Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

No corrections yet


-"--'N... .


(Abridged from Yesterday's "Gympie


Sir Horace Tozer addressed a crowded ?nesting at the Theatre Royal on Tuesday night HI« worship the Mayor (Alderman Mulcahy) presided. Quite a number of ladles were present, and occupied the front benches, while on the platform were seated various prominent citizens of the town and


The Chairman, in a very few word«, In- troduced the speaker of the e\ening.

Sir Horace Tozer, who, on rising, was greeted with cheers, said . Whatever your ahade of political thought, whether you are politically speaking with me or not, I want you to join with me on this, perhaps the last occasion I will address you for many years, just as we join hands at Christmas time in wishing " peace and goodwill to all." I come before you to-night, not to ask you for your suffrages, but to tender you my thanks for the dignity you conferred on me ten years ago, when you chose me as your member. I think It my first duty to thank you, not only the electors of Wide Bay, but the citizens who aided me and the ladies who assisted me so heartily In the benevolent and philanthropic work which is controlled by the department that I have administered. I tender you all my heartfelt thanks, and hope that my successor will receive the same support that was given to me. (Cheers) I perhaps may be more discursive than usual to-night,' but I don't think I need apologise to you on this occa- sion. During the time I have served as your representative I have never missed one day from office except when business called me elsewhere. Providence has been kind to me, and I have always been blessed with rude health, which enabled me thus to carry out my duties. In consequence of some of my colleagues not being so fortunate in this re- spect, I have had cast upon me sometimes the work of one or two additional offices. Last year, too, the Premier and my col- league, Mr. Byrnes, were called upon to at- tend the Jubilee functions in England, and I had to undertake my heaviest dutie« as Acting Premier. By this morning's paper I see I am expected to-night to not only give a defence of the actions of the Govern- ment but to make some prophetic utter- ances in regard to the future,'but I can as- sure you that I Intend to leave the future for those who have to deal with it. Six months ago I felt I required a rest. You know you cannot always tell a book by its cover, and you can't tell by my appear- ance the sick headaches that I have con- tinuously suffered from of late. My medical adviser told me that I must take a holiday, so I gave the Premier notice to that effect ACCEPTANCE OF AGENCY-GENERAL.

When he returned from England he told me he had to select some one to fill the position of Agent-General, and asked if I «would undertake that work in the other part j Of the world. I agreed to accept the ap ' polntment because of Its high and honour-

able position and because I required a rest. My representation of the colony at home means my« resignation of the position or member for Wide Bay and the. office of .Home Secretary. I have booked to leave the colonies for the scene of my new duties on 16th March. I thought to make this publio to you first to-night as a mark of gratitude to my constituents, but it had so sooner been decided upon than It leaked out, got into the Brisbane papers, and was circulated all over the colony. I had no absolute need to come before you to-night, but I bad promised the electors of Wide Bay that I would see them, and had hoped to come before. But the Queensland Home Secretary has to keep at home and do the work while others go from home. I come before you to-night, not because I want anything, but because I feel it my duty to show my grate- fulness to you. Ten years ago I was in England, making up my mind to return to Queensland. The general, elections were looming, but I never had the «lightest desire to enter political life. I left Eng- land on 17th March, and intended to return to look after my own professional business, and I can tell you now it would have been more profitable to me had I done so. People get a very funny idea of the profit that accrues to a Minister of the Crown, put' I can tell them that if he attends to ?his duty as I have 'attended to mine, and as his country requires that he shall, he will not be much of a gainer financially. Personally, I have not invested in one ? single speculation during my term of office which could detract from my official rank, pr served myself instead of my country, jn £ s. d..t&e actual loss to me has been

something like £7000, and, in addition, I Î have lost the best ten years of my life.

