RaJnrdhy was tl line day, end, a» a runt tor of conrao, tho town waR pretty full from an early liot.r with electors from all parts of the i'onitisiila. Mr Uobitison, iha RβInrning OlHcor, hnd made good arrengemonte, a email platform being rigjretl on the Court House steps ; and punctually at noon that gentleman nppenred, and read the writ, after which he reminded candidates thftt «8 so many were in the field he hoped they would limit their speeches. H« would thereforo not detain them, but ank if any elector had a candidate to propose. Mr John Gebbio said ha had great pleaBoro in proposing a very old resident whom he had known rainy years, he allude-) to Mr Goo. Armstrong. (Applause.) That gentleman had been in tho Colony fi great time, he himself recollected him aa long fte he could remember, and he had been botn in the co'ony, and was 47 last Sunday. Mr Armstrong, es they all knoiv, bad been a member of the Provincial Council «nrl of the General Assembly, where h* liiid dorio bis doty wall, enHI bad blho takftn part in moet mnttare afflicting , the welfare of tho diatrind, Ho would re-
mind tliem that Mf Armstrong had A large stake in the Colony, and wns therefore mire to look ftftor their internets. Hβ would not detain them longer, but would propose Mr Armstrong aa a fit and proper person to represent them. Mr James Hay briefly seconded Mr Armstrong's nomination. Mr Duxbury eaid that he had jnet received Q letter from a gentleman at WaJnoi asking him to propose Mr Aneon. Mr Coll. Mac Donald, the gentleman he spoke of, wae Buffering from an affection of thi ohest, and hed oajght oold and could not possibly attend, and as he did not wish to see any oondidate stuck for want of a proposer he had aooepted the position, but ho hadjnot pledged hia vote to any candidate. Mr Aneon was a gentleman that they would all remember opposed Mr Montgomery at the lest election. That late member of theirs, Mr Montgomery, whom many regretted, had epoken truly in saying that great savings might be offeoted in tho cost of government, and now all the ory was for retrenchment, and even Sir Robert Stout admitted a saving of £70,000 to £100,000 might be effected if he were kept In office. Mr Anaou was <m advocate for retrenchment. It was a curious thing that two of Mr Anson'e supporters at the last election were being themselves nominated that day, Mr Armstrong had characterised Mr Anson ac a really good colt (A voioe : A three-year oM), and the same gentleman had said Mr Montgomery was ring • boned and spavined (noise). Well, if Mr Anaon wae a good oolt then, he wae a good oolt now. (Applause, noise, and a voice : Cut it short). Ho wonld finish what he bad to say, and wouU repeat Mr Anson was juet ac good now as he was then, but when the oat was away the mice would play, and now Mr Montgomery had retired Mr Armstrong was going to stand himself- The proposition wae a mere matter of form, but he believed there were . many who would support Mr Anson, who was well respected. Hβ would not eiy Aneon, Enq., because they were all esqnirea. (Applause). He therefore begged to propose that good colt, Mr Aneon (Appl&uee) Mr Ghappell said he had much pleasure in seconding Mr Anson. He would not make ft ppeech for fear of apoihng what Mr Duxbury had co well started.—(Hear, hear, and applauee.) Mr Bcholee bad maoh pleasure in pro- ! poking Mr Wui. Barnett as a fit and proper i person to represent them That gentleman I bad been through great tribulation ; he had never spare! painH for what ho considered the public good, and ho could I safely say he was one of the hardest working men un the Peninenla, and therefore one for whom they could honorably record their votes. He had been-on the Pemneiila a quarter of a century, and showed on all occasions tlie greatest interest in the county generally and in the town of Akaroa. Why. he loved Akaroa co that he bad built a (synagogue there, which he was sure they would all agree was one of the nicest ornaments to the town.—(Laughter ) Mr Barnett bad shown on this occasion a brave and honeet determination to do his duty. They all know the terrible onlamity that had bofnllen him. Spiteful people had said be ehould have retired owing to this, to show be had taken it to heart. Now, he did not wish to cast reflections ; all he would Bay was that Mr Barnett could not have paid her who was gone a liighor cocnpliinont than by hie determination to fight the battle to the end, and he holiovod that end would be his return at the head of the poll.—(Laughter and applause.) Not only here, but throughout tho electoral district, Mr Barnett was held in high esteem. Mi Barnett's sentiments, like those of the other candidates were wellknown. He thought they might congratulate themselves on snoh good candidates offering themselves. Why they might almost cay, " How happy could I bo with either, were the other dear charmer away." The fact was they wero spoilt with choice, but it was a good thing they had six people on the Peninsula who felt equal to the task. (Applause.) Speaking of tho high I esteem in which Mr Barnett wae held—(A ! Voice: ,; That's plenty I")—he was the best indge of that. If elected, he wae sure Mr Barnett would edrry out the promises he . hod made while stumping the electorate. One word more In no oross spirit, and that wfts, let them be sure of the man they voted for. For it waa no matter