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PROMINENT PARTY MEN, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914
PROMINENT PARTY MEN
The Leaders of the two outstanding par. liamentary parties are at present stumping the country in the interest of their respective causes, while the other of the Cabinet are busy among their constituents seeking a renewal of confidence. Lost night, the Primo Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Minister of Kailways, and the Minister of Justice spoke in different parts of the Dominion.
PRIME MINISTER ATINVERCARGILL The Hon. W. F. Massey addressed a huge audience in the Municipal Theatre at Invercargill Inst Tjight. The raising of the screen wae the signal for an enthusiastic scene. The right hon. gentleman spoke on the lines of his other addresses of the past fortnight, traversing land .and naval defence, finance, land legislation, the action of the Government in respect to the strikes, the benefits derived from the moratorium, and claimed that the Government had already carried out most of their platform pledges. In reply to interjections, Mr Massey touched on the Food Commission. The trouble was that wheat prices would have risen, war or no war There M'as not enough wheat in the country to last till the next crop. (Cries oi "What rot!" and "They won't let it out.") He had the figures, and knew that at preeent over 20 mills in Newi Zealand were short of wheat. Australia had discovered itself also short, and his order for 20,000,000 bushels had not been filled. All he had been able to secure was 45.000 bushels. He had, however, been able to get tho Australian Government to consent to contract supplies coming forward. In addition, he had taken off the duty, and had approached the Canadian and Indian Governments. Unfortunately, Indian wheat was not suitable to this country, on account of their system of threshing;"hut the Canadian Government were to load one ship, which would bring 280,000 bushels to this country. He was doing his best to deal with the extraordinary position' which had. arisen. The Commission could hardly recommend what should be done. It was "just as well to face the position, and, if the agriculturists, did not raise sufficient wheat for out own requirements, flour was going to bo much dearer than it had been for. 20 yearn. The farmers had responded to the appeal, but a dry season had largelv spoiled the effect. Europe was 150,000,000 bushels short, and Aiistralia had only one-quarter of its usual crop, and no Government could help the price of wheat rising. A motion of thanks and confidence in the Ministry, moved by Mr l Gilkison a.nd seconded "in several places, was carried. Tho meeting was a lively one, but was goodnatured and friendly throughout, and Mr Massey was accorded a cordial reception and an excellent hearing. The proceedings closed with cheers -and counter cheers.
SIR JOSEPH WAKD'S DENIAL,
[Special to the Stah.]
CHRISTCHURCH, November 20. In his speech at Rangiora this oveiung Sir Josep'i Ward denied having entered into any compact with the Red Feds. Suggestions, ho said, were being made that ho had entered into an alliance with tho Red Feds for tho purpose of the General Election. Mr Massey's party were circulating this sugge'tiDii because they were afraid of tho success of the Liberals. Sir Joseph declared that so far as his kno vledge went there were as many Red Feds standing against the Liberals this time as there were at the last General Election. If that was so, what could tho Ttefoimers say? The Red Feds had a perfect right to stand. "The Red Feds in New Zealand," said Sir Joseph, " have made no arrangement with me, nor have I with them, in connection with the General Election, of any sort or kind. I want to say that T have done my best to gain tho votes of sane Labor upon the side of tho Liberal party, and; I believe wo are going to have them." He believed also that the farmers were with the Liberals. More farmers wero standing on the side of the Liberals than on tho side of the Reformers. They were not ashamed to be associated with the Liberal party. MINISTER OF RAILWAYS AT TAURANGA. Speaking at Tauranga la.<t night, the Hon. W. H. Hemes said he had been assailed for appointing the present General Manager of Railways, but this was a plank of the Mackenzie Ministry. He admitted that the Government had not earned out their promised reform of tho fiscal system. It had been intended to do so last session, but on account of the war tho question had been deferred. The freeholcl policy of the Government had been carried out to the letter. The Government were againsl the communal system of holding land by Natives, and were giving evory iacility for the partition of native iand. They were buying into large native blocks on the route of the East Coast railway, and wore purchasing land in tlje Urewera Country. The Reform party were solid, while the other side was a fortuitous concourse of atoms. The well-disciplined and compact party would, win every time in Parliament, and get their measures passed. After the Minister had answered questions he was accorded a voto of thanks coupled with confidence in the Government. MINISTER OF" JUSTICE AT KELBURNE. Tho Hon. A. L. Herdman addressed this Keliburne portion of his electorate (Wellington North) last cvenhtg, some 300 persons being present. The Minister claimed that, despite misrepresentation, and abuse, the Government had performed their work faithfully, dispassionately, and honorably, and the people of New Zealand, he was satisfied, desired to have in power, especially at the present lime, men who were prepared to bo firm and fair. He humorously referred to what he described as the cordiolo entente that had, he alleged, been formed between the Liberal party and the "Red Feds." As far as he could ascertain, they would find Sir Joseph Ward throughout the contest walking arm-in-arm with Mr P. C. Webb j —(loud laughier}—and they would find I Mr Russell walking arm-in-arm with Mr Payne, of Grey Lynn. (Renewed laughter.) The Liberal party had apparently I thrown in its lot with a section of the community which preferred to .settle all industrial disputes by the fierce arbitrament of broken bottles and scrap iron rather than by constitutional methods. It must be perfectly clear from the utfceri ance» of Mr Hiram Hunter and other exponents of that particular creed that there was an alliance between the Liberal | party and the gentlemen who created the disturbance laat year in this city and throughout New Zealand. The issue was : Wero they going to bare Mr Massey, or i were they going to have Sir, Joseph Ward back plue the "Red Feds"? The aim j of the Government throughout had. been to. preserve the virility and indepndence of the citizens of New Zealand, while at the same time endeavoring to furnish i them with comfortable conditions and a fair
lag on Naval Defence, Mr Herdman said thai the policy of the Commonwealth Government had been proved to be wis© and sagacious, and the lesson for New Zealand was that in future the Dominion must do more than it hand done in the past. The proposal Mr Massey made in the session of 1913—-that Now Zealnnd •herald proceed to build a "hip—should be entered upon. He had not the leait doubt that it could bo done without a heavy burden being placed on the people. The time had arrived when the colonies muat take a greater responsibility upon themaelves. They much do their duty not only to themselves, but to England. On the question of Prohibition, he had been and waa to-day a6O per cent. man. The present legislation was not going finally to eetitle the liquor question.. He was satisfied that if they carried National Prohibition it would not be the end of it. The Prohibitionists wore no doubt wellmeaning persons, but he thought they were completely mistaken. If they wanted reform they muat start with existing conditions, and not wait till they carried National Prohibition. If they carried National Prohibition 'New Zealand would become a plague-stricken spot on the face of the earth. People would not come to the country. They had had 20 years of temperance legislation in this country, er.d did they mean to say that drunkenness had decreased? Statistics ehowied that it had not. The very legislation had helped to increase the quantity of liquor consumed. While he did not believe in State or municipal control, he believed that it was possible to devise a law which would create a State licensing authority, which would control the licensing of hotels, see that nothing but the best liquor was sold, and the infliction of an increased penalty for drunkenness.
Tho meeting carried a unanimous vote of confidence in the Government.
PROMINENT PARTY MEN, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914
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