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The History of the Jews in New Zealand

Chapter XXIV — Sir Julius Vogel

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Chapter XXIV
Sir Julius Vogel

Vogel started his political career in New Zealand in 1862, when he unsuccessfully contested an election for a seat in the Otago Provincial Council. Undeterred, he stood for the Waikouaiti seat in the following year and succeeded. Flushed with triumph, he sought further honours in the House of Representatives as member for Dunedin South. The electors rejected him. However, he won a seat in the General Assembly in circumstances which might be considered the most extraordinary by which a member gained election to a major parliamentary body. In 1863, the representative for Dunedin and Suburbs North resigned. As a journalist, Vogel covered the scene for the new nominations. On his arrival, only the Returning Officer and he were present. Quickly summing up the situation, Vogel sent out for two or three people, and in a few minutes he was proposed, seconded and declared elected.

At the time, few people cared about the Legislative Council and less still about the Lower House. The Provincial Councils reigned supreme. Local politics took preference over national problems. Each province stood like an island in a sea of forest and undeveloped land. Lack of roads and railways and regular communications in general hampered the large-scale development of the country, and the Council and Assembly in Auckland were looked upon as being more a symbol of national unity than bodies legislating for the country as a whole. It sometimes took weeks to reach Auckland from the South Island. Long delays had to be expected in correspondence. The provinces could not afford to be ruled and dictated to by a body hundreds of miles away which knew little about local conditions and sometimes cared less. From the South Island, only persons of little occupation desired to sit in the Legislature in Auckland almost in political isolation.

Vogel, however, at the early age of twenty-eight, did choose to go to Auckland. He had already developed into an extraordinary man of foresight, of ideas and ambition. He believed in himself as a man of destiny who could bring progress to New Zealand and who could transform it into a great land. Confident in the extreme, he knew the day would surely come when national interests would have to take precedence over the parochial. Others supposed it would take generations to achieve; he conjectured he would see its realization in his own lifetime. Many thought him "unstable as water" because of page 169 his schemes and his private passion for playing cards, but actually he was a man of remarkable vision and yet, at the same time, realistic. Inquisitive, far-seeing, with a grasping intellect, he was a brilliant financier; when others would speak in terms of pence, he would declaim in terms of pounds. Others would plan for public works in thousands; he planned in millions.

Short, stocky, unprepossessing in looks, squarish in face and adorned with a large black beard, Vogel did not attract friends by his appearance. Yet he won friendship easily in spite of his dogmatic views. A good mixer amongst all classes, he spoke each man's language. Fond of jovial company and a pleasant and true companion himself, he attracted comrades to him by his suavity and good humour and by his magnetic eyes and voice. He was imperturbably polite and good-tempered. Not an orator but a forceful speaker, he gained a reputation as a debater without rival because of his self-command and coolness when others would have become heated and confused. Outwardly calm, inwardly he would be full of fight and fire. He could cloud an issue in a mist of words, soothe and placate a tempestuous crowd or an adversary, but with the stroke of a few pithy phrases could strike down an unruly enemy. Suffering from a slight defect in hearing, he would be conveniently deaf when occasion demanded it. Democratic in outlook yet progressive in his views, his honesty of purpose and desire to work for the common weal gained him respect even amongst many who disliked him. An insatiable capacity for work and a quiet spirit of determination sustained him in moments of crisis.

Although Vogel won many friends, he also acquired many foes. They distrusted him because they did not understand him. As he was a Jew, they suspected his motives. His enemies called him "Jew-lius Rex". One described him as a "startling figure of a little Jew from Otago". Many considered his financial schemes fantastic. The old school looked upon him as an upstart, too sanguine and too assertive. His plans bewildered them. They did not want to accept the fact that he was the only statesman with ideas or with sufficient experience to push them. Even Gisbome, the historian, who knew him well, described him as "sensational, autocratic, endowed with great force and strong will, persistent, fertile in resources, ambitious, adventurous and remarkable for general ability". He mistook Vogel when he stated that he was overfond of personal power, popular adulation and apt to be a dictator. Nor did he love money for the sake of display as Gisborne alleged. All public men accept the honey of the appreciation of their admirers. Vogel had strong opinions and expressed them forcibly, but he did not dictate. When he sought money it was not for display but for his own security and that of his family. He died a very poor man.

