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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

A State Bank Wanted, and a Paper Issue

A State Bank Wanted, and a Paper Issue.

Our need of a State Bank and a Paper Issue of our own is: For the purpose of controlling and regulating the power of Gold, and with that taxation. We are able, if we so choose, to lower the interest on Gold, and to carry out all of our Public Works without paying interest—as we now are—on borrowed money. Our roads, railways, public buildings, proposed irrigation works, the generation of electricity, and the opening up of all our mineral deposits, could be done—with our State Bank and our inconvertible Paper Issue—without our paying the Gold-bugs a penny-piece by way of interest. Without paying large sums in interest, facilities could be given for the opening up and mining of the rich gold-belts of Macetown, Arrow River, and the old bed of the Kawaru, which is known to be rich in gold, facilities for the working of which are not yet given. Then there is the rich Parapara iron mine, in Nelson. This is considered to be the richest in Australasia, and it is being leased to a foreign company. This mine should belong to and be worked by the State in the interests of the State. Our Government neglects it, and our people do not unitedly protest against its being, as it were, confiscated by foreigners for the benefit of Gold-bugs. It appears that the Hon. Mr. Cadman held some right to lease it, and if our people and the mining community in particular, do not raise a voice of united protest, this rich mine will be lost to us.

This mine, then, could be worked on a Paper issue. Just think of it. It could be worked on a Paper issue in the exclusive interests of our people, and without the payment of taxation or interest. Yet, partly owing to our own lack of zeal, it is passing rapidly from us! This mine, that probably in a few years will be employing a thousand men, is passing into the hands of a foreign syndicate. Our miners would assuredly rather work for the State—that is ourselves—than for foreigners. Yet we allow ourselves to be robbed of this our birthright. Just as in the case of the great Waihi gold mine. Now, just ask yourselves what has been done with the millions of money that has been mined from this wonderful concern. Why, it has, tinder our crushing Gold system, been minted, passed into the hands of the Gold, bugs, and been loaned out to us—to the people to whom it originally belonged—at a high rate of interest, which compels our being heavily taxed. If we continue thus blind to our own interests, if we do not bestir ourselves, we shall remain—and we deserve to—at the mercy of the Gold-bugs, We should take such steps as will force our page 9 Government to conserve our interests by the conservation of our minerals and the natural riches of our country. Take another instance, that of the opening in the Karamea district. Nelson Province. Here there has accumulated a wealth of Copper. Gold, Silver, and other valuable minerals, to which has been given the name of Mount Radiant. The development of this is awaiting capital, which means that it will pass into the hands of a Company whose interests are not necessarily our interests, who will probably exploit these riches with the further view of exploiting us ourselves. Now, with a State Bank of our own, and a Paper issue, we could open this up ourselves in the interest of the State, which, as 1 have already stated, is our own interest. By making a small levy on the minerals won, this Paper money could be redeemed, and in the meantime we could all share in the benefits of this and similar operations, and this without—as we are now doing—piling up our National Debt. We send out annually for furniture alone something like a quarter of a million sterling," and while doing so we are burning down magnificent furniture-making timber worth at least a like sum. Who is primarily to blame for this? Why, that Government which allows such a state of things to go on. Our timbers should be the means of increasing our employment and earnings. To do this factories could be established for the manufacture of furniture, and these factories could be set up and the factory hands paid with Paper money. Our Government is—even in this democratic country—afraid to introduce a Paper issue. What are they afraid of? What but the Gold-bugs. If our assets in the shape of our millions of acres of fertile land, be good enough security for foreign Gold-bugs, they are assuredly good enough to back up and support any form of currency which we can safely choose to have issued.