Story: Ideas in New Zealand

William Pember Reeves, the angel of arbitration

William Pember Reeves, the angel of arbitration

This cartoon from the New Zealand Graphic of 1894 shows politician William Pember Reeves attempting to unite a worker and an employer beneath the arch of the Arbitration Court. At this stage Reeves was minister of labour, and he was responsible for the new Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act which provided for both parties to follow a process of compulsory arbitration if they could not agree in a labour dispute. Eight years later Reeves had retired from Parliament, become agent general in London and established a reputation as a Fabian intellectual. In this role he published a two-volume work, State experiments in Australia & New Zealand, which was a comprehensive survey of the labour, land, pension and other legislation which he had previously been involved in promoting.  The book provided a comprehensive summary of the laws in Australian states as well as New Zealand.  

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: A-312-8-005
Cartoon by Ashley Hunter

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Ideas in New Zealand - Socialism', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/cartoon/45487/william-pember-reeves-the-angel-of-arbitration (accessed 24 August 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014