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The Poverty Bay Herald AND East Coast News Letter. PUBLISHED EVERY EVENING. Friday, October 3, 1879.

It ia a subject which demands very serious consideration is the question whioh was asked some little time back by the Napier Telegraph,. " In what condition is the Colony likely to be should the wool market not improve by another twelve-months?" We quite agree 1 with, our contemporary that this is a much more serious and important question than any question which is mooted among the Liberal Associations of the Colony. Triennial parliaments, an extension of the franchise*, amended land laws, a redirtrit>uttei^gpf the electorates ar& all very well in .their way, but where Bhall we get work and food comes much nearer tojeyery man's door at the present crisis. Tne present condition of trade throughout the North Island is terribly depressed, while the agitations which have been going on has materially affected property, both of which must materially affect the working classses, and the working classes, it is admitted, beyond all doubt, form the backbone of every civilised country.. Says the Telegraph, " The value of colonial products in the Home market is so low that the employment of labor in the improvement of estates has had to be reduced to the narrowest limits. Added to the depressed state of the markers, very many land owners find themselves crippled through having purchased their properties at the fictitious valuation that was attained by a mania for land prevalent about two years ago. These two ciroumstances — a depressed market, and land bought at too dear a rate — have had the inevitable effect of throwing hundreds of people out of employment. The condition of affairs has in no way been improved _ by an agitation that has for its ostensible object the increased taxation of employers. " These agitations have frightened capital from coming into the Colony, and at the same time has caused much of it to be sent away. To those who may feel inclined to under-rate the extent and intensity of the depression from which the Colony is now suffering we would say turn to the principal centres of population, and there see the fearful condition of the working classes. At Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, the Government have had to find special work for the starving multitudes. We are not exaggerating the state of things. In the good times all these hundreds of bread-winners found abundance of employment h> the country districts, and on the public

works. The depression of trade has forced them into the towns, and has compelled them, in order to relieve the distress of their families, to implore work from the Government. But how long we would ask, can it be expected that the special work thus provided can last ? In the nature of things it cannot last long. What is next to happen, if there is to be no improvement in trade | The prospect is gloomy enough m all conscience. A yery similar state of things is to be found in the neighboring colony of Victoria, of which it has been said the most striking object that will be seen at the Melbourne Exhibition next year will, be the thousands of unemployed begging in the streets. How far the legislation of the country, the fruits of liberalism, has had to do in bringing about such misery, those know best who have suffered most. The Liberalism of Victoria has been its ruin ; the stump orations of demagogues have had the effect of inflaming the minds of the people with false ideas of political economy, which in turn have led to the" placing of the administration of the country in the handa of men who have nothing to lose, have everything to gain by trading on the ignorance of those who keep them in power. A comparison drawn between the effects of the Conservatism of New South Wales and the Liberalism of Victoria will show that, if the one does not do much, it at least escapes the ruin caused by the other. A comparison of those two colonies offers a lesson to New Zealand that, if disregaded, may bring us to the same state into which Victoria has fallen. - A little more practical legislation, and a good deal less of 'the theoretical and high-falutin' would be more to the purpose just now. Immigration, unless accompanied by capital, should certainly not be encouraged for the present. The Government of the day has no right to spend the money contributed to tho public revenue by the people for the purpose of impoverishing them.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/PBH18791003.2.7

Bibliographic details

Poverty Bay Herald, Poverty Bay Herald, Volume VI, Issue 911, 3 October 1879

Word Count
760

The Poverty Bay Herald AND East Coast News Letter. PUBLISHED EVERY EVENING. Friday, October 3, 1879. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume VI, Issue 911, 3 October 1879

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