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THE ELECTIONS

MEETINGS THIS EVENING. Mr G. M. Thomson (Dunedin North), at How» Stmt Hall.

Hon. Jas. Allen (Bruce), at Stirling. Mr J. M. Dickson (Chalmers), at St Leonards.

Mr 13. P. Leo (Gawwiru), at. Waitati. Mr W. D. Mason (Chalmers), at Port

• MR 13. P. LEE AT WAIKOUAITT. Mr E. P. Lee. the Government candidate for Oamnru, addressed the electors of Waikauaiti in the Athenaeum Hall last evening. The Mayer of tho Borouch I Mr Ci. J. L. Kerr) presided, and *aid that Mr Lee, •who had been their member for three yearn, had given every'attention to matters referred to him from the- rtietriut. The Borough, Council approached him with a \iew of having their main road put in repair, and their representative was successful in gettinc £250 put on tho Estimate* for that work. The speaker said be would like to see a Minister of Lie Jrown visit Waikcuaiti. Mr Le*. Mho was well received, said he uould be pleteed to net- a Minister to visit Wailiouaiti if it could ho so arranged. He would endeavor to try to ge« one -who was well known to them (Mr Allen) to deliver an address in Waikouaiti. (Applause.) The present election Mas being held .under somewhat abnormal circumstances. They knew that in war times tho first desire of the British people, in particular, was unitv of purpose, and Inshould be sorrv to *■?* that unity disturbed In anv'wav by a pelttic.il campaign. He scarcely thought it necessary t«. import into this political anv elements of bitterness that would disturb that unitv. The candidate then intimated that he proposed to reply to some of the Piatementa made, by Mr Macphrvson last week, and first oi all touched en —■Finance.— He could not tee eve to eye with Mi Macpherson en the question of iimmce. His opponent was reported to have said : " The Government were borrowing greater than ever. What did they rind? The gross National Debt for the year 1911 was £81,078,122, while in 1914 it had ri-.cn to £99.730,427. or an increaso in two years and three months of over IB millions." Those figure*, did not actually represent the position. In the iiitt place, the Masi-ey Government could not be held responsible for the year 1911, when the Ward Government and tho Mackenzie Government were in office. Mr Macpherson. they would t-ee. had dealt with the gross National Debt. It- did not put the position clearly before the public, when one dealt with the gross National Debt. There were sinking Hinds set aside each year for the liquidation of the National Debt, and. the way of putting this matter before the public was not. to take the cro.-* National Debt but the net National Debt afici taking otf the accrued sinking funds. The following were the net increases in the National Debt for four years: 1911 £5.936.216 1912 2.869,674 1913 5.263,811 1914 9.209,314 To one who did not think it ' would appear that the increase of £9.209,314 in the net National Debt- was. larger than heretofore, and undoubtedly it was. and it would represent enormous borrowing if there was no further explanation. It was this further explanation he wished to give. There had been borrowed by the last Administrations large sums on short-dated debentures, and there had been allowed 13 accumulate a sum of eight millions odd, which had to be met in the present year. The Minister of Finance had therefore to provide eight millions for these loans, as Well as provide for the ordinary rcnuiieirents of the Dominion, and when he sawa favorablo opportunity he borrowed in .:d----vance—and very wisely, considering the present condition of things—a sum of £4,976,600, which amount must be taken oft the r.et borrowing in order to see •what was the. actual borrowing; for the year. Then there was this point:" The. surplus last year was £426,905, which might have been" £858,005 but for the different system of finance adopted by Mr Allen. He woidd briefly explain this difference. It had been the policy of past Governments, ■when they sold the lands of tho Dominion, instead of putting the money' a«sid« as a land fund, to place it in the Consolidated !Fuud, and so swell the revtnue for the year. Mr Allen, did not consider that , good finance, and all sales of Crown land s were now put into a separato account for the purchase of other lands. During the eyar that money amounted to £BI,OOO. Mr Allen had also set aside £lo,CoOayear as a fire insurance fund for (tovernment buildings destroyed by tire. Then he had to make good the. superannuation funds, the State contributing so much side by side -with the Civil servants. These funds were not solvent, and £35,000 had to be set aside to make them solvent. Further, a small loan cf £11,400 came due, and it should have been paid out. of borrowed money, but it was such a small amonnt that Mr Allen paid it out of current revenue. Then thero was the loss to the Dominion through the smaJlpox (£30,000), and the industrial strike was a heavy ex- j penditnre to the Government. Approxi- \ mately it came to £93,000. Owing to the ! wnallpox and vhe etribe there was a tall- ! ing-off in the railway isvcnue ■>f £171.000, so that, taking all the circumstances into account, if it had not been tor the change in tho system of finance and amounts irvolved in the strike ;.ud thv smallpox and the loss on the railways, ihe surplus I for the year would have bevn £858.000 instead of £426,905, or a difference of £431,100. which the Minister of Finance wonld haw had to work on, ami which would have, reduced his botrowing to £3,801,614. They therefore had this position: Net. increase in 1914, £9,209,314; less abount borrowed in anticipation, £4,976,600; actual increase in 1914,! £4.232,714 : ]<■•« other sums deducted, I £431.100: leaving •'. total sain remaining of £3,801,614. ThU was a very different story of the borrowing for the year as against Mr Macpherson's increase* in tho j debt of nine ntilli.nis i-dd. (Applause.l j —Loan Authorities.— He would now lefer to the b>an an- | thorities, totalTng, Mi Maipherx-n said,! 15 millions, though, as he faiily admitted, | it was not to be all burrowed in one year. ! At a matter of fact, the amount" was | £12,275,000. Of that amount £".200,000 ! was required for railway exteesiont;, and \ the money was to be expend-d <.\er a] series of years, commencing with £400,000 J in the first year and £750,000 in the f..l- j lowing yeaj*. These were works that wcro i originally required, as it wan impossible j to handle the traffic T'tider existing i-ondi- j tions. Then three millions were to be j spent on public, works, arid this amount i was also to !>e expended over a. series of : years. One irullion was to be spent on! reading and bridging the Uaekblocks, so | that they might be brought into cultiva- j tion and mado profit-bearing. Then there j was a war loan of £2,0G0,C00, and other I votes included in. the total rum were: I Advances to settlers, £1,500.000: ad-j vanoes to workers, £750.000; loans to public bodies, £1,000,000; lands for settlement, £500,000; water power, £200.000; and drainage schemes, £125.000. These Hema totalled £12,275,000, which constituted tho borrowing proposals of the Government for several yean ahead. It would be seen that the Government were prepared to lay their propc&als before the public. If the peopla thought the loam weiw> not proper to have on the Statute Book, they could say to at tho polls in i three weeis' time. At any rate, tho Oovexmnent were not ashamed to put their proposals and their figures openly before the public. (Applause.) —Taxation.— The Government had increased taxation; they had increased it on tba •wes»lthyv Thejr iiud mn-cle a. v-onsiderable increase, in tha Graduated Land Tax. and they * ia< " a^ao ina< "* l aa increase in the Graduated Income Tas. Both of those taxes fell upon the rich. —Land.— Th» Government's land policy was defined at the last General Election—that iru, to give the right of the freehold to thoao who wanted it, and not to interfere with the leaseholders in any way. On the OLand Question there was not much diflamncaof opinion in the Hquao. Tlijre