for chaff,— (Noiao)— nnn , if they made a mistako they ehonld have to pay for it Unfair allusions had been made ac to Mr Barnett going to the poll after the loss of hie wife, and he could name one who had made great capital by this meanneee. (Name ! name 1) No. it waß not the right time ; but things bad been said that were absolutely untrue. Tom Hood satd. (A Voice: " Why, he's dead.") Well, there was one fool aiive at any rate. (Laughter.) Tom Hood bad eaid, in epeaking of " tho devils who creep and the devils who crawl," tbat calumny was the worst of them all, — (applause) —being the shabbiest and the hardeet to reech. (Applause.) He called on them to serve their own interest by voting for Burnett. (Applause.) Mr Whitfleld eeoohded, and in doing so eaid he had known Mr Barnett for years as a man of good business capacity. He had always behaved as an honourable gentleman. (Applause, and a voice : v Rot 1") Mr Waeckerle then mourted the platform amid loud pplauee, ftnd said he had to propoee an able painstaking candidate of the name of G. R. Joblin, Esq., who would fllwßyß pay groat attention to their bupiness if eleoted (Applause). Hβ had few words to cay. Mr Joblin was ft wellknown man on the Peninsula, and bad , served them well on the County Council j and on the Like Trust, and on Road Boards also. Of course his head quarters wore Little River, where he lived, but lie had always done hia best for Akaroft also. It had been said that he had got the railway ac far ac Little River, and then bothered no more, but this was all noneense, for he had always advocated the extension of the line. As to its coming to Littlo River it was obliged to do that to get to Akaroa at all. (Hear, bear). Hβ was enre Mr Joblin had done his best for the electorate, and was glad to propose him. (Applause). Mr D. LeComte, jun., seconded.
Mr Geo Mason, jun., had much pleasure in proposing a gentlerrun well-known to all of them—Mr A. I McGregor (applauso). He had done a lot of good work in the district, had boon three times Mayor of Akaroa, beating those who contested the seat, and had done his duty well in tbot and other public capacitips. He would make no long epeech, but propose Mr Mr McGregor ac a fit and proper person to represent tbom. (Hear, nnd applause). Mr Duxbury said ho had pleasure *in peconding '' Ofd Mac," whom they all knew well was a very clever fellow, s m<«n
that in the political arena would be a gladiator, " Mac " was cure of large support, and it was fair and right of anyone to come forward who thought he should be elected, euppose he had not done anything criminal. Mr McGregor had been Mayor three years. [A voice : "Yea. and then left; was not kicked oat.' , ] No one conld cay that Mr McGregor had not been just, liberal and npright in any billet he had filled. (Applnnee.) As far Aβ hie opinion went, Mr McGregor ac a politician was a head and shoulders taller than any of his opponents. If returned he was sure to give a good account of himself. (Applause.) They might depend that the promises regarding retrenchment that he had made he would carry out if possible. This was a simple matter as all were bent on retrenchment now, but there were social end other matters that wanted the earnest attention of the Houee, and it was in these McGregor would be valuable. It was all very well to say, put in this old farmer beoause he has a little leisure time now, but it was not the thing, for how could such a candidate have any knowledge of matters political. No, they should pick the man with the most aptitude and knowledge. If they wanted legal advice, would they go to an old farmer, ftnd, in jnet the same way, why should they go to him for politics, which he understood no better? No, they ehonld go to a man like Mao, who was born a politician and oonldn'fc help it. Prom Disraeli down there were men with these powers, and they couldn't help it. Hβ asked them to think over this. Hβ believed Mr McGregor wonld be elected, as he had a large following, his opinions were acceptable, ftnd if cent he was the most able man to carry out his promises. Many had not agreed with what he had said regarding the £500 exemption. [Mr MoGregor : " Oh, I've taken all that back now." [A voice : "Turncoat."] [Mr Duxbory, who mistook this expression as addressed to himeelf, said be was no turnooat. He would not promise hie vote— the ballot proved everything. There was another matter. It had been said Mr McGregor had no stake in the country; this wae a great mistake. He was an old settler many years amongst them, and Interested in all matters affecting them, and had he not a wife and family, and what greater stake was there than that ? (Applause.) Why, the young New Zeftl&nder at 21 had a greater stake in the country than those who had come from elsewhere ; and had the parents of these children, to whom they should have to look for the future of New Zealand, no stake in the colony ? (Applause.) Hβ begged to second Mr McGregor ac a fit and proper person to represent them. (Applanee.) Mr Piper, who wee cheered on rising, and who exchanged ft smart repartee or two before commencing, eaid that he was glad one of the gentlemen who had spoken had made reference to a, boreey remark that bad fallen from an elector at their last election to the effect that their late member was weak-kneed and spavined. Now that had been a grand man, one