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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

Class Legislation

Class Legislation.

There is a danger of that here. The Auckland Evening Star, November 18th, 1891, says:—"In New Zealand it (i.e., the Labour party) has kept a Government in power, in New South Wales it has turned out a Government, and yet in neither case have the Labour representatives been much more than one-fifth of the members of Parliament. Under such conditions there is undoubtedly ground for apprehending a resort to class legislation which may prove quite as pernicious as that which has been overthrown."

Now I am opposed to all class legislation, and always contend for one equal law for rich and poor alike. We do not want one law for Protestants, another for Roman Catholics, another for Irishmen, and another for Scotchmen. Before the law all should be equal, and all should equally help to pay for good government, according to benefits enjoyed and ability to pay taxes. That is a fundamental principle of our constitution. I believe in Catholic and Jewish emancipation, civil and religious freedom, and equal opportunities for all.