By the " Joseph Fletcher," we have files of Lyttleton and Christchurch papers. The nomination for a new member, in the room of Dingley Askham Brittin, Esq., resigned, took place on the 13th ulto. I. T. Cookton, Esq., in a few words, proposed Crosbie Ward, Esq., as a fit and proper person, &c. This nomination was seconded by 0. R. Blakiston, Esq., who created considerable amusement by addressing himself to where the electors ought to be. John Ollivier, Esq , was then proposed by J. T. Parkinson, Esq, and seconded by Thomas Wilkinson, Esq., at somewhat greater length. There being no other candidate proposed, Mr. Ward addressed the meeting shortly, dwelling chiefly upon the misrepresentation of his views as to the Superintendency question. Mr. Ollivier followed, also confining himself principally to this tooic. A
show of hands being called for, it resulted in favour ot Mr. Ollivier. Mr. Ward demanded a poll ; and, thanks being gu en to the Returning' Officer, C. C. Bowen, Esq., proposed and seconded by the two candidates, the meeting quietly separated. The attendance at the commencement of the proceedings was very scanty, owing probably to the place of meeting not being the usual one ; and though a few more electors made their appearance towards the close, perhaps not more than thirty .vere prpsmt nltogether. The pi oceedings on all sides were short, and the proceedings altogether occupied an unusually short space of time.
. The polling took place on the 14th, at Christchurch, Lyttleton, and Kdiapoi Not much excitement was apparent, about one-half of he electors voting in all. The Returning Officer declared the final state of the poll at 6 o'clock, which was as follows: —
The following remarks upon the election, tnken from the 'Times' of the 18th, have more than a local significance. There are too many men in every community who dare not oppose a majority ; who either ftnd out and attach themselves to the most numerous patty, or else keep out of the way when they might be called upon to expr ss their opinions. This it the most dangerous class of men to a community. It is owing to them that under a popular Government the happy choice of an election cry will often carry the day against principle and reason ; that the leader of the noisiest adherents will have little difficulty in swelling the number of his followers. We cannot think that want of interest in political questions can be pleaded as an excuse, by any men living under a popular form of government, for not making up their minds on the respective merits of men or opinions, whon they have any power to influence in the slightest degree the contest which may be going on around them. Apathy in political matters is as bad as cowardice j it does not, indeed, wear as ugly or as mean an aspect, but it evinces a total disregard and recklessness of a responsibility which is not the less great because it is not acknowledged. Many responsibilities are cast upon men which they hfcve not chosen for themselves, but which nevertheless, cannot be neglected without great culpability. Is the smallness of the number of electors who polled on the present occasion to be attributed to apathy or to moral cowardice? Were the unpolled electois careless as to whether Mr. Ollivier or Mr. Ward represented them ? Were they too much engrossed by private business to take the trouble to vote? Or were they afraid of recording their votes ? Has it never struck them that they have neglected a duty ; that however little they may care about either of the candidates, yet that they were giving away real power ; and that they are responsible for not having taken the trouble or faced the obloquy, as the casp may be, of coming to a decision ? For ourselves, we confess we have much more respect for the consistency of those who boldly and straightforwardly oppose the opinions which we hold to be the right ones, however indefensible we may conceive their views to be, than for those who shirk the necessity of coining to a decision. The seventh session of the Provincial Council was opened by his Honor the Superintendent on the 16th ult. We subjoin his address on the occasion : —
Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen op the Provincial Council, — Whatever inconvenience you may experience from the occurrence of another session so shortly after your prorogation, I am sure you will admit that the occasision justifies me in requesting your attendance. The subjects which will be referred to you are those only upon which immediate action has become necessaW, arising out of the recent legislation of the General Assembly ; and you will, probably, think it inexpedient to enter upon other -subjects in a special and exceptional session, such as the present. A copy of the Acts of the General Assembly will be laid on your table. You will see by the Waste Lands Act that full legislative power over the Wasre Lands, together with the administration of the Land and Survey Department is transferred to the Provincial Government. Owing to certain legal and formal obstacles, the Land Fund is to remain for the present year General Revenue ; but with the exception of a fixed charge of £4000 a year, it is to be treated practically as any other Provincial Revenue. The costs of collection and management are to be paid, as heretofore, under the Governor's warrant, but the amounts are to be fixed by the Provincial Governments. It therefore becomes my duty to ask you to fix those amounts in the same form as the ordinary Provinciil Estimates, and your votes will be carried into effect by his Excellency's warrants. The Local Posts Act requires that you shall, by resolution, fix the maximum amount of postage to be charged for the conveyance of letters bj' local posts, and that you shall guarantee, out of the Provincial Revenues, any deficiency which may arise in their maintenance. The General Government does not propose to m >intain any Local Posts beyond Christmas next ; consequently they must be re-established under the new act, after that date. These two subjects, alone, would have rendered your attendance in session imperative for a