Chapter 135848829

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Chapter NumberXCIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1891-10-05
Page Number5
Word Count4915
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleNewcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954)
Trove TitleMinnigrey: A Romance
article text b-INNIGIREY. OHAPTER XOIV.--(Continued.) S:Something. attracted his attention as it glittered in the light of the candle amongst the dust; he stooped to raise it.; it proved to be an eme rald of great beauty, set in a massive signet ring; the gem was engraved with a lion, the well-known cognisance of the house of Howard. ' There willbe one soon at Dingley,' he said, ' who will know how to prize it.'. He alluded, of course, to the right ful heir of Eserick. . Although the old man felt a pro fessional curiosity to examine more closely the remains of the mighty dead, respect restrained him; still he could not avoid pointing out to his companion the large brow and pecu. liar. under-jaw - the distinguishing marks of his descendants. ;:'I could have sworn to the skull,' he said, ' had I even turned it up in the churchyard, although I never heard that any of. the family were buried there. Geoffrey was a true descendant of the Norman plunderer.' . Let him rest in the same grave with him, then,' replied Hanac; 'and , the sooner the better. It would not be advisable for either of us to be seen leaving the church, and I already heard the twitter of the birds as we crossed the wood. It will soc be day.' wi.Warned by the observation companion that they had little lose, -Mandrake, with the ass' the speaker, raised the' T placed it in the sarcophP light fell upon the featf iI". man, he fancied th' the race of Eserio' " - him so forcibly.;. ?'f , SA strange.. ' . 'for:the like. ' ';Pooh!',r "i little . ',. ..yr. .'What .' ^ ' man' ,, n.flr / -r the .e 8 "0 ' "gd? to / , six or sev4 4 ? tgo he eat a. Freetrat. L 'he was /.Protectionist, but b' he had .unds to change his opinion, it .prising that he should endeavour his opinions. Surely if has one question that interested the .og classes more than another it was 'of oreating employment. He was sorry t ,.stnd there as a public man and toll them w ,eat he could not hold out very bright hopes for the future of the colony. The Treasurer S,'had announced that out of the last loan of oiur and a half millions only some £0O0,000 i5 '?".£900,000 would be available for public works, and that sum would be all gone by May next. The balance of the huge loan would go to pay interest on the debt of the country, and in seven months at the' most a new loan would have to `be floated, or the whole of the public works of the colony, hung up for. an indefinite period. He would ask them as sensible men to consider the situation.. The last loan'wal floated by the merest chance, and the country had to pay dearly for it. In May next another would have to be tried, and surely it was plain that there was very little likelihood of the English capitalists taking it up. What was to become of the colony when all the public works were stopped ? That was the question they had to face. (Avoice: "It will go to the devil.") The Government, according to their ideas of Frootrade, had no other means to raise revenue but by a loan, and if the whole question was seriously considered there was only one way out of the difficulty. That way was to impose a five per cent. ad valorem duty on all manufactured articles, and such a:tax would bring many thousands of pounds to the Treasury, and without injuriously affeating any industry or any indivi dual. (Applause.) Before many months were over there would have to be a change of Government, as circumstances were arising which rendered Freetrade absolutely impossible any longer. It had been stated that the great Protection party had no policy, but that was ridiculous. Any Protectionist Government 'would at once re move the present duties on the necessaries of life, which could not be produced in the colony. Taking tea as an example: they would admit it duty free, as it was a neces sity in every household, and could not be produced in the colony no matter what means were adopted. The Protectionist party were in favour of imposing duties which would have a tendency to foster manu factories in the country, and assist in open lag up the land for the people. This colony had been established for more than a hun. dred years. Yet they scarcely manufactured anything for themselves. Every man in the crowd before him could examine himself from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, and he would find that every article he'wore was made by the people of other countries. Anyone would think that a com munity which had been in existence for all those years would have made a start towards independence and would be in a position to 'make at least some of the articles it required for food and clothing. Freetrade made them all helpless and dependent upon other countries, and if every man in New South Wales had £1000 per year Free. trade would be the. best and ohly policy they could adopt. They would not need to work, as they would be able to obtain everything they required very much cheaper then they could possibly make it thiemselges. Unfortunately the huge majority had not £1000 a year, and indeed were only worth exactly that sum which they could secure as the price of their labour. As that was the ~ase, the cheap products of the older countries