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The Press. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1899. THE PREMIER AND THE WRIGG CASE.

Wβ wonder tihe Premier was not ashamed to refer to the Wrigg case, as he appears to bare done in his speech, at Waiihi. Of all the political iniquities associated with the present Government, this is certainly one-of the most discreditable, and if the Premier ■were wise he would say as little as possible about it. He told the Waiihi miners with great triumph that he had found some men at Opatiki -who declared that "Wrigg did " take the ride, and risked his life, and that "some of the statements made at the "enquiry were false. . This does not meet the point at issue in the slightest degree. Scores of men took rides and risked their lives in the Maori war, but no New Zealand Cross was awarded b> them, and they never dreamed of applying for it. The Cross is the highest decoration known to our service, and the regulations prescribe that it should be awarded only on the rammm of the commanding officer for some conspicuous act of gallantry in. the field. Especially is it laid down thet it is not to be applied for by ' the hero hanarif. One would have thought that the last thing a hero would be likely in do, would be to tout for the decoration fanarftf, therefore that such a regulation would be unnecessary. One can hardry ' imagine a British, officer saving tJie life of a comrade in action and then immediately pestering the authorities with reasons why he ought to be granted the Victoria Cross. But we do tftioga differently, it seems, in New 7>whnrf Wβ have always given Mr Wrigg the credit of laving performed toe ride with deepatcbea, of which he has Md* *> sunk Nearly tSX ths witatttM, j

however, say there ires no particular danger in it Mr Wrigg, according to his own statement, insisted ,en having a trooper to go vrkih. lrin, and tie trooper never . apjilied for. the Cross, aad indeed doss not appear to have ever been aware that -he did anything out of tlie common. Mr. Wrigg himself waited for thirty years until bis commanding officer was dead—the commanding officer on whose recommendation the Cross should have been granted, if ■at all—and then,., in defiance of the regulations, he himself made application for the New Zealand Cross, with its accompanying pension of £10 a year. Hβ worried the department, but without ,avail; he pestered members of Parliament to use their influence in his behalf; he pulled every wire he could got hold of to bring pressure to bear on Ministers to compel them to grant him this much-coveted distinction. And Ministers basely succumbed to a form of solicitation which they ought to have repelled with the utmost . indignation. They reduced the highest military distinction, reserved for acts of conspicuous valour in the .field, to a mere counter in the game of political truck and barter. No wonder tfcat every > wearer of the Cross felt inclined to tear it from his breast, and indignantly petitioned Parliament for an enquiry into the scandal. There is nothing which shows so forcibly the state of degradation into which our politics have been brought by the present ■ Government than the Wrigg case, and the Premier, in- i stead of trying to defend it, ought really to hide his head with shame whenever it is mentioned.

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP18991128.2.18

Bibliographic details

The Press. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1899. THE PREMIER AND THE WRIGG CASE., Press, Volume LVI, Issue 10514, 28 November 1899

Word Count
568

The Press. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1899. THE PREMIER AND THE WRIGG CASE. Press, Volume LVI, Issue 10514, 28 November 1899

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