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THE CITY ELECTION.

MR HUTCHISON IN THE GITY HALL. Mr William Hutchison, a candidate for the vacancy lathe representation of Dunedin in the House of Representitives, addressed a meeting of the electors in the City Hall last night, when there was a very large attendance. , Mr Isaac Selby, who presided, in introducing the candidate said that Mr Hutchison was well known and trusted, and he hoped that the electors would vote for nltn when they went to the poll. They all knew how assiduous and attentive Mr Hutchison in the past had been to the duties required of him, and he was willing and prepared to perform the same service again. —(Applause.)

Mr Hutchison, who was received with prolonged applause, expressed his appreciation of the cordial reception accorded him. He did not think it was necessary on the present occasion to deliver a long speech, as his political views were pretty well known, but inasmuch as his , position was now somewhat unique _ he' hoped he would be pardoned if he sought to remove any misunderstanding that might have arisen on the subject. —(Applause.) Misunderstanding had been rife. Clouds of dust had been thrown in the eyes of the electors, but he did not think he would have much difficulty in dissipating except : to those who were determined not to be convinced. He had always regarded himself as a supporter of the present Government (applause)—but it appeared that the present Government did not want him or his support any longer. Although they had not in any form whatever communicated with him on the subject, he could not get over the fact that was quite palpable to everybody: that the Government had given their patronage, influence, and support to another candidate, and had thereby treated him very shabbily.. He had not expected such a thin? irom the present Government. He had always been faithful to the principles ha had espoused, but

HE WAS NO SYCOPHANT and no time-server, and therefore when he differed from a friend he told him so ■ fearlessly and honestly. He had differed from the Government on one or two important questions, but others ha I done the same. Notably had he disagreed with the Government on the banking legislation, but the banking legislation was not a political question, and certainly it was not one m which the democracy were interested, except so far as it was opposed to the spirit of demoWhy, Captain Itua-el], the Leader of the Opposition, was just as much in favor and fought as strenuously for the banking legislation that was passed as did Mr Seddon, the Premier of the colonv ; and a good deal could be got out of that fact.-(Ap-plause.) Probably he had more advanced views °? A he “ m P eM nce question than the members of the Government, but he was .very unwilling to believe that the Premier of the colony could not tolerate any but men who were willin'” to subordinate every view they held to those he sought to propound. He knew very well that it was a tailing of the Premier that he must rule over everybody. Mr Seddon reminded him of Julius Cie ar, who liked to have fat m?n about liim—“ men that slept o’ nights —not_ lean men; they thought too much, and might be dangerous. So Mr Seddon liked to Lave men about him who would do what he wanted. This had led the Premier into the fix of having the weakest Government the wlony bad had for a long time.—(Applause.) He claimed to be as loyal as any man, but ho would not demean his manhood to servility. Ke would not for any seat in Parliament or for any gut that could be given him throw away his own honest convictions. He was a candidates a free man seeking to represent a free constituency.—(Applause ) He might here say that he had always been opposed to the

GOVERNMENT INTERFERING Willi LOCAL ’ ELECTIONS. The people should choose their own man, and be left perfectly free in their choice. The Government had no right to interfere, and it was wrong that they should hint to their servants that they should vote for a particular candidate. The public officers werethe servants of the public, and they should be allowed to vote as they chose without any dictation from the Government.—(Applause') A Government official had been very prominently canvassing during this election, end a nub ic officer who hid been, ordered away from Dunedin a short time ago had been instructed to wait here until after the election. They could easily understand what that meant.—(Laughter and applause.) The electors had a right to teol contempt that there should be a number of individuals talking, and planning, and plotting, and intriguing in this election who had no right to be doing anything of the sort. Here, for example, was Mr Lee Smith, who appeared to fancy himself the embodiment of the General Government in Dunedin, dispenser of patronage and great Poo Bah of the Workers’ Political Committee.— (Laughter and applause ) He was not an elector m this City, and-his interference, was sheer impertinence. There wore others from South Dunedin and Caversham who had been figurin'* at committee meetings. It was not worth while mentioning their names—they had no votes, and, he should suppose, not much influence. Speaking of the Workers’ Political Committee, it would be noticed that he had already pricked that windbag.- (Laughter.) Some one of them had talked about representing fourteen unions, but there was not a union but would disclaim connection with them | and no wonder, for a committee that could comin ; t the misfeasamce of expunging from its platform a plan.: dealing with tho liquor question to suit the views of a candidate of tho biewera and hotelkeepers had, by that very act, forfeited for ever any public confidence.— (Louu applause.) Their wire-pullers evidently supposed that he was a very simple individual, but he was not quite so simple as he looked.— (laughter.) Having agreed amongst themselves to nominate Mr Gourley as their candidate, they wished the speaker to say that he would retire if he were not nominated It was an arranged thing that Mr Gourley was to be the man, and he (Mr Hutchison) was to be a tool to help Mr Gourley,' Finding that their poor device would not act, they actually had the impudence to ask him to retire in favor of their candidate. He could not remember the time when he was not a labor man. Mr Sligo had given them an interesting autobiographical sketch, and he (Mr Hutchison) was tempted to give

