The nomination of candidates for the election of a. member for Lyttelton, was held at the Colonist Hall at noon yesterday. Mr James Fleming, as Returning Officer, read out the writ, authorising him to take the nominations, and called upon those who were prepared to offer nominations. Mr J. Milsom had very great pleasure in proposing Mr Allwright. He would say but very little, as he was quite assured they knew the merits of the candidate. Mr Dimaxt seconded the nomination. Mr S. R. "Webb had the great pleasure of nominating Mr John Joyck. He spoke at length generally in support of the StoutYogel Government; and his speech was received with applause. Mr Johx Saxdford seconded the nomination.
Mr Fleming then took a show of hands, resulting in 23 for Mr Allvrright, and 37 for Mr Joyce. This was received with applause. Mr Allwrlgiit was quite sure that the result of the. poll would be favourable to him, but on -next Friday night he would have the opportunity of addressing them. It was a bad hour, as most of his audience would have to go to'dinner Mr J. Joyce briefly addressed the meeting, as he w.ould .meet the electors on Saturday next. If-the Atkinson Government went back to -Parliament, it meant that the colony would become a large sheep ran.
The poll having been demanded by Mr Allwright, the election was declared by the Returning Officer to take place on September 20th.
ASHLEY. The nomination for this district took i place on Monday at the Court House, I Oxford (the principal polling place for the district. About eighty persons were present; Mr C. Whitefoord, Returning Officer, presided. Dr. Weld proposed Mr Robert Luke Higgins as a tit and propzr person to represent the Ashley district. He had no doubt after his proposition was seconded but Mr Pearson would withdraw—<laughter, and "No, no!")—and also that Mr Verrall failing to get enough gold to back his note issue and State bank would likewise leave the field. (Renewed laughter.) Mr Reginald Bluxdex seconded. Mr Geo. A. White proposed Mr William Fisher Pearson as a fit and proper representative. It was hardly requisite he should refer to the capabilities of that gentleman for the office, he having been entrusted with the representation of the district and served it so well was a guarantee of his fidelity. The position of colonial affairs was at present desperate, and the couutry ought to ! return the best men it could get. Years ago it had been comparatively easy to make money in the country, and people had lived extravagantly. The Government and their Road Boards had followed similar lines, but the times were such that in private and public affairs there must now be severe retrenchment. The only way out of the colonial difficulty was I retrenchment or taxation. Relative to the latter. the amount of tax proposed was, perhaps, not very severe, but for the fact that there had been a shrinkage in trade and incomes, and therefore the plan of retrenchment advocated by Mr Pearson was the best way to meet the question. He did not advocate any dealing with wages, but with the extravagant salaries and unnecessary expenditure of Government. (Applause.) In respect to the land question, he complained that the Government had locked up the Oxford bush, which, both in regard to employment of labor and competition with other timberproducing districts, placed the district at a great disadvantage. They all knew they had Mr Pearson's sympathies with them on this question, and th*t he was in favor of free selection and sale of land for cash. (Applause.) A State Bank had been named as a panacea for all their ills, but he doubted its success without bullion in its vaults. (Mr Veuhaix —" You are not arguing against my views now.") He did not have the pleasure of acquaintance with the gentleman who spoke. (Laughter.) The legitimate course at present for the. country was to go in for careful retrenchment. (A Voice — "And pay their debts.") Yes, the best way was to have none, and then they would be right. (Applause.) Many at Oxford wanted to see the Midland railway begun—(a Voice—" Look for it twenty years hence")—at Springfield, but the fact ! was the Syndicate, in the depressed state lof colonial credit, was afraid to sign the 1 second contract.—(a Voice—" A good job") —but if public confidence was restored by the return of men like Mr Pearson, who would advocate economy, this work would be put in hand. He praised that gentleman for sticking up for that railway and the reduction of the grain rates, as well as other important colonial questions. (Applause.) If elected, Mr Pearson meant to support a Ministry carrying out his views. ■It was said, if the StoutVogel party did not come into power, Major Atkinson would take the lead. (A Voice—•' That's the pill.") Now he thought that a more powerful and younger party were coming to the front, led by Mr Scobie Mackenzie, and that we might expect to see a new state of things. (Applause.) Mr D. Dick seconded. Mr J. Power, junr., proposed Mr John Miles Verrall. That gentleman had met with a large support in his portion of the district, and an influential Committee had agreed to support him ; but Mr Verrall requested that the electors should be free to vote without any urging or coercion. If they elected Mr Verrall, the electors of the district would never regret their choice. (Applause.) Mr J. W. OncHAUD briefly seconded, but his name by some omission not being on the roll, although he said he sent in his claim recently, Mr A. Weylandt stepped forward and seconded the nomination. There being no other candidates, Mr Pearson expressed his opinion that it was a waste of time to hold the nomi