wa» a pretty general consensu* of opinion for the freehold. Sometimes it was said that tlio Government were tho friends of the large landowners, bub the figures of the Lands for Settlement scheme showed that they were a progressive Government. They were out for land settlement. They were purchasing the acres, they were raying the price, and they were subdividing. Then, again, tho Government hud sot up an Agricultural Board. —The Omarama Runs.—

Mr Macpherson madn an extraordinary statement on the question of the Omarama runs. He »aid : "The Minister was told that it was hie duty to give the usual legal and statutory notice to the tenants ol Omarama that the property would be required for closer settlement"on the ex. piration of tho lease. But he did not do so, and the neglect entitled the present tenants to another year's occupation of the property, and was practically a clear profit of from- £IO,OOO to £15,000 a year. Now, under legislation passed a few'days ago these tenants had lhe right, without compensation, to select on the subdivision of the estate." That vas not a correct statement of the case at all. The Omarama leases would expire by the effluxion of time about March next. The tenants had a perfect legal right to remain in possession of these leases until about that month. In June last the Land Board recommended that the runs be cut up into small gracing runs by next March, and the Prime Minister, "cm receipt, of their lcsHtuncndation. marked "approved" and signed it, so that there never*was any arrangement for the extension of tic time, or for giving- tlra present tenants the rwht to £IO.OOO or £15,000. The Prime, Minister, they would see, approved of the. land being cut up into small grazing runs, and the surveyors were now on the ground, which would be offered to the public for competition. No such arran»/e:nont as giving a. 12 .montli.i' irirroas.: < f the te-nn had ever been made. --Reform's Record.--

The (k>vernmcm had improved the pension.* given to old aged persons, widows and their children, and also to military pensioners. Thero had never been in the liiatory of New Zealand such an ample pension scheme a.s the one that- existed on the Statute Book to-day. All these pensions and benefits and* the pay of Civil servants and railway servants' could not ba increased without an increase, of expenditure, and nor..-" <: f the >-.;ii:-i;rjatcs who talked of ih* increase of nxpenditttro said thoy would curtail it by cutting down the pensions or the salaries of railway servants, teachers, or Civil (servants. "These increases accounted for much »l the increase in expenditure that was brought as a charge against the Government. The Government were, further, doing all they could to encourage these State departments that were of ht'iieljt to the State and to the people. The Public Trust Department, for instance, had never before done the business it was d.oiii- to-day. For the year 1915 14 this depaitlneut did record business, .showing a he*, pruiit of £29,222. Tho Government had never been unmindful of the workers. In two and a-half years the Massey Administration had built 345 workers* homes at a cost of £101.622. Touching on —The Strike.— Mr Lee said that the Government had put through legislation that would prevent anything in the way of a strike occurring again. —lncreased Salaries.— Throughout every d?partinc!:t of the State, thu Civil servants, railway servants, the police, and the teachers hud all had increases in their salaries. Over those whose wages they had control the Government had made substantial iiicrcac'f,. What better guida could they havo of the Government than the way they Heated those in their employ - ' He upheld the appointment of the Public .Service. Ci>nimissioners, and said that the public did not. want to see the Civil Service go back to Ministerial control. —Proportional Representation.