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THE PREMIER AT AUCKLAND.

Auckland, Last Night. The Hon R. Stout addressed a public meeting at the Theatre to night, under the auspices of the Auckland Liberal Association There was a large attendance. Amongst those on the platform were Sir F. Whitaker, the Hon W, Swanson, Messrs Thompson, Hamlin, and Dargaville, M. H. R.’s, members of the Liberal Association, and a number of leading citizens. The Mayor presided. On the Premier making his appearance ho was received with cheets, which were renewed when he commenced hia address. He explained why he was before thepi. He had been invited to address them by the Auckland Liberal Association, and being a Liberal, was glad to comply with their request. Iu years gone by he had been fighting alongside the Auckland representatives for provincialism and local self government, and was glad to find there was still political life in their midst. Sir Julius Yogel had recently addressed them on the general questions of political administration. It was unnecessary to deal with these, and he would therefore choose other topics. The first was technical education, which he defined in its various bearings,and contended that the obligation of fostering it could not be too strongly enjoined on their public men. There were certain political ideals which they should set before them

for realisation. The first was respecting - the land. Interference with the rights of private ownership of land and its resumpi tion by the State were beyond the region i of practical politics. No Government } could venture in that direction without r undermining public confidence and the national credit ; but there were millions i of acres of. Crown lands still undisposed > of. The Government proposed to largely I extend the perpetual leasing system to i these Crown lands, ao as to control land purchases, and avert the evils which bad i grown up in other communities. In any land scheme they must give confidence and security to the holder, or there would be no improvement. A second ideal was the conservation of forests. He was pained to see, in his travels in the North, the enormous and wanton waste and destruction of kauri, and if it continued Auckland’s future would be less prosperous than its present. The Government had a right to step in and see -that timber was kept, not solely for ' the present generation but for those who came after them for centuriss to come. A third ideal was universal education and the maintenance of higher education as well. If he had his way he would have the high schools as free as the common schools. A fourth ideal was to have a j secular State, for any religion which ( needed the State’s care was not worth ] much ; therefore, in the schools they must have no creed or caste, but instead the

development of a true national life and true patriotism. As a means of aiding in realising those ideals, Political Associations such as the one he was addressing could accomplish much useful work. They might ask him why the Government and the Legislature did not act up to the lofty ideals he had set before them. The reason was that the representatives of the people were pretty much what their constituencies were, and until the latter took a higher stand and had loftier aims, and the electors went to the polling booth under -the conviction

that they were performing a sacred duty, they could not expect any change for the better. The elected, he believed, were as good as their constituencies. He concluded au eloquent address of an hour and a quarter’s duration, amidst much cheering, by reciting Buchanan’s poem, entitled “ Ths Perfect State.” Mr J. M. Shera moved and Mr D. H. M'Kenzie seconded, a hearty vote of thanks to the Hon the Premier for hia idmirable address, which was carried by acclamation with great cheering. The Premier, in acknowledging the fote, stated that fhe had to thank the Auckland people fpr tlje kind and hearty tay in which they had everywhere revived him, both in private and public, de concluded by moving a vote of thanks o the Mayor for presiding.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18850414.2.10

Bibliographic details

THE PREMIER AT AUCKLAND., Ashburton Guardian, Volume V, Issue 1513, 14 April 1885

Word Count
691

THE PREMIER AT AUCKLAND. Ashburton Guardian, Volume V, Issue 1513, 14 April 1885

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