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The Feilding Star. SATURDAY, NOV. 22, 1890. The Rangitikei Seat

♦- The electors in the Rangitikei district have now had abundant opportunities of hearing or reading the opinions of the two candidates who are contesting for the honor of representing them in Parliament. Judging from their speeches these gentlemen have many views in common, but they also differ on points of policy which, we believe, will have a material influence iv the future for good or evil to the colony at large. Mr Macarthur has the advantage over Mr Arkwright in that he holds certain fixed ideas which have become concreted by thought aud practical experience. In all matters connected with the rule and Government of local bodies, and the laws and regulations affecting them, he ia recognised as a capable authority by such men as Sir Robert Stout, Sir Harry Atkinson, and other politicians whose approval is only extended to substantial merit. On the question of the lands of the State and their disposal, he has taken a definite stand. He recognises the right of every man to become a freeholder of the land he occupies. His sense of the fitness of things has taught him that we must accept the the land laws of the country as they are, and not as they might have been. Mr Arkwright, in his speech the other night, said **** It would be better if we were all tenants of the State." We do not say he is wrong in theory, but we do say such a thing was utterly impossibal in New Zealand. The principle attraction of the present perpetual lease system is the clause in the conditions which permits the tenant to require the freehold. There is nothing an Englishman so jealously guards as his independence, aud the highest ambition he has is to be his own landlord. This is an honorable ambition. If people were not assured that they could " get a bit of laud of their own" there would be no such thing as emigration to the colonies Those persons who cry so loudly for Nationalisation of the land, are generally those who would be the last to attempt its cultivation. They have not the slightest conception of the toil and hardships attendant upon opening up new country, and when they do have an attack of the " land hunger" they cast their longing eyes on those estates on which capital and labor have been expended in making them fit for cultivation.. This colony does not want any heroic or nonsensical schemes to make it prosperous. It is already the wealthiest and most prosperous colony in the world. Any man who will work and try to save a little can become independent. These is nothing to stop him except unthrift. There is plenty of land left in the hands of the State to provide farms and homesteads for farmers without the colony being put to an enormous expense in buyiug up lands from private owners. The weakest point in Mr Arkwright's political programme is his proposal to make grants to denominational schools. He is not alone in this, because many other candidates are expressing the same views, uo doubt with . the expectation of secur ing the Roman Catholic vote. We may state at once that we do think that if the denominational system is introduced, or even the smallest concession made in that direction, the Parliament of New Zealand will be guilty of not only a gross blunder, but a crime. The system as it now exists has been proved to be the best, not only in this colony, but in the sister colonies in Australia. There is no State religion to tyrannise over people, and all sects in the eyes of the law stand upon a level footing. Once the Roman Catholics, Church of England, or any other sects are subsidised at the expense of the State, we have a State religion, and our present freedom is endangered. We ask are the clergy so utterly helpless that they can do nothing in the way of religious teaching without getting into the schools ? What are they doing with their churches? Surely these are the schools where religion ehould be taught. What Mr Arkwright would have is the land to be locked up for ever to deprive future generations of the liberty to become freeholders, while the present owners of land — up to 5000 acres — could hand down their estates to posterity ; to ruin our present system of education, and to open the way for the establishment of a State religion. On the other hand, Mr Macarthur does not propose any extreme measures. He takes the country as it is. His great hope is that by watching the course of events and accepting the present opportunity for well-doing, to so govern and guide the affairs of the colony that the exegencies of to-day shall not be subservient to the possibilities of to-morrow. He is persistent in doing that which he undertakes to do, he has the courage of his opinions, and as a politician he has already won high rank ia the esteem of the best men in Parliament. During his term in the House he has faithfully done his duty to his constituents, and we think they will only be doing their duty to him by putting him at the head of the poll.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/FS18901122.2.4

Bibliographic details

The Feilding Star. SATURDAY, NOV. 22, 1890. The Rangitikei Seat, Feilding Star, Volume XII, Issue 67, 22 November 1890

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893

The Feilding Star. SATURDAY, NOV. 22, 1890. The Rangitikei Seat Feilding Star, Volume XII, Issue 67, 22 November 1890

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