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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70



With free trade in land, and free education there is nothing to prevent New Zealand from enjoying the economic peace and progress witnessed in Switzerland, France, and Saxony, if men will only be wise; but political economy must be better learnt Pamphlets, the platform, and the Press must be used to that end.

That such knowledge is desirable is evident to all who notice the mischievous meddlesomeness of many persons who delude the unthinking multitude with the belief that the State is almost omnipotent, and has only to pass laws that people may become rich and contented, whereas legislation may so disturb trade and injure the people as to raise a general outcry for its repeal. To go no further back than last session of Parliament; it is complained of in many quarters that the restrictions imposed on boy labour prevent widows with children getting from the elder boys the needful help to keep the wolf from the door, that the restrictions on women's labour have curtailed the labour of men: that the regulations respecting work in their homes have prevented some women from getting any labour at all, because they cannot leave their children to go and work in shops or factories; and that the Factory and other Acts are detrimental to both labour and capital. Even the best intentioned legislation frequently does more harm than good through ignorance of political economy on the part of legislators.