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DUNEDIN CENTRAL, Issue 15649, 13 November 1914
THE LABOR CANDIDATE’S CAMPAIGN. Mr J. W. Munro, tho official Labor candidate for Ore Dunedin.- Central seat in Parliament, addressed a large number of electors, in the Early Settlers’ Hall. He was well received, was given an attentive hearing, and obtained a unanimous vote of confidence. Mr •!- Haymes, president of tho Dunedin Political Labor Representation Committee and. tho Otago Labor Council, presided, and introduced the candidate, who would, os the nominee of the Labor party, expound their platform. The Candidate, who was cordially received, declared at the outset that ho hoped tho audience would ell go away feeling that tho Labor party were tucrv ivicncrs. and that they would bo exponents of the Labor platform. It seemed to him that the democratic forces ot tho country were something like the irishman who, trying to repeat a joke, bad placed his finger on his nose and asked a tnend to hit- it. but removed his hand before the blow came.
—The .Massey Party At the last election—for years, in fact—tho old Opposition —the present Government, as led by Ah- .Massey, had been touring tho eountrv riving to show the people that the old Liberal party were a partv ot bribery and corruption. Tney tried to make the people believe _t hat. Tney changed their name to “Reform.” ami declared that if the old Liberal party remained in power the country would go to the dogs, and. naturally, it ono threw mud at a person «>r a party, there was bound to ho some of the mud that would stick. There was Iv.iumi to arise in tho minds ot the people a. suspicion, and ire believed that was the rvason, and the only reason, that the demoitratic forces of the country put the present Alassey Government iiuo power. He wanted to impress upon them, whether thev were Liberal, Labor, or Socialist, the fact that the coming election struggle had got to be (ought online understanding that the interests outside of Parliament were tin'- same interests rnsu.o ot Parliament. iApplause.) _ They had to realise that the actions ot tne Massey p.ntv. although they claimed that they were not Conservatives and were more Liberal than tho old Liberals ever were. wore actions u\ tho inttTflsts of Acstou lit* wanted to impress upon them that that party, though having changed their name, were tho same partv to-dav as 20 years ago, when opposed *n the best, humanitarian legislation put on the -Statute Books bv tho old Liberals under the late Air Seddon. The Alassev party were exactly the same as previously, for they were against the great masses of the people, ami were out for the interests of tho few of the people. Thev must realise that there were 80 percent. of the people who did the necessary work and perlormed tho necessary functions of society, and that 80 per cent, was composed of ‘the working-class people of j this country, and the other 20 per cent, represented the people who awned the factories and workshops. Air Alassey was representing the large squatters, tho large financiers, and those vested interests generally. Mr Alassey was put into Parliament j fr.r" the particular purpose of safeguarding j those interests as against tho interests ol the rest of the people, as hi.-< attemptedlegislation proved, or, rather, tho want of legislation, it they eared to put it tha-C wav.