of the best men in New Zealand, and to save further trouble he would give a written guarantee for him. Now, this man was sound, and bo was a colt that had been proposed, and not only were they eoand horses, but were not "Lunatics" (laughter). Men were not wanted who rushed like a bull at a gate. They did not want antediluvians to represent them, 20 or 30 or 50 years behind. What did they oare for Tβ Kooti ? They wanted a man to represent them who if he put on ft shilling tax had to pay a pound himself. They wanted A man who had a heavy stake, and was interested in reducing this burden that weighed on them so. (Interruption, and a voice : Who are yon proposing ?) He had a right to speak, be knew his work. He had always been true and fair to them and supported tho best men as they knew. Why was it a candidate now came forward in opposition to Mi Anson who had supported him ftt the last election ? Where was the difference in that colt since last election ? He had nothing to say against Mr Anson, who was ft true man and a gentleman, but he conld not understand his champions now opposing him. Was it bread and butter that was wanted I Well, they could not afford to eend men for bread »nd butter. That time wae past. (Noise). He hoped when those candidates spoke they wonld explain why they had split, because it seemed to him unfair and ungenerouß to Mr Anson, who had done nothing to lose their confidonce, but on the contrary improved himself by greater experience in public matters. He now came to the gist of his speech, which was to propose Mr J. E. Thacker, a man ef ability and of the times, with a large stake in the country—a thoroughly independent man—ac a fit and proper person to represent them f Applause and hoots). Mr Saxton eeoonded. In response to an enquiry from the Returning Officer, no more candidates were nominated, and tho Returning Officer called on those proposed to addreae the meeting. Mr Armstrong, who wae well received, said he was placed in a rather awkward position, as the Returning Officer had decided they ehonld epeak in the order in which they were proposed, and he, being proposed first, had to epeak firet ; a great disadvantage, because the last speakers had always an opportunity of answering what had been said. Hβ had from the first suggested that the candidates should draw lota to decide the order of speaking, and thought that plan should have been adhered to, His proposer (Mr Gebbie) had had to go away by tho steamer, so it had been necessary for his sake he (Mr Armstrong) should be first proposed. With reference to what certain speakers had said regarding the position he had taken when Mr Anson bad stood in opposition te Mr Montgomery, he idesired to explain that Mr Aneon and Mr Wilkins had waited on him just before the nomination, and asked him to propose Mr Anson. Hβ had said then it was unfair to him to ask' him to propose a candidate without any preparation ; but no action was taken to secure another proposer, and so, rather than see Mr Aneon in a fix, he had proposed him without any proper preparation. At that time, it was a well-known fact that many electors thought a change would be desirable. A great deal had been made of his eaying that old politicians were ring-boned and spavined. Now, Mr Montgomery's action in the House had justified his remark, and if he was was not speaking truly Mr Montgomery's friends were there to contradict it. [Mr McGregor : " Yes, I'm here."] Well, was it not true that be never was satisfiod with any Government ? Hβ could not run straight. '( Row >) . He put one Government in to day, and in a few day's afterwards he pat them out again. [A voice : '' Not true.") Why he vva« always in opposition. Look at his Ministerial oarear ; he had hold a seat on
the Government exactly twenty-fourhours, had been 'appointed on a Saturday and resigned on A Monday. These were stubborn facts none could deny. They were not playing with a child, but A man who knew what he was saying. [Mr Piper: '• Allow me."] No, he was in possession and he maintained his action was perfectly justified. He had proposed Mr Anson because opposed to Mr Montgomery, a&d had had no time to prepare his speech as proposer, so he bad spoken bluntly, but he thought to the purpose. Now be must tell them that he bad agreed with Mr Montgomery on many points, especially as to his views on eoonomy. He himself bad been asked if he would stand on this occasion if a large requisition were presented to him. This was before be bad been asked to propose Mr Anson. He bad said that he wanted no requisition to stand as the ballot system superseded such pro» ceedings. When this time be had deter mined to stand, he had done so without consultation. He had been fourth in the field, Meesrs McGregor, Anson, and Barnett being before him. He came forward, on this occasion because he considered it a moat important contest, And haying had some experience in matters political, he thought it bis duty to place tbat experience in tbe bands of tbe electors. If that experience was worth anything he Asked them to eupport him. If not, let them do as they liked. He believed in independence, and let the balloUbox tell the tale. (Applause.) Another oandidate for their eupport had ingeniously assailed him as an infidel. This was of oourse untrue; but no man had a right to dictate bie religious tenets to another. It