PENSIONER SETTLEMENTS ELECTION. RETURN OF MR. KERR.
Thb nomination of candidates to represent the Pensioner Settlement! iru fixed to take place yeiterday, at the Panmure Police-station. By noon a considerable number of persons had assembled. According to his custom, punctually at the hour, Captain Syhonds, the Returning Officer, came forward, and stated that the meeting had been convened to give them an opportunity of nominating duly-qualified candidates to represent the electoral district of the Pensioner Settlements in the House of Representatives. The Returning Officer then read the writ, and asked that a fair and impartial hearing should be given to anyone who came forward to address them. Mr. Qtxinlan came forward, and propoied Mr. John Eerr as a fit and proper person to represent them in the House of Representatives. (Cheers.) la proposing Mr, Kerr, he might refer to what; he had done for the whole of the settlements. That place was his home, as well as the home of the greater part of those present, and they knew what he had done towards getting the bridge over the Tamaki. Mr. Eerr had also done all in his power towards getting communication by 'bus with A uokland. He (Mr. Quinlan) might' also refer to what Mr. Eerr had done in improving and repairing the scoria road. By his exertions about £500 had been collected and spent upon the road. The run also would probably have been taken away from them had it not been for Mr. Eerr's exertions. (Cheers.) In sending him, therefore, to the General Assembly as their representative, they might be assured that he would not forget his home, and, if it lay in his power to further the interests of the settlements, he would do it. (Cheers.) The Howick people had to thank Mr. Eerr for what he had done in reference to the fine bridge which was now over the Tamaki, and which would not have been there that day} had it not been for his exertions. (Cheers.) Thi«, he thought, gave Mr. Eerr a great claim upon the suffrages of the Howick people. After a few further remarks Mr. Quinlan formally proposed Mr. John Eerr amidst applause. Mr. Hooan seconded the nomination, saying^ he was oonfident that there was no man in the province better fitted for their representative than Mr. Eerr, after all he had done for the settlements at large, for every one of them. Mr. Hogan then referred to what Mr. Eerr had done to preserve the run for the Panmure people, and to his exertions in getting the roads improved. Mr. Hugh McNeill then proposed Mr. Jackson, saying that much had been spoken about what bad been done by Mr. Eerr, but that it would require Daniel O'Connell to tell what Mr. Jackson had done. (Cheers and laughter.) Mr. Jom* Lord seconded the nomination of Mr. Jaokaon. x . Ihe Rktttrning Otpioeb produced the registration roll, and said that he could not find that Mr. Jickson's name was in it. Mr. Jackson had, he believed, sent in a claim and been registered for next year, Lut that roll did not come into force till the first day of next month. He fancied that Mr. Jackson was labouring under some mistake in reference to that. The Returning Officer then read, the clause in the Constitution Act with reference to the subject, and stated that, Mr. Jackson's name not being on the electoral roll, he could not permit him to be put in nomination. Mr. Jackson said he had been labouring under * mistake, having sent in his claim. The Rbtttbkin& Ofpicmi then asked if any elector bad any other candidate to propose. £ There being no response, Mr. Kbre, who was received with applause, said that he should now briefly address them upon what might be termed the two leading questions of the day— Protection and Separation, Before, however, saying anything on these subjects, he wished to notice a letter that appeared in the Herald of Saturday last, and which was dated from Otahuhu, and signed ♦' An Elector." (Mr. Eerr then read the letter.) In reference to a passage, " Will Mr. Eerr pledge himself to assist Mr. WHliamion in carrying a bill through the Assembly to make law of the Waste Lands Regulations approved by the Provincial Council in its last session ?" Mr. Eerr said that he had, in the Provincial Council, voted against the continuance of the forty-acre system, cot because he was against tLal system in itself— indeed he thought it a good system— but because he thought that the province was not now able to buy land from the natives to give away to people ooming here. Men were actually leaving the place every day, and in the face of that they were to be taxed to buy land to give away. However, a large majority of the Council decided otherwise. He would bow to their decision, and would not in the General Assembly try to alter that decision. It was now for that party to carry that out, and he should not move against them in doing bo. (A. voice: "You will not oppose?') No; he should bow to the decision of the majority of the Council. Another passage in the letter said that he was " identified with Mr. Carleton and the Brown and Campbell party." He was not identified either with Brown and Campbell, or with Mr. Carleton ; and he thought that every one that knew him would believe that he would not be led by Mr. Carleton, or by any man, however clever, against his own judgment. He should exerciie his own judgment in the House of Representatives as he had done in the Provincial Council ; he should think and judge for himself, and vote accordingly. (Cheew.) He had no hesitation iv giving them a pledge that if, at the end of the session, his votes were not in accordance with the opinions of the majority of the eUctora, he would resign at once if called upon. (A voice : " That's honest.") In his opinion, every constituency oughb to exact the same pledge from those who sought to represent it. That was the more necessary, seeing the line of conduct that Colonel Haultain had thought fit to pursue in the Assembly. The electors of Franklyn were now virtually disfranchised, and were not represented at all as long as Colonel Haultain held a seat in the House of Representatives for Frankly n. He repeated that every constituency should have a distinct pledge from candidates that they would resign when a majority of the electors called upon them to do so. He now gave that pledge. As to Protection, that subject had not been thoroughly discussed and gone into. At the late agricultural dinner at Otahuhu, they ware invited to discuss the matter, but somehow thoie present fought shy of it. He confessed that he could not exactly see his way In the matter, and hardly knew how to take it, He differed from a good many in the community. He would not have Protection at present for several reasons— (hear)— but when the matter had beeo thoroughly ventilated he might have reason to change his opinion. For one thing, ifc looked too much like class legislation, which was really one law for the rich and another for the poor. They had seen enough of that in the old country, and when laws which