The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas Et Prevalebit MONDAY, JUNE 12, 1882. Religion and Science.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.40 p. m. j
At the nomination of candidates for the Wakanui seat, on Saturday last, one of them, Mr Ivess, must have felt particularly uncomfortable. He met face to face his opponent Mr Saunders, and not one word did he utter in support of the unwarrantable accusations made in the columns of his paper against Mr Saunders, and which the latter so ably refuted. This was the only occasion during the campaign that the two candidates could meet together and support or disprove the accusations brought forward for party purposes by the tactics of unscrupulous supporters. Being in the presence of a man who had no fear whilst in open combat, Mr Ivess very discreetly kept silence, and depended upon the majority of the meeting, who were evidently carted there for the purpose, to do the dirty work of abuse, interruption, or, in fact, just what could be expected from such a choice selection of his supporters, many of whom had no votes. Mr Ivess, in fact, was particularly lamblike, and never even attempted to say anything disparaging about his opponent more than he could possibly help. In fact it was a pleasant surprise as far as it went, but it was only natural after all. Mr Saunders, on the other hand, spoke out manfully, and defended himself and proved beyond a doubt that he had been grossly misrepresented by our contemporary, and that no one was responsible for this but his opponent, the proprietor, Mr Ivess. The latter of course indignantly denied ever having written one word against Mr Saunders in his own paper, but he never denied the fact that he paid others to do so for him. Everything may be fair in war or politics, but it is manifestly unfair to endeavor to scatter broadcast through the medium of a public print base and slanderous statements for purely party purposes. Mr Saunders unmistakeably proved that no later than on Saturday last his speech, as reported in Mr Ivess’ paper, was untruthfully printed. It was distorted in such a way as to convey the very opposite meaning to that which the speaker intended in many points. Particularly in reference to the question of block votes, where our contempory states that “ He (Mr Saunders) then proceeded to refer to a certain denominational vote, indulging in a most un-called-for and and out-of-place invective on the tenets of such denomination, which was received with marks of disapproval on all sides at the hands of the audience.” Now, as a matter of fact, Mr Saunders did not say one word against any denomination. He treated the question of religious block- voting generally in its political aspect, and gave it as his opinion that a block vote belonging virtually to a foreign potentate, as he took the Catholic vote to be, was a dangerous interference with our political liberty in a British colony. He spoke with equal disfavor of all denominational block voting, but neve* singled out the Catholic tenets for his “ invectivencss.” As far as interruption on the part of the audience is concerned, that gees for nothing, when it is considered that those few who made it were not in a state such as to expect from them anything more becoming. This, as well as very many other misstatements, Mr Saunders clearlyproved were inserted in Mr Ivess’s paper, but in the face of this, one of Mr Ivess’s employees actually has the effrontery to stand up and dispute facts with Mr Saunders, claiming that as he was the writer of the report in question, it must be true. “Science,” says this young man, “ never tells lies, and my short-hand reports are the effects of science.” The science in this case evidently consisted of “ party science” in more senses than one, and Mr Saunders’ treatment of this kind of science was particularly agreeable to the audience, if not so agreeable to the employee and employer. Those who were present on Saturday and who attended Mr Saunders’ meeting on Wednesday last at the Town Hall, will recognise, with us, the justice of defending Mr Saunders when wilfully represented in a false light, and made to utter statements unworthy of the honorable statesman that he undoubtedly is.