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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 80a


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page 81

Lands Department Administration.

TTth Hon. John MacKenzie, in his Naseby speech, claimed that his good Government had spent £814,252, «which was mostly taken from revenue,» for roads and bridges. We do not question the amount nor where the money went; but we do question where it came from. The bulk of it came from loan, and a considerable slice of it from people on, what in ordinary life be considered, false pretences. The term may seem harsh, but we have the warrant of no less an authority than Mr. Wm. Hogg late M. H. R. and now candidate for Masterton, for the expression. He. bold man that he was, in May last went even further, and said with respect to some lands which had been allotted and subsequently thrown up that «He considered this was bad and rascally administration, and he had no hesitation in telling the men their pockets had been picked.» A few weeks after this remarkably outspoken outburst the House met, and the member and the much censured minister were on as loving terms as ever.

We have before us a file of papers dealing with the Stirling Block, which had five shilling per acre added to its price for the expressed purpose of making roads. As is usual in such cases, there was no delay on the part of Government as landlord in collecting the interest on the purchase money as well as the five shillings for the roads. The delay was, also as usual, in getting the roads first and any information as to the why and wherefore of their not being made in the second. On July 13th, 1896, a settler's son, acting as secretary for the settlers on the block, wrote to the Surveyor-General asking for an account of the amount allocated and spent, and on the 25th received a reply that the information «would be prepared as soon as possible.» A fortnight later the department discovered that the applicant was not himself a settler, and asked for his authority. He replied giving the names of four resident settlers, and mentioning that there was general dissatisfaction at the way the money had been spent and the work done by co-operative labor.

Then on August 21st the circumlocution office came into play, and the Commissioner of Crown Lands wrote «I cannot give you a detailed account, of the expenditure on the roads on this block partially constructed out of the money raised on this block without instructions from the head office under whose directions the funds have been expended. In any case I do not think you are entitled to the information asked for, unless you are duly appointed in writing by a majority of the settlers in the Stirling Block to represent them in this matter.—John H. Baker.»

An official snub like this ought to have crumpled the young man up. But he appears to have had scant reverence for officialdom and red tape, and replied with an authority from all the settlers, who put the following very plain question in the document.

«¶Has the money impounded by the Government, namely five shillings per acre on 4770 acres, been fully expended on the Stirling Block only?»

No result followed, and the settlers fell back on their member, the Friend-of-the people, Hogg. He replied on September 29th, «I have not kept a copy of my letters to the Survey Department asking to be supplied with an account of the expenditure on the Stirling roads, but 1 may inform yon that I have written either to the Minister or the Under-Secretary repeatedly during the last year, and have interviewed Mr. Barron on the subject without result. Yours very truly, A. W. Hogg.»

This remarkable letter is worthy the consideration of all settlers who look to their representative for aid when a «rascally administration», fails to keep to its bargains or give any reason why it does not. Mr. A. W. Hogg Says he wrote «repeatedly,» but forgets who to and that he tried his influence with Mr. Barron «without result.» Truly a lame and impotent conclusion for so extremely intimate a friend of the all-powerful Premier. The Masterton settlers may swallow this, but we confess that we have our doubts about either the letters or the interviews.

The amount which the settlers were «loaded» for the roads was £1193, and they resolved to employ a competent surveyor to value the work. He reported as follows: «The actual length of dray road formed is 158 chains and 76 chains of ditch cut and roughly thrown up. This represents the whole of the expenditure by the Government on the block. The value of the formation is £474. and of the ditching £133, total. £607. These, prices include the bush-felling."

Next comes a letter signed by John McKeuzie, Minister of Lauds, dated October 23rd, to Mr. A. W. Hogg: Sir, referring to your, note of 10th inst., in reference to the expenditure on the Stirling small farm block, near Eketahuna, I have to State that the expenditure on the various roads is £1193.»

And on referring to the official report of the lands Department we find the following—Stirling Block: Payment to co-operative contractors. £660 16s.; cost of inspection. £100 11s.; total. £761 7s.; and the average wages earned 4s. 11d. per day, while the surveyor estimated the value of the work on a basis of good navvies making 10s, per day.

