THE PARTY'S CHOICE
HON. T. MACKENZIE ELECTED LIBERAL LEADER BY 22 VOTES TO 9. HON. MILLAR WITHDRAWS. PROBABLE NEW CABINET. <By Telegraph.—Press Association.) WELLINGTON, Friday. The Government party caucus concluded to-cight, the selection of leader of the party falling on the Hon. T. Mackenzie, who will no doubt be called to form a Ministry next week,"when Sir Joseph Ward tenders his resignation to his Excellency the Governor. A statement regarding the caucus was made to the Press by Sir Joseph Ward. I "At the meeting of the Liberal party, on the first day of tlie caucus," he said, "they passed this resolution, to which i were attached the signatures of the • whole of the members of the party.— " 'That the members of the Liberal party here present thankfully recognise the able, brilliant, and successful manner in which Sir Joseph Ward has led the j party since he became Prime Minister; and also his assistance to the party during the Premiexships of Mr. Ballance and Mr. Seddon. They express deep regret that he considers it desirable to vacate the office, and trust that he will continue to assist the party his wise counsel and mature experience.' "Another resolution carried unanimously toy the party to-day is:—'That this party unanimously reaffirms the policy indicated in the Governor's Speech of last session.' 'The party, after full consideration, took a vote upon the question of leadership, and Mr. T. Mackenzie was elected by a majority of 22 votes to nine, Mr. Laurenson being the member who obtained the latter number. - ' Asked whether Mr. Millar, whosa name has been so prominently associated with the leadership discussion, had come before the caucus in the saino manner, Sir Joseph replied that, as a matter of fact, Mr. Millar did not go to a vote. He withdrew from nomination. The whole proceedings, he added, were carried ou with friendly feeling between members -who he'd different opinions regarding the different candidates suggested for the leadership. "Upon the completion of the final ballot," said Sir Joseph, "there was a unanimous expression ot goodwill conveyed b> mc to Mr- Mackenzie on behalf of tBTe whole of the party present. I stated that the -position, which had been a difficult one, was approached from a broad-minded standpoint, and that it was necessary for the members of the party, if they wanted to succeed, to sink any minor differences, and to stand loyally toy the new leader. I pointed out that his position in the matter of the election of a Cabinet was necessarily a. difficult one, and that seH-sacrifke from the point of view of the individual member would require to' be observed in order to ensure solidarity of the party behind the new Administration when it was formed. I took the opportunity finally of thanking 'members of the party present, as well as members of the old party, for their continued loyalty and support given to mc over a long period of years, and I also thanked the absent members of the party who were defeated at the general. elections for past kindnesses and the assistance they had from time to time extended to mc." ' ' The Prime Minister, in reply to another question, said, "I hope to be in a position on Monday or Tuesday at latest, to send in my resignation, and allow my j successor to take office." . 'Asked as to the position of the Labour members, Sir Joseph said that with the exception of Mr. who was not present, they took part in all the discussions and voted on the question of leadership. PRIME MINISTER-ELECT. i A GLIMPSE OF HIS IDEALS. INTERVIEW" WITH THE HON. T. MACKENZIE. (ByFTehxra^— "Star.**) WEU.INGTON, Friday. *r hesitated very much before listening to the suggestion that I should take up the position of a-candidate Jot the leadership," said the Prime Minister-elect during the course of an interview tonight with your correspondent. "I hesitated, first, because I was a junior Minister, and there were others- in tho Cabinet who had undoubtedly prior rights, and those rights I respected. Another thing was the enormous responsibility under existing conditions that must fall on the shoulders of the man who takes up the political load at the present moment. The whole thing-was very fully thxashed-out, and the decision of the. party iwascundoubtedly hearty." TOWN AND COUNTRY. "Now that the honour and responsibility has fallen to mc, I shall not spare myself in endeavouring to build up the \ interest-of this country on good lines. 