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ANOTHER BRAY FROM MR IVESS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 503, 8 December 1881
ANOTHER BRAY FROM MR IVESS.
TO THE EdITOB. Motto : “ Another king arose who knew not Joseph.” Sir, — The lineal descendant of Baalim’s celebrated steed, who is now going in for the Wakanui seat on the working man cum-Catholic ticket, entertained his Wakanui friends last night by singing them iSn address; and it r was an immense success. Every body Jtnows that when this redoubtable champion of the “ homy handed,” etc., makes up his mird to have a thorough go in, when he “ humps up his I shoulders, and laying his ears down a ong his back, goe* in for a good, healthy, whole-souled bray, it is enough to make one envy the sainted dead, and long for the cool and silent grave.” The’hash-up with which we were regaled last night was an undefinable combination of rodomontade snivel, scandal, and Stfnt, endowed with allopathic quantities of talk, but only homeopathic infinitesimals of sense. The immortal bard of Avon’s description of life will fitly apply to the broth which Mr fl. poured out last night—- “ It is a tale told by an idiot, -full of sound and fury, signifying .nothing.*' The chair was occupied by Mr James Brown—a worthy vassal of such a noble knight. A gaping crowd of the tag-rag and bobtail of the district listened with rapt attention to the sounding paralogisms of this orator, and cheered him to the echo as he displayed'.before ; them the fireworks of his imagination; ■ and spoke of the “sun of liberty being , high in the heavens,” etc., and he received quite an ovation while he alluded to in anything but complimentary terms to Messrs John Grigg, E. G. Wright, C. P. Cox, Hons. Whitaker, Atkinson, Rolleston, Hall, etc. It need hardly be said that those to whom this scandalmongering was so sweet a morsel were chieily composed of. Irish Catholics. Indeed, so enthusiastic was the reception which Mr Ivess received, that he, strange to say, for once overstepped the bounds of prudence, and practically threw off the mask. Towards the close, of his address he said : “There was a party of the electors whose political claims had hitherto been ignored, but he could assure them that their interests were his interests, and, if elected, their claims should receive due consideration at his hands.” This I took to mean that he would support and favor the claims of the Catholic party. So, after he had sat down, and a long pause followed without any questions being asked, I rose and repeated the words given above, and asked him if—“ We might take that as meaning he would support the Catholic claims ; or, if not, would he pledge himself not to he a party to any interferance with the present educational system.” When I sat down, Mr Ivess sprang to hia feet, his face livid with fury, and thundered out: “ You must he either a blind bigot or an ignorant fool—to ask such a question as that;” and then went on to say something I could scarcely catch about “ meaning the Orange Lodge, and I must have seen his views in the paper on the education question, and therefore he wouldn’t answer my: question.” After this I made one moie attempt to speak, but was ordered down by the chairman (James Brown). It is, of course, well known that all through this contest Mr Brown has degraded himself to the level of a servile minion, and cringing lick-spittle of Mr Ivess, .and therefore the public will not wonder at his refusing me the privilege of speaking. Therefore, as I was denied the right of expressing my opinions last night to. a few men, I have no other alternative but to have recourse to the public press, through the columns of which I shall he able to address a much larger number than I should have done had I been allowed to speak at W akanui last night. With regard to Mr Ivess himself, I cannot say that I look upon him or bis career—as_far as I have had any acquaintance with-it—-with any great degree of admiration. There is one thing about him the possession of which he is scarcely to be congratulated upon, and that is the possession in a very marked degree of the bump of combativeness, which makes him at times a very strange man to work with, and which has reduced him to the level .of what we might term a social Ishmaelite — one whose hand is against every man, and every man’s hand against him. To those who have opposed him, or whom he fancies have injured him, he has shown himself to be most bitter and vindictive. I need only cite the case of Mr O’lL as an instance of this harsh and unrelenting spirit—a man whom most people.,'tybuld only pity for his unwise action, Mr Ivess him pursues to the bitter end. I do not know whether Sir Ivess will enter an action , for libel against me for saying this ; quite possibly he may. However, there is one thiiig; I feel justified in