was worthy of all saorn to go round with whispering tongue poisoning troth. He would say this to the electors of Banks Peninsula, that whoever bad represented them bad held the AkaroA vote fairly, honorAbly and judiciously, And whoever they elected should graep that vote and hold it firmly and conscientiously in a mAnner worthy of the district. (Applause ) He bed bad experience, And they knew how he bad acted in the past. They knew bow be had grasped hie own private affaire, and they might judge from tbAt how he would manage their public ones: (ApplAuse.) It was no use sending representatives who did not command the respeot of the Hodse and the people. (Applause.) Aβi to the taxAtion question every speaker bad mentioned it, and he would ebow them what the taxation had done for Akaroa. When he first saw Akaroa Harbor, some forty odd years ago, there were 16 or 17 whaling ships lying there. What did they see there now on this sheet of water 7—one of the finest in the British Dominions;— Sydney, Halifax, and Bio were considered the three finest harbors. He had seen the two first, and considered Akaroa the best. (Applause.) Well, these whaling ships that used to be here had been driven otit by taxation. They had been called on to pay light dues, when there was no light at Akaroa, because there was one at Lyttelton. This unjust charge had been spoken of l>y the masters of the ships At Home, And orders were given not to visit Akaroa ; so the harbor bad been dosed with thie golden key. They knew that whalers need to oome there to give the men liberty, and much money used to be spent, whioh was lost through this taxation. (ApplAuse.) Why the Nelson bad come here was because tbis was the only harbour on the Island where A vessel of her olass was allowed to enter. Now, what had the borrowed money done for them ? large portions of it had been epent m making inferior harbours practicable. Hβ ventured to say that half the mofiey used in making artificial harbours of Lyttelton and Timaru would have sufficed to pierce tbe hills that separated them from the Plains ; Lyttelton, thanks to this expenditure, was a nice little port, but a mere duck pond. They would thue see what taxation and borrowing had done for AkaroA ; the taxes that had driven the ships Away had been used in making artificial ports elsewhere. (Applause.) There was Another matter, and that was the fortifying of their ports. Now, a cry had been raised that this was unnecessary. People eaid what did they want with Armstrong gune; they could do without them. Why such people were worse than the Czar; be had said they were a nuisance when they battered down the Redan and the Malakoff. These guns were indeed terrors to evil doers. (Applause.) What had these guns done after the Indian Mutiny at Cawnpore And Delhi; they had proved worthy of their name there. (Applauee.) The time might come when they would be glad to have an Armstrong gun to open its mouth in their defence. Hβ would not detain them any longer. They bad known him 40 years as a straight man, and he would give them the benefit of his time and expenenoe if he were returned. (Applause.;
Mr Aneon said he had been spoken of «a a colt. Very often there weie advantages and disadvantages in this. On the one hand there woe no experience, but perhaps a colt could gather from the experiencee of others better than those past coltebip. Oolte had one advantage, they talked less of the past and more of the future (Hear, hear). Mr Armetrong spoke much of the past, but he looked ahead. He would not keep them long, for though he took the greatest intereet in politice, he did Dot want to help in the sort of political spree they were now having. They knew he was an advocate of strict retrenchment, and the measures he had advocated and they had seen in print, he would, if returned, faithfully endeavor to carry out. He hoped the retrenchment proposed would suffice, but if not he would rather see a little more taxation for the present than any further borrowing. All eorts of small retrenchments bad been proposed, but a new system of local government would have a most beneficial effect. There had been lotfl of grumbling and growling at the expense incurred by the Council, and people had been good enough to twit him in the local paper for eftying that what they wanted was a better eystem of local government. But it required a member of the County Council wbo attended to his duties Ind etndied the ,4 Countiee , Act" to see the faults of the system and have them corrected. No one could suggest reform so well ac those who had been trained to administer those acts. Ratepayers growled at the expense incurred, but it was not the fault of the County Council, but of the General Government Legislation, which forced them to administer the acts in a certain way. When the Council had more power they could work the system much more cheaply, He had placed his viewe before them in a circular, and he now wiehed to remind them that it wae a bona fide orteee. On the next Parliament depended whether New Zealand should rise or sink lower in the scale. They umat Hot consider it was only one of
