SQUARE DEALS. “TRUE SPORTS," AND DUNEDIN CENTRAL.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —The?© are day.-; when " square deals ” are promised, and crooked political tricks are performed. These are days also when much is said about “ true sports.” Several times lately you have, placed so much emphasis on the prefix " true ’’ that von must be convinced that there are other sorts. Be that as it may, wo desire to place some points before, the public in connection with your altitude towards Labor and the progressive forces in politics. Time was (and nob so long since) when you supported the Liberal party and their Labor allies. But apparently, in common with the weak type of “sport.” yon were anxious to hack the winning side. And so you were apparently convinced that on account of the obsession of the electors in j the war they would consent to be governed I ini- a while longer by the group of reac- | tionary politicians masquerading under the j name of Reformers. In the. late election j you used a.ll the power of your editorial j pen to stifle the progressive aspirations of the people. We had hoped that, you would in future deal more fairly with the issues and personalities engaged in this political conflict. But if we take the Dunedin Central election and the event* in connection therewith. we lind further and more ample evidence of your unfairness. As you will remember. the Labor candidate (Mr Munro) was declared elected on polling day hy 1 vote. You never ceased deploring Mr Siatham’s defeat. The official recount disclosed an act of stupidity on the part of a deputy returning officer. That act nullified certain votes. The electors who cast those votes did everything in perfect order. A majority of thorn voted for Mr Munro. Indeed, a. majority of the electors of Dunedin Central who voted did so for Mr Munro. Yet, through the act. of the deputy returning officer. Mr Munro loses a. seat which a majority of the electors decided by their votes he should have. And yet all your solicitation and anxiety are for Mr St at ham. Re. is hailed and applauded, hy you as a ''true sport." because lie pioposcs to resign a. seat which, as a lawyer, he must know he cannot hold. He must know, 100, that, it is certain an election petition will upset the election, and that there is a chance the election petition proceedings would .give Ibv seat to Mr Munro. And you continue to applaud Mr Statham as a "true sport." becau.se. tie proposes to resign a scat which lie, cannot. hold. The strange thing about it ail is that you have no worn of sympathy for the man who ha.s won the seat by virtue of receiving a majority of the votes cast. And yet. perhaps, it, is not so strange. You are supporting Mr Statham, and we do not cavil at your support. But wo have a right to a-sk you to give the contestants lair play. Mr Munro',s attitude, and actions in connection with the bungle certainly stamp him as a real sport and a. manly man. Yet yon have no word of < ommcndatimi or praise for burn. He has no journalistic trumpeter, but the electors can surely see. in fact of the facts, that you have ovcv'onded your paeans of praise for Mr Si at ham. You will pardon us for referring, in con elusion, to your leading article of Thursd”,v last. In it you gravely assure your readers once again that Mr Statham will ( resign Hie Dunedin Ont-ral seat—in lart. you .say the resignation i.s really written out. and it may he. sent, away next week. Is it such a, ponderous or precious document. that, it, must, await special facilities for its transmission? Does Mr Statham nually write hi* letters so many days before transmitting them? Your special pleading has readied the stage of bathos. Mr Statham is cither going to resign or lie is not. If ho does not resign the sent which he holds because of a I 4ovc.it mi cut official’* mistake, it will be declared vacant. Wherein, therefore, does his great virtue lav in resigning? Mi- Statham in simply making a virtue of necessity, and you are bent- on aiding him to make the greatest possible a,mount of capital out, oi jiis action. 'That is surely unfair. In one of your leading articles ,«n December 23) yon say: "The tilthi nnvt lie between Mr Munro and Mr Statham ahnic. and the political ‘ring’ must be kept perj.htJv clear for them, and a ‘square run’ riven to both." The sentiment of a equine run being given to both is one which every elector will appreciate, and we truest that, during the campaign you yourself will not, only empha.-i.se it, but also faithfully observe it. On behalf o! the Dunedin Political Labor Reorrscntaiion Lommitu-e, I urn. etc.. R. Breen - . ■Tannary 9. f\Vc have excised a port,ion of Mi Breen's letter, because it dealt with extraneous matter. ’1 he Hon. Mr Paul isn be very well left to lake care of himself, as le’ well knows how to do, in ret-jw’ct to any controversy he may engage m with this jnu r n til. —Ed. F,. S. J
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SQUARE DEALS. “TRUE SPORTS," AND DUNEDIN CENTRAL., Evening Star, Issue 15698, 12 January 1915