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Evening Star, Issue 15689, 31 December 1914
Tar. Kev. I«. Wood, who h:it- tli ( > questionable honor of lieini; the A Belated organisino- official in ihu Explanation, province for securing the Right of Entry of the elerrry into the- State :chools of the Dominion, lias issued a belated oxjilaita tion of the reprehensible tactics that char. .icterised the policy of his league prior to thj Genera! Election. We were nor. awaiv that there was any particular or pressing desire, upon the part of the majority of the citizens here and elsewhere to hear what. Mr Wood had to say upon the l suliI jeet. n.-t their opinion has already be<'ii ! emphatically and sufficiently expressed at the polk. Possihly. however, the more prominent members of the league looked for some public explanation from their own local organiser, iin view of the somewhat | ignominious light, in which they had hern i made to appear as a result of the activities 1 of th«( league. When so capable and carnest a supporter of the Right of Entry as tho Eov. Graham Balfour felt rompelled, while declaring his continued adherence to the "gTeat cause" in which they aro engaged, to disavow publicly any sympathy with the methods that were employed on the league's behalf in the Dunedin Central election, it was apparent that the las; word had not been said in the ignobly and unhappy business. Whether it was wise on tho part of the Itev. K. Wood to reopen the controversy is doubtful. We cannot think that Mr Wood as a propagandist' has shown that he possessed those qualities that are c.veittial to success. Be this as it may, Mr Wood, to his own surprise, discovered on
his return from a visit to the North Island that all had not gone well either with his league, or .their policy, or their doings. Naturally, the discovery, though in no sense different from that which, had happened in tho greater number of the electorate? proved a source of grief to Mr Wood, who immediately pet' himself to ascertain the eau«e. To his astonishment ho found that a simple circular or tract of which ho was tho author, and which " Mas M-ritten by mc in my omh time, "printed by me 3t, my own expense, and " published on my own responsibility" was ths main—if not the eole—cause of tho "annoyance" that had. been expressed by "eome friends and a fair number of foc3 of the Bible in schools." It was to right this wrong impression that Mr Wood addressed himrelf to the press. Wo repeat that tho wisdom of his cottrse is doubtful ; but, apart from its wisdom or unwisdom, it leaves much, to be desired. The admission that the offending circular was M-ritten and issued by the Bev. R. Wood "off his own hat," while-it relieves other supporters of tho Right-of-F.ntry proposed of the odium attaching to the electioneering tactics of the league, merely intensifies Mr Wood's own culpability. By what right did he invoke the namo and title of hie league without their authority? Even moro important than the personal factor involved is the attitude of tho leaders themselves towards Mr Wood's in tcrpretetion of their M-ishes and their policy. Does the Primate, a* head of the league, approve or disapprove of such tactics? We think, in view of tho coining election for Dunedin Central, that tho electors are entitled to a plain and -111cquivocnl answer from His Lordehip. And does the Primate, in his official position as the chief of the league's executive, approve or disapprove of a "tract" that warned the electors of Dunedin Central to •'bewr.ro of tho candidate that will con"tinue tho boycott on the Bible in the "State schools," and who "has allowed "the Bible in our high schools and has. '' shut it out of our common school*;'"' These statements, as the Primate must lv aware, arc shamefully misleading, grossly misrepresent the. facts, and merit to the lull the indignant scorn M-hich Teunyeon pruted forth on half truth.-. We further ask in all sincerity that His Lordship should make manifest, his opinion of these triple matter--; In religion, as well as in war, there, is such a thing as "playing the game," and tho sort, of thing to M-hich mc have more than referred is ''not placing th'i game." In the recent Dunedin Central election it was undeniably a case of tiying to win on a foul. A\e arc almost sure, that tho Primate, on reflection, M-ill not, countenance tac'ics of tnirh a questionable nature; and for the benefit, pf his weaker brethren ne hope that, as the visible head of the. organisation that professedly countenanced them, he will take the e.-.rlic.-t opportunity of publicly dis(.lnuring any sympathy with or respont;ibditv for them.
Evening Star, Issue 15689, 31 December 1914
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