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TOPICS OF THE DAY., Evening Post, Volume LXXIV, Issue 79, 30 September 1907
TOPICS OF THE DAY.
When New Zealand was loudly celebrat- _ ing its first day of DoAfter Twenty njinionhood, Sir JoYears. &oph Ward was quiet- ' Jy thinking that just twenty years previously, on 26th September, 1887, he stepped on to the political stage. He had a small part to play then, but went through it vigorously. Steadily promotion camo, till now ho is leading man in tho Liberal Company, tho first Prime Minister of tho Dominion of tho South Pacific. Whether men ugrcu with his public policy or not, they cannot grudge him a compliment for his energy in working for tlie success wnicti ho ha& achieved. From postboy to Premier is a long stride, but it is one that Sir Joseph has done withont dislocating any joints. He was a borough councillor almost befovo ho was using a razor, and presently he was a Mayor. In early days he proved that he* had a special faculty for speaking, and time has shown that early promise has been fulfilled. His uuveer demonstrates that in a democratic country there is a royal road to high honours for the man who does not bury his talent in a napkin. . Other members of tha Ministry are examples of this truth, but the most striking instance is Sir Joseph. Through all his battles he has preserved a ch'eorf ul front. Ho can kick when at bay, but as a rule ho does not court fisticuffs. He prefers tho soft answer that turneth away wrath, but, when taunted, he will resort to wrath to turn uwuy the soft impeachment. llq deserves congratulations on his completion of two decades of very useful gublic Bervicj^ ' ]
Events of the past few days leave an impression that Dollars To-day, the "almighty dolDolour To-morrow, lar" is more worshipped in Canada than in the United States. On the Pacific coast, of the great British Dominion the Japanese and the Chinese have come in sufficient numbors to alarm the white settlers, and the State Legislature has aimed at rigorous exclusion laws, but the Federal authorities ha-e scouted the notion of national peril. They have a commercial treaty with Japan, and cannot see past the dollars which dazzle their eyes. There may bs bitter sorrow to-morrow, but to-day there is gold; therefore, contends Sir Wilfrid Laurier, "it would be an act of panic to denounce the Japanese treaty whe i Canada is only just beginning to rean the benefits of it." Japan is not a country to give away something for nothing. For every dollar that Canada takes out of Japan, Nippon will get something better back. Short-sighted commercial interests are obscuring Canada's concern for racial purity and industrial safety. The '"cute" Yankee" is more worldly wiso. He likes dollars, but he likes them to last. He realises that the Japanese are turning covetous eyes on the golden Pacific shore, and he is not giv ing them any encouragement to invade these fair domains. Darkly a few of the honourable gentlemen who compose the A Hidden Legislative Council are Danger. whispering one to another, and shaking their "heads sadly. They are tremulous lest in the flare and glare of the new Dominion regime their greatness will not trip so heavily on the tongues of men. "Wo are to be Senators," they say; "but are we to be Honourable?" It is murmured that Ministers of the Crown see in this peaceful revolution a chance to distinguish themselves from the humbler members of the Council. He who carries a portfolio is to be an "Hon.," but he who is merely appointed to the Upper House will be ju3t a Senator at the best of times and plain "Mister" at the worst Hence the consternation. Really the Councillors should welcome a change which will give them a complete title. Senator is not likely to be abbreviated to "Sen." Honourable has degenerated into the invariable "Hon.," a contraction go fixed now that it is printed in some papers without a full-point to indicate that any letters are missing. Still "the Hon." sounds imposing; the definite article conveys some aplomb. If the lords could get "the Senator" or even "the Sen." in the other's place, there might not be much unrest, but plain Senator is — well, it is common. However, the feeling of suspense will be relieved by the Government in a day or two. The London press fails, signally, to understand the aims and amFoolish bitions of the self-governing Prophets, colonies. Very pronounced is its onslaught on the Australian tariff. Gloomy its predictions as to the effecte of such a tariff, not only upon British manufacturers, but upon the Commonwealth itself. These London critics still regard us as a species of commercial fief; all our rights dependent upon annual homage or genuflexion to the exporter of commodities. Their interest in us, like a trade chart, waxes or^wnnes according to the volume of our purchases. Vaguely and formlessly, "it is slowly dawning upon them that Australia, New Zealand, Canada, have got definite aims to achieve. Later on they Mill see clearly that the one absorbing aim of these young countries is the development of national health and .prosperity. • . These can only be acqufrefl 'as tfg Bec-ofto 'tore 'and more itt&i-'-contained and self-supporting. • But, oar London critics " object, such consummations cost money. What if they do. We have not lost our self-reliance, and a thing worth having is often worth paying for. A considerable' section of the British press have become