The above requires no comment. The Minister says £1193 has been expended, the return of his own department shows that £761 7s only has been spent, the value of the work is £607; the settlers have to pay on the full amount and put Up with half-finished roads, and the member of the district has the colossal cheek to ask them to show their confidence in him and the Government he worships by again sending him to Parliament. We hardly think they will.


Two Liberal Editors.

The political career of Mr. Hornshy. the Government candidate for Wairarapa, has been a chequered one. In Napier he edited the News a radical organ. All went well until the eve of a general election, when the News proprietors found that their editor had arranged to forestall the chosen "Liberal" candidate by taking the field himself, and to secure the I.O.G.T., the Roman Catholic, the Friendly Societies, and one or two other little block votes. This was not in the order of reference, and as he refused to give way, he was "bounced," and his candidature fell through. Straightway he joined the Conservative Waipara Mall, which he published a two-Column article, exposing the enormities or the Liberal Party and the tactics of the News, and promising further revelations from one who, having been behind the scenes, knew a thing or two. Meantime, the News imported from Christchurch an alleged journalist who had just come to grief over a "society" sheet of the most scurrilous brand, and whose name had figured in police court assault cases, both as complainant and defendant. This scribe introduced his methods into Napier, and his first selected victim was J. T. Marryat Hornsby. The Napier folk were simply thunderstruck by reading half a-column of doggrel in the News, containing about fifteen libels of the first magnitude, in which not only the late editor, but his immediate ancestors, were assailed in the vilest terms. Three apologies followed, but a cheque from the directors for £100 in addition was necessary to appease Mr. Hornsby's ire. Needless to say, the new Liberal editor was "fired out" with even more celerity than his predecessor, who, by the way, again turning his political coat, was afterwards reinstated in his old place on the News, The other artist now enjoys a well-paid and comfortable billet as a sort of colonial historian to which our present Government appointed him a year ago, and at present shares with Mr. J. T. Marryat Horosby the honor of forming one of the Seddonosaurian caudal vertebra.

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Romance and Reality.

When Treasurer Seddon seizes hold of a great sheaf of papers carefully prepared by the Colonial historian, or same other equally unreliable authority, he does not allow himself to be hampered by trifles. He just lets himself loose and talks of millions as if they were trifles light as air. He implies that he holds a patent for borrowing money without having to pay any interest on it; in fact that the more he borrows the more the interest charge decreases. He has been extremely busy on many platforms during the past month, and the fable he tells to every audience is this: «I admit that the Seddon Government is responsible for the increase of the public debt by £3,792,000, but of that amount £3,582,565 is remunerative. The interest is paid directly back and is not any burden on the tax-payers of the Colony. Only £210,000 is not earning interest and the annual charge is only £7350.»

Every one of his nominee candidates throughout the Colony echoes these figures. Mr. Cadiman varied it slightly at the Thames by saying that the unremunerative portion of the loans was £301,000, but that is too trifling a discrepancy to take notice of. The best test of the truth is to take the evidence of the two leading ministers themselves and the official records of their departments, and then see how the electioneering speeches fit in with the truth as told by the cold unsympathetic returns which have undergone the crucial test of the Audit Department.

First: As to the addition to our national debt—
Mr. Seddon now says it is £3,792,000
In his Budget of July 14, 1896, p. 9, he shows the increase of debt from 1891-5 to be £4,928,581
And there was authorized in the session of 1896, and it will all be spent before Parliament meets 1,400,000
Mr. Seddon's little error £2,586,581

Or over two-and-a-half millions of a discrepancy, to use a mild term; and this addition of over six-and-a-quarter millions to our debt takes no count or upwards of five-and-a-quarter millions more of liabilities incurred by the Banking legislation. Nearer twelve than eleven millions piled up within six years, and nearly all of it during the three years in which Mr. Seddon has held unbridled sway over the destinies of the people of this Colony.

Next let us test his assertion that the loan money is only a burden to the extent of £7350 per annum. We will take the four chief heads of expenditure, and so that no charge of injustice can he the statements of ministers themselves only will be used as evidence.

