I Ai/niorcn it has been a well-known fact
i for a long time that tho I jyjr Davey's late member for Christ- ! Retirement. church East (Mr T. H. Davey) had not worked i during tho currency of the last Parlia- ! moot too Harmoniously with the Liberal | p^ty—he had declined to attend any of | their caucuses and had adopted tho rolo of j Independent—it was hoped that tho efforts of his friends to heal the breach would bo ! successful before the ides of December j were reached. That, however, was not 1 to be, and when Parliament was dissolved I lMr Davey was found to be more resolute itbau ever in his resolve to preserve an J altitude of absolute independence towards both political parties. Thus his defection i from tho Liberal fold was complete. This ! caused much surprise, as his worst enemy j could never have accused Mr Davey of I “ rail sitting.” His debut before the elecj.fcors in this rolo at his first meeting in I tho present campaign was tho cause of a i hostile demonstration, when in reply to a ( question as to how lie would vote in tho j event <>f a no-confidence motion ho reI plied that he would vote on the merits of th<> motion. It soon became evident that i the electors cf Christchurch East would loot tolerate a member with a big “I” [ after his name, aud the final result of tho meeting was tho carrying of an adverse I motion. Two days afterwards he an- ! nouaced that ho would not contest the I seat. Mr Davey entered politics 12 years ago I as a staunch supporter cf tho late Mr Seddon; and, having como from the ranks of tho workers, he was considered by tho responsible Labor leaders of Canterbury to be a man after thoir own heartAnd he still enjoys within our knowledge ; the full confidence of that section of tha workers who appreciate honest service, because Mr Davey throughout his parliamentary career was never extreme, but
was absolutely fair in his criticism of all industrial problems, and was a firm upholder of the just rights of the industrial section of his constituents. It will bo remembered that, with his Fidus Achates, tho ex-member for liiCcarton, Mr Davoy was instrumental in settling tho Christchurch butchers’ strike, which threatened to develop into an industrial dispute of some magnitude, a few years ago. And the tramway employees throughout the Dominion, as well as the travelling public, ■will always have good cause to remember with satisfaction the successful battle he waged against corporate influence to protect tho limbs and lives of the conductors on tho municipal tramways throng no ui New Zealand. There was no man who sat in Parliament who had a better knowledge—tho fruit of actual experience—of bridge and road construction, unci on that account he was always listened to with attention and respect whenever ho addressed the House on those important questions. When tho stop-gap Ministry arrived in 1912 Mr Davey was dissatisucu alike with tho personnel and the chosen Deader, and he took no pains to conceal his thoughts on tho manner in whicn the fortunes of the Liberal party had been jeopardised by the injudicious distribution ot portfolios and by tho wanton sacnuce of the claims of men who had been loyal supporters of tho Liberal cause, but wno refused to be catalogued as party flacks. it is an open secret that but for tho blunder of his political life—his action in connection with tho case of a wellknown Justice of the Peace in Christ church, which was responsible tor the enforced retirement of a police inspector ot many years' meritorious service—Mr Davey would have been caned on to fill me cliiurmansnip of committees in the House, and in consequence ins whole political career would have been altered. But, iur reasons that do not require to be recalled, that did not happen, and ins opportunity was lost. v, o have always maintained that that unfortunate error oi judgment—an for tuna to because a diaeieiu procedure, wo were always conlkicir.iy or opinion, would have averted me catastrophe must be set agonist his goodness of heart and ins endeavor on an occasions to assist any ineud who happened to be in trouble. Never a. great debater, he was clear and incisive in his utterances, and his views <m any public question were invariably expressed fearlessly and with the force of com iction. lie never broke a pledge, and never was known to go back on his word, it is moat regrettable that his conscientiouslyhold views wore incompatible with and prevented him from working harmoniously with his old associates; but wo are sure that tho people, not only of his old constituency, but throughout Canterbury, will honor him the more for declining to surrender his sincere convictions to the demands of tho party managers. Mr Davey, by a concatenation of untoward circumstances, has felt himself obliged, after much heart-searching, to bring his public career to a close; but ho leaves the political arena with an absolutely dean record —the highest guerdon any public man can wish to gain—and retires therefrom with best wishes for the enjoyment of a wellearned and dignified easa by old parliamentary hands, irrespective oi * color,” who held him in high esteem for Ins devotion to the public interest, for his veal ous and impartial discharge o! his duties as chairman of many important committees, and for his bonhomie.
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Evening Star, Evening Star, Issue 15662, 28 November 1914