ninety-one they were voting for, and bo it didn't matter much, for that one might turn oat a Ministry. If they agreed with his views he hoped they would support him, for he would faithfully carry them out, bat if they thought there was another candidate better able to represent their opinions, he won Id ask them to support that candidate. (Loud applause.) Mr Bftrnett, who wae ftleo well received, said that when hie late domestic affliction . bed occurrod be should have liked to retire, bat a number of friends had requested him 1 to go on, and as the time had passed to find another candidate to represent hie opinions he had considered it his duty to • do bo. His friends had pointed out to him that when the gloom had passed away he might perhaps be eorry be had not gone on with the contest. He bad almost hoped to avoid addressing them on this occasion, feeling hie lose so deeply as he did, but he must testify to the very wide 1 sympathy that had been extended to him, as well from the pnblio as from four oat of the five candidates. He was glad to hear from the first candidate who epokon that It wae not correct he infidel views. It wae a matter of great concern to him that anyone should hold euch vie we. He bad, however, heard those views expressed by the candidate himself from his own lips, and it was pleasant in- ~ deed for him to hear that he did not hold those views. He had formed the opinion from a conversation that had occurred aboit 18 months ago aboflrd the steamer Akaroa, in going from Pigeon Bay to * Lyttelton. He could only imagine from the conversation that then took place that Mr Armstrong held those views, [Mr Armstrong : M Tell the truth Sir, do not imagine. I brand you aa & liar Sir."] [Cries of politics, politics, and confusion J. He thought that he bad a right to bring these private views into public, as private character had much to do with the conduct of publio matters. [A voice: " How about turning me out of my whareV'] If a man's private character would not stand the test, he did not con* eider him fit for Parliament. (Noise). Hβ bad been amongst them 25 years and nc "* one ooald tell the time he bad devoted to publio matters. He bad made mistakes? but had always done his beet for the interests of the County and the Colony at „ large. What they wanted was to have some assistance in developing the resources of their own county. There was room enough for all the population And other* , . At present the farmers , sons had to seek fortune elsewhere, but if the county were properly developed there would be no need _ for that. What they wanted was to encourage local industry. He saw from a report of the Industrial Association of Chrietchurch that they had imported last year £130,000 worth of fruit and nuts. Now, be argaed that were the Peninsula developed* at ieast £50.000 worUl of tho3 ° fruit And outs might have been grown here. The Peninsnla should produce more, than cheese and cocksfoot. If they went to Christchurch they found that 8 pound of Tawnenlan apples cost 6J, and a pound of Akaroa cheese, 3d ! This oaght not to be, (Applause). They spent thousands ** on tbe unemployed in Ohristchorcb, why could not these unemployed make plantations io which these kinds of fruit and nuta could be raised and then distributed to ~ tbe owners of sections fitted for their growth of which there were so many on the Peninsula, and by cultivating them the owners of these small properties naig'it make a good living. By this means a great -~ benefit might be derived from unemployed labor, and the Government might tako the matter in hand ; or, better still, it might be delegated to the Connty Counci'. There were a number of men who held 200 acres * or less, who eouJd'not divide their ptoperty under present 'conditions, but by increasing their products the land might be made to carry many more. If returned he would use bis best endeavours to further develop tbe resources of the Peninsula. (Applause.) The Mail had advocated the growth of flowers for scent, and this was another industry for whioh he thought parts of the Peninsula peculiarly adapted, end which employed many bands. He bad been one of those who bad agreed that it might be possible to reduce the oust of education without impairing its efficiency, and he found m many electors agreed with him. He was a staunch supporter of eduoation, but thought it possible to reduce the cost. He would now cease, but looked forward to Addressing them when he was returned at the head of the poll. (Laughter and applause.) Mr Joblin said he had few words to say end would come to tbe gist of the matter without skirmishing. He did not believe in the views of Mr Barnett respecting the nuts; he thought they should get the railway firet, and then the population would follow. Tbe railway was the most important matter affecting the interests of the gaople who resided round that lanje ay, and be believed that rail^jegwoiliJ ~—■ have reached some part of the iTarbour » now—be did not say Akaroa—if they had pulled all together. Considering there was really not euch a great difference of opinion, it was almost A pity to se%> cix struggling for the seat, The great ques- _.. tion was getting tbe railway through, whiob meant a great accession of They might have this boon now if they worked steadily for it. Already there had been An Attack on the reserve, however, and a part had been alienated for a recreation ground, And thoy must pull together, and see there were no more of these alienations or the whole reaorve would imperilled. It would have been wiser ir *■* possible to have tbe whole