(1). The Lands for Settlement Act. In his Naseby speech the Hon. John McKenzie, said he had bought thirty-eight estates at a cost of £872,9ll on which 613 people were settled. It must he understood that when Mr. McKenzie uses the term «settler,» he includes the women, children, and babies in arms. Therefore it follows that each of them so far has cost the State £1423. This, of course, is borrowed money, and the real owners of the land are not the people who live on it, or the taxpayers of the Colony, but the «fatmens» of Great Britain. The immediate burden of these expensive settlers is not yet felt, but the debt is there all the same.

Now as to the returns we get from these estates which cost £872,911. The outlay and income is shown in the Lands Report for this year on page 143. and the «rents received and accrued,» mark that word occured to March 31 St, 1896, was £5946 4s. 3d., which amounts to just 14s. 4d. per cent, on the cost stated by Mr. John McKenzie of these investments of borrowed money. It is worthy of remark here that while Mr. McKenzie at Naseby said the Estates cost £872,911, Mr. Seddon at Hastings put the figure at £227,000. This discrepancy of over half a-million in the evidence of these two eminent authorities is too trifling for us to make a fuss about. The State historians have mixed things up a bit, but that is their trouble. However, as the cheapest money we are getting costs 3½ per cent. the annual cost for interest alone under this head is
And deducting the earning power 5,946
The annual deficiency is £24,609
which the taxpayers have to make good.

It will be said that these estates have not yet had time to become self-supporting. To meet that argument we will take as a «shocking example» one of the earliest purchases. Pomahaka was purchased for £18,000 just on the eve of the general elections of 1893, when the Bank refused to hold it any longer as security for a debt of £8000. Its total cost in the last returns is given at £23,344, and last year's income was £192 13s. 1d., or considerably under 1 per cent. The total returns from all the estates since the scheme came into force over three years ago amount to £10,272.

(2). The seeond head of Loan expenditure is the purchase of Native Lands. Mr. John McKenzie says he has purchased 1,867,946 acres at an average cost of 6s. This amounts to £530,388 Practically these lands are still a wilderness and unremunerative: the total rents received since the inception of the scheme being £125 9s. 5d., and on a 3 ½ per cent, basis the Colony pays in annual interest £19,514. And in this, as in the Land for Settlement department, no account is taken of the enormous costs of administration.

(3). The Advances to Settlers Department. This State concern showed a loss in its first year's operations of £31,000, and also disclosed the appalling fact that there were already seventy defaulters in payment of their first year's interest. Ministers claim that the department is now paying its way, although half a million of the loan is still in hand. As a matter of fact the £31,000 lost last year is a debt to the Consolidated Fund, and cannot be written off, or expunged, or forgiven. It must be repaid out of future profits if any me made, and if none are made or more losses occur the general taxpayer has to find the interest. No sophistries can evade that issue.

(4). The last of the great spending departments is what Mr. George Hutchison so aptly and happily termed the Bribery Fund, viz.: the Roads and Bridges Account. In round numbers some-thing over two millions has gone in this way to debauch the constituencies of Government supporters chiefly. It say much for the audacity of Mr. Seddon and his obedient followers when they claim that this expenditure is remunerative. There can be no doubt that, had the Local Bodies been allowed to exercise their proper and legitimate functions, and supervised and constructed their own works, the roads and bridges would have been better made at less than half the cost. The interest charge under this head is £70,000.

To summarise the burdens placed on the people by the Seddon loans, and without taking into consideration the awful expenditure for departmental red tape and circumlocution, we find, after deducting what is earned, that the Colony has to pay:—
1. Annual loss on Lunds for Settlement Account £24,609
2. Annual loss Native Lands Account 19,389
3. Annual loss Advances to Settlers 31,000
4. Annual loss Roads and Bridges 70,000
Total loss £144,998

Or over Is. per head for every man, woman, and child in the Colony, and with a full knowledge of these facts Mr. Seddon and his satellites are roaming the country telling the people that the loanns are remunerative.

page 83

A few words regarding Cheviot. We are told by ministers and their candidates that this bargain is paying £4500 a year over interest and other charges. There is absolutely no warrant whatever for such a statement. The return published last session shows how unwilling Government is to let the truth be known. It is an alleged statement of Income and Outlay. The income, which includes rents «accrued,» is brought down to June 30, while the outlay for interest &c, is to April 18th, a difference of ten weeks. The Opposition asked for a profit and loss account, and it was flatly refused. Until that is given in a proper business-like form the public have a right to feel dubious regarding the claims of ministers that Cheviot is paying its way. At best it is a questionable good when it is shown that each settler has cost the Colony a thousand pounds.


