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THE SOLICITOR-GENERALSHIP

"Keep your eye on Paisley" is a favourite political slogan in the Homeland which has had prominence recently in connection with Mr Asquith's re-en-trance into Parliamentary life; it is a fortuitous circumstance that Mr "W. C. MacGregor, who has just been offered and who has accepted the post of SolicitorGeneral for the dominion, first saw the light of .-day in the selfsame Scottish, city. To be born in Paisley, educated in Edinburgh, and trained in Dunedin must be deemed a good foundation for a career of prominence, and it can be said that Mr MacGregor, in the pursuit of his profession, has more than justified the expectations of those who know him best. Nor has he been content merely to devote himself to the law; on the contrary during a residence in this city of over thirty years he has endeavoured successfully to exemplify those high ideals of citizenship which he has always been ready to expound in the press and on the platform with a view to impressing them upon the public mind and conscience. For these and other reasons the dominion as a whole may be congratulated that the charge of the Crown Law Offices, in Wellington is to be entrusted to a man of Mr MacGregor's undoubted parts; at the same time, as has happened so often before, under somewhdt similar circumstances, the loss to this community will be heavv. It may be permissible to speculate whether the office which Mr MacGregor will assume within the next few weeks wotild be sufficiently alluring from a purely material point of view unless there, existed the possibility of .the Solicitor-Generalship proving a stepping stone to a yet more responsible office. It is matter of common knowledge that extensive changes are pending in the personnel of the New Zealand judiciary, and that some at least of these changes cannot much longer be delayed. The nature of such appointments is certainly fraught with greater consequences for good or for ill than any other in the gift of the Government, and probably the consciousness of coming changes has weighed with Mr MacGregor in his decision. Be that as it may, we congratulate the new SolicitorGeneral upon his appointment, accepting it as yet another testimony to the calibre of the legal luminaries of Otago.

The idea of Shakespearean drama produced on trade union lines may seem somewhat preposterous at first impression but something of the kind is apparently not out of the question. In the Old Country the Actors' Association seems to be contemplating a new form of activity. For some time past, we read, it has been discussing the possibility of founding a trade union theatre, in which tho profits would be shared by every individual taking part in the productions. A permanent building has not yet been secured, but it was ■planned to open a season at a London theatre in July for the benefit of members of the Association. This is to be in the nature of an experimental essay calculated to give an idea of the measure of support which the project is likely to receive from the public, while also giving employment to a somber of nwrohpra of the

profession likely otherwise to be out of employment, since July is the slack time in London's theatre land. A committee has been appointed to .go into the question °f, a Union Theatro anil a strong feeling is said to obtain, in favour of a permanent theatre run by actors for actors, —and of course for the benefit of their art. To a newspaper interviewer the secretary of the Actors' Association has thus unburdened himself. "We shall produce the best plays of every type. Our final object will be to have a repertory of classics and modern pieces. We mi [flit have Shakespeare one night and a play by a ■ modern of the moderns the next night. Eventually we hope to do without ' stars,' but at first it may be necessary to have them." It is suggested that ono of the advantages of trio Union Theatre, if it materialises, will be, apart from the salaries of the actors, tae elimination of the theatrical manager who swallows the profits, and that if the idea is taken up -with enthusiasm it may prove the foundation of a great national iome of repertory plays. So far, however, he scheme appears somewhat visionarv.

Accounts now available in Home ■papers (Sj ™ of May Day proceedings in the \\orld mako interesting reading. > ince England ceased to be a mainly agricultural country and became industrialised tho old celebrations of Ma- Day have been fall ng into desuetude. Now, .moreover, that Great Britain hae become mors closely linked up with tho Continent, the dav 7t ? cq ' uix 5 d 1 ntw character, ine ranks of Labour, following the lead of workers abroad, have made it their own turning it into an occasion for marc meetings and propaganda. In Great Britain J'ranee, Italy, Germany, and other countries Labour made holiday on May 1 and voiced its grievances. London saw the lggost May Day procession on record, rrom all accounts the Embankment was a sight to behold. Eight processions from different quarters joined forces, and a great march, with banners, bands, and decorated vehicles, followed through the West End to Hvde Park. There ensued a programme of no less than seventv-two rpeeches delivered from 12 separate "platforms. Those who wearied of English could listen to addresses in Russian Polish, trench, Yiddish, Italian, and Esperanto. Throughout the country it is estimated that something like eight million workers took part in the Mny Day demonstrations. Probably this is a highly speculative estimate. Thousands of fadtones and workshops were closed, but essential services went on as -usual. After all no harm seeims to have resulted. Thus we read, "The day passed happily as a houday should. There was no violence— except in the speeches: there was no paralysis of street traffic, as in Berlin: and no cavalry charges into the crowd, as unfortunately occurred at Paris. It was all very English. The demonstrators were happy and jolly, as the day was fine, and there was no necessity to listen to any one of seventy-two orators who shouted and gesticulated from the platforms in Hyde 1 ark Merry crowds and foaming speeches —such in epitome was the great Hyde Park demonstration. The resolutions, indeed, glorified the success of the Russian oy.i. Government, but anything more unlike a revolutionary mass meeting than that, which assembled at Hyde Park it would-be impossible to conceive, 51

The ever-increasing cost of living is the most disturbing factor in present-dav society. Some of the attempts to regulate prices or to square the vicious circle bv increasing -wages in the vain endeavour to overtake rising prices have been worse than useless—they have simply added to the national expenditure and so increased the cost of living. There are, however, certain infallible signs pointing to a decline in prices, and there are equally clear indications that the reducing process will to some extent be painful. Prices must remain high for some commodities until production has been increased, and it is" becoming ina-easingly plain to the least intelligent that the lower the mass production the higher the price. It is inevitable that the intelligent and right view will ultimately prevail for the reason that it presents the only possible solution. -Ln the meantime definite views are beinc crystallised, and the following three con° ditions have been popularly laid down by the London Daily MaQ as a preliminary to any decided and sustained fall in prices : 1. Production must increase; to-day the output per head is stated by experts to be 20 per oent. less than before the war in most trades, though wages have risen enormously. 2. There must be some stability in the conditions of labour, which at present has not been attained. 3. There must be less paper money, which represents no production of goods: but m<l3l 'kis commodity is still one of coir most active industries. Only last week [early May] the Government borrowed £7,000,000 from the banks to pay for its extravagant departments.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT19200628.2.25

Bibliographic details

THE SOLICITOR-GENERALSHIP, Otago Daily Times, Issue 17973, 28 June 1920

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1,356

THE SOLICITOR-GENERALSHIP Otago Daily Times, Issue 17973, 28 June 1920

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