1 hope to unite the interests of thoso who work in the cities with those who are engaged in securing the fruits of the earth. They axe the supplement and complement of each other, and the prosperous condition of the land must react beneficially on those in town. Of course, although trained primarily to business, I have bad to do largely with those following landed pursuits. In order to ensure the prosperity of both town and country, a vigorous poßey of land settlement and agricultural instruction must be punsued. Next we require to give the producer such instrnction as will enable Mm to get the very best results from the soil. To so widen the scope of production as to utilise our natural agencies in the most expensive manner, we should study the requirements of the market and the resources of competing nations, and we should assist our producers by a sort: ■ia pcss—dixlaes." _4BODB'S DIRECT .INTERESTS. i 1 am so—» ffc» — oar Cabinet wiH ooni jrißaMO^Bfcfr^Bn^dee^g_itnt_r__bßdj-Ja|
the social and material improvement ol our city dwellers and workers, and having special knowledge of their condition I don't profess personally to have that close acquaintance with this aspect of affairs, because in these strenuous times we can only hope to overtake a certain amount of work, and I have specialised in the interests associated with our country people; but, having in early days gone through the vicissitudes of city training, I am familiar with what the workers had to undergo in my time, when hours were long, sanitary conditions absolutely unknown, and when many were employed who received no remunerai tion for their labour." THE LABOUR-INDEPENDENT ATTITUDE. Generally speaking, there appears to have been a thoroughly friendly feeling among all sections forming the conference, though there is no doubt that the Labour-Independent group at one period asserted itself with some emphasis, which provoked the only sign of serious difference at the gathering. It was realised # however, in the end, that there was the best possible chance of carrying on the work of the Progressive party under Mr. Mackenzie's leadership, and it is quite safe to say that the choice is generally regarded as fair and reasonable. The Ijabour-Independent group, it seems, took up the attitude that this was a conference—not a caucus—but they are equally clear upon the point that, being satisfied with the new leader, and having taken a part in his election, they are allied with the Liberal party to give him a fair chance of carrying out a progressiva programme. THE DECISION ANALYSED. The choice fell upon Mr. Mackenzie as ! a man of broad views, and as one likely to attract the small farmer and artisan, i and to this end the conference felt that i a progressive platform could be submitted ; with their entire approval' which will I carry the support of the major portion of the people of the T^iminion. A TIME OF TENSION. It must have been an anxious and even sorrowful moment when it became evident that the chances of Mr. Millar as leader had vanished. I am assured that this feeling was most marked, bnt, forced as it was against tbe. hard edgs of circumstances, there was no room in the conference for consideration of the individual —it was the broadest man who had to be steadfastly kept, in sight, and the individual sacrificed to tbe larger interest. What probably heightened the tension of that moment" was that the realisation that Mr. Millar's sacrifice did not end with himself —it was indicative of others, and this factor will be all the more apparent when the prospective Cabinet is considered. THE PROSPECTIVE CABINET. The delicate task of selecting a Cabinet was one which the caucus unanimously left to the Prime Minister elect, but he would have probably obtained a fair amount of guidance in an indirect way from the discussions at the conferenceGeographical considerations, as seems inevitable in New Zealand Govennutate, must be considered, and there is, fortunately, such a good supply of material, that both locality and personal merit can be made the .hallmark of Cabinet rank. Mr. A. M. Myers (member-for Auckland East) is regarded as a certainty 2>y all sections. His recognised. ability in handling large matters of finance and administration, and a personality -which has won him cordial friendship in all parts of the political arena, are factors that count. He has a thorough knowledge of the defence system from tbe practical viewpoint of I tbe inside, and is marked out in advance : as a tactful Minister of Defence. Proceeding geographically, the other Ancklander degaxded as a likely holder of a portfolio is Mr. Vernon Reed, whose legal knowledge is on© of his assets. He will probably be the new Attorney-General. Mr. W. D. S- iMacdan_hKs long experience as a country clmirman and a .farmer in Gisborne