The Liberal Ticket.

The Seddonian Ticket for Wellington is to run a team composed of George Fisher, Charles Wilson, and John Hutcheson in harness together. We don't think any sort of combination of that sort can keep on the road, for Mr. Wilson, who tries to be funny in his "Scrutator" column in Granny now and then, wrote to his present comrade, Mr. George Fisher, in a sort of open letter as follows:—

«Friend George, I would warn thee of the terrible anger of thine old, and once true friend—Mr. Bung. He has money to use at election times, as George should remember, and he uses it for or against those who are with or against him . . . . The political rat must pay the penalty of his treachery.»

And now Mr. Bung's money is being spent on both of them. The Liberty League, a political rat, a literary plagiarist, and a nominee of the Temperance League, all on one ticket. That is called a Liberal solidarity. "Hooray for principles," as Sam Weller said.


Quite a New Form of Bribery.

At the Premier's meeting at Oxford, Mr. Seddon collided with a snag in the shape of a settler named Watson, who handed up some questions, and after a good deal of uproar he got answers to some and others were shirked. One of those answered was—

«Did the Government pay £75 to T. E. Taylor, to be paid to Caygill and Widdowson, for the costs in the Popham-Taylor libel case?»

Mr. Seddon replied. «Yes; and under the circumstances I would do so again.»

That is to say, that if a man is found to have libelled another, and a jury awards damages, the Government is warranted in stepping in and paying the costs, This is supporting the Prohibition League with public money with a vengeance. "What do Messrs. Fisher, Wilson, Hornsby, Wilford, and the rest of the Liberty Liquor League who are supporting the Government say to this sop to T. E. Taylor, the Firebrand?

Then a week later, at West port, he denied paying the money, and said Government had never paid a shiling. But the £75 was voted in the Supplementary Estimates, for all that, and went towards the costs in the Sydenham cases.

Mr Seddon's versatility is easily explained. Oxford is a prohibition stronghold, and the renowned Meredith, better known by his classic title of Archie Meeds, is the member. Westport, on the contrary, has a couple of breweries, and half of the houses in the main street are pubs. There are over sixty in the Buller electorate, and it would never have done to show sympathy with Mr. T. E. Taylor there. These tittle traits in the Premier's character exhibit the true greatness of the man.

To verify the report of the Oxford meeting we wired to the Chairman, who replied that it was correct.

A Coming Man.

Mr Douglas McLean, as he stood before the Napier constituency to make his maiden speech on an electioneering platform, showed by his manner and matter that he will be a marked figure in colonial politics. Inheritor of a large landed estate, which places him at the head of A colony of Scotchmen, he is neceesarily accustomed to questions of land administration, management of labor, native land laws, live stock, foreign markets, and general trade affecting colonial products. The practical training grafted by these interests on an intelligence naturally thoughtful and considerate, and developed by a University education, give him, as a speaker, advantages of address which are granted to few. The vein of sympathy which permeates his reasonings attracts even opponents. His manner and gesture are totally free from «brummagem» or stagey effort. Speaking with concentrated thought he constantly varies his attitudes, and at times assumes poses which strike one as peculiar and almost comical in their complete self-abandonment, and at others are as keenly demonstrative as those of the native Maori orators by whom his father Sir Donald McLean was so greatly esteemed. He speaks as man to man, not as a clever politician or special pleader. His thoughts are genuine and strike home. His mind attacks the kernel of any subject in regard to its influence on the whole body politic and throws away the husks of political strife which envelop it, and his habitual attitude of thought has the judicial directness which places the English Bench of Justice before all other legal tribunals for independence and equity, and which is equally due in his case to independence of position and devotion to his duties. For as the «Laird» in his own community, he is accustomed to have all matters submitted to him and to find his dictum held absolute by his Scottish adherents with clannish fidelity. His views are broad and enlightened on political questions, and he draws amply on his experience of travel in other countries to guide his decisions on the burning topics of the day. Douglas McLean will replace the present occupant of the Napier seat in the next New Zealand Parliament, and is bound there to carry weight in the future legislation of New Zealand. He is therefore a figure of interest to political readers, and the above sketch of first impressions at his maiden speech may serve to familiarise him to the public as a non-partisan, yet conservative politician, of whom any constituency might feel proud.