were of no use to them if they had not the means to purchase them. (Applause.) That was logic, and no one could get over it. In their homes every one of them had im ported articles. Their chairs, and for the most part their furniture, was imported from Austria or England, while their fireirons, their cooking utensils, and even the forks they used were made in England. To his mind it was a terrible state of affairs, and to get a. still greater idea of its truth they should look to the country 'itself. The steol rails were imported from Belgium, the locomotives which ran over them from America; and to put things briefly they made nothing for themselves. A visitor to the country could feast his eyes upon its magnificent natural resources, its millions aeree of fertile land crying out to be nultivated; its untold mineral wealth lying in the earth waiting to be mined; and, after looking at all those things, he would naturally ask where were the manufactories. 'Lhey could only answer, " Our blast furnaces are in. Belgium and England, our woollen and the gain, the plunder ohis victims. . 'I'll leavb him to sarve in hisnr,' he exclaimed, in a low tone; "the:ho of his dying groans will reach mon the billows, and sound sweetly v there; there is no music falls sweetly on the ear as the despailr cries of toose we hate V " 'His patience being exhausted, u speaker was on the point of quitti; the cloisters, when Edward Howa' made his appearance. Like mci cowardly creatures, the enemy .! poor Gus was extremely cautiout he examined the countenance of hit grandfather's accomplice carefully be fore he ventured to address him.. 'I can't be mistaken,' he thought,, 'his features indicate he is a villai fit for any brutal work; the old rr described him accurately when he me that he had left my rival. guard of avarice and revenge,' These observations weri, made as Edward Howard, .4ibhe repassed the ruffian,,./p ild be to feel impatient of ' ",iousa'nd Each time their eyes- ae hand of his upon the groir "9' hey had peared suddenly. ,, . iren amining some ar'9O .'* ? 'de cloisters. f' imple 'Obser: oPti° tfet place ?Y' ? % - ?ade that whof ' -'" - - ve required o'"'cf ° ?,- of limetono. 4.' *^<g " _ymont, at the a * ' "~ -mnere for a whole ' ) O'*Ok each, and that S S 'S" ?only. Then there S -" L ..t emolteor employed G' f .7" . '-rom the ore, the itsas required to turn the 0th0 stesi into locomotives, - o ? eridge girders, rails, and .e' e5 '" descriptions. Then there . s % d h o ?undreds indirectly concerned, Se - word, it would have meant S,4'wages for thousands of people. a ?benefited the working man beno yo ,'r body, and if they thought over . fidorful picture they would coincide S~iim that the establishment of such in ý,tries would be worth a score of Broken .ills. (Applause.) After dealing further ith the necessity which existed for the colony producing its own manufactures, the 'speaker stated that the majority of members of the Legislative. Assembly were single taxers. (Cries of" No no", and " hear hear.") He was sure that no one in that vast assem blage who owned a single section of land would say that the single-tax was not one of the most ridiculous policies ever formulated by the brain of man. The single-taxers, in a word, wished the whole of taxation to be placed on land, without considering that at the present time the millions of acres lying idle in this colony were not settled, for" the very simple reason that the existing inducements held out to the people were not sufficient. In 1881, the Govern ment decided that it would be a good thing to settle the people on the land, and to allow them, as far as possible, to become free holders. To do this free selection was allowed in certain localities, and every successive Government had continued that policy. Still the land was being settled upon but very slowly, and surely it would be mad ness to so tax it that it would not be worth having. A .ingle-tax would not only ruin the bloated lanudower and the capitalist, but it would affect every workman in his home, and, in a word, give a vital blow to the'welfare of any country. (Applause.) Buppose they took two artizane, whom they would, Jones and Smith. Smith was a thrifty man, and out of his earnings, afte(providing for his young and growing family, he saved enough to purchase a piece of land and build himself a nice little home. This man was a credit to himself, his family, and his country, and he (the speaker) was proud to say that this class was a very large one in the country. If such a man as that thought over the question he would ridicule the, for it would compel him to pay a huge amount on the capital value of his holding, while the rich man would have his tobacco, his whisky, his champagne and everything free of duty. Jones, on the other hand was a loafer, spending what little he earned in riotous living, and allowing his family, if he had such, to shift for them. selves. Very often this man would be a single-taxer, and would say by all means tax Smith, who held the land, as it was there before he was born, would be there after he was dead, and he should not keep it without payiig his share of the taxation of the country. (Laughter and applause.) The eingle-tax was, in a word, Freetrade carried to an absurdity, for a single-taxer sought to abolish Custom Houses altogether. Henry George, the founder of it, bed never been able to have the matter even debated in the political world, leave alone making it the law of a