A SLIGHT REMINISCENCE. When lie was Mayor of Wellington he en-. doavored to give a local habitation and a name to a labor movement in that city,— (Applause.) Of course he was sneered at and ostracised for his pains. Such a thing as he proposed had never betn heard of !—he was not only utopian, but he was very wicked to be thinking of such a thing. But Sir George Grey (applause) that grand democratic patriot, came along and took him by the hand became his friend and fellow-worker—he was deeply sorry he should see his face no more —and what he (Mr Hutchison) could not do by himself Sir George’s strong personality did, giving the movement a start and a boom. The working people did not know how much they owed to Sir George Grey in this matter he, too, was roundly abused, but he could not be turned from hU purpose, and from that time till now the cause of labor had progressed, and but for division among its followers—its By-ends and Facing-both-ways-it might have been the mightiest and most benignant of political forces in the country.—(Loud applause.) In sunshine and in stoim ho (Mr Hutchison) had held on his way, and it was a curious recognition of long service in the cause of the people that a small clique shouldj to suit certain devious courses, be now attempting to set him aside in that cowardly fashion. Every honorable instinct revolted against such a thing.—(Loud applause.) Public ingratitude was an old and over-trne text, but he was not going to preach from it. What was THE CHARGE AGAINST HIM ? He made no pretence of being either wiser or better than his neighbors, but if anyone had any charge to bring against him -either against his public action or his private life-let him do so now.—(Applause.) He was ready to meet his enemies in the gate, aad he should be glad to be heckled to their hearts’ content at the end of his address. He noticed that someone had been saying that he was disintegrating the Liberal party. The boot was, however, on the other foot. He (the speaker) was in the field alone as a candidate, quietly pursuing his canvass, when all at once he was confronted with another candidate If there was disintegration it must be the last man who had caused it.—(Applause.) If any one could get away from that fact, he was capable of showing that it was the lamb in iEsop s fable that muddied the running stream for the wolf, although the unfortunate lamb was much lower down than its unscrupulous enemy. He thought he had made his relalion to the Government perfectly clear. From the first day he had the honor of appearing before them until now, he was not aware of any change in his political sentiments beyond their broadening and deepening as time went on (Applause.) He was not likely now to belie the consistency of a life-time, and therefore he was as ready and anxious as ever he had been to

SUPPORT LIBERAL MEASURES, and looking at the Bills of which-motion had been -given by the Government, 60 far as they might be judged by their titles, he was quite prepare*! to support a number of them out and out. He supported the principle of the referendum, which seemed as near an approach as they were likely to get to, the old Greek democracy, in which there was not a trace of wfcat they called representation,' for the single reason that every free Athenian was present in person at the deliberations Ur the' Assembly, and while that continued Athens held up a mirror show-

Ing what the free life of a free and educated people could bo —(Hear, hear.) He would encourage all industries, such as the beet sugar industry, that would increase work and wages to the, people, and he would also support all a practical character on the subject of protection of young persons. He, himself, had been the first to Introduce a' measure into the House dealing with the Question, (Applause.) '