Rusden, the historian, disliked Vogel intensely, but he showed prejudice against all Jews. Vogel first came into national prominence when, in 1865, page 170 he proposed a great lottery for disposing of the native lands which had been acquired by confiscation in the Maori Wars. He suggested that the prizes in the lottery of two million £1 tickets should include free passages from Britain for the winners, of whom 175 were to be cabin passengers and 18,870 in steerage. The land would be divided into 6121 lots, varying from one section of 100,000 acres to 4200 sections of 50 acres. The immigrants, who would have to show only £1 on landing would be sent to model, well-provided settlements, protected against attack by natives. Rusden sarcastically observed: "Though the plan reeked of an atmosphere to be found between Shoreditch and Whitechapel, the immigrants were to be moral, the settlement model and no differences were anticipated with Maoris." Rusden, however, was blind to Vogel's ability. He described Vogel thus: "Having kept a small shop at a rural township in Australia, he had migrated to Otago. Having talent for intrigue and sufficient literary ability for the local press, he obtained a position in the Provincial Government and was elected to the Assembly for Dunedin and suburbs north." When, later, Vogel initiated a plan to borrow £6,000,000 for defence, immigration, public works and other purposes, Rusden bitterly remarked of the Members of Parliament that, "caught with the glitter of the thirty pieces of silver, a majority accepted the bait. It placed the future in the hands of a pawnbroker ... a prophet whose god was money." He suggested that the Government was "like a young spendthrift in the hands of a Jew on a wild career, it trampled on maxims of prudence and ungrateful compunctions of conscience". In spite of Rusden's spiteful criticism, Vogel received authorization to borrow £4,000,000 for immigration and public works, and £1,000,000 for the purpose of defence and sundry needs.

When Vogel, in 1870, made his financial proposals to borrow money in order to build roads and railways, and for the purpose of immigration so as to open up the country, he made them as Colonial Treasurer in the Fox Government. He had gone a long way since the day he had first entered the House of Representatives. He had made his presence felt immediately. On the first day he took his seat he made a maiden speech opposing the punishment of the Maoris by the confiscation of their lands. Within two years he had brought about the resignation of the Government on the issue of provincialism versus centralization. An ardent provincialist, he realistically opposed the centralization of power into the hands of the Government at Auckland. As long as the country lacked efficient communications, the federation of the provinces would hinder progress. The transfer of the capital from Auckland to Wellington made little difference to his contentions.

The costly Maori Wars in the North Island urged Vogel to propose separation of the South Island from it. His proposals received a mixed reception in Dunedin. It cost him his post as editor of the Otago Daily Times. He also page 171 decided to change his constituency from Dunedin to the Goldfields, Otago, where his popularity was greatest. His prolific and forceful speeches and arguments gained for him the post of Provincial Treasurer and made him leader of Otago, which he ruled for the next three years. Control over the goldfields became an issue and a test of strength between him and the Government at Wellington. He persuaded his Provincial Council to guarantee twelve months' salary to all officials on the goldfields, and at one place took possession of all buildings, put padlocks on the doors and posted police outside. When the centralists brought axes to force their way into the buildings, the police intervened. A subsequent plebiscite taken on the goldfields confirmed Vogel's policy, for he had turned a strong opposition into an overwhelming following. The miners and the traders voted in favour of the provincialists by 8304 votes to 178.

Soon after Vogel's newspaper, the New Zealand Sun, failed in Dunedin, he removed to Auckland, once again changing his constituency and resigning his leadership of the Province of Otago. From virtual Leader of the Opposition in the General Assembly, Vogel, when William Fox became Prime Minister, was raised to Colonial Treasurer, adding the portfolios of Postmaster-General and Commissioner of Customs to his office. Through his control of finances, Vogel saw his opportunity of putting into practice his scheme for the expansion of New Zealand. If he could build railways, roads and bridges, he could unify the country. Then indeed would there be no need for provincialism.

