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GREY VALLEY ELECTION.

NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES.

About 120 electors and others i aasem« bled in front of the Court House at noon yesterday to witness the nomination proceedings. Mr W. H. Stratford opened the proceedings by reading the writ, and then called upon the electors to make their selection. Mr Nancarrow proposed Me G. G. FitzGerald as a fit and proper person to represent this constitueocy in Parliament. Some time ago, before the field was occupied, he had encouraged Mr FitzGerald to offer himself a3 a candidate. Knowing that the gentleman Was well acquainted with the requirements of the Coast, it had struck him that he would be a very suitable candidate." His opinion — and it was shared in by others — , was that Mr FitzGerald poaaassed qualifications that fitted him to render not only local but Colonial service, and to i force him into the front ranks if he was , returned. ; : Mr Kennedy seconded the nomination. He cordially endorsed all that had been . said in regard to the candidate by Mr ' Mancarrow. Mr FitzGerald, during his , 15 year 3 residence on the Coast, was well known to them all, and whether as Magistrate or Warden he had always thoroughly identified himself with the interests of the Coast ; and this was a far better recommendation than could be 1 expressed in mere words. It had been 1 said against the candidate that he showed ' no sympathy with the Coast, and was in reality a squatters' man ; but such statements were not true. It was true he did not lay himself out to catch votes 1 by making numberless promises, but he ) showed his knowledge of Parliamentary tactics and the financial position of the ' Colony, by first asking what are we likely * to accomplish for the district, not' what is best calculated to secure him his elea tion. Instead of indulging in a long programme he confined himself to a few 1 important questions, such as the harbor 1 worka, the railway, and such a reform in the mining laws as would assist the miner in every respect. They were also told he was a thick-and-thin supporter of the 1 present Ministry, and not so likely to be as • useful to them as a free lance. But he was going in as a free man, and was only supporting the Ministry on account of what they had done duriog their career. 1 But what ehe could he do? la returning any gentleman to Parliament they assumed that he was acquainted with the different parties and their leaders. They knew that Sir George Grey had been tried and found wanting. They all knew that Si? George considered himself the leader of the people, and as long as one member followed him he would claim to be the^— leader o£ the Opposition ; and if the^L Opposition were split into two, .camps what could they do? With Sir George Grey a united Opposition was not possible. They ought to send in a man capable of judging, parties ; besides," he was the only candidate who had the manliness to avow his opinions. Mr C. S. M'Dowall proposed Mr J. M. Morris, and Mr M'Leod seconded the nomination. Mr Perkins proposed Mr T. S. Weston, who, he said, had lived amongst them for years, and from the impartial manner in which he had always discharged his duties had received the approbation of the whole people of the Coast. The best feature in Mr Weston's address was the statement that he would go into the House as their counsel and advocate, and that is what they wanted. Besides, be had worked hard in their interest in promoting the railway in conjunction with Mr Wickes. Yet these two gentlemen who had worked so hard for the district were the only two who were allowed to go away without a handsome testimonial, a purse of sovereigns or a piece of plate. He felt certain that Mr Weston's views, whether on the education question or anything else, were in accordance with those of the bulk of the inhabitants. Mr Taylor seconded the nomination. It wa 1 gratifying to h.cn to know that Mr Weston had come forward to represent the district, as he was confident his opinions suited the majority of the people of the* Valley. He was well acquainted witb<& Q

[TO THE EDITOR.] Sir, — I was delighted to read your very sensible and timely remarks re gas in this morning's Argus, and I trust they will have the desired effect. It is simply monstrous that with gas at 20s per 1000 ft. (in Dunedin, I believe, it is only 15s) we should be supplied with an article which, as you aptly remark, "Makes darkneas visible, instead of lightening our darkneßß." I will Bay no more on the gaa question ; but what about coal ? I would ask— ls it anything like reasonable that we should be paying 203 a ton for coal when we have almost at our doors, so to speak, an inexhaustible supply? I am told that 123 a ton is paid for coal placed on board vessels lying at the quay. If this be so, is it reasonable that consumers in the Borough of Greymouth should be | paying 20a ? No wonder the shareholders and managers of the Coal Companies look fat and sleek ! But I think it is quite time this exorbitant charge of 20a waa resisted ; no one would grumble at 153. Let hotel-keepers, tradespeople, and consumers generally, make a stand against this twenty shillings, and I feel confident the companies will have to come down in their charges. Hoping; that you will "pulaspokein the (coal) wheel," lam, &c, A Consumer. June 9»

