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To the Editor. Sir, —In the leading article of your issue bearing date April 29. you have seen fit to offer me a deliberate insult, couched in the following words :—“ Perhaps, after all, the worst feature id the case is the.: deliberate, long premeditated, course of misrepresentation which had been adopted. The .plot was first laid at the Kyle meeting on the 4th of this month. There a Mr Arnold was put' up to ask Mr Saunders a numberoftjuestionsin a very peculiar manner, and amongst the rest

came this one : ‘ Can you give the name of the member of the House who had spoken so unfeelingly of the immigrants introduced by Sir Julius Yogel as to call down groans and hisses from the strangers’ gallery?’ ” As the above is n-iw public property, I have no doubt but that you will feel bound in honor to give my flat contradiction to the above statement the same publicity. It is. as far as my being “put up” to ask peculiar questions, or questions of any sort, or by any person is concerned simply untrue, and entirely devoid of any foundation in fact. Had I been desired by anyone to put any question to Mr Saunders, 1 should at once have declined. As to the question you say I asked Mr Saunders, you are again in error. I did not put to that gentleman the question you attribute to me, and the question I did put can hardly be made to bear that interpretation, strain it as much as you may. Ho word about “ groans ” or “hisses” passed my lips. The words I made use of were these : “ Will Mr Saunders kindly name the member of the House who was “ publicly Hooted’’from the visitors’gallery, for characterising those who were out of employment as loafers and another term I would rather not repeat.” In reply, Mr Saunders said he knew of no such member, and then attacked those newspapers who had charged him with it. I could not believe that Mr Saunders would have stooped to insult the working classes, and I was very glad, indeed, to hear his denial, so much so, that I seconded the “ vote of thanks ” accorded him upon that occasion. 1 had and have no personal feeling concerning Mr Saunders, who is a stranger to me ; and Mr Ivess I have not spoken to three times in my life. I merely gave Mr Saunders an opportunity of denying s! .tements that were being made to the prejudice of his candidature. You arc of course at perfect liberty to'accuse an opposing candidate as much as you wish ; but I protest that you have no right to accuse any elector of “ plotting,” simply ; because he responds to the invitation of a candidate to put questions to him, even if those questions are not welcome ones. I know of one person who cannot be *• put up ” to do anyone’s dirty work, and that is Theodore Arnold. South Rakaia.

[We certainly never thought that our correspondent was a principal in the “ plot. ” We only imagined ho had 1 een made a cat’s-paw of, and we are happy to publish his denial of even that. But our correspondent does not shake our article one bit, except in so far as our allusion to him is concerned. As regards the wilful misrepresentation, and the building up of an article on promises known to be false, which our leader dealt with, we have only our correspondent’s assertion against that of the written statement of the chairman of the meeting at which the question w’as asked. That gentlemen states that the report in The Ashbceton Guakdian is a correct record of what took place, and wo have not the slightest reason to doubt that, our correspondent notwithstanding to the contrary. We accept, of course, our correspondent’s statement that he was not “put up” to ask the question, and are sorry if we have done him an injustice. But our correspondent states that be is a stranger to Mr Saunders, and has not spoken to Mr Ivesa three times in his life, which we suppose means that he has spoken to him twice, that being so we hope our correspondent, as he says, asked the question in no unfriendly spirit.— j’n. G.]

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Bibliographic details

A DENIAL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 629, 6 May 1882

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A DENIAL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 629, 6 May 1882