THAT OSTRICH FARM
THE PRIME MINISTER EXPLAINS. Speaking at the Hntt last evening ia regard to the ostrich farm the Hon. W. F. Massoy said he wanted to clear up the matter of the ostrich farm. An Elector: "About time yon did.' Mr Massey: "And I have waited ior tha opportority of doing so in Wellington."" He went on to say that the Waidiu line -was surveyed and practically (greed to years before he became the member for the district. A great deal <ti energy had then been put into the construction of the main trunk lines, and quite rightly. The people of the district had been given promises by various Ministers. The Hon. It. M'Kenzie and Sir William Hall-Jones had both gone to the district and had approved, of the fine, and he (Mr Massey) had no doubt that it would pay. Now, about the ostrich farm. A gentleman of the Auckland district, who had joined the groat majority, had loft a will stating that his property must be put into cash. The outcome of tho negotiations over '. the estate was the establishment of this ostrich farm, into which he had put £I,OOO. The company that had been formed had paid £17,500 for the property, and had come to the conclusion that the best thing to do was to improve it. For this purpose they had borrowed first £IO,OOO, and then a smaller sum. The property had never paid any of them, Including himself, a cent. Ho hoped that some day they would get their money back, but it was being inferred that ho was using tho people's money to build a railway to benefit himself. As a matter of fact, the property touched on tho present main line. If they had travelled to Auckland they had probably seen the ostriches—thera were 500 of them—at Pukekohe. That was where the property touched the main line. Mr Massey 'then quoted from a newspaper report which said that at ono »f his meetings Mr Glass, his opponent In the present election, had repudiated hia own paper—the ' New Zealand Times.' He would not touch it. Mr Massey then produced a plan of tho district. The new line, he snid, did not run through the farm, as had been stated time and again. "In Auckland," said Mr Massey, " where I am known, the people laugh at this. I don't profess to be better than anybody else, but my constituents know that I "am a straight man." _ (Applanse.) He would not have left his constituents as he had done, assured of a 1.500 majority at their hands, if he had any charge to answer. " I want the ' New Zealand Times' to coma out in the open. (" Hoar, hear.") It has been inferring and casting about the impression that I have been using the money of tho State to build this railway for my own benefit. To say such a thing, or to infer it either, is a falsehood. I challenge the ' New Zealand Times' to come"out into the open and say that I have used the people's money for my own personal gain, and I will know what to do. I am inst watching and waiting. If tho ' New Zealand Times' says that,, tht-n T will tako the matter to the Suoreme Court and fight it if it cost me tho last shilling that I own. (Applause from the : front seats.) I know the mudslinger i who t writes these articles. I know he won't apologise, but I've taken the opportunity of telling the people tha facts of tn& can."
Permanent link to this item
THAT OSTRICH FARM, Evening Star, Issue 15661, 27 November 1914