The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1890. THE MARITIME STRIKE.
Everyone is wondering how long the present strike is going to last, and each day's telegrams are anxiously ' read over to see if there is any prospect of a peaceful settlement being arrived at. We observe that the Ohristchurch City Council have stepped into the breach, and have made a proposal which, if acted upon, will, we have no doubt, bring about a satisfactory settlement. The Council's proposal is to bring the leaders of the contending forces together m a deliberative conference, when the situation can be calmly talked over, many misappre-j hensions removed, and a feeling of mutual confidence again restored. The present strained relations cannot be long sustained without serious loss to | all parties concerned; the loss up to date is considerable, and each day adds to the total, while the seeds of a bitter class-hatred are being sown, which, we fear, will cause much trouble in* the future, if not nipped m the bud. In ! addition to these serious considerations, the trade of the colony has been paralysed, and the direct loss to the [ whole community, the majority of whom are m no way concerned with the quarrel, is great. Prices have gone up for almost every article of consumption m daily use, and the public are bitterly complaining at the prospect of a protracted struggle. Any mediator, therefor, who steps into the breach, and assists to bring about an early settlement of the strike will deserve well of this colony, and the Christchurch City Council is to be commended for the step taken at last night's meeting. We trust that the contending parties will fall m with the sensible suggestion thrown out, and that a Conference will speedily be held, the result of which will be that this colony, at least—which really never should have been identified with the matter—will be set free from the consequences of a severe capital and labour struggle. The action of the Christchurch Council stands out m marked constrast to that of the Ministry, who have been asked by one of the contending parties to mediate, but have distinctly refused, considering the time for mediation has not arrived. The Premier has given no reason for holding this peculiar view of the situation, and it would be interesting to learn at what particular stage of the dispute he considers Government mediation is called for. Trade is paralysed, shipping is practically blocked, provisions are rapidly rising m value, the state railways are losing a vast amount of revenue, and many persons will shortly be reduced to the verge of bankruptcy should the present strike continue. This being so, we can conceive of no earthly reason why the quarrel should be allowed to reach a more acute stage, before Government interference is called for—especially wlientheirfi'jendly offices are invited by one of the contending parties. The Christchurch City Council have not waited to bo invited, but have taken upon themselves, m the public interest, the position of ai'biters, and we sincerely hope their well-meant eflorts will be the means of effecting a speedy settlement.