— He was of opinion that the people, of New Zealand did not want a system of Proportional Representation. If "this system were adopted no district would have, its member, and no member'could keep in touch with much larger districts than they i had at present. that the. term of Parliament, was. too short. He <ou- j sidered that it should be" for four or five { years, and he would support four years, no | matter which party were returned this year. -■-lV);;ciiiM>in.--lii including, Mr Lee said that the. Government had L.een blamed lor not, acting quicker in regard to the Commission to i;" quire into the cost of foodstuffs. The Government had first to consider what legislation was expedient, and it was easy to make a mistake in that direction. There w*»re a good many ht:ii2.s t ■■. he thought out when the war broke out. Ho did not claim that the Reform party had been altogether perfect. They ..-mid never get an Administration < ulirely free from criticism or :'i.e from makirg mistakes, but he thought, that the Reform party had been a sooil rarrv and a rood Government for New Zealand. Ho said their legislation had been democratic, and that they had carried out to ». £reat extent the- programme, they had set out ou. Thenadministration had been prudent, wise, and for the goi.-<l of the cc.mmunitv. Ho. hoped that the people would pive the Go. vcrnmrnt a little more tim*> to finish their I programme. 'Applaute.) I Confidence.- ] .\fter a few questi<ms had been answered. Mr W. Sorter m "-'d a vote of thanks to Mr I.—.- f..- \i : . tidies* nnd confidence ill him ::s their iv;pi-es.entative, and also coiifidfiice. in lb- M-is.-ey Government. This was seconded by Mr A. N"ck!er and curried unanimously. POSTMAS'ITK-OKYFR w ,\\"l) TfK CONSTITUENTS. The H..n. It. 1!. Rhodes spoke at South- j bridce hkit night. He replied to state- j nient3 regarding the conditio;! ~i the rolis. I and expressed his belief that the policy i and administration of the Massey 11ovr.ru- '. ruent would redound to the. i.-redit of the '> country and make for its material pro- ; gress. He did not claim that ha acd his ! colleague's had made no mistakes, but he S contended that they bad incdc- few-;- ihan i their predecessors. As regarded the Waihi i anil Keefton strikes, the "Uoveniinont de- i cided to uphold law- air! order, and were I opposed to anatehy and disorder. Sir i Joseph Ward had said that be. would hive I read the iiiot A-.:. In Jo;,aii!io.dc.ii K the' reading of that Act ine-'iit. bloodshed', and id New Zealand we bad mine of that, j The farmers had d.ule ihe right thing in ! helping to 'o.-id joodiuv. On tie- suhjo. t ' of Naval Defence, the Minister i -•fi.rreri to the exploit of 11.M.5. Sydney, and 5,.i.1 that the time v as approaching v, :i--i! (;;;■.„;. Uritain would "e- n'.iov, .1 of the defence of the Pacific bv Canal'. South Afiica. Australia, end \>,v Zealand. Suiely it was a nobler thing to here .-idos of* cmown than to pay "Great l.tvit-ain to our hattles for ns. lieplying to questions, the Minister said he wen:let be. prepared to submit, the question of the IJible iu schools to a referendum, 'out he was notgoing to to anything that would interfere with the present system. It would be a rather big matter for tho Government to undertake a ferry service between Lytteiton and Wellington, hut when the trunk line was completed to Pictoit he would be in favor of a idoviMiniieiit ferry service, lie v\as not opposed to the Oovernment undertaking sue!- services, though these were described as socialistic, j —lt was resolved that the meeting thank ! the Hon. Mr lthodea for his address, and express continued confidence iu him and in the Government of which ho is a member. "There were a few dissentients. OTHER CANTERBURY SEATS. j Mr Hiram Hunter, the Social Demo- i cratic candidate for Chriatchurch East, j opened his campaign last night. He de- j ciared that an arrangement had been como to between the Labor and Liberal parties ! not ta put ttp candidates against each other, but in Christchurch East, without Sir Joaeph Ward'a endorsement or approval, the local Liberal and Labor League had nominated another candidate (Dr Thacker). Mr L. M. Isitt, ffie Opposition candidate for Chriatchuroh North, criticised the Government on their land and financial jßoliqSi «nd alleged that their iword 2*5.

