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The Evening Star MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1914.

Lono past the allotted threescore and ton and full of honors Lord Roberts has gone to h;s. long last rest, where beyond these voices there is peace. Ho rind, as he. had lived, in harness. Xot for him, though past- his eighty-second year, a, life of honored case and leisured opulence, 'through the heavy fogs and biting cold of the. Chamiel he crossed into torn and ravaged Franco and Belgium, there to greet and cheer his eld Indian comrades who were lighting and dying for the Umpire they had both served i and loved in common. Lord 'Roberts was Union n and reverenced of all men. 2s ot ' Kelson among the dead nor Kitchener among the living has a higher place in the ail'.'ctions of tin* people, while to boys and' girls he has for many years been a popular idol. Xor need there be any wonder that it seas so. (ientle, simple, unaffected, devoted to public duty, eve, placing it before his own personal inclinations, with none of the outward characteristics of a. Mar lord, though himself the greatest soldier of his time. Lord Roberts, at an age when no excuse was needed on behalf of a complete cessation from public activity, entered upon a campaign that was va-d- enough to tax the physical ami mental powers of men twenty and thirty years younger. The task of educating hi-: fellow-countrymen to a realisation of their common danger and to the imperious need that existed for prompt and adequate preparation was carried through by pen and voice with an eloquence and pertinacity tiiat finally compelled even trailucers and slanderers to feel ashamed. Rut it was a failure. Like Cassandra of old, . Lord Roberts had the heart-breaking satisfaction of knowing that what ho was predicting was true, and at the same time that his countrymen would not believe him. Yet he Jived Jong enough to hear himseU acclaimed as a true prophet, and ho died knowing that his beloved country, with the enemy already thundering at her gales, was at last in very truth and deed a. nation in arm.;.

The Passing of Lord Roberts.

That this true patriot, loyal citizen, great soldier, and humble Christian should have passed “.way at this hour adds one. oilier tout'll of sadness to that which hi-, weeping friends, from tho King and Queen on tho throne to the humblest villager, already feci. One hoped that he would bo spared to welcome back homo the glorious remnants of that wonderful little British Army that lias added more and brighter to those it. already has. Hoe. - ho loved it, followed us doings, worked for its comfort, and died, as ho would have wished, with n.s officers and men near at hand. V.. Abner died in battle David tho King turned to his servants and said : “ Know ye nor “ that there is a prince and a great man ‘■fallen in Israel.'’’ Tho words may be more fittingly asked of tire aged warrior who has gone. The terms “prince” and “groat" arc specially applicable when speaking of Lord Roberts. There was nothing mean, or sordid, or that require; explaining and apologising for n his hte r.-d character. To him, as to that great-

; t of all British soldiers, of whom they

..ere written, Tennyson’s lines apply ! i. • >-, >cd gray head which all men knew, 0 voire from which their omens ail men drew, 0 iron nerve to true occasion true, O fall'n at length that tower of strength. Which stood four stjuare to all the winds that blow 1 Fallen! But not cut oft with half his work undone. Lord Roberts died with the record all but completed. Thero was little more to'which to look forward. Ho did not enter tho promised land of a cleansed and triumphant Empire, but, lika Moses, ho viewed it from tho hilltop. Let us then in imagination stand soberly and reverently beside tho still form of this valiant soldier and true man. For a time shall surely come when we too shall ding convulsively to tho fast-fading gleams of light and tho mantle of life that is slowly slipping from ns. Till, suddenly, all will be silent on tho field of battle; despair will come to an end, strife and struggle cease. With fixed eyes and blanched lips wo shall lie'down and wait; and life one day, well-fought or wasted, bright or sombre, will lie behind us—a dream that is dreamt, a thing that is no more,

The service rendered by the Hon. James Allen to the Bruce Reform and electorate as its reRecrimlnation. presontativo in Par-

liament since 1892 and to tho State as a consistently keen and capable politician is so widely known and genuinely appreciated that it was hardly necessary for him to waste energy, as ho did at Milton on Saturday night, on wool-gathering with his political opponents, His speech was mostly tho recriminatory argument of a candidate eagci to refute by the disputatious methods of party politicians tho rather shallow criticism so frequently hurled at the Government. It was a catalogued programme of the Government’s difficulties and achievements rather than a clear, cool exposition of their particular measures and policies. Tho lack of characteristic thoroughness and clear perspective was probably cine to sheer weariness following a hard parliamentary session, in which Mr Allen, as Minister of Defence, Finance, and Education, accepted willingly a too .generous sharo of administrative work and anxiety. So ho chose the easy method of most political candidates—refer to the past and recriminate—and disappointed those who had expected a thorough, oven a masterly, exposition of the vital circumstances of the period, and the best means for combating the abnormal conditions. There was something of the old vigor, however, in the condemnatory manner in which ho discussed the campaigning combination between the “so-called Liberals” {his own phrase) and the Labor party. Ho perceives a serious danger in the combination, and considers that a successful issue to the compact would he a travesty mini! constitutional government. Doubt loss, he remembers and regrets the experience of his political chief in “negotiating” with certain Labor representatives for political support against the Ward party, and is generously anxious to prevent tho “ so-called Liberals" from placing themselves into the hands of political Philistines. It is scarcely to bo expected that his solicitous advice will be fully appreciated by hir Joseph Ward and parly, or by the Labor party, who arc charged with seeking to punish the Government fur their action in breaking tho waterside workers’ strike last year; but there is more than a grain of truth in the argument employed by Mr Allen against the political combination of Liberals and tho Labor party. Undoubtedly tho arrangement must carry a certain amount of danger for the Liberal party, v.ho will be obliged io shape their political measures to suit the. holder aims of the small party who may not impossibly be in a position to hold the balance of power in Parliament. This is the danger—possibly exaggerated—that may persuade many moderate Liberals to withhold their support from tho Liberal party at the General Election. It is, however, somewhat amusing to find Air Allen displaying measured admiration for tho Labor Government in Australia because they have done at least one good thing—constituted an Australian fleet. Let tho Led Feds of New Zealand adopt the policy of a Local Navy, and the Go- ; vornmcnl, apparently, will take them by | the hand as the “true Liberals”!

