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THE ELECTIONS

CLUTHA SEAT. MR MALCOLM AT BALCLUTETA. Mr Malcolm, who is seeking i e-elcction tar Clutha, addressed a fairly good audience in the Oddfellows' Hall, Baldutha, last evening, there being a considerable sprinkling of ladies. Mr E. J. Boyd (Mayor) presided, and briefly introduced the candidate, who was well received. Mr Malcolm began by referring to local matters, and said that when elected nine Team ago the Catliua Lino was only at tho t’atlin* River station, and was progressing at the-rate of but half a mile a year. He had devoted himself to pushing on tho line, with the result that it had now reached its terminus at Tahakopa. This session he had also procured no less a sum than £27,000 for roads, etc., in Clutha district, the bulk of which sum was for Gatlins. He also referred to the protective embankment and the bridge, and said tho Reform Government had treated Baldutha in an exceptionally genrons way. Dealing with the proposed Baiclutha-Tuapeka Mouth railway, ho jus titled it as a work that would pay, and would incidentally bo to tho benefit of Baldutha, with whoso interests ho as a citizen was very closdy identified. Ho had tho promise of tho Minister of Public Works that tho railway would be commenced as soon as possible, and ho did not think they need doubt Mr Fraser's word Ho believed, however, that if Sir Joseph Ward were returned to power ho would shut down all work on the railway. Air Malcolm then launched out into general politics, and said the Reform Government had not gone back on any of its promises, but those it had been unable to fulfil would bo attended to in due course. Mr Massey was willing to stand or fall by his convictions, which was the great difference between him and Sir Joseph Ward, who had no convictions. A* an instance, Sir Joseph had proclaimed jiimself a Leaseholder, yet in 1912 ho followed Mr Massey and voted for tho Freehold. In ISOB Sir Joseph Ward had denounced such a system as tho present system of defence, but within a year or so he had brought in a Bill and passed it into law embodying tho very system ho had previously denounced. Ho did not propose to deal with figures, which were usually wearisome, and proceeded to claim that the Reform Government, in spite of difficulties encountered, had increased tho wages of its employees by over ToOO.OCO per annum, and reduced unemployment to a minimum, in marked contrast to tho Ward Administration, which, during tho 1908 money stringency caused by financial panic in America, had reduced public expenditure and dismissed hundreds of employees. Even though wa were engaged in the greatest war of history, its outward and visible signs were in New Zealand practically non est, thanks to the Administration of the Massey Government. Brief reference was made to tho strike, which the speaker eaid cost the country between £200,000 and £300,000. A large number of businesses had been saved by tho Government passing the mcritorium, preventing mortgagees from, foreclosing lor six months if interest were unpaid. He denied that the members of tho present Government (3) had over said they were opposed to borrowing. What they had asked was that the amount borrowed per annum should bo reasonable, and that it should, be well spent. But in any case, in 27 months the present Government borrowed a million less than the previous Administration. He justified the Government in not accepting the Opposition’s proposal to adjourn Parliament because of the war, or to at all events shelve any legislation but that necessary in connection with the war. Tho Government had staved off unemployment on the northern gum fie Ida by arranging to purchase the gum. had averted a food crisis by purchasing wheat and flour abroad, and by ap]>ointing the Food Commission, which had done good work. He claimed that the despatch of the Expeditionary Forces had been extraordinarily successful, and any defects there might have been were traceable to the previous Administration, who should have arranged for expeditionary forces when bringing in tils Defence Act. He characterised as false stories told about the canteens and the prices charged to troopers. Dealing with the naval question, lie justified Mr Allen’s scheme for a separate New Zealand unit, arid said New Zealand would not have had to be indebted to tho Australia-n Navy for protection if the country - had had such a unit stationed in these waters. Years ago he predicted what had happened in the Pacific. and how German cruisers would bo sent out to prey on our commerce, but he had been ridiculed in the House. Events, however, had proved that it was his critics who were the silly asses. All honor and glory was due to the Australian Navy for destroying the Emdm. When lie" had seen the news of that exploit posted up ho could not help exclaiming; " Who says toy navy now?' - The speaker launched into a panegyric of the valiant Belgians and the British troops, who were making history in Flanders, and resumed his seat amidst applause, after having spoken for an hour and a-haU.

A number of questions followed, chiefly In regard to the operations of the Flourmilters' Trust and the price of wheat and flour. One questioner wanted to know if the Trust had purchased some of tho wheat Air Matsey hail imported, and the candidate said it might be so, because most of the mills were controlled by the asaociation, aiid the poliev had been to supply those- mills that asked for wheat. He was strongly against exploitation. and lie believed Air Massey v.-as also.

Mr Joseph Parker proposed a vote of thanks and confidence in the candidate, coupled with confidence in the Government Mr Simson seconded. The morion was declared carried. There were a number of noes. Tn returning thanks Mr Malcolm exhorted them nob to take anvthing for granted on polling day. CHALMERS SEAT. Mr -T. M. Hicfeson addressed a meeting in Pukeliiki Hall on Tuesday night. Mr A. Weir presided. On the motion of Mr A. Aitken, a hearty vote of thanks was accoided tlie candidate.

Last night Mr Dickson addressed a meeting in Sawyers Bay Hail About 70 electors attended, including a number of ladies. The Chairman (Mr F. Pithie) spoke in high praise of Mr Dickson's long connection -with various public bodies. Mr I.aiey moved—“ That Mr Dickson be accorded a hearty vote of thanks for his instructive address, and that he i* a fit and proper person to represent Chalmers,’’ and this was carried -with acclamation, an amendment of thanks only being supported by a single voice.

Mr G. W. Russell will speak sfc tho Railway Station, Palmerston, at 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and at Waikonaiti at 8 o’clock tho same night.

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Bibliographic details

THE ELECTIONS, Issue 15666, 3 December 1914

Word Count
1,139

THE ELECTIONS Issue 15666, 3 December 1914

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