The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
A State Bank
A State Bank.
Parliament must pass an Act providing for the founding of a Stale Bank, to be styled, say, "The Maoriland State Bank." The Act could provide that any Post Office throughout the Dominion may be used as a branch of the State Bank.
Taxation to be levied for the purpose of building up a Gold reserve for the support of a Paper issue of our own.
Provision to be made prohibiting the export of our Gold. The State must make itself the master of our Gold avenues, and the State—that is the people of our country—must be the controller of our currency.
Provision to be made that a referendum of the people be taken on any large question affecting the introduction, the system, and the working of our currency.
If thought advisable and practicable, the Bank of New Zealand—which is already a State-aided Bank—to be purchased. Although we have saved this Bank by standing at its back, it would cost us a large sum—too large perhaps—to purchase it outright. Personally, I would rather that our banking was done through our Post Offices and rented chambers. However, that is a detail for a committee of the people to decide upon.
There is also the question to decide as to whether our Paper issue should be Convertible or Incontrovertible. The Convertiblist urges that we must have the bullion behind our Paper issue. The Inconvertiblist urges that we do not require bullion behind our Paper money, and argues that we have our Paper earning Gold by saving so much now paid away in interest. If we accept the Convertiblist's advice we could not issue Paper money without having the bullion behind it. We would require either to raise this bullion by special taxation, or borrow it. Common-sense says inconvertible paper and no other. Convertible belongs to the Gold, and must bear interest if we must have Gold to represent it. In the meantime we have no quarrel with Gold as a medium of exchange between Nations. We dimply claim that we can carry on all of our public works by means of our own Paper money, and without paying away the extortionate interest which we are now doing. We also claim that by means of our own Paper money we can build up and amass a large quantity of Cold.
Fellow-countrymen and women, I appeal to you, in the name of that Great Divinity of whom you are the earthly representatives, to ponder well over these matters, and to act. Do not leave it to our Parliamentarians alone; it is not fair to them. Not only that, but they can be "lobbied" by Gold-bugs and the agents of Gold-bugs. I have related how the United States Congressmen were lobbied on the same matters. I want the people, the people who form the State, to take the matter up, to study it well, and to raise their voices in their own interests. If this is done our Parliamentary representatives will be compelled to move, and what is more, in moving they will have the people united behind them. That will give them strength; it will also bring you strength. Furthermore, it is calculated to raise page 12 you out of the interest-paying slough of despond. It will make you more comfortable, more contented, more prosperous, more independent, wiser and nobler men and women. It will be a boon to your homes, and to your dear children in those homes. There should then be no such thing as "unemployment"' of the masses. All of our Colonial industries could be carried on, and carried on well, by our own money issue. Such large undertakings as those of the Taranaki ironsand and oil, build steamers—which at present languish until the Gold Syndicates are ready to snap them up and annex all the profits—could be opened up and worked by our own money, for our own employment, and our own profit. Think of this, study it out, and remembering that while you hesitate and sleep the Gold-bugs are planning fresh schemes, be up and doing. It is in our power as a virile young Nation to set an example to the whole world—an example of the defeat of the tyranny of Capitalism. How can I better appeal to you than by saying: Bestir yourselves now for the sake of yourselves your children, and posterity.