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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

The Camp, Dunedin, July 24th, 1894. M. J. Scobie Mackenzie, Esq., Melness, Peninsula

page 9
The Camp, Dunedin,

M. J. Scobie Mackenzie, Esq., Melness, Peninsula.


Your letter of the 22nd inst. I found at the Post Office this morning, in reply to my last; and I am glad the circumstances in connection with the latter were of more than an ordinary character, and so warranted you in answering it.

I really do not understand your meaning when you speak of my attempts at Lawrence "to tickle the ears of the groundlings" by a pretence of demanding "leaps" of graduated taxation for bursting-up purposes. Here again you are at fault by still pursuing your Baron Munchausen proclivities. Why don't you stick to facts, and the whole truth? In none of my speeches have I ever advocated the bursting-up of large estates by the process of taxation. What I advocated, and still advocate, is not to interfere with any estate if no land is wanted for settlement; but, if land is required by the people, and the Crown has no land to satisfy the earth-hunger in any district in the colony, then it is the duty of the Crown to take from any large estate on equitable and fair terms sufficient land to satisfy the bonâ fide demands of the people; and let me say that this is no "new-born zeal" on my part, for I advocated the same policy during the general election campaign of 1890. Considering the fact that you recently stated at one of your meetings at Lawrence that "Hansard" contained more lies than any book ever published, I am not surprised that you carry it about with you, and so often quote from it, I am content to stand by and justify any vote I have ever given in Parliament during my long political career.

page 10

In respect to what you are pleased to call the "Registrar business" you are entirely wrong in supposing that I have found I made a mistake, so far I have only your statement against the statement of my friend; and, perhaps, as usual, you have only told half of the truth, and I may assure you that you won't find me "lack in manliness" if you ever desire to question the point.

Nor can I see what good reason you had for calling the electors who were good enough to listen to me "groundlings" because they, in many cases, stood in the halls! while others you styled "wretches" for having thrown rotten eggs. Was this because they were chicken-hearted at your defeat?

If I may presume to give advice to so illustrious a politician as you, I would recommend you at any future contest to stand on your own merits, and every one has some merits. Do not abuse your opponent; the electors will judge him; always tell the whole truth connected with any statement, and for ever abandon your habit of' only telling half the truth.

Yours obediently,

W. J. M. Larnach.

Coulis, Culline it Co., Printers, Crawford Street. Dunedin.