saying, and that is this, that if any one had said half as much about him as he said about the Hall 'Government and others, there would have been work for lawyers long before rthis. In addition to this, I entertain a most decided objection to returning to Parliament a man who is so migratory in his habits as Mr Ivess. In fact, Mr Ivqss is something of a Wandering Jew ; ;h$ jis , here and there and everywhere ijowhere for long ft t a time ; and he himself told us that when he was in the Waikato district, he made himself so obhbs&bns that the community turned against him, and he was eventually compelled to wind up his affairs and leave. Moreover, as Mr Wright has been elected for Ashburton, it is desirable that we should return a man who will work in harmony with him. This, I fear, Mr Ivess will never do, and thus Wakanui will practically be disfranchised. But let us inquire a little into Mr Ivess’ political creed, and try to dissect or analyse it. Mr Ivess comes forward as a Liberal of the Liberals. , He tells us that he is a Liberal, or rather that we might dub him as the echo of an exploded Liberalism. His is the Liberalism which would result in the demolisation of the grand superstructure, of our present system of Government, and which would ultimately result in bringing about a system of mob-rule, , oi, if you like it better, of Communistic i rule. And Communistic rule would bring with it a revival of the long train of i sickening horrors similar to w.hat was bx- . perienced during the reign of the ’Opm- . mune in Paris in 1871, when the whole ’ civilised world stood aghast and horrorstruck at the diabolical outrages which i were then perpetrated, and the indiscriminate destruction of life and property, ’which then took place under the authority 1 and by the direction of the Coramiibei’ : i said, that Mr Ivess is nothing motb' Aor - the echo of an exploded XuSerll- , iahi; by an exploded Liberalism, lieip the Liberalism of old Sir George Grey, of
whom Mr Ivess is the echo and Ithe ape; he apes him in his manner of address, and ho echoes his political sentiments. Now, let me ask the electors of Wakahui what fyurffiyfteorgeGrey done, withhjsboasted Idberalum and with his high-flown, and, perhaps, ! may add with his fly-blown M6H3 antfliotions about tho elevition and the amelioration of the social condition of the masses, and description of the El Dorado which he was going to establish, and his unreasoning declamation and abuse of the capitalists, and the land speculators, and the squatters, as if to own money were a crime, and to deal in land were an unpardonable sih, and to graze. sheep were an act of treason against the right of our ; common humanity; forgetting that the squatters were, and always have been the .pioneers of civilisation. And the capitalists have always beenan important help in| the progress of that civilisation and national advancement which would have beejn an impossibility had not those very capitalists poured into the country a stream Of wealth without which neither public nop private enterprise or works could have bison carried but. _Nqw, I say, Sir George Grey is always ready to denounce the Squatters and the money men. But whatl has he done for the country ? Glance back over the past, and tel! me what he did for us during the term of his Premiership in 1878-9. He had then an opportunity of giving effect to some of his airy Schemes, and how did he do it ? There waji in the Treasury at the time of his accession to office the sum of L 909,000. Tljo State liabilities amounted to about Lu 89,000 ; so that there would ostensibly be a deficiency of some LBO,OOO. But then, as a set-off against this deficiency, be it known that out of the sum of L 276,000 due for land purchase, only L 98,000 had been raid, so that in reality there was a!balance to the credit of the colony of Lloo,ooo. Well, then, in the middle of 1879, not two years after, the colonial financiers were in trouble, and the state of the Country was terrible. It is true that the Treasurer of the Liberal Ministry left in the; coffers the sum of LBI,OOO. But against | that he left liabilities of three and a half millions. This three and a half million was the amount of obligations entered into! in less two years. They had more than anticipated the L 3,000,000 Loan, but which had been increased to a loan of L5,C(00;000, as well as spending two years revenue, of say in round numbers at least L 8,000.000; At a subsequent period, viz., on tpe 13th Juiy, 1880, Major Atkinson, frdm his in Paliament, stated that, (“after raving had a carefully compiled statement prepared with the vouchers, verifying its accuracy, ho was prepared tc ; show that a very largo sum had been expended the two years prior to his ;taking office, and he challenged contradiction.” Wilh'a view to conveying an idea of the state of the colony’s affairs he;said — ** What he wanted to bring home to the people of New Zealand they, meaning the Grey Government, had spent the sum of eleven millions daring their two years administration. It was the broad principle that he wanted to bring home, and that broad principle was that eleven millions of the people’s money had been spent. * But what he most reprobated was that the late Government left them liabilities of a very serious amount, And that they allowed the colony to drift into a moat critical condition, with liabilities becoming due in England and no arrangement made to provide for them. This was the unsatisfactory condition in which the Hall Government found the countryonacceptingtheresponsibilityof administering the affairs of the State. There was Liberalism for you with a vengance, and tho usual effects soon followed, taxation increased, the working man s tea and sugar and other necessaries had to be taxed, and the author of all this contusion and trouble went the length of certifying to hifl own idiocy by advocating a tax of threepence in tho pound on the bondholders ; rad which he said would yield L 337,000. There was an idea; to borrow from a mortgagee, and afterwards seek to impose ft tax on him. No man but an autocrat or an: idiot would have conceived such an Utopion notion. The task then that the TTnll Government had to perform was to bring bring calm, and _ order, and tranquility out of this chaotic and disordered financial condition, and they have done it, and done it honorably and successfully. And then, after their having done all this and much more for the country, Mr Ivess ia still opposed to them, and he has the effrontery and the audacity to come out rad insult the political intelligence of community by asking us to eject them from their position, and to return to power a party of men who have shown themselves to be utterly incapable of conducting the ftfiflfirs of the State, and whose gross and culpable maladministration had brought the country to the brink of rum. The only clear idea which these professed Liberals appear to be capable of is that the nr»ll party are in power while they are out in the cold, and their mouths are watering for the sweets of office, and therefore they axe for ever clamoring to get back again. But putting aside all questions of party, let us inquire into and think over a few of their proposals for the future. Take the land' question for instance. A leading article on this subject in the Ashburton Mail of November 22nd opens with the words, “All other subjects in these ralonies pale into insignificance when compared with the Land Question.” Well, I admit that this is a very important subject ; in fact it is a subject of superlative importance, and of the greatest moment to everyone, for we may truly say “by the land wo live.” What then are the proposals of the Liberals on the subject. They propose to levy and inpcse what they term a progressive classification sliding scale land tax, a tax which shall be regulated by the acres of land which a man possesses, irrespective of their condition or productive power. This proposal has, I suspect, emanated from the productive and liberal brain of Sir George Grey. And I presume that it would be the intention of the Liberals to devote any sums which might accrue from this tax to purely local purposes. If such is their intention it is immensely interest-
ins to note how “ the whirligig of time brings about its changes ” in such men as Sir George Grey. I have in my possession a book on the early history of Canterbury,; written by a Church of England minister, the Rev. Robert Bateman Paul, M.A., and on the sixteenth page of this book I read as follows:—“In May, 1854, took place the first sale of waste land within the Province of Canterbury, but outside of (he Association’s block. 28,000 acres of these waste lands were sold for ' ' iSti shillings per acre, the price fixed by Sir George Grey for the whole of New Zealand, except the Canterbury and . Otago blocks. The purchaser of these 28,000 acres was a gentleman from Van Diemen’s Land, named George Henry Moore.” Then on page 20 the author goes on to say—“ In June of this year the Provincial Council of Canterbury passed two very important Ordinances. By the first the price of waste lands within the Province of Canterbury, including the block, was fixed at ten shillings per acre, With an additional payment of thirty shillings per acre, which was exacted as a rate for purely local purposes. By this arrangement the General Government received their share of ten shillings per acre, the remaining thirty shillings being appropriated by the Provincial Council for the construction of roads, etc. But this Bill was disallowed by Governor Sir George Grey.” Such Inconsistencies are too palpable and glaring to need any comment. But about this progressive Land Tax. I say, in the first place, that it is annec'W'WTjl second, that it is unfair; and, tUiivliy, that it is impoliticab First, / than; it iat 'ttuneoeaaary. Is there any 1
