The polling for the election of Members to represent the Ghristchurch country district in the General Assembly, took place on Saturday last, at Christchurch and Lyttelton. At the close of the poll, the result was as follows:—
Christch. Lyt. Total. J.Stuart Wortley. . . . 102 29 131 E. J. Wakefield ... 101 22 123 W. G. Bvittan .... 56 7 63 Majority for Mr. Wortley and Mr. Wakefield, respectively, of 68 and 60 over Mr. Brittan. The declaration took place at Christchurch on Tuesday, when the Returning Officer declared those gentlemen to be duly elected to represent the district. The successful candidates briefly addressed the electors, thanking them for their support Mr.Brittan then came forward and said,—.;
Gentlemex,—l must claim your indulgence for a few moments, while I address to you a few. parting words, also in the way of .thanks; Gentlemen, the majority of you will no doubt be of opinion, that I do not owe you many thanks. And certainly Ido not in tlie sense in which the two gentlemen, who have preceded me, have just thanked you. But there is another light in which your decision of Saturday may be regarded, affecting myself, in regard of which I am not at all sure but that Ihave' much greater reason to be obliged to you than they have. Gentlemen, in coming forward, and offering myself as a candidate to represent you in the General Assembly of New Zeßland, I can safely say that I was urged by no private motives, I was influenced by no personal considerations. Indeed, your election of me, had you elected me, would have involved sacrifices, personal sacrifices on my part, to siicb: an extent, that the escape from them which your decision has afforded me, does, in my own mind,1 more than counterbalance any temporary feeP ing of mortification I may have experienced from a sense of defeat. Gentlemen, I can assure you, it was a high sense of duty alone that prompted me to come forward and offer myself, my time, my services, and place them at your command. By your decision of Saturdays you" have declared that you do-not need those services, and I am, therefore, now at? liberty to retire—with the consciousness of having done my: duty, and with the further satisfaction of knowing, as I am bound to believe, that you have found abler and better men to look after and protect your interests. To those 63 electors,' whose names I hold in my hand, and who I am proud to say, represent a large proportion of the property and intelligence of the province, to those 63 gentlemen, who unsolicited and uncanvassed, of their own free will and accord^ came forward and recorded their votes in my favour, I here beg most sincerely to tender my grateful thanks, and assure them that I shall, ever retain a warm recollection of the generous confidence they have thus expressed towards me. Gentlemen, I have been blamed by many that I did not secure my election, which I might easily have done, by merely having recourse to the same expedients which my honourable opponents did not scruple very freely to use. It was repeatedly hinted to me from various: quarters
that it rested with myself whether I would have on my side the majority of those who voted against me, or not; that the means were very simple, and the result ascertain. Gentlemen,
am proud to say I rejected the offer with scorn and contempt, as I would do now, were the election to go over again. It is true that, in consequence, I have not the honour of standing before you here this day your elected representative, but I have that which is dearer to me, than even that honour would have been, the consciousness that »I'have done nothing- that could render me unworthy of such a distinction, that in the attempt to attain it, I have had recourse to no mean and degrading expedients, that, in short, I have done nothing that'could bring a Mush..of shame to the cheek of a gentleman, and a .man of honour. •
One word more, Gentlemen, and I have done. I understand that .some well-nrenning friends manifested;^their regard for me fcby votingagainst me last' Saturdayjun willing, no doubt, to send-me to 'Auckland, but intending to make the amende honorable, by giving me a vote for the Provincial Council. I desire to thank those gentlemen for their good intentions, but I shall have no opportunity of testing their sincerity. I.avail myself of the opportunity thus afforded me of announcing, before the other proceedings of the.day commence, that it is not my intention to allow myself to be put in nomination as a candidate fora seat in the Provincial
. At the conclusion of Mr, Brittan's speech the Returning- Officer said that as he was a candidate for a seat in the Provincial Council^ it was necessary that he should appoint a deputy to preside in his place ; he ' had therefore appointed Mr. Joshua Porter to that office, during the nominations fo? the country, and Mr. Leslie Lee for those of the town. Mr. Porter then came forward and having'read the writ, called upon the electors to nominate candidates.
The Hon. J. Stuart Wortley proposed, and Mr.Cass seconded, Charles Bowen,Esq.
. Captain Westenra proposed, and Mr JFooks seconded, M, J. Burke, Esq.
Mr. Burke pi'opbsed, and Mr. J. Brittan seconded, W. B; Bray, Esq.
