Mr Ballance at Wanganui
Tho Leader of the Opposition addressed His constituents at Wanganui on Wednesday and received a unanimous vote of confidence and thanks. Following isUhat portion of the "speech^ as .telegraphed, which deals with the work of the immediate future:— % ' ' i ' '■'■ •"' ' "NEXT'SESSION. 1^ was said that next session would be short, Whether it was, or not the Qppo-' sition would not delay business, and if $]}c Government had no policy the sopAer they went to the country the better, so that they might fight out their principles at the hustings! *He had' bjeen and | was I still opposed to the reduction of members, not because it meant the loss of twenty seaps, but becauso it was a retrograde step*. Atpresentthere".- . . V ''. of interest hi 'many of t ■. ■..:.■., and with settlement going on and popula- i tion increasing, he thought the numbers I might have remained as they weye.
I DEFENCE. He condemned the proposal to create a, partially paid force at the four large centres, and abolish the country volunteers. The country could not afford any increased 1 expenditure in this direction, and he thought that with the protection of the ! British fleet, for which they were to pay £25,000 a year, the colony was safe from any attack by Russia, BORROWING AND TAXATION. With respect to borrowing, he thought they should stop borrowing entirely for a time, and pointed out that the fluctua--1 tions in the colony's credit in London ' were mainly due to the " bulling " and j[ •'-■•bearing"«oMarge~ Syndicates, 'who 1 used I the colony to their own advantage. The 3 cry of selling the railways had been introduced by those desirous of doing away with 'the property tax, and he was astonished that Mr Bryce at Waikato had advocated selling the railways. If agitation by employees was to go on, he (Mr Ballance) considered it wiser to remove the grievances and retain the railways, reducing the rates on produce, whenever possible, as he was quite sure that if .they ,passed into the hands of Syndicates they would not be run for the benefit of the colony. He objected to this colony entering into an Australasian Federation. He thought they should look to 'the Mother Country and retain
their right to a voice in the affairs of the empire when the time came for strengthing the bonds that at present existed. He did not think that the »■■ »'■■!!>■ 0----.M stand the heavy loss redu.: -li >n ;ln- ■■ ■■ n p--«t-.:■:_ w.-.uld mean, and he I I>'mAi 1.1 k.-V::.!. 1.: reform would be a penny postage when the colony could afford it. Referring to the single tax he could; not dee that it was practicable,' and he did not think the time had come for the substitution of a land and income tax for the property tax, but thought that under the latter agricultural implements and machinery should be exempted up to £2000. -He also believed the tax should be graduated,, for he thought the great estates^of this country were one of the causes'of New Zealand standing still, and he pointed out. that the arguments of those wlio t stated that at the death of the present -'owners the estates were split up, was not correct, as was shown by xecent estates left in' trust.* With respect to the reduction of the Customs,;, he thought if they had a surplus they'could ' not do better than reduce the duties on the necessaries of life, instancing that on tea, which should, as far as possible, be done away with. Coming to LAND ADMINISTRATION., ; Mr Ballance spoke at considerable length on the policy of the present Government, arid pointed out that selling 2000 acre blocks of land did not encourage settlement, and was not good in the long run for labor. With regard to the village settlement scheme, one would imagine that they had only established four or five settlements, whereas there were no fewer than sixty-two in the colony, and not a single complaint had been , heard against those in the South Island ;• but,; because two of the settlements north of Auckland required assistance for a year or two the system was condemn edf as" a failure, and with respect to the village settlements he pointed out they had placed 900 sons of settlers and heads of families on them, and not a single; word had been said against them. He believed the stoppage of that system had more to do with the ; departure of the 10,000 people who left the colony than all the other causes put together, because the present system of putting .up lands left men without the hope of getting a place to settle down in. He maintained that- those two systems, properly carried out would do a great deal ■to restore confidence in the colony. In conclusion, lie thanked them for the confidence they had shown to him in the past and said that so long as they were satisfied to return him he would endeavor to do his dui.y. '
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Mr Ballance at Wanganui, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2425, 9 May 1890
Mr Ballance at Wanganui Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2425, 9 May 1890
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