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©be â>j?ÏJnrp ¿Horning Strain.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 2, 1013.
A LAST WOBD FOR BLAYNEY.
Wire the question put tomlin, It Is quite probable that Mr. Beeby would promptly repudíate all knowledge of finance, ne would also just as probably attempt to cast the responsibility for the wholly unsatisfactory state of the public ac eounts upon the shoulders of his lute colleagues whose particular function was to take care of the Treasury chest. But Is it right that the es-Minister should be allowed to escape so easily? Though he was never actually Treasurer, he was a not uninfluentJal member of the Cabinet He administered one of the great spend- ing departments that had to urgently cull upon the Treasurer for funds. He was one of those who had to give his adher- ence to the Government's financial policy -a policy full of glowing promises and unfulfilled performances. Ile was among those who attacked the late Liberal Gov- ernment upon Its borrowing for urgent public works, and succeeded In persuading some unthinking electors that they were
[fast placing the country in pawn lo its
everlasting ruin Ile is wis among the rest tv ho attempted to besmirch the eh tractor of the investor in our becuritics abroad and to insUl the itl< i Into the minds of the people here tint these lines tors were no moic til in usinions money lenders who preyed upon the vitals of the community 1 hen, when later on he and his friends succeeded in ousting their opronciiis frou the Treasury bom )i< s what did they do' Did they pracilsi the economy they pleached ' Hindi} Instead they inaugui itod nu eui of «xtrin igiuct
for which this toner itton at le ist ein search their memories in vain to» find i parallel Not only did fhev spend re- venue with a lavish hand but they bor rowed here, there ind evoiyvvhote ill the time spending f ister than the pioceeds of
their loans could rome in and Hilt <l(spi(o| the fict that they otliterl a high inluist| I tte 1 indlng the «»dina rv «tunnels in sufficient foi thoh pin post s tli«\ tool
money from the Commonvveilth Iteusurer, whit h he in his turn had taken from the banks In return £or paper, whieJj the
banks did not want, nor the public either. This money being -withdrawn from the funds that the banks ordinarily lend out i to producers, manufacturers, and traders,
| the latter have felt the pinch lu it
wholly unnecessary way. There may, and Indeed there were, other causes for the tightuess of money, but this was an Im- portant one. Then, again, practically all the State accounts were allowed to become overdrawn, thus still further tying up money that under more expert manage- ment would have been better employed In stimulating and sustaining the production of the country.
Not only has the Government with which Mr. Beeby cannot at this the eleven til hour dissociate himself done all these things. Through its revenue being insnllicient, not for reasonable governmen- tal needs, but to keep pace with its pro- diga te outlays, now taxation had to be Im- posed upon the people-taxation which was not fairly distributed over all classes, but aimed particularly at that class which ordinarily is not expected to cast votes for Labour candidates at election time. If this is not political corruption of the gross- est charucter we should like to hear of a more glaring case in this or in any other country. The official returns published yesterday show that the taxpayers of this State were forced to contribute ¿¡Uii.L'oT moro by way of income tax during the past half-year than during the correspond- ing period in the pyevious year. Not satis- fied in this way with attacking the bank- ing accounts of their political opponents, Ministers went further, and by starting a number of socialistic enterprises, State brick kilns, lime works, metal quarries, etc., they attacked the woaltti of Hie taxpayer at its source. The successful mau of busi- ness they evidently regarded as fair game. They publicly sympathised with one side in industrial disputas after cases had arisen which should have been dispassion- ately considered in the Courts-Courts
whose duty it was to administer laws of
Mr. Beeby's own making. They introduced contiscatory legislation in connection with our gas companies which has done us .in- calculable harm in the eyes of investors abroad, and which, had it not been for the Upper House, would have taken its place on the Statute Book in it form thnt would have been wholly discreditable to a -British community,* whose sense of justice is proverbial. For these things we must hold Mr. Beeby as fully responsible as those of his late friends and colleagues who have played the moro manly part of sticking to the ship when they must feel that it is sinking, whereas he has taken. Hie first opportunity of leaving them to their fate, lie cannot now, after Hie damage has boen done, persuade us Unit it is upon other shoulders the responsibility rests. The day is past for reuintatioii of this kind. The time for
his protest wus when damage was nppre-|
hended, not after It is done.