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Parliament out of Session

Wanoanui, September 23. Mr Ballance addressed a crowded meeting at the Oddfellows' Hall to-night. The mayor presided. At the outset Mr Ballance briefly referred to the action taken by the Opposition with regard to retrenchment, and detailed the circumstances which led to a union between the Skinflints and the Opposition on this question. In undertaking to reduce the Estimates by £50,000 the Opposition had taken upon themselves a hard and onerous task, and they had bnen successful m making a reduction of between £44,000 and £45,000 without m the slightest degree infringing upon the conveniences or ii(."'<^nitii\s of the people. Iv "* pacing iv:\ runee to the Civil Servants' associations v.hi- 1! were being formed, he said that he looked upon those combinations as most excellent things, and regarded it as a good sign to see for the first time m the history j of"the colony the higher Civil Servants coming forward to support the smaller ones. Touching upon the subject of defence he said that lie firmly believed that the intention of the Imperial authorities, who had inspected the defences of this colony, was to get rid of the volunteer force altogether and establish a partially paid force, or In other words to form the nucleus of a standing army. This he was strongly averse to, and felt sure that the safety* of tht colony could well be placed m the hands of our volunteers »s long as they were man efficient state. He spoke at some length on the labor troubles, and expressed pleasure at learning that a conference was likely to be held between the contending parties. He had every reason to believe that the Maritime Council were willing to send delegates if, the Union Steamship Company did likewise. He thought that there was no fear that an amicable understanding would not be arrived at. He strongly condemned the action of the Railway Commissioners m dealing as they had done with their servants at Christchurch and elsewhere. While admitting that discipline must be maintained among the railWay servants, he contented that it was the duty of the Commissioners to show some consideration to their men, who were labouring under strong excitement. The four men at Christchurch had been most cruelly dealt with, and they had not even received the treatment which was usually meted out to a common thief, who, when charged with an offence was always he»rdinhisowndefence,butthefourrailway servants had been dismissed without even being allowed to raise a voice m their defence. He proceeded to sketch what he considered should be the policy of the colony, and m doing so dwelt at some length on the land question. A graduated land tax should be imposed and a vigorous policy of land settlement adopted. Every man should have the right to go on the laud, and every possible step should be taken to put down dummyism, monoply, and speculation m land. During the last three years the Atkinson Government had done praeticnlly nothing, and he contended that the Government should give way to another which could do better. The issue of the coming elections would be whether the Atkinson Government was to remain m office, and he called on the electors to return members pledged to get rid of a Government that was already dead. Personally he was prepared to defend all his public actions, but he urged on the electors of Wanganui not to record their votes from personal motives but on principle, and if they considered that a better man was m tfie field than himself by all means return him. In conclusion he asked them to remember that he still retained the complete confidence of his party. Ho could with gseat pleasure say that during last session there had not been a single deserter from the ranks of the Opposition. After Mr Ballanee had answered a few questions he was accorded a unanimous vote of thanks and confidence. Mastbiiton, September 23. Mr W. W. McArdle, a Liberal candidate addressed the electors last night, and was accorded a vote of thanks. There are two liberal candidates for this district, but it is expected that one will retire. Gkeymouth. September 23, Mr W. H. Jones, who received a largely signed requisition here and at Kumara, formally announces himself as a candidate, and will declare his platform it» a few days. There is no word of a labor candidate yet. Mr Seddon was sßounded on their behalf.

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Bibliographic details

Parliament out of Session, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2526, 24 September 1890

Word Count

Parliament out of Session Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2526, 24 September 1890