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The Evening Star TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1914.

It was with surprise as well as chagrin that we road the report The Call for of the Otugo Patriotic Msn. Association's Recruiting Committee. It is, of course, possible that the intrusion of a quite, uncalled-for and unnecessary General Election at a time when the existence of the Empire is at stake may have diverted the attention of the youth and early manhood among us from the infinitely more serious claims pressing upon their attention. But the real source of the trouble and diiliculty is the glaring incompetence of the Government, who have completely muddled the whole problem of Defence from the hour they took office until to-day. Mr Masscy and Mr Allen, whether the question before the country was that of an Expeditionary Force, the AngloJapanese Treaty, the handling of the troops who volunteered for service at the Front, the policy of tho British Admiralty, or the number of fresh recruits—on all of these matters Ministers have never opened their mouths to speak without "putting their foot in it." Nothing but the equally indefinite opinions of and lack of enthusiasm for the Opposition prevented the check given to tho Government being turned into a defeat. Whatever else Ministers may or may not say, they cannot assert that "the country has approved either them or their policy in relation to the one question which at the present time alone matters.

On the problem of Otago recruiting, in viow of the statements made in the report by Colonel Stoneham, read at yesterday's meeting of the Otago Patriotic Association, the failure of Mr Massey and Mr Allen to rise to the occasion, or even to set forth the position accurately, is as complete as it is humiliating. Both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence assured the peopla of this City and Province that thay anticipated no difficulty in getting men in the future. We recall that when these statements wcro made there was some expression of surprise how assertions to the contrary had become current. We learn now, however, that it was the Ministers who wens wrong and the public who were right. Colonel Stoneham puts the ease clearly and plainly when he says : The Prime Minister and others responsible had stated that there were enough men coming forward, but those definite statements were misleading. . . . Such statements made by those who were in authority would cause people to aseume that there was no great necessity to make an extra effort. And yet they knew that Otago's last quota should have been 700 men, but they now found that there was a shortage of something like 400 men. Wo do not propose to dwell upon this most grave indictment of Ministerial ineptitude. Any hali-dozen men picked at haphazard from any body of representative citizens would have done better, and certainly could not have" done worse. The serious-asjneci of th» fluestion is> thai Otaja

is still 400 men short of her quota. And it is to help, if possible, to redeem this reflection upon our patriotism and to awaken a fuller recognition of cur Imperial responsibilities that we appeal once more to the young manhood in our midst. Speaking in all seriousness, there should be no need for such appeals. Wo cannot imagino a moro glorious career or a greater privilego than that which the Empire is now offering to its young men. Why, one's blood should beat high in one's veins at the bare possibility of being able to serve In so great and so just a causo. We are sometim.es apt to think that had the youths who are implored to offer for the Front only the experience and desires of those who will never seo 50 years again there would be no need for public meetings, brass bands, and patriotic songs to tempt them to their duty. Thero would bo but one call and ono answer. But these have had their day, and now can only look on or help in other' ways at home, Whilo those who were undergraduates, or shopmen, or ploughboys u few months ago are making history. These are they wlio in their old age will have stories to toll to their grandchildren such as no man has over told before; or they will bo remembered as having given their lives for their country in the most momentous of all its struggles. And they have, too, this greatest good fortune of all: that their causo is, beyond all dispute, tlio best for which England has ever gone to war.

These words are true. The loss is not with him who goes, but with him who stays. Any Otago youth who might light for so great a cause and does not do so is not to be reasoned with more than once. Should he remain obdurate he is unworthy of anyone's sympathy. What is wanted is more of the spirit of that young officer who, in a letter he wrcte from the Front, said : " It's a Great War, whatover. Isn't "it luck for me to have been born so as " I'd be just the right age. and just in the "right place?"

It is impossible to become annoyed at the Hon. J. T. Paul, the A Lofty Reform Government's Legislator. choicest Labor representative in the Legislative Orv'iicil, when he assumes his beautiful smile and takes to preaching on the wickedness of the Press. Though be fails to convince, ho is so entertaining as to deserve full encouragement. And wo intend to bo exceedingly generous to our friend, who, doubtbss, will require as much encouragement as possible, for it is clear that his hostility to the Reform Government must compel him to leave, the Legislative Chamber, which, according to the arguments of the men tor whom his hc-arfc bleeds, is now stuffed with the enemies of Democracy. AVe regret inability ti use the "Stop Press" column on his behalf, but if he prove true to his lofty ideal? and voluntarily leaves tho sinister and oppressive company of Conservatives, and thus prove to the workers that he is prepared to fight their cause on the real battleground of public opinion—he will note with satisfaction that "our mutual friend" the ex-Hon. Mr Anstey has proved to bo successfully independent of Reform's favor—we shall consider the question of giving him, without any "arrangement in lins with German tactic?," a word or two of commendation in what wo recrard as " the most prominent part of the newspaper." It is to be suspected, however, that the public will have to wait seven long years before they see in our " Stop Press " or other column an announcement that the Hon. J. T. Paul has found it incompatible with his ideate as a champion of Democracy to remain in Parliament as a Reform representative of Labor.

