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On August 18 Sir John Salmond's report on the Washington Conference was submitted, and the House ratified the agreements reached at that Conference, the value of the lessening of the Pacific menace being recognised. It is significant that a month later came the difficulty in the Near East. On September 17 the Prime Minister stated to Parliament that the Government had been in communication with the Imperial Government with regard to the possibility of Turkish aggression in Europe, the protection of Allied interests in Constantinople, and the maintenance of the freedom of the Straits by securing the Gallipoli Peninsula. He had cabled the Imperial Government that New Zealand would support action and the event caused a good deal of stir. The records of the Great War were beaten in the number of volunteers offering their services, and although no call was issued, 12,000 officers and other ranks and 300 nurses came forward to volunteer for service in Gallipoli. Luckily the trouble passed over.
The first measure of tax reduction was introduced on September 26, providing for the abolition of the 20 per cent. Super Tax on incomes and reducing the Super Tax on land from 20 per cent. to 10 per cent.
On October 17 the Public Works Statement was presented to Parliament. A feature was the fact that the total expenditure on railways, roads, bridges, and hydro-electric works exceeded that of previous years by 3,000,0001., chiefly due to the installation of labour-saving machinery (which ultimately would result in a saving of 30 per cent. in the cost of constructional earth-works), and to additional work undertaken to prevent unemployment. A Bill authorising the Government to raise 4,000,0001. for public work and land settlement was passed in the House of Representatives before the end of the month. This was almost the last act of the Massey Government before the dissolution and the session came to an end on October 31.
The new elections were announced to take place on December 7, and Mr. Massey opened the Reform Party campaign on November 6. The Liberals went to the country under Mr. T. M. Wilford, who succeeded to the leadership of the party on the defeat of Sir J. G. Ward, Bart., at the last election. The Labour Party decided to contest most of the seats, on a socialistic programme.
The election proved to be one of the keenest contests recorded in New Zealand for many years, with heavy polling and intense interest shown in the results. Prior to the election, the Government had a party of 49; this was reduced to 38, or two less than half the House of Representatives. The Opposition increased its strength from 16 to 18, and the Labour Party from 9 to 17. An unexpected result was the defeat of the Speaker (Sir Frederick Lang) by the Labour candidate in Manukau, and of the Hon. E. P. Lee (Minister of External Affairs) who lost his seat in Oamaru by the narrow majority of
T. Member 6. Thessey, opened the cod to take p
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5, to Mr. J. A. MacPherson (Liberal). It is generally conceded that one of the principal factors in bringing about this turnover was the severe retrenchment proposals affecting the services. Besides this, there is no doubt that the after-effects of the war strain, the decline in values of produce and severe slump in land values all contributed to the general feeling of dissatisfaction. But too much significance need not be attached to the change, and it is doubtful if any other Party could carry on. Present indications are that Mr. Massey will endeavour to come to an arrangement with the Liberal Party and thus avoid the necessity of again going to the country.
The poll in connexion with the licensing issue was taken at the same time, and resulted in an adverse majority of 16,138 against prohibition. The figures were: for prohibition, 290,566, for State control, 34,261, for continuance, 272,443, and as prohibition, to be carried, required a majority over the other combined votes, the issue was decisive.
Several matters of general interest deserve brief mention, before closing. The s.s. Wiltshire was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef but all her crew were saved. The seamen's strike dragged on for some months, the men offering to resume work on November 21. The Vancouver Mail Contract was renewed by the Government. The incidence of high freights urged producers to ask the Government to introduce legislation for the formation of a Producers' Shipping Line in August: the Meat Board made a new contract for freight for the whole exportable surplus of meat, on satisfactory terms.
Immigration proceeded satisfactorily, 7,000 assisted immigrants coming from the United Kingdom. The Annual Conference of the Ex-Soldiers' Association in June passed a Resolution expressing approval of the principle of Empire immigration.
Important visitors included Mr. Srinivasa Sastri, a prominent Indian Statesman, who was cordially received by the Government, and whose visit undoubtedly contributed to the satisfactory solution of the few questions outstanding between India and New Zealand; and the British Empire Exhibition Mission, under Major Belcher. The Government later announced its intention of devoting 60,0001. to New Zealand representation at that event.
In sport the Paddon-Hadfield race was arranged for April 18 on the Wanganui, for the sculling championship of the world ; the former defeated the latter by nine lengths. In the National Swimming Championships Miss Hoeft and Miss Shand performed feats in fast swimming, claimed as world's records : and the visit of Mr. McLaren's cricket team must be recorded.
The interim return of sheep at the end of April showed a total of 20,245,473, as against 23,285,031 for the previous year. A New Zealand Friesian cow put up a record for butter-fat
roduction, şivind a gratifyings were experieed on t
. production, giving 1,145 lbs. of butter-fat in the twelve-month; and wool enjoyed a gratifying recovery in price.