An Electioneering Scheme. •Mr Massey anil his parly away back in 1908. when the Second Ballot Bill was before the House, advocated Proportional Representation in opposition to the Second Ballot Bill. Proportional Representation was what the Labor party wanted. Whan the Massey party got into power they repealed the Second Ballot, but they had not replaced it by any other Act. They had deliberately done what he called an act of political chicanery. Thev had realised that the Labor and the Liberal forces would be split, and they also realised that the Massey party would bo solid. Why* Because the'v knew that the vested interests would fight solid all the time. Thev always did. It had been a deliberate attemnt to split up the democratic forces of the toimti v. In this City at any rate the Laborites had had enough sense to make some such arrangement with the Liberal party as would at least ensuvo that there would bo no triangular duel in Ids constituency and Dunedin North, lie would like to see that arrangement taka place all over New Zealand. (Applause.) The workers must recognise that every effort must be put forth at the coming election to wrest political control from the Massey party. —Minister of Labor.—. The candidate devoted considerable attention to the Huntly mine, and the mere mention of tho disaster gained him applause. Tho miners, ho declared, went nut on strike there because certain of tlcir men were being victimised. Ho had rarely found that men went out on strike without sc mo just reason. (Applause.) The Huntly mine owners, knowing that the Government in power would back them up. formed a bogus union, and the Minister of Labor allowed what was practically an illegal union to bo registered. The Minister of Labor had also to take Ins share cf tha responsibility for tho mining disaster at Huntly. It' seemed to him that the portfolio oi Labor, which was established (to protect the interests of Labor, was row being uwd for the protection of the employers as against the workers-. (Applause.) —A Labor Bill Killed.— Ho det-ired to draw attention to the man. nrt- in which tho only real Labor Bill submitted to Parliament during tho recent f-e.s.Mon was thrown out by the Legislative Council. The Bill was. introduced by Mr tVilford (Hutl), and it had for its purpose the redaction of the weekly hours of women in woollen mills from 48 to 45 hours It met with no opposition in tho House of Rrjrresentatives, and Mr Wilford was quite hopeful that it would bo plated on tho Statute. Book. Mhat was the treatment meted out to it in the Upper House? It was hardly discussed, and was thrown out (specially by the new nominees of the Go- \ eminent to the Council. Ho would say that these men were put there for that very purpose. (Hear, hear.) —The Government Frustrated.— The workers should realise what the Government tried to do when tho war broke out. One of the first things they inlrodreed was a legislative proposal providing tor the suspension of awards during tho term of tho war. The Government believed that- tho burden of the disturbing effects the war should fall upon the workers. Had it not been for the few Labor members in the House and the Council, who got together and resisted the proposal, the employers throughout New Zealand to-day would bo working their employees any hours and paying any wages they chose. (Hear, hear.) That was the Reform party! The cloven hoot always would appear. They were the same old party that had fought everv piece of humanitarian legislation that tad been placed on the Statute Book. The workers ought to realise what they must expect from (he Massey parly. —Tire Foodstuffs Farce.— There was another charge that must bo placed against the Massey party, and that was their action in respect to regulating the prices oi foodstuffs under the Food and Commerce Regulation Act. He contrasted their action against that of the English Government, and aroused contemptuous laughter at tho manner in which the Massey party attempted to check exploitation. When the war broke out the English Government (Mr Munro said) realised tho necessity for immediately preventing any undue exploitation bv commercial speculators, and provided legal machinery to accomplish that end. They adopted tho most ?tntesmanlike > attitude possible, and appointed committees to regulate tho prices of foodstuffs from week to week* and keep prices as low as possible undar the abnormal circumstances occaaionad by war. In Australia, and especially in New South Wales, where a Labor Government had control, it was immediately realised at the outbreak of the war that there was & danger of inflation of ■ prices, and steps were taken to protect the people Rom exploitation. In New Zealand Mr Massey did the same. (Laughter.) Mr Massey, as Leader of the Government, had-Mb legal machinery for dealing
