The Premier's Manitesto.
[PER PRESS ASSOCIATION] Wellington, November 5. The Premier's address to Ins constituents appeared m the " Hawera St»r " tonight. PERSONAL. In opening, he makes reference to the state of his'health, which," he regrets, renders liini unable to visit the district and address electors personally. \ ' RETROSPECTIVE, j He then goes on to say that wheii the present Government tookJpffice m 1887, the financial position oftbje colony Was a most difficult one to face", but thb resources of the colony were so elastic that sufficient revenue ;was raised to meet all requirements, to pay 0ff£128,600 of deficiency outstanding m March 1888, and to enable a small surplus of £36,500 to be carried forward to credit of current year. BORROWING. He thought the result of the financial operations of the Government had demonstrated clearly that the colony could dispense with all outside borrowing for some time to come, and could, without undue pressure, provide for all its legitimate requirements ; and if the late Parliament and Government have only succeeded m making that fact clear to the public,,they have performed one of the greatest; services that could at the present time have been rendered to New Zealand. - ..'""■' SETTLEMENT OF iLANDS. ; Government had been impressed during its entire term of office with the primary importance to the colony of providing facilities for settlement of the public lands, and he was glad to observe that the country was being gradually settled by small holders —the increase still going on m spite of financial difficulties that have existed m the .colony for some time past. The total acreage of land disposed: of from October, iBB7, to March, 1890, was 1,082,771, of which 129,254 acres were rural lands, 1353 acres village settlements, 758 suburban land, and 154 town land. THE PERPETUAL LEASE. He believed that perpetual lease tenure without the right of purchase was best both for the colony "and for the settler, but he was satisfied that the large majority of calonists still clung to the idea of the old freehold tenure. WHAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS BONE. 5 Looking back on the record of the past three years he,thought it would be admitted that the Government might well claim that it had done the work it was placed m office to do. , i FUTURE POLICY. He next dwelt on the course that should be pursued by the colony m the future. " Above all things, let us have no political or financial fireworks, no great or heroic policy, no great schemes'!to dazzle or to lead us away. What we want, and what we must insist on, a strict not parsimonious economy, and a' firm belief m the unbounded resources of our colony." RULES OF PROCEDURE. The first thing the electors should insist upon the new Parliament doing was to alter its rules of procedure so as to assume once more, the p»wer to control its own business, which power it had of late practically losfi A small knot of members could delay business indefinitely, and this state of things must' be altered, and that ,by the introduction of the closure, under proper safeguards, I FINANCE.;; „•; i, :: On the question of finance, ha wished to protest m the most emphatic manner possible] against the views of those pessimists who say that the colony is going from bad to worse, or that our financial position is really critical or dangerous. What he particularly desired to draw attention to was the annual product of the colony, its annual consumption, and the actual amount of interest which we have to pay outside the colony. The estimated value of the products of the colony for 1889 was £23,500,000. There were only two charges to be made against this amount—first, the total cost of our living, and, secondly, the interest which we paid to outside creditors. Expenditure on our living might be put down at nearly £16,000,000. The total amount of interest which we had to pay outside the colony w«q about £3,114,000 and this 119 •
Added to the cost of living mado' £19,114,000. This amount deducted from i the value of the total produce $23,600,000, left nearly £4,400,000, which he believed was ah under estimate of the amount of wealth which stood to our credit n« a colony as a result of last year's labour. RETRENCHMENT. As to reduction of expenditure, after very careful examination of the whole of the Government Departments, Government had, with regret, come to the concluHion that it would ha impossible to make any further reductions to any lars*o amount, especially when it was remembered that there were a number of necessary charges which were now borne updn lpan fund, but which woulcLsrery shortly have to be met out of ordinary revenue. PROPOSAL Foil BORTtOWIXG IN THE COLONY. The next question touched on was that of' further borrowing.. He did not see that it was possible to do the ■ necessary work of extending colonisation with the aid of ordinary royenueonly, without euch a large increase of taxation as no Government would propose and no Parliament would sanction; and yet this work must be , done if settlement of our unoccupied landi was to be pushed forward. It would mean the spending of an amount at least equal to that which had been for some y«ars past devoted to this purpose. Hitherto funds necessary to carry on this *irork had been provided from loan, but the amount allocated would be exhausted at the end of the current year. If the colony was to progress, this expenditure must be made. Government entirely disagreed with the opinion that we should go upon the London market to get what we required, and believed that no further loans for public works of any kind should be placed on the London market for some years to come. The only ' alternative, then, was to obtain the amount required m the colony, as the money was wanted.' Capital was undoubtedly accumulating here, and Government believed that, by an amendment to the Government Loans to Local Bodies Act,' the necessary funds could be obtained m small amounts from time to time from our own people. . PURCHABE OF NATIVE LANDS. To provide funde for the purchase of native lands it was proposed to set apart a block of the more recently acquired land, say, 260,000 acres, m the North Island, and &s this wan disposed of to carry to a separate account a certain percentage of the proceeds to be available for further purchases. THE PROPTiKTY TAX. Ho defended the Property Tax as against a Land and Income Tax, and he felt convinced that the latter substitute would be largely m favor of a rich man. He showed that a combinedL'ind tax of Id m the £, and an Income tax of 6d m the £ would not ff ive within £104,000 and £141,000 of the present Property Tax, and would be much more costly to raise. Even a Government of which Messrs Stout, Yogel, and Ballance were members,, although strongly pledged against the Property Tax, were unable' to propose a satisfactory substitute. THE STRIKE, , . Referring to the strike, he said it had taught us two, lessons —firstly, of the danger and unwisdom of our local unions being so connected with outside associations as to make it possible for them to be coerced into lines of. action which they themselves might strongly deprecate; and, secondly, that ,ifc was the duty of everyone to do his utmost to devise a scheme as a ready means to settle disputes, which might m the future arise l>etween capital and labor. He did not think the difficulty could be properly met by legislation. The solution must be the outcome of deliberation and mutual agreement between capital and labor. CONCLUSION : After referring to several local matters Sir Harry concludes:—"lfl have no heroic policy to oiler you, and knowing my opinions you will nob expect it of inc. with reliance upon our resources and upon ourselves, prudence m our finance and faith m our ultimate destiny, I am convinced, that our teniporary difficulties will disappear, that this fair land of ours will become the home of millions of happy and thriving people, who will emulate m these Southern s^as, the successes, but not the miseries of the great country from which we have sprung."
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The Premier's Manitesto., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2563, 6 November 1890
The Premier's Manitesto. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2563, 6 November 1890
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