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THE ELECTIONS

MEETINGS TO-NIGHT. Mr J. T. Johnson (Dunedin West), at Albany Street School Hall. Mr *J. M. Dickson (Chalmers), at Coronation Hall. Ravoitsbourne. Mr W. Downie Stewart (Dunedin West), at Drill Hall, Wakari. Mr W. D. Alason (Chalmers), at St. Leonards. ' Mr G. S. Thomson (Chalmers), at Allauton. DUNEDIN CENTRAL CONTEST. MR STATHAM’S CANDIDATURE. Mr C. E. Statham, who has represented Dunedin Central in Parliament during the past three years, and who seeks re-elec-tion as a Government candidate, addressed a meeting of electors last night in the Presbyterian Hall, Morningtou. The hail was crowded, and many ladies were present. The candidate was given a hearty welcome and an excellent hearing throughout his address. Mr W. J. Bolt, Mayor of Mornington, presided, and in introducing the candidate said it was necessary to have an honest Parliament, and to secure an honest Parliament it was 'essential to have honest, straightforward individual members. Tho name of Statham in Mornington had been . known by the people for many years, and ho felt sure that if tho name was put to paper it would be quite a sufficient mark of honesty and straightforwardness. (Applause.) —Confident of Success.— Mr Statham, who was given a cordial welcome, acknowledged tho friendly way in which he had been introduced and received. Mornington had been very good to him three years ago, and had been largely instrumental in securing his election. He hoped they were going to do tho same this year. An Elector: Of course we are. Ho would indulge in no personal criticism of his opponent, and any criticism -ho might use would bo entirely political. ( Applause.) Ho hoped that, irrespective of the result of the fight (and ho thought he was going to win—applause), he and his opponent would ho able to shake hands after it was all over. —The War and tho Election.— There had been much discussion on the question of holding the Genera] Election. Why had it been decided to hold "the election while the war was on? It had to be remembered that those who were elected members of Parliament at the 1911 elections were elected to hold that office fur a term of three years. That was tho term fixed by our Constitution, and any oxteni on of that term meant special legislation altering the Constitution. The Government gave serious consideration to the suggestion to extend tho term, anti came t - the conclusion that tho elections should ether be held now or that tho term should be extended for a definite period of one year. Such an extension would cause a minimum of dislocation in the administrat f --n and trade of the country. The Prime Minister agreed to confer wtih tho Leaders i i the Opposition on the matter, and did but Sir Joseph Ward said ho would mt agree to an extension for a year, and suggested till tho end of March; then, if found unsuitable, till the end of June; then another three months, and so on. Elections, however, have an unsettling rifcct upon tho country and upon business at any time, and tho Government would not consider tho proposal to have the election fixed for March, with possible further adjournments of three mouths at a time. It would bo very unfair and very injudicious to keep the country in a state of suspense and uncertainty, and such a position would not bo tolerated. Sir Joseph said that ho did not think the elections should bo held while the war was on. but could not agree to their postponement till tho war wa* over. Through all this trying period it has been the aim of tho Government to prevent anything in the shape of a panic, and to encourage the people of this Dominion to go about their business :n tho ordinary way, and so in furtherance of this policy it was considered better to allow the elections to go on in the ordinary way. We did not know how long the, war would last, and. for tho reasons given, periodical adjournments of tho election were out of the question. —Opposition Criticism Criticised.— Air Statham said that he proposed first ot all to deal with some of the statements made by Sir Joseph \\ ard when speaking at tho Garrison Hall last week. Whilst wo were all pleased to have a visit from that right hon. gentleman, and to hear him speak on politics from his point of view, many of the statements he had made were somewhat inaccurate, and did not put ilie position at all fairly before tho electors. As to tho reform of tho Legislative Council, Sir Joseph had admitted that the Government had carried out their pledge to make Upper House elective on tho same franchise as the House of Representatives on tho proportional system of voting by larger electorates, but ho told his audience that, under tho Act just passed, tho elective system would not come into npcration_ for seven years from Ist January. 