The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit TUESDAY, MAY 27, 1890. OUR MEMBERS.
Mr "Walker's speech at the Oddfellows' Hall, on Friday evening, will have been read with much satisfaction throughout the Ashburton electorate, as proving not only, what was wellknown before, that we have in him a hardworking, conscientious member, but also one who is quite aware of what measures are necessary to restore to the colony that progress which it once knew, but which has, through maladministration and other causes, received so severe a check. His story of the past session was an intelligible resume of its actual transactions, and ! though Mr Walker, is a party whip, was almost devoid >of party color, so eminently fair was he to Ministers and I their party. ■ Some of his criticisms of the Government were, no doubt, severe, but their severity' consisted chiefly in their unexaggerated truth, and if he had to tell a tale of abortive attempts at legislation, of ; general failure all along the line, well then the fault was not with M.v Walker, but with those who suffered these things to become facts. His defence of the proposal of the Opposition for an appeal to the country,immediately after thepassing of the new Representation Bill, was logical and complete, and time will yet show that that is the step which ought to have been taken. As regards his views as to what measures are required i at the present time and for the immediate future, he is, doubtless right in saying that the Property-tax cannot be forthwith abolished and replaced by a Land and "Income-tax, but we think that the latter should be imposed nevertheless, and the Propertytax retained as a tax upon property other than land, and other than that from which income is derived; while as regards the impost upon land and income it should be differential without being oppressive. There should also be not only (as Mr Walker suggests), an exemption for improvements upon land, but the land itself up to a value of say £1000 should also be free of tax. With regard to land settlement, Mr Walker is evidently desirous of seeing this pushed on and widely ex tended, but it was not for him as a semi-official member of the Opposition to indicate how this can and should be done, though, doubtless, if opportunity be afforded he will be quite prepared to do so—physicians are not expected to prescribe till they are called in. Altogether the tone of the speech is that of a sound and loyal adherent of liberal principles and of the hardworking, honest and intelligent servant of the electorate, and o£ the colony, which the member for Ashburton admittedly is.