NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES.
The nomination of candidates for the representation of Selwyn in the House of Representatives, took place at the Road Board office, Leeston, yesterday. Mr W. G. Lunn was Returning Officer. As it was sale day there was a large number of people in the township, and about 150 electors were present, who seemed to take a keen interest in the proceedings. Mr Gbobox Sakdbt proposed Mr John McLachlan, whom he had known for twenty-four years, and always found straightforward and honest. Mr McLachlan had token a great interest in all matters connected with the district, ahd had made politics a study for a number of years, and if returned he felt certain that Mr McLachlan would do his utmost to represent the district perfectly. Mr McLachlan had been a resident of the di ctrict for twenty years, and had all his stake in it, and was come-at-able at any time. He thought that they should give Mr McLachlan a teial, as it was only for one session, and if they found that he should not prove wnat they fancied he was then they could say to him, "John, we do not want you, you must go home." He concluded by proposing Mr McLachlan, and expressing a hope that he would be returned by a large majority. < Mr Gbobob C. Waby seconded Mr McLachlan's nomination. In the course of his remarks he expressed regret that a cry of class distinction had been raised, and said that he did not believe in one man being voted down as being inferior to another, ahd contended that the cry had not emanated from Mr McLachlan's supporters .but front the other side. £Loud cries of " No, no."] He maintained that Mr. McLachlan's supporters in referring to this matter were only replying to what had emanated from the other side.
Mr John Rxotob proposed Mr Edward Wakefield, who, he said, was not new to political life. If they elected Mr Wakefield they would have a man who would represent New Zealand as well as Selwyn, which district had always returned a good ff«i. If they could get such a representative it did not matter what part of the colony he resided in. Mr A. R. Ihwoqd seconded Mr Wakefield's nomination. He said that at a previous crisis in the history of the colony Selwyn elected a man who rescued the [colony from its difficulty,and he urged upon the electors to return an able and experienced politician like Mr Wakefield. Mr McLachlan said that he had no intention of moving & speech, as he already had had opportunities of placing his views before the electors as clearly as possible, and if he had not made himself understood he would not endeavor to do so then. He would, however, refer to a matter which was in dispute between himself and Mr Wakefield. He meant the question of the expenditure of a quarter of a million on the Dunedin Railway Station. At the meetings which he had addressed throughout the constituency he did not dispute that it was contemplated to spend £250000 on the railway station in question, but it. was not to be expended in one year. The impression which Mr Wakefield's Lees ton speech made upon him was that the whole sum . was to be expended
in one year. It was the tru-h of that statement which he had challenged, and he hoped that the proof of it would be forthcoming. If the Government intended to spend all that sum in one year they ought not to be trusted. With regard to personalities, he had no know* ledge of them, and would not descend to such things. He and Mr Wakefield were perfect friends, and it was their supporters who were fighting, and they were standing by. [Laughter.] The candidates were the balls only, which were being thrown about. Whether they elected Mr Wakefield or himself, the electors would get an able man in either of them. LLaughter.] He then proceeded to say that he had always taken an active part in politics, though Mr Wakefield's proposer seemed to think that he was only a parish politician, like himself. He had given-as much attention to colonial politics as any man in his sphere of life, and had always taken an impartial view of every political I question, and had, in addition, taken a warm interest in local politics. He had tried for the Provincial Council, and was beaten; and had been previously beaten for the General Assembly. He challenged any man to say that throughout his career he had ever told a lie. He had never made bad friends in an election, and did not intend to do so during this contest. He. hoped they would elect the best man, and the man who would represent them the best. He would not detain them further, as it was sale day, but would thank them for being proposed as a candidate for this election. He pointed out that the law did not allow candidates to employ conveyances to bring voters to the poll, and urged upon the electors to record their votes, and that he would await their verdict on next Friday night. [Applause.]
