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Correspondence.

To the Editor op the'Neison Examinee.' - EDUCATION AND ITS OPPONENTS.Sir— lfc is gratifying to every lover of his country and, ot his species to find you so sturdily keeping the educational ball up. I am.oure the majority of .this province will heartily bid you "go in and win." I confess I- look .upon the opposition to the Government scheme of education in a different r light -to many who think with, me, that ; it is a good measure, a great measure, and by God's help shall be an enduring' measure. I say, sir, that I look upon ..'the opposition to this measure with pleasure, because I sec in such, opposition the commencement of a better era — an appreciation of their duty by the public, and I heartily hope that no important measure will ever pass the General or Provincial Legislature without exciting public attention /and

public discussion. • The right of. voting for a member 'of the legislature is not a privilege, but a dutyj and that duty is not fulfilled v/hen the election of a representative or delegate is Secured — that representative must be narrowly watched and occasionally warned. He ia not sent to the Council or Assembly to frame impracticable bills, nor utter what is called opinion ; but to represent local wants aud local grievances ; to assist the Executive i.» framing ju3t and equitable laws, and prevent them passing unjust and oppressive meaourcs. ' ■ . At the period of levying the poll-tax for educational purposes everything was in aVefy depressed condition; had it been imposed in more, prosperous times— however -unjust in its operation — much of the exacerbated opposition to it would have been avoided ; r anda fewyeara' experience would convince the public that it was one of the "greatest . boons tb-By possessed. Then do not let us upset the conch! because it is badly painted, or because the wrong sort of grease has been used^ for the wheels. . s It would be uncharitable, probably, to call any one opponent of this measure an enemy to education. I think no man will*, be bold enough to. say that he .does. : not wish the children of this province to be 'able to read, vyrite, and cipher — to 'go" no further. This, oiv, will" bring the matter into a small compass ' r and the discussion is reduced Jowtiat "is most, likely to be not only beneficial to the children, ' but which will meet the approbation of the majority — for the minority ' must submit, if we admit the principle, "the greatest happiness of the greatest number. s .^ Yet,' in' admitting the force of v the ;,Iminority yielding to a majority, care must'be taken that no act of injuatics'be committed;- that the sacred-temple-of\the conscience be not desecrated \ 'that'theprejudices even, of any body ojf.inen, however snail, be not grossly offeuded, should those prejudices not, affect, the • general good of society. I speak of the Catholic part of our community — men holding the' opinions which our forefathers held when the. brightest laws which' ws now enjoy were .enactedT-meh/who wrested the greatest privileges; wHiclr the people now possess from wicked sovereigns or ambitious nobles. ■ l- ' -';< Much could be said on this subject/ but'it is alluded to here because it is very generally believed that the -Catholics are opposed to education per se. Those who have travelled in Catholic countries .kndw'b'etter. »" l Hb'ave seen in' one of the largest'cathedrals in ..Paris least half-a-dozen r classes of children beings taught "in one , part, 'while • the , most I : popular and • eloquent,, preacher'^ of the 'day .'.was, 'en- , thralling an adult audience by his t "poVerful oratory in another part. Look .-at .Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland ; is there intellectual deficiency there ? 