In record to th<.‘ achievements of trie Government, os outlined by the. Minister of Finance, no cspecial comment is necessary. Most people with fair minds admit that, a!! circumstances and d illicit Itie.t considered. the Government's record ot administration is hinhly creditable. Hut surely tue ii"li has Ik on heard of *' the finance in 1912” and tho electioneeriny practices of the Ward Administration. What the electors throughout tho Dominion desire to know is tho financial position of the Dominion in 1914, and the prospects for 1915. Ist it to be u happy New Year as regards finance, or a year of retrenchment of public works and a reduction of .State activities? Mr Allen has explained that an advantageous arrangement has been made with, the Imp; rial Government in respect to a New Zee.bind war loan of two millions sterlinsr. and has noted with pleasure that the Leader of the Opposition, who was ctwilifL’nihilly informed as to the arrai.'i'cnntnt, described it as an excellent baiirain. Hut will £3.000,000 meet tin full cost of New Zen In'id's service in tho

imperial cau-e, and u- the raising of a record Expeditionary Force from New Zealand reallv cimtempbt?d ? Mr Allen had nothing to my o.u Saturday night about the potsi I -Hit e of tlti -• Dominion sending another B.o‘. V J or. 10.POO men to the aid of the Empire in the great conflict in Europe. IVc hope that he i- rot of the company o; those little New - Zealanders v.ho believe that the Dominion has. i.n proportion ;o population ami ail that out of vapid argument. done. quite enough. The n;a r.tion of population cannot bo considered . ngl ■: mcirrv'r.i - .l lit., AtotberbiU.l nerds more me.n from her sturdy colonies. Of all tire ihilhh oversea possessions New Zealand stands most secure as regards the effects of war ; hut if she feels the inihica»'-, lea.-t, her Icy.titv and resources are great enough to re-poml to tho call of Empire. On the question of a War Tax Mr Allen rays definitely that neither lie nor blr Joseph Ward corridors it necessary to impose on?. "It is not right to put a War Tax-on at present.” If it is not right, will he explain wind is wrong about it? lbs admits that a War Tar. will come later on. but thinks that u' it Were imposed now a tax on land or on anything els? might bf» mod as a rc-as.m for dispensing with labor, and might lessen production and reduce the wages fund. Surely this tincimvtneiu" argument places a low value on tho patriotism of individual and collective employers. It would be interesting to know how mr.ry fortunate individuals

there are in New Zealand who neither toil nor spin, and v, ho draw large incomes from the resources of tho eonniry, hut who have contributed disproportionately to their means and privileges to the expense of rnfeguarding their interests as well as those of lers favored folk. Would .not a War Tax chord that class a ehanco to express true patriotism? Employers who are doing their utmost to maintain business and enterprise should lie exempted in. proportion to their efforts. If there is no nccosity for a War Tax now, wo hope that thero will be no need for retrenchment i.u tho Public Service or for reduction of the expenditure on public works after the General Election.

It is regrettable that tho Minister of Defence descended to the practice o: making political capital out of hie association with the scheme for Military Training. Everybody knows that few, ii any, politicians have excelled him in genuine support, political and practical, of the compulsory training scheme, and ho ought to have been content to let his splendid and most timely service in that relation speak for itself. Nobody will commend him for recalling Sir Joseplr Ward’s opposition to the scheme several years ago. Time changes the views of politicians, and Sir Joseph learned, as Mr Allen will yet learn, that public opinion is stronger than the settled views of politicians. It is bad policy to fling brickbats at an opponent when in a brickyard. One is apt to get hit with a. similar missile. Twenty, fifteen, ton, five years ago Mr J.

Allen was proud to be a member of tho then Conservative party, was a firm upholder of the free, secular, and compulsory education scheme, and wits a pillar of strength against Liberalism. To-day ho clairaG to be a member of tho Liberal party and a reformer. What compelled him to become a real Liberal and a Minister in a party that has thrust Conservatism out cf its political hook? We reply: Public opinion. And if ho continues to study real public opinion, and to be guided by it, he will avoid seeking a temporary advantage in tho changed opinions of his political opponents.

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The Evening Star MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1914., Issue 15651, 16 November 1914

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The Evening Star MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1914. Issue 15651, 16 November 1914

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