MR RHODES AT WAINUI.
There was a good attendance at Mr Rbodes'e meeting at Waioui yesterday afternoon notwithstanding the fact of Mrs Wright's death, which kept a number away. Mr W. D, Macphail acted as chairman.
Mr Rhodes said that before givirjg his political address he must say that be had heard with regret of the death of Mrs Wright. She had lead a useful life, and a longer one than could hope for. Everyone must acknowledge the good work ebe had done. Ho referred to her genial hospitality, find Bflid he wns "pleased that it bad been his portion to know her, and he would never forget her kindness.
Mr Rhodes said that the Opposition were continually stating how the Reform Party had not fulfilled the, pledges they had given before last election. Hβ was going ,to outline briefly the work done, and show tbem the falseness of this statement. Mr Rbodea then showed bow the Public Service system had been amended, so that; members were no longer dependent npon the Ministry for promo non. The Legislative Council rpform was another one they had effected, and at election there would be an election for a certain number of members, and at the general election fol lowiag the whole number would be appointed by the people. Ele ex plained that the voting would be pro portional, and that there would be twenty two representatives in the North Island and eighteen in the South Island He referred to the amendment in the Old Age Pension? Ac, whereby a woman of 60 qualified for the pension, and to the alteration in the Widows' Pension Act. providing that a widow received an allowance for every cbildjunder 14 As to Land Valuation, they had made some minor anaeidmenta, but they proposed to amend the present system, which was unsatisfactory. They bad increased the graduated land tax by 25 per cent, on all properties over £40000 They had established a Board of Agriculture to help the small farmer. They bad improved the National Provident Fund and amended the Education Act. giv iog the teachers an increase al £100,000 in salaries. Tbf-y had passed a Labour Act, whereby workers could take a secret ballot before striking, and this, he believed, would have prevented many strikes in the pas'. They had amended the Workers' Dwelling Act; allowing tbeuu tbirtj. seven -years in which to repay the loan, in place of twenty five and a half years. They bad granted a bonu? to encourage the establishment of an iron and steel works in New Zealand They were told that they would not dare to repeal any of the Acts passed by the Liberal Party, but they had repealed the Second Ballot, which had gone, he hoped, for ever. He referred to the work that they bad been unable to carry out, Buch as tariff reform, but the strike and the war had. hindered them from putting several Acts on the Statute Book. The Local Body Act was one, and ha was sure that it was preferable to make one alteration, and that was to take tb'e granting of bridges and roads out of the Minister's bands. Tbe Opposition, in spite of their promises, were making political capital out of land defence as well a? naval defence, As to the gift of the Dreadnought, all bad approved of the gift, but not tbe way io which it was given. Parliament should hive been called together, and the New Zealand should have been the gift of tbe public, and not of one man, The Reform Party had approved of Sir Joseph Ward's agreement with the Admiralty that they should ■send Bris tol cruisers and also several destroyers aad submarines to tbe Pacific- Yet Sir Joseph Ward was reported &3 say ing they bad done nothing to obtain these ships. It was absolutelycontrary to fact. Mr Massey and his Govern meDt had oflered the Admiralty 50 per cent, above the grant, i.c . £150.000. but the Admiralty would not send tbe ships out. Probably it was because they foresaw'the trouble, and wanted the whole navy in tbe North Sea. One thing was certain, and that was that Sir Joseph Ward had made no attempt to make the Admiralty keep their pledge. He referred to the splendid work done by the Australian navy, and said it was his belief that but for that navy they could not have landed their troops at Samoa, and our coasts would have been bombarded. &ir Joseph Ward hud wanted to levy a tax of 10s per head for a navy, i.e., £500,000. but they would not plunge the country in to debt, and considered £150,000 quite enough to spend on naval defencr. They bad also obtained the training ship H.M.S. Philomel. He thought they would not hear much more from the Opposition about tbe 'tin pot' navy of Australia after the capture of tbe Emden. Hβ referred to Mr Allen's forethought in having the organisa tion ready whereby the Expeditionary Forces were able to leave, Sir Joseph Ward bad said be introduced compul sory military training, and be did not wish to rob him of the credit he do served. He would like to point out that in 1908 be voted against Mr Mapsey'e motion to GftaHish compulsory military training. He was glad to say he cbangpd his mind, and. wi f h tbe help of tbo Opposition, passed the Compulsory Training Act. He be jjvfed tbat the present Opposition I members, if they got into power, would vote against this Act judging by the reports of tbeir spe&cbes. He referred to tbe improvements in tbe Railways Department, and to the importation of a new gtnenU manager for railways. They bad wJup til a report to spend £3,200,000 in the next three years. Sir Joseph Ward said the bulk of the money wae to be spent in buildings, but it