Mr Waxzfbld was received with loud applause. He, said tbat he stood in a difficult position, but at the same time he saw around him the faces of men who would greatly free him from that position by giving the same kind treatment to him, who was a stranger amongst them, as they had extended to a man who had Uved among them for twenty years. It was said that Mr McLaehlan had difficulties to contend against, but he (Mr Wakefield) had to meet much greater difficulties. He had felt that such was the case throughout the election, and he felt it more that day. The difficulty to which he referred was one arising from a very natural and, in some respects,. very laudable feeling," namely, the feeling towards a local candidate. He felt that he had undertaken a task of immense difficulty in standing 1 for a district in which he could not count a single personal friend, and in which, whatever impression he made he: would. have to make by expressing his views from the platform, and by coming into contact with the electors in the capacity of a pubUc man only. He was glad to Bay that he had found the people of the district broad-minded and ready to lay aside local feeUng, and to give him their support. Whatever might be the result of this election, he would look back with pleasure and gratitude to the electors for their kind treatment and for the good- . feUowship which they had accorded him, and upon which he had no right to count; He was sorry that Mr McLachlan's seconder chose to make remarks which he thought were entirely uncalled for. [Applause.] During this election he had gone among the electors in the frankest manner, and no one could say that he had in any way alighted Mr McLaehlan, or that hefhad shown that nasty, vulgar feeling which Mr Waby imputed to him. At Southbridge he referred to the class cry, not for the purpose of reflecting upon Mr McLaehlan in any form, bnt trom the desire to defend himself against charges made to his detriment. He had a right to do this, and it was due to himself and his supporters that he should place himself in a clear before the electors. On the previous night he called upon the electors to dismiss from their 'minds aU class feel- [ ing, and not to be impressed by the cry that he looked down upon any class of his feUow colonists. It had been said that he had a bit of blue blood in him, but that remark appeared in a letter with Mr Waby*s name at the foot of it. This blue blood cry was -raised with the view of injuring his candidature by saying that he looked downupon workingmen,and thualead them not to vote for him., It was his duty to answer ( these charges, and to show that he was an old colonist, and had shared in the vicissitudes of the colony, and that it was no shame that in addition to this, that he was an educated man, if in other respects he was a suitable man. He had not made the smallest reflection on Mr McLaehlan, nor would he do such an ungentlemarily thing as to represent Mr McLaehlan as being inferior to himself. He bad not once ..made an .uncomplimentary aUusion to Mr McLaehlan, but had spoken of him with that generosity and courtesy which he bad aright to expect, and which Mr McLaehlan had accorded to him. In none of the poUtical contests in which be had taken part could they find that he had said anything whioh was unworthy of a good colonist. , Mr Wabt—On the Southbridge. platform. Mr Wabbpibld said Mr Waby was the only gentleman who had gone away from the Southbridge meeting with the idea that he had done so. Mr Wabt remarked that he was glad that Mr Wakefield's remarks at Southbridge had riot offended him the same as the other electors. - . . Mr Wakbfibld said that Mr Waby was proud of the distinction, and reminded him of the story of the single juryman who spoke of the eleven who held a different opinionfromhimßelf as being the mostobstinate eleven men he had ever met. [Laughter.] He was pleased,at Mr McLachlan's remarks, and assured him that So far as he was concerned the contest should be what a political contest ought to be—a fair and open contest, conducted in a proper manner —so that at .the end of it there should be no regrets left on either side. He would now turn from the personal to. the poUtical aspect bf the election. This contest was being watched with great interest in all parts of the colony, and for this reasonthat he was the first man since the hist' ■general election who .had opposed the extravagance of the Government and the borrowing poUcy. Hitherto the Government had been successful in anextraor dinary degree, and from one reason or another had gained every seat, He was the first to stand for an important constituency and condemn the wrong-doing of the Government, and their borrowing poUcy, taxation, and immigration. If returned the result would be looked upon with great interest and regarded as of some importance, not from personal j reasons, Dut as a protest 7by an important electorate against a -policy Which he believed and thought electors of-Selwyn believed was opposed to the best interests of'the colony,' which was getting into deeper, water .than it would be ! able to stand in. He asked them to return him upon purely public 'and poUtical grounds. Return to Parliament- a man who would do his best to check the grossly extravagant borrowing policy at present prevailing, and who would also be a check, upon the Government, which was being carried away by having too large and too i flexible a majority, and which needed to be puUed upif by one man only ; who would dare to stand up in the colony and to express the feelings of the colony in regard to its public affairs. He felt sure • that if he had Uved among them, and ; had been personaUy known to them, L that he would be looked upon as an eligible ■ man. He knew that from the feeling with which he had been received in the district. > He asked them to believe that though be r did not live in the district, he was broadi minded enough to identify himself with , their interest, and, if returned, whenl ever they wanted him they would 3 find' him among them, and if re--1 turned: he should come back to the diar trict and address them. [A voice— "To a Spring."] WeU, he dared to say that l when the contest would be over, and every--9 thing had settled down, there would be no - unpleasantness even at Spring's, or ; on c either side. It was said that Mr McLach--9 lan would come back to the district and t. address them at the close cf the session, c As a matter of course, if returned, he (Mr a Wakefield) would make.it his duty to do t so_at aU the. principal centres of the disi trict-, and give the electors the fullest
opportunity to criticise his conduct. He would come down to Leeston in a few houra, and be among them, just as he then was. They would see quite as much of him ss if he were living among them. Whenever political matters arose concerning which they wanted his co-operation, he should be among them promptly, and nothing would give him greater pleasure than to attend to them. After his speech at Southbridge, an elector said that he hoped that he would hear Mr Wakefield often speak at Southbridge. He (Mr Wakefield) hoped that in future years they would often hear him speak in the Leeston Hall expounding political, questions, discussing public affairs, and keeping up those relations which ought to exist between a member and his constituents. In conclusion, he asked them to go to the poll, dismissing from their minds all personal prejudice, and vote for the man who would make the best representative for Selwyn, and not only for that district, but also for the Colony of New Zealand. [Loud applause.] A show of hands was then taken, with the following result:—Mr McLachlan, 39; Mr Wakefield, 64.
The announcement was received with applause. Mr McLachlan : A thing of that kind iB the easiest thing done. You have only to invite a few of your friends to come and the thing is done. I demand a poll. It was announced that the poll would take place on Friday next. A vote of thanks to the returning officer ended the proceedings.
Permanent link to this item
SELWYN ELECTION., Press, Volume XL, Issue 5739, 9 February 1884
SELWYN ELECTION. Press, Volume XL, Issue 5739, 9 February 1884
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Press. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Christchurch City Libraries (1921-1945).