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(Per Press Association.)

, , WYNDHAM, March 11. Hon. A. L. Herdman, .Minister of Justice, addressed a large and enthusiastic meeting to-night. He forecasted a desperate political struggle at the coming elections, and said the ■so-called Liberals would fight with the ferocity of- doomed men. The Reform Party was commanding general confidence, because it .governed in the interests of all classes and not of any one section. Sir Joseph Ward could not hope to command a majority in the llou&o after tho elections, unless he formed an alliance with cither iho JRed Feds, or the United Labour Party. Mr Hei-dinim recounted th. financial and other difficulties the present Government hud had to face on assuming office. They hue; weathered the storm, and things were now taking a ploasanter afpecc, and he predicted another era of prosperity. His survey of the Government's manner of dealing with the strike was ,loudly applauded. Ro condemned Sa: Joseph Ward'.s r-peech in the Houre regarding the Post OfTlce Square incident, and s.aid that the Government received no assistance whatever rrom the Opposition in settling the strike. Bir Joseph Ward's statement thai hewas accused of being the head and front of tho fetrike was without foundation. He (Mr Herdman) thought the Trades Disputes Act would prove of great benefit in preventing strikes. The Government had been twitted with not fulfilling its promises. In two sessions they had 'redeemed many of,'their promises, and all would be fulfilled by the end of nest session. Mr Herdman voiced the Government's determination to settle the land. During the 20 months of Mr Ma/ssey's administration 3393 people had beenl put on the land, the total area being 1,092,891. Dealing with the Civil Service, Mr Herdman showed how vastly the conditions of pay and promotion had been improved. Oif the naval question, he could not understand Sir Joseph Ward's speeches. The.Government had-to conform to the wishes of those who had to safeguard the British Empire. A few ships in the Pacific would be of no • use if the Home Fleet I was in peril. The Government had done more than accept all the .Homo authorities could give it; they were providing a Bristol cruiser, and so doing their best to protect the commerce of the country, as well as doing their paramount duty to the Home Country. Forecasting measures to be introduced next:, .session, he said another effort would he* made to reform the Legislative Council. Tho Hon. Mr Allen would also introduce a measure which he thought would vastly improve -the education system. A Bill would also be brought forward

dealing with the system of Parliamentary grants. He had absolute faun -

the future of New Zealand, which could well be left in the hands of a progressive Government bent on the settlement of the land and quick marketing of its produce. Mr Herdman was loudly applauded on concluding . and received a unanimous vote of thanks. and: confidence.

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Bibliographic details

THE COMING ELECTIONS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8816, 12 March 1914

Word Count

THE COMING ELECTIONS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8816, 12 March 1914

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