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HANSARD PICKINGS., Issue 8023, 27 September 1889
THE FARMERS AND THE PROPERTY TAX,
Mr Ward : The hon. gentleman says "No"; but I tell the hon. member that it is o large proportion of farmers that are doing so ; they are absolutely paying a land tax under a system of property taxation, and are contributing more to the Property Tax than any other class in the colony. Does the hon. gentleman accept this as correct? MrT. Mackenzie: No.
Mr Ward : Then, air, I shall place it on record ; and if the hon. gentleman wants to know what my authority is, I got it from the returns of the Property Tax Commissioner. I quote from a classification of taxpayers by occupation, showing designation and number graziers, sheep farmers, farmers, settlers, dairymen, and others, 9,747. That is the number, out of 27,826 the total number of taxpayers who contribute to the Property Tax—about a third of the total number. So that I venture to say the hon. gentleman must admit that the farmers of this country arc the chief contributors to this tax. WHO WAS IT?
I do not know whether I should bo out of order in relating what happened in a State school of which I was chairman. An inr spector came there to inspect the children. He gave them a lesson in dictation. They wrote it down, and he was surprised at the incorrectness shown by the children, and he said to the teacher of the school "This is very bad indeed." The teacher Baid " Will you allow me to give them a lesson in dictation ?" The inspector said " Yes." He gave them the same thing, word for word, and they wrote it all out correctly. The inspector said "That is very strange." Then the teacher said: " I teach my children to speak English, and they do not understand you,"
ABSOLUTELY GODLESS. Mr Pyke: What have the Roman Catholics done—all honor and glory to them for it ?—They have built and maintained their schools, with an average daily attendance of about 10,000 children ; they have built their own schoolhouses ; they have never asked the Government for a sixpence. Why? Because they regard the present Education Act and the present Board schools as atheistic, communistic, and altogether infidel; and Ido not think they are far wrong. Mr Speaker: You arc speaking of schools maintained by the State, and they ought to be spoken of respectfully. Mr Pyke : I do not wish to speak of them disrespectfully; but I remember one of the promoters of the present Education Act had a division in the House to prevent Christmas Day and Good Friday from being days upon which no school business should be transacted. I remember that perfectly well, and if that is not sufficient evidence of infidelity Ido not know what is. I should be the last man in the world to say anything disrespectful, but I do feel a strong horror in my mind of the way in which our present Education Act is bringing up the children. I say we are creating a set of larrikins. We are teaching them the three Rs and other little things attached thereto. We are not teaching them the fear of God or of man. I would rather a child of mine grew up without the knowledge of reading, writing, or arithmetic than that he should grow up without a knowledge of morals and manners. These are far more important than the education taught in our schools ; and I will ask the Government whether they must not take some meanß of stopping the larrikinism which is growing up in our midst, promoted by our system of education. Sir, I am not going to say very much at the present time. I quite agree with those who hold that our education system is utterly godless; and I ask why these people who bring up their children in the way they think best should not have some assistance from the State.
HANSARD PICKINGS., Issue 8023, 27 September 1889
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