The Labor Candidate Hutcheson's mental condition is causing his friends anxiety. His policy has now more kinks in it than any coil of rope he ever ran out, and he was discovered the other day endeavoring to sew a seam in a gaff-topsail with the blunt end of a marline-spike. But he still promises to be a dumb-dog, and that covers all deficiencies.

* * *

Somebody or other who calls himself "the Napier Democratic Union" (says the Napier Telegraph) has written a letter to Mr. Hornsby, late of Napier, recommending him to the electors of the Wairarapa as a consistent Liberal. This must sound strangely to those who remember how he slanged Mr. Seddon, Mr, Smith, and the late Mr. Ballance during the two or three years he was in charge of the Waipawa Mail.

* * *

Mr. Charles Wilson. Seddonite candidate and ex-Conservative journalist, writes locals in Granny of the successful meetings he holds. One of these was at Newtown on Tuesday, «specially for Ladies.» Three females turned up, and then, after a pause, a fourth entered with unsteady gait and a wild look in her eye. The candidate gallantly assisted her to the footpath, and the meeting adjourned sine die.

page 84

Under the Focus-Tube


The Post, in a pretty strong article about drunkards in Parliament, who are seeking re-election, incidentally notes that these gentlemen are all, or nearly all, candidates approved by the Government, We are not sure that the Government can help itself in the matter.

* * *

When the maiden for the third time brought her inebriated sweetheart to the altar, and the parson for the third time refused to tie the knot, sternly adding, «Come with him when he's sober.» she simply replied, «Please, Sir, when he's sober he won't come.»

* * *

The Seddon Ministry is in the same case. It has so degraded administration that in numerous districts no man of any standing or with any self-respect will consent to figure as the Government candidate.

* * *

Mr. Wilford's supporters charged Mr. Hislop with advocating low wages, and he has disproved the charge. But¶ what have they to say to this advertisement, which appeared in the Evening Post of 22nd June, 1895?

Wanted, a Lad able to drive. Low wages, Apply T. M. Wilford.

* * *

«Our George» is too modest altogether. He compares himself to Napoleon and Lord Gough—dear old Lord Gough. ¶Why not Marlborough and Ithuriel while about it?

* * *

The seddon Government pulled down the wages of the bridge and crossing keepers on the railways to 30s. per week (without house), and where a house is provided this benevolent Government charges 5s. per week for rent. The Opposition endeavored to get the wages altered to 36s. per week, but all the Ministers and their following voted for and carried the 30s, rate, See Hansard, October 9th, page 638.

* * *

The Middle Party's now a Liberal made,
'Tis merely change of title, not of trade.

* * *

Every public hall at Petone has been engaged for the evening of the 3rd (the night before the election) on behalf of the Government candidate. One is to be used: the others locked up. This precaution was taken some weeks before the campaign began.

* * *

«The Bribery and Corruption Act,» said Mr. Thomas Wilford at Mitcheltown the other night, «limits a candidate to spending £200. I know something about Acts, and there ain't one on the Statute Book but what I can drive a coach and six through.» This is very significant, and the audience whispered among themselves» ¶Who finds the cash?»

* * *

The ancient Cappadocians were Liberals until the taxpayers revolted and became a Greek Colony. The Democrats of a couple of centuries B.C. had much in common with their modern copyists, as the following couplet shows:—

A viper bit a Cappadocian's hide,
But 'twas the viper, not the Cappadocian, died.

* * *

New Zealand Times on Mr. Fisher, November 17th, 1893:—«Mr. Fisher is the Pariah of the House of Representatives. Pariah Fisher! That points the moral for all who accept the principles of men in power and oppose their administration.»

* * *

Our George has lost his temper or his head very early in the election. He has written to Sir Robert Stout conveying the pleasing intelligence that he intends going for libel as soon as the elections are over, and finishes up with «I am a man of my word.» We congratulate Mr. Fisher, and experience the utmost gratification in publishing his own statement that he is a man of his word, because some people have been ungenerous enough to say that he is politically unreliable.