The low intake of immigrants due to the low price of wool urged Vogel to launch his plan. He increased the sum he wanted to borrow from £6,000,000 to £10,000,000. Repayment of capital and interest would be achieved by the sale and lease of lands. Immigrants would be given free or cheap passages and good conditions of labour. Once determined upon the fulfilment of his dream, he changed his course accordingly. From an ardent provincialist he became an uncompromising centralist. More than any other politician, he destroyed the provincial system which he now believed hindered the progress of the country. Some of his colleagues looked upon him as a traitor. One of his best friends, Sir George Maurice O'Rourke, said in Parliament that he would never have accepted a seat in the Ministry if he had known that his honourable colleague had in his capacious armoury this treacherous dagger to stab the provinces which they were both sworn to maintain. If he remained in the Government he would do violence to his conscience and would deserve to be branded as a base, political traitor. O'Rourke, at the dramatic moment when he had finished his speech, walked across the House to the opposition benches.

Vogel had no traitorous instincts. His whole nature revolted against political chicanery. O'Rourke did not possess Vogel's vision. Vogel saw that page 172 New Zealand could become a great country only through union by means of its communications followed by a political union. Vogel accepted the herculean task, and the call of traitor and the loss of friends did not move him. He was a man of indomitable courage. When he appeared at a political meeting at the Princess Theatre, Dunedin, the crowd would not allow Vogel to speak. He stuck to his guns and spoke, though hardly anybody heard him. Three years later, on 6 January, 1874, in the same theatre, a banquet was tendered to him as Premier Julius Vogel. He was unable to speak for several minutes this time because of the cheers and applause. Again Vogel had been justified. By 1876 the provinces were abolished.

As soon as Vogel was re-elected as member for Auckland City East in 1871, the year of the first secret ballot, he sailed for England via the United States of America. His aim included a postal service between England and New Zealand via San Francisco. Immediately after he had arranged temporary contracts, his mind turned to the running of the mail ships by the untapped New Zealand coal deposits. He hoped to obtain 30,000 tons of coal a year. In addition, he wanted to make New Zealand the chief coaling station in the Pacific. His eyes also turned to Fiji as a port of call between the United States of America and New Zealand.

It was not the first time that Vogel had directed the attention of New Zealand and Britain towards the Polynesian islands. A confirmed imperialist and believer in the consolidation and expansion of the Empire, he had been dubbed "The Disraeli of New Zealand". As far back as 1865 he had written a pamphlet, Great Britain and Her Colonies, in which he suggested the expenditure over a century of £700,000,000 to consolidate the Empire. He wanted Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the New Hebrides as component parts with New Zealand of a Pacific Confederation. He advocated the annexation of New Guinea and Hawaii, afraid that Germany and the United States would annex them, which they eventually did.

When Vogel returned to New Zealand, Coleman Phillips came to him with a plan to establish a Polynesian Trading Company for the purpose of acquiring cheap labour for New Zealand and Australia, and in order to utilize native production and eventually acquire sovereignty over the islands. Vogel disliked slave labour and the idea of acquisition by military adventure, and he advised Phillips not to go to London to form a company as he, being an unknown person in England, would not be able to raise the necessary funds. In the absence of Phillips, Vogel formed his own New Zealand and Polynesian Trading Company, prepared an armed ship to be ready in-Auckland Harbour, and cabled the British Government for permission to annex the island of Samoa. All his plans were doomed to disappointment. The British Government opposed the scheme and would not permit him to proceed. When Coleman Phillips returned from England he petitioned page 173 Parliament for £2000 compensation for promoting the idea and for out-of-pocket expenses. At first, Parliament ridiculed the request, but with the support of Vogel, who recognized the claim, the House debated it and allowed him a sum of £300. In April, 1874, Vogel wrote to the Colonial Office stating his reasons for a proposition for New Zealand to annex the islands of Fiji. Six months later Britain annexed Fiji for herself. It made little impression upon New Zealanders. Vogel, disappointed in one way, could not but be glad that his proposition had impelled the British Government to take the step to acquire what proved later to be an invaluable asset. As for New Zealand, after fourteen years of campaigning by Vogel, it finally annexed the Kermadec Islands.

