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Victoria University College Capping Programme 1931


It was in December, 1941, that the people, disappointed and angry at Mr. 'Olland's failure to carry out his pre-election promises of "Free Beer for Unionists" and the "Banks Controlled by Waterside Workers," uttered in despair the cry, "O! for a Mussolini."

"Pro Bono Publico" writing to the "Dominion," uttered these memorable words: "The best way to obtain good and efficient government in New Zealand is to find someone who will govern her well and efficiently." Shortly afterwards "Truth" headed the Press campaign with posters:—
  • Democrats Demand Dictator.
  • Facts About P. Freezer's Frenzied Finance.
  • Professor Pulverizes Parliaments.

As every school-child knows—and even many University students—it was Gordon Groatz who leapt to his country's aid. The man who had given New Zealand the Baby Bonus and North Auckland Railway left his country still further in (his) debt by becoming its dictator. A scene of unprecedented enthusiasm preceded the Purging of Parliament (Dec. 14th, 1941). Cheering crowds of men, women, children and dogs lined the streets as the limousine of the great man swept down towards Parliament on its historic mission. What follows is too well known to need repeating. The magnificent scene in which Mr. Groatz cleared the house wtih the aid of the Secondary School Cadets (the sole military force remaining in New Zealand), and with the words, "You are no longer wanted, gentlemen; I can get things done myself," will ring ever through the annals of New Zealand as a call to high endeavour. Still more memorable is the action of Mr. Vorbes, who with tears in his eyes said to his victorious rival, "You win, Gordon, old man; I'm back to the farm."

No sooner was Mr. Groatz installed as Dictator with a purple robe and the title of Il Confidenze, than the railway system of New Zealand was remodelled. No longer did a few isolated lines connect the larger towns of New page 15 Zealand. There was no village but had its branch-line, and the Upper Hutt-Carterton trans-mountain main line was a miracle of engineering. His slogan was "A Railway to every Back Door." The Groatz Eighteen-month Plan allowed for the complete railwayisation of New Zealand within that period. In an historic speech he said: "Our ideal is one man one railway. Every child born into this country becomes the inheritor of one complete railway system" (Cheers). Three Cook's Strait Tunnels were constructed in one month alone.

The ease and rapidity with which II Confidenze borrowed money from the capitalists of the world astonished everyone. No sooner was the interest on the loan due than Mr. Groatz was able to persuade Isaac Isaacstein to advance further millions to the internal development of New Zealand. It is said that the great man had the following motto hanging above his bed: "Ten Millions a Month and Fifty at Xmas," and his I.O.U. Indexing System was the marvel of business men the world over.

Finally the end came. [Following passage by F.P.W. alone.] Saviour of his country, he was slain by a band of N.Z. farmers who objected to the light work of paying Mr. Groatz's debts. On his deathbed he spoke as follows:—"Good-bye, my very dear friends. I leave my cherished railways to George Vorbes, the breweries to my old pal, Mr. Troup, the wireless stations to Bob Semple, and my I.O.U.'s to the people of New Zealand. Good-night, everybody, good-night."