one long series of broken promises, petty misrepresentations, ami unworthy practices. He specially condemned them in connection with the Hniitly disaster, saying that they v/ero guilty of contributory carelessness to such an extent as to be almost criminal. A vote of thanks and confidence was carried unanimously. Mi- ft. It. Whiting, the Social Democratic candidate- for 'Ohristchurch South, in opening his campaign last evening, declared bis adhesion to n promise made at f lost election to vote against a no-confidence-j motion in Sir .T. O. Ward and his antaI gonism to the Massey Government. He I dealt with a number of the promises made j bv the Government, and said they had not been fulfilled. He supported Sir J. G. Ward*.-* maternity bonus proposals, ProI portional Representation, an increase in | land taxation, a reduction in tho Customs duty on ihe necessaries of life, and a volunteer system of defence instead of the present compulsory one. Ho was given a vote, of thanks and coiUidence. Mr G. Wittv. who is again contesting Rircaiton indicted the Reform Government's administration from start to finish. He alleged that their land administration had been an utter failure, and that taxation, the cost of living, and borrowing I had not been reduced, as .promised, .lie ! criticised the Government, for their doj pendouco upon Commissions and tor their i failure, to tako the responsibility of administration upon their own shoulders. He was accorded a vote of thanks, and a vote of confidence iu Sir J. G. Ward and ! the Liberal Government was passed withI out dissent. Mr G. W. Russell, member for Avon, charged' the Government with having broken nearly every one of tho promises and pledges on which they were returned to power nearly three years ago. I heir poliev had been to emasculate the cheap money scheme. Referring to naval matters, "ho said that the poh-y «>■ the Labor party was in favor of one navy—the British \avv—with a contribution irom Aew ! Zealand/ Tdr Massey was beginning to , realise that the people of New Zea and ! did not want a toy navy. ISew Zealand | might, however, bo provided with atib- ' marines ami torpedo boats for local defence Villi 1 the war was over he would 'stand hv the Defence Act, but if the ■country'tould not got the men he would be prepared to extend it. He claimed that the Liberal partv were stronger today than ever. Replying to questions, Mr Russell said that tho policy of the Liberal partv was to pick up the work of Liberalism laid down in 1912, and to earrv it on on exactly the same lines, if National Prohibition vero earrn'd he wuti'd support mine sort of public control. On the Bible-in-Sehools question he would slronslv support the present system, and would vigorously oppose a Referendum on the question. A motion of thanks and confidence in Mr Russell was proposed and declared carried, _ although there was con-; iidcrable opposition to it. CHALMERS. Mr .). M. Dickson, the Reform candidate, met the electors of Chalmers at Wvlies Crossing yesterday afternoon, and in'the evening he addressed a large meeting in the 1-airfield schoolhouse. Mr E. South occupied the chair, and the attendance included a good number of ladies. At the termination of Mr Dickson's address a number of questions were answered. Mr W. Smith proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the candidate, which was carried unanimously. Mr G. S. Thomson, the Labor candidate for Chalmers, addressed a well-at-tended meeting at Tort Chalmers last night, nearlv 200 being present. The (hair was occupied by the Mayor (Mr T. Scoilay). Mr Thomson, who spoke for a bout'two hours, was attentively listened to. After several oiiestions had been answered he was accorded a vote 'of tlvmks. THE CITY. Mi A. Walker. Labor candidate for Dtuiedin North, addressed about 170 electors at Maori Hill last night. Mr E. S. Clarke (Mayor of the borough) presided. Thn candidate, at the close of bis address, was accorded i unanimous vote of thanks and confidence on the motionoi .Mr ('■ Deebv, seconded by Mr R. Wills. Mr d. W. Munro. the Labor candidate for Duue<lin Central, spoke to a crowded meeting in the Mission Hall. Walker street, last night, lie contended that the present political fight was the democratic interests of the majority of the people versus the autocratic interests "i -.he minority. After questions bad been nnswered'bv the candidate, a hearty ''Me of thanks was carried unanimously. ;

