The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 1890. SIR ROBERT STOUT.
Sir R. Stout's presence m Wellington during the present political juncture is significant. The ex-Premier, at the last general election, was thrown over by his own constituency, Dunedin East, rind this defeat of the chief resulted m total disorganisation of the Liberal rank and file. The party has never thorough.])' rallied since, and the different sections are only now being drawn together when they see that advantage has been taken of their differences to strike at liberal and progressive measures introduced into the laws of the colony m former years. The late division on the no-confidence motion shows that the party is stronger now than it has been for years; but there is room for more determined combination, m order to attract new allies to the ranks. This combination can only be arrived at by the adoption of a common platform, and the ex-Premier, althongh not a member of the House, is exerting himself to bring about more unanimity. Of the success of his efforts and those of the Hon. Mr Ballance the late division speaks eloquently. The party were defeated, but the majority of the victors found it difficult to give a reasonable | excuse for the exercise of their | votes. The co-operation of Sir Eobert I Stout is a. bulwark behind the Opposition, and his influence is fully recognised and feared by Ministers and their followers. The presence of the ex-Premier m the House, however, | would be' a great gain to his party, | and would also be a greater thorn m the side of his opponents. Why the ex-Premier will not contest an electorate at the forthcoming elections is best known to himself ; but of this we feel certain, that if he would overcome his scruples, whatever they are— whether of a sentimental or practical nature—he would do the Liberal cause he has at heart so much a great service m 8 time of need. At present, however good his intentions may be, his action m opposing the policy of his successors is open to the insinuation that he is shooting from behind the hedge, and fears to show a front to the •nemy. His services to the Liberal Party are fully appreciated, but they would be much more so if he would place himself again m command, and fight shoulder to shoulder with his friends to put down dummyism, and secure bona fide settlement of the land, as distinguished from " land disposal " to whoever will buy. We observe that a " round robin " has been signed by all the members of the Opposition, including the present leader, asking the ex-Premier to again enter the political arena, and take command of the Liberal forces, and some hope is entertained that lie will retract his oft-repeated resolve to leave politics alone and attend to his own private business. There is no doubt that should the ex-leader of the Liberal party a.<jam came forward he would be returned for almost any constituency m the colony, not even excepting Dunedin. East—the electors m that corner of Dunedin City having had ample time for repentance for their rash and ill-considered action m sending forward an untried colt to do a .statesman's work at a critical period m the history of the colony. The Dunedin East electorate will not again have the opportunity of ousting Sir Robert Stout or anyone else, as the city is now amalgamated into one con- ' stituency, but we feel convinced that the ex-Premier would not only be returned at the head of .the poll for Dunedin City but that the majority of his votes would be recorded from Dunedin East. Whether Sir Robert Stout will coins forward or not, we cannot pretend to say; but we sincerely hope that, for the good of the party, he will do so, and save them from tha charge that their greatest strength is outside the walls of the House.