district would qualify him for either Lands or Native Affairs. •It is highly probable that direct Labour representation will be found ■ in the new Cabinet, in which Case Mr, Veit-ci, of Wanganui, would meet with most acceptance in the House. To him would be allotted the portfolio ot Laibour.. Of the-'South Islanders Mr. Laurenscn (Lyttelton) is an outstanding certainty, and then there is a personal problem which the Prime Minister elect is going to find hard of solution. Mesrs. Ell, Watty, Uavey, Hesse!], and Buxton are all in flic line for consideration, but only one can be chosen, and in my judgment it rests between Messrs. Russell and Buxton. "Ehe laffcer is a new member, but known by his record to be capable. Mr. TTaitan (Tuimimr-gifT) _g ____ easy gesisa 1 1 Igspaaafc^or—n~fc—ig^^Jtg^fayßaL-
lowing as a close approximation of tha prospective Cabinet:— HON. T. MACKENZIE, Prime Minister, Native Lands, and Agriculture. MR. A. M. MYERS, Railways and Defence. MR. VERNON REED, AttorneyGeneral. • Mr. W. D. S. MA-CDONALD, Land. MR. G. LATJRENSON, Education. MR. J:' A. HANAN; Justice ■-'•• MR. G.W. RUSSELL, Public Works. Mr. W. A. VEITCH, Laioour and Immigration. [ ~ . THE NEW PRIME MINISTER. AN EXCELLENT PREMIER. PROMINENT BANKER'S EULOGY. (By Telegraph.—Special to "Star.") CHBISTCHUECH, this day. A prominent local banker, asked his •views regarding tbe Hon. T. Mackenzie's appointment, said that he believed the new Leader would . make an excellent Prime Minister. "Mr. Mackenzie, he said, ds a man of high opacity. He has many of the best characteristics of the Scotch -people. He is earnest, thorough, straightforward, dogged, and determined without being obstinate. As a worker he is absolutely indefatigable. He is broadminded, level-headed and sensible. Above all, he is a sound man. He is not likely to be led into reckless and foolish actions." A COMPROMISE. (By Telegraph.—Own Correspondent.) CHBISTCHUBCH, morning. The "Lyttelton Times" says: "The selection of Mr. Mackenu j is admittedly a compromise. It is an open secret thai a majority of the members of the conference were in favour of the appoint ment of Mr. Millar, and that it was only the uncompromising opposition of the Labour party and of the No-license p&rtj I that prevented his selection. The dis I sentients yould have preferred Mr | Laurension to Mr. Mackenzie, but I the member for Lyttelton was much I more diffident than were his friends I in urging his claims, and ultimately the honour fell upon the Minister j for Agriculture by a major ±y that j augurs well for bis at tire bead i of the party. Mr. Mackenzie's qualifications for the highest position to which l he has been promoted will not be questioned by anyone who knows him at aB intimately." WHAT LABOUR THINKS. WHY MR. MILLAR WAS PASSED OVER. Mr. Arthur Rosser, when asked his opinion on the new -Leader from a Labour standpoint, said that although of all the members of the Ward Cabinet the' Hon. -TAomas Mackenzie was the only one whom he did not know personally, he had followed his career ever since he was member f or Olutha, and an independent candid critic of the Liberal Government. 'T regard him as a very careful, shrewd administrator,'' said -Mr. Koseer in discussing him in his more recent capacity j as a Minister, "and bis choice for the position of Prime [Minister as the best possible solution of the difficulty which presented itself of finding a leader acceptable to both the Liberal and the Labour parties in the 'House. He is a man possessed of a large amount of foresight, and no one but a Thomas Mackenzie could have foreseen that such a bitter critic of tie liberal Ministry would, eventually, have been chosen to step into the shoes vacated by Sir Joseph Ward. Labour would not have been satisfied with Mr. -Millar as Premier. Starting in the House first from his position as secretary of such a large body of workers as the Seamen's Union, we expected great things from Mr. Millar, and for a time these expectations were realised. But of late years his sympathy for tha daSs'with "winch he identified" himself so conspicuously as the leader of the maritime strike of 1890 has mamifestry weakened. It was Mt. Malar who introduced an - amendment bilLato the Arbitration Act to limit a union's \nhoiee of officials to its own ranks, but this proposal met with such a storm of opposition from the Labour party that he found it wise to abandon it. Small wonder is it, therefore, that the Labour members present at the conference yesterday objected to the election of Mr. Millar as Prime. Minister. >s We cannot help tlrinlomg," added Mr Rosser, "what an opportunity Mr.
