The Evening Star TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1915.
Ir hj ft pity that the humanitarian impulses of the people of State nntS New Zealand have been Private Aid. exercised during- tli.' past sire months upon such a multiplicity of dcservincc purposes thai, the widespread willingness to give freely In del of war-oppressed folk and many wise imperial movements threaten'* hero end t'tienj to create a, sort of competitive generosity. There is danger in a conliiet of charity. It generous hearts ouee bccimit'. hampered by oonflictiu;.; thoughts as to how their largesse, should be distributed true charity v.-Jll suffer, and the impu'-e To give will become measured mid weak. It has to bo admitted that even liov.- many people in Dunedin question the wisdom of multiplying tha outlet* fur public, generosity, and generous schemes, which are really more suited for direct support from the State than from individual sources. A.S foi- the unfortunate dhfetenees of opinion which must inevitably spring- from the prevailing circumstances, one fears, that the.se v.-ill siidtify public generosity. The most note wm thy difference of opinion as to combining State and private, aid exist* among ihe medical profession in respect- of the proposal to establish a military base, hospital for New Zealand at Tivntharn. The council of the New Zealand branch of the -Medical Association, leave, after t'onsultation with the Commandant of the New Zealand Forces, accepted that scheme as an urgent need, deserving of private support. The Otago division of the British Medical Association, though the.y doubtless sympathise witbj the proposal to establish a, military ba-au hospital, take, a diirereiit view of the matter, and consider that both the Tnr.tor ambulance and the military base hospital schemes fall within the duties of the .State. They are also of the opinion that no private subscriptions should be raises! or lised for any of the purposes to which the whole Dominion is pledged. The Director of e.ledieal Stoves (Colonel Purely) characterises the position of the 1 Otatro division, as absolutely illogical, and points out that the Government are. doin ; r all that they ought to do. and a great deal more, for our troops,, and actually ordcrcd 14 amhulanws from London weeks before the Napier medical division started to raise funds for 'noior ambulances. In this conflict of honest opinions there is reason on inther side, although Colonel PtiTuy would find it rather diliicult, it i; to lie suspected, to secure tmanimou-5 that the Goverumeut '"are "doing all they to do, and a great "deal more, for our troops." The crux of the difficulties and diii'erences of opinion as ao Pupxx>i'tin;r varied schemes, and combining State and piivato aid., lies with the. Government, whose leading Ministers, have de.eu astonishingly secretive a.s to what may be termed the public aspects of New Zealand's militruy enterprise' in connection with the tremendous war. Further than the fact, that the Imperial authorities have, advanced a war loan, to New Zealand on satisfactory terms the people I:noi\ little or nothing of the probable limit of expenditure and tho Government's proposals to create fresh jouree.-; of finance. It in title that the Government, by making a timely appeal to the patriotism of the people at. the outset of tho war, secured substantia! private aid to the .State in the matter of eipiippinir the Expeditionary Forces, bat few citizens of the/ Dominion will look wiili pride on that successful appeal to generosity. All military expenditure should, ,is we have- urged time and attain, hav" been charged to the Consolidated Fund, and 7>rocpdurc adojited to levy taxation str'etly in nceordanco with the iiuaiv.-ial resources of taxpayers, if this Lad been done—if jt were dono now,, indeed—private generosity would gain freedom of activity and effect ivoness of distribution.
It sCiiniK to us that the proposal to establish a military basu hospital .it Tventhjuri is really within the sphere of State activity. It has been stated that about £2,CGO iq required for the purpose, is that amount ths sum required from tho public, or is it the estimato of coat? Tt bcem* ridiculously small for a hospital that would be of roai service to tho > r etv Zen land Forces, Colonel Purely announces that tho Government tv-UI provide nil thy otiuipmeiit and staffing. It the (lovtraincut arc propp.rqrt to do so pinch, why need, th-iy hesitate to accept their duty completely and. <io everything, and thiw loavo public generosity freo to be exercised on ether deserving objects vnoro b.iyor4 the t'unotlona of the State? It i-i not wrong to aid thu State, but it it hardly right iot tho State to sock private ?.H, Would tho proposed base hospital by tsj'viceabiv to soldiars invalided \wm Kgypt or Enfopo? Jt ii hardly <jonjpivabljj tfw
would ship wounded New Zealandcrs to Trenthani. And invalided Vi&ii would naturally, on their returh. %fsfatr Zealand, cleamnd adequate near their own homes. The more we consider nil the varied schemes tho more convinced we nro of tho soundness of our original pica for a frank statement of tho actual position in New Zealand, and for tin* levying of a judicious war tax to provide funds for the Dominion's enterpriso on behalf of tho Empire, As regards private Konoiosity, there is only one rulo to follow : Give freely and abundantly to those oppressed and battored by war.
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The Evening Star TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1915., Evening Star, Issue 15704, 19 January 1915