The nomination of candidates for the representation of the County of Bruce in the General Assembly, vice Mr T. B. Gillies resigned, took place at the Court House, Tokomairiro, on Friday last. John Dewe, Esq., Returning officer, presided, and having read the Writ and the Election Notice, called on the electors to proceed with the nomination of candidates. A considerable number of electors were present, but for some time no one rose to propose a candidate; Mr John Hardy then rose and expressed liis astonishment and regret at the apathy which appeared to exist in reference to the election. It was a. shame that such an important post as chat of representative of one of the richest and most populous constituencies in the colony should apparently go a begging. The session of the Assembly to be held in June next, would probably be fraught with immense importance to the Colony, and he was sorry that no steps had been taken by the electors to secure the services of a suitable representative. Probably the question- of Separation which had been so much talked of lately at the meetings in the Theatre in Dunedin would be discussed in the course of the session, and certainly a revision of the present obnoxious Tariff would have to be considered. A new Land Bill enabling the Government to sell land within the gold fields without withdrawing it from the operation of the Gold Fields Act was urgently required by this Province, and he considered it very advisable that there should be some one in the House to represent the^ wishes of the Provincial Government on. this subject. The passing of ."ucli a law would keep thousands in" the Province, and induce them to make it their home. Were such « law in existence now, thousands of those who were daily leaving for Okitiki would instead be settling down on comfortable homesteads. The gentleman he intended to propose as a suitable representative for Bruce was Mr Henry Clnpeotf. the present Provincial Treasurer, who was known to entertain sound and ju-bcious views on this subject. He (Mr. Hardy) regretted that official duties connected with the half-yearly balance prevented Mr Clapcott's' attendance there that day, but he could assure the electors that Mr Clapcot.t would meet them and explain his views before the polling day. In the meantime he had Mr Clapcott's authority for saying, that he was opposed to Separation, that he was convinced that the time for such a step had riot arrived, and that lift hoped it never j would arrive. Mr Clapcott agreed withj him in thinking that as the Southern Members had urged on the war, the Southern Island was bound in honor to see it to the conclusion (Hear Hear). At the same time it should be prosecuted, and earnestly, and he held that any attempt on the part of the South to shirk responsibility in this matter would be dishonorable. With regard to the tariff its injurious working must be patent to all, and Mr. Clapcott was in favor of a revision of the svstern, but he (Mr Hardy) could not speak as to Mr Clapcott's views as regarded the details of the subject. He himself was a protectionist, and' considered that the Colony was not old enough for free trade. He hoped Mr Clapcott was of the same opinion, but he did not know. That gentleman would issue an address to»the electors and meet them personally before the polling day, so lie would leave him to speak for himself. He would simply remark that Mr Clapcott was an old settler, had a large stake in this country, was well acquainted with Provincial affairs, and was favorably known to many of the electors. Whatever would promote the well-being and progress of the colony would prove beneficial to him, and he (Mr H.) was sure that the electors of Bruce would do well to elect Mr Clapcott as their representative. Mr Hardy then formally proposed MiHenry Clapcott as "a fit and proper person to represent, the county of Bruce. Mr M. B. Power (Popotunoa) seconded the nomination. Mr E. Marryatt proposed Mr W. J. Dyer, and then after the lapse of a few minutes the nomination was seconded pro forma by Mr H. Clark, M.P.C. Mr J. L. Gillies said he was about to propose a gentleman whose name was well
Juiown. He had many reasons for doing so, amongst which were his strong 1 objections to the other candidates. lie objected to Mr Clapcott as being- a member of the Provincial Government. His Honor the Superintendent and the Provincial Secretary were already members of Assembly,and if the Treasurer was also elected, the Province would-be left without a Government at all, although, perhaps, that would be no loss. In fact, looking-" at what, the present Executive had done/ he thought it would be rather a benefit (laughter) He also thought that it was very bail taste of a servant ol the Provincial Government like Mr Hardy coming- there to nominate the Provincial Treasurer. The gentleman he would propose was well acquainted with the early history of the Province, and if not such an able politician as some of the other candid;) tes he (Mr Gillies) was sure that the electors could not find an lion ester man to represent them than Mr Arthur Burns. With Mr Rnrns' political views he was not acquainted, but he was sure that if elected Mr Burns would give his . best attention to the interests of the Colony. He himself was a Separationist, ami he