1 a slight knowledge of those countries,,! confess, not ; and I confess more-T^and with" sorrow I say it — there is much moire . courtesy, much, more kindness, and a greater polish of manners observable in the Catholic parts of> those countries . than iv the Protestant parts. „ -: *-,'•' I riadmit that the conscientious Catholic must, from the earliest dawn of intelligence in the child, instil the dogmas of his religion. And in making this admission/ 1 am the more surpised that they should advocate the sectarian denominational system -in preference/to the non-sectarian universal one sd : wisely carried < by the Council of this province-^all honour to all time.be their lot! By such a course of tiniversd educationj the religious training especially devolves upon the priest or minister.;. * and ths teacher is left to pursue an. unfettered course ia' bringing ; the i "intellectual and^ moral . . qualifications' 1 of his pupils "into "action. . He haa not to. play the hypocrite, and. to teach," to order" Antinomianism in one district? .and Arniinianism in another; but can= pursue hia noble course steadily — loving 'all, hating 'none. Then let me call, on vriy Catholic jbrethrefirto bring their energies ?tp bear in making^^this system a general., non-sectarian^ one V/ior lWithout such a general system, how can schoolsHbe planted in the desert as.it were I' • individual- . ism fails here. . .--.!•?' ".t -.-; .-._. lv».v ■ :-.ri Some years ago, Sir John Forbes; -a learned, liberal, philanthropic physician/; jMibljshed ; a valuable work on Ireland. '. .Urifortunately^ I have not read the book. \ But shortly after Sir John's return from Ireland, and' -prior-' to the publicatiori'of -his work, he to me that he should be compelled -to' publish the fact, that "the opposition _to_ the ..general system of education so, ,wisely- introduced- into Ireland by liord Stanley, came 7,nqtXfrom ? thfr Catholic .priest, but from the Church>:of ; JEngland clergyman. : ■ .' s ■ ; ; ' ._ - ; ■'- Of* 1 . , '" . Educate, educate, educate •" honestly if you can, but educate ! -If it be the .duty of Government to build gaolsi surely it is incumbent _ on them to erect. shoolhouses so that_.there may be less need of the former. If Government be called, on to found hospitals 'and lunatic asylums, and provide ' physicians'io;relieve" the body, shall they not find' directors for the mind? Grant that. Government ought, to make roads, build bridges,,- establish .ferries'; then surely it is not out -of the circle of- its duties to fan the ' spark r , of intelligence in the human mind, and thus form men fit^ to "govern and . be governed, to' labour, to. .teach, and to be happy from generation to generation. - - :.*";■ .3,-1 am; &c.,/ •■ :/. T- " "->",-. : "4 ■ c. t. * June 26, 1857.- ' • "' ; ; 'o." • 7V>. I .'"'/ ! -- To the Editob' op" the 'Neisok Examinee.* Sir — Allow me- to make a few remarks on your leading article of the. jExaminer. p£^, the 30th May, which contains t^efrep.orto^ pur first meeting.for the,, purpose !^;of advocating* a separation of the Wairau and ♦ adjoining districts from the Nelson Province ;^ you seemto : me there to treat noFonly the/project,' but also - our first efforts towards, its. accomplishment, with a degree of ridicule _to^ which, opinion," they are not fairly entitled. ". ' The necessity for the -separation of outlying pastoral districts is daily, I may say,, becoming more manifest; not only toHhe residents in this portion of the colony 7 but also,_as you ; state Tin your article of 27th May, ' "far away- nor th { at Napier in Hawke Bay, / and southiat'liivercargill,", a similar, movement is^taWng place ; arid should not we, Mr. Editor, /who. are,-Vqf^the three places mentioned, perhaps, the best qualified for supporting an independent legislature, censure ourselves if Ave\ let the time go3y, .

