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Mr Wason and Mr Purnell &di%a»d&r largely attended meeting of electors at the Wakanui schoolroom last evening. Mr Geo. W. Leadley was voted to the chair.; Mr Wason briefly recapitulated the views already so often expressed in his addresses to the electors at the other centres of the Wakanui district. He referred to the article in the Mail which spoke of him (Mr Wason) as the nominee of the squatters. He would deny this statement altogether, and those present were aware of its object. [Cheers.] He had voted with no body of squatters during the time he represented the Coleridge district. [Applause.] He-read a portion of the Hon. W. Rolleston’s Speech, regarding the land law reform. He thought that no man should occupy a very large tract of land, [Cheers.] Mr Turnbull and Mr Stout were Communists,; and Messrs Gladstone and Bright were, as far different in their views as light was from darkness. He was not, and never said he was, a blind supporter of the Upper House or the Ministry. He thought they I should let well alone, and if any change 1 were made the entire abolition of: the Upper House would alone satisfy him. ■ [Mr Phillip McGuire here entered the room amidst applause.] He thought that a reform in law practise was required, and it matters were left to arbitration it would save great expense. [Cheers.] The fact was, that owing to Communistic policies no French colony was a success, a id■ the inhabitants were in a wretched state.- ] He alluded to the fact that Mr Taylor, of Buccleuch, who had been pointed out to him as a noble example, had been unable to sell his land, even on the most favorable terms which had been offered. Tjiere were now millions of acres of land open for purchase, and no one could say that there was no land left for selection: He: disapproved of the Income Tax, as the public must pay for it in the long run. F-yery farmer spent the value of his income in improvements, and these would eventually be taxed by the Income Tax Assessor. He thought that the duty on sugar; for breweries should be heavily increased, as good malt and hops were hardly used, and the consequence was that vile stuff knpwn as beer was sold to the public. He yyas opposed to the Hoads Construction Bill. No better representation could be obtained in the Government if the colony for Canterbury than Messrs Hall and Bolleston. [Hear, hear, and cheers.] He thought the present Ministry had a policy which was in every way one calculated to improve the condition of the colony and its people. [Cheers.] ilf elected, he would do his best to represent the district of Wakanui, and the farmers would always receive the most earnest consideration for their welfare it was possible for one member to introduce and suppprt. 1 [Hear, hear, and loud applause.] Mr Purnell said that in again addressing them he should follow the exatriple of the other candidates, and in order that he should not seem' disrespectful he had 1 determined to : address the electors again. During the campaign he had been very careful not to set class against class. Candidates for election should strictly

confine themselves to political .questions.

The electors should be careful not to ‘return a member who would advocate a “bursting-up” policy. [Cheers] He would give in to no one in the opinions' he held on the land law reforms which were required, and which he first of all promul- . gated. Mr Purnell alluded to the land owners in Otago, and the manner in which they formerly monopolised the settlement of land. Unless they were very careful, they were told lately, the whole of the runs in Otago would:be taken up again. This was an error. The present Land Act would be found to work satisfactorily, and he should oppose very strenuously any measure opposed to it [Cheers.] He next alluded to the sums of money which the various systems of revenue had brought in during the past year. The licenses of nearly 3,000,Q00 acres would soon fall in, and there was not the slightest fear of the large blocks being tied up. They could not yet see the effect of the Land Act, and in the course of ten years they would find a great change for the better. He could not see’ that the fact of a man holding a large tract of land was to be considered as criminal. They had no right to confiscate a rich man’s land any more than that of a poor man. [Hear, hear.] He was prepared to support any measure that would conduce to increase the number Of freeholders, but this could never be effected by Socialistic measures. There was no question more difficult than the : land tenure system. Speaking on the local government measure, which he thought affected every colonist, he considered the Government simply treated the matter as one of finance only. The Government could not now find the way to retain the land fund for local and he thought they never would do so. Ever since the time the Provincial Government system had been abolished the General Government had by degrees swallowed up the revenues of local bodies. If taxation was put on the local bodies the eye of public criticism would be taken away from the General Government at Wellington. The only way was to decentralise - the functions of the Govern-