country; therefore it was almost a waste of time for him to discuss it. As, however, there were a great many single-tax adherents in the Labour party, he (the speaker) wished to show what an absurd theory it was. After further alluding to the single tax, the speaker salid that if-it ever came into existence the result would be a very great reduction in the value of land, which of course would be very cheap, and absolutely worthless in the back country. If any of them believed that a falling value of its land spelt prosperity to a country they could burst up a few more land banks and societies, and speedily experience the effect. The country was never so prosperous as when land was easily saleable and in good demand, and the reason was not hard to ind. The millions of money invested in such societies as the A.M.P. and others were put into land, as land could not run away. The many millions of. money borrowed by the country were obtained on the security of the land, aEd .it would be robbery to pass any Act through Parliament making a land tax the sole source of revenue. Since the Laud Act of 1861 'they had, sold millions of acres to people in good faith, and the purchasers had lived on and.improved it, believing that they had an 'exclusive right. A contented people must have free access to the land, and would any man tell him that after obtaining something like 45 millions sterling from the people for the land, any Government would have the right to so tax it as to reduce its value by more than half ? There were in the country a few free grants, which had been given to people sometimes not very deserving, in the early days of the colony, but since 1861 all land had been sold by the Government.. (A ,voice: "How much land have you got ?" The speaker : "About 6ft by aft, I think.") After dealing further with the land ques tinn, Mr. Coupland said there was only one policy to adopt if they wished the country to prosper and that was the policy which made the United States of America the phenomenon of modern times. That coun try, soon after adopting Protection, suffered reverse after reverse, and once, when the democrats went into power, the duty on a great many articles was reduced, and imme diately the country was flooded by the im portation of products made in Europd, where men worked much. longer hours for much smaller wages. Very speedily the democrats were ousted from power, and just a few the former. right. Speak, 2oE f c How is y lorg to SAliPve;r e ha b©. said 4,.Mr. Reid, ; of a pro. ljiere lower and han h in Freetrade ,i'aoeelo, and if they .hmany they would see ,are snco that country .oteoiive policy. At the /ite'bf its tremendous mili ,ch'foroed millions of men to ,ess, it (the country) was be .gerous rival in manufactures to .tain. Of late yeara Germany .sl'vast strides, and her advance ,bhly ,be attributed to Protection. jyoaiotntry where the wages are higher J work better, the people must have Pro toib'n or the products of the cheaper S'1 , ill 'soon bring things to their itreal' level. As Protectionists they idr w,'P antto place suchdjitk . E -ods-that a'a oo.-i.:.. 'ply could be formed by the newly-sBtailished manufactories. They wished to only put on such duties as would enable the local manufacturer to success fully compete with the foreigner. Of course the Freetraders argued that by imposing a duty on any article it merely increased the price of that article to the consumer by the exact amount of the duty imposed. If that were the case, why did the members of the great Cobden Club in England and the British manufac turers make such a fuss over the passing of the M'ginley Tariff Bill in America? If the consumers paid the increased duty placed on imported goods, what difference could it possibly make to the British manu facturer ? (Applause.) .Were they to be lieve that the English people objected to the bill simply because they believed the Ameri can ponsumers were being robbed ? That would be nonsense, and it was plaii the Englishmen recognised that in future Ame rica intended to manufacture for herself, and to be thoroughly independent of the world. (Loud applause.) He hoped he had knocked the stuffing out of the Free traders, and hbe trusted that before long they would, by the help of such men as Newcastle and Northuplberland sent into Parliament establish a protectice tariff in this colony. ;(A voice: "What about the marble quarry?") The speaker: It's all right. The man who asks has good reason to do so, as he looks as if he would soon want a tombstone. He then went on to allude to the Freetraders' argument that Protection meant the increase of value to all the things so taxed through the Customs. He 'could assure them that if they put a 80 per cent. duty on boots in the morning they would not be increased in price. one half penny. (Interruption.) It was a fact, as the duty would place the local manufacturer on a proper level, and new establishments would spring up. He would undertake to say that 19 out of every 20 of them wore clothes made in Protectionist Victoria, and the odd man got his coat from England. (Cries of ' No, no," and " Hear, hear.") He would like to tell them that he. was perfectly dis inrterested in the great question, but he felt keenly on it, and would endeavour/to do all in his power for what he believed to be right. He was a miner, and had no' interest in any manufactures, and the great question had no personal attractions for him. Years ago when he was a Free trader he had been very