♦ MR MACARTHUR AT FEILDING. In accordance with a promise made at ais previous meeting, Mr Macarthur met ibout 250 of the electors in the Assembly Rooms last night. Mr W. G. Haybittle, the Mayor-elect, was voted to the chair, and was loudly cheered when he took his seat. He briefly introduced Mr Macarthur, and said that he had every confidence the candidate would be treated with every courtesy, and be given a fair hearing. Mr Macarthur, who, on rising, was greeted with considerable applause, said when he last addressed the Feilding electors he had promised that if he found it necessary he would again invite them to meet him immediately before the day of polling. He fel; that he would do himself an injustice, now so much interest was being taken in, the contest, if he had not fulfilled his. promise. He had heard it Btated that he had taken the Hall for Thursday night in order to prevent Mr Arkwright addressing them.. He gave this false report an emphatic denial. Mr Arkwright spoke in Marton to-night (Wednesday) and he (Mr Macarthur) would follow him there on Thursday night. Mr Macarthur said that he was there to reply to the criticisms Mr Arkwright had in "de upon him audbis actions, and was now about to make a certain defence. Of course Mr Arkwright Was quite right in trying to show what a poor member he (Mr Macarthur) would make ; but he would also endeavor to do the sarnie towards Mr Arkwright ; (laughter, and applause.) As Mr Arkwright had said, they must give, each other some bard knocks, but he hoped after it was all over they would be as good friends as. ever.; In the House members did that, and when! they met outside it was all dropped; there was no personal feeling left. The main differences between Mr Arkwright and the speaker were : First on the Education question, and as Mr Macarthur went over old ground we Deed not make further reference to that part of his speech. He replied to a statement which had been, made since - his last meeting by the supporters of Denoininationalism to the effect that the Secular system would relieve the State Schools which were now overcrowded. He denied the fact, and in Bupport of his contention quoted an official return which showed that the Edu- ' cation Board's had applied for £"44,000. for the year for buildings, and had got' i' 36,000, which with the funds they had in hand, made up nearly .£40,000; in. the £44,000 was included a sum for teachers' ' residences, which were not of primary ! importance. The Education Boards,; who were the best judges, had got within £4000 of what tney wanted and therefore they were not likely to have over-crowded schools. With reference to the Sunnier Institution for deaf mutes, Mr Macarthur repeated what was published in our last issue with the addition of a telegram he had since received ,from Mr Van Asch, the director, in reply to a query sent through the Department, "Yes; thereare several children who are taught the Lord's Prayer in the. Institution." ; Mr Mr Macarthur said the supporters of Denbminationalism were at their. wita end when they had to use such arguments against the present, system as those adduced by Mr Arkwright. Mr Arkwngbt had said that Mr Fyke's Bill had only asked for a capitation grant of £2. This was not actually the case, because, as Mr Arkwright ought to know, having been a member of the House of Commons; no private member can introduce to the House a Money Bill, only the Ministry can do that, therefore Mr Pyke left the amount blauk. The Speaker had ruled that this was" correct, but Mr Macarthur and several other members had justifiable doubts as to the correctness of this ruling. However, what the supporters of the Bill . wanted was to get the principle established, and they would not only have gone for £2, but the whole amount of £3 15s. On the subject of taxation Mr Maoarthur's views are already well known, but he said when he came to criticise the views of Mr Arkwright he got in a .fo£ because they were so varied that that gentleman did not appear to have studied the subject until he began the election content. Mr Arkwright objected to an income tax as too inquisitorial, but approved of a progressive income tax, which would be still more inquisitorial. It would tax m<*n who made their, living by their brains, such as doctors, lawyers, and so on, the more. the brains, the more the tax. The most skilled economists had declared against this, because the owners had . only a life interest and could not leave the source lof their incomes to their children, as in the case of money invested which could be passed on. Mr Arkwright had