with the question, and had also set up a i Commission of Inquiry, who went through New Zealand and took evidence. Nobody i knew anything about the evidence taken : by the Commission. Ho believed that the i Commission were still taking evidence. They would sit a lime before they hatched anything. Mr Massey and his colj leagues had' absolutely failed to rise to i the occasion: had absolutely failed to realise that it war. the duty of tho Go- , vernmont to protect the people from being exploited. His own solemn conviction was that there was a Government in power ; who would do everything possible to pro- i tcct the interests of those people who got high prii’cr. for their foodstuffs. (An- ; plat.ee.) Air Massey had his masters out- i side of Parliament, and know whoso volet < in the main put him and his party into Parliament. •'My own conviction." re- ' marked Mr Mimro, "is that bo wants to)' 1 eve the farmere get tho highest prices ’• f prysibfe. He wain tod to be absolutely turc t I that all the farmers had quit all their ' I wheat at a high price. 1 am saying this i la - ,idly, and I am going to tackle him on ' | it. 1 believe that Mr Massey and his party ‘ [ are absolutely against democracy, no mat- 1 I ter what- they say. Reform is only their window good*. The goods are not demo- 1 cmtic goods ; they are only old 'lory stuff. ’ 1 (Cheers.) \ The candidate made sport of the Prime AI mister's assertion as to having his eye * on the Meat Trust. (Laughter.) An doctor; Yes, his bad eye on it- ' (Laughter.) "He must have great faith in his eye," 1 continued Mr Munro. “if ho is going to siaie tho Meat. Trust with it." (Laughter.) r . T!;e Government should have done the J same as uas dime in Queensland —prohibited the expoit of meat except through; and under t lie supervision of the Govern- j j nunt. (Chems.) j/ | e He had been told that ire had no hope ; j. of wrnmng art olvclioti against Mr Sta-I 1 tlram, but ire knew that as long as Mr: Sst at ham was to back up the Massey; j. party then they must light Mr Stutham. • (Applause.) He laid been told ho was a: very nice gentleman, but from what he:, had heard of his f.icnd it was youth that 0 liad ailed Mr Staiham to the Massey , party. Lite time would e-ane, he was ;;l rare, wlreu he would fight with the Labor • party. | a Voice ; What a hope 1 | —Labor's Political Platform— i was totally opposed to the policy of trie : 1 present- Government, so far as they could I learn. On the laud question it, was held ? tint time should be no lurtlu-r alienation, j of Crown lands. .Mr Alasavy was telling *• land to people at its original value, and ; he claimed that to be a statesmanlike action. borne of it war. worth _ almost tluee times tho price paid far it. Mr i Matiecy was making a gilt of the increased value of the land to certain people. Ihe people of New Zealand were absolutely unaware of wli.it- was going mi. Put what could be exp*. Ted from a party like the Massey party? (Applause.) Jim second I [dank dealt 'with Stale control, providing I for —A State Bank,’ — with the role light or not-;; issue. (Ap- j plause.) At the present tunc tiro Govern- ( merit and the Opposition were charging earlr other with being the gieater Dor- , rowers. So far as he could see, they both i borrowed as much as they could borrow, j They both played the same game right up to the hilt. 'The Labor party believed that, if our credit was good enough to ; piled go in the London money market, it was good enough to print our numey on. ; , The Government was really doing what I. tho Labor party wanted to no, only it was j handing it over to private persons to do. ; A governor of the Bank ot Lngland was to i be raised to tho peerage, but the Labor t forces had showed him how to do the ; trick, tie simply got his idea from tho, j Labor-Socialist pc<>. le. lApplause.) It ' j was quite easily worked, and was going to i ; save vast borrowing and pledging our- : ; selves to t!io inoney-leuder. 'lhoy knew; ; that they must have hoi rowing to a certain : , extent to carry cm the country, ami they ; must borrow th; money in London c-r tax the people, who natuially would object, | or thev could u-c their credit by a State j ■ note issue. Liny bciievml trie Government should stop In,nowing [
—Various Matters. — I In briefly outlining the platform, Mrl Munro advocated tiro etstablismncnt of State w.-md .“hipping setv.tvs where desirable : the State control of accident insurance ; the maintenance of our present hoc, secular, and compulsory system of education; tho securing of one vote one value by the abolition of the rural quota ; proportional rt'-presentation or the single Uiuisfvrablo vote, and the enactment of the r.feteiulutn with the initiative in the hands of tho people, except in matters of religion. On ;he question oi monopolies > he spoke firely, advocating tho abolition j of monopoly in industiy; stringent hj gis-| hit ion ti- suppress the fixing of uniform | prices of coinnuxlitteo by im-rchants, ami the establishment of State fa--toiios, works, , and eevvk-s. (sucvially in iiidustric.