nation in its present form. His views •were fully before them, but he wished to point out that they had been fighting an election for three months because of the extravagance of the Government having brought the country to the issue whether it would submit to retrenchment or jnore taxation. He counselled them not to be led away from that cardinal point. It was a qdtestion whether they should submit to the enormous expenditure now going on, and allow the income to meet it to be drawn from those who were laboring on the soil or not. (Applause.) It did seem monstrous that the expenditure each year for Government should reach £2,349,000 for 600,000 persons. It was a most important question to those who had a stake in the country, but it was a matter treated as of no moment of course by those who were taxed to-day and might leave the country tomorrow. It was all very fine for the latter class of people to say clap on the taxes, but were the people going to submit to it. (A Voice—" N0. ,, ) No, he did not think they would do so. (Applause.) In the present struggle the Government could drag a lot of red herrings across the scent, they could raise side questions of freetrade v protection, and so on, but the real question electors had to deal with was, would they submit to an additional taxation to the extent of £300,000. Upon this issue there was, he felt pleased to say, a new party springing up, Phoenix-like, out of the ashes of the other old political parties, and the man at the head of it was his leader, MrScobie Mackenzie. (Applause.) Their credit in London now was the worst of any of the colonies. Those sharp men who did the business of the Stock Exchange were not to be misled; they must see an improvement in the whole of its finances. In Canterbury they might be breathing an atmosphere of Vogelism, but other parts of the colony were under a purer sky, and the verdict of the electors, he hoped, would be te return men who would restore national credit and improve as well the prospects of the Midland Railway project. (Applause.) Everyone must be aware it was that want of confidence which delayed the signing of the Midland Railway second contract. He deplored the fact that there was a party of persons in the country whose aim and object seemed to be to seize by the throat every man who had a little property and take it from him. These might learn in time that they would kill the best interests of the colony, like the man who killed the goose which laid the golden egg with daily punctuality found, when he cut the bird open, that it was empty. (Laughter and applause.) As laborers, as fanners, as artisans, he asked them to resist the attempts made to set; labor at variance with capital. He said, instead of Sir J. Vogel having given them a finance .of leaps and bounds, Sir G. Grey had truly stated the case when he designated it a falling head over heels in a retrograde direotion. He denounced the Government land schemes, which prevented people coming here from being able to buy land, and their idea of making State slaves of the people, whom they placed on such third class 50-acre sections as those at View Hill, the last condition of which poor individuals would be worse than the first. (Applause.) Last year, owing to the " feds " of the Government, the land sales did not cover the expenses of the department, and from a credit of £80,000 in the land fund when they went into office, the present Ministry had brought a deficiency of £54,000. Some favoured a paper issue to recover the finances, but any change in their currency must, as Sir Robert Stout had stated, have the sanction of the imperial authorities, and they would not consent to a fluctuating currency of the kind proposed. In the Federal States the greenbacks given to the soldiers for their pay valued at a dollar—is 2d—were only worth 2s Bd, and, in fact, at the close of the war for a whole bushel of them it was not possible to buy a loaf of bread. Do let them be serious, and bear in mind the real issues. Let them decide to do that which would re-establish credit and effect retrenchment. He was no party to reducing wages, the retrenchment most be on the higher salaries. It must reach the drones, Ministers, and the expenses of members and the House. He thanked them for a patient hearing. (Applause.) Mr HiGuofs, who was well received, had not come to make a speech, as he should address them folly at Oxford during the week.. He was a supporter of the Ministry, and desired the electors of the country to get from every candidate a pledge as to j which side they belonged to. He told them plainly he had no faith in members who styled themselves independent, because that left these candidates free to join parties that might spring into existence which at the present had neither shape or substance. (Applause) There was one great issne before the electors also, that they should be absolutely united on every question in regard to the interests of Canterbury. (Applanse.) It did not follow that becv-ise a man stuck to the interests of his pt-Dvii cial district he was not a man '
of broad views, for while there were many general questions, there were also numberless matters of local importance not to 1 be lost sight of. But for the unity of Can- 1 terbiiry members they would not have obtained the Midland" Railway. In this matter they sent men to Parliament who stood shoulder to shoulder, except regardi ing two of them. He had not been so
fortunate as Mr Pearson, whose proposer and seconder were prepared with an oration. He considered these speeches
were unnecessary, and trusted rather to the ballot-box for the public verdict.