As for the Hon. J. T. Paul's characteristic and rather tedious effusion in our correspondence column, which really ought to bo devoted to more convincing matter, it, reveals very clearly that he is quite, unable to rccogniso his duty as a member of the Legislative Council to avoid aggressive partisanship in connection with the politics of a branch of the Legislature which lie has not attempted to enter by the will of the people." I propose to act in accordance with my convictions" (ho eays evasively and with the adroitness of a side-stepper) "and as I deem best in the interests of our country." It is presumably more effective (and certainly more comfortable) to light for Labor entrenched behind Reform than to join Messrs Payne, Webb. ITindmarsh, Veitch. Walker, M'Combs, and Munro in the popular finVig line and there fight against a " reactionary Government." And this is the lofty legislator who is distressed at the ethical standard of the Press, and srimcct weeps at the sordidness of the 'Evening Star' in devoting a portion of the " most prominent part of the newspaper" to the publication of a political advertisement, which had as much effect on the General Election as Mr Paul's opinions have on the legislation of the country. The advertisement stated in error that Sir Joseph Ward had allocated the votes of the Expeditionary Force, in respect to the Wellington Suburbs contest, to the Red Feci, candidate, whereas the allocation was made- in favor of the United Labor candidate, a gentleman who "'holds several big com- " mercial interests in Wellington, and is "the possessor of one of the most up-to-"dato motor cars in Wellington." We see now that the misstatement was a cruel misrepresentation of the real quality of the Labor candidate for Wellington Suburbs, and if it had beon announced earlier that Mr Mooto was not a Red Fed., and not the gentleman who was alleged to have terrorised Sir Joseph Ward at Horn?, but was the possessor of one of the most up-to-date motor cars in Wellington, and therefore a prosperous man of business, whoso sympathies must be with downtrodden Democracy, our duty would have been to have added an explanatory <noto that the Liberal Leader had allotted the votes of the Expeditionary Force to an ideal Labor candidate. It is to be regretted that we have forfeited the lofty admiration of the Hon. J. T. Paul, and have fallen to the level of the Germans in tactics. Wo shall certainly mend our " ethical standard " and our ways when the Hon. J. T. Paul regains the unpartisan dignity of Legislative Councillors and Senators the world over, and proves to tlio toiling thousands for whom he wrestles in parliamentary security that he is beyond the acceptance of favor from a reactionary Government, and that ho is willing, in the great cause of Democracy, to go high —as high as Ilaman.

A boy of 15 years was charged in the Juvenile Court this morning with having stolen a bicycle, the property of John Q. Darling. This boy had been before tho Court on a previous occasion, but the Rev. E. A. Axelsen said that ho thought he was still worth keeping out of Burnham, and he -would obtain him work in the country. Accused was ordered to receive six strokes with the blixh, and was ordered to come up for sentence if called upon, the condition of such leniency being that he. place himself absolutely under the control of Mr Axelsen. A complaint has been made of dirty bank note 3 being in circulation (states the Auckland 'Herald'), and the question has been asked as to whether there is any power to prevent banks from re-issuing dirty notes. Whilo the answer to this question is in tho negative, It is 6tated that all tho colonial banks are carefully watching the condition of their notes, many of which are being withdrawn from circulation and destroyed from timo to time. Sinco bank notes became legal tender the number in circulation has nearly doubled, so that the evil of the dirty bank note is at present most noticeable. It is pointed out that| many soiled note 3 Have not been inside a bank since they were issued, and it is therefore impossible for tho authorities to withdraw them. The English mail which was despatched from Diuvedin via Brindisi on the 13th October arrived in London on the 11th inst. A section belonging to the City Corporation, and situated at the termini's ot the Kaikorai tramway, is to bo made into a children's playground Tho spoil from the Drainage Board works in the Kaikorai is now being used for the purpose of tilling in tho section. It was 20 minutes to 5 before the jury, who retired at 10 minutes to 1, illumed yesterday afternoon with a verdict in the case Waters, Ritchie, and Go. and J. E. Evans v. T. E. Shiel and Co. A verdict fo" £75 was yiven fur tho plaintiffs Waters, Ritchie, and Co., and for £37 10s for the plaintiff Evanc. Judsment was entered for tho plaintiffs accordingly j costs recording to scale; disbursements and witnesses" expenses to be fixed by the registrar; £ls 15s allowed for one extra day ; extra counsel allowed for two days at £3 3s per day; special jury certified to ; and £1 Is allowed for plaintiffs' order of discovery ; £3 3s allowed for costs of plaintiffs' affidavit of discovery. We an l requested to state that Professor Dickie Ins withdrawn from the committee of the Bible in fifato Schools League because of his disapproval of tho league's elect iono?ring tactics.

I,adi« recommend Martin's Apiol and Steel Pills. Sold by all chemists and stores. Seo you got. tho crcni'ine. —[Aclvt/1 A public niefting of supporters of tho Political Reform l.eazuo will be held in tho Early Settlers' Hall on Thursday evening, when a branch of iho league for Dunerliu and suburbs will be formed. Watson's No. 10 is a Httlo dearer thnn most whiskies, but is worth the, money.— [Advt,;| We have rceHved £1 Is from' Walker Bros, and £1 from Mrs M. A. Jackson towaids Mr" Talboys's appeal for funds to provide .-. Christmas treat for those who are in receipt of charitable aid. Speight's ale and strait are acknowledged by ihe Dominion public to be the beef. <>n ('ie marker.—[Advt.] The- 'Mayor invites die citizens to observe a half-hohdav en Wednesday, December 16, on tlie occasion of th ■. annual garden fete. " Have one with me." " Thanks, I wi'l. I'll have Watson's No. 10. please"—[Advt.] We have received handy calendars from the Alliance Assurance Compmy and the New Zealand Insurance Company,

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Bibliographic details

The Evening Star TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1914., Issue 15676, 15 December 1914

Word Count
2,246

The Evening Star TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1914. Issue 15676, 15 December 1914

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