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MR C. A. FITZROY AT DOYLESTON.

Mr Fitaroy, one of the candidates Jto represent the Selwyn district in the General Assembly, met the electors in the Railway goods shed, at Doyleston, on Tuesday evening. There was a large attendance ; Sir. Reeves, the other candidate, being also, present,

Mr H. W. Crowe, who was voted to th chair, said he had been unexpectedly call!*? to fill the post of chairman, and bo far m the election was concerned he occupied _ disinterested position, a. he had no vote _}« hoped that the gentlemen who would address the meeting would receive a fair hearing. Mr Fitzroy, who was called upon by «_» chairman, and was received with applanJ* said that, as they were aware, he was a can didate for their suffrages at the eosuiaor election to represent the Belwyn district i__ the forthcoming Parliament. Before pro» ceeding to the business of the evening he would ask their patience while he made a short explanation having reference to two matters, which, he was sorry to say, he was cempelled to refer to, in consequence of hig opponent having tried to make capital against him on that account. They would remember Mr Reeves' first meeting at Leeston. After that meeting a large number of the electors in the room were not satisfied with his (Mr Reeves') speech. They considered it left the impression that he waa strongly in favor of provincialism. A meeting was held by these gentlemen (he amongst the rest), and it was decided that they should use their best endeavours to get a candidate to represent their interests, who would go in on the abolition platform. A telegram was at once sent to an eminent member of Parliament in Christchurch, and his answer was that he was pledged to another constituency and could not come. As the time waß getting short, they found it incumbent on them to look around and see if they could not get a local man to come forward. The only men whom they could find willing and able to give up their time to devote to the interests of the district although there were many abler men in the district who could not, however, afford the time—were his partner, Mr Acland, and him* self, A private meeting of abolitionists was held at Leeston, and both himself and Mr Acland were proposed as candidates, and. immediately on finding this, they both retired from the room, in order to give those present an opportunity of freely expressing their opinions on their relative merits. After some time had elapsed, one of these gentleman came to them and said that the meeting could arrive at no definite decision, and expressed an opinion that it would be best for them to arrange it between themselves. He and Mr Acland thereupon came to a private arrangement. That arrangement was simply of a private nature, of no importance whatever to the public, involving no principle; concerned no one but themselves, and he had been astonished to find that a very great breach of confidence had been committed in divulging what had transpired at a private meeting, and which his opponents had had the bad taste to repeat with an evidentdesire that it should appear to his disadvantage. He was not in a position to charge any gentleman who was then present, but there had been evidently some who had attended that meeting who were not in favor of abolition—which alone he considered a breach of etiquette—and who had divulged what had then occurred. He was sorry to say that Mr Reeves had tried to take advan* tage of this circumstance. [Cheers.] These were the simple facts of that matter. He regretted to have to refer to something else—it was with reference to another matter of which Mr Reeves and his party had attempted to make capital, and that was hia having said at a meeting at Springston, in answer to a question, that he (Mr Fitzroy) had not read the Abolition Bill. [Laughter.} He would tell them honestly about this. He was asked if he had read a certain clause ia that Bill (a document then lying on the table being pointed to), and he replied, no, that he had not seen the document before, but that he had read the Abolition Bill in the newspapers. Mr Beeves had told the electors the previous evening, that when the Abolition Bill appeared in the newspapers he (Mr Fitzroy) was 15,000 miles away from New Zealand. Now be would tell them that when returning from England he came through America, and on arriving at Honolulu they met tho New Zealand mails, and he then saw the Abolition Bill for the first time In tne newspapers. He read it with the greatest possible pleasure and with the keenest interest, as he saw at once that it was the best thing tbat could happen to the colony —[applause]—and he was sorry to see that his opponents should try to throw dust in the eyes of the electors by making them believe be had not read the Abolition Bill. He would only add, that he had answered the question referred to too honestly. As he had said before, he came forward simply on the platform of abolition. [Loud cheers. | He wished to see a central form of Government in Wellington with decentralisation in the form of local governments throughout the different provinces, or shires in the country, such local governments or boards of works to be elected bytbe people, these boards to have the management of all local works, such as making roadft, erecting bridges, &c, and, if necessary, raising tolls. [Applause.] As they would also be aware, the Abolition Bill provides that the General Government should take over gaols, police, lunatic aßylnms, charitable aid institutions, and education, the cost of these to be borne out of the consolidated revenue. With regard to the land fund, it was proposed that £1 for every pound collected by rates in the districts should be banded over to the various Road Boards, in addition to what would be received out of the consolidated revenue, and after deducting interest and sinking fund, and cost of surveys and administration of waste lands, the balance to be localised to the governing bodies for the benefit of the shires or country districts; He wished to take exception to a clause in the Abolition Bill, out of which Mr Beeves and hia party were trying to make capita!* viz, that which referred to the nominee agents proposed to be appointed by ths Government for the carrying on of business of the provincial districts until such time as ths new Act should come into operation. Mr Reeves and his colleagues would have them believe that the Government intended to bring down a measure to appoint nominee agents or Superintendents to rule the shires or country districts. The Government desired no such thing, as they only intended this as a temporary measure until the end or next Beßsion, when the new Act would come into force. There were therefore no grounds for his opponent attempting to make capital out of that clause. [Hear, hear, and cheers.. M«" Reeves also accused the Government ol having tried to force abolition on the people. All he (Mr Fitzroy) could say was that it seemed to him to be the last thing they ever intended. Mr Reeves and the other members of the Opposition had ample opportunities during the discussion of the Bill, of ascertaining from their constituencies, by any means which they might choose to *a°F* whether by letter or telegram, the f« !l _? of those constituencies, and he considered the very fact of the Bill having been camea and passed in the Assembly by a m& l oTl *f®L nearly three to one, showed unmistakaWF that the people of the colony had declare* their opinion on the question, [Cheersj However, in spite of this feeling, Mr Beeves and other members of the Opposition continued to raise what he (Mr Fit«oy> naa always considered a factious opposition » this Bill brought down by the GovernmeM. He would distinctly say that they oppose* the Bill to the very utmost, thereby P nlu _* the country to immense expense, and su» delaying Parliamentary business, f A PP' B In spite of all this they came down to tow constituencies, and he was sorry to 8»J w» few of them, when before them, were g&»» enough to continue their platformiw provincialism. They turn round Ro» motives of discretion, and fl pe alt .J£ the Bill as if they were in favor of aoontiott. He would Bay that to do this«»»» coasfetent; that tbe man who would vow, iv the General Assembly and OPP 088 *!£ Government to bis utmost, and then,«■» before his constituency and say that saw** majority of the people were in abolition he would be ready to acceptu»decision, that such a man was T ac '"fi2» and one who was ready to think m »"*"]_ so long as it resulted in his being P 1 Pnrliament. [Cheers,] He «J. W _S3S Mr Rcevea was vacillating and T^ t g betworn the two sides of the.l«<»tioVJJjj a perfect knowledge that Ws doing so W*

