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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 80a



The Right Hon. Dr. Seddon, L.L.D.'s, utterances at Home are not likely to modify the contempt New Zealand politicians have been held in of late years by the commercial magnates. One instance is enough. Dr. Seddon was interviewed in a cab by the reporter of the London Evening News, a halfpenny sheet mainly devoted to

chronicling the side-lights of the Police Courts, and he is reported as follows by the scribe who accompanied him in the cab: "That," pointing to the roof of the vehicle, "would not do for us. We ride in landaus in New Zealand." When asked what sort of a field New Zealand is for emigration he assured the reporter emphatically, "There is not a pauper in the Colony."

It is also reported that the Minister of Lands will probably resign after the session. In the light of the figures given elsewhere as to the total breakdown of his land experiments, and the fact that he and others have acquired during their terms of office what would have be considered wealth by many worthy colonists, it is highly probable that not only Mr McKenzie, but others as well, will gladly abandon the fort, and leave others to reap the whirlwind they have sown.

Then the Hon. Hall-Jones, acting apparently on orders from headquarters, has started another borrowing campaign, and, if the newspaper reports of his speeches are not altogether at fault, he must have been sadly led astray by the Customs authorities when he said that, although the Customs receipts had increased, that this was through luxuries such as apparel to order, beer and spirits. The duties collected on the first-named item was about £700 in 1890; although the duty on English beer was a trifle more the quantity was less, and spirits remained about stationaryy. But apparel and slops, used entirely by the workers, increased by 225 per cent., and it is very clear that the colonial manufacturers and tailors are chiefly supported by the intermediate classes between the grades of Cabinet Ministers and bona fide workers too poor to wear Tailor-made suits.

With respect to this Minister's instability of mind a striking instance has recently occurred in connection with the shelter sheds at Wellington. A few months ago the Premier announced his intention of pulling them down, having been urgged to that by the Carriers' Union. The Corporation stood its ground and gained its case in the Supreme Court. More recently Ministers have announced that they intended to take the site for a Railway Station, but as the site is at the end of the Queen's Wharf there were grave objections to this. The Hon. Hall-Jones, being more desirouas of pleasing the carriers than the City Council, announced his determination to get rid of the sheds and put, up a station. Last week the carriers and cabmen altered their minds, as they found the sheds were a great convenience to them, and a telegram to that, effect wars sent to the Minister in Auckland, who immediately gave orders to stay any action regarding the acquisition of the site. It does not require the gift of prophecy to predict that no railway station will be erected there.

The Hon. Thos. Thompson has courteously received a deputation during the month whose business was to alter the law with respect to the collection of debts, by which persons owing sums under £20 would be virtually relieved of further trouble. The urbane Minister replied he would take the request into his favourable consideration. Curiously enough, the chief spokesman in this connection is notorious in the facility with which he obtains interviews with Ministers, and with the operation of judgment summonses as well. It must be highly gratifying to the Minister of Justice: to be able to obtain expert evidence outside the legal profession on matters pertinent to his department.

Printed by W. H. Stewart & Co., Willis;, Street, Wellington.