1 because at the time 'tha*r6ir -Joseph I Ward went Home -three years ago the ! Hon*. J. A. Millar and' G. Fowlds. were equal in their claims for the position of a"tiTrg Pr iT " a Miniai—t, a.™? to relieve-the situation-"of aiiy strain ' a ■ctM'pronfiso was effected in the apporntmehirdf Sir James Carroll on the basis of,seniority. I think, therefore, that it can be -safely assumed that had Mr. Fowlds continued in the Ministry he would have 'had stronger claims to the leadership:' Mr, '•'•' OPINIONS IN DUNEDIN. (By TeiegTaph.—Press Association.),, :. DUNEDIN, This day; The general opinion in labour circles here is that Mr. Millar, although not<a hot favourite for—the position, would have been infinitely superior to. Mr, Mackenzie. . ---. —-■■■' --..•..-«--•-.. -• ■' Mr. MeManus. who opposed Mr. ■T. K. Sidey for Dnriedin South, says" the! best that, could be expected from Mr.; Slaekenrie would be legislation of." a mildly (palliative nature, aS 'far as labour' is concerned.. He also favours, the. opinion that i general election i 3 certain within a year, ..... ■ ... LOCAL OPINIONS. REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL SECTIONS. SELECTION WIDELY APPROVED The choice of the Hon. Thomas Mackenzie for the leadership of the new Liberal and Labour party in the House to succeed Sir Joseph Ward. is. naturally a topic of discussion among all sections of the community to-day, so a ''Star'- in; terviewer this morning'waited, on-a number of gentlemen representative of different phases of thought for their . opinions on the. situation. .... ... BEST THING COULD SAVE BEEN -" ■ " done:" ".". ::•'".":'•,..*'::", When the Mayor (Mr. C. J. Parr), was asked his views on the -selection ol Mr. Mackenzie as tbe leaded of the'party he expressed himself -in the following. terms:—"l can imagine that from the Liberal standpoint it is' probably 1 ' the best thing they could have done. 'Mr. Mackenzie is strong on the freehold. This will reassure a great many people throughout the country who own small properties, and who are afraid of legislative experiments in land tenure mat ters. He is also well known to have a good deal of sound 'sense/! aid T. believe is personally popular enough up 'here to meet with the general approval of liberal sunporters. Whether the" new Premier is a man of. Jsufßcient-|)'ersan-. ality to hold his party, together and, to weather the storms tbat already appear on the near horizon is another question.----!0f course, as Mayor I have no. politics, I should, however, like to. see as a..,citixen a, strong and stable Qovernmentfroro one side. or. other df the Housei''' 1 '._ , NO MAN BETTER FITTED. "I should have thought, seein_r the' position that the Hon. Mr. Millar nas held as Minister of Labour for such a > number of years, that he woiild have been chosen as Premier" J. Nerheny, president, of. the-'Aucfeland branch of the Liberal and Labour Feneration, when approached for "an o_snipn this morning on the subject. .">But las the party has thought -Otherwise,, notwithstanding the positioa "which~MT;!Mfllar has held for. so long'bdtH Seddon and the Ward Administrations, as the champion of labour, and which; one would have thought .gave..him a prior right to the leadership, . then," added Mr. Nerheny, "I- consider,* apart from Sir Joseph Ward himself, that there is not another man in the Dominion better fitted for the post than the Hon. Thomas Mackenzie." A GOOD FARMER'S MAN. "The Hon. Thomas Mackenzie has already done so much for the farmers towards the advancement of industries pertaining to the land, besides proving himself to be a man of moderate views and a freeholder, that T think the'selection should please the farmers of the country generally," declared Mr. A. Sehmitt, secretary of the Auckland ' Farmers' Union. "Putting the question lof party to one side I cannot se9 that I the farmers have anything to complain I about at all in the selection- of.