popular, and held the portfolio ia the Government as Minister for Lands. He had, however, seen the fallacy of Freetrade, and had left the Government because he had, with Mr. Lyne and Mr. Garvae, embraced the policy of Protection. In conclusion, he alluded warmly to and praised the Newcastle people for being so long such stanch 'Prbtectionists, and hoped that they wouldocontinue td be so until the.policy had at least a fair trial. The CHAIRMAN then 'called" on Mr. Sheldon to address the meeting. r Mr. usDnox, M..P., said that as a new member of Parliament he was proud to stand where he did and address such a great and intelligent audience, especially when accqm panied by their parliamentary representatives among whom, sinde his entering Parliament, he had found some of his stanehest friends. (Applause.) As his friend, Mr. Copeland, had spoken so fully on the subject of Pro tection, he would now speak of the Labour platform. (A voice: "You're not on it.") le was on it' for he was a Protectionist, and the Labour platform, while intended to pro tect the worker, overlooked one thing, and that was the recognition of the fact that Labour must be protected from the cheap labour of the outside world. The Labour Electoral platform had allowed everyone to act as he thought proper with regard to the fiscal issue, and he for one had accepted not only the platform but the liberty attached to it. For during the course of his candidature he had all along realised the fact that, especially in the constituency of which he had the honour of being the representative, the working classes did not consist only of the shearer, the fencer, and the artisan, but of the selector, the small shopkeeper, and people of that stamp who did their own work, and could not be fairly be classed as employers. While engaged in mercantile pursuits he had seen the evils from which the small farmer and' selector suffered owing to outside competition. He had seen the farmer hawking about his crop from door to door until at last in his de spair, he took anything he could get for it. It was a mercantile axiom that one must buy in the cheapest market; but very often the consumer did not buy in the cheapest market, as the middleman got the profit. In canvass ing the electorate he had spoken to many of the farmers, and said that he was in favour Protection; and on the hustings he had told all the electors that he was in favour of the Labour platform, and perfectly free with regard to the fis;al policy, and, therefore, free to carry out his views on that subject. Prepared as he was to vote' in favour of the Labour platform, and also in favour of Protection, he would have been a fool if he had bound himself to vote for the one in such a way as to militate against his individual judgment' with regard to the other. (Oheers, and dissent.) Amongst those of similar views were some of the representatives of Newcastle and the county. They had not left the Labour party; but the Labour party had left them. Outside of Labour interests he was a free man, and intended to remain free. (Oheers.) One matter in which he had taken a part was of considerable interest to the country generally. He saw that the unhappy shear ing dispute in the Bourke district might extend to the Namoi, and he had done all that he could to bring about an honourable settlement. He was happy to say that their efforts had been sdfcessful. But in order that native industry might be established Protection was necessary, for until that came in the man ready with £5000 capital to put. into a manufacturing industry which would have to face the competition of the out side world would not put five shillings or five pence into it. He was waiting for the sanction of the House to introduce a bill to be called the Labour Pro. tection Bill, which was mainly directed against the selfish views of certain people who might in a. dif oulty between capital. and labour, in troduce labour from other colonies, or even from England, to the detriment of not only the labour concerned in the particular di-. putes, but of the community generally. There r very little fear that labour would be .sowntrodden if they got that bill passed into -law. 'There would be great difficulties to be overcome,.but it ought-to be made a-test question on every hustings. Everything, however, eould not be done at once, and it might take ten years to effect what was before them, and much time and patience were therefore necessary. The subject. of free education would also have to be dealt with, but one of the members for Northumberland (Mr. Melville) found that all his e'fforts to place this on the Statute book were blocked by the Government. With regard to Chinese restriction, it was no use to restrict the men from coming here if the furniture and other goods made by Chinamen elsewhere were admitted free. As the hour was late he would not further detain, them, and thanked the audience for their patient hearing. (Applause.) Mr. E. FLYNN proposed a very hearty vote of thanks to Messrs. Copeland and Sheldon for having come so for to addrG-themd and placing so many sound and-b?nvincing argu ments before themri 5 the highly impor tant subject?' of Labour and Protection. Oaheeg .) Mr. nB3wiwN seconded the proposition. Mr. SCOTT, M.P., had much pleasure in supporting the resolution. They were obliged to the two gentlemen named for their able addresses. With regard to the subjects of Protection, he said that throee months ago when he solicited their suffrages, he