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A SENSIBLE SPEECH.

A good, sound, sensible speech was that made by Mr Rhodes at Terauka the other day—indeed though the honorable gentleman is by no means an orator, he thinks well, and his utterances, in consequence, read well. Practice will yet probably give him the further advantage of ease of delivery, but even if ,this do not come about, the possession of a good level head gives the member for Gladstone a. greater recommendation to the suffrages of the electors than that gJibness of tongue which is often not unaccompanied by shallowncfhsof thought. Although he belongs to"the Government side of the House— and our sympathies arc rather with the Opposition—Mri "Rhodes' speech is a further proof of the position which we took up the other clay when we said that there arc members who belong to the Ministerial party whose views coincide in all main particulars with those held by members on the Opposition benches and vice versa, and goes to demonstrate how entirely the system of government by party is played out. In nine points out of ten Mr Rhodes coincides with-the opinions on public matters which we ourselves hold, and if lie be a Ministerialist and ourselves 'Oppositionist, then all we can say is that "Pompoy and Cti'sar sire very much alike—especially Pompey." We agree with him as to the justice of the stand.taken by the country members last session in regard to the "quota" question, and we agree with him that the Bill broughtin'by the G'ovenunent to deal witli Hospitals and Charitable Aid was unsatisfactory—though for different : reasons in some respects to those advanced by him. "For example, while he objects to local administration of local hos-.pitals, we consider that this is precisely what ought to be accorded. We are with' him in.opposing borrowing money by subterfuge of any sort, and wo also concur witli him in the view that the balance of the North Island Trunk line loan money could not be better employed than in the

-purchase of native lands, with the' proceeds from the sale of which the?i line can be constructed as such funds accrue. He is in our opinion entirely righf too as regards the mail services, W.e believe with him that the colony can well afford to dispense with all subsidies and.that, now that we have so .many steamers laid on to carry frozen meat, sufficiently frequent and reliable means of communication are afforded," by the* utilisation of wHich a i very considerable annual saving can ] be made. This done, the colony could "i afford-to accept the proposals for the I reduction of ocean postage and would in the long run be a great gainer. His dissatisfaction with the present manner of working the railways is entirely justified, and he is quite right in saying that "unless a rapid change be made shortly, at the next election the people will demand that J the Railway Commissioners be dismissed." We are glad to see that he does not regard with favor the foolish proposal to sell the lines, very truthfully pointing out that if the railways as well as the coastal trade were to get into the hands of a syndicate the eftect of such' a monopoly would be that the agricul-; tural interest would be even more grievously, handicapped than it is at present. His views as to federation are also in our opinion sound and sensible—at anyrate it is quite clear that we need to look well before we leap in that direction., So far then with, but one exception, we are almost entirely at. one with Mr Rhodes. But there are significent omissions in his speech which are not so satisfactory. He has not a word to; say about land settlement, and the amendment of the land laws and land administration, which Aye look upon as the question of the day, and here it is that we fear we should be unable to run in the same harness with him, for if he were really an earnest Liberal in this matter, he would surely* have spoken out upon this point and that with no uncertain sound. So also with regard to necessary reform in the incidence of taxation. These are omissions of a very important character, and we wish they had not occurred. Yet, so far as the speech goes, it is undoubtedly that of a; man who • thinks, arid thinks well, and whose ideas generally are characterised by a sound sense and practicality which prove the member for Gladstone to be well entitled to the vote of thanks and confidence which he received.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900605.2.11

Bibliographic details

A SENSIBLE SPEECH., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2433, 5 June 1890

Word Count
766

A SENSIBLE SPEECH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2433, 5 June 1890

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