goers and their respective countries. Travel under rational conditions is a wonderful educator, and it must be especially desirable and useful to promote it at the present stage of Inter-Imperial development in the British Empire.—Hawera " Star."
The argument that the Railways must be regarded as singular in that the service after 'all these years is unable to produce a man capable of discharging the responsibilities is too ridiculous for credence. The departure of sending away for a young man trained in a different environment to undertake these duties is just as absurd as it would be to goon indefinitely importing "experts" for the Defence Department and placing tnem over the heads of officers trained in the service of which the foundations were recently laid. — Wellington " Times."
For the forty years of their existence our railways have been a standing disgrace, so far aa their administration is concerned, to a country which prides itself on being thoroughly progressive and up-to-date. Our trains loaf through the country with an easy indolence which is the despair of visitors, and would be our own despair, too, if we were not so used to "accepting just what the Government chooses to give us.— New Plymouth " News."
The Government ie determined to revert to the silly old system of importing experts to learn their business at the expense of the country, and a stubborn Government must c'en have its way. But why ignore its own good men who have spent their lives in learning the railroad business, aud who have given us a service that, with all its faults, i& far and away better than, say, the Victorian system 1 For one thing the New Zealand railways have been remarkably free from accidents involving loss of life. Mr Ronayne and his assistants have given us a service that is probably safer than any other in the world, and that fact should be remembered to their credit. If an imported manager is installed, the country will probably be paying £3000 a year for a figure-head, while that very capable officer Chief Clerk McVilly does the worn, and earns the screw for the polite and amiable figure head.—Wellington " Free Lance."
Seeing that during the initial and most difficult period of the administration of the scheme there have been more than 60,000 registrations for the Territorials and the Senior Gadets and only some fifty cases of imprisonment, the question has lost the appearance of gravity which it presented the politicians six or twelve months ago. It looks as though after another year of such firm administration as that of the present Minister for Defence and his predecessor the cry about " jailing our boys " would have been hushed.—Hokitika " Times."
The saving in road maintenance which would follow the building of light railways would go far towards paying the interest on the cost of their construction, and we hope that the House generally will co-operate with the Cabinet in giving practical effect to the Minister's suggestions, which can in no sense be regarded as a party matter.—New Plymouth " News."
The fact of the matter is that the executive of the Federation have made blunder after blunder with respect to the Waihi strike. They called the " demonstration " with a view to making the show ©f authority, and as it happens the response was so partial and incomplete that the Federation's position is weaker than before. —Inveicargill " Times."
As they stand at present, the so called unimproved values are in many cases excessive and unjust, and there is no reason why the law should not be altered and made more reasonable, especially in view of the fact that the new Government are increasing the graduated tax on land.—Palmerston " Standard."
Now, on the top of a weak and scrappy Land Bill, the principal feature in which is a system of " doles" to one class of land-users at the expense of the community as a whole, we have a Public Works Statement in which is embodied a continuation of the old and evil system of making public works construction contingent upon party political support. —Blenheim " Express."
The only justification the Government could have for creating a new batch of " Honorables " at £200 a year each, plus " perks," would be. the wholesale mutilation or rejection of several important Government measures which had been passed by the elective and representative branch of the Legislature. —Blen- " Express."
There is a difference between defence backed by a citizen army and that sort of thing which for lack of a more explicit term is known as "militarism." The report wired from Auckland to be found in this issue, concerning alleged disaffection in a company of Territorials, raises this question. If the facts in the case are as reported, they do not reflect credit upon those responsible. The private who said "Well, sir, you invited us to speak," had a good case if the report of the occurrence is to be relied upon, and why he should have been fined for speaking does not seem quite clear. But this is only one of the many little things which" taken together suggest that a good defence scheme, so far as fundamentals are concerned, is in danger of being spoiled or brought into contumely by defects which, as it would appear, some would like to graft on to it. —Napier " Telegraph."