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DUMMY BURGESSES.

A special meeting of the West Harbor Council was held last evening for the purpose of considering all objections to the burgess roll, and the signing of the same. There were present —The Mayor (Mr Barclay), Crs Maurais, M'Culloch, Bell, Ross, Harold, O’Donnell, Bennett, Walker, and

George. The Mayor said he had lodged four objections to names on the roll, but had now decided to withdraw them. Every possible means, however, should be taken to exclude the names of bogus voters from the roll, and he might say that every possible means had been taken, but, unfortunately, the objectors had not gone fully into the matter when the objections came before Mr Carew. The business for the Council to consider was the signing and certifying of the burgess roll as being correct. Before they did so, however, they should satisfy themselves that the names of bogus voters had been expunged. Speaking for himself he was perfectly satisfied that there were names on the roll which should not be placed there, and the qualifications of these people should be carefully investigated. He would prove that these names were those of bogus voters. He would ask the clerk this question : What grounds did ho (the clerk) take in compiling the roll ? Did he do so from information received, or did he compile the roll from one that the Council had said was stuffed ? The Clerk said in reference to the qualification of one burgess that he had called on Mr Adams regarding the transfer. He was informed that he could not force anyone to display private documents, and he had therefore desisted. He had looked up the Act for authority to look at transfers of leases, but had failed to find any authority. The Mayor : Then you copied the stuffed burgess roll in its entirety ? The Clerk : No, I did not, I omitted many names. The Mayor referred to individual cases, and said that some of the names had been placed on the burgees roll by mistake ; others had been placed there purposely, and the Council should erase those names before signing it. The names referred to were those of Messrs James C. Godso, John Harold, and J. M'Lintock, jun., who were bogus voters, and had been kept on the roll as such. He asked the clerk Would he, with the infoimation he had obtained about the qualifications of these persons, place their names on the roll ?

The Clerk : Well, your Worship, I do not like to answer that question just now. I don’t know what I would do six or nine months hence.

The Mayor : I don’t want to know what you would do in nine months, but what would you do now ? The Clerk : Well, I can’t very well say. The Mayor : Well, the fact remains that there are bogus voters whose names are on the burgess list, and the Council were satisfied that such was the case.

Cr Harold : I decidedly object to your using that word ; it is not fair nor consistent. I say most emphatically that they are not bogus voters, and your statement that the Council know they are is wrong—you should not say that. They are not satisfied that the names mentioned are those of bogus voters, Cr Harold then read a document signed by his wife to show that she had sold one section to J. M'Lintock, sen. ; and the Clerk read a letter from Mrs 9. Harold to prove that John Harold was the lessee of the section opposite bis name.

The Mayor said that John Withers had distinctly stated that he was lessee of the section mentioned, and that he paid the rent to Mr Harold. He also stated that he was to occupy the land for a year. Cr George was present at the interview, and could substantiate his (the Mayor’s) statements. Cr Harold : But can Mr M ithers show any documents ? I say that the land was not leased, and no rent has been paid. The Mayor ; Oh, well; it may be arranged—l mean it may have been a private transaction. At any rate, Mr Harold, you are not the lessee Cr Harold : I say that I am

The Mayor : And I say that you are not. Cr Harold : Very well, then; I suppose that I am the liar, and you’re telling the truth.

The Mayor said Cr Harold knew perfectly well that these men were bogus voters. He was referring to Messrs Godso, Harold, and M'Lintock, jun. Cr Harold : I don’t see that you have any right to repeatedly say that these men are bogus voters. You are just carrying this joke too far now; you’re taking advantage of your position. The Mayor : At any rate I will not sign the burgess roll until it Is corrected. Cr Harold : Oh ! who cares whether you sign it or not? The Mayor : Oh ! that’s complimentary. Cr Harold: Yes; about as complimentary as calling me a dummy, isn’t it ? The Mayor: Well, it’s justwhat you have admitted over and over again. Cr Harold: What I admitted to your

The Mayor : Not to me ; not to me,

Cr Harold : W 7 ell, all I can say is this: that you —well, I’d better stop, because I might go too far. The Mayor : Oh ! that would be a pity. His Worship subsequently moved—- “ That the names of Messrs J. C. Godso, John Harold, and J. M'Lintock, jun,, be struck off the burgess list, on the ground that they had been placed on the valuation list in error, and retained there by fraud.” Cr George seconded.

Cr Harold thought there would be some difficulty about voting. He would take very good care that he would not vote, and he did not think that the Mayor could.

Cr Ross asked for permission to move an amendment to add the names of several others to the motion. The Mayor : What is the amendment, and what are the names ? Cr Ro*s replied that the names were those of J. W. Jago, Mrs E. Little, Catherine Brown, James Russell, and David Logan. They were just as much bogus voters as those persons named in tho motion. The Mayor refused to take the amendment, but Cr Maurais said that the Mayor would have to explain to the Council why ho refused to receive the amendment. He (Cr Maurais) thought that the Mayor would have to accept the amendment, A chairman at a public meeting was compelled to receive any amendment, and His Worship would decidedly have to give some reason why the amendment was not received.

Cr Ross, however, subsequently moved his amendment as follows That the names of J. C. Godso, John Harold, J. M'Lintock, jun., J. W. Jago, Mrs E. Little, Catherine Brown, James Russell, and David Logan be struck off the burgess list, because they have not the necessary qualification.”

Cr Bell seconded, and on being put the amendment was carried.

The Mayor then said that ho would protest against the names of Mesdames Little and Brown and Messrs Jago, Russell, and Logan being struck off, on tne grounds that those names had been brought before Mr Carew, Resident Magistrate, evidence tendered regarding their qualifications, and the names allowed by him to remain on the burgess list. The Mayor, with Crs Bell and M'Culloch, were appointed to sign the roll as correct, and

The ordinary business of the Council was then proceeded with.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890515.2.11

Bibliographic details

DUMMY BURGESSES., Issue 7907, 15 May 1889

Word Count
1,238

DUMMY BURGESSES. Issue 7907, 15 May 1889

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