was convinced that justice to the Middle Island demanded Separation, but he did not by that mean to throw overboard their brethren in the North. What was wanted was an administrative and legislative Separation, such as formed part of the policy of the Pox Ministry. The Province was paying enormously for the war. Had the surplus revenue been regularly paid ov&r by the General Government, Otago would have b« j en £20,000 or £30,000 richer, but under the present system of double Government Otago had been paying 8 or 9 per cent, interest on an overdrawr account, when a sum exceeding that overdraft was due by the General Government, btit retained by them, for months without payment of any interest. Mr Sillies then expressed regret at finding any advocate for protection in New Zealand, and vindicated i'vee trade principles;, after which he proposed Mr A. J. Burns as a suitable representative ol the county. Mr- James Smith seconded the nomination. No other candidates being proposed, the Returning Officer was about calling on Mr Dyer to address the electors, w\inn Mr Hardy asked leave to say a lew words as Mr Clapcott's representative. This beingobjected to by Mr Marryatt and others, Mr Hardy said that in order to reply to a few observations made by Mr Gillies, he would propose another candidate, Mr .Marryatt himself. Ifc hail been objected to Mr Clapcott that he was a member of the Provincial Government. He was at present, but he might not be when the Assembly met. Otago Executives rarely existed more than six months, and the present one had been in that time and would probably share the common fate (hear). As to what Mr Gillies said about, his (Mr H arriv) being a Government servant, he could not see that his being so made it necessary that he should forfeit his political rights. He was there as an elector of the county, and he contended that he had as much right to be there as any other elector: as much, right as he should have had were he in private employ, instead of that of the Provincial Government. Mr J. L. Gillies laughingly seconded Mr Marryatt' s nomination. He held, however, that one elector could not propose two candidates. The Returning Officer decided that any elector might propose as man} r as he liked. Mr Marryatt then said he would return the compliment by proposing Mr Hardy. Mr George E. Brown seconded the proposal, but the Returning Officer took no notice of the nomiation, and besought the electors not to make a joke of. such a serious duty. Several electors said that, some fun at an election was always expected, but the Returning Officer appeared to differ with them. Mr Hardy said something about withdrawing his proposal of Mr Marryatt, but in the subsequent proceedings, the Returning Officer quietly ignored the nomination of both Mr Hardy and MiMarry att, on what grounds we know not, as both gentlemen were duly proposed and second, and did not themselves express any objection. We presume he looked on the nomination as. not being intended in earnest. Mr W" J. Dyer said that up that morn-
ing he had not intended to have come I I forward, but had done so in order to pre- , vent the election being a walk-over. He| was a Sepnrat.ionist, but did not go to extremes as did some of the Separation League. In fact, he considered that it would be rather difficult to define the objects of the League. As to the separation of Otago from the rest of the Colony, he regarded tlie proposal as madness • it would only perpetuate the present system* of Council and Superintendent under another name. He said that the interests of both Inlands demanded a separation, as the laws suitable to the one would never suit the other. At present, the great evil the Colony suffered from was too much legislation, and th-e legislation cost too much money. The multiplicity of legislative bodies was absurd- one legislature for the middle Island would be enough, and the | Councils should be made simply adminis- I trative bodies. He had ever thought that the man who first agitated the separation' of Southland, had struck the first blow at the existence cf Superintendents and Provincial Councils. Separation was a necessity for in the north Island, the first question was the Maories. When a bill was introduced into the Assembly, the first consideration was how would it affect the natives ? It was so with the Tariff, and it was so with everything, and thus the interests of the middle Island were sacrificed. Even a pound of powder! would not, be bought in Otago, without a permit and payment of a shilling. The Southren members had "urged on the w^ir and were bound to see it through, and he would be the last to think of deserting the north in time of danger. He would say, however, prosecute the. war with vigor, and subject the Maoris to British rule and abandon tiie vacillating policy hitherto pursued. There was no use in Irving to negociate with the natives, they • quite outdid us in policy. The only way I to end the war was to let them understand ' that ultimately they would have t3 pay the cost of it. They had plenty of land aud it should be confiscated to pay the war expenses. If this was not enough, the Southren Island would have to make up the deficiency. As to the Tariff!, all admitted that it required revision. He was lather in. favor of an ad