(Applause.) They did not want taxation, nor did he himself, but they were told that the increased duties, property tax, and retrenchment were the only means before them. He approved of the" graduated property, tax, which had his full support for the "reason that the more valuable the property the greater the sacrifice which should be made to equalise the value of its contribution with the smaller properties, the exemption to he maintained at £*HJ. Mr Pearson referred to a new party and a new leader—Mr Scobie Mackenzie. \\ ell he, having read that gentleman's views, must say he was not enchanted with them. There was a flavor of high falutm in them. When men praised Mackenzie. Bruce, and some one else as against Vogel, Bolleston, Atkinson, and Stout he felt too much amused to feel angry. Sir Julius Vogel, as a financier, had made his mark in London—(a Voice—"Yes, a black mark")—which entitled him to the of his Sovereign, to the praise of Lord Carnavon, and by his obtaining the inscription of the colonial stock in the books of the Bank of England, to the praise of Major Atkinson and Sir John Hall. To put him in comparison with Mr Mackenzie and the others for eulogy which was possessed of greater virtue, capacity acd power was a great deal too much. In conclusion, he believed the district had been well stumped and Mr Pearson had gone further than any of them, because he (Mr Higgins) felt done. However he hoped that the electors, instead of voting for the rising youth, would not forget an old stager at the poll. (Applause.) Mr Verrali. remarked that the parties going to the House hart formed themselves, in tils mind, into two groups, the independent and the dependent. (Laughter.) He belonged to the former, and he hoped to be returned to put the bankers and the lawyers in a better way. (Hear, hear.) It was* said by some that"Sir It. Stout was so inlhiitely clever he could prove that black was white, but with regard to the State Bank question Sir Robert could do nothing. (Hear.) It was a subject beyond him, and ou the simple question put to him regarding a State note issue he had sat down like a fool. (Laughter.) Both sides in the present election were favorable, apparently to giving away nearly three million acres" to the Midland Railway Company, yet both talked glibly about economy, but hone of them could" wait to discuss the best means of relieving the country's burdens by a State Bank agency. Mr Pearson's proposer appeared not to have heard of him (Mr Vcrrall) before, neither did he know that gentleman—(Laughter) —but the question was one which time would bring to the fore. Sir K. Stout might give a man a good billet to to crush it, and the bankers would do a deal to keep it under, but it was not their question, it was a public question, A banker had told him the other day—the bankers were taking some interest in him at present—(laughter) — that he would give the question thirty years. On the other hand, persons said it ought to have been found thirty years ago. Now taking all these arguments that meant take it now. He believed in three years they would see it fully considered. Regarding economy he thought if instead of travelling so much on the Governor's salary of iSiUOO they did away with the lawyers, who each earned about £4000 a yeaf, and there were some 400 of them at it in the colony—(Laughter)—they would make a very sensible saving. (Applause.) The most sensible saving the people could make was by reducing the high rates of interest, and thereby putting themselves in a position to employ more labour. This, with protection to their industries, would bring up their imports and exporcs to better balance. (Applause.) The Returning Officer said he now had a duty to perform in accordance with the Statute, which appeared, howWer, to be against the spirit of the ballot, in asking them by open voting to give a show of hands. The show of hands was for Mr Pearson 32 Mr Higgins .. .. .. 8 Mr Verrali 3 A poll was demanded. The candidates each paid the required deposit, and the proceedings terminated.
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LYTTELTON., Press, Volume XLIV, Issue 6861, 20 September 1887
LYTTELTON. Press, Volume XLIV, Issue 6861, 20 September 1887
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