When Vogel arrived in England from the United States on his first "royal tour", he did not lack schemes to benefit New Zealand. He failed in his proposal to bring in penny postage. He unsuccessfully tried to introduce New Zealand flax for manufacture into gun-cotton. A plan to persuade the Imperial Parliament to pass an Act permitting trust funds to be invested in colonial securities did not succeed at first, but later its approval added strength to colonial bonds and gave the public the confidence to invest in them. Other colonies followed New Zealand's example and made similar requests. Britain's initial refusal arose because of doubts as to the permanence of the ties between New Zealand and Britain. No man laboured more than Vogel to make those bonds permanent and unbreakable. He impressed upon New Zealand that it could not prosper without Britain. He proposed a "Confederation of the Empire", suggesting a federal parliament of self-governing states with no right of secession but with supreme protection through a federal army and navy.

Having achieved the first step towards the main goal of his English visit by borrowing £1,200,000 he then made contracts with Brogden and Sons to build railways, one condition being that they bring out 10,000 migrants. In the next ten years he borrowed £22,000,000, a great percentage of which came from the House of Rothschild; the population rose from a quarter to half a million souls; land under cultivation rose from one million to four million acres; the value of exports increased from £500,000 per annum to £1,500,000; 100,000 immigrants were introduced, some of whom came from Scandinavia and from Denmark; and 1200 miles of railway were built, mainly under contracts with Brogden and Sons, whom Vogel seemed to favour. One scheme gave the contractors three-quarters of an acre of land for every pound expended by them in building railways and plant. Only a man of ideas, of force and determination could have achieved so much.

Parliament did not altogether agree with the extravagance of the postal and railway contracts which Vogel had made in America and England. He resigned. Called upon soon after to form a government, he created a sensa- page 174 tion by his amazing restraint in not appointing himself as Premier. He chose George Waterhouse as Premier to lead in the Legislative Council, whilst he led in the House of Representatives as Treasurer and Postmaster-General. Stafford, the Leader of the Opposition, moved in the House: "That the Colonial Treasurer, having stated that the Ministry was formed by him, and not by the Prime Minister, the House desires to be informed whether, in the case of death or resignation of the Prime Minister, the Ministry would, according to constitutional usage, be ipso facto dissolved." Stafford said he would prefer Vogel to be Premier in name as well as in fact. He was entitled to the position. Vogel replied that Waterhouse was Premier in every respect. Nominally this was true, for actually Vogel preferred to be a power than in power. Waterhouse could accept blame for any failure, he, Vogel, would enjoy and glory in the creation of a new kingdom.

Approaching every new venture with terrific verve, he studied each subject in minute detail, becoming more expert in his subject than any of his opponents. As all insurance in New Zealand was effected by agents for British firms, he introduced the Government Life Insurance Act, whereby insurances could be taken out in the country and the principal remain in New Zealand. The Public Trust Office Act was an idea of his fertile brain. A keen student of afforestation, and appalled at the foolish destruction of millions of acres of forest land, he pleaded feelingly before the House for their preservation. Under his spell Parliament passed the first reading of the Bill, but by the second reading, most of the members, probably not understanding the importance of the term "erosion", grew cold to the scheme and defeated the motion. New Zealand would have saved herself millions of pounds in the long run if she had listened to him. Vogel was a prophet in his own country—a man ahead of his time.

Waterhouse, unsuited for his task, and entirely opposed in temperament to Vogel, resigned his office during the absence of Vogel in Australia negotiating an oceanic submarine cable service between Australia and New Zealand. Taking over the premiership at the close of 1873, Vogel also retained the portfolios of Colonial Treasurer, Postmaster-General and Telegraph Commissioner. At the zenith of his power, and pursuing his migration and borrowing policy with intensity, he also fearlessly took charge of the portfolio for immigration. Dissatisfied with the slowness of the Agent-General in London, he thought he could do better himself. He did, and in the process partially suppressed a monopoly created by the three steamship companies carrying out migrants to New Zealand.