rosorvu placed in the County Council's hands for the railway. He had proposed this, and were it done, some means could be devised to reclaim and utilise it. Aβ to the draining of the reserve, Mr Bray, a very cautious engineer, had been sent down, and after __ six months careful inspection had estimated it would ooet £14,000 to reclaim, but recommended the further expenditure of £7000 more to make the work strong find lasting. Thla would reclaim about 21.000 acres, and after all expenses bad been settled be estimated there would be £100,000 clear from the sale ot the land. These 21,000 or 22,000 acres would be 2ft above high water mark, I but there was a further 7000 acres would be partly reclaimed bj it subject to a * periodical overflow, whioh would, however, rapidly subside, and therefore this was of considerable value. This mr.de 28,000 acres in all. Seme reference had been made « to his getting tbe railway to Little River, but he bad done so in the belief it was tlio best course to pursue to get it to the Harbor. Hβ had done more, nnd been to greater expense than any other man within the area of the County to get the railway to the Harbor, and if they got £100,000 they could get a largo part of the work done ~
for iN A man who was connected with these matters had told Uira that if he bed the reserve made over to him he believed he could atilise it to get the railway to some part of the Harbor; he did not cay Akaroa itself. Thia, In his opinion, would bo more beneficial than not trees. (ApHe believed the present eyetern of local Government as good a one as coold be devised, as it intoreHted no many in the work of tha School Committees, the Road Boards, and the Connoil. It would be a mistake to centralise, for that would moan that the work wonld coet more end not be co well done, A!l they wanted wae better administration, and that could enrely be devised. Ho regrettod that he was the only candidate repreaonting the viewe of the present Government, but it wae for th«t reason he came forward, as he con* sidered them the beat Government in New Zealand in his time. (A Voice: "Too dear I") Let them be judged by their works. Look at tho Reform Association ; the first thing they had done wae to attack %h» echicfttinn system. If the Government bad been prove.! rxtraragant they should ecouomise, bet rnqriiry had ehown our system wer the cheapest in the Austra lian Colonies, and could not therefore bo extravagant. The same with the railways, tho expenditure on which bad been decreased no less than £100 per mile by Mr Richardson. He had spoken of theso matters nt other places, and much he said must necessarily be repetition. As to defence, the cost of that had been eaid to be increased, but on examination Was found to be docreaeed. Some one had esid defence was tho same ac ineurnnre, and was an necessary. There was a d iffererico, howevor, between Armstrong guna and Armstrong , pistols, (Laughter.) Speaking again of education, Mr Bowen, whom they ali knew was a Conerrvafive, had been placed by friends of hie mm, men of wealth and influence, on tbo Electoral Reform Committee, but though a Conservative, Mr Bowen was a friend of the educational system, and when it was proposed to reduce the coet be said "Remove my name from the Committee." They now said that they never Intended to reduce the system, bnt Mr Bowen'e notion proved they had. (Appb'ipe). Hβ respected tha present Government becotuee thpy had the interests of the whole people flt heart, and usually Government was for only one class—the rich. It hftfi beon a too common practise to put the heovioet weight on the lightest horee. The piepent, Government had tried to adjust the handicap by making the rich men bear their shnre, and thus pu< ting the hoavieat bnrden on tho heaviest horse, and this had rained strong opposition. Hβ believed in tho graduated property tax, which would fall on people who conld nfford to pay. and that tax would be agreed to eventually whatever Uβ fato now, as the electors got better informed. It was eimply legitimate handienpptng. (Applause). The land system carried ont by the present Government was also an excellent one, calculated to make the people help themselves. [Mr Joblin here gave an account of the Village Settlement, Deferred Payment, and Homoetead ftyptems, particulars of which have olready been publinheri by us in Mr Joblin's speech delivered At Akaroa.J Speaking of the unemployed he said he had observed thrin very carefully at the Little River [tailway works, and five out of six wore pood workmen, and quite fit to Pf ttle on the land, and use it properly. EJe ftl.so enlp.rgnd on tho great advantnges of permanent leaning, as it enabled settlers to ke°p their money at the start for fencing, etockintr. &c. He then spoke in high terms of prr.iseof the Homestead Exemption Act, by which it was proponed to prevent the houne being taken from the wife and fumily, go that they could always secure shelter. This bill had not been passed, but the Government bad it icady when they wi?re defeated. Th#n there was the proposal to ndvance money at a reasonable rate r-f interest to small holders ; thnt was an excellent measure. Why, he had ascertained there were men in this ; coonty pnying 15 per cent, interest ; could anyone Btaud that ? Of course the rich men who lent money at large interest were opposed to this measure, bnt he asked them if it were not for the public good. For the reasons he had Btated ho asked them to return him as a supporter of tho present Government. (Applause.) j