few clays. But there is one other, of more immediate importance, which will demand your attention. I mean the state of the roads and Public Works, and of Immigration. The settlement of the pre-emptive right question has been followed by the revival of a Land Revenue, and the resumption of Public Works ; but the funds likely to be at our immediate disposal will be far from sufficient to satisfy all the pressing demands which the greatly increasing traffic on the public roads is daily making on the Government. On the other hand the final adjustment of the public burdens by the General Assembly places it in our power to offer such security as will justify us in borrowing money, far the purpose of promoting Immigration, and executing the necessary Public Works. You will, therefore, be asked to authorise the Government to raise the sum of twenty-five thousand pounds, half to be spent on Public Works and half in immigration. It is proposed to limit the sum to be spent ou the Public Works to twelve thousand five hundred pounds, because it would not be possible efficiently to expend more than that sum in one year, with the labour at our command ; but the prospects of the Land Fund are such that I do not anticipate having to raise so much by way of loan. The Union Bank of Australia has undertaken to advance the sum of £4000, should the Government require it, to enable us to carry on our Public Works for the present summer ; but it is proposed that the loan of £12,500, now contemplated, should include this advance from the Bank. Estimates will be submitted to you for the expenditure of this money on the various roads, thereby opening up fresh land for sale. Amongst the Public Works to be completed, the communication between the port and the inland country stands the most important. lam well aware that there is much dissatisfaction in the province on this matter ; a dissatisfaction in which I fully share. lam sure all thinking men are equally agreed with professional men as to the necessity of land carriage, and that the line which has been adopted is the only one available ; but most persons are disappointed at the expenditure of large sums of money with no present result. lam willing to admit that it might have been wiser to have done nothing, unless you were prepared to vote such sums as would have completed the whole work at once. But it is a proposition, not to be questioned or gainsayed, that nothing which you can do will secure anything like a rapid progress for this province, until you have provided a safe and expeditious mode for the conveyance of merchandise and agricultural produce between the inland country and the port town. It will be proposed to you to construct a railway to be worked by horse-power, a plan which, if completed, will save to the farmer from 20s. to 30s. on every ton of his produce exported. I am quite aware that in the multitude of other pressing demands, it would be unacceptable to the province generally, now to vote money for this purpose. But I think the public will fully concur in the expediency of following the same course which has been successfully pursued in other countries, that is, specially to set aside a portion of the public lands, to be sold, or otherwise disposed of, for the purpose of constructing a railway. A bill will be laid before you for this purpose. The sacrifice of the required tract of land will be a very small price at which to obtain so great a benefit. And, if the Council will entertain such a proposal, I have no doubt but that in about two years the railway may be in full operation without making any further demands on the ordinary public revenues, or delaying any of tkose other public works which ate so greatly called for. A very short bill will be laid before you for making sometrifling alterations in the Land Regulations, to obviate some slight practical difficulties which have arisen in their working. On the subject of the Waste Land Regulations generally, I speak the unanimous mind ot the Provincial Government when I say, that it is intended to maintain ♦hem in their present form. Whatever differences of opinion you may individually entertain of the expediency of particular clauses, it must be admitted that those Regulations were passed after much consideration, and that the system ought not to be altered until it has had a fair trial. Until within the last few weeks, owing to a variety of obstructions, it may be said that they have not been tried *t all. Nothing so surely frustrates the Land Revenues as the prospect of changes in the price of land and in the system of management, and it would be most unwise to disturb the settlement which has at length been, effected, un,til f.uJL time has Ijeeij, allowed for.
the emigrating population of Great Britain and the ! neighbouring colonies to become acquainted w ith the terms on which land* in tlii« provim c can be obtained. I cannot but record my strong opinion that the maintenance of the present price of the land will, hi two or years, pl.ice thi* prounce in a pu<.iti'm of pi'wpnnty Which it never could have attained had the land been sacrificed into the hands of speculative purchasers and large monopolists at low rates. A short bill to bring the last clause of the Canterbury Association's Ordinance into operation,, by making the Debentures receivable at land sales, will complete the subjects to be now laid before you. Although of importance, these measures are so simple in their nature that their consideration will not demand your prolonged attendance. Should you differ from the views which have suggested them, you will, I hope, at all events, admit that they have been proposed with a sincere desire for the welfare and progress of the province.
< J. Ollivier C. Ward Total, Olliver, Ch. Ch. Kaiapoi. L 141 27 28 47 , 191 ; Ward. 120. jjrttelto 23 45 on.
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CANTERBURY., Daily Southern Cross, Volume XIII, Issue 978, 11 November 1856
CANTERBURY. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XIII, Issue 978, 11 November 1856
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