The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Vertas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1890. RETIREMENT OF MR ORMOND.
Among the many members of the present New Zealand Parliament who will not ofter themselves for re-election we observe the name of the member for Napier, Mr J. D. Ormoncl Mr Ormontl has sat almost continually m Parliament since the year 1861, and this being so no one can complain that lie has not served his adopted country to the best of his ability. This ability is not of a brilliant character, but nevertheless Mr Ormond's presence m the House will be missed m the counsels of the country, and especially by the party with which lie has been associated. Mr Ormond has not been a great talker m the interests of the more conservative party m the House, but his vote could always be relied upon. Although a strong political partisan, he nevertheless held sound views m regard to taxation—views not generally accepted by his party—preferring a land and income tax to the present Property Tax. In this latter respect, therefore, the absence of Mr Ormond from the country's counsels will be a loss to the Liberal as well as the Conservative party. There is just one thing, however, m connection with Mr Ormond's retirement which calls for more than a passing remark, and that is the manner and method m which the announcement has been made. A few of the electioneering friends of the member for Napier waited upon him the other day, and l'equested him to come forward, but this lie positively declined to do, giving as a reason an alleged decadence of the House. According to the member for Napier, it was at one time a great credit and honour to be a member of the New Zealand Parliament, but it is now no longer so. Freely translated this objection is equivalent to saying : " I would stand again, but it is beneath my dignity to associate with such men as the country now returns to Parliament!" This is, to say the least of it, not flattering to the 95 members who have been Mr Ormond's fellow-members for many years past, while it is a very pretty compliment paid to Mr Ormond's ability and respectability by himself. The members of the House will be able to appreciate this act of brotherly kindness on the part of Mr Ormond after so many years of good fellowship. The member for Napier has sat m the House almost continuously for twentyfive or twenty-six years, but during all this time he has never breathed a syllable against the good name or reputation of his fellow-members ; but now, on the eve of an election, when, there is an almost certain defeat staring his party m the face, he has suddenly arrived at the conviction that the people of New Zealand do not know how to choose representatives, and until they learn this he will not attempt to serve them. One would think that a public man holding an opinion of this kind would be sufficiently true to himself and his party to remain m the House as long as possible, m order to give it that "tone" which he considers so essential; instead of doing this, however, the member for Napier lias resolved to forsake the country when he admits the country was never more m need of public men of ability, integrity, and respectability such as, by inference, he claims to be. It is really a pity that the member for Napier should mar a useful, if not brilliant career, by committing himself to such utterances as the Napier Press agent credits him with. The vast majority of the members of the present NewZealand Parliament are respectable gentlemen, not devoid of ability, and thoroughly conscientious m the discharge of most important public functions. There are, it is true, one or two members whose services could be well dispensed with, and their places filled by men of greater ability and more consistency ; but it is a direct libel upon the members of late Parliaments to say that the majority have not been gifted Avith equal ability and equal honesty of: purpose to that somewhat egotistically claimed by Mr Ormond. But even if the majority of the members of the House are as black as the member for Napier paints them, he would have shown more generosity by retiring from their company m a more graceful manner. After twentyfive years service m the various Parliamentary teams it is regrettable that one of the number should turn and rend his fellows.