-such., a I man as Mr. Mackenzie for the leadership of the Govenurnent, I do not know of any ! man.," be said, "who has tri»d to adi vance the interests of the farmers more iof late years, and I think we are really I indebted to Mm for a good deal,. Ijj ! sbori. I cannot really see that we could have done better from a'farmer's point of view." '""... THE RETIRING PREMIER. SIR. J. G. WARD .ENTERTAINED. AN AUCKLAND TRIBUTE. (Bjr-Tetegrajih.—Press Association.) WELLINGTON, Friday.' , v lTi» members of the Government.party entertained Sir Joseph Ward at a lunch tc-dEy. .: ■*'.'- ---. Mr. J. A. Hanan .(Invercargill), in proposing the toast of Sir Joseph Ward's j health, said Sir Joseph Ward had always been a worker in the cause of social and democratic reform, and had achieved a world - wide reputation as. PostmasterGeneral. Though Sir Joseph Ward might retire for a year o rtwo, he. (Mr. Hanan) thought they would ultimately find him occupying the position which his ability, and talents merited.' ; .. ~ ; Mr. A. M. Myers, I speakiiig''tb the feast of "Our Guest," said that;' as a representative from'the other end of the Dominion he heartily associated himself with the toast. Sir Joseph Ward, asa private citiaen, as -a-politigian and a statesman, had risen to every occasion. This was I another epoch in his life, and he (the speaker) believed Sir Joseph would again show himself equal teethe position. As a result of systematic misrepresentation he had decided to retire from the leadership, but what an extraordinary change was coming over the scene! Errors of judgment there had been, no i doubt, when a party had been so long in i office, but the substratum of common- ; sense- inherent in the British people waa i now reasserting itself, and a strode re- ■ vulsion of feeling was making itself cvi- • dent. The people realised the gravi'-y ; of the position, arid that'they could!not i afford to lose Sir Joseph Ward. "I feel - sure," concluded Mr. Myers, "that New, Zealand is not going to lose. Sir Joseph Wand's services. It must be a satisfaction . to tStr Joseph that, in snitetof the policy . jpf -nnsrej—esentatioit— -
The Hon. Tr Mackenzie :A_t Blander"). Mr. My«r*r Yes,-and' slander —that he finds himself in the. position of being nearer the hearts .of the people to-day than ever before in "his" life. ~ (Applause.) •-'We are. riot .going- to allow -iim-ctO-'re-main long in private, life." Mr, Myers added-that possibly Sir Joseph's destiny lay in Imperial affairs. The toast was honoured with cnthusi.asm, the company oinging "For-He's a. Jolly Good Fellow." Sir Wa-rd expressed his warmest' acknowledgments. ~ Sir-Joseph Ward! in the course of hid reply, said ha felt deeply the compliment paid- him.' Naturally lie felt his severance from the party whose assistance and co-operation he gratefully acknowledgedHe added that it was marvellous to look back and see the way in which the country had been developed during the past -.;.5,9 iJrears, ?TTe said the present gathering KQUJId always be to him anapipy memory. "Members, of the party were all animated ]by,.,a' dSsift; .to bring about a fortunate issue in a difficult position. He felt sura they wouid-select-a. leader who would ba" capable of'carrying..on the work of the 'party and facing any. difficulties . that might arise. The abuse of tbe motor car system at elections was; said Sir-Joseph Ward, a matter .that ought to be reckoned .with, and he suggested that the use of vehicles cm polling day should be prohibited,, but that in country, .electorates., the ...Statu -should- employ- -motor ears for carrying ■returning' officer and scrutineers "to;, "go round among people, including women, to ensuic. the recording of votes; If, in audition l to this- tbey prohibited canvass"tySi2**Jvt's?id.. ol near2tp;.a' perfget electoral system as possible, a/pd .ejnajjtfe the return of the best men to Parliament, (Applause.) - ,-.