great dearth of land ? Is the demand for i land for agricultural purposes greater than the supply ? Is it hard to obtain land for settlement? I trow not. Did not the | Hon. John Hall, in addressing his constituents at Leeston the other night in- i form them that there were now open for free selection, for agricultural and pastoral ■ purposes, eight millions of acres ? And is it not a fact that every paper almost that is published in New Zealand contains advertisements of thousands and tens of i thousands of acres of land ? Then why raise all this clamor for the bursting tip of the large estates, when so many million acres of the public estate are waiting for the plough ? Then I say that this measure is unfair; it is a direct interference with the rights of property, if a man has not a right to hold that which he has bought and paid for, and to hold it untrammelled by such exactions as this tax will, if ever it has an existence, bo found to be. Then you may as well place a tax on large contractors or large manufacturers, on large merchants or large shipowners, or on any other business which is carried on on an extensive scale. Such a measure as this might well have originated in the mind of Russian despots, who, without any qualms of conscience, could ride rough-shod over all the rights of men. Then I say this proposal is impolitic. For it would, if passed, cause a great deal of capital to flee the country. Land would be worthless as security for capital. A glut in the land market would ensue, and a consequent fall in the values would take place, and financial disaster of the most lamentable kind would follow. Then, as the general exodus of capital took place, there would be a corresponding of poor, indigent farmers (as I believe it is a part of the same proposal to bring farmers from the Old Country to settle on the land), of men without much capital, and with leas experience, and the scenes depicted by Mr Wason, of the poor, struggling selectors of Victoria, would bo enacted here. As time rolled on the land would continue to be gradually taken up, and the population to increase (and it is proved by statistics that the natural increase of population in this colony is very rapid) until those farmers who had sons growing to manhood, who wished to follow their father’s calling would be unable to find farms for them. And, as a final result, they would have to emigrate to other lands. If weighed in the balances of an equitable judgment the burst-ing-up proposals of these quasi-Libe-rals are found wanting in the first elements of common honesty, common prudence, generosity, and justice. Just one word on the native question, and I have done. Mr Ivess, on the occasion of his address at Wakanui, when speaking upon this question, said he blaimed the Government for not taking active measures to surmount the native difficulty at the time when they had some four hundred of the best fighting men of the Maoris in the country gaols ; they should, he said, have taken Action then, and secured Te Whiti and the other leader ; and then in the very next breath he denounced the recent action of the Government in calling out the Volunteers for that purpose. Oh, the consistency ! he and Sir George Grey would make par nobile fratum, which, being interpreted, means a noble pair of brothers. Everybody who has any acquaintance with the subject knows that it was the presence of a number of troops which overpowered the Maori mind, and cowed them into submission. And the expense of conveying a few Volunteers to, and maintaining them at Parihaka, is nothing compared with what might have been incurred had a war broken out. The tactics of the Government have been eminently successful and are worthy of all praise, and after all that they have done for up, after having served us so long and so well and so faithfully, shall we turn against them, and drive them from power, and place the reins of Government in the hands of men whose driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for they drive furiously. Shall we allow those men, those quack politicians, who have proved themselves to be utterly incapable of legislating for the weal of the country, to again arrogate to themselves the power they so grossly abused beforetimes, and thus to cast a withering blight upon the fair face of the land, and bring about a state of utter stagnation ? I say no ; common sense says no, and I hope that on the day of the poll the electors of Wakanui will, with no unhesitating, uncertain voice, say no.— I am, &c., Geo. Wm. Lbadiey. Wakanui, Dec. 7, 1881.
ANOTHER BRAY FROM MR IVESS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 503, 8 December 1881
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