The new session

Cartoon by Gordon McIntyre shows Prime Minister William Massey cranking up his "old reliable"...
Cartoon by Gordon McIntyre shows Prime Minister William Massey cranking up his "old reliable" 1912 model for the next session of Parliament. — Otago Witness, 24.6.1924
The approaching re-assembly of the New Zealand Parliament is, we take it, being awaited by a large majority of the people of the dominion in a spirit of philosophic calm, occasionally stirred by more or less artificial manifestations of partisan activity. Mr Massey, speaking at Wanganui on Wednesday, said that "it pleased him to find that the people of the country were taking a keener interest in politics than they had taken in the past." This would be an acceptable circumstance if the Prime Minister’s observation could be regarded as quite accurate; but those who remember the stirring political conditions of, say, a quarter of a century ago may rather be disposed to reflect that alert interest in political affairs is not the compelling feature in the life of the community that it used to be. It would be hazardous to pronounce confidently concerning the likelihood of a premature general election. Mr Forbes says he "would not be surprised to see an election before the expiry of the full term of the present Parliament"; but we entertain a shrewd suspicion that the Liberal leaders and organisers are not in anxious haste to face the ordeal of popular judgment. The leader of the Labour Party, speaking on the same day as Mr Forbes, expressed the opinion that "an election was hardly likely this year." It is safe to assume that Mr Wilford and Mr Holland both bear in mind the fact that at the last general election the Reform Party lost some seats by very narrow majorities, and that the result in these instances, largely influenced by local or personal considerations, might have been different if it had been anticipated that a crucial political situation would follow. As regards the coming session Mr Holland is probably right in supposing that the three Liberal members who refused last year to assist a factious attempt to displace the Massey Government will adhere to their well-reasoned resolve. It is not to be forgotten, nevertheless, that conceivable contingencies might increase the precariousness of the Ministerial position. — editorial

Slow boat to Gisborne

As an illustration of the difficulties that attend trading between Dunedin and the East Coast of the North Island under existing conditions, a boatnote has been exhibited to us for the consignment of a parcel of goods to Gisborne, this having been made out on April 28 last, while the goods were landed at Gisborne not earlier than last week.

All of us count, tatau tātou

The population of the dominion on March 31 last was 1,293,934 — an increase of 4731 during the quarter. Including Maoris, the population is 1,347,754. Births during the quarter totalled 7081, compared with 6823 during the first quarter of 1923. Deaths totalled 2385, compared with 2371.

More schoolboy emigrants

London, June 11: Twenty-five public schoolboy emigrants sailed for New Zealand by the Corinthic. They are considered the finest batch so far sent.

Highways made official

Now declared main highways: Highway District No 16 — Dunedin-Christchurch, Palmerston-Queenstown (via Becks), Cromwell-Hawea Flat, Arrowtown to Palmerston-Queenstown Road, Clarkesville-Clyde. Highway District No 17 — Dunedin-Invercargill, Mosgiel Junction-Middlemarch, Raes Junction-Edievale. — ODT, 13.6.1924

Compiled by Peter Dowden