* * *

It is said that the Shamocrat Hornsby visited a Wairarapa dairy and asked a female voter if she skimmed the milk at both ends.

* * *

The Only Wilford called on a severe-looking female at Mitcheltown and orated. When he asked for her vote: «Sir.» said she, «you would be no more use in Parliament than an apple-dumpling would be to stop a rat-hole», and Tommy tried the next house.

* * *

Some anxiety has been felt regarding the ex-Seddonite candidate and journalist Haggen, who was last seen on the 9th inst. There is no occasion to worry over him. A man who had such a clear conception of how to make paper money cannot sink. He will bob up serenely with a shin-plaster policy that will create wealth unbounded for all of us, if not in Wellington perhaps in Rarotonga.

* * *

A pewter pot I really do not mind,
«Long beer»'s a noun I never yet declined.

* * *

Mr. Liberal Hogg is having a bad time with his constituents, and fails to gets votes of confidence where once his name was one to charm by. At Eketahuna a Mr. Neilseu asked him—

«¶ Are you in favor of the Government seizure of the Sinking funds?»

Mr. Hogg: «Yes! I am in favor of the Government seizing whatever it can.»

* * *

Liquor and Liquor's League lay mid in night,
Dick said, "Trot Wilson out!" and all was right.

Our George is not taking his gruel kindly; and no wonder, poor fellow. He had a right to expect the Mayoralty, seeing that he had the full strength of the Liberal vote, all the Seddonian influence, Brother Bung and his following, Liberty League (now defunct), and the Premier's thoughtful telegram about the Terrace jail, 'Twas a nasty jar, and an indication of worse to come.

* * *

Masterton Hogg failed to get a vote of confidence when he asked for it in Masterton, but a basket of flowers was presented to him by arrangement. A critic in the audience observed that a bar of soap and a pronouncing dictionary would have been more appropriate.

* * *

R. C. Bruce (Manawatu), whose chances looked shady a week or two since, writes that he reckons on hanging his hat up in the Whip's room next session.

* * *

Dr. Newman's supporters have rallied up in a very satisfactory way during the week. He is in the pink of condition, and hardly expects to be asked to gallop for the Otaki Stakes.


How Canvassing is Done.
«Oh! stay,» a Seddon dumb-dog said.
«And on my buzzom rest thy head!»
The Social female winked her eye,
And answered with a Lib'ral sigh,


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Strange Bedfellows.

Strange Bedfellows.

The Seddonian Trio for Wellington City.

page 87

The Only Wilford.

A Fair Challenge to Him.

We published some correspondence between the two candidates for the Suburbs seat a fortnight ago, in which Mr. Thomas Wilford's celebrated threat to expose some vague enormity was shown to be a sort of a Tale of a Tub. Since then the Hon. T. Hislop has shown he has nothing to hide, and is onlv desirous of meeting any accusation which the eccentric Government nominee has to say about him. He therefore addressed the following letter to Mr. Wilford:—

«The fact of your not replying to my last letter, or not accepting the challenge therein repeated, leaves me free to act as I please, and I intend to publish my letters and such portions of your own as I think fit.

«I have made inquines, and am satisfied that you have no ground of complaint against any one associated with me.

«On the other hand, I find, that notwithstanding your professions that you have made no personal reflections upon me, that your paid canvassers are busily engaged circulating false statements, although one of these at Mitchelltown and another at Berhampore publicly confessed they had been misled into making misstatements, which they were satisfied were incorrect, and announced that they would not make them again.

«During our last conversation you complained of statements made by two gentlemen in regard to your conduct of certain matters. We agreed that, if untrue, the statements were exceedingly improper; but I stated, and you did not disagree, that, if true, they must affect your fitness. The words were clearly actionable, and you said you were issuing a writ. I have since seen these gentlemen, and they are prepared to meet any action of yours, and they contend that their statements are correct. No writ has been issued,—Yours obediently

«T. W. Hislop

We offered half-a-column to Mr. Wilford to explain himself in a previous issue. That offer is still open if he has anything to say.