. ment. He would favor a system of one ! governing board for each island. By doing this they would save a vast amount i ot taxation which now threatened them. He was the first of the candidates who drew public attention to the importance of the subject of railway management. So long as the North ' and South Island railways were linked together they would never be worked satisfactorily as regard a fair tariff for freights. Speaking of local industries, he thought that in the country places they should taken a greater interest therein, and ho thought that by opening up any kind of local industries, the farmers would be able to tide over any bad times. He approved of the extra duty on ham and bacon, and also on jams, jellies, and preserved fruits. The last industry had grown to a very large extent in Australia, and there was no reason why it should not be as successful in New Zealand. Free trade and protectionist duties should not prevent us from exercising our rights as colonists, and, let them say what they liked, it was the only way to encourage local industries. He was opposed to the appointment of members of the Upper House for life. He could not see that an elective Chamber would work well. All sorts of schemes had been propounded ; but, as a matter of fact, none were in his bpinibh suitable, and he himself thought that all classes of men should be appointed. (Cheers.) An argument had been adduced in favor of Mr Wason’s election that he was likely to work well with Mr E. G. Wright, the member for Ashburton. He thought that those who put this view forward had a bad memory, as Mr Wright said distinctly at his meeting in Ashburton that ho was to the present Ministry on several most important questions. He (Mr Purnell) thought that Messrs Wasou and Wright would not work in harness well together. (Cheers.) Whoever was elected should not be too tightly tied with regard to the Ministry, as, in all probability, there would be after the election a great change effected in the constitution of the Assembly. He concluded by stating that ho was politically at a great disadvantage as regarded any support from the local papers— The Ghakdian and the Mail—both of winch were opposed to him. If they thought ho was the proper man, and t-king into consideration the many promises that were made to him, he thought that there could be no doubt the electors would place him at the head of the poll. (Loud cheers.) t ,

In answer to Mr Brown, Mr Wason said he was not a shareholder in the Ashburton and Rakaia Forks Railway Company. He would favor the work of the Assembly being done early in the morning instead of the evening. Did not believe that soy candidate should refuse to be pledged to a certain course, if his constituents wished it. In regard to education, the present Act was as near perfection as possible. Mr McLauchlan said that he considered it unfair to ask any candidate to pledge himself to the present system of education, and read two short quotations from gentlemen who, Mr McLauchlan said, would be looked up to by the Government of any country, and their 11 views might, if carried out, be found to be far more satisfactory thanthe present system. Mr Wason said he cordially agreed with the views held by the gentlemen quoted by Mr McLauchlan, and would' support those views if brought before the Government.

An argument here ensiled between the Chairman, Mr McLauchlan, stpd Mr Brown oh a certain matter oh the education question which occurred thepfevioUk evening, Mr Wason, in replying to further- questions, said he was in favor, of 'reducing the cost of Bellamy’s. Mr Brown said that he differed with Mr Wason’s political views, especially on the question of reforming' the Upper House and' his approval of the-JSLall administration. There was one thing quite certain that if Mr Wason was returned the farmers would have! no Sparrow l : Bill. He disagreed on; the railway tariff, and thought the Government had lost the confidence of the country for having such an excessive railway tariff established. He considered it was quite as easy for the rich man to leave the country as the poor man, and a great deal easier.' [Gheorri.'] He refered to the New Plymouth Harbor Board works, and the present. Government still carrying on this useless expenditure. He,would move ing resolution— “ That—this meeting thanks Messrs Wason and Purnell for their-addresses, and is of. that the Candidate who' in satisfCd with 'the constitution of-our Legislative GqpnciJj and with the Hall administration, andj with the contin uanceof the.plurality of voting, and who has , never opened his mouth against the New Plymouth “fraud on the colony,” is not a fit person, to represent, in the Parliament of . Kew Zealand, the liberal, and enlightened!., electors of Wakanui.”

Mr Megson said that there were not three men in New Zealand'like' Messrs Hall, Rolleston, and Bryce. Hjoud cheers.]- Did not-Sir ! Georgc Greynsend Home for 16,000 paupers to come- out and live on,a lot of poo thard-working farmers? [Loud applause.] He considered that there were only two more meirwho could make thatGovernraent perfect, and these were Messrs E. G. Wright and Saunders. [Loud and continued cheering.] Mr Wason said that the resolutidh' was a double-barrelled one. He could not see that Mr Brown's resolution as touching the reform in the Upper House,- and the New Plymouth Harbor Board job, could be brought ip any Way against the present Government. [Hear,*hear.] If he was in the House next session he would favor a commission being appointed tb in* quire into the Harbor Board as well as any other Board in the. colony. If the question had been asked him he would have answered it —as to having never opened his mouth on the property qualification for dual voting, he considered it was unfair of, Mr Brownto say so. Mr Brown said that after the explanation given by Mr Wason,. he would withdraw a portion of the resolution, and make it read as a vote of thanks to-both candidates. Mr Kilgour seconded ' the resolution, which was carried . unanimously. , Mr Wason said he would like to draw the attention of the meeting to a most extraordinary document which.- had eminated from one of his opponents, viz., Mr Ivess. The document was in the form of a ballot-paper, and curiously enough gave particular instructions how to vote by ballot, and to strikeout all the names except Mr Ivess’. [Mr M‘Guire, I will it outthen.] [Laughter.] Of all the jeloctioneering tricks, this was perhaps the most extraordinary that he had yet seen. .He hoped the gentlemen present would not act as instructed by Mr Ivess,: or take: any notice of the unique dodge, (Loud applause.] . A. vote of thanks to the chair, proposed by Mr Wason, seconded by Mr Purnell, was carried unanimously, and a most > orderly meeting adjourned.: ■ .i ;t

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Bibliographic details

MESSRS WASON AND PURNELL AT WAKANUI., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 503, 8 December 1881

Word Count

MESSRS WASON AND PURNELL AT WAKANUI. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 503, 8 December 1881

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