-- Sir Joseph Ward added that he had been a hard working man all his life, since he began work at 12 years .of age, and he would not be- sorry to be~cleaj""of offi«'cyVh,&tever he might be doing he would, always find' it a pleasurable duty- io assist tha Liberal party, with which he had- been connected, for so many,years, Sir.Josejrb -also- -voiced- -his • pleasure- at • the • way in which the ..members of the -Maori race had' expressed their kindly feeling towards "him at the present juncture, and finally thanked the gathering for the honour they'had done him. (Applause,fc -.. TRIBUTE FROM THE POSY;" OFFICE. ■ - '-,-"" (By Telegraph.—Press Assodation.y ....., . -... WELLW&rax, Friday; -TJio following resolution was passed by WelUngtou- branch of the- Post arid ;riph Officers' Association, and" will ~i i... -.j.vaxded-fJS'Sir'-JosV Wird-:'—'This branch: ->l ..the Post and Telegraph Offitert''Association views with Sincere re,gret your resignation" of the-portfolio of . and' Commissioner of Telegraphs; and desires, "to place- on'reeOrtl \ti ' deep -appfe'eia'tidn .of the many .services .rendered;:*©,"the'-'dfficers. of: 'tne Department during. the long term you have been, its. Ministerial chief. The branch" recognises.-. the goodwill" which •pervaded your sentiments towards ..the staff, and desire sthat you in tuin should know that this feeling will, ever remala a happy remembrance of the-staff-. 4 ? MESSAGES OF -APPPJECaAOIION' ANT» REGRET../ ~ ..„., An influential and Ho meeting, held at Kaeo,on March 19, presided oyer by Mr.. ; Joseph Ha—i (county chairman) passed unanimously a resolution enumerating . some of tie good work done-by the'retiring Premier, and c—pressing "deep regret' that ' Sir Joseph Ward proposes retiring from tha 'Leaderships The resolution, which,, was forwarded to Sir Joseph Ward, concluded as follows: "Accept our very best thanks.for all,.your past untiring energy evinced on behalf of-the great Liberal :j»rty„ and- allow .us to express the hopa that it may not be long till: we see you, again .assume the of even » greater .and mbre ; progressive Liberal Parßantent." ~..._. ;• Sir Joseph Ward replied as follows:— "Many thanks for your telegram. Th* terms of the resolution very gratifjr. ing to mc. Kind J« g. ward. . " ;: mr. millar's attitude. "' ' (By Telegraph.—Press Association.) .' DUNEDIN, Friday. The "Star" says: "Wa deeply regret that the Liberal-Labour party .have not seen their way'to accept the Bon. J.-'A, Millar as' a 'chipi, "because we' honestly -believe. that bis accession to supre'ma power would have meant the inception of a "new "progressive policy likely to attract and satisfy democratic feeling. latest- information is .toithe. effecV-first that. the.protraction Of the "aaucus'' has not tended is unanimity," and, secondly, that North Island' (probably freehold) influence >fiaa practically precluded the succeSs of Mr. Millar's nomination. The last word, as we- gO:to press, is; that Mr..Millar considers himself-to have been rather batfly treated', and'that he proposes-to take up 'an Independent attitude, a-nd-possibly la take counsel with his Dimcdin constituents in respect to tKe sitiiiitrbh. We aire eons'trameid- -to suggest "that if. the Minister of- Railways had displayed mors energy.Since tho general election, if ther» Tjad not been a'widespread suspicion that his ambition''as'a public mail wis slackening, .the result might have been veiy different.. Moreover,-3lr. MiKir's failure "(as it see-mr to, be) has not. led to .Mr. Thdfe.' Mackenzie's snecess,' and there'ia , voo much reason to fear that a "stop gap" leadership, not conducive to settled Liberal policy, may.have to be accepted The immediate moral" would appear, to ■IT'-vr-rl ■-~ SB - ". S3
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THE PARTY'S CHOICE, Auckland Star, Volume XLIII, Issue 72, 23 March 1912
THE PARTY'S CHOICE Auckland Star, Volume XLIII, Issue 72, 23 March 1912
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