When the General Assembly passed, in 1874, a Bill for borrowing a further £4,000,000, Vogel, in the face of strong opposition, sailed for England to negotiate it. He probably thought he could obtain it at easier terms than the loan agents and the Agent-General. They quarrelled, the page 175 agents stating that they did not want to be associated with Vogel, but he had his way, and negotiated the whole of the loan through the Rothschilds. Rusden suggested that his friendship with the bankers and with the magnate Lord Kimberley gained him the coveted honour of a knighthood. It may be true that they did use their influence, but recommendation is of necessity always present in the matter of honours. In any case, no man in New Zealand deserved the K.C.M.G. more than Sir Julius Vogel.

Ill from overwork on his migration and borrowing schemes, and suffering terribly from poor man's gout, Vogel decided to resign his premiership and portfolios in the Ministry, and sought leave of absence as a Member of Parliament, which was granted. In his absence, the Government appointed him as Postmaster-General and allowed him to use the title of Honourable for life. Vogel may have had secret reasons for resigning the highest political post in New Zealand. It did not carry a large salary nor, indeed, sufficient to cover his lavish spending, his open-handed generosity and hospitality. As a responsible man, he realized that he would have to provide for his future. He had not made money in spite of the contracts with Brogden and Sons having been regarded with suspicion. Most scrupulous where public funds were concerned, he accounted for every penny of his travelling expenditure. It may have been heavy, and he may have been severely criticized for making such large requests, but he claimed that he had to travel as a Premier representing the State, and not as a pauper. In spite of Vogel's position in New Zealand, he secretly preferred to live in England. The gaiety and company he loved could not be found in the country of his adoption. Moreover, he probably had a secret ambition. He hoped perhaps to reach the heights in the British Parliament that he had attained in that of New Zealand. He could play on a larger stage to a larger audience. Years previously, a Nelson newspaper had reported that Jewish friends of Vogel in England wanted him to enter the House of Commons.

Apparently the prospects in England did not satisfy Vogel. He returned to New Zealand early in 1876 amidst loud acclaim. Three constituencies vied for the honour of his representation. He chose Wanganui. Auckland City fell foul of Vogel. It had strongly favoured the provincial system which Vogel had smashed. The serving Premier resigned, and once again Vogel led the Government, adding the burden of Colonial Treasurer and Postmaster-General to his heavy responsibilities. Within a few months, he was back in England. The opportunity for which he had been waiting had arrived. The Agent-General had died in London. Vogel could not have found a better post for himself. Position, a splendid salary, London, his merry circle of friends and the chance of entering British politics—all were his. He did not deny himself.

Criticism fell upon Vogel's head from all quarters. The propriety of a page 176 Premier accepting a position for himself as Agent-General was questioned. He said he was ill, yet he undertook the busy London post. He retired from his position as Premier at the very moment New Zealand needed him most. The national debt had risen from £8,000,000 to £20,000,000. Contractors for railway construction could no longer be paid with land, and the railway system itself did not come up to expectations. Anti-semitic murmurings were heard. Vogel, however, left with a clear conscience. Prosperity could not be gained without a national debt. Two thousand miles of road had been built. The peculiar courses taken by the railway lines resulted from the greed of local politicians who took advantage of Vogel's plans. New industries had been created. Large tracts of land had been bought from the Maoris, which had helped to bring a subsequent peace.