OLD AGE PENSIONS. : The proposal, to provide a measure of ’comfort for deserving aged persons lay. very-near his heart, and he could say much in its support, but as not think that it was at all likely to come to anything this session‘he would be only wasting their time In discussing it. Beform of the Legislative Council was much needed, but he did not think the bribe in the Government proposal would entice a single Oduncfiler to retire, and something much more rootreaching wasneeded to bring the second Chamber mto touch with the oommuni'y. (Applause ) Every friend of labor was in favor of the Eight Hours BiU, but the difficulty was to draft it so as thoroughly to meet the case, and for himself he was very much of the opinion of tho wise Maori, who, on the Eight Hours Bill being explained to him, said; ‘‘Too much, too mnoh ■ five hours plenty.” (Laughter.) He understood the Government had now given up the idea of carrying the big cumbrous Local Qovernment Bui, and contented themselves this session with proposing to extend the municipal franchise to all persons! who had resided for twelve months within a borough, or who had occupied ratable property under a tenancy of not less than three months. He did not think that was quite the best way of denning what the constituency thould be, but that was a minor detail, and he was entirely in favor of this reform. In the Governor's Speech it was mentioned that the Government intended to prevent certain products of Germany and tho United States from coming in to compete with the labor of this colony. He (Mr Hutchison) did not think anything was of more importance from a financial point of view “fan jk’ 3 proposal. In Germany and the United States the prisoners were made to work hard and product a whole lot of things, and America took very good oaro that not a single article produced in prison should be sold in the United States. (Applause.) These prisonmade_ articles were all shipped off to the colonies, Japan, and China; and anything that we could do to prevent such products from competing with our labor was most desirable. If the Government could propose anything that could help to keep those things out of New Zealand they would do very great good to the labor market of the colony.—(Applause.) The proposal of the Government to encourage deepsea fishing was a very good one. Seeing that so much was done for the encouragement of agriculture, it was astonishing that nothing was done for fisheries. If these fisheries were started they would afford employment for a number of men; we would have cheap food of a most excellent and nutritious character,- and men would be fitted for going into the shipping service. _ There was difficulty at present in getting right men for navigation along the coast, and such men would be capital men for that.— (Applause.) With regard to the proposed

NEW BANKING BILL, he did not remember a single bank Bill that came before the House of Representatives that the Premier did not tell the House that it was the last. He (Mr Hutchison) was, however, convinced of this : that all the pottering that they could do would not set up the Bank of New •Zealand, which was rotten to the core—(applause)—and the only thing l-h'it we could do w i* ; h as little loss as possible. Ho did not know the nature of the proposed amendments to the Land for Settlements Act, but he knew that amendments were required. The acquirement of land for settlement, especially in this island, was very necessary and even urgent, and yet its acquirement under reasonable conditions was extremely difficult. So far, he did not think the Land Purchase Board could be pronounced a decided success, and more was the pity. The Board’s intentions were no doubt good, but good intentions went such a little way, and he could not rid himself of the conviction that hitherto the purchase of land by the Board had meant plying a high price for it-a higher pries than was just ,and reasonable in the circumstances—(applause)—and they might- as well think of poulticing the humps off a camel’s back as think of getting a system of that kind to work comfortably and well. There was nothing of mors importance than to get a large popu* lation on the land, dotting it over everywhere with smiling homesteads and moderatelysized farms. He need not refer further to proposed legislation Ho had selected enough to give them the trend of his sentiments. On the subject of

TEMPERANCE

he had nothing to add or take from what he had stated cn previous occasions. He knew that men and women disliked being interfered with in that way, but he could not too often repcat that it was not what they and he liked or disliked that should guide the councils of a nation; but it was what was best for the social and moial well-being of the people as a whole. And the liquor traffic was a hissing and a reproach to them. (Applause.) The greater good, the higher law, should be their rule. Tennyson asked the question : Ah, when shall all men’s good Be each man’s rule, and universal peace Lm hke a shaft of light across the land, And like a line of beams athwart the se.i, Thro all the circle of the golden year ? —(Applause.) Begarding

