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THE GENERAL ELECTION.

MAJOR STEWARD AT WAIMATE.

Major Steward opened his election campaign at Waimate on Monday night. The Oddfellows' Hall was well filled, a number of ladies being present. Mr James Sinclair occupied the chair, and the candidate was frequently greeted with applause and received a good hewing. He spoke for two hours and a half. He regretted that his opponents had not given him fair play by commencing their electioneering while he was hard at work serving his constituents in the House, and instanced the case of Mr j Wason, who was contesting the Ashburton j seat, but would not commence his campaign until the sitting member had returned. That was what he called British fair play. After reviewing the work of the past session, Major Steward continued — He would not vote for national prohibition as an individual voter, the position he took up was simply this, he was a Liberal, and Liberals believed in men, Conservatives in property, and if a three-fifth majority of voters agreed to it he was then in favour of it. He was perfectly willing to let the people do as they pleased with regard to this question. He believed in making Clubs subject to police supervision. With regard to mortgages 10,000 mortgages were registered last year, and the fees and charges paid on them were too high. He had brought in a Bill on the lines of the Advances to Settlers schedule which would cheapen the cost, but in the Upper House the Bill was thrown out, but he would have another try at it, and in the end would succeed. He was in favour of the Referendum Bill; it was the key to the amendment of the Upper House. In the Lower House some Bills had to be dropped ; for instance, the Fair Rent Bill. He was strongly in favour of this Bill. The new Local Government Bill would take the most part of a session to deal with. He thought the next Parliament would have to take this matter up. The Masters and Apprentices Bill was an important measure, but it went too far, and he could not see his way to vote for it. Petitions had been sent up to the House about erecting rabbit fences in S.uth Canterbury, but the Government found it would be too costly; they brought in a Bill to enable owners to borrow money at 4 per cent, but this had to be dropped. The Usury Bill provided that the maximum interest to be charged should be 8 per cent. He voted for the Bill, but thought it would prove inoperative as regards pawnbrokers. Scripture Text Books and religious instruction should be allowed in schools on the lines of the schools in the Old Country. It could easily be arranged that the Bible lesson could be given during the first half-hour, and if parents did not want it they need not send their children. A lot had been said about the million loan. Well, he was in favour of it. The money was required for land purchase from the Natives, for the purchase of estates for settlement. £2U0,000 is required for the development of roads to the goldfields, £250,000 to complete and carry on the railway works, £200,000 to ' open up land for settlement, and £250,000 for the purchase of Native lands. The present Government has done more to settle tlie people on the laud than the last two or three Governments. Of local matters he had attended to a great numj ber. These Major Steward enumerated. The party he supported, and always would support, were Liberals. They had changed the incidence of taxation, broken down the monopoly of land, passed a law to take at fair prices any block it pleased. This policy alone has settled thousands of people on the land. Cheviot was a complete success and was paying 6 per cent, interest, and there was not a penny of rent in arrear. His friend Mr Sutherland believed in the policy of the Minister for Lands, and yet lie would come forward to try and unseat the man who not only believed in it, but had assisted the Minister to carry it. The Government \%l taken the duty off barb wire, woolpacKS, sacks, implements and tools and 2d per lb off lea. The national debt had been increased £4,000,000 during the term of office of the present Government, but nearly all of it was well invested and earning good interest, there being only £394,000 not bearing interest at the present time. With regard to labour legislation, they had passed the Employers' Liability Bill, Factories Act, Shopsand Shop Assistants Act, Truck Act, Industrial Conciliation Act, Pastoral Tenants Relief Bill. His gwn share of the.work had been twenty-three sessions in Parliament. He had brought in twenty-four public Bills and twelve private ones, and out of this twenty-four had become law. By the Triennial Licensing Bill he had been the means of saving the colony an enormous expenditure. Owing to his ciibrts shepherds had now only to pay 3s 6d per dog for three dogs ; he brought in the Small Birds Nuisance Bill, succeeded in getting public morgues, land for the halfcastes, an endowment for the Waimate High School, carried through the Noith Otago Public Works Loan Bill, road to open up the Lindis to Waitaki, Deceased Wife's Sister Bill, Elective Executive Bill. The main question of this election was—Do you wish a Liberal or Conservative Government in power? were the lands to be opened up and settled, was the position of the worker to be improved, or were the doings of the last six years to be undone. He did not consider either Messrs Clarke or Parker, although both were old friends of his, had the ghost of a show ; it was a contest between Sutherland, the Conservative, and Steward, the Liberal. About his living out of the district, surely he could be got at quite as easily at Ashburton as Mr Sutherland could at Oamarama. He felt sure his old friends would not forsake him, and when the election was over they would again place him at the top of the poll. He concluded his address by reciting the following parody:—

" We'll battle for our mother land, For righteous laws an' a' that, And spite o' Duncan Sutherland We'll win the fight for a' that. For a' that an' a' that, Parker and Clark an' a' that. The Tories and the Nondescripts. We're bound to win for a' that. The candidate then resumed his seat. (Applause.) In answer to questions Major Steward said he believed Pomahaka was a success, the settlers were doing well; it was true a sum was placed on the Estimates- to farm Sarts that were unlet. He hoped the atholics would get the vote, at all events he would support it. He did not object to the Government using the local bodies' sinking funds, but was in favour of them using the sinking funds of the public loans and had voted accordingly. A vote of thanks was carried without dissent.