1915. This was a very inaccurate Ho should have mentioned t!ut at tho first General Election after Ist January, 1915, which in the ordinary course of events would take place at the end of 1917, 24 members were to bo elected to tho Upper House by tho direct veto of tin- people, and that at the next election, t>. be held six years later. 40 members were to bo elected by the people, so that the whole House would then and thence.fu’lh be composed solely of members fleeted by the people, with the exception Jt anv of the life members who were then iiirviving. Sir Joseph did not mention Aiat the reform of the Legislative Council had only been effected in tho faco of strenuous opposition from tho Council • itself, which was composed for tho most part of tho appointees of the Into Government. and that, in order to ensure the passing of the Bill, it bccarno necessary this year for the Government to avail them- 1 selves of their power to make further appointments to the Council. That these appointments had to be mado for seven years was not the fault of the present Govern- ’ ment. Prior to making these appointmerits, it had brought in and passed through the Lower House a Bill reducing the term for which new members could be appointed from seven years to three rears so that the Upper House would the sooner , become a wholly elective body; but tho I • Legislative Council as then constituted • threw the Bill out. Amongst the appoint- I ments and reappointments made ov the 1 present Government were the Hon. Messrs ' Paul and Barr (Labor). Sir William HallJones, the Hon. Dr Collins, and tho Hon. 1 Mr Samuels, all of whom were opposed to < the present Government in politics | An i plauis.) 1 —Women in Parliament.-- j Gentle reference was made bv M r 1 Statham to the legislative proposal last : session to provide for the election of women to the Legislative Council. The ; House had agreed to the proposal, but the ‘ Council rejected it, and declared that they 1 would accept it when the.House decided to ' make women eligible for election to the House. He personally was opposed to the 1 proposal, and h'e opposition was due to consideration for women. He had oldfashioned ideas on tho subject, and ho did not think women should at present he elected to Parliament, where business was carried on afc all hours. Perhaps ho would change his opinion in time, when : women demanded the right to be elected to Parliament. Doubtless they would get their way. (Applause.) —Accelerated Land Settlement.— One of the first Acts passed by he : present Government was one to increase the graduated tax on large estates, with a view to accelerating subdivision. By this • Act tho whole scale was revised, and theL 25 per cent, additional tax imposed upon 1 1 estates of £40,000 and over was also im- , posed upon estates of from £30,000 and ■ upwards. In revising tho scale tho in- ■ equalities and anomalies of the earlier f senemo were removed. Sir Joseph Ward i quoted only two set* of figures. He pointed ; out that under tho new Act on an estate ] of £34,000 tho increase of graduated tax j was only 12s 6d, and on an estate of ( £40,000 only £l2 Bs. This statement was < in itself correct within a few shillings, but ( T«cr misleading. He (Mr Statham) would ’

supply them with some figures, which Sir Joseph had unfortunately omitted to give his audience, which ehowed that, owing to tho fact that under tho old system the ; tax increased by a series of steps instead of by a proper gradation, ns in the new system, at some points in the scale our rew tax showed a comparatively small increase, and it was these that Sir Joseph : AVard had picked out, and left others severely alone. The following examples would show what he meant: Old New Estate. Kate. Rate. Inc. £ s. d. £ s. d. £ s. d. £22.450 ... 46 15 5 49 11 6 2 16 1 £24,000 ... 56 5 0 56 17 6 0 12 6 £27,495 ... 71 12 0 75 5 3 5 11 3 £30,000 ... 93 15 0 112 6 0 18 11 0 ; £34,‘450 ... 107 13 2 152 18 4 45 5 2 1 £38.000 ... 128 13 11 189 15 0 51 2 1 £39 999 . 135 8 3 212 4 6 76 16 3 £4O 000 ... 200 0 0 212 4 9 12 4 9 ' 550.900 ... 318 2 6 356 15 2 58 12 8 £70.500 ... 