-. controlling tho iK'ic.-te!rms of He. lb- Mas- : scv parlv were going to increase toe , Graduated Land Tax. hut it was hardly : likely that tin- wtaithy landowners wh“ 1 supported tho Reform Government would! cutler them to impose a severe tax. The j only party (hat wor Id tax tiro lauded j ari?i°c;-acv to the fine was the LaVior ; party. As ve-.-aul* a gia-hudccl absentee , tax,' ho personally would tax absentees ■ out of existence. ' (Hear, hear.) If tho . people wanted effective taxation upon land, incomes, and a, super-tax on all uu- \ earned incomes let them scud Labor reme : sentativc; to Barliaircnt. 'Hear, heard Other planks in the Labor platform were , the extension of facilities for the treatment j mid caro of the sick, with inere-p-ed ac- | tivity by th« State in the eradication and | prevention of disease, the exleu-ion of the j pension' sytom. particularly widows’ pen- ; Minis and pensions to cover all cases (if . need, and provision for free legal advice ; and legal defence where nc.-ded. He admitted that in respect to the li't-men- j tinned plank they were up ag'diist a snag. , His partv'.- programme included the right ; to work.’ This right, surely, was the fun- j ilanu-uta! ha-d-, of society. Employment ! to nil wa- essential for the welfare of the ; State. Then it was desired to effect such I amendment- of tho Arbitration Act as j would en-ur--' full justice and secure indus ; trial peace. It was necessary to take steps ; to have all award' in every industrial dis- | pnte marie hv tie- Arbitration (.ouucil. The Court should I'm compelled Lo_ make ; an award in every case of a union formed I in accordance with the laws of the conn- | try. (Hear, hear.) He noted that the i Court had refused to make an award for 1 agricultural workers. Dominion awards . should he granted wherever practicable, r The conditions of all wage earner-- should I be reviewed by the Arbitration Court, and | there should he a full recognition of union- ; ism as the basis of arbitration in indus- j trial law, and the consequent membership | of all men engaged in industiy. (Hear, I hear.) During the wadei-side workers’ ! strike last year all employers accepted tho 1 principle of unionism, ami supported tho ■ system of arbitration as against any other 1 system. _ ; -—Tho Voice of Labor.— , If the working people of the country j were going to luing about a state of so- ; cietv >-.! this country that would ho an 1 object-lesson to the rest of the world, the ( onlv way to do it, in his mind, was by the ; working people of tho country handing j themselves together and taking possession of the political machine, not as a class, but as tho majority of the people. In conclusion, Mr Munro stated that the Mnsscv party to-day were, in hi* mind, a menace. They were only using words to fool the workers. But the Workers must taka an active interest in politics. He ■ had been trying to rouse Labor for yease to he up and doing. (Cheers.) —Catholic 'Schools.-- \ An Elector : Is Mr Munro in favor of j State aid to Catholic schools. Mr Munro (firmly) : No. j Another elector caked later on why Mr \ Munro was not in fasfov of State aid to i Catholic schools. Mr Munro: For the simple reason that we have our public schools. They are not religious. They are undenominational, and if any section of the people wish to teach their children outside of the public schools, then that is their busi-
nesa to look after. (Loud applause.) I would point out further that it Catholics got a grant for their schools, there is.no reason why the Anglicans should not, or any other denomination. Tho Elector : Do not the Catholics paytaxes as well as others?
Air Munro: Yes; and they got the same school facilities n.» anybody else. (Applause.) Do tiro Catholics expect to get more than anybody else.? Tho Elector : No; but . Air Munro : Very well. There is the secular system. It is undenominational, and why should they expect to get more than anybody else? We provide public railways amt other public services, and if anybody else wishes to sot up any other kind nf service ho has got to pay for it. That is one of our objections to 1 lu» Bible iu schools. Wo want to keep | the educational system undenominational, and so long as that is so. if .any class of the people want to leach their children in their own way. they should pay for it. boveral other questions were submitted to the candidate, but most, of them were of a nature that suited them for submission to a Reform candidate. Atr S. C. Brown moved—“ That- this meeting of electors of Dunedin Central thank Air Alnnro for his able address, and express their fullest confidence in him as a lit and proper person to represent tho constituency in Parliament." Mr W. G. Cope seconded tho motion, which was carried unanimously. Enthusiastic cheers for Air Munro terminated the meeting.
DUNEDIN CENTRAL, Issue 15649, 13 November 1914
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