The Akaroa Mail. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1913. LYTTELTON BY-ELECTION.
Tji£ second ballot of the Lytteltoo by election is a distinct triumph for ibe present Government, though their candidate, Mr J. Miller, of Lyttelton, was defeated by 226 votes. For many years the Lyttelton. seat has been held by supporters of the present Opposition. In 1908 Mr G, Laareneon defeated Dr, Tbacker (by 8682 votes to 2789. In 1911 Mx JCnurenson defeated the Keform Party's j candidate, Mr Cclin Coofr, by 4160; votes to 2081. This moans that the : jjelorm Patty loss by 207»4he con-i
test in 1011, and in 1913 the Reform Party's candidate only lost by 226
votes. This is a marvellous gain in
two years time, and in the light of all that has occurred it shows that the liabour candidates will not receive ihe support they expect. The Massey Government has shown itself strong end able to cope with a difficult situa turn in the industrial strike, and we believe that the Social Democratic Party "nave done much to benefit Mr Massey and bis colleagues. The so called liabour leaders have " o'er leapt themselves " indeed, and given the public a taste of what they would enjoy under Labour rule. There would be no security among employers, and the mult would be inevitably that many of the richer people would leave the country, and trade generally would
be handicipftd, It is all very well o preach oboufc the rights of Labour in tbo way Rueb meo a=i P ofe33or Mills does. No one denies ihat Labour has not its right?, and tba-6 i's lights Should not be observed. But employers bnve I heir rights n\?o, and agreements should be rqua'ly binding for boh. The question of class also is drugged into the contest by agitators, and here in New Zealand no such point ought ever to be raised. In th's country everybody ig given an opportunity to ri3e to the top of tbe tree if he will work for it, and no fairer state of things could exist, Tbe ngitators and strike leaders are always composed of the same class of men — people who will not work, and yet ex pecfc even better reward than the "grafter," To give into these men's hands tbe reins of the country would ba madnesp, and we believe that public opinion in New Zealand is slowly and surely determining that Labour gjvernraeni would not be beneficial. As it happens, the two by elections during this term of Parliament have been for seats where Labour ba3 its strongholds, namely, Gray and Lyttelton. It is true Messrs Webb and M'Combg have been returned as Labour candidates, but the man who runs may read that, though victorious, the party has received severe cheeks, and the Reform Party is gradually acquiring more votes. There ia no doubt about Mr McOombs , alliance with the Red Feds, as bis tele grams from Messrs iSemple and Robert son show, and we believe that at next election be may find it a harder battle to fight. It may be noted tbat 1000 people did not vote whose names were on tbe roll. It is not always possible to decide bow those votes would be cast, but had tbe day been a finer one and tbe election not held on a public holiday, the result might have been very different. The Red Feds claim the return of Mr Me 'omb=i as a \ictory, but it was a very narrow one after all, and tbe Social Democratic Party wants to look after i f s lnurelp, as the result in such a recognisfd stronghold of labour as tbe Lytteltr-n Electorate is not as gratifying a? it might be to Ibe new Labour party, The Government is well pleased at the number of votes secured by their candidate, wbo narrowed a majority in 1911 of 2079 to tbe narrow margin of 226.