616 17 6 710 0 11 9e o 5 Thcv would notice, for example, that under the old inequitable seal© an estate of £39.999 paid £155 8s 5d graduated tax, whilst an estate of £40,000 (only £1 more) paid £2OO. The increase in graduated tux imposed by tho present Government, whilst being fairly substantial, was meant as a warning, and now tho Government proposed to bring in an automatically increasing scale, so that every year tho taxation on large estates would increase without further legislation, and owners who refused to rut up large estates would do so at their own peril. —An Emphatic Denial. Sir Joseph Ward had condemned the Government for what ho termed their failure to repeal section 20 of tho ractorios Act, 1908, under which women workers over 18 years of ago in woollen mills mav be employed for 48 hours per week. Sir Joseph naturally did not point out to his audience that that section had been on the Statute Book since 1901, and that his Government had never repealed it. Mr Wilford had introduced a Bill this vear providing for tho repeal ot the section so that those women could only bo employed ior 45 hours per week instead of 48. and this Bill was passed bv the Lower House, and thrown out hv the Council. His (Mr Statham s) political opponents ha<l stated freely that ho (Mr Stivtham) had voted against Mr WilforcVs Bill. He gave the statement a most emphatic denial. He had not once voted against the Bill at any stage. It was attempted to construe his voting to refer the Bill to the Labor Bills f’ommitteo as a vote against the Bill, 'this I was quite wrong. Ihe Ministri gave the member in charge of the Bill his assurance that if the Bill went to that Committee he would give the Bill every facility in the House afterwards. The £rime’ Minister did give special facilities to the Bill in its passage through the Lower lions*', and the Hon. Mr Paul, who had charge of it in the Upper House, acknowledged this and said also that tho principle of th • Bill had never once been challenged in tne Lower House. —Naval Defence. — On tho question of naval defence he expressed regret that it had been made the subject of so much party recrimination. It was not a party question. After referring to the 1909 agreement, which had not been carried out by the Admiralty. he said that his own view was, as ho had said before, that for New Zealand to attempt a local navy on the linos of tho Australian Navy, and even on a much smaller scalp, was completely out of tho question. The question of finance settled it out of hand. Hero we had a population all told of slightly over 1,000.000 people, counting men, women, anil children, am! it seemed to him that the taxation per head to keep up any sort of a local navy would be absolutely prohibitive. But. after all, what did any one of ns know about navel questions? The only point upon which any of ns could he at all competent to judge was tho question of finance. We could look upon a naval scheme from a financial point of view and sav whether or not the Dominion could afford it. Having done that he thought that whatever course we pursued we should adopt only sqmo scheme | approved by the British Admiralty. 1 ho i position now was changed entirely from j what it was only a few months ago. | He hoped and believed that when this groat war was over the Admiralty would have ships and to spare to place in the Pacific. He thought that vc should let bygones he bygones in the matter of naval defence. Probably a definite settled. policy with regard to a Pacific fleet would bo agreed upon between Canada, Australia, and ourselves acting under the guidance ami advice of the Admiralty. If we settled upon the amount we could afford to pay and spent it in accordance with the ail vice of tho Admiralty we coidd not go far wrong. A local fleet of onr own was impossible for many years to come. (Applause.) —Tho Cost of Living.— In dealing with the cost of living Mr Statham said .Sir Josenh Want had said they had not reduced the Customs tariff. It had been impossible for them to revise the Customs tariffs in these troublesome times. If any reduction was to be made in the Customs tariff he thought the benefit of the reduction should go to tho mass of the people. —The Huntly Disaster.— Ho dealt comprehensively with tho allegation that the Government were responsible for the Huntly disaster, and explained that there was ample provision to safeguard tho mines from such a disaster. Tho Government had nothing to do with the causes of the disaster, and ho felt sure that subsequent events would show that no part of the blame could bo laid at’ tho door of tho Government. —Bible in Schools.