Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, MAY 2, 1905. THE PREMIER'S RECORD.
On Sunday last Mr Seddon entered on his thirteenth year as Premier. 16 is some years since his premiership beat the previous best m length, and he is now well on the way towards establishing a record that succeeding generations of Premiers will probably find ie impossible to approach. It isja quarter of a cantury since Mr Seddon first entered politics, ro that the poriod of his political activity and the length of his tenure of office are alike remarkable. Under his regime the colony has attained a prosperity and a celebrity previously unknown, and though the prosperity of a country is, to a certain extent, independent of the Government that may happen to be m office, still that Government can do much to assist or check the tide of prosperity, and it can be safely said that no Government has ever done so much to advance the general welfare of the colony as the one presided over by Mr Seddon. The Premier has on two occasions represented New Zealand at Imperial Conferences m London and has done a great deal to make this country and its resources better and more favourably known to inhabitants of Great Britain. The legislative programme which Mr Seddon's long tenure of power has enabled him to carry through, is the most liberal and progressive that has yet been seen. The lengthy find uninterrupted period during which he has held the reins of Government has given him a special advantage m the fact that it has allowed him to test the working effect of his measures and thus to prove to the electors that when a Government is m thorough sympathy with their aspirations, the beat plan is to give that Government an extended tenure of power. Since last year there have been various rumours as to what Mr Seddon intends to do m the near future. There seems to be a strong impression m so Die quarters that he will take over the High Commissionership and transfer himself to London permanently. Whatever truth there may bain these reports as to Mr Seddon's intentions, he is evidently m better health to-day than ho has been for several year?, and if he desires to remain m the colony, the electors, no doubt, will continue to return him at the head of a strong majority. However, sinoe th« Premier and the organs that support his Ministry do not deny that he will assume the dutie3 of High. Commissioner at a comparatively early date, the probabilities are that he will not spend more than one more session m New Zealand. Though he still retains a degree of vigour and energy that is amazing whsn one' considers the sfcrenous life he has spent, it is inevitable that the veteran must bo tiring of the turmoil of the political arena, and if he decides to retire from active participation m politics, the colony will not grudge him his well-earned rest, although it will not part with such a well known and popular figure without regret. When Mr Seddon assumed office m 1893, not even his firmest friends anticipated that he was starting out on what was destined to be the longest | Premiership ever known. The Premier's remarkable success as a party leader has been due to his strong, overmastering will, his vigorous personality, and his keen knowledge of men. His powerful constitution has stood him m good stead, and has enabled him to get through an enormous amount of work, and at the same timo to stand that continuous round of banqueting and travelling which usually falls to the lot of a Premier. There is no need to enter into a detailed discussion of the most famous of Mr Seddon's measures; it will suffice to say that their working has bean watched with keen interest by statesmen of every nationality. Under his rule New Zealand has acted as a pioneer m liberal and progressive legislation, and though that may be largely due to the fact that Me Seddon appeared on the' political horizon just .when the time was ripe for those legislative enactments known a* "advanced/ still a very great degree of credit mint be assigned to tbe man who so successfully put the people's will and aspirations into practical effect. His work may nowba regarded as almost finished, and it is for that reason that there seem 3so much probability m the statement that he will not be much longer among us. However that may be, the Premier is to be congratulated on beginning his thirteenth year of office under circumstances which are so favourable from a mental, physical, and political standpoint.