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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73

Introductory. — The Reason for this Pamphlet

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The Reason for this Pamphlet.

The recent exposures in connection with the New York Police Force created such consternation in the public mind, that a clean sweep has been made of the old officials, and of the nest of political spies, rogues, and incapables, who had found a resting-place and a means of making a rapid fortune by betraying the trust reposed in them by the people whose peace and safety they were supposed to protect.

If "Brighter Britain," the home of our adoption, is to escape the evils of corrupt administration, such as have made the name of the United States a bye-word in other parts of the civilised world, it will be by the creation of high standards of public morality, by honest criticism, and stern insistence upon the Executive that it shall never prostitute the people's weal to private profit.

The foundation of this nation's future is now being laid; the character of our public men will be—for good or evil—stamped upon our laws; and if the future of New Zealand is to be happy, if content and plenty are to be the portion of our posterity, the foundation of our public and private life must be made strong and broad. When the reality of the thought comes upon us that we are engaged in Nation building, that we are moulding the destiny of the unborn millions, the prayer of the poet comes to our memory—

"God give us men. A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands—
Men whom the love of office does not kill,
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
Men who possess conviction and a will,
Men who have courage, men who will not lie."

There is probably no other department of the State that is a better criterion of the public morality than the Police Force; the keenness of the people's regard for the enforcement of law for the protection of life and the preservation of peace, is an indication whether they have reached a point of development such as is imperatively necessary before any considerable measure of Christian Socialism can be realised.

In the firm belief that prevention is better than cure, I have written the following pages. My object is to draw the attention of the authorities to evils existing in the Police department, evils that can be remedied now, but which if left unchecked for a few years, will surely breed the great scandals that have so disgraced our American friends.

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Occasionally, the Daily Press gets hold of some flagrant instance of maladministration in connection with the Police Department; but so far as I can ascertain, there has never been an attempt to state in detail the various causes that make the inefficiency of the Police Force a matter for common remark and for contemptuous reference. I hope by these pages to create such a healthy public opinion upon this important matter as to secure the removal of the cause for the criticism.

Although I believe the maladministration to be general, I have as a rule quoted local instances, as being easier of verification.

Copies of this pamphlet will be supplied every member of the Ministry and members of both Houses of Parliament, all the newspapers of the Colony, and all Liberal and Labour organisations It is my earnest hope that those receiving them, after reading them and making careful enquiry as to the accuracy of the statements contained, will make strong efforts to bring about a more satisfactory Police System. Where the newspapers do me the honour to criticise the result of my efforts, I shall be extremely obliged if they will forward me a copy of the paper containing such criticism, to enable me to write replies.

Theo. Wake.

St. Albans, Christchurch,