The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55
New Zealand's Want of Action
New Zealand's Want of Action.
But what of ourselves! What nation owes such gratitude to Great Britain as New Zealand? How many gallant officers and men have laid down their lives on your behalf? How many seamen lie buried in your soil, who fell fighting for you when you were likely to be swept away by a large native population? If any people in the world owe gratitude to Great Britain, it is the people of New Zealand. Is it any wonder then that some of us think that he would fain that New Zealand had been the first to send some message to Great Britain—some such words as these : "We, the people of New Zealand, grateful for past benefits, now having an opportunity of testifying our gratitude, hasten so to do. Tell us in what way we can aid you. We make no specific offer, but in New Zealand there are willing hearts and hands and open purses—say what you wish your children here to do, and you shall find we are not laggards to carry out your wishes." (Cheers.) I have been, as it were, shut out from the world. I know not whether it is the case, but I have heard of no such message being sent. I have heard of no expression coming from the people of New Zealand as to what they would wish to have done. Perhaps it is too late to do that now, but you may depend upon it that a great opportunity has been lost of setting the example to future generations of this country of what they should do, and of what their fathers did to testify their gratitude and show their affection for the country which had done so much for them. I cannot help lamenting that, and I believe many of those who hear me will wish also that some such step had been taken. (Cheers.)