THE PRIME MINISTER.
CONTRADICTS ABSURD RUMOUR.
■■(By Telegraph.—Own Correspondent.) j 'y., ; , 2.WBLAJNafONi this day.. . The_ Prime Minister (Sir Joseph Ward), spaaking at a complimentary- banquet to. Mr. J. Stevens, ex-M.P.'for Mnnnwatu, said-that, he .would shortly deliver a speech in some part of the Dominion) when he would explain the policy of the Government, and touch, on many matters oi Importance to: the Dominion.
r.-One- neveriiked talking a-bont oneself, 'continued■ Sir Joseph;''but'sometimes it ■-wa« .necessary-to do BO,'and-there were one or-two -matters, he wished to touch upon. A short time ago he had noticed a t suggestion published in a Southern paper that there was a possibility of liib •taking his .departure from New Zealand. He did not know what had prompted the suggestion, but he desired to say it was •absolute' inaccurate. (Applause.) He h%o neither' thought of not contemplated, leaving this country. Moreover, if such; air idea had existed in his mind he would Have known what his duty was to the country, to members of Parliament, and to his constituents, namely, to be the first to publicly inform them. (Applause:)'
'tFor some reason, he added, the idea hAd been circulated in different parts of tfre country that physically he "Was not etf strong, as he Should be, and that was likely to be his' reastfri for retiring. •Physically he had nothing wrong with. -hull. About a month or six weeks ago he wis slightly run down as a result of : .hard-work, and he considered it advisable in'dbe'best interests of his "health to take a Vkst at Rotorua.
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