Not having sufficient business in London to occupy his boundless energy, there awakened his old passion for journalism. He became a tireless correspondent to the newspapers and journals. A letter of his to the Standard, he claimed, started the Empire cult in England. Lack of scope for his vivid imagination and startling schemes, together with the pin-pricks from petty permanent officials in New Zealand, urged him, though still Agent-General, to seek without permission of the country he represented, a seat in the British Parliament for the constituency of Penryn and Falmouth. His failure is said to have cost him £5000. Trying to recoup some of his losses, he accepted a directorship of a firm, but this time the New Zealand Government informed him that business and his post as Agent-General were not compatible. Vogel, then negotiating a loan for £5,000,000, offered to resign his post in order to become an accredited loan agent at a percentage. Genuinely mistaking a vaguely worded telegram as an acceptance of his offer, he, together with two other agents, negotiated the loan, he remaining as Agent-General until his successor arrived. Whilst the other two agents received £5250 as fees, the Government would not pay Vogel. It claimed that as Agent-General he had no entitlement, and that the telegram did not constitute an acceptance. For years, Vogel and his family tried unsuccessfully to win recognition of his claim for the agent's percentage. Vogel lost both the percentage and his post. A bad poker player at all times, he had overplayed his hand. Vogel's connection with New Zealand had officially ended, but, typical of the generosity of the man, before he left his post he paid out of his own pocket to all the civil servants working at the Agent-General's office, the 10 per cent which the Government had deducted from their salary. The Premier reprimanded him, and this resulted in an acrimonious correspondence that Parliament attempted to suppress.

With few prospects in England, Vogel came out to New Zealand in December, 1882, as a representative of the Electric Light Company and the Australian Electric Light and Power Company, but obviously he had also page break
Sir Michael Myers, P.C., G.C.M.G., K.C. (1873-1950). One of the most illustrious of New Zealand's sons. On a number of occasions during the absence of a Governor-General, he acted as Administrator of New Zealand.

Sir Michael Myers, P.C., G.C.M.G., K.C. (1873-1950). One of the most illustrious of New Zealand's sons. On a number of occasions during the absence of a Governor-General, he acted as Administrator of New Zealand.

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Marcus Marks. Government Printer from 1916 to 1922, his name became widely known. His administrative ability and his cheerful disposition made him a popular figure and his book Memories (Mainly Merry) was enjoyed by thousands of his countrymen.

Marcus Marks. Government Printer from 1916 to 1922, his name became widely known. His administrative ability and his cheerful disposition made him a popular figure and his book Memories (Mainly Merry) was enjoyed by thousands of his countrymen.

J. I. Goldsmith, J.P., has given life-long service to patriotic, welfare, educational and cultural organizations and is still an active worker in many fields.

J. I. Goldsmith, J.P., has given life-long service to patriotic, welfare, educational and cultural organizations and is still an active worker in many fields.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother presents a cup to Sir Ernest Davis at Trentham. One of New Zealand's leading bloodstock owners, Sir Ernest has wide commercial interests and a long record of civic service.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother presents a cup to Sir Ernest Davis at Trentham. One of New Zealand's leading bloodstock owners, Sir Ernest has wide commercial interests and a long record of civic service.

Sir Louis Edward Barnett, whose great reputation in the medical world has made him an international figure.

Sir Louis Edward Barnett, whose great reputation in the medical world has made him an international figure.

page 177 come to spy out the land. For four years New Zealand had suffered from a bad slump for which Vogel had been blamed. All the country's misfortunes had their roots in Vogel's schemes, said popular opinion. At Christchurch, a resolution had been passed that Vogel should be hung up by his heels. Such was his fascination, however, that the welcome at Christchurch exceeded all expectations. At Dunedin, an old opponent said the world would have stood still or moved very slowly without men like Vogel.

Pleased with his reception, Vogel returned to New Zealand, although almost crippled with gout, and stood for Christchurch North in July, 1884. Looking for a saviour, the fickle public forgot all the blame it had put on Vogel concerning the slump. The country sought a man to extricate it from its predicament. It believed in Vogel. He gave it confidence. As the representative with the largest number of followers, Vogel was called upon to form a government, which he did, with Robert Stout as Premier and himself as Colonial Treasurer. Although just under fifty years of age, Vogel looked old and was almost completely crippled. He had to be wheeled in a chair. Increasing deafness and chronic drowsiness also affected him. The premiership would have been too onerous for him. Nevertheless, possessing the heart of a lion and the courage of an ancient Maccabee, he accepted the office of Treasurer and Postmaster-General, speaking prolifically on all kinds of subjects and introducing many new schemes and ideas for the benefit of the country. He dominated the Ministry.