allow of his voting, with a clear conscience, with the majority of either party that might he returned. [Applause.] This, in his iminion was not an independent course for Sv representative to take, and not such an one as should be taken by the member they desired for their district, and that was the wason why he had come forward to oppose IjoT fApplause.] Mr Reeves, in his speech at Leeston, said that he opposed the Abolition Bill to his very utmost. If he did this be (Mr Fitzroy) would say that he (Mr Beeves) was in favor of provincialism, but he now comes before them and says he is prepared to accept the voice of the people and Tote in favor of abolition. He (Mr _itzroy) would presume that the members of the Opposition who had voted against the Abolition Bill in Parliament—and there some of them whom he admired ior their consistency, should continue to ■stick to their P latf ° rm « [Applause.] Mr Beeves had also tried to make out that the Ministry were compelled to give way as far «8 the Abolition Bill was concerned. He did not know what they called being compelled to give way, as he could show that the Bill bad passed, as he had said before, by a maiority of 3 to 1. [Hear, hear 1 He would iass on to some of the other chief questions, .£_jd the first was Education. His views with regard to Education, were that it should be perfectly free ; that it should be provided by the State ; that it should be purely secular ; that no denomination should jje favored, and no religious teaching brought Into the schools, and if necessary he would rote for its being made compulsory. [Loud -cheers.] He did not consider that the Education Department as lately managed in the province by a Minister of Education had been successful, and he would therefore vote for the immediate re-instatement of the Board of Education, as it existed previous to the last session of the Council. [Cheers.] With regard to the pastoral leases, his views were that some two years or so before 1880 (when the present licenses would have expired) the juns should be re-assessed by perfectly independent and outside people, with a fair and equitable assessment put upon them. They should then in his opinion be first offered to the present holders, and if they did not choose to accept them, they should then be put up to public tender. He would certainly vote that all pre-emptive lights which may now be in existence should be realised and paid into the public treasury in 1880. Mr Reeves had stated at one or two of his meetings that he (Mr Reeves) was supposed to be an enemy to the runholders, but he did not know why. He (Mr Fitzroy) thought he could answer that question. It did not require a very retentive memory to call to mind the almost scurrilous articles which appeared in the Lyttelton limes some three years ago against the runholders, setting class against class, and doing more mischief than words could describe. Even the farmers, he thought, denounced that Style of proceeding at the time, and this was no doubt the reason why Mr Reeves had been brought into such bad odour with the run"holders. One great claim which he (Mr Fitzroy) would ask them as electors to consider was this, being a local candidate . Mr Beeves would have them believe that because be (Mr Fitzroy) happened to live in a remote -corner of that large agricultural district it would be as easy for him {Mr Reeves) to come from Christchurch by train as for him (Mr Fitzroy) to get to Leeston. All he could say was, that it showed how very little Mr Reeves knew of the geography of the district. He could appeal to those who knew him that he had always taken an active part and great interest in all local matters connected with the district. He had the honor of being elected a member of the Road Board for two years, by the popular voice, and also the honor of being chairman of the school committee, and be thought it would be a very strange thing if the district were not better served by a _ian living in it, who had also large interests in it (for although he was a runholder he would remind them that he had a half interest in one of the largest farms in the _i_trict), than by one who did not reside in the district. [Applause.] He would ask -them to come forward and support him as a local candidate, and as one standing on the platform of abolition. They would probably have heard that day the newß that had come _p from Dunedin, and which no doubt Mr Beeves would be ready to make capital of, viz., the return of Mr Macandrew at the bead of the poll, and Mr Stout next, both being provincialists. Well, all he could say was, if they were in favor of provincialism vote for Mr Reeves, and if in favor of abolition then vote for him. But be would warn them to be careful how they returned a provincialist, as if a majority of the Opposition were elected, and the question of provincialism versus abolition came up again before Parliament, they would cither have provincialism or a continuation of the same factious Opposition they had last session. [Applause.] He would leave them now to decide the matter according to their own wishes and desires, and all he could say was that if he was returned as their representative, he would make it his duty to do his very utmost in advancing the interests of the district and ■of the whole colony at large. He desired to thank them for their kind and patient hearing. [Loud applause.] In reply to questions —Mr Fitzroy said that the benefit of abolition to Canterbury would be to get rid of the expensive machinery of provincial governments which were the means of wasting a great deal of public time and money. _Loud cheers.] He would substitute for Provincial Councils the clause proposed in the Abolition Bill, namely, the division of the country into shires or municipalities, to be managed by Boards of Works to be elected by the people. [Loud applause. | The runholders' leases would expire in 1880. They t were not leases, but only a right to depasture stock on the waste lands of the Crown. These originally ran out in 1874, but were afterwards extended to 1880. As far as he was aware, he did not think the Council ■could help themselves in the matter, as he believed this extension of time was mentioned in the original leases, at least such was his impression. He was not aware what questions came up in 1856, as he was then only twelve years of age—[laughter] — aud he could hardly be expected to answer a question on any action taken in that year. He would be in favor of the land fund being localised in the districts in which it was raised. He was not aware that the Hon John Hall had passed a Bill in the Upper House protecting pre-emptive rights, but if such an Act had been passed, and had to be altered before the Abolition Bill came into force, he * would certainly vote for this being done. He -considered that if the State provided education, the State should have control over it. He would not wish to see an injustice done tc any denomination, nor would he wish to see any denomination favored. [Applause.] He thought the Upper House did good, and was A wholesome check on hasty legislation. He was inclined towards that House remaining a nominated body. He would certainly vote for nominated magistrates, and had never beard of magistrates being elected, He thought the local administrative bodies in any district should be elected by the people in the districts in which they serve {Applause.] He was not aware what system of education was b-*ing carried out at Auckland. He could not say how much moaej had been voted by the Board of Education at Wellington towards Catholic schools. He must say that the Government inspectors often made too ha9ty an inspection ol schools, and would like to see a revision ir this direction. He knew they came up and rushed away again in i short time, and he thought this procedure was hardly satisfactory. (Applause.] Hi did not know in what way whatever cropi he grew on his farm had* to do with thi General Assembly. As it was desired, hi would tell them that he grew as little whea as possible, as it did not pay him to do bo and grass paid batter. Other gentlemei could grow what wheat they pleased. H did not wish to dictate to them how mucl wheat they should grow. He was a free trader, and should vote for the principles o *ree trade. 1 Hear, hear, aud cheers.] H rather doubted that another 5d a bush€ duty on wheat would make it more profitabl ior him to grow wheat than wool. He con

