"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

All just a little bitta history repeating (VII)

From the St. John's Public Ledger of March 27, 1877, a pseudonymous letter defending the Carter government. More information on the public figures referred to can be found via the hotlinks.

Some of the letter-writer's arguments seem awfully familiar; timeless, even.


Considerable feeling having been manifested in the Outports with reference to the contemplated employment by the Government of Professor Hind, on a survey on the Labrador coast, I think I might send to you an excerp [sic] of the expressions made use of from a conversation I had with one of our leading men in this locality. With some things I cordially agree with my opponent, but if the Government have done wrong in this matter, it is simply the result of acting too hastily in their over-zeal to conserve the interests of the public. I fully believe that it was from a pure motive, and a desire to advance the welfare of the country generally that prompted the action on the part of the Government, and therefore they should not be condemned in their laudable endeavours to benefit the people. Who of us does not commit an error once in a while? and an enterprise such as this is entirely an experiment, which may result in much good. Who amongst use would like to see the Government fold their hands and do nothing? I mean those of us who support the present Government. Ask yourselves what evil have they done? You say, “they have increased their own salaries.”

What Government ever came into power that would not have done the same?

But I ask you as a man, what injury have the present Government done yourself.

“None; but they have not looked after their friends.”

“But you must remember that the way to make lasting friends is by endeavouring to do what is right.”

“But they did not turn out Major Renouf.”

“In that I agree with you; but they will see that he will do what is right, and will be ready to be informed of the fact if he does not do so.”

“They have appointed a light-house keeper at Capt St. Francis from St. John's.”

“You must remember that it is in the Eastern District of St. John's, and that I think is a good reason why the appointment should be so chosen; although I agree with you that amidst the agitation that was kept up so long by the Conception Bay people about that light-house, these people should have been consulted in the matter.”

“Do you know anything that the general public does not know, of the so-called wrong-doing of the present Government; if so, I should like to hear from you. But if it is such fault-finding as comes from the Opposition in the House of Asembly, I must tell you that that is all the Opposition care for, to find all the fault they can, justly or unjustly, as long as they can pick a fault to complain of. This fault-finding on their part is absolutely necessary in order to strengthen their position with their constituents, at the next general election.”

“But the pensions will take the most of our earnings to support them in future.”

“I am opposed to pensions myself, as it is at present; but you must know that this matter did not originate with the present government. It will be for you to ask what questions and get what pledges you require at the next elections; and I am convinced that these pledges will be faithfully carried out if the present party be again returned to power; and of this I have not the slightest doubt. It is useless to expect utter impossibilities; and it can be plainly seen what is the intention of the Opposition in the course of their perpetual fault-finding. I, for one, would be the first to find fault with, and expose any Government who would attempt to blind-fold the people in any way, and I am free to admit that the contemplated employment of Professor Hind, is not as satisfactory to me was I would wish it to be; still there is nothing unasked in the matter; and if an error has been committed, it is simply an error in judgment, and one error committed with the purest of motives, and having in view the future welfare of our colony. And if I agree with you that governmental officers ought to look better than they do look, you must certainly coincide with me that under another government they might have looked far worse. As matters stand now, we can boast of peace in our outharbors, and that is what we could not procure before.”

An Outharbor Man,
Who seeks neither office nor pay.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home