The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1890. POSITION OF GOVERNMENT ON THE LABOUR CRISIS.
If certain authorities are to be believed, the New Zealand Cabinet have decided to stand by and see the fight out between the shipping owners and the Maritime labour bodies. On the principle laid down by Earl Derby "stand aside and keep the ring clear," the Atkinson Cabinet have resolved, though invited to take steps to bring about a speedy settlement of the question m New Zealand, to take no action to prevent thousands of people from being thrown out of employment, and many important industries from being closed. Every day telegrams ai*e coming to hand from all part#j of the colony intimating that large concerns, where a vast amount of capital is invested and large armies of labour find employment, are being suspended owing to the Maritime strike. Day after day passes over, and the prospect of a settlementappeurs no nearer, while theunemployed ranks are being swollen to an extent which must cause the thoughtful to pause and ask, " What will be the outcome of all this social and commercial upheayel V Should factories and industries, mercantile concerns and mines, cease operation at the rate which is at present going on, a few weeks hence -will see nearly all our population out of employment, and we tremble for the consequences should this' occur. The recent revolution m the Argentine Republic, brought about from similar causes, should make the people of New Zealand and Australia pause, lest a like result should occur m these peaceful lands, and all for want of the exercise of a little tact and discretion on the part of those m authority. On all hands, except from the most powerful quarter of all—the Government —efforts are being made i to bring about a settlement of the labour and capital struggle, before the quarrel reaches so acute a stage that these friendly offices will be rendered futile. There is a public feeling gradually gaining strength all over the land demanding that the combatants shall bring the struggle to a speedy issue, or the people will step m and settle the question for themselves and m their own protection and interests. The Shipping Companies and the Maritime Council are being requisitioned on nearly all sides to resort to .arbitration or conciliation, and should they not speedily do so, this request from the public may take the form of a demand, when such pressure will be brought to bear on the Government m the shape of monster petitions and otherwise that legislation will be passed compelling the contending parties to settle their differences m the best way they can and at once. The colonists of New Zealand have the righttodemandthat the prospects of the colony shall not be ruined by means of a struggle m which tv. o-thirds of the people are not directly interested.