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MINISTERIAL VISIT TO OPOTIKI. (Per Press Association.).... OPOTIKI, February 12. The Prime Minister, accompanied by the Minister of Railways (the Hon. W. H. Herries), Dr. Pomare, and Mr W. D. S. Mac Donald, member for the Bay of Plenty, motored to-day from Rotorua to Opotiki, where Mr Massey was accorded an enthusiastic reception. On the arrival of the Ministerial party in the early evening, almost the entire township was out to take, part in the welcome, led by the Mayor (Mr F. J. Short), and the chairman of the County Council (Mr J. B. Gow). ' The first visit of the. Prime Minister to the district was signalised by the tendering of a banquet at the Royal Hotel. There-was a crowded attendance at the • Alham bra ■ Theatre ■■■'later' in the evening to hear the Ministerial visitors speak.

Tho Prime Minister gave an address on tho lines of his Te Aroha' speech. Ho said he realised that Opotiki had been for a long time, but the. time of its isolation was coming to an end. (Applause.) Both he and his colleagues were fully" impressed with the idea that the means of communica.jtipii. must be .improved throughout the 'Dominion. The Government realised that if the settlers were to be encouraged they must be given roads and j|nlways, ■ and last year they expended ■niore on railways than had been expended previously inthe history .of the Dominion. Mr Massey went-;6n to review the Government's land legislation and financial operations. Referring to the recent strike and the Government's attitude regarding it, Mr M/assey said that while.he believed in trade unionism he denied the right of any man to .stop the wheels of industry The worst enemies the country had were the men who went about attempting to stir up strife between different sections of the community. Passing on to defence matters, the Prime Minister outlined the agreement between the Imperial authorities and the New Zealand Government. b He took the opportunity of correcting a misapprehension on the matter which had arisen through an error in the transmission of a tele-graphic-messnge from Te Arbha. : Mr Massey said he had no doubt that the Imperial authorities were in their judgment doing the best possible in the interests of. the Empire as a whole in giving up the Philomel as a training ship. The New Zealand Government, however, thought a commencement should be made to improve the naval position in the South Pacific, and if no more satisfactory arrangement was arrived at before next session Parliament would probably be asked to agree to the building of on© fast modern cruiser, probably of the Bristol type, costing about £400.000, to be used in the event of necessity requiring it for the protection of the Dominion's trade routes. ■ '■■ . : , Mr Herries spoke on the Native lnnd question and. other matters, and Dr. Pomare delivered a brief address.

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Bibliographic details

POLITICAL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8793, 13 February 1914

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POLITICAL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8793, 13 February 1914