Rowdy McKenzie could only get ten hands held up for him at a crowded meeting in Motueka, although the consumption of beer has doubled there since canvassing set in. Hops have also advanced in price, and barley has an upward tendency.

* * *

The Government nominee for Rangitikei, Mr. W. Bailey, has been trimming on the question of compensation to publicans, and deserters are going over to Lethtbridge in squandrons. This electorate is being fought out mainly on the Liquor question, and the whole population thinks and talks of nothing else.

* * *

Day by day the sun of Tinsmith Graham is setting, and the latest intelligence front Nelson shows that his supporters are now reduced to the brewers, publicans, and larrikins. The rest of the Sleepy Hollowites are following the music of the modem Pied Piper of Hamelin.

* * *

The Eight Hours' Bill advocate, Tommy Wilford, advertised lately for a man to milk the cows, groom the horses, and fill up his time in the garden. Hours from carlv dawn till Tommy came home at night with the horse. Wages offered to able bodied young man of 22. ten shillings per week at first and refused; then increased to fifteen shillings. The young man asked. «Any Sunday work.» «Of course,» said Tommy. «That's leas than 2s. 2d. a day,» said the applicant, "and you keep such blamed late hours that 1 think I'll try somewhere else," But Tommy still orates on the eighl hours" diy and the rights of labor in the abstract.

A Voice from the West Coast.

«Reefer» writes:—«It is commonly reported in Reefton that Ziman made Mrs. Seddon a present of 1000 shares in the Consolidated Company. Mr. Mills (who ought to know) is the author. You are no doubt aware that special amendments to the Mining Act and Mining Company's Act were passed in 1895 to suit Ziman"s book; also, a special extra mining report by Gordon for the same purpose. By the Mining Act of 1895, 640 acres can be taken up, and Ziman took up several such areas, but owing to the labor conditions it is impossible for any but capitalists to hold them—twenty-one men must be continuously employed on each. All the other amendments are made for the same purpose, viz., to shut out the working miner. It is also reported that Gordon received a present of 500 Consolidated shares, and that Mrs. Seddon's shares were sold in London at 82s, 6d. each.» [The above information is not-new. In well-informed circles in Wellington it was understood that Gordon got 1000 shares and solf in London at 90s. We wrote to London for a search to be made of the share register, and as yet have no reply. But we invite the parties implicated to clear themselves if they can.]


An 18th Century Epigram.

Tho' George, with respect to the wrong and the right,
Is of twenty opinions twixt morning and night,
If you call him a Turncoat, you injure the Man;
He's the pink of consistency on his own plan,
While to stick to the strongest is always his trim,
'Tis not he changes sides; 'tis the side changes him.

Samuel Bishop.


Mr. Alfred Saunders, an aged gentleman, whose veracity has never before been questioned in his fifty years of public life, is thus spoken of by the Seddonite candidate Hornsby: «A great deal has been made about Mr. Saunders being offered the Colonial Treasurer-ship. I give this a flat contradiction.» Every member of the House and every reporter in the press gallery knew that Mr. Seddon asked Mr. Saunders to accept the portfolio because it would "help him in the elections." Even Mr. Seddon himself has not the cast-iron effrontery to say what his puppets announce as confidential information.

* * *

Mr. Mitchelson's nomination for Auckland makes the result of the elections throughout the Colony a certain win for the Conservatives who will have a majority when the fight is over: but is too much to expect that the Liberals will do what the Conservatives did when beaten in 1890—call Parliament together and hand in their checks. They love place too well for that.

* * *

Our friend the Hon. G. F. Richardson looks like winning the Mataura seat if votes of conficence for him everywhere, and a denial ot even a vote of thanks to Mr. McNab at some meetings count for anything.

* * *

Christchurch is going to be one of the surprises of the election. In 1893, eight Government candidates polled 27,499 votes, and one Independent and two oppositiouists polled 5,346 votes. The Cathedral City intends to turn over a new leaf.

* * *

All parties agree that Scobie Mackenzie will poll the biggest vote ever cast in Dunedin. Begg is most fancied for second place, and there is a lot of choosing for third man, the mosl likely being either Pinkerton or Millar.

page 88

Over There,

(And the Order they will Get there in.)