sidered that the revenue of the country was derived chiefly from the Customs duties, and that was free trade. [A Voice—" That is not free trade ;" another—" Yes it is," and cheers.] If Lake EHesmere conld be drained and a sufficient area of land reclaimed, which would be considered to be reproductive, he would certainly vote for the work being done. | Applause.] He was not aware who composed the Council when so large a concession was made to the squatters. The necessity of compulsory education might be found to obtain in largely populated districts. About the six weeks' holidays to children, he thought it was a pleasure to the children to go to their homes and to the parents to have them there, and the school teachers alio a holiday. [Applause. IHe . thought the educational reserves should be vested in the Board of Education. The question of public libraries being opened to the Friendly Societies to hold their meetings in, was, in his opinion, matter for the consideration of the committees alone. Mr Reeves then addressed tbe meeting at considerable length, replying to some of Mr Fitzroy's remarks, and reiterating views previously expressed by him. Mr Beeves also answered a number of questions. Votes of thanks were unanimously passed to Mr Fitzroy and Mr Reeves for their addresses, and the meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the chairman. Before separating, three cheers were given for both candidates.

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MR C. A. FITZROY AT DOYLESTON., Press, Volume XXIV, Issue 3218, 23 December 1875

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MR C. A. FITZROY AT DOYLESTON. Press, Volume XXIV, Issue 3218, 23 December 1875

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