valorem, tariffat least, it would be preferable to the present one. Luxuries should be taxed as much as possible. It was absurd, as at present, that a bale ofsilk worth thousands of pounds, should only pay the same duty as a bale of calico, worth only a few pounds. In reply to questions, Mr Dyer said that he would approve of a dissolution of the Assembly, but he did not think it would answer to let the work by tender. (Laughter.) He would support a Bill largely increasing the representation of this Province, and also a measure to amend the system of representation of electors. He thought the Chinese should be allowed to come here like any other people. He would not support the repayment of Land tax, but would leave the members of the Provincial Govern: ment to get out of the mess they have got into about it as best they could. He did not approve of the policy or conduct of Sir George Grey. Provincial Loans should receive the guarantee of the Colony, and he thought- if the Southern Island obtained 'a majority in the Assembly the interests of the Njorfh would surfer. He did not approve of the .newspaper postage rate, and thought that the telegraph posts might almost be sold for firewood. Mr A. J. Burns said tha: as up to that morning he had no idea of coming forward as a candidate, he had not any speech prepared • being at. the Taieri he had been iuioruied that no one could be got to cume forward, and as he had no"' a good deal of idle time on his .hand he thought he might be ot service: He had but little to occupy his time at present, aud they all knew the ■ old lines ' That Satan finds soiue mischief for idle hands to do.' He was no politician if that meant a man to whom all was fish ' that came to his net, and who would ' sacrifice all interests to his own. He would be the last man to do such a thing, having too much Scotch honesty. He would, if elected, devote his best attention to the duties, and act iv a straightforward way, but he would not pledge himself in any way. He was noc a rabid separariouist, and certainly did not agree with all the stuff and nonsense which had recently been, talked at the meetings in the Theatre. To pledge himself however,
1 - : ■■ . ■ . .. would be folly, as after maturely consider-*---ing the subject be might find reason to., alter his present views. He believed, how--ever, that if Otago had been sufficiently represented in the Assembly there would: not be any necessity for Separation. Ever since the passing of the Constitution Act,, he had felt that the colony was suffering*from over government. There was not more people in a Otago than in many Pro-* vincial towns in Britain, but the expense of Government was ten times greater.. In the Council some years ago, he had introduced a motion to increase the representation of this Province, but found that theCouncil had no voice in the matter. It would, however, show his ideas on the subject. To allow the Maori war to be carried on at the expense of the Middle Island was ruinous, but to separate from the north, and to pay what would now be our proportion of the past expenses, would beto rob ourselves. The difficulty of properly adjusting- the debt he considered great until that was done Separation was folly,, geographically and in population, the interest of the North and Middle Island were divided. He was not inclined to go all. the lengths of the Separation League, but but his mind was not lully made up as to the proper course to pursue. He would, give his best attention to the subject, and. it there was any doubt, Otago should havethe benefit of it. He believed, however,, getting- quit of it. Provincial Council as. being too expensive. Ha would like to, see one central legislative body for the Middle Island and the Councils reduced tomere municipal bodies. He approved of 4 he native policy of Gove.mbr Brown and thought the Coiony sliQnld see the return, of Governor Grey. The war should bevigorously prosecuted out of mercy to the Natives. It was cruel to let them, imagine that they might do as they liked He would like to see Sir George Grey re*, called, and the war carried on. with, decision.. In reply to questions Mr Burns said. that he thought the Tariff abominable, andi would support its revision. He was an ad^voeate for free trade, and would support a measure legalising distilleries. He did. not approve of a Stamp Act, but thought an Income Tax a vevy fair way to raise-, revenue. He would not assist the Pro-. vincial Government to repay the Land Tax,, and would like to see the improvement clause enforced as decided by the Supreme: Court. He would obviate the necessit3 r for culling out the Midtia by offering*greater encouragement to Volunteers-. The Returning Officer then demanded a ; show or hands, and declared the result to, be: — Clapcott, 3* Dyer, 4; Burns, 7. A poll was demanded" on behalf of Mr Clapcott, and fixed to take place on Satur--day next, the result to. be announced, oa. the following Tuesday. Mr Burns moved a vote of thanks to the. Returning Officer, which was seconded; and carried with acclamation.
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THE NOMINATION., Bruce Herald, Volume II, Issue 52, 6 April 1865
THE NOMINATION. Bruce Herald, Volume II, Issue 52, 6 April 1865
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