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LEADER OF THE LIBERALS.

REPLY TO MR. VIGOR BROWN

STATEMENTS CONTRADICTED.

A reply has been published in Wellington by Mr. T. M. Wilford, Leader of the Opposition, to the criticism of hie political attitude by Mr. J. Vigor Brown, M.P. for Napier. Mr. Wilford states that " when Messrs. Brown, McCallum, and Witty informed me on September 7 that they would not follow me as leader, I Accepted, the position and went to work and succeeded in forming the present; party of loyal, able, and staunch men which I now lead, and all was satisfactory. "Mr. Brown calls me to account for a rote I cast and a speech I made last week. May I reply to hill that my votes and speeches are no longer his concern, but the concern of the party I am at the head of.- This is'a plain, self-evident fact. "In regard to his.charge that I have been anything but a Liberal, I deny the same and assert that my whole life contradicts such a statement, and I also-deny that- Mr. Myers and I ever asked Mr. Sueaker for a separate as he states. " 'Seven or eight years ago,' states Mr. Visor Brown, ' the voting strength of the Liberal and "Reform Parties was considered to be exactly even, and every vote was important. I cannot forget that he landed with his foot on the soft pedal. This was his own statement.' Now what are the facta? I left New Zealand at the end of December, 1911, and returned just prior to Mr. Massey's no-confidence motion. The voting on that motion was : Massev 41. Mackenzie 33, with Mr. Lee and Mr. Craiaie paired. A majority of eight; not ' exactly even' as _ Mr. Vigor Brown, states. "I returned to New Zealandx with the i offer cabled to me of a portfolio in the Mackenzie Ministry in my pocket, which offer I had neither accepted nor . rejected, because I was so very ill when I received it, and was waiting until after the. voyage home to Fee if I was fit. to take it. and to discuss the question. When asked by the reporters on the vesfel what att'tude I was taking I remained silent until I had interviewed Mr. Mackenzie, whose Ministry I had the offer to join. I did not accept the portfolio, principally because of the constitution of the Ministry." Mr. Wilford quotes the Hansard report of a- speech that he made after this interview with Mr. Mackenzie, in which he explained the points of difference between him and the Ministry, and concluded by declaring his intention .of supporting it in the no-confidencĀ® division. He adds: "Since then I have been in opposition to the Masgey Government, though during the war, on the invitation of the then Leader of the Liberal Party, Sir Joseph . Ward, I accepted a place in the National Cabinet. The Liberal Party 1 to-day is solid, loyal, and growing in strength "and in public estimation^"

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19201008.2.92

Bibliographic details

LEADER OF THE LIBERALS., New Zealand Herald, Volume LVII, Issue 17596, 8 October 1920

Word Count
493

LEADER OF THE LIBERALS. New Zealand Herald, Volume LVII, Issue 17596, 8 October 1920

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