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Mr J. C. Wason addressed the electors of Wakanui at the Town Hall last evening for the second time. There was a large attendance. Mr Donald Williamson occupied the chair, and in introducing the speaker to the meeting observed that he had refrained from taking any part in this contest up to the present time, and he intended to refrain from taking any part in it further than recording his vote on the polling-day. Mr Wason, who was received with applause, spoke for about an hour and a half and was attentively listened to for the moat part, although one or two gentlemen at the back, who had evidently been drinking too much lemonade, created some little disturbance now and again. It will be unnecessary for us to give Mr Wason’s speech here, as with to-morrow’s issue will appear a printed address of that gentleman’s, embodying the observations that fell from him last evening.

In reply to questions Mr Wason said, the present Government had done much for the country; They had passed the Representation Bill, which gave representation according to population, and which people had been agitating for the last ten years. They had given the country Triennial Parliaments; and, above all, they had given the Qualification of Electors Bill. They had enabled people to acquire and settle upon land. There was a million acres of land lying idle at the present time which people could have if they liked to take them They couldn’t have Naboth’s vineyard, but- they could have a very snug vineyard of their own, nevertheless, if they liked. It had been said that the Hall Government had no policy, but he considered that it had a great and good policy which had done much good in the past and might do much in the future. In reply to a gentleman who asked Mr Wason whether it was true that he had caused Mr Ivess to meet with the reception he had met with at Rakaia, Mr Wason said he certainly had not. But he had reason to believe that the rowdyism at that Rakaia meeting had been caused by the Chairman exhibiting a pair of knuckle-dusters, and saying that he was ready for any of the noisy ones. (Laughter and applause). In reply to a question re borrowing, Mr Wason said that he would not oppose any proposed loans, if he thought that the money would be bona fide expended for the good of the country. He had resigned his seat when formerly a member of the House for purely private reasons of an urgent nature. He did not consider the remarks against the Returning Officer were fair. That official, no doubt, had tried to perform his duty as seemed to him best. He (Mr Wason) had suggested certainly the advisability of more pollingplaces, and that there should be a pollingplace at Chertsey, as before ; but still, as he had already remarked, these were matters for the Returning Officer to decide. Ho thought Government might do worse than buy up the Ashburton Forks railway. If not paying directly, the line was paying indirectly, for the traffic of the branch lu-lpod that of the main line. He thought the Government ought to allow its railway employes to remain in one place, in order that they might have the opportunity of turning their belongings, their houses and gardens to best advantage, or else Government should provide them with suitable accommodation at its own cost. Mr G. W. Andrews moved a very hearty vote of thanks to Mr Wason, whom he thought they were bound to support to the utmost, for his views were very sound, and his interest bound up with their own. He had replied in a very satisfactory way to the queries put to him, and was deserving of support. Mr J. Carter had much pleasure in seconding the motion, and thought they ought to support Mr Wason. The motion was declared carried, and Mr Wason having thanked them for their votes of thanks, which he infinitely preferred to rubbishy votes of confidence, he moved the usual vote to the chair, and the meeting terminated.

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Bibliographic details

MR WASON AT THE TOWN HALL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 501, 6 December 1881

Word Count

MR WASON AT THE TOWN HALL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 501, 6 December 1881