But often there is more pleasure In giving than in receiving, and it is a pleasure to a man to give his best abilities for the benefit of his country. I would thank members on r both sides of the House for the treatment , I have bad from them during the last ten

years They Ijave made my work happy, and I am absolutely satisfied at their appre- ciation, which will bear testimony to the > value of the work Since office was con-

ferred on me in 1890, my two watchwords have been, as they were my harbour lights through life, " Honour affd Truth" (laugh- ter). Yes, I say truth, and there is to that hospital of yours the sum of £100 to any man who can come on to this platform, now or at any time, and show that I ever broke a promise, failed to pay an obliga- tion, or said a word in public or otherwise that was not in accordance with truth. - ' When I was going to school I remember my

. master telling me that I could always fight

. for myself, but would never be able to meet that general accusation, "You'r a liar." - He told me the only thing to do with a man who called me a liar was to knock him down, but the man who calls you' a liar is often a literary assassin who never comes Into theMlght to let you knock him down. He fires from behind the hedge, end you are not in a position to give him the physical punishment he deserves. If that literary assassin came forward now I would be In a position to administer that , physical punishment, were it not for the

office I bold as Home Secretary. But I say this-I challenge any man to come for- ward now, on this platform, and Show «hat I ever made a misstatement to the injury of any man in the colony. (Applause )


. (But there is another side to the question. 1 The person so maligned has riser* from an

Obscure corner/of the House, where he was relegated SB member for Wide Bay, to the position of Minister for Works and Home Secretary. During the eight years I held office surely there must have been some fact which would,have arisen which could be proved in response to my challenge bad I ever done or said anything of the charac- ter, stated, t have come time after time before the electors of Wide Bay, and last occasion they practically said they wanted nobody else by electing me unopposed. The whole of my party were glad that I accepted the position of Acting Premier and led the {louse during the absence of the Premier. I occupied that honourable position for seven, or. eight months, and received, at the . end of the term, one of the highest com-

pliments my Sovereign could pay me. (Cheers.) No higher refutation of the in- sinuations made against me could I receive. When I came to the colony I had to succeed without influence, friends, or money. By my own labours I have succeeded in bring- ing the colours of Wide Bay to the front, and I trust that whoever succeeds me will by persistency and stability do his best to keep them there in spite of everything, rnd in the long run you may trust the people to do what is right There will be some boo hoos who howl and screech", but the day of reckoning comes at the polls, I am now going"to give you a retrospect of the doings of Parliament since I have been a member, and I would ask any one to come here and tell you one single act the Home Secretary or Minister for Works has done that he need he ashamed of. Now Is the time to do it. 1 am going away, and wish to maintain the credit of and do the best I can, tor the colony. I want the beat wishes of all in it


?? -As a native of Australia, and one who has

travelled taroughout Queensland. I shall tell

tbe people in England, the true «Uto end condition of Queensland, without glori- fication fit pessimism. It Is necessary [for

our prosperity that ,we have « larger popu- lation,' and it is necessary that we bring more mooney tor that population. There ore those in England who are willing to come, who are stretching " hands across the sea" to u«, and we have millions and millions of acre» of land lying idle, walting to be taken up. You may not think so, but that is because the fact has not presented itself to you. While in Cunnamulla, a few days ago, I heard of a case to point my argu- ment. (Here Sir Horace referred to the success met with by an ex-groom of Cobb .nd Co., an account of which previously appeared in these columns.) Continuing, Sir Horace said : Such opportunities are opeu to many others if they Beek similar places, but not if they crowd together in the tqwns. Many more have told me that localities, previously considered arid, had, through'a supply of artesian water being struck, become fertile, and provided the op- portunity for others to succeed. With our vast unoocupled areas In Western Queens- land, I cannot see how people can say wo can offer no opportunities for those who wish to come'here. We have markets for our wool, our sheep, and our mutton, and therefore why should wo not bring people here to make a profit for themselves, and distribute money in tne shape of wages? I hope that some of the practical common sense-for I claim nothing more-which has been so useful to me while in office here will operate In England to induce persons to come out, not to compete with mechanics, for there are plenty of them already, but to occupy some of the land we have In such quantity and to spare. In the past I have carried your good wishes, and I wish to still have them with me in my now sphere. Whilst every colony is disunited each must have a representative in England to deal with the thousand and one pointa which crop up, or the questions that from time to time arise. My experience as Home Sec- retary, and the information thereby gained, should be of some vnlue to the colony, as also that gained during my act- ing management of the Stock De- partment up to the last six months My worst enemies cannot say that I have not gained a knowledge of the mineral Industry, in which I have Invested largely.