Several earthquake shocks were experienced in the Taupo district in June, and an earthquake occurred on the afternoon of Christmas Day in the upper and middle portion of the South Island.
The Prime Minister completed his ten years of Premiership, and was the recipient of a suitable memento from the members of his party, who entertained him on July 11.
Among the more important legislation of 1922 not dealt with specifically above should be mentioned the Administration of Justice Act, providing for the reciprocal enforcement of judgments obtained in any superior court in the United Kingdom; the Customs Amendment Act, relating to depreciated currency duties; the Insurance Companies Deposits Amendment Act; the State Fire Insurance Amendment Act; the War Disabilities Removal Act; the Mercantile Amendment Act, relating to “Received for Shipment” Bills of Lading; the Sea Carriage of Goods Act; the Pharmacy Amendment Act; the State Advances Amendment Act; the Main Highways Act and the Rural Credit Associations Act, affording statutory recognition to certain classes of societies whose object is to make advances on chattel security (Agricultural Banks).
Act; the Met Bills of Ladang 'Act; the PART II.
CHRONICLE OF EVENTS
1. The New Year Honours list included four new peers, viz. : Sir James Buchanan, Bart., Sir Robert Nivison, Bart., Mr. Joseph Watson, and Mr. Francis Willey. The titles which they adopted were respectively : Lord Woolavington of Lavington, Lord Glendyne of Sanquhar, Lord Manton of Compton Verney, and Lord Barnby of Blyth.
- Prince Henry was appointed a G.C.V.O., and the Order of Merit was conferred on Sir J. M. Barrie. There were five new Privy Councillors, 17 Baronets, and 112 Knights.
– The warmest day in London experienced in any part of January in the last half century.
2. The Prince of Wales received a magnificent welcome on landing at Rangoon.
3. Mr. John Marchbank, of Glasgow, was appointed President of the National Union of Railwaymen for 1922.
4. A fire which started in a timber yard at Hartlepool spread to a large area occupied by working-class houses, and 500 people had to leave their homes.
– Viscount Windsor, son of the Earl of Plymouth, Conservative candidate for the Ludlow division of Shropshire, was returned without opposition.
– Mr. A. B. Kay, a special correspondent of The Times, was kid. napped in Dublin by a party of armed men and taken to Cork, but was released the following day.
5. The Prince of Wales arrived at Mandalay, where he received an enthusiastic welcome.
6. Cannes Conference opened. 7. There were 354 deaths from influenza in London during this week.
9. A Japanese mission visited Manchester to investigate questions connected with the cotton trade.
10. The Duke of York cut the first turf at Wembley in preparation for a British Empire Exhibition in 1923.
- Lord Inchcape was elected Chairman of the London Committee of the Suez Canal.
12. The King granted a general amnesty in respect of all offences committed in Ireland before the truce began on July 11, 1921.
- The list of successful candidates for the Bar included the names of 22 women.
- Resignation of M. Briand, the French Prime Minister.
- Georges Carpentier knocked out George Cook, the Australian boxing champion, at the Albert Hall.
13. The Prince of Wales had a magnificent reception on arriving at Madras, but afterwards there was a sudden outbreak of rioting, in which two deaths were reported.
- Coal prices in London were reduced by from 1s. to 38. per ton.
- The Peers of Scotland, meeting at the palace of Holyrood House, elected as their representatives in the House of Lords the Earl of Airlie, the Earl of Leven and Melville, and Lord Belhaven and Stenton.
14. Sir Joseph Cook arrived in London to take up his duties as High Commissioner for Australia.
— The will of the late Earl Brownlow was proved at 1,529,7711. gross.
- There were 551 deaths from influenza in London during this week.
15. French Ministry formed by M. Poincaré.
- A bye-election at Tamworth resulted in the return of Sir Percy Newson, the Coalition Unionist Candidate, by a majority of 8,061.
19. Whistler's picture of “La Mère Gérard” was sold in New York for 1,800 dollars.
- New Government formed in Rumania by Brutianu.
20. Five lives were lost and a great quantity of merchandise destroyed by a fire at the North British Railway Goods Station at Glasgow.
21. The number of deaths from influenza in London during this week was 443.
22. It was officially announced that the wedding of Princess Mary would take place on February 28.
- Pope Benedict XV. died.
23. Mr. Reuben Bigland, of Birmingham, was acquitted at the Central Criminal Court on the charge of libelling Mr. Horatio Bottomley, M.P. No evidence was offered by the prosecution.
24. In London and many other places in England this was the coldest day that had been experienced for five years.
-- The live registers of the employment exchanges in the United Kingdom contained the names of approximately 1,915,700 persons wholly unemployed, a decrease of 10,236 on the previous week.