NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR THE WAKANUI SEAT.
The nomination of candidates for the Wakanui seat took place at the County saleyards at noon to-day. There was not a very large attendance.. The Returning Officer, Mr George Jameson, having read the writ, called upon 1 the supporters of the various candidates to proceed with the nominations. At this stage Mr F. P. O’Reilly stepped forward and said—“Mr Returning Officer, 1 wish to retire from this contest in favor of Mr Ivess.”
Mr John Lambie now proposed Mr John Cathcart Wason as a fit and proper person to represent the electors of Wakanui in Parliament. The Wakanui district was an agricultural district, and the fact of Mr Wason being himself a farmer was a pretty good guarantee that he would, if elected, look after the interests of the farmers. [Hear, hear.] He would not make a long speech, but he certainly thought that Mr Wason would make an excellent representative, and he had much pleasure in nominating him. The nomination was seconded by Mr. Andrew Dawson.
Mr James Brown, of Wakanui, proposed Mr Joseph Ivess as the best person to represent the Wakanui constituency. He had been resident here for the last five years, and had won the respect and confidence ot. the electors. Of course he had enemies, as all public men had, and had been severely attacked by his opponents’. Mr Ivess’ policy was a progressive one, and what Mr Ivess had promised he (Mr Brown) believed he would be able faithfully to perform. Mr Wason was not the best man they could elect to represent them. He was a partizan of the strongest class, and he (Mr Brown) would say let them hope the Hon.iJohn Hall will find a place for Mr Wason in the Legislative Council, as a fit representative of the old Tory principles in the House of Lords. For Mr Purnell he had a great respect. Hid views were nearly as sound a : s Mr Ivess’, but he lacked the latter’s moral courage and his power to convince his hearers. Then, again, Mr Purnell was a lawyer, and he (the speaker)had never met a man in his life who was hot of opinion that the less one had to do with lawyers the better. [Laughter.] ; After making some further eulogistic remarks on Mr Ivess, the speaker retired, and
Mr James Louden seconded the mr mination.
Mr 0. N. Mackie had much pleasure in proposing Mr Charles William Purnell, as a fit and proper person to occupy the Wakanui seat. Mr Purnell had been a resident of the district for some years, and they all knew him very well. Now they knew that promises were lavishly made during election time, but it would be an utter imposibility, as a matter of fact, for any candidate to carry one half of those promises out, and therefore they were not to attach too much importance to promises. [Hear, hear, and laughter.] Mr Purnell, although fully alive to the need of reform so far as the land laws were concerned, would wisely have nothing whatever to do with these wild and visionary schemes that had of late been promulgated in Connection with the bursting up of the large estates. Such a policy Mr Purnell viewed with disfavor, because he knew that it could only result in disaster and in setting class against class- [Hear, hear]. It had been,objected that Mr Purnell was not a farmer, but it was simply absurd to suppose that because he.waa.npt a farmer that,he therefore had no stake in the country. " Mr Parnell had coine 16,000 miles to malce his home in this country, and he therefore might be expected, to have some interest in its welfare. His views were thoroughly sound and were not likely to change with every wind that blew. The land question, which was a burning question just now, Mr Purnell had paid particular attention to, and he hoped that as he was standing for this contest entirely on his own merits he would be returned to Parliament.
The nomination was seconded by Mr J. Davis, of Waterloo. The Returning Officer now enquired whether there were any further nominations, and none being forthcoming, invited any of the nominees who wished to do so to address those present. Mr J. C. Wason stepped forward and brieily remarked that should they do him the honor to return him as their representative, he would do his utmost to serve and preserve their interests and the interests of the country. Mr Joseph Ivess now sprang on the table, and said that he had a defence to offer the public in connection with certain misrepresentations that had been made respecting him. In an evening paper published in Ashburton !i loading article had appeared, in which the town Of Inangahua, formerly represented by him in ■ the Nelson Provincial , Council, had been described as a “howling wilderness.’.’. The engraving, he was about to show them represented the main street >of that “howling wilderness.” [Picture apparently torn from a recently published guide-book handed round and duly admired. Let us here parenthetically, remark that the Inangahua referred to in our article was the Inangahua of nine or ten, years ago. Time -works wonders, especially in the colonies, where a very few years have been known before this to convert even a “ howling wilderness ” into a place of some importance. But this by the way.] In the article referred to he I had been also charged with quarrelsome and obstructive conduct as a member of the Provincial Council. How far that charge was true they would be able to say when he read them the letters he held in his hand. [Several letters from old members of the defunct Council handed j round as if they had been refreshments. The letters all described Mr Ivess as perfection ; itself and gold without alloy.] Resuming, Mr Ivess went op to say that (he paper he had before referred to (meaning, of course. The Guardian) h,ad lately published a letter stating that he (i\lr Ivess) had been instrumental in bringing Madame Lotti Wilmot to Ashbjucton. That letter was, anonymous, but he knew very well who the writer was. That letter was written by an employe o£
the proprietor of the paper, and one who worked in the office. He would read them a letter from Madame Wilmot. [Letter read, in which Madame Wilmot says, ‘‘ I and I alone am responsible for my appearance in any city.” But not one word as to Mr Ivess’ share in bringing the writer to lecture in Ashburton — the latter fact was passed over by Mr Ivess as of no importance.] Lotti’s letter having been handed round and her handwriting criticised, Mr Ivess brought his remarks to a conclusion, and Mr Purnell came to the front, and jocularly observed that he thought one of the first duties of the sucsuccessful candidate when in Parliament would be to bring in a Bill to limit the number of election speeches. [Laughter.] He had delivered a number of addresses throughout the district, and had also recently published an address, summarising his views upon all the great questions of the day, and he would feel obliged to them if they would read that address. The great cry of the present election appeared to be the “ bursting up ” cry. Now he would yield to no man in his desire to see reform, but this bursting up policy was a dangerous one to advocate, and could be attended with no good result and therefore he was opposed to it. Reform was not to be effected by means of any such measures. Mr Brown had objected to his candidature, principally, it appeared, because he had the misfortune to be a lawyer. [Laughter.] Mr Brown had appeared to think that journalists were pre-eminently qualified for the Legislature. Well, he (Mr Purnell) had been a journalist himself, but he did not think that it was vvell for too many journalists to sit in . the House, because their presence muzzled the press. A journalistic member was too likely to report his own side of a question to the exclusion of his . opponent’s. It seemed to him that a lawyer was a very fit and proper person to become a member of the Legislature. [Hear, hear.] He was not the nominee of one or two families, he might tell them—those two: or three families were opposing him—pulling the strings. He could only say, iri conclusion, that, if returned, he would work hard in their interests. [Applause.] The Returning Officer now demanded a show of hands, which resulted as follows; Ivess ... ... ... 47 Wason 13 Purnell 10 Mr Purnell proposed a vote of thanks to the Returning Officer, and the proceedings terminated.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 507, 2 December 1881
NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR THE WAKANUI SEAT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 507, 2 December 1881
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