Coming into office on 16 August, 1884, the Stout-Vogel Ministry continued in power for three years, except for a short break of five days soon after it had taken over the reins. Most of the time Parliament seemed to be occupied with thwarting Vogel's proposals. It seemed to be afraid both of itself and of the boldness of Vogel's suggestions. It gave women the right to own their own property, but would not accept Vogel's Suffrage Bill granting women the right to vote. After passing its second reading, the Bill came to grief in the committee stages only because Parliament feared the amazement at its own broad-mindedness if it allowed the legislation to go through. Once again Vogel tried to awaken interest in the importance of Samoa. Believing it could be captured by trade, he proposed the establishment of the South Sea Trading Company with a capital of £ 1,000,000 and headquarters in Auckland. Parliament would not accept the Bill. The Samoans pleaded with New Zealand to annex it as they feared German aggression, but Vogel's further representations to the British Government went unheeded.

Parliament opposed his proposal to cultivate sugar-beet. He wanted to grow tobacco and silk. He advocated the utilization of pumice land by the use of scientific fertilizers. Nothing came of his suggestion to establish fishing villages on the long coastline, especially around Stewart Island. To increase page 178 exports, he proposed the sending of butter and frozen meat to India and woollen fabrics to Brazil. He promoted the manufacture of wrought and cast iron.

With the defeat of the Ministry, Vogel became the Leader of the Opposition, but realizing that further dissipation of his physical powers could but harm him, he decided, early in 1888, to return to England, seemingly for a holiday, but actually to prepare for his retirement from public life.

He resigned his parliamentary office and settled down at East Mosely, Surrey, where he hoped to make a living as an author. The thought that he had forsaken New Zealand never entered his mind. To him England and New Zealand were one, Britain the mother, New Zealand the daughter. His first novel, Anno Domini 2,000 or Woman's Destiny, propounded his dreams and amazing prophetic theories. It could have almost been accepted as a prophetic almanac for the year 2000. He prophesied that an air cruiser travelling at one hundred miles an hour would leave Melbourne in the morning and would arrive at Dunedin at night. He foretold the creation of the Molyneux water scheme. Elaborations on the franchise of women and the abolition of poverty were evolved in a heavy philosophical style. Whilst Premier, in 1875, in spite of his preoccupation in affairs of State, his passion for journalism had induced him to write, edit and publish the Official Handbook of New Zealand.

Mentally alert in his hours of wakefulness, his last years were spent in anguish. So crippled that he could not use his pen, he could only play upon memory and dreams. Dire poverty crippled his pride. The brilliant financier who had dabbled in millions on behalf of others could not provide for himself. Hearing of his situation the New Zealand Government appointed him as its nominal financial adviser at a salary of £350 a year. On 12 March, 1899, he received everlasting relief from his worldly suffering.

His place in New Zealand's history has not yet been equalled. The country's position today amongst the nations of the world can be traced to the economic genius and contribution made by Sir Julius Vogel. He has no memorial upon a high mount or lofty promontory. Only Vogeltown and Vogel Street in Wellington are reminders of his connection with the country. His memorial is the success of New Zealand itself as a progressive democratic nation amongst the peoples of the world.

His family buried him in the Jewish Cemetery at Willesden. Vogel always remained a Jew; he never abjured his faith. It has been stated that neither race nor creed had any great hold upon him. His marriage out of his religion may have been the reason. Because of it he could not come close to his brethren. When Sir Julius Vogel was sick during his last year as Premier, the minister of the Christchurch synagogue recited prayers for his recovery. His committee told him "to desist from such proceedings in the future, as page 179 calculated to bring our religion into contempt". Yet Vogel understood the value of faith. He stated quite openly in the House that he favoured a religious upbringing. When in Auckland, he gave two prizes to the synagogue school for the best pupils in Hebrew.

Vogel's death almost coincided with the end of the century. In New Zealand it had produced men whose Jewish faith and training inspired them to be of service to their community and country. They created a unique record. Small in numbers but potent in influence, they disseminated a spirit of goodwill and justice which distinguished them amongst their neighbours. Fierce in their love of liberty, they enjoyed their freedom the more in the service they gladly rendered. Humble in outlook yet dignified in demeanour, they added prestige to the good name of New Zealand and to the high reputation New Zealanders had universally won.