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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55

The Question of Capitation

The Question of Capitation.

But I say this : Will you see that some proper capitation allowance is given to these men—(great cheering)—something fair, something just and equitable? I don't ask you to give them a pieee of paper enabling them to select some piece of land, which they almost immediately part with for a mere trifle to some speculator. (Cheers.) That is to waste your land, and not to settle the population upon and merely to give rise to speculative tricks, but to give a fair capitation allowance, and to a sufficient number of men. (Cheers.) I say a fair capitation; and then looking a little beyond your own district—looking at the colony at large—insist upon your Ministers not squandering upon companies in which they are interested the public funds—(cheers)—not relieving, for instance, the New Zealand Agricultural Company, and the Ministers who are identified with it and the Waimea Plains Railway—not relieving them of a few thousands a-year of rates, when they are giving an immense value to their property by the railroads made—(cheers)—not having your Legislative Council increased by ten or eleven members in a single session—(cheers) — and an annual expense of between £200 and £300 a-year entailed upon you for each of those members for his lifetime—but making your Ministers cease squandering upon themselves and their friends the public funds, and devoting them to the defence of the country and the creation of such a force as I speak of. (Cheers.) You have been told here, in this very theatre, to be patriotic, and not to think of capitation allowance. I say be patriotic, but do think of the company of which the man who said that is the solicitor, think of the people at large, and let the public funds be devoted to the great purposes of the defence of the colony, instead of being dealt out with a niggardly hand, and so wasted, because insufficient to call into existence anything worthy of the people of this country. (Cheers.)