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MR BEDFORD'S INCONSISTENCY.

TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —A correspondent, under the nom de plume of " Consistency," asks me in your issue of yesterday to explain the grounds of my support of Mr Munro's candidature. I am very pleased to do so. It is to be regretted that before charging me with inconsistency your correspondent had not made himself more familiar with my political utterances and conduct Had he done 60 he would have found that, multitudinous as my political faults have been, I have been rigidly faithful to my political principles. Even my bitterest enemy I thought would admit thai, I have received a fair measure of criticism from the Press, hut I do not remember ev-3r being accused by any section of it of betraying my principles. Always I have been on ihe look-out for a party to support that wmld further them. To that end I joined the ill-fated New Liberal party in 1904; with the same object I joined the United Labor parly over two years ago. The platform of the Political Labor Representation Committee of Of ago is practically identical with '.hat of the United Labor party, and unless I am to stultify myself and to betray the principles to which I am pledged, and in which I still believe, I have no option but to support Mr Munro, the candidate of that committee. Probably * reference to (be views of the two candidates for Dunodin Central seat, on one or two important reforms will satisfy "Consistency'' that, unless I am prepared to disregard as of no account all for which I have strenuously fought, for 10 years, I must uphold Mr Munro's cause.

I have a deep-seated conviction that ihe most, urgent political reform of the time '"s Proportional Representation. Mr Munro supports it; Mr St it-bam opposes it. I believe Tvitli all the ardor of a religious faith in the res djustmpnt cf taxation with a view to increasing the burden on unearned increments and relieving the burden en the earnings of industry. In this I am supported by Mr Munro and opposed by Mr Statham. I travelled from end lo end ot New Zealand last year urging the electors to pledge themselves not to vote for any candidate who supported the maintenance of the thrc-e----fiftbs majority required to carry Prohibition. Mr Statham supports this majority; Mr Munro opposes it. I could go en enumerating several other matters upon which the opinions of Mr Munro and myself coincide, and upon which the opinions of Mr Statham and myself aro diverse. I have mentioned a few of what to mo are of cardinal importance. Will "Consistency" explain how, tinder such circumstances, T could " consistently " support Mr Statham. I opposed him and' supported Mr M'Pherson, the Labor candidate, in 1911, for precisely the eamo reasons which are governing my conduct now. It may seem strange to your correspondent, but. I should support a man of Mr Munro's political opinions against, one of Mr Statham's whether he called himself a Masseyile or a Warl'tc. 1 want a party in Parliament standing on a. platform like tb?t of the Labor party in Dunedin. It may have to enitngle itself for a. time wiVu one or other of the dominant political parties. T regret the inevitableness of this. Before long T trust wa shall have but two parties — a Labor party and a. party opposed to it, whatever it may bo called. With a view to bringing about this end. I desire to increase the representation of Labor in Parliament. Consequently, during the recent election campaign I did not interest myself on behalf of imv but. Labor candidates, Firrness requires that I should answer •'Consistency's" query .concerning Mr Murro's attitude on strikes and mine. I hold to flip opinion I expressed, as; a member of the Labor party, dining the waterside workers' strike: that to .use. the strike as a. means of securing economic reform is futile and wicked. T urged that Labor should turn its energies into the channel of peaceful political activity. It has done so. My views we.ro shared by the Labor organisations, which have since created the Labor Representation Committee. Mi: Munro is the candidate of this committee. I don't believe that Mr Munro ever advocated the. strike as the method for securing improvement in the social and economic condition of the working class. But whether he did or not is immaterial to me. because he does not do so now. To-day he stands as the representative of a. party thai opposes ihe policy of Syndicalism or ''Red Fc-dism." as some call if-, and upholds the constitutional pohey of reform by wiy of the ballot box. I desire to apologise for occupying so much space in defence of my own consistency, which I have no wr.rrc.ni, for assuming is a matter of interest to the public. I am only a private* citizen, and it looks like impertinence to explain publicly the consistency of ray conduct.' I thought, however, that such "explanation might indirectly promote iny principles by aiding the candidature of Mr Munro. This is my excuse for venturing u, obtrude myself in replying to your correspondent " Consistency." I am. etc.. H. D. Beofokd. January 2".

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19150120.2.3.1

Bibliographic details

MR BEDFORD'S INCONSISTENCY., Evening Star, Issue 15705, 20 January 1915

Word Count
870

MR BEDFORD'S INCONSISTENCY. Evening Star, Issue 15705, 20 January 1915

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