In referring to the Agricultural Depart- ment I .should like to state that some time ago they worked under no definite system, but now we have one of the best, ablest, and most conscientious of Ministers con- trolling it, but I regret to say It is pos- sible Mr. Thynne may not continue much longer to give to the department the benefit of his valuable service. He has shown his sincerity in the industry by settling some members of his family on the land at West- brook. He brought the proposal to estab- lish an agricultural college Into concrete shape, and Intends starting agricultural farms all over the country. The success which attended the establishment of col- leges and farms in Canada, and conjoined science and labour, made him look forward with hope to the fruits of similar institu- tions in Queensland. The first experiment- al form was started on the Downs, but I am perfectly sure, before long, that another will be established in some portion of the Wide^ Bay district, in order to test what the matlve products and land can bring forth. To get next to a subject which you perhaps know more about, I think I am correct in saying that the success, of a board of directors is gauged by the result of their banking account, and In the same way I think you may gauge the work done by the Ministry of which I am a member. In August, 1890, the present Government took office. Two years before there was a disastrous deficit of £818,000, and the Treasury asked for increased taxation. Mr. Donaldson, the then Treasurer, in 1889 wanted for schedules £311,000. Last year we were able to do the same work for £129,000. Mind you, I am quoting from the Auditor-General's figures. In 1889 the Executive and Legislative departments wanted £18,000 ; we asked last year £12,000. In the Home Secretary's Depart- ment they asked £529,000 ; we wanted £446,000. Their Works Department re- quired £92,000, ours £82,000 ; their Trea- surer £166,000. ours £231,000 , their Lands Department £102,000, oui s £58,000 ; their Public Instructions £256,000, ours £254,000, so that we did not save In the direction of withholding education from the masses. In 18S9 the Mines Department asked for £35,000, we wanted £32,000 ; their railways, £697,000. ours £682,000 ; their Postmaster-General, £364,000 ; ours, £309,000. By financing we have not only been able to pay off the deflcit of £S18,000,i' but the last three years, follón lng on the last crisis, have resulted in a clear profit of £187,261. We have succeeded in doing this in spite of the bursting of nearly all the banks, and without Increased taxation. In 1889 the taxation per head was £4 9s. Cd., in 1896 it was £3 4s.. 4d.; proceeds from sale of land in 1889 totalled per head of population £1 13s. 10d" and in 1896, £1 2s. Id. From the ' two sources the revenue in 1889 was £6 3s. ia. per head, and £4 6s. 5d. in 1896. In Í891 the expenditure under the head of schedules was 19s. lid. per head,now it is 5s. 6d.; interest then amounted to £2 14s. Id. per head, now it is £2 14s. 2d. In 1890 departmental expenditure was £5 ,7s. 9d., now it'is £4 14s. lOd. In these figures you have the result of the work of the Go- vernment. It has been attained through the close application of the various Minis- ters to office, and to the saving of a pound wherever it was possible. You can see that those In charge of the finances have thus kept up the credit of the colony, and real- ised a surplus during these j ears.


