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MR HANAN'S COMMENTS.

Some severe strictures were made by the Hon. J. A. Hanan, Minister of Education, at Wellington, when replying to representations made by a deputation from the Victoria College Council for a grant for additions to the university. Referring to the failure of the wealthy to assist educational institutions in Wellington, the Minister said he had been very sorry to learn from the letter he had received from Mr Watson that there was no hope or probability of receiving contributions towards the cost of erection of the proposed wing. When he had regard to the fact rthat very large sums of public money had been expended in the province, and that very large sums of money must have been made by business and other people in the city of Wellington during the last four years, he thought it was a matter for regret that some publib spirit had not been practically evidenced, by assistance towards such an institution as ...the university. In some parts of New Zealand, for instance Otagp, liberal gifts had been made by private individuals to help education.' All honour to those, men and women who had recognised ,their public duty to those institutions which. made for the improvement and elevation of society. He did not think that men and women of wealth could employ their wealth better than in helping these institutions for the training and development of', our young people. It might be said that these people of wealth did pay towards the cost of education through the taxes, and this was true, but the fact remained that in other countries where there were even direct taxes for education substantial gifts were made to the educational institutions. He thought it was necessary that some people in this country who were wealthy should recognise that while i wealth had its rights, it also had its duties and obligations. • It should not be necessary to invoke legislative authority by way o^-eompuision to make some people of this country re-' ■ cognise what ought to be their'public and patriotic duty in regard to edu- . cation and other national services. What was the lesson that some of the most prosperous people taught to those less prosperous? Was it not that the aim of life was to accumulate great wealth V Rather the . lesson should be that the object of life was to promote human good and betterment. A number of rich men and _ women had given handsomely to patriotic objects during the war >when freedom, life and property were at stake. He hoped that the same liber-.ality-.would continue during the period of reconstruction, which should be ; rer garded as another call.on their powers . and patriotism; Freedom- for which so < much life 'and treasure had been poured; out: in the late war," was to bei| used to promote hunian improvement j and the elevation of society. Education was in this connection a most potent factor for securing that object, and a nobler humanity. Wealth had its rights, but it also had its duty and responsibility. If the example set by some of the most prosperous in living a life of ease, self-indulgence ? and indifference "to service for-' the common •' good were to increase, then those who looked for a much closer co-operation and harmony in the different classes of society, would be somewhat disappointed. In order that the freedom which had been won might be put to its highest and best use there must be a checking of selfishness, and a wider practical recognition of duty to their country and to humanity.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19190508.2.7.1

Bibliographic details

MR HANAN'S COMMENTS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9604, 8 May 1919

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593

MR HANAN'S COMMENTS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9604, 8 May 1919

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