Mi*. Prichard proposed, and Mr. Packer seconded, Charles Simeon, Esq.
Mr. Samuel Bealey proposed, and Mr. Wilson seconded, John Hal!, Esq.
Mr.J. Bealey proposed, and Mr. J.Brittan seconded, Henry John Tancred, Esq. Mr. Bowen said —the leading subjects of interest to the colony have been so long before the electors that I, fear, gentlemen, that your patience must he nearly worn out, but I feel obliged to claim your indulgence for a short time, whilst I state my views on some of those topics wihch will probably occupy the early attention of the Council. In doing so, I must take for granted, that we are to have the entire conti'ol over the Waste Lands of the Province, as well as the disposal of onr $\iblic revenues. And first, with respect to the revenue. I should be for the strictest scrutiny into, and the most jealous watchfulness over their expenditure, so as to, secure to. the community at large, a like participation in the benefits of their outlay. To this end I should deem it of the highest importance that we should have roads made and repaired as soon as possible, in a proper manner, so as to keep open in winter as well as in summer a communication between the inhabitants of the rural districts and our chief town. The opening of a practicable communication^ between the port of" Lyttelton and the plains, I consider to be of vital interest to the settlement. There is a subject which gives me much uneasiness—with respect to the future comfort of the inhabitants both of the town and country, I allude to that of fuel. When we consider that little more than two years and a-half have elapsed since we set foot on these plains, and that in that short space of time, the available part of the Bush at Kiccarton has disappeared, and that of Papanui is being speedily reduced to ashes, I tremble at the probable distress we should be reduced to were there not timely steps' taken to meet this important requirement. In my opinion there should be an .early investigation in order to discover the best and most accessible coal field.— I am not prepared to say -that the Provincial Council should interfere in the working of such coal, but I thijik it would be their duty to open
the way to the best method of obtaining it by investigation and surveys. I shall now briefly advert to that much vexed question—the price of waste lands. It would be both impossible and presumptuous to attempt now to name any particular amount, as the fitting price, but I am fully convinced, with all due deference to Sir George Grey, that such a price as he would have fixed would have been more than injurious,! would say ruinous to this young settlement ; especially to the working men, who, it was supposed would have been most charmed with the cry of cheap land. But, in this settlement at least, they were not to be thus deceived; indeed-it required no great discernment to see that by such-a law the capitalist and not the poor man would be benefitted. I would advocate a sufficient price to prevent monopoly an tod scare away mere land speculators. 1 would ial'sb advocate 'a"reduction in the size of the blocks ; so that a man of small means might go to head quarters for the purchase of his ten or twenty acres, instead'of''being obliged to purchase second hand at an advanced price. While I am on the subject of land I will allude to the question of compensation to those who have purchased land, in the event of the price being lowered. I need only say that lam entirely averse to any such claim. I think it would be as impolitic as iniquitous. The land purchasers made their bargain without conditions ; I think it was a very good one ; good or bad they are bound to stand by it. If such a claim were acceeded to, the belt of waste land, round the town would be enlarged, and the laboring land purchaser driven to a still greater distance from the labour market. I will not delay you by enlarging on the obvious interests of the Colony ; I need only say that I think that the sheep farmer ought to be protected by an amended scab ordinance ; and the agriculturist by a good intelligible trespass ordinance, The subject of the debts and liabilities of the Canterbury Association is one which requires the strictest and most impartial consideration. I should be as opposed to.the payment of any claim, which should seem on examination to be unjust, as I should to any.attempt to repudiate the debts which have been contracted for the benefit and advantage of our settlement. Let us have a strict examination and a fair settlement. I think that this is the general wish of the electors. Having, thus, gentlemen, briefly given you my views, on some of the subjects of the greatest present importance, I will no longer tresspass upon your time but to assure you, that should you honor me with your confidence, by electing me to a seat in the Provincial Council, I will seek to further, to. the utmost of my power, the interest of my fellow colonists, without favor or affection to any class or party.- :
Mr. Burke said, —Before I proceed to state my views to the electors generally, I wish to say a few words to the gentlemen composing tlie pastoral interest, to explain the reason which induced me to offer to represent them in particular. It was not that I thought that I possessed qualifications superior to many of them, as I know the contrary is the case, but when I published my address none of the keepers of stations had come forward, though other gentlemen had done so, and the fact of my station being near the capital town would enable me to attend the meetings regularly without neglecting my station. Most of the candidates are as yet untried in public luisiness here, but all are known to the electors, and it is foe their interest to elect the man who appears most likely to do their duty most effectively. I offer ray services as being a practical colonist, and one who has taken advantage of the opportunities which this country affords at an early period of the Settlement. lam of opinion that it would not be for the advantage of the Settlement to sell the land at ss. and 10s. per acre ; it would injure the labouring classes ; for when they shall have saved sufficient to set up for themselves, they would find the lands suitable to their purpose taken up by capitalists, to whom they would become tenants instead of being proprietors of their own farms. It will injure the occupiers of runs, for they will either have to purchase their runs sooner than might be convenient to many of them, or have them bought by others. I think money should be now obtained, without delay, to finish the Smnner Eoad, and to make good the roads from Christchurch on to the dry Plains. I think also that the Provincial Council, if it obtains the management of the Waste Lunds, should, as far as pos-
sible, encourage the formation of a Company to make a tram-road from the coal-fields through Christchurch to Sumner ; for instance, by granting it freely the land through which it should, run. Gentlemen, the state of society here is primitive; it reminds me, in some respects, of the ancient nations of the earth ; for instance, ancient Home, at a period when men of refined minds were engaged in occupations similar to those in which we are occupied, when the most beautiful poem in the Latin language was written by a practical farmer, and on farming subjects: to use his own words — .
