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MR REYNOLDS EXPLAINS., Issue 7934, 15 June 1889
MR REYNOLDS EXPLAINS.
TO THE EDITOR.
Si ßi _Allow me to assure your last night's correspondent "Justice" that I am a staunch advocate in favor of criticism through the Press of the actions of members when they abuse or neglect the confidence reposed in them ; also that my letter of the 15th December, 1883, to which he refers, and which appeared in the «Otago Daily Times,' referring to Mr J. W. Thomson, expressed then as it does now my appreciation of that gentleman in his capacity as a representative, and of his expressed opinions on the necessity for retrenchment. I would further like to assure "Justice" that I would equally deprecate any undeserved adverse criticism on the part of the Press to the actions of " Messrs Fergus or Richardson," and may add that, as far as their actions have been disclosed to me, I consider they have fairly carried out the trust Parliament has reposed in them. "Justice's" insinuation that lam given to " rail-balancing propensities," and that a seat in the Government changed my tactics on the question of retrenchment, is altogether groundless, which I feel confident those (even my greatest opponents) who have been associated with me in politics will ratify. I have been accused of obstinacy, but never of vaoillation. Then, again, what did I gain by joining the Ministry? I received no remuneration for my services, neglected my own private affairs, and performed arduous duties to the State. When I joined the Stout-Vogel Government in September, 1884,1 did so solely to assist the only one member of the Ministry in the Legislative Council to carry through such measures aB come before the Council, and with the distinct understanding that I was to be relieved at the close of the session. I retired accordingly when the Government <*ot another colleague in Mr Larnaoh, " When Parliament met in 1886 I was again pressed to join the Government, and agreed to do so without portfolio or pay, but with the distinct understanding that retrenchrnont was to be the order of the day, on which point I found the Government were thoroughly at one with me. After the session was over I came to Dunedjn in Sep-
I tember to attend to some private business, intending to return to Wellington within a. j fortnight to take up the question of retrenchment in earnest; but unfortunately T was prevented by a severe illness, which laid me up for five months. I did not, therefore, leave for Wellington till March. I was even then ill able for the journey. I had to break it at Ashbiirtorj, and on my arrival in Wellington was again laid up for a week or so. As Parliament met on 26th April it will be seen that very little time was available to formulate thorough retrenchment. No doubt it may be said that iny colleagues should have pr.-.e-edHl in thi-i direction irrespective of int.-, and to a certain extent they did do so, and laid the foundation for retrenchment during the recess of 18S7, which, had we remained in office, would, I am convinced, have resulted in a greater ami more satisfactory reduction than has been elected by the present Government. We, however, were defeated on our Customs Duties Bill and made way for the present Ministry, who, I hope, will recei/e the hearty support of all sides of the House in carrying out retrenchment without destroying efficiency, and thus place the finances of the colony in a thoroughly satisfactory position without adding additional burdens upon the people.—l am, etc., WILMAM H. RkYNOLI.S. Dunedin, June 14.
MR REYNOLDS EXPLAINS., Issue 7934, 15 June 1889
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