THE RAILWAYS he had not been supplied with the figures from tho Public Works Office—(laughter)-and if ho bad been he should not have used them, but ho could boar his fullest testimony to tho painstaking and judicious management of the Minister of Railways, Mr. Cadmau was an intimate friend of hia, and was a quiet and unobtrusive ’gentleman who devoted himself to •his own department exclusively, and it would bs well if other Ministers followed his example. —(Applause ) He was glad to learn that the Government candidate seemed to approve of the present management, but when before the electors on a previous occasion he approved of the railways being under the control of irresponsible commissioners, for he (Mr Gour.ey) then said : “It is not the three men who are commissioners who are objected to; it ii the system, in that it ;emoves from tho people’s control such large sums of money. I don t agree with the view that the system is a bad one. Judged by results it is greatly superior to the absolute political contro', which bred a great many complaints from one e- d of the colony to the other, and made promotion anything but secure or the reward of merit, as it should invariably be.” What was the use of making a political stalking horse of the Otago Central Railway ? They all wished it pushed on expeditiously, and the Otago members had taken care that in the distribution of . the public funds it had its fair share, which it never got under the Conservative Government. —(Applause.) In the same way there was no need of talking about preserving our national education. Only men who were shaky on the subject would so speak. The system did not need preserving; it was established, and its results would preserve it against all attacks.— (Applause.) Its friends could think of amending details from time to time, but the principle was as firm as Mount Cook.—(Applause.) Ho desired in conclusion to make a modest

APPEAL TO HI3 FRIENDS on this occasion. If they were satisfied that he deserved the confidence of the public, he asked them to make a point of recording their votes on the polling day-(applause)— and to let no other engagement come between them and the performance of what was really a duty. He was

NOT GOING TO BETIEE

from this contest. —(Applause.) He would ask his enemies to Invent some new lie.—(Laughter and applause.) If there was to be any retiring lie thought it was for the other man to do that.—(Renewed laughter and applause.) He was handicapped heavily by the other candidates In this way: that one of them had the mercantile wealth of the community at his back, and the other had the direct patronage of the Governor-nt. Ho stood simply on his merits or demerits, and on the efforts his friends were disposed to put forth on his behalt; and his experience had Been that these voluntary efforts were worth a great deal more than those of the mercenary. He ought to say that it would be impossible for him to hold meetings in all the suburban districts. He was pressed by work, and he was sure his friends would hold him excused. He had addressed them so recently that there was | nothing new that he could say, and ho hoped they would only exert themselves all the more in that he had not inflicted meetings on them. He now left the whole matter in the hands of the electors. They talked a good deal about “measures, not men.” That was correct enough in theory, but good measures would lag In their coming and would not amount to much when they did come unless men with clean ham’s had to do with them.-(Applause.) He verily believed that bad laws faithfully administered would produce better results than good laws undera time-serving and self-seeking Administration.—(Applause.) It was the duty of the candidates to fight and to win if they could, but let them, for any sake, fight fair. If his voice could reach the other candidates, he would address them, as he addressed himself, in the words of Thackeray; .Who misses or who wins the prize, Go lose or conquer as you can; But if you fail or if you rise. Be each, pray God, a gentleman. —(Loud and prolonged applause.)

QUESTIONS.

In reply to questions the candidate said that if Mr Qourley said he was not the Government candidate and had not their support, then all he had to say was that he (Mr Gourley) was mis*

taken.—{Hear, hea-i) The whole thing was very evident and did not want any proof. With roga r d to the appointment of Police Inspector Tunbridge, he did not think a police oommissioner from England was needed at all.—(applause.) He thought there were a number of men here who would do be: ter in such a position than a man from Home.—(Applause.) If returned he would not support a measure to grant public moneys to the Catholics for education.—(Applause.) Asked as to what his. opinion was with regard to the Ward iase, Mr Hutchison replied: “Mr Ward is a friend of mine, and I have no opinion to give yon on' the subject.”

; COMPLIMENTARY. Mr P. M. Lester moved—“ That this meeting of Dunedin citizens, having in remembrance the consistent manner in which Mr William Hutchison has in previous Parliaments adhered to all his election pledges, has full confidence in him as a candidate to represent the Dunedin electorate in Parliament at the present juncture, and pledges itself, collectively and indiviiuallv, to support and work to secure his return.”

Mr J. D - Sooulur seconded the motion. There being no amendment proposed, the chairman put the motion, when a considerable number of hands were held up in favor of it aad one against it.

Mr Hutchison said he could not sufficiently express his gratitude for the kind reception that the meeting had given him. Under the circumstances it was exceedingly cheering, and it showed that if a man did his duty he would be appreciated.—(Applause.)

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Bibliographic details

THE CITY ELECTION., Issue 10441, 9 October 1897, Supplement

Word Count
3,718

THE CITY ELECTION. Issue 10441, 9 October 1897, Supplement

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