The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1890. EARLY SETTLEMENT OF THE STRIKE.
So far »8 New Zealand is concarned the gigantic labor*strike of 1890 will, m all probability, be at an end m the course of a day or two. An important conference, of a. semi-private nature, is being held m Christchurch, and from what has been allowed to leak oit there is every prospect of New Zealand capital and labour settling their prwsent differences on a basis which will preclude further complications for aomo time to come. Several attempts have been made by mayors of the principal towns and leading citizens, m a corporate or individual capacity, to bring about a conference between employers and employed, but these efforts proved abortive. TheHougeof Representatives then stepped m, and the Government were instructed to issue invitations tp a Conference to be held m Wellington. This well-moant intention was frustrated through employers, except the Union Steamship Company, refusing to be present; and the only course then left wa:l to allow the two forces to fight until either one or the other went completely under, or both should receive auch punishment that they "would be forced into conference by the instinct of self-preservation. This stage has evidently now been reached, we observe that th» labour leaders and principal employers are taking part m the Christchurch deliberations. During the struggle one thing has been very apparent, and that is that the war has been a vary expensive and disastrous one for both Bides. Hundreds of men m New Zealand hrvvo been thrown out of employment, and the amount thus losb to the labouring classes m wages will b« very considerable when it comes to be added up. Capital has also suffered extensively ; many • expensive vessels hare been laid up m harbours ; industries have been stopped, and shopkeepers, tradesmen, and merchants f rotn one end of the colony to the other are complaining bitterly of the disastrous effects of the strike on their business. But disastrous as these results, have been m New Zealand, they have been much more so m the neighbouring colonies. The recent deliverance of the New South Wales Premier bears testimony to the disorganised state of affairs m that colony, where the struggle for supremacy appears to be still carried on with unabated vigor ; m Victoria it is much the same, and m tho other colonies the same story is told. So far as can be seen there appears to be little immediate prospect of a settlement m tkc other colonies. The labour leaders and capital leaders are gathering together large sums of money wherewith to carry on the war, and it is therefore impossible to say at present how long the struggle on. tho "other side" may last. But last as long as it will, the end must be, a conference between the leaders of both sides, with a view to settlement. The struggle cannot be continued without mutual loss, and'tlie time must speedily arrive when both parties will realise this. What is now taking place at Christchurch, New Zealand, must sooner or later take place m the neighbouring colonies. Labour cannot annihilate capital, and capital cannot annihilate labour. Trades Unionism and Capital Unionism are not the growth of a day, but'of centuries, and it is the height of madness to expect that one will be able to entirely subdue the other; they 'may cripple each other for a time, but subdue each other never. This appears to be now realised by both sides m New Zealand, and it is gratifying to observe that employers and employed have reached a frame of mind so reasonable. The struggle — having been m the first instance mistakenly introduced into this colony-—has been conducted with greater moderation and more common sense m New Zealand than m the neighboring colonies. Class feelings have not been aroused to the same extent, and the combatants have, as a consequence, been brought more speedily to a reasonable frame of mind when calm argument shall take the place of rash and forcible blows. It is to be sincerely hoped this good example will speedily be followed m the neighboring colonies, and that the strike, not only m New Zealand, but m the colonies as a whole will be settled, and labor and capital henceforth walk hand'in hand m pushing forward the interests of the nation to which they belong, instead of flying at each other's throats as though they were born enemies.