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TALK OF DIRECT ACTION P.A. WELLINGTON, this day. Direct action was mentioned freely in discussions on the census and country quota at. the New Zealand Farmers' Union annual .conference yesterday. One remit asked that, "in view of the unsettled state of the country, the absence of so many overseas, population dislocation under the manpower regulation? and the labour shortage, the census be postponed till the year after the war; failing that, farmers must draw their own conclusions and take action necessary to defeat an insidious attack on their liberties."

A second remit protested against the proposed abolition of the'country quota, saying that the Parliamentary representation enjoyed for 64 years should not be filched. The abolition of the quota would accelerate further the drift to the towns, stated the remit, and rural'interests had little enough representation today without what they had being unfairly taken away. Both remits were adopted unanimously. If he could receive an assurance of 100 per cent support from the farming community he would approve of the farmers boycotting the census, said Mr. E. Blyde (Taranakih That would be effective direct action, which would not affect the war effort.

- Mr. W. W.' M'ulholland, the president, said he did not think such action would be effective. Mr. L. Hammond .(Marton) said the conference would not say directly what action it wanted. It should not "pass the buck" to a committee. If they wanted either constitutional action or otherwise, let them say so. Mr. K. J. Holyoake, M.P., said the only direct action suggestion was negative—not filling in the census papers—and that was the most he thought farmers would do. What they must aim at was influencing public opinion. A petition to the Governor-General had been" suggested but nothing had come of it. If thev could not get farmers tq sign a petition they could not get them to do What could they do in direct action aimed at influencing public opinion? Would mothers say the farmers were great fellows if they withheld milk, or the people if they withheld butter? What overAvhelming support would they get if hops and barley were withdrawn? They would lose by any of these means and the Government would be delighted to use the farmers as" a whipping horse. " •

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Bibliographic details

POSTPONE CENSUS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

Word Count

POSTPONE CENSUS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

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