— Tho Eible-in-f-chools Question was next dealt with by Mr Statham. He said he regretted very much some of the things that had been said of the people who opposed tho agitation by tho churches, because there were many who conscientiously objected to the proposal. Ho was not an opponent of the Bible, and ho recognised tho value of religious instruction. Tho Referendum Bill had been introduced into tho House by the Hon. Mr Allen, not in his capacity as a Minister, but as a private member. That Bill provided that the people of Now Zealand wore to say whether the league’s proposal w;is to ho given effect to. It was a wrong thing to ask teachersi to give religious instruction, because there were many good teachers who could not give such instruction. They knew tho inscrutable minds of little children, who would ask questions, and tho teacher had to answer them conscientiously. Tho teacher might be an atheist or an agnostic, and if they had little children under them they could not help having misgivings in their minds. An atheist or agnostic teacher, however, might he perfectly conscientious, and ho could not help imparting unconsciously some of what he believed. It would be wrong to allow the teachers to teach religious instruction for another reason as well. If they were going to allow tho teachers to teach religious instruction, then the teachers ought to be made to pass a test to show they were fit to do so. What the State undertook was to teach secular education. Ha favored a chapter of tho Bible being read, and the Lord’s Prayer being repeated by the children, which could be taken 10 minutes before school commenced. But he could not see his way to allow this religious instruction to be taught by the teachers out of a text book which was not yet in existence. (Applause.) The" league claimed that tho 15,000 pcoplo who supported tho demand for a referendum had a right to be heard. He freely admitted that they had a perfect right to he heard, but he thougt it was a regrettable thing that all their energy and enthusiasm were heng devoted to this question when Sunday schools could not get teachers. (Applause.) Every superintendent of a Sunday school would say that it was difficult to obtain teachers. * He did not think it was v a good thing to give to the clergy the right of entry to the public schools. If they were going to insist on Bible lessons _ in the State schools the Roman Catholics, who had to bo admired for the efforts they made to have their children taught by specially-trained teachers, would ITS justified in asking for grants to their schools. (Applause.) Ho ’ was personally opposed to giving grants)

(to any denominational eohools. (Ap--1 pinnae.) It was necessary, in his opinion, : to stand for religions liberty, which had j made the Empire. Many earnest Chria- | tian men and women were opposed to introducing Scriptural instruction in the | public schools. He believed it was the i duty of members, of Parliament to protect the rights of minorities against the tyranny of majorities. (Applause.) It was a dangerous principle to allow people to vote on, a referendum on the question of religion. “ I am against it. Ido not agree with it. If I go out of active politics for it I do not care. I must make my position clear, and state my beliefs. 1 am going to do what is right, and what I think is right. I won’t vote in favor of the Referendum, and I am not -going to do it.” (Loud aplause.) —The Licensing Question. — He thought that some people would think he was a very bad man when they heard him say that, as regards the licensing question, he was still in favor of the three-fifths majority, which ensured stability. He would stand to his former opinion. He would probably lose votes for it, but he could not help that. (Applause. ) ' After a great many questions wore dealt with, one elector with » remarkable persistency, being responsible for about 60 per cent, of the total, it was resolved, on tho motion of Mr S. Dickson, seconded by Mr 1). Carr, to accord Mr Statham a hearty vote of thanks for his forcible, plain, and distinctive address. The questioner referred to expressed regret that ho had not been allowed a full opportunity to move an amendment. Later three chrers wore given for tho candidate. MORE RETIREMENTS. TO P.ET STRAIGHT-OUT ITfHIT. Offer nu amicable conference between The panics concerned. Mr W. H. Murray (Government candidate for Grey Lynn) has decided to retire from the contest in favor of Mr ,Mi:i(lnch M’Lea.n (official Government candidate). Mr E. T. Vi eld fGovoYrmwnV candidate for Kaipava) has retired fiom the contest in favor of Mr Gordon Coates. Mr Rowley authorises tin- Liberal organiser for Dunedin to state that lie has withdrawn his candidature for Dunedin South in order to avoid tho possibility of the success of the Reform candidate. THE CAMPAIGN IN TARANAKI. (Fiiosi Our Sff.ctm. Con iu.scox best.]

