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MR FISH’S MEETING., Issue 7935, 17 June 1889
MR FISH’S MEETING.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sfß,— At his meeting on Friday evening Mr Fish openly accused me of asking him “ impertinent and insulting ” questions, and ho also asserted that inputting the questions to him I was actuated by feelings of ill-will and spite. Sir, I most emphatically deny that such was the case. 1 was Invited to go to his meeting. I wna invited to put questions to him, I asked him the three simple questions which I append hereto—and which Mr Fish was careful not to read out—and expected straightforward and explicit answers to them. Like many of my fellowcitizens, I have for a long time felt that the charges which have been made against Mr Fish should be fully answered by him, and as one of the electors of Dunedin South I again call upon him to answer thein. Sjr, I trust that in justice to mo you will insert this letter, and I ask the Press of this City to back mo up in this matter. The questions referred to were as follows j. Were the charges which were made against you in tho ‘ Daily Times ’ of 21st July, 1884, true or not ? 2. If not true, why did you first bring an action for libel, and then withdraw it and pay your accuser’s costs ? 3, Will you support a motion for tho appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into tho charges'!—I am, etc., Alexander Cairns. Dunedin, June 17. P.S.—lf Mr Fish is not prepared to deny on oath the charges which have been made against him, then 1 think tho course suggested by tho last question should be adopted, as it would be an effectual means of clearing up the whole matter.
TO TIIK KDITOB. Sin,— Judging from the report of Mr Fish’s meeting, which appears in youi issue to-night, it would seem that his audience did not care to press for an answer to Mr Cairns’s questions. If the electors were fairly represented at the meeting, and if I am correct in my surmise, then I do not hesitate to say that th6y should bo disfranchised. Mr Fish said the questions “ were impertinent, insulting, and unnecessary.” Very pretty words, no doubt, for Mr Fish to use if he wished to avoid straightforward' answers. It has been frequenVy asserted that through the action of Mr Fish both the City and the' Harbor Board aie called on to pay interest oa
moneys for which they received benefit; and unless the electors of Dunedin South desire to continue to bo held up to scorn by tho rest of the colony they should insist upon Mr fish giving a full account of his stewardship as a City Councillor and as a member of the Harbor Board; and failing his doing so, the citizens should call upon some constituted authority to investigate and report,—l am, etc., Ratepayer. Dunedin, June IS.
TO THE EDITOR, SfR,-—I ogreo with “ Elector” in thinking that Mr Alexander Cairns ia to be congratulated upon the manly stand taken by him at Mr Fish’s meeting. Sir, this is a matter which affects not only the electors of Dunedin South but the citizens at large, and it is the duty of the Press to allow the whole subject to he freely and fully discussed, as it is only through the medium of the Press that matters of public importance such as this can be properly ventilated. It is hopeless for anyone, no matter how determined ho may be, to attempt to get a hearing at a meeting composed almost entirely of the admirers and supporters of u member of Parliament, when the subject matter of his remarks is not fuvotable to that member, and Mr Cairns must have felt this when he stepped to the front of the stage on Friday evening. . . Sir, I am expressing the opinion of a very large number of my fellowcitizens when I say that Mr Fish is in duty bound to give his accusers an opportunity of proving the charges which have been made against him—not secretly or anonymously, but by a well-known and respected citizen, and in terms which are free from ambiguity. If Mr Fish does this and comes througn the fire unscathed ho will be entitled to universal sympathy. On the other hand, if he fails he snould retire into private life for ever. Mr Fish’s conduct in discontinuing the libel action brought by him against his accuser and paying his accuser’s costs can (without explanation from him) only bear one construction. Mr Fish had then a golden opportunity ottered to him to refute on oath the charges which were made against him, and yet he failed to avail himself of it, and has never explained his conduct, Reverting to what took place at the meeting on Friday evening, it seems strange that the chairman did not read out the questions which Mr Cairns put, in order that those present and not present might judge as to whether they were “Impertinent and insulting.” I hope Mr Fish will, before he leaves for Wellington, publish the questions and his answers thereto.—l am, etc,, Citizen. Dunedin, June 17.
MR FISH’S MEETING., Issue 7935, 17 June 1889
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