Mr McGregor, who was much ap-' plauded, next addressed the electors, and noticed with great satisfaction the fact of lr»diee being present. Ho was no fit rancor coming boforo them for the first tim«, but luid met them on a public pint form often before. This was the most important occasion on which he bail ftsked their support, but he would remind them that he had contested the niHyorcl eld-lion three times, and had on each occasion defeated the gentleman opposed to him, becanse his views had met with groiter public faror. He would not attempt to traverse the speeches of the othrr candidates, the time was too short, bat he would briefly explain his owa particular position. As they were aw?;re, In? had been a strong supporter of Mr Montgomery. They had fought together the great battle of liberalism, and he was noiv there before them to fight it Ggain. (Applause.) He came there hiif>s!,;f j ho bad received no large requisition, but came purely on his own personal merits. Hβ would undertake, if retimed, to see after all their interests, as well those of the smallest men as those thai had 20,000 sheep. (Applause.) Yes, he would be returned for no class purpose. It would be a bad Parliament thf.t would reflect lawyers and sheepmen instead of the average intelligeace of the people end honest men. (Applause and noise ) Yes, he repeated honest men (or they were the noblest work af God—the Queen might make a belted knight, but not an honest man. (Applause.) He had been accused of being poor. His principal crime was poverty. (No, no !) The man was lncky indeed who did not h'nd himself in poverty's stern grasp. It was no crime they had said, but it was very awkward. (Laughter.) It did Bot, however, cloud v mnVfl intelligence or impair his public usefulness. He defied any man to say that any Bank, Mortgage Company nr other corporation had ever influenced bis vote. (Applause.) [Mr I'iper ; " What about the Green-
park cheqae ?"] (Noise and confusion.) Yes ; it was true as he had told them he had felt the griping hand of poverty, but he was not going to submit to Mr Piper's remarks but would retort in kind, For ell Mr Piper represented so many acres there was, he believed, some blister on the land. It made him blush for Mr Pippr to think he could co radoly interrupt him while endeavoring to express his viowa. He would not be put out ; he came there to fight the battle on political grounds, not personal ones. They were the last things he would introduce, but if it came to personal matters he considered himself quite a match for Mr Piper. (Applause and nose.) He had not said a word against anyone. The would-be member for Leßons had said some disgraceful things concerning himself and Mr Armstrong, and yet he posed as a Christian minister. " Alas for the rarity of Christian charity under the sun." It might be good enough for Leßon's, but not for the rest of Akaroa. It was an important fact, however, that he bad converted Mr Armstrong, for he waa the only convert he had ever heard of his making, and he must congratulate him on at last making one. (Noise and applause.) He did not wish to traverse the views of the present Government ; they knew his views, that waa sufficient. (A Voice : " Whisky !") Yee ;he had no objec-1 tion. He did not intend to take office as a teetotaller; but simply as Alexander Innes McGregor, who wag prepared to serve them faithfully and well. (Applause.) I Nor was his poverty any bar to this. Aβ all history could show Pitt never had a shilling and Beaconsfield had mounted by his political ability from an attorney's stool. The men who founded States and ruled Empires were men without Banking accounts (Applause). In democratio circles men of a certain stamp seemed born politicians, naturally to the detriment of their own concerns. He was one of those men, having made politics his constant study to the detriment of his business, and he placed the result of that study at their disposal (Applause), lie did not wish to say that his opponents were not worthy of hie steel, but he would ask them to believe that he was better than any in the crowd. He did not wish to contradict Mr Armstrong regarding vessels not now frequenting the Port of Akaron, but that gentlemen must remember that in these days of stenm and progress the traSc had been borne past them. Hβ would, however, endeavor to point out both here and in Wellington the immense advantages they possessed in their grand harbor of Akaroa. He had fought the battle of the drainage of the Luke side by side with other electors of the County (Hear, hear, from Mr Joblin). When the Round Robin was signed in Akaroa that the Lake should b? sold undrained, and blaming Mr Joblin for his action, he had refused to affix his signature because he agreed with Mr Joblin it 6hould be drnined first. (Applause). He wne, however, delaying Mr Thacker — a gentleman of great fluency, and also Mr Brown's luncheon. (Laughter.) In conclusion, therefore, lie would remind them that on Monday week they would all stand at the ballotbox. A great statesman who had recently gone to his rest had said that the enfranchisement of a people waa not a duty but a 6olemn trust, and let them think of this fact when they exercised the right they had gained, and remember that a single vote might put a man in, and that man's vote decide the fate of a Ministry. Every elector, therefore, might hold the fate of a Ministry in his hands that day, and consequently the prosperity of the colony, the happiness of their children and their homes. (Ap-
