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INVERCARGILL SEAT

NO LABOUR CANDIDATE

MR. HARGEST'S ASSERTION

"The only man responsible is Mr. Tom O 'Byrne, who has been the prime mover in the Labour movement in Invercajgill for a number of years. He has no more interest in the Labour movement than the man in the moon. He is a wealthy man and he owns one ef the best houses in the city," stated Mr. James Hargest, Beform candidate, in the course of his address to electors at Tisbury on Monday night when, relating the circumstances which had led to the Labour Party not being represented in the Invereargill by-election (reports tho "Southland Times"). Mr. Hargest said that for a. number of years the Labour movement in Invereargill had been divided into two sections. One section had been led away each year by one of the leaders, and the work of the party had been rendered ineffective.

'For the most part, the Labour leaders in Invereargill are worthy men who would be an ornament to any party. Among them are Messrs. Alsweiler, Thomas, and Denham, who have stood solidly behind the party for years. Although Ido not agree with them, I admire the stand they have [taken and their political ideals. Year ! after year they have put up a candidate at an election, but one section has broken away. In 1922, Mr. Farrant carried the Labour banner and was on tho.point of being successful when a section of the party was led away." In 1925 Mr. Hickey had contested tho seat against Sir Joseph Ward and. Mr. Hargest. He had received a fair measure of support and it had been expected that he would poll at least 2000 votes, but when the numbers went up it was found that only 800 electors had cast their votes in his favour. "I mot Mr. Hickey for the first time on the night of the poll," said Mr. Hargest. "He told me he folt pretty sore. Ho had not expected to win, but he had at least thought ho would hold the Labour vote."

Mr. Hargest then came to the situation in the present by-election. A week before tho nominations closed, he said, the members of the Labour Party in Invorcargill had hold a meeting and decided to put up a candidate. First choice fell on tho Eev. J. K. Aicher, Mayor of Christchurch, and in the ovont of his not boing available, Mr. W. C. Denham, of Invercargill, who contested the Awarua Beat at tho last election, was soleotcd. Advice was received by telegram within a day or two that Mr. Archer could not contest tho seat. A few days later, Mr. 1). G. Sullivan, M.P., of Ohristchurch, visited Invercargill and after a further meeting, left for Wellington with Mr. IT. O'Byrne. That evening, .it whs announced over tho wireless that Mr. O'Byrne was a likely candidate.

"The supporters of tho party were then astounded to learn that Mr. O'Byrne and Mr. Sullivan had informed the Central Labour Council that it had been decided not to put up a candidate," said Mr. Hargest. "This had defeated the aims and objects of the party and loft it without a candidate and with no Labour entity." The only man responsible was Mr. O'Byrne. Mr.' Hargest said the Labour supporters, in tho abmice of a candidate from the'-r own p4rty, ha£ to choc so between Mr. Ward and himself. Mr. Ward was a wealthy man, while ho was as much a worker as any of them, and ho felt that be could confidently nsk their support.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19300806.2.55

Bibliographic details

INVERCARGILL SEAT, Evening Post, Volume CX, Issue 32, 6 August 1930

Word Count
593

INVERCARGILL SEAT Evening Post, Volume CX, Issue 32, 6 August 1930

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