Mi ,1. A. Nash, a candidate for Pal.•iterstnu North in the Reform interest, addressed a large gathering in the Opera House, last evening. He said he was opposed to a. lleferenduin on the Biblc-in-Schools question, and favored a threefifths majority on the Licensing question. He was a strong supporter of closer settlement, and an opponent of land aggregation. He favored the more speedy settlement of Native, lands, and was opposed to an increase in the Customs tariff. He favored further amendments to the Education Act. a defence system to enable the Dominion to protect itseh r.cainst invasion, and the raising of necessary loans for public works and :dso for steadily pushing on railways to develop the conn-

try. 'Mr ft. W. Veuahles, the Peforni candidate for Napier, opened his campaign last night in Napier South. Tho -candidate spoke at considerable length on Labor questions, drawing attention to the beneficial measures introduced by the Mas.-cv (.tovernment. He severely eritieised the nolicy of the "Red'' Federation, lie exonerated the Government for the delay in. connection with the prosecution of the East Coast railway. The candidate received a good hearing, arid was accorded a vote of thanks.

Speaking at To Hoitka on Friday night, Mr Malcolm, sitting m-ember for Cluiha. jei'eired to the foresight displavfd bv the Defence Minister in seekimr to haw an expeditionary forco organised a couplo of years aizo, and to the misrepresentation t-> to which he was subjeeed at the time after previously strongly condemning it-. A vote of thanks to tho candidate, of conrid .mce in him and in the Tdassey Government, was curried unanimously.

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THE ELECTIONS, Evening Star, Issue 15652, 17 November 1914

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THE ELECTIONS Evening Star, Issue 15652, 17 November 1914

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