favoured one class were once enacted, it was found very difficult to get quit of them. That was one of his reasons. Besides, he thought it a retrograde policy— a going backward in politics— and it would, he was afraid, bear heavily on the poor man, on the labouring man and the mechanic, forcing him to pay a high price for the common necessaries of life, ouch a state of things would discourage people from coming to that country, for unless a man had some reasonable prospect of doi»g well here, he would seek another place where things were cheaper. The climate of this country would attract people to it, but they would be driven away if they introduced protection and high prices. (Hear.) What the country wanted now was peace and cheap government. They ought to seek to reduce the taxation on tbe people, and to get rid of the enormous mass of officialism. They had a great many useless officials retained, and he was afraid the time would very soon come when the revenue of the country would not support its offioials, but they would have to tax every man's property to make up the deficiency of the pay of the officials. To reduce these officials was what the country wanted, rather than Protection. (Cheers.) In reference to Separation, he would at once say that he was not a supporter either of provincial or insular Separation— he was not a supporter at all of unconditional provincial Separation, and insular Separation he would faPP o**0 ** only upon certain conditions. These were, that the South should take upon themselves all the expense incurred in suppressing the native rebellion, tie would then take Separation, but not before. (A voice : " Then you will never get it.") Ihey could not afford to let the South off vow. deriving, as they were doiug, a large reveuue from the g< .^fields. It was Southern statesmen and politicians that urged on the native war, when the three million loan bad been incurred and uselesuly spent. He should never consent to have Separation without territorial Separation, and the South to take the whole of the coat incurred in the late war. They had, he thought, now been saved from the consequences of two great political blunders— provincial Separation as propounded by Mr. Whitaker, and financial Separation, without territorial, as propounded by Mr. Vogel. These were two serious blunders which tht-y had been wived from, not by themselves.. Having
•aid so muoh about not having Separation unoonditionall}', he would now say that he thoroughly believed iv local self -government. That might seem coitraiiutoiy to the opinion he had j art before expressed, but he would explain that he would oreatc create mayors and corporation! for the town*; and road boards, or district boards, or whatever they might be called, for the country. By that means they would get a fair share of the revenue, which would be expended' judiciously. Hitherto the greater part of the revenue had been absorbed by the towns, leaving very little for the country districts. If they had obtained provincial Serration they would hay« had a House of Representatives and Legislative Assembly, and the officials multiplied in the place. It would have been the most ruinous thin? that ever happened if they had got what they had aaked for in the Assembly ; then all the out-districts would have had as good a right to have Separation. They would have had the Bay of Islands separating, and setting up the whole machinery of Government. That kind of thing they had been saved from by the Southern members. (Hear.) H thought it a pity that in tbis community they oould not get their best men to go into the Gen ar»l Assembly. If he (Mr. Kerr) were classed he would be in the second or third class, probably the third, but certainly not the first. It was diffi* cult to get the best men to come forward, and those who had done so bad retired. He meant such men «s Mr. Rmsell— (a voice i " That's not the man"}— Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Creighton, and Mr. BuckUnJ. Those four gentlemen had beem in the House of Representatives, and had done good service, and he was yery sorry they were not there tbis session. There were other good men who did not come forward, »nd he was sorry they had no better than himself to send. Amongst the Southern members there were men of talent, and of debating power, with whom the men from Auckland were not able to cope. Before concluding, he would like to make a few remarks to his Howick friends. He had not the least ill feeling towards those who had brought Mr. Jackson forward, and he hoped that Mr. Jackson had no such feeling towards him. (Mr. Jackson; "Certainly not.'^ He (Mr. Kerr) had imported no bitterness into the contest, and should always cherish the same feeling that he had ever done towards the Howick people. Indeed, he was pretty certain that, if there had been a contest, a large majority of them would have voted for him. He quite understood how it was. The people at Howick were rather a sporting community, and liked a bit of fun and excitement. (Laughter.) Therefore they had brought out Mr. Jackson, and he might say for himself that he was sorry that they had not a chance of hearing him. In conclusion, he would thank them for the honour they had done him, and the patient hearing that had been accorded to him. (Cheers.) Mr. J. Whit? then aaked Mr. Kerr if he would support vote by ballot, ( Mr. Kerb said he would support vote by ballot. He was in favour of voting papers being taken from house to house. The Returning Officer then said that it only remained fur him to declare John Kerr, Esq., to hare been duly elected as the representative of the Pensioner Settlements in the House of Representatives. (Cheers.) On the motion of Mr. Kebb, a vote of thanks was given, with three cheers, to the Returning Officer. Three cheers were also given for Mr. Kerr. Mr. White then addressed those present *vt; considerable length on the merits of Mr. Kerr and Mr. Jackson, ÜBiug very strong language towards the latter. He was at length half -persuaded and half • dragged away by his friends. Mr. Jackson then spoke shortly to those present, He said he was sorry to find that he was not on the registration-roll. He was under the impression that he had been, as he had lodged his cla,im. He beliered most of them knew that he had been anxious to bring Mr. Maclean forward, as he had never supposed that he was a proper person to represent the district, not having any large property in it. He had always done his utmost for Howick, and ha.d studied their interest before his own. The assemblage then dispersed.
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PENSIONER SETTLEMENTS ELECTION. RETURN OF MR. KERR., Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXIII, Issue 3135, 6 August 1867
PENSIONER SETTLEMENTS ELECTION. RETURN OF MR. KERR. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXIII, Issue 3135, 6 August 1867
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