This year there will be another surplus, and a record will have been established, as never before in the history of the colony have there been surpluses during three con- secutive years. Not only do the Ministers de- serve credit, however, for the state of the finances, but also for the fact that they had been able to conserve, without prospect of 'loss, the colony's Interest in


and at'the same time keep the Institution going., (Cries of " Oh ! Oh !") I heard those cries, and would like to ask,the man who uttered them if he knows what he is condemning. Does he know what sum of money the. Q.N. Bank has paid to the Go-

vernment of Queensland for interest (and* by the Government I mean the people of the colony1; who are the first to condemn it) ? None can answer the question. I thought not Well, I think I will surprise you when I tell you that the bank has paid the Go- vernment of Queensland over £1,300,000. Some absurd statements have been made about the revelations in connection with this institution. I beard that I was afraid to face my constituents because I was afraid of these revelations, but I have yet to learn what the management, shareholders, and de- positors of that institution have to do with the Government. A lot of hazy statements have been made, but what the Government did was to protect the public, and by their knowledge of the affairs of the institution take ten times more care than they other- wise would. In August, 1890, the first thing some of us new members did was-to take up the bank-book, when we found the bank held Government money to the extent of £2,000,000. But how did they come to owe It ? It was this very state of affairs that the country «ent us In to remedy. We would not let the 'amount Increase, and had also to look after the safety of what was already there. Well, We have not let it increase, and are in a fair way to save the most of what was already there when we went into office. And yet we are blamed, land people talk about revelations ! I am the only Minister who has a personal interest In the Q.N. Bank, and that is a credit interest. Perhaps you would like to know how It was the bank originally got hold of the £2,000,000. It arose In the first In- stance out of the wish to push Queensland forward and stimulate her industries. In order to do this, first £1,000,000 vas bor- rowed, then £2,000,000, and finally Sir Samuel Griffith borrowed £10,000,000. This money had to be placed somewhere, so it was lodged In the Q.N. Bank, and Interest paid on it. AU thus joined in creating what was almost a State bank. This was done certainly at the risk of both the share- holders and the depositors, but for the bene-

fit of the people of Queensland. The bank | took the money, paid it out to others, and i thus stimulated the industries of the colony. (Laughter.) You may laugh, but if there ever wai one factor that operated In the

progress and advancement of both Charlen Towers and Gympie it waa the Queensland National Bank. When they opened here they lent us money where the other banks refused, and helped us to develop the field. (Applause*)'- Some of that £2,000,000 waa lent out to some of your most prosperous mineowners. One in particular got £70,000, which was not only distributed in wages, but enabled him to strike gold, pay the bank back the £70,000, and make £100,000 for himself as well. Supposing when the Go- vernment went into power in 1890 they had told the bank to pay up the £2,000,000 what would have happened 7 Why, they would have been forced to screw it out of their customers, some of the best of our people, who would have been probably ruined, and the result would bave been wholesale dis- aster to the bank, to the people of the colony, and to the shareholders, whereas now we are getting our Interest, we have a preferential claim on the security of the bank, and we will likely get the major por- tion of our principal. In 1893 when the bank closed they had £2,360,000 of State money, so we told them we could not bargain with them till they paid us back the £360,000. They promised to repay within eighteen months, but managed to do It in six, thereby getting out of the payment of the 4Và per cent interest. Then they paid us a further £160,000 In gold, reducing their liability to £1,833,000, or £170,000 less than when we took office With all these figures before us, you hear the talk about our looking after the public interest Then comes in the qiestion as to whether the money is gone or not. I can tell you. Judg- ing from my knowledge of the law, that we have a preferential claim on all the assets of the bank, secured to us as first mort- gagees. No dividend can be paid till o"u"r debt is satisfied, and they have to pay us 3% per cent on every 15s. in the pound, or £2 12s. 6d. per » ent on the whole amount, and yet our opponents talk about our fear of the revelations ! One tender point with

me Is



who, however, should have looked after their own interests. There is, I think, a claim on the honour of the people Of this colony to do more for the share- holders In England it is said that the Government havo gone too far, as men of honour and business, as regards the protect- ing of the money of the people of the colony and the depositors in the bank, while in the colony itself an opposite statement is made. There is one thing I am not afraid of. When history is written Sir Hugh Nel- son w ill receive great credit for the thought- ful manner In which he watched the finances of the colony during a time of difficulty, and the way in which he piloted her through those difficulties and assisted the sharehold- ers and deposito» who helped to develop the colony. Then there is anot/her parrot cry In reference to Nelson and Barlow's investigation of the bank's affairs. I again consider they deserve the thanks of the colony for what uhey did. In 1893, during the bank crisis, the credit of not only Aus- tralis but of the world trembled because of a convulsion which paralysed the finan- cial world. These were depressed times in Queensland, and then come the big flood. DEFENCE OF SIR HUGH NELSON AND