which others, in a similar position with ourselves are improving? • Truly I think we have been asleep too long-already ; and now that we are awaking, albeit our " cry is feeble," yet believe me it will rapidly wax stronger; neither will you find, in my humble opinion, that the "few drops of the elixir of Dr. Monro's resolutions" will lull the "political babe" again into the calm repose you seem to anticipate. You allow that a subdivision of six Provinces into a much larger number is ultimately to be looked forward to. The poiut, then, to be considered is when the same shall be desirable : shall it he now, whilst we have large tracts of , land unalienated by purchase, from which we may, in a great measure, derive the income necessary for the management of our affairs ? or, shall it be years hence, when the greater part if not the whole of our waste lands -have become appropriated, and the moneys consumed by the Nelson Government? I see no necessity for waiting till a nucleus of population is formed here, and; by so delaying, losing perhaps the greater proportion of our resources, now amply sufficient for our utmost wants, vested in the unsold waste lands. Again, supposing we obtained this separation, then the inducements to bona fide settlers will be very -much augmented by the.greater sense of cdnfideuce -and security which they would feel; for the. mere fact of the government being local would ensure to them a certain and safe protection of their interests — a boon which we at present cannot be said by any means to •enjoy. 'Are not •'the Land "Regulations constantly changing with each session almost of the Provincial Council ? Now-we are on the eve of another great alteration : I allude to the present Waste' Lands Bill, a measure which I believe will be productive of the most dangerous consequences to the futnre welfare of the Province j and who shall say what future sessions may produce ? i Yours, &c, -A. P. Seymour. To theEditoe as the 'Nelson Examines.' Sir — Allow me, through the -medium of your paper, to make some remarks upon your leading article of the 30th' ultimo. I admit your statement as farasthe cry for separation being but "a very infantine one;" the meeting mentioned in your paper being the first public demonstration of our being alive : dead indeed have'we been in this district-to the gross injustice by which we have been treated by the Nelson '"Provincial Council. Wei have been "Uncle" too long, finding-the means for them to squander for the benefit of Nelson and its neighbourhood. As to'the cry being "feeble," I believe, Mr. Editor, that, without . the assistance of the " wet-nurse " of the Nelson Provincial Council, we shall soon be Jfound very rapidly to come to man's estate, and able to take care of ourselves, and that " a few drops of Daffy's Elixir " will not stop the squalling of the new-born brat. The neglect with which these districts have been always treated by the Nelson Provincial Council — their want 6f political consistency, and the feelings of jealousy evinced on 'all occasions towards us, all hope of our ever reaping any solid advantages under their management. * In answer to your remark, "that before any portion of the Colony should be erected into an independent Province, there should be some considerable amount of population within it," &c. Now, -sir/if these districts are to wait for separation until their plains are populated by agricultural labourers, and possess a town and port, why then it will never be ; for until local inducements are held, 1 out — good roads made, "a certain transit for -our produce to colonial and home markets, punctual and direct postal communication, schools for our children, protection for all, and confidence in the.management of the affairs of the districts, every care and possible advantage being given to small agricultural settlers — these districts will never be anything more than merely pastoral ones. Under the Nelson Provincial Council these things cannot ibe effected; the distance from the seat of government being so great, and the business there administered by -officials who have no direct interest in, or local knowledge to take care of, and supply the welfare of these districts, confidence in their care, certainly in their management (the groundwork of prosperity) we can never feel, for every session shows their total want of consistency : measures they pass which the public repudiate, and they are afraid to enforce; hardly a sessions but, forsooth, we have some new Land Regulations ! And the last- bantling emanating from those who were put in authority to support the interest of the " poor man," speaks for itself, and must, I should think, have opened the eyes of the most dull amongst their supporters. , Again referring to your paper. I do not consider the high price of land the greatest drawback to agricultural settlement ; the first cost of land for agricultural purposes is generally a small item, in comparison with the outlay necessary to bring it into remunerative cultivation. Plenty of good land in the Wairau Plains can now be purchased from £2 to S3 per acre, far superior to the greater portion of the land in the, Waimeas. The grant of £6,000, for,. making the road to the Waitohi (the opening of which port to these districts is of so much importance), will no doubt be stated to show the liberality of the Nelson Provincial Council ; but if that money is to be squandered as the grants have been hitherto, it will but little avail. lam well assured that a much less sum would make a good road, if expended with care by those possessed of practical knowledge, and interested in the completion of so desirable a work ; but it appears that the Executive of the 1 Nelson Provincial Council consider all is done when the grant is made, and leave the money to be spent by their subordinates, simply closing the Account when the chest is empty. The money last year granted for this road was laid out in clearing patches in the centre of the projected road, because I presume it' was the easiest done. Now, sir, I opine,' under the management of practical men who were locally interested, the road would be commenced at the Wairau end, where the principal difficulties exist, so as to bring it into use,"if only'made part of the way. Commencing a road in the j middle fis running the risk of useless ex- ; penditure.

Another item of grant is .=£lso for a lock-up for the Wairau. This is truly pitiable. Better not have made any, than such a paltry sum, as no eligible building can be erected for^ that amount ; but I suppose the grant was made through ignorance or indifference — practical knowledge does seem at a very low ebb with the Nelson Executive. And in- reference to this subject, there is a rumour that a gentleman, learned in physic, has been appointed to "dispense " the law in these districts. Really it is wonderful how suddenly knowledge is acquired in this colony. -I presume this precocity is an exemplification of Mrs. Gamp's management of her pap ; and we poor settlers must take the consequence. I am, &c, William Adams. Langley Dale, June 14.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NENZC18570704.2.10

Bibliographic details

Correspondence., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVI, Issue 0, 4 July 1857

Word Count
2,414

Correspondence. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVI, Issue 0, 4 July 1857

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