[x Rays leaves prophecy to Baxter, Eugene, and Dimblehy, who make it a business. But a contributor has been trying his hand in the line as an amateur, and we publish his first attempt.]

There's a place where they all want to go,
'Tis the place where they vote and they pair;
And they sometimes are caucused, you know,
When King Dick has a bit of a scare.
Over there, over there,
All feel sure that they'll get over there.

1 Menteath is the first on the list,
For his speeches are honest and fair;
And all parties intend to assist,
To put him on top over there.
Over there, over there,
He will take a front place over there.

2 Sir Robert is also as sure,
For of votes he can claim a big share—
The strongest of all on the floor,
He is sure to be found over there.
Over there, over there,
Stout's the watchdog awake over there.

3 A. R. A. is a fighter so strong,
Like his Uncle, Sir Harry, he'll dare
To go right, no matter who's "wrong;
Such as he are required over there.
Over there, over there,
You find him in evidence there.

4 And Fraser, who's tried it before,
With no clothes but blue ribbon to wear;
He can hardly expect to reach shore,
And drink tea with a Chinaman there.
Over there, over there,
Or a broomstick as mate over there.

5 And Hutcheson, John, of that name,
Adored by the White Hens so fair,
Poor devil, he's new to the game,
And he don't know how he will get there.
Over there, over there,
The sailmaker's jib won't set there.

6 And George Fisher, with free, easy style,
Big voice and his bold jaunty air,
He has brains 'neath that shiny black tile,
But no ballast to carry him there.
Over there, over there,
He will take a back seat over there.

7 Little Wilson, a Liberal now,
Who was once a Conservative rare,
To the Premier's bark he'll bow-wow,
But it won't be in Bellamy's there.
Over there, over there,
Such as he do not suit over there.


Motto for the Seddonian Ticket.
Get place and wealth; if possible, with grace;
If not, by any means, get wealth and place.


Sacred to the Memory Of Wellington Liberty League

Ætat Six Weeks,

Introduced into this vale of tears with effusive sympathy by Doctors Kennedy Mac., John Thomas Hornsby, C. Wilson, and Mrs. Schoch, who, finding the infant deficient in vitality, called in the services of Professor Menteath. He pronounced it a lusus natura, and not possessed of either stamina or brains, advised its extinction, and declined to act further, as the paternity of the monstrosity was more than doubtful.

Granny and the liberal medicos employed all their skill to keep breath in the infant, but in spite of all stimulants it breathed its last at a symposium on Wednesday night, regretted by few and mourned for by none.

Requiescat in Pace.


Confidential Information.

Mr. Theodore Cooper was advocate for the Bank of New Zealand for three or four months in Wellington, and engineered the blockade of any questions likely to elicit the information the Committee was set up to obtain, viz.:—¶ What led to the purchase of the Colonial Bank? He it was who provided all the «Not in the order of references» ammunition which the Premier fired off. He was the power behind the throne. His brief was marked with a fat fee, but there was more in that brief than most people dreamed of at the time.

There was a vacant Judgeship in the gift of the Ministry, and it was no secret that Mr. Theo. Cooper was in the running for it. The daily papers looked on him as a moral, and there was considerable surprise when Mr. Edwards was appointed, The man in the street was puzzled, and asked, «¶What's up?»

The mystery is now solved—the cat is out of the bag—the oracle himself hath spoken. Mr. Theo. Cooper's instructions were to block all inquiry in the Committee, and to do something else as well. He; was to abandon the etiquette of his profession, and stand on a platform side by side with Mr. T. Thompson and tell an Auckland audience that, as the lawyer of the bank, he could assure the electors that his client, the said bank, had done nothing wrong; that Mr. Ward was a martyr; and that he, Mr. Theo. Cooper, knew all about what went on behind the scenes. Which was eminently condescending on the part of Mr. Theo. Cooper; but it would have been more satisfaction to the public if he had helped to get at the truth instead of preventing awkward questions being answered.

The real reason of Mr. Theo. Cooper standing on that platform and abandoning the dignity and reserve which attaches to his profession regarding cases in which he is confidentially engaged—was to barrack for the Government candidate, Mr. T. Thompson, and the public may well ask, «?What price, Cooper?»