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Last evening Mr Wason met the electors at the Seafield schoolhouse, there being about fifty present. Mr Murdoch Bruce was chairman, and introduced the candidate, who expressed his views as already reported at Ashburton and elsewhere. He hoped to see the Alienation of Lands Bill and the Abolition of Rent Bill again introduced and passed, but he was not in favor of the Local Government Bill. He should like to see the Property Tax increased and part of it handed to the County Councils, who should have larger borrowing powers. He was not in favor of an Income Tax or of making the Upper House elective. He severely criticised Mr Sealey’s pamphlet and the “ busting up ” process. At the conclusion of the address, in reply to Mr Megson, Mr Wason thought there was no need for any change in the payment to members of the Upper House. If any reform was to take place he would rather be in favor of the abolition of the Upper House. In the case of members receiving pensions, he thought that the amount of honorarium should be deducted from the pension, but he thought that the pension system should be done away with. Also in reply to Mr Megson, he was in favor of giving power to Committees of small schools to strike a rate. Schools could not be kept up by voluntary contributions. The question of Bible reading had been fully discussed when the Bill was passed, and had been thrown out by 2 to 1. He thought education should be free, compulsory, and secular. He would not alter the present mode of election of Education Boards, but would give Committees more power. In reply to Mr Jones, he said that he could not pledge himself to obtain a grant for the construction of a bridge at Dobin’s ford. It was a matter for the County Council, but no doubt Government might be induced to contribute a third of the cost.

There being no more questions, Mr Megson moved a vote of thanks and confidence. He did so as unless they returned a supporter of the present Government, the Coleridge district would be partly disfranchised. He looked upon Sir G. Grey as a thorough humbug, and Mr Wason was the best man to represent them.

Mr E. Saunders seconded the motion. He had formerly opposed Mr Wason, but he now saw that his views were correct. Neither of the other candidates were suitable to represent the farmers. There being no amendment, the motion was declared carried, and Mr Wason, in thanking the meeting, pointed out that Sir George Grey was the only man in the House that had a personal following, and he therefore had great influence. A vote of thanks to the Chairman terminated the meeting.

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Bibliographic details

MR WASON AT SEAFIELD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 493, 4 November 1881

Word Count

MR WASON AT SEAFIELD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 493, 4 November 1881

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