The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1881. A Loafers' Industrial Association.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 430
Thete is an association in Christchurch which styles itself the “ Christchurch Industrial Association.” Most persons of common sense would assume from the title that this society was formed for the encouragement and calling into play of the best kinds of industrial excellence, in the same way as musical associations are usually formed, not for the purpose of paying every novice in cornopean-playing, in order that he may come before the public as a professional, but to call forth all the best descriptions of musical excellence. Apparently Messrs Joubert and Twopenny, the selected organisers of the forthcoming Exhibition of Industry in Christchurch, took this view, and their agent accordingly wrote to the Christchurch Industrial Association to assist in making the Exhibition a success. Some of the members of the committee concurred, but very soon found that they were called to account by their constituents, and censured for their hasty action. It appeared that by one of the laws of this sot disant Industrial Association, one grand object they were to hold in view was to establish what is called protection to native industry, and what should be called oppression to all native industries but one’s own, and one’s friends’ industries. The conclusion these liberal-
minded individuals at Christchurch drew from this rule was that it would not be safe to shew the superior quality of the work from othef , colonies and and that therefore the assistance promised ought properly to be withheld. In vain was it pointed out that even in Victoria, where the mania for protection was so prevalent among certain classes that any man who avowed himself a free-trader in public stood a fair chance of getting his head of his limbs broken for his pains, the industries of other countries had been exhibited; Victoria itself was not •Protectionist enough for the Christchurch devotees of political folly and personal greed. After a good deal of wrangling it has been decided by the lofty-souled members of the Christchurch Industrial Association that the censure shall be withdrawn from their erring committeemen, and its record effaced from their minute book, but that nevertheless the Christchurch Exhibition shall get no assistance from them.
Well, the assistance of this little tinpot association perhaps does not matter much after all; and the Exhibition will be held whether they approve of it or not. But what has passed ought surely to open the eyes of the public to the real object of some of these fraudulent associations, which adopt excellent names for the purpose of covering their own personal ends. That exhibitions of industry tend to improve the quality ot national industries, by showing what each country can accomplish, and thus furnishing the highest possible standards, is now known to the whole civilised world, and the little knot of narrow-minded ignoramuses at Christchurch, to whose proceedings we have called attention, are not likely to convert the whole civilised world to their views. What they obviously want is not encouragement for genuine high-class work, but encouragement for shoddy work—for laziness of head and hand. They are afraid that people should even see specimens of their work alongside with the work of manufacturers and artisans of more intelligence and industry elsewhere. In fact, what they really want to encourage is not industry but loafing, the obtaining of the means of their own living by robbery from those occupied in farming, mining, or unskilled labor, and to whom their “ Protection ” is worse than useless. The Christchurch Industrial Association is clearly only another name for the Christchurch Loafing Artisans’ Association, and should be treated accordingly.