Tlie Genera! Eh*-t ion. as far as Taranaki is concerned, lias been overshadowed bv the war C.-ndi kites in the live electoral dietiicts have hern suli.-fied frr the most part with visiting tho bark blocks and wooing tin- electors, who put "roads” before either war or mity. Thus we find that the main part of a report of a candidate's n’oetiir; eras that “many of (he very bad difficulties iu loadin'.' have been met, although plenty .‘-rid remain, but the settlers show high appreciation of the work clone by Mr on their behalf.” As the date of the election is now fixed and the iclis closed more* interest is being shown, and the merits and chances of election of each rand id ate. are being freely discussed. The first printed matter that I ! have seen is jir-t to hand, which is a sign lof life. No doubt things will move during j the coming week, and we will then he able I to form some idea of each man’s chance- of j reaching the winning post. In each of tho five, Taranaki districts wo have two conI d* dates. ami it is likely to be a clean-cut i issue between Reformer and Liberal. Jho j side issues of last election no finger exist, ; wiih the exception of the. Licensing Quesi tion and the Bible-in-schools, and the latj ter is just ahas drad :ie Julius Ciesar. An I have raid, it is impossible at this date to rightL- estimate the strength of candidates. Roth parvies are sanguine, express saliffncthm wph the contest, and will light to a tin'sh and give no quarter. This is a Reform stronghold, hnt it must be remembered that some of the Government candidates are either weak or new men, while the Opposition have old fighters in Messrs Jennings and Hawkin'-. while the cohs in M e-sses Mon ison and Hughes are getting into form every day. T-, that whip* one is at. present, inclined to farcy the prospects o? the late mcmbei-s, it will not be a w,ilk-over, and tb-re may be a sunwise or two. Mr Massey is to come and trv to ” harden things up. and no doubt the Leader of the Opposition will send ns his "kind regards." I -will sum the position up in next Saturdays ’Star.' CITY CAMPAIGN. Mr G. At. Thomson. Government candidate for Dunedin North, spoke at the Tor n Hall. North-east Valley, last night. Mr \V. Mowat presided. On the- motion of Mr W. 0. l.ntnley, reconded by Mr J. B. burnt, a hearty’ vole of thanks was accorded the candidate for his address. Mr A. W’aikcr (Labor) met the Opoho electors last night. Mr A. Wilson was in the chair. A ”vol« of thanks and confidence. moved by Mr I’. Walsh, was unanimously passed. Mr T. K. Mdcy, who seeks re-election for Dunedin South, addressed St. (’lair doctors iu the Presbyterian Hall last evening. Mr R. Duncan was chairman. The candidate *car. unanimously m corded a vote of thanks and confidence. The proceedings at Mr W. E. J. Maguire’s meeting of Dunedin West electors, held in the Albany Street Odd follows’ Hall, were, somewhat inharmonious, in consequence of the attitude towards the candidate of a. well-known Socialist who took a prominent part in tho strike trouble in Dunedin last year. Mr S. Anderson, vice-president of tho Dunedin Drivers’ Union, occupied the chair. CHALMERS. Mr .). M. Dickson addressed a meeting of 200 electors in the Fort Chalmers Town Hall hist night. Tho Mayor (Mr T. .Scollav) occupied the chair, ami in introducing tho candidate spoke in praiseworthy terms of what Mr Dickson had done in tho interest of Port Chalmers during his connection with the Harbor Board and other public bodies. At the close of the candidate’s address, and after questions had been answered, Mr J. -Stevenson moved a hearty vote of thanks to Mr Dickson, and confidence in him as a fit and proper person to represent Chalmers in Parliament. An amendment was proposed that a vote of thanks only lie passed. The voting, as near us could be ascertained, was about equal. Mr W. D. Mason, the Liberal candidate for Chalmers, addressed a largo meeting of electors at Fairfield on Tuesday night. Mr James Ross presided. Tho candidate was frequently applauded, and at the conclusion of his address was accorded a unanimous vole of thanks and confidence on the motion of .Mr P. Rilev, seconded by Mr T. M’Cloy. Mr Mason addressed a largo meeting of ladies in the Foresters’ Hall, Port CliaJmers, yesterday afternoon. In the evening he spoke at Sawyers Bay. Mr Binnie presided. At the conclusion of his address a vote of thanks to and confidence in the candidate was unanimously carried amid much enthusiasm. On Monday evening Mr C. E. Smith spoke at Kaitangata. At the dose of his address it was resolved unanimously, on tho motion of Mr Joseph Mosley (a leading farmer) —"That the meeting express their thanks and confidence in Mr .Smith ns tho Liberal candidate for Bruce, and also express their confidence in the Liberal party, and trust that they will be returned to power at the election.”

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THE ELECTIONS, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

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4,153

THE ELECTIONS Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

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