The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1890. RETRENCHMENT.
The Ministerial party have given many evidence? of late that they feai tho verdict of the country at the forthcoming election?. They have postponed the evil day of reckoning as long as possible, and meanwhile the Ministerial journals are striving might and main to bring the Retrenchment Party into disfavor with tho country. It is hoped that by means df"delay,and misrepresentation of tho Opposition, the country will forgot tho incompetence of the Ministry and the complete somersault they' have turned on the retrenchment question. Ministers entered upon office three years ago with a pledge on their lips to inaugurate aud carry out rigid economy, and the Parliament just concluded has witnessed these same Ministers iighting tooth and nail against legitimate reductions ml the salaries of highly paid Civil Servants. While there was a clamour for economical administration of public affairs, no combination of public men were more enthusiastic m making reductions than Ministers and their supporters: p but, believing that the " roar for retrenchment" had died away to a whisper, scarcely audible, attempts were nikHe by the quondam Retrenchment (&overninent i to again raise salaries and reintroduce [the old order of extravag&nce. In I this they were signally defeated py the House, with the result that something like L 64,000 of expenditure was struck oft" the main and supplementary Estimates. Ministers and Ministerial journals pooh-pooh thi§ annual saving from the salaries of overpaid Government officials, but the taxpayers 'realise thatthelargeamOuntthuSsarved has been the means of abolishing the obnoxious Primage duty, and dispensing with the necessity for'lncreas^eti'taxation m other directions. The insincerity of the Ministry m. the matter of retrenchment has liecn too glaring to be forgotten even if the elections had been postponed for two years; anfl the I action of certain metropolitan journals : iil turning a complete somersaiklt on ' this important question is likewise too apparent riot to be observed even by the most superficial elector. : The Ministry and their strong journalistic following three years ago could speak, think, or write of nothing but retrench ment; but to-day these saaie patriots to their country's cause point their fingers derisively at the economists who wrung from the Ministry an annual saving which will assist very, materially to place the finances of the Colony m a sound position, as well as to lighten the burden of taxpayers. The retrenchment feeling m the colony is not yet so dead as Ministerial supporters think, and we much mistake 1 ' the people of New Zealand if they do not on the oth of December next enter a vigorous protest" against Jtfinisters' who have proved untrue to the principles upon winch they undertook bfllco. On the retrenchment question alone, apart from their total incompetence to lead tlie lead the House or carry measures, Ministers arc likely to sutler a defeat at the elections, notwithstanding the desperate steps being taken by .supporters to popularises them with the country. Tho true economists •have not yet finished their work m the House, and the country is not likely to deny them the privilege of doing so by returning.to power a party pledged to obstruct economy m every shape and form.