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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57

New Zealand

page 15

New Zealand.

Extracts incidentally referring to Imperial Federation from speeches delivered during a Debate in the New Zealand House of Representatives, November 7th & 10th, 1884.

Mr. Stout, M.H.R., Premier.—"Sir,—I believe the closer we can make the alliance between the Mother Country and the Colonies the better."

Sir George Grey, M.H.R., late Premier.—"Wherever the Anglo-Saxon people settle they are found in masses. Look at the United States, at Canada, look at New Zealand, look at Australia, look at South Africa. You will find everywhere we are in strength. We are gathered together in great masses, which enables us to stand firm at each separate point, and unite with the Parent State against the whole world. There again is another cause for our being federated with the British Empire."

Major Atkinson, M.H.R., late Premier.—"I do not believe it is possible that the bond which is keeping us together at the present time will bear any great strain. It will have to be drawn closer or be very much slackened. Now, I am very strongly of the opinion that the happiness of a great part of the human race depends upon the federation of the British people. I believe there is no difficulty that cannot be overcome; but I say whatever difficulty there is has got to be overcome, because if ever we are to be that power in the world which we ought to be, and if we are to preserve happiness to the English-speaking races, it will be by federation."

Sir Julius Vogel, late Premier.—"I am one of those who think we should help on as far as we can the federation of the British Empire. I agree with the honourable member for Egmont, and think he took a far-sighted view when he said he looked forward to the time when we should form part of a confederation of the Empire, and show ourselves to be in complete harmony with the Mother Country in Imperial matters, by contributing towards the cost of the navy, which he is undoubtedly right in saying is not kept up on account of the Mother Country solely, but for the protection of her huge possessions all over the world. I think we must face this alternative: either we must consent to meet a responsibility of the kind, or we must accept the conclusion that we are only a part of the Empire for such a period as may suit convenience, and that separation from the rest of the Empire is only a question of time. There must either be disintegration or complete union. I believe that federation of the Australian Colonies would mean a large weight thrown into the balance towards disintegration, and not in the direction of federation of the Empire."