TO OUR READERS.
The article which we publish below was written by Mr James Wilkie on the night of the last Ashburton A. and P. Show j and handed to one of our staff for publication in The Guardian. Our readers will be able to see from its contents that we had good reason to believe in the hona fides of the supposed facts contained in the article which we recently published headed “An Udesirable Candidate,” it being well known that Mr Wilkie took an active interest in Nelson politics about the time of which the article treats. The following is the article, as far as we can make out the caligraphy, the spaces where full stops occur being either unreadable or missing from the manuscript : “Mr Ivess’s meeting on Thursday evening was a most successful one from the point of view from which he will judge it, but in our opinion there are good grounds for criticism on several of his arguments. ‘'Mr Ivess opened his address with a reference to his previous experiences as a legislator, the said knowledge of framing laws having been gained by the candidate from an experience gained by sitting in such a political school as the Nelson Provincial Council, in which august body he was the representative of what, at that time, was a howling wilderness, known as the ' Inangahua.’ “During Mr Ivess’s career as a lawmaker in the Nelson Provincial Council he displayed talents for fault-finding and criticism to such an extent that the whole of the Council rose up as a body against him and deliberately ‘ shut him up,’ Mr D. M. Luckie, who now holds the position of Commissioner of Annuities, being the chief speaker on the occasion. Mr Ivess was frequently put down in that assembly, and graduated to his proper level by not being listened to at the latter end of the session. The only legislative duties this would-be popular candidate has as yet perfonndd have been so much is known to newspaper readers as ‘ rag-planting,’ that any action he takes in public matters, can only' be looked on with suspicion; that Mr Ivess wishes to further the interests of the so-called “ rag,” by obtaining a seat on the strength of his popularity as an out and out Democrat of the Berry type, and heading the poll on a popular but false platform. “To show how ignorant Mr Ivess is in respect to reform in the Assembly, we need only refer to his remarks on the land laws. lie certainly could not have taken much trouble to look up facts concerned with the constituency he aspires to represent, or he would not have referred to a pamphlet published some months ago to prove by figui’ea that largo estates was held in South Canterbury when he had larger holdings to refer to in the Wakanui district, and had he any knowledge of the district he aspires to represent, ho could have quoted more significant figures to uphold his borrowed arguments. “ Mr Ivess’ ideas on taxation are of so extraordinary a nature that we hardly know how to criticise then. He appears to feel that any man possessing more than 500 acres of land is an offender to be punished in the most rigorous manner, the law will allow, and he proposes to . . . . increase the tax on landowners, so that when ha by industry or success in business is able to acquire 50,000 acres he will have to pay at the rate of ninepence per acre, whilst the 500 acre proprietor gets off with a halfpenny rate. Mr Ivess did not seem to consider that there are various qualities of land ; some in the Wakanui being worth perhaps L4O per acre, and the land on other runs not worth twenty shillings; but no matter what the value of the land might be, Mr Ivess proposes to put ninepence per acre on it. Ho certainly cannot have gained much experience in his varied travels as to the incidence of taxation,- so far as the district he wishes to represent is concerned. ”
Should any of our readers feel curious on the matter wo shall be happy to allow them to peruse the original manuscript, on applying at this office. We shall return to the subject in a future issue.
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TO OUR READERS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 504, 9 December 1881
TO OUR READERS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 504, 9 December 1881
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