Messrs Sutton and Russell, M.H.R.’S, at Napier. Napier, Feb. 26. Messrs Sutton and Russell addressed their constituents last night. There was a moderate attendance and a quiet meeting. The speeches were chiefly a resume of the events of last session. Both members disapproved of the principle of the beer tax, but upheld the property tax, preferring it to either an income or land tax. Mr Sutton spoke at length on the Patetere question, quoting from papers laid before the House to show that by far the greater part of the L 14,000 charged against Patetere was wrongfully charged. Ho said that Rewi’s Auckland spree, costing LI,OOO, was charged against Patetere, though he had no interest in it, and this was a fair sample of the greater part of the Government claims. He threw out a challenge to Sir George Grey to fulfil his threat to stump the country on this question. The fact was that the moneys had been spent all over the country, the vouchers for which would not pass the audit office, and were charged to the Patetere block. He might be wrong, but he really believed that it was Patetere and otlier like matters that drove Mr Bryce to resign. He saw he was doing a gross injustice, and rather than continue doing it he preferred to resign. He (Mr Sutton) regretted that the Premier or some other Minister had not thought fit to take the public ini-o his confidence, and tell them why Mr Bryce resigned. He would not believe the cause was that which had been assigned—namely, that Mr Bryce desired to march upon Parihaka and arrest Hiroki or Te Whiti. It was more than probable that there was another cause. They had of course all heard about the visit of the Governor’s aide-de-camp to Parihaka, and that seemed to him very likely to have had something to do with Mr Bryce’s resignation. If it were so—if the course that was pursued was in reality forced upon the Ministry by the Governor, their proper course would have been to resign, and the country would very soon have put them back into office again. Mr Russell devoted great attention to the subject of education, speaking warmly in favor of the continuance of the present system. Both members expressed regret at Mr Bryce’s retirement, though Mr Russell took exception to his policy as contained in the Native Lands Sales Bill, introduced last session. Mr Sutton, referring to the rumor that Mr Stout would come forward to lead the Opposition, expressed great admiration of the late Attorney-General, and hoped that the rumor was well founded. He considered Mr Stout one of the ablest men who had ever sat in the House, and the country suffered a misfortune when it lost his services. Votes of thanks and confidence were carried by a large majority.
Permanent link to this item
POST-SESSIONAL ADDRESSES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 280, 28 February 1881
POST-SESSIONAL ADDRESSES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 280, 28 February 1881
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.