really was more to improve trjfc yarding accommodation at the big station?, Although they were blamed by the other side for pxtravagance Sir Joseph Ward ia his manifesto pur. gosted an expenditure of £8,100,000 on railways He took exception alga to Sir Ward going about exclaiming at; the amount they were spending on public buildings. Hβ would like to point out that most of the money they bad spent had been authorised by the Ward and Mackenzie Ministries. The new Par llamentary buildings in Weliington in particular were a big item, and meant the closing of a street and the filling in of a gully. He admitted their expenditure had incrGasad through the increases to teachers, police force, public service, making a total of £129,000 He had also increased the expenditure on telephones from £25.000 t0£39,000 but he did not regret it Rt all, as telephones were nob luxuries now, but necessities. When he took over bis portfolio be found the mental hospitals disgracefully overcrowded, and he authorised the expenditure of £85,000 in improving and adding to these institutions. There were some complaints about the increase in death duties, but that was only due to the fact that a number of owners of large estates hurl died, and the burden of this increase fell on those who were able to bear it. This surplus was £426,000. They could easily have inrceased this if they had adop ted some of the methods of their prw deces?ora. Instead of paying thtf money from land sale? into thp Consolidated Revenue tbey paid that money diiact into the Land for Settle mput Department to be expended oq i.he acquisition of more iand. This appeared to them better business. . Then, again, when public buildings were burnt down in previous times they were rebuilt out of revenue. This I appeared a bad business arrangement, and they bad a scbpmo by which an insurance fund of £10,000 per annum was started. This year they spent £98,000 on the strike and £23,000 on small pox. If ail these items bad heed added the surplus would have been £687.000. Tbey were now foced with a war loan, and the Opposition agreed with them that it would *be inadvisable to '0 levy a war tax now. He hoped the i war loan of £2,000,000 granted them by the Old Country on good terms would be sufficient.' As to borrowing Sir Joseph Ward declared thac Mr Massfy and his party were opposed to I borrowing, This was absolutely incorrect, A young country must borrow. Wbat tbe Massey Government objected to wns the ex travagant manner ia which the borrowed money was spent. Sir Joseph Ward also 3aid that they borrowed more than their predeoessorf. In twenty-seven month?) the WarcKYlcKenzie Government borrowed £16, 000,000 as against their £12,000,000, Mr Rhodes said he was sure that all agreed that Mr Mas-:p.y's Government did not Itgis late for any particular class They saw in the small farmer the backbone of the country He was certain that in time tbe New Zealand land would be subdivided to carry a much larger population. It \vas the Government's ■ uty to th's subdivision. Mr Massey was providing for another increase in the graduated tax. He asked them to compare Mr Massey'3 manifesto with that of Sir Jos. Ward, and he was sure they w u'd adir.it Mr Massey's was the more Liberal one. In eon , elusion, Mr Bhodes.thanked them for coming to his meeting at an inconvenient hour, and said he regretted be could not come there in the evening.
Mr C. McDonald said he had great pleasure in moving a vote of thanks to Mr Rhudes and. a-vote of confidence in him, aUo in the Massey Government. Be said ihey were all pleased }to see the reforms in the Upp-r House and Civil Service. They were still more pleased at the manner in which Mr Massey settled the strike. The motion ot thanks and confidence wns seconded by Mr J. Haylock and car.ii d un , animously, Mr Rhodes, in thanking them forth- vote, said Wainui had supported the Maesey Gov erncnent in the past, and he had no doubt thot on polling they would again give his party every srpport. He moved a votn of tLanks to the chair, which cone uded the meeting. DUVAUCHELLE There was a large and enthusiastic meeting at the Duvauchelle Hall last n ; ght whrn Mr Rhodes spoke on the same line-! as at Wainui. Mr T W Wilkins waa in the chai\ Mr O'Callachnn proposed the usual complimentary motion to the speaker, wbii-b vvu« seconded by Mr James Donovan, and carried amidst applaus.-.
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MR RHODES AT WAINUI., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIII, Issue 3455, 24 November 1914
MR RHODES AT WAINUI. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIII, Issue 3455, 24 November 1914
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