made three pledges to them regarding what he would do if returned, and that he would carry ontthese pledges as fearlessly,ae honestly,and as faithfully as it was possible for a man to carry them out.. If they compared these pledges with his actions they would find that he had carried them out to the letter. One of these pledges was that he would take his seat on the croas-benches; another was that he would bind himself to no party-(a voice: " The Labour party")-and the third was that he would vote for measures not men. He promised to support every plank of the Labour platform, and he was doing it. Furthermore, he said he would stick to no party except to the advancement of labour and the advancement of this young colony, and he said then. and now that in order to build up industries in a young country they must build them up under a system of Pro tection. (A, voice: "You'veleft the Labour party, Davy.") He said he had not left the Labour party, but the, Labour party had left him. (Cheers and dissent.) Every word was true he was telling them. He, would not sink hi'`individuality, for the man who sunk his individuality sunk his manhood. (Cheers and dissent.) The man who sunk his man hood became not a delegate'so much as a voting machine. When they returned him they returned him as a representative 'of Newcastle and to advance legislation for the whole of the colony. (Cheers.) The repre sentative of Newcastle he was, and meant to be, and when he came back to them for re-election he would abide by the decision of the whole com munity. (A voice : "You'll never go back.") He was bound to go back. (A voice : "You're wrong.") He was like Saul of old, in search of his father's asses, and behold he saw one. .(Laughter and cheers.) Referring to his questions in the House regarding the girders of Newtown bridge, he said it had been stated in the Sydney press that he was the first to move in that matter. That was untrue. Three letters had been published in the Sydney press and signed Thomas Middleton, a gentleman whom he had never met in his life till last Thursday. One of these was dated as far back as 22nd July, the second was dated August 28th, while the third was pyblished on October let. But as far back as 9th September Mr. Davies, of Coonenbarra fame, had in the Legislative Council asked a series of questions on the subject, but no answer was given to his question regarding the, officer who. was responsible for using cast iron instead of rolled iron girders. He (Mr. Scott) then took the subject up on 2Jnd September, and in the eighth.question, as, td.the dimensions of the girders and the brand of iron used, he evi dently trod on Mr. Bruce Smith's corns. For the answer given was:-"No particular brand is provided, but the material must pass certain' specified tests." On the 24th Sep tember he accordingly put another series of questions as to where the girders were con structed, how they were tested, and what was their test weight. The answers given were that they were tested on the works at New town, in accordance with the usual engineer ing practice, and that the tests were satisfao tory. But in his (Mr. Scott's) third series of questions, Mr. Bruce Smith .saw that he was being pinned in a corner, for the reply to the question as to the oflicer responsible for recommending cast-iron girders was: "The responsibility for the material and con struction of the bridge rests with the Railway Commissioners, who are prepared to bear that responsibility, with the firm conviction that the bridge is ample for the purposes for which it is intended." Mr. Bruce Smith also stated he would decline to answer any more questions concerning that bridge. The reason why these questions were asked was not far to seek. The London correspon dent of the Sydney Morning Herald, in the issue of that paper of 22nd July, referred to the loss of over 100 lives in 'the Bile railway disaster, through the fracture of' a cast-iron girder bridge over the river Birs. The Nor. wood accident was due to this cause, and Sir John Fowler-who was consulting engineer to the Government of New South Wales-had condemned the use of the eastiron girders, while the Board of Trade had also invited the Brighton Railway to replace their cast. iron girders with wrought-iron girders. These facts were surely sufficient reason for the questions he had asked, and the askhing' of which Mr. Bruce Smith so evidently resented. The sooner that the Railway Commissionorers were brought back in certain matters to the power of Parliament the better, for it was not right that they should have the power of .seoding abroad the orders to the value of £100,000 for engine and plant without con suiting Parliament. (Oheers.) If they did not allow people here to tender for work, let the work be done by Government. (Ap plause.) He (Mr. Scott) would soon be before them again to give an account of his stewardship., He heartily supported the vote of thanks, and thought the two gentlemen were two of the mhost honest men in the walls of the present Parliament. Mr. OGnAAxa, M.P., alio supported the resolution. They all 'knew he was a Pro teotionist, and he challenged any man to be a better Labour representative than he weeas. At the neit election there would be no man claiming to be of the Labour party who would be asked to sink his individuality. (Applause.) . The vote was given by acolammation. Messrs. Cc?raLND and BnanDow responded, and a vote of-thanks to the chairman con eluded the proceedings.