Coast, and its requirements, be was a gentleman of integrity and ability, and had always shown his willingness to promote the interests of the Coast in every way, and especially in regard to the railway from Canterbury, as a scheme in connection with the harbor works of the most vital interest to the Colony. Without the railway this place would be no use at all. A show of hands being taken the E3turning Officer declared the result to be :— Mr Western 70 Mr FitzGerald 40 Mr Morris 6 Mr MacDowall and Mr M'Leod, demanded a poll an behalf of Mr Morris. The Returning Officer declared the poll would be taken on Thursday, the 16th instant. Mr Weston then addressed the electors at great length, going over all the ground traversed by his speech in the Public Hall. He professed to know something of their wants, and would undertake to do his best for them if returned. Mr Kennedy told them that one of the candidates was a supporter of the Hall Government, and intimated that he (Mr Weston) was not. The position he should take, if returned to the House, would be to step in between parties with the view of forwarding the interests of tLe constituency, as well as promoting the interests of the Colony at large. He would go to Mr Hall and tell him that as long as he agreed with his views, and had confidence in his Government he would support him. It was not likely he would go in like a firebrand and do his best to turn out Mr Hall, and put in Borne one else. He was not such a fool. They had been told over and over again that this seseicn would be a barren one, (Cries of No, No.) that the education was not likely to be touched upon, and that there was no probability of another party assuming power. At any rate all the utterances he had seen led him to that belief. To his mind there was every indication that the present session would be the most important one of the present Parliament. The action of Mr Rolleeton, the attitude assumed by Mr Ormond, and the recognised position of Sir George Grey, showed that in the latter place the education question was likely to come up. Mr Walter Johnston, a member of the Catholic religion, had been appointed to the Government ; Mr Rolle&ton had given up his portfolio to Mr Dick, whom he believed to be a denominationalist ; while Sir George Grey and Mr Ormond would make a desperate attempt to obtain power. Whether they succeeded or not would depend upon whether the Hall Government were deserving of support ; and they all knew that those in power had more advantage in the approaching election than the party out of power. Each of the three sections in the House of Representatives would try to obtain the mastery over each other. They should, therefore, select a man independent of all and who would obtain most for his constituents. The world is made up of compromise, and compromises should be made in order to obtain their ends. They had been told Mr Fit zGerald made no rash promises, while others had made innumerable ones. But he (Mr Weston) made no promises but these — that he would do his very best for them, and urge that the interests of the miners were properly protected ; that the harbor works should be advanced, and the railway carried through, and everything done that was possible to open up the country ; that the Government should Bee the main roads taken over by the County ; that the abolition of the gold tax should be brought about, and which should never have been imposed. Were these things too much for a representative to obtain? fto man could obtain all he required; but the man who pushed his claims was the most likely always to get something. Mr Weston here referred to the conditions of the Government in regard to the loan of the dredge to show that they evinced no inclination to consult the interests of the place and of the diggers. (Some little confusion ensued at this stage by an elector advising the speaker not to try to get in under false colors.) Touching upon education, he said that while he had the greatest respect for the Catholics for the way in which they kept their churches and schools, and the sacrifices they made for their institutions, he still could not go with them on the education question, on which he must stand hard and fast, tooth and nail, for the present system. If it were any other way education would decline, because every denomination could not have decent schools ; the denominations would disagree amongst themselves ; and the sons of the poor man would not be able to obtain the education to enable him to be edvanced as the rich man's aons were, and so reach the highest position in the land. They all knew bis opinion respecting the Chinese, and the duty on wool. He thought there was room for improvement in their system of railway management. Mr Weston concluded his harangue by referring in detail to his' exertions in promoting the East and West Coast railway, which he maintained would not only v&Bily improve Greymouth, but be the means of developing the resources of the whole Coast. If Mr FitzGerald claimed credit for having wrote on behalf of the Bcheme, he (Mr Weßton) had talked as well as written, and paid money out of his own pocket ; although he would have no more right to receive benefits from the company on account of the work he had done than any one of them. Mr FitaGerald said it would be necest sary to make a few explanations. He did not wish to attack newspapers more than he could avoid. He was a newspaper writer himself. It was necessary that a newspaper should take a side, and the newspaper that did not take a side was not worth printing at all ; but the express sionß and opinions of a candidate should be taken from his own utterances. In many respects he had a great esteem for the Gkby Rivbb Augtjs. It had been a good paper, and was so still ; but in respect to this election it had very grievously wronged him. He had got it hot in one article ; he had not read a second one that he learned was published. Well, he could baar it broiling hot. Mr FitzGerald here referred to the fact of the candidate who had just addressed them making personal reference to his (Mr FitzGerald's) opinions. He disapproved of such a practice altogether. For himself he waß content to express his ODinioi-s and leave it to the people to say whether they approved of those opinions or not. On the hustings it was the electors who had to weigh a candidate's words ; it was they

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Bibliographic details

GREY VALLEY ELECTION., Grey River Argus, Volume XXIV, Issue 3988, 10 June 1881

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2,110

GREY VALLEY ELECTION. Grey River Argus, Volume XXIV, Issue 3988, 10 June 1881

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