Do you think, under these circumstances, Nelson and Barlow would have been doing their duty had they como down with a pessi- mistic report, saying that the bank was in- solvent, and had better shut up. How could we have got credit ! We certainly could not have got money to pay our way for at least a month. Then there would have been £8,000,000 worth of depositors crying out for their money. It would have been a heartless thing for anybody Intrusted with the government of this colony to have done. Those two men spent three weeks In looking through the affairs of an institu- tion like the Q N Bank Do you think, at the end of that time, they could give any- thing but a conjectural guess of its state. Do you think they could value £6,000,000 to £8,000,000 worth of assets in that time accurately. They had to do all this in three veeks. I think honour is due to them for the conjectural guess they did give. If the bank is let alone I think it will he able to pay its way. Is there ?nj one can tell me of one person Injured by the action of the Government re- garding the bank ? While are there not hundreds who have been benefited by its keeping open its doors ? I have Sir Hugh Nelson's authority for saying he believes his statement, made In 1893, will be more nearly realised than that of those men who took six months to investigate its affairs and received £4000 for doing it. The rise in Mount Morgan shares and values of pro- perty in which they are interested have al- ready increased the value of their securities by £500,000. Recently I passed over Ardoc station, and it was perfectly bare . a few days later, when returning, owing to the 4in. of rain that had fallen, the grass was a foot higher (Laughter.) That laugh show« the ignorance of some people. I made that statement to draw some of them out-those mere boys, those twenty-oners. What I wished to convey to you was that by those rains that station had gone up 50 per cent in value In such a short time. There are transactions in regard to the Q.N. Bank that reflect very little credit on the directors or managers of the institution, I am not here to defend the manager, who is dead, nor Sir Thomas M'llwraith, who was out- side the Government when' his transactions with the bank took place, but whether the shareholders or directors acted imprudently, or the manager fraudulently, criminally, or foolishly, is nothing to do with the Govern- ment nor myself. It is no concern of our« unless you can show me where the trust you imposed in us was betrayed. We have done our best to conserve your money, and when the day of reckoning comes, as it as-

suredly will, whatever else (Barlow and Nel- son did, you can thank them for keeping the .?bank Alive. There 1« nothing like « simile occasionally to point «a argumstt. Now, supposing some one came on this platform and told me there was a aerlous danger behind this building. I "had a look, came back, and cried out to you, "Get out of thiB as quick as you can for your lives," thus creating a panic, and in the rush most of you were killed ; supposing this, or in- stead I came back and told you there was no immediate danger, and you all filed out quietly without injury to any one, ought

not j¿u then to thank me. (Laughter and cheers.) The question was' not what was done or said, but whether It did good or harm. (A Voice : " Good.") Yes, it had given them a chance, and speaking to you as one who may never address you again, I say there is no reason why one man should say a word against Barlow or Nelson for what they did in 1893, or accuse the Go- vernment of having injured the colony or any one in It There Is one thing they should remember, and history when written would record It, that they saved Queens- land by their action In the hour of peril. In regard to the rumour that the Ministers are an unhappy family, I might state that I never worked more in harmony or shoul- der to shoulder on any board or committee than I have done with all my colleagues in the Ministry. There is, therefore, not

scintilla of truth In the statement that we are an unhappy family. We are termed the Conservative party. Some of us ore of the Liberal party, some of the National. I care not what you call us.


