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[from our own correspondent.]

In compliance with a request made to him by his supporters, Mr Purnell delivered a second address to the Wakanui electors at the Town Hall, Rakaia, on Saturday night. The hall was well filled, about 250 persons being present. Mr G. N. Mackie, J.P., occupied the chair, who, in opening the proceedings, said he intended to support Mr Purnell in his candidature. [Cheers.] He had come to this resolution after full deliberation upon the qualifications of the different candidates. Mr Purnell’s views were sound and well considered. He had known Mr Purnell for a long time, and was aware that he w.ia both consistent and persistent in his views. They did not want a man to represent them who advocated one set of views one day, and another the next. They wanted a man whom they could rely upon. [Hear, hear.] Many wild and revolutionary schemes were being propounded, which, if carried into effect, would certainly do great injury to the country, but he did not think that the majority of the electors sjmpathised with them.

Mr Purnell said he had always been a Liberal, and now presented himself as a Liberal candidate for the representation of Wakanui. When he first came to reside in this part of the country, he found himself, on account ot his views, regarded as a kind of political heretic ; but a change had taken place in the feeling of the constituency since then, and he firmly believed that the majority of the Wakanui electors now held Liberal views, and that the result of the polling would show such to be the case. The fact that the Conservative candidate for the representation of the district had proclaimed himself to be a Liberal, was a significant sign of the times. Mr Purnell then proceeded to discuss some of the political topics of the day, his remarks on the land question especially, being vigorously applauded. Certain dangerous doctrines, he said, were being put forward, professedly in the interests of the “ working man,” but if those doctrines were ever put into practical force, the working classes would suffer injury from their effect, because industry would be disturbed, and employment become scarce. Every legitimate end could be attained by the path of ordinary legislation, and to that they should keep. He (Mr Purnell) could not claim to he a working man, but neither was either of the other candidates a working man, so that all stood on the same footing in that respect. He was, however, a poor man, and felt a natural sympathy with poor men, and in his professional capacity he had always fought as strenuously for the rights of the poor man as of the rich, whomsoever the former’s antaganist might be. [Applause.] In reply to a question, the candidate said he was not in favor of resuming assisted immigration at present. So far as he could learn, these were more laboring men in the country now than could find employment. Mr Oxley moved a vote of confidence in Mr Purnell.

Mr Lyttelton seconded the resolution, which, on being put to the meeting, was carried by a large majority. The chairman then invited the meeting to give three cheers for Mr Purnell, and the invitation was responded to with a will.

A noisy supporter of Mr lyess here jumped on to one of the seats in the body of the hall, and called for three cheers for Mr Ivess, which were accordingly given by a few of those present. A vote of thanks to the chairman terminated the proceedings. Before the meeting commenced, it was rumored that some of Mr Ivess’ supporters in the district intended to prevent Mr Purnell obtaining a hearing, and otherwise to obstruct the business of the evening, and there were strong indications, both outside and inside the hall, that some organization of the kind had been formed. Had any such violence been attempted, I believe that prompt measures would have been taken to suppress the disturbance, but the meeting passed off quietly enough, the fact of their schemes being known, having probably induced the would-be obstructionists to remain on their good behaviour.

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Bibliographic details

MR PURNELL AT RAKAIA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 497, 21 November 1881

Word Count

MR PURNELL AT RAKAIA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 497, 21 November 1881