invertebrate. They no longer believe in their own country. They held that their country cannot grow enough wheat, for example, to feed even half their millions, and this contention, in the face of the knowledge that densely populated Franco not only grows enough wheat to feed her people, but has actually an exportable surplus of sixty millions — a testimonial, surely, to self-help, email holdings, and intcnijo cultivation. And yet tlio British critics decry our efforts to become selfsupporting, and would hove us always vassal manufacturing States. Accordingly, we are told that Australia will soon experience a reaction, and the cuuee: dear prices caused by stagnation •and a decline in railway business. It is a startling economic discovery when high prices are predicted from "stagnation and decline. To-day's cable would indicate a junctioning of Labour forces Awakening in" the threatened struggle British between tho railway cornLabour, panics and their employees. The hearty sympathy of their fellow working men will nerve the railway servants to persevere with their demand for improved conditions. Too often, in the past, labour's want of success in its struggle for betterment, has resulted from a want of cohesion in its own ranks. Division and dissension have allowed the workers to be crushed in detail. Now it appears they arcs beginning to profit by former defeats. Tho General Federation is about to throw its weight and influence in the scale. The modest requests of the railway servants will have tho sympathy and support of a federation of labour which comprises almost a million members with a largo annual income. Tho declared objects of the federation are to maintain tl|e rights of combination, to further conciliation, and to assit workers engaged in disputes. This federation has an ac'.ivo propaganda, and one of its planks is the nationalisation, of mines, railways, and canals. The British workman is a patient fellow. His Anglo-Saxon strain induces him to mako tho best of things. He has, therefore, suffered greatly from callous exploitation in the past. But his resentment, once roused, will not bo easily pacified. So if tho Railway Directorates wish to retain control they would be only studying their own intei'ests by acceding to the request for an eight or top houis day and the right of their unions to rcprebent them before tho directors. Including overtime, tho British railway employee averages only 25s per week, so he is not lavishly paid. America appears to be determined to retain possession of the Split the yachting cup. Sir Thomas Difference. Lipton has shown a willingness to match English white wings againsc American pinions, on reosonablo terms, but the United States sportsmen havo the' cup in trust and look with eyes of suspicion 'on tho alien competitor.* Sir Thomas desires a yacht raoe ; the Americans do not object to a race, but they do not see why they should be iestricted to yachts. "Call tho boat a freak, anything you like," exclaim- ' cd Mr. Corneilius Vanderbilt, "but wo j eann'ot handicap ourselves, oven if out . boat is only fit for tho juuk heap the day | after the race." The Englishman's diffi- ! culty ia that lie is obliged to build a j vessel staunch enough to cross the At- . lantic. If he constructs with an eye to ! the scrap-heap, ho may find himself ar.d i his crew reposiug beautifully on the bed of the Atlantic. It seems that thero will be nd satisfactory settlement of tho yachting supremacy till the rivals acre© to meet in the middle of the ocean. They
do things on a big scale in America.; surely it would bo nn trouble to go to the middle of tho "h-ening pond" for a / day's sport. With such a choice of water it would not be a contest of freak against freak, but yacht against yacht. Two correspondents in to-day's issue complain of tho rude and Bad ill-mannered behaviour on Manners, the part of portions of audiences in public assemblies in this city. "Englishwoman,"" who was one of a party that came early enough to the Town Hall on '"Dominion Night" to secure seats, complains that some young men and women who ' arrived an hour later not only stood between the rows of soats, completely obstructing Eight and hearing, but one, she says, exercised deliberate pressure to force her from her place. Naturally, she > has made up her mind to attend no more "free shows" in tho city. It is fair to say that such misconduct is not common, even at a "free show,"' The "scrum" at the doors was disgraceful, nearly leading to breaches of the peace, and tho press has already noted the fact and made strong protest. An other correspondent calls attention to a breach of the proprieties which is by no means confined to "free shows'.' or shilling seats : th-st is, tho ceaseless chatter, often in aggressively loud tones, which prevents that part of tho audienco which is really interested in musio or the drama from benefiting by either one or the other. This is not only a flagrant violation of good manners, nut it defrauds the well-behaved section o£ tho audience of that which they have paid for — and, Itrange to say, it is generally most nn'iceablo in the fashionable quarter of tho house.' It is a serious and, we fear, an increasing evil'; but one difficult to deal with. Complaints are frequent , and appeals so far seem to be in vain. s
TOPICS OF THE DAY., Evening Post, Volume LXXIV, Issue 79, 30 September 1907
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