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[by TEIiKGRAFIT. ] Waikouaiti, To-day. Mr George McLean addressed the electors here on Saturday evening last. In the course or his remarks the hon. gentleman said County Councils should have been endowed, as intended,' with power of taxation, and should have such powers gradually conferred on them. Instead of assisting the Counties and throwing responsibilities on them, when they came into power the Government appeared determined to make them a failure. The

question of local Government must be taken up and dealt with, and whenever the time comes that the finances of the colony can be got into a reasonable state the responsibility of local Government must be thrown on the County Councils or Road Boards. He defended the Property Tax, but did not see the necessity for an Income Tax, which would bring in nothing like the amount of the Property Tax. But if such a tax was wanted by all means impose it. New Zealand was slowly recovering, and her Customs revenue was gradually rising. That was a fair sign that the times were beginning to become good again. With a gradual increase in the Customs and other revenues the bad times were pretty sure next year to be tided over. The Government must be praised for the manner in which they took retrenchment in hand, and he was glad to

see they were determined to carry out the task regardless of consequences. He doubted at one time if he could pick six men out of the House who would risk their positions to bring about retrenchment, and get the country out of the difficulties. The Civil Service Commission was of great help to the Government in carrying out retrenchment. Ministers had well performed their duty. He could not say they had made no mistakes. After eulogising the native policy of the Ministry, the hon. gentleman continued: — It was said Major Atkinson’s district was getting the principal benefit of the Native expenditure. As an old colleague he would say no man had ever taken less advantage of his position in the Government to get money for his district than Major Atkinson. Mr Bryce had his sympathy, and if he (Mr M'Lean) had been in the Government he would not say that he would not have yielded to him. Mr Bryce’s retirement had not had a wholesome effect on Te Whiti. He was opposed to the sale of the railways. In answer to questions the hon. gentleman said he never supported the immigration of Chinamen, and would be very sorry to see the number of Chinamen in the colony augmented to any considerable extent, and would put a stop to their coming in that event. If the colony required the imposition of the tea and sugar duties he would vote for them. Reading the Bible in schools had his sympathy, but at the same time he thought religious instruction at home was calculated to be the most beneficial to scholars. At the conclusion a vote of confidence was carried.

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Bibliographic details

MR. GEORGE McLEAN AT KOUAITI., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 339, 9 May 1881

Word Count

MR. GEORGE McLEAN AT KOUAITI. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 339, 9 May 1881

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