plauee.) Hβ asked them, therefore, to think deeply who wae the best man in whom to place their trust. Hβ was care of ono thing, and that was, that if that tmst were placed in his hands it should never be misplaced. Nations, like men, might shako oft their misfortunes, and take a new and prosperous departure. As the poet had said— '• Nor doom the irrevocable past As wholly wasted, wholly vain, If rising on its wrecks at last To something nobler we attain." (Load applause.) Mr Thacker, who was received with much applause, eaid that so much had been said by the candidates that had preceded him that he should not detain them long. Hβ had come forward prepared to tnsiefc on retrenchment, so that the burdon of taxation might be lessened, not increased. His object was to pull down that great pile of money that they owed. The present Government had not commenced this extravagance, bat had gone on with it, and the immense total was the result of several Ministries. This debt was an immense burden on producers, and it was for that reason he had felt it his duty to come forward and ask their suffrages, so that he might put down this reckless expenditure. (Applause.) He would not advocate the commencing retrenchment with the small screws of clerks or workmen, but begin with the overseers, commencing with the Governor's salary, and cut down as far all through as wae consistent with good (tloternment. If the cost of Government could be so lessened as to bring it within their means, it would be a good thing tor working men and farmers, for if the farmer were screwed down by taxation, he could nut pay labor, so the working man really suffered. A lessening of expenditure would be a mighty thing for the whole country, and they wanted to send good and straightforward men to Parliament to assist at this crisis. He would not detain them at that late hour, but if returned to Parliament he would act strightforwardly and stand in h/s own shoes. (Applause.) As to the lake drainage and the progress of the
railway, Government coald so manipulate it as to settle people on the land to carry oat the work, and if these people wero settled on the land the main object w«nld bo attained — tho works carried through sucwwsfally. The questions of fteotrade nn<l protections and local government be had already expressed Wβ opinions on. Mr Joblin had said it required gnoi men on the Couaty Council and gool men on the Road Boards, and then the system was good • but the fact was the law, ac regarded the County Council, was bad nnd expensive to adminieter, bat the members were not to blame, and if the ratepayers were not satisfied with them they had the opportunity of turning them out in November. The Council gave a good deal of time to their work, and all paid their own expenses except one, who came from a long distance. He thought one body quite sufficient to have the power to levy local taxation. (Applause.) It was ridiculous for the Council and so many Road Boards to have such power. Hβ would not detain them further, but merely say that be was desirous of doing all he possibly could for the benefit of the County, and he asked for their votes, thinking he could be of service to them. He placed himself in their hands, to return him or not. If they thought another man could do better let them give him their votes. (Applause). This concluded the addresses, and the Returning Officer called for a chow of hands, which was declared to be as follows :—
A. I. McGregor ... 81 G. Armstrong 86 G. R. Joblin 12 F. A. Aneon 10 W. Barnett 9 J. E. Thacker 7
Wβ may mention that Mr Joblin's first return was fire, but that he explained some erior had occurred, when the Retiming Officer called for a second return, which resulted as stated. It was also explained afterwards that the number of hands held up for Mr Anson were 12, but thf Returning Officer announced it incorrectly. Ihe candidates had all deposited the requisite £10 with the Returning Officer, and the gentleman now explained that he should declare Mr McGregor elected unless a poll were demanded. Mr Armstrong and Mr Piper, on behalf of Mr Thacker, demanded a poll, which the Returning Officer announced would take place on the 26th. Mr McGregor then moved a vote of thanks to Mr Robinson for the very able way in which he had conducted his duties as Returning Officer. Mr Armstrong, in seconding, said Mr Robinson, though it was the first time he hod filled the position, had carried out the proceedings as well as an old and experienced hand. The resolution waa carried with applause, Mr Robinson returned suitable thanks, and the proceedings terminated. The crowd, though enthusiastic, were very orderly indeed, and all the candidates wero awarded a fair and patient hearing.
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Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume XIV, Issue 1166, 20 September 1887
THE NOMINATION. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume XIV, Issue 1166, 20 September 1887
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