said at Bulls one thing, and when he replied, to the Knights of Labor at Feilding he said another. " Now," said Mr Macarthur, •• he either would not or cannot bind himself to any scheme — perhaps that was the best thing Mr Arkwright could do — but what am I to do ? If I reply to the Bulls statement I am met by the Feilding one, which contradictß it." (Loud cheers and laughter.) Mr Macarthur admitted it was a hardship on farmers that they should be rated on the Property Tax basis, but still the local bodies were saved thereby a considerable expense. Still this was one of these . minor matters which could be easily adjusted without disturbing the system. Brief condemnatory reference was made to the Single Tax, of which neither candidate approves. But, said Mr Mao--arthur, he noticed when Mr Arkwright touched on taxation his views, seemed, to change to suit every man. (Laughter.) Mr Arkwright, like all new candidates, promised far more than they ever could perform. As to a progressive Property Tax, Mr Macarthur irabanced the case of the merchant who would add the tax to the price of the goods when he sold them to the retailer, and the latter would put it on to the consumer, who always has to pay in the long run. Mr Arkwright, in try : ng to please everybody, had got into a difficulty. Mr Arkwrierht had Baid he would select Mr Bryce as his leader, yet his policy was as different from Mr Arkwright's as the poles were wide asunder. At Feilding he had given. a later opinion that he would not be a party man, because parties were the curse of the country, and he would, if elected, support a Ministry so long as he approved of their measures. Now, this was all buncombe. Mr Arkwright had made reference to thass farmers who ♦ wriggled in the clutch of the mortgagee," and suggested thatthe latter should be got at by taxation. Surely they all knew' that if the mortgagee was taxed the borrower would have to pay by inoreased^ rates of interest. Capital was not frightened away by equitable taxation, but if special imposts were' placed upon it, it will' either leave the country or raise the , rates of interest. Look at the ' hanu t'liis' would do I It would choke enterprise, and thus react ori' the lowe&fc stratum of labor (if he, Mr Macarthur, may use^ the expression)* who received c 'their daily wage .;frpia the. employment "of capital. When opponent (Mr AriiwrightJ referred." to- ]
She " wriggling mortgagors " no doubt h« suras having a slap at the Corporation with which Mr Macarthur was connected. But the system of that body was so libjral that only" 5 l-6th per cent was ;harged for the purchase money of land cinder their Special Settlement system over the wholeperiod 1 of lUyears, this being* only I -6th per cent more than the Government sharged under their perpetual lease system ; besides a man could always pay off" bis debt when he liked, or when he ceuld borrow the money cheaper elsewhere, He knew very well there ' were* moneylenders not far away who would like to> sjet rid of the Corporation so that they could make advances at 12, 18, 25, or. even; more per cent. (Cheers and ISftghtSr.) Mr Arkwright had made a great fuss about the Freetrade party not Having' suggested measures to r- the 'Premier to> meet their case, but surely Mr Arkwrighfr should know — ■sifter his experience in th» English House of Commons— that it is not the duty, [of the Opposition to do thi* but only to criticise: the proposals of theGovernment. Mr Macarthur proposed that special exemptions , in Jhe-Prqperty Tax should be made.. in favor of agricultural improvements in. order to- lighten .the burden of the farmers, and. thus benefit them directly^ and not .reliey© other classes than settlers^ As to .limiting the lands , sold .'_ for cash,, that was already prescribed by Statute and only land to., the value of £150,000 could be sold in one year for cash and that sumr had never been reached. Mr Arkwrighfc had spoken of the dummy ism which was said to be rampant. He (the speaker) believed the reports were much exaggerated,, besides it was no use- growling about it; the thing was to propose a" remedy— and Mr Arkwright does not "do this— not a bit of it. (Laughter.) Mr Arkwright said" he wished to see the' lands settled. Of course he did'; : we all . want i'that. That was one of those platitudes it is the fashion to utter on the platform, Jbtifcithe thingwas to propose a scheme to; do it. Mr Macarthnr had suggested a practical one r of which MrArkwrightdid not approve — but at the same time Mr -Arkwright did not appear: to be able to suggest .a- better one of his own.; ■ ; • ••; . />i Mr Macarthur referred to Mr Ark.wright!saccusation of "jeticetfceE in theHouse, and turned the tables by quoting: from the English Hansard, Mr Arkwright'* " one wprd.speech,". and excited roars of laughter. ■ The speaker said too much time was taken up in, talking in th*. . House, and . the; speeches must /be am abomination to those electors who tried to wade through; the weary pages Of HanSard., , ■ ,>■:■'-.:.. .';; V;. : >..ri' \ Mr Arkwright had said /that he would not break up the lerge estates unless Government paid a^,&urj)rice for the land. The speaker said. the, J3fcate ;h~ad already the power, to, do 'ibis by the Land Act of 1885,^ ; the Government to acquire 1000 "acres in ; any estate of a certain acreager— b.ut'th'at power; had ,-never teen exercisecl. V. Ther otherV.dayV whea speaking toiihe electors,'. Mr Richardson, the Minister for Lands'" 'paja if : the.y wan* to burst up .large ; e"stStjßs, they "should i begin with the ..Biggest 'sinners first— that is .tha'jSt^^'''wfiicb i ...lm|:.U millions of acres in ife .'.possessibiiif that was sold thetf they" inigiit; attack th» others. Mr Maca^hur repeated what i» already ' yell known, that $&& agfratioa for breaking up'la'rge estatbs^only 'exist* among the .residents ltf the towns whowould like to get mce'htfle.subjirbatt I farms— ready sqade for then^wiimn a. few miles of ;the' large "centres of population. It <is worthy : of note, said Mr Macarthur,. that when Mr.Arkwrighfc was adyocating the ; settlemißnt " of tha lands, it was. not to oe by the colonists-,, or the sons of colonists, who shoiill hays the preference, if any was to be shown* = but for the Englisb farmers whose wires were too delicate -to mcct 1 and put up» with the hardshipsattendant'Tipon opening up new country; (Laughter)* The time may come when theland will have to be taken from the present owners at afair 'price>and re- distributed, outfcot yet,, and it seemed so remote as to; be far outside practical politics. .•- i ; \ Mr Macarthur said -the -subject of th» Subsidies to Local Bodies , -had been so> iwell thrashed wout in newspaper correspondence, that no doubt the pijbhc were tired; of it. He had -nofe >lterfd his. opinions on—the qneßtroti and hey : w4a not .. hfceiy 1 toi. even although he knew he risked a certain amount of popularity, and there wa? iipt i-wprd in oue> of his speeches he would retract. "As to the Govßrn&ent' Loans/ to. Local Bodies' .Act, he* claimed"; its r authorship, and the documents he had publißjbed in the Advocate amjplyjprpVed his title. He had been; mfimatel£ associated- with the working of local bodies since thenrfmceptioh. He had had seventeen yearsFexperience in opening up new country tyroads^ and he believed he had - made ' a step toward solving the r problem/ of "roading Crown Lands. • " .<■:■<- -,;,,i; In making-brief reference v^b the 7 " two. sessions*' question,' 'Mr - Arkwright approved of : Parliament ; being Called together if Government' were in fe ininority.. He, oh his par*, thought it- more itaportant to the interests of thecoloriy to makea saving of £30;0D0 by having-' Jio second, session than to incur that expense Bimply to decide whether Atkinson' or ißallancft shorild be at the head of aflairg ;for the. four months intervening .'between, now and April, when Parliament mustaneet. In conclusion, Mr Macacthari .-considered he was justified an asking die electors to return him to Parliament. Thft only hole in hispolitical^oat his; enemies, could discover was that of *he -subsidies* to losal bodies, and he was:pw'ui of that.. He was sure that his, scheme .was tha best for the colony at large, because under it the rich local bodies., would not be still further enriched at the: expense of their, poorer neighbors^ rHei asked if it, was not a good, record that this -was the* only fault that could be^found ; with him. It was true he had made mistakes, but; his opponents had noli/been able to show them up. He had perhaps done.' wrong,. but his opponents had : not.-tbe savvy to> find it out. (Loud oheers and applause.) A couple of jocular.: questions were. aakftd, .and; satisfactorily^ answered. Dr ' onckton*proposed^ and^Mr Lothbridge seconded, a vote of thank's, which was carried with. applause. A vote of thanks to the Chairman terminated ihe proceedings, which, were of the most orderly character. -j-
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Rangitikei Election, Feilding Star, Volume XII, Issue 72, 4 December 1890
Rangitikei Election Feilding Star, Volume XII, Issue 72, 4 December 1890
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