[ The Hon. W. Rolleston addressed a meeti ing of Riccarton electors in the West Melton schoolhouse on Monday night. There was a good attendance, and the speaker was attentively listened to. On the* motion of Mr Jones, seconded by Mr Hill, a hearty vote of thanks was carried. Mr Rolleston addressed a meeting of Riccarton electors at the Druids' Hall, Lincoln, on Tuesday night. In spite of the inclement weather there was a good atten-, dance. On the motion of „-.• Brown seconded by Mr Grieves, a hearty vote of thanks was passed unanimously. On Friday Mr Meredith addressed a meeting of eighty-two persons at the Amberley Town Hall, Mr W. S. Smith presided. Mr Woruall moved a vote of thanks and confidence, which was seconded by Mrs Roche. The motion was declared carried.— Mr Meredith addressed a crowded meeting in the View Hill schoolroom on Monday night. Mr Pole was in the chair. A vote of thanks and confidence in Mr Meredith, and confidence in the Government, was proposed by Mr A. Wright, and seconded by Mrs Cleeve. An amendment of a vote of thanks only, proposed by Mr Bunn and seconded by Mr Smith, was carried by a large majority, only seven or eight supporting the motion. A call for three cheers for Mr Seddon was responded to by some very energetic hootings. Mr- D. Buddo addressed a well attended meeting of Kniapoi electors at Raugiora on Tuesday evening, Mr T. Keir (Mayor) presiding. Mr Buddo, on the liquor question, explained that in 1893 he was in favour of the three-fifths majority for small districts, such as boroughs and road districts, but the bare majority for the electoral districts. As the majority of the House had declared in favour of three-fifths, he considered that should be tried for three years, and if elected he would support the same. Mr G. Wallace moved a vote of thanks, Mr D. Graham seconded this. Mr H. L. Rogers moved a vote of confidence, Mr M. Duncan seconded

this. The candidate said lie objected to open expressions, which would defeat the fairness of the ballot, and asked that the amendment should be; carried by applause only. The Chairman declared tins to be agreed to. Mr R. Moore addressed sixty of the Kaiapoi electors at Kyreton on Monday. Mr Murphy, Chairman of the School Committee, presided. Mr R. O. Dixon moved a vote of thanks, and that the meeting considers Mr Moore a fit and proper person to represent the district. This was seconded by Mr Cook, and carried unanimously. Mr S. R. Webb addressed the electors at the Heathcote Valley on Monday night, and was heartily received. Among other things he dealt with the high railway fares and freights that obtaiu on the Lyttelton and | Christchurch line. He also advocated the setting aside of reserves in the North Island for free technical classes in connection with our colleges, and, in doing so, gave a meed of praise to the Hon. W. Rolleston, whose efforts had always been in the direction of setting aside land for educational purposes. A hearty vote of thanks was unanimously accorded to the speaker and to the Chairman, Mr Smith-Ansted.

The following candidates will address the electors to-night:—Mr M. Donnelly at the Opera House, Mr Rolleston at Temple ton, Mr Joyce at Woolston, Mr S. R. Webb at LytteK .ii, Mr Wason at Waddington, Mr Russell at Halswell, Mr Recce at Mason's Flat, Mr Bnddo at Woodend, Mr Meredith at Carleton.

A meeting of the electors of the Ellesraere district will be held at the Southbridge Town Hall, on Saturday, to select a candidate in the Opposition interest. * Mr Jacques will address tlie electors of Lyttelton at Woolston Oddfellows' Hall on Friday, Opawa scheol on Tuesday next, and at Lyttelton on Thursday, November 12th. Mr Rolleston will address the electors at Prebbleton on Thursday night, at Yaldhurst on Friday, and Broadfields on Saturday. Mr S. R. Webb will address the electors at the Oddfellows' Hall, Woolston, tomorrow night. Mr Wason speaks at Coalgate to-morrow, at Hororata on Friday, and Kirwee on Saturday. He intends to address the electors in all other centres of the Selwyn electorate, in addition to those advertised, after next week.

Mr Swarm will address the electors at McFadden's road to-morrow and at Social Hall, Ferry road, Linwood, on Friday. Mr R. Moore addresses the electors of Kaiapoi on Friday at Rangiora and on Saturday at Waikuku. Mr Buddo will address the electors at Clark ville on Friday, instead of West Oxford as previously announced, and at Cust on Saturday.

(rRESS ASSOCIATION TELEGRAMS.) WELLINGTON, November 3. Tlie Premier addressed a very large meeting at Waverley last night. A vote of thanks and confidence in the Government was carried.

DUNEDIN, November 3.

Mr Mahoney, schoolmaster, is definitely out for Buice, in the Ministerial-prohibition interest. Mr Rawlins, of Tuapeka, is in opposition. Mr A. Morrison addressed a well attended meeting at Caversham to-night. He defended everything the Government had done in the way of legislation and administration, speaking strongly on their vindication in banking matters and their strong finance. He approved of their proposals for the future. A vote of thanks and full iMnfidence in Mr Morrison and confidence in the Government was carried almost unanimously. Mr J. J. Ramsay, a candidate for Waikouaiti, addressed a large meeting at Port Chalmers. He declared himself a Liberal, but he could not support the Government. He approved of many of the Government measures, but condemned their finance and administration. He supports the referendum and elective Executive, present education system and prohibition by a three-fifths majority. A vote of thanks was carried without opposition. INVERCARGILL, November 3.

Mr C. Cowan addressed the electors of Awarua at Winton last night, and got a vote of thanks and confidence. Mr Cowan represented the district when it was part of Hokonui for six years up to 1889. He leans to the Opposition, but approves generally of the present land laws.

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Bibliographic details

THE GENERAL ELECTION., Press, Volume LIII, Issue 9565, 4 November 1896

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2,177

THE GENERAL ELECTION. Press, Volume LIII, Issue 9565, 4 November 1896

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