I eay what we have done Is the best evidence of what we are or whether we were progressive. I introduced the Shops and Factories Act and the Elections Act, which all persons admit are measures of reform. We claim for the Ministry that it has been both Liberal and Progressive, and as long as our work is good we are content. It has also been rumoured that Sir Hugh Nelson is going into the Upper House. If called upon in another sphere, having once placed his hands on the political plough, Sir Hugh will folow where duty calls. I can assure you that he does not covet his present position, but if the people appreciate him as I do, and they ask him at the next general election to renew hi« control of public affairs, he will feel It his duty to do so, and I have his authority for saying that his services will be at their disposal. Sir Horace then referred to the washing of dirty nnen that was taking place between prominent mem- bers of the .Labour party and,the Opposition in the metropolitan and other Journal», and contlnulng,S|,ne said : And,. you are asked to bring all, these conflicting-element« te»

gether to form a Government ? I ask you is a Government to be formed out of such units as these ? He then briefly explained the principle of party government, and con- tinued : There Is only a blank .of nine month« between now and a general election. I sincerely trust your choice of my successor will fall on one who will give his general support to the Government to'which I be- long.


In regard to federation, I should like to say a few words before concluding. It certainly was shelved, but by whom ? In, accordance with a resolution carried in the House by 38 votes against 12, I was asked to wire the President of the Convention, asking for it td adjourn to enable Queens- land to be present. Sir Horace then gave a resume of what had occurred, and exp.amed why Queensland was not represented at the Convention. Continuing, he said : I also thought it only right to acquaint a promin- ent Southern politician connected with the Convention with the actual Btate of affairs, and sent the following telegram :-" Bris- bane, 17th September, 1897.-Motion carried by 38 to 12. Had all members been prtsent relative numbers about same. One-íotüth of our Chamber may be reckoned as non fcderatlonlsts. From debate it is ci**ar sectional differences exist even amongst the majority, principally territorial, fiscal, and labour, and it would be unsafe to rely upon more than a dozen out-and-out federa tionlets in the House, so that I must an- ticipate some difficulty in passing any En- abling Bill. I think these differences of opinion may be harmonised It Nelson on his return warmly endorses the evident desire of the majority to be present at your future deliberations. Have wired President re- quest of Assembly. My hope is that you will see your way yto a final sitting next year, say February or March, in which event you may rely on the best efforts of myself and' colleagues present to shortly pass an. Enabling Bill. The majority may ask that for the purpose of this election the < colony be divided into its three local recognised divisions. North, Central, and South. I prefer your lines, the colony voting as a whole, but hardly think this will pass.-(Signed) Horace Tozer." Sir Horace tben pointed out that matters had turned out as he expected, and went on to say :- I do hope that those gentlemen who are de- liberating now, and approaching the ques- tion of Australian unity with the broadest minds, will bring the colonies closer to- gether, and leave the door open for Queens- land to come In when she wishes to do so. I trust that this will come to pass, and that when I am in England I will be able to say that I am not only a Queenslander, but an Australian, and a member of an Australian nation. And now I thank you for your patience. 1 would be wanting in sensibility and sense did I not utter worc*s of thankful- ness for the manner in which you have as- sisted me in my work. Ladles, I thank you for your assistance. Ofllcers of the Home Secretary's Department, thanks for your past service. Old electors of Gympie and Wida Bay, good-bye, farewell.

The conclusion of the speech, which was of an hour and fifty minutes' duration, brought forth considerably applause. On its subsiding Mr. J. Stumm, M.L..A., moved, -" That we, the electors of Wide Bay, re- siding on Gympie, desire to record our ap- preciation of Sir Horace Tozer's services to the electorate and the colony at large, and wish him every success in his new sphere of duty as Agent-General."

The motion was seconded by Mr. Bythe way, and carried with acclamation. Sir Horace replied feelingly, and afterwards he proposed. a vote of thanks to the chair, which was cordially given, and concluded the meeting.