"Quid faciat laetas segites,quo sidereterram ' Vertere, Maecenas, ulmisque adjungere yites, Qua cura bourn, quce cultus habendi Sit pecoris,"
The elements of prosperity exist in this country ; our oxen are strong to labour; our.sheep already bring thousands and tens of thousands:; nature provides the sources; it is for us to guide the current, and lead it, in fertilizing streams, through the length and breadth of the land. The interests of all classes are identical; let us therefore unite in..one common object—the development of the resources of this new but already prosperous Settlement. I will not detain your time longer, but state, that if you elect me. as-one of. your representatives, I will, apart from any personal consideration, endeavour to promote the interests of all classes in the Settlement —(cheeis)
Mr. Bkay addressed a few words to the electors, asking, for their support on the ground of his being a practical engineer, and might, therefore, be' of some service to them in the Council, . : . ,
Captain Simeon said, The thing which, had surprised him almost more than anything since he had arrived in the settlement, was the patience which the electors had exhibited during the elections; as he had very little doubt that they were getting almost as tired of the hustings as he was himself, (laughter), and as they were likely to be addressed by many other gentlemen in the course of the day, he would be as brief as possible in the few remarks which he wished to address to them. Before mentioning any subjects likely to require the attention of the Provincial Council, he wished to impress upon them the necessity of keeping before their minds one great principle, as it was the basis upon which-all the future political prosperity of the settlement would rest; the obtaining for themselves, in the greatest possible degree, the management of their own affairs, (bear, hear) Connected with this-subject, he would mcii- . tion another great principle without the attainment of which, even self-government would be comparatively valueless to them : that was the control of their own waste lands; and this at once led him to the subject of the .'price. Every person who had left the old country for New Zealand, had done so with the idea of improving' his condition, and every person naturally looked to becoming, at no distant period, the possessor of land of his own : he anxiously wished to see the largest amount of laud brought into beneficial occupation, ami he felt assured that what was called the lowprice of land would never be the means of effecting that object; the effect of a-Ach price would be to throw all the most valuable land into the hands of jobbers, who would buy it at a wholesale price, which would indeed well suit themselves, and after locking it up for an unlimited time, until they had forced upon the public the necessity of purchasing at any price, would"' sell it at a retail one, which the purchasers would find they would have bitter reason to complain of. He thought therefore, that the price of land should be that which should keep it out of the hands of the jobbers, and after paying the expenses of the surveys, leave a margin for purposes of iinmigr;Uionr (cheers ) Connected with the subject of land, was that of the pastoral interest. One of the greatest colonial politicians, Dr.; Franklin, had said, that there were thres
[Continued epochs in every new settlement, Ist, the pastoral, 2nd, the agricultural, and 3rd, the commercial; now although it is to be hoped and believed that these epochs would be less distinct now, than at the time at which Dr. Franklin wrote, they must not forget that upon their flocks and herds, and the export of their wool, mainly depended the future wealth and importance of the settlement. He was therefore prepared to support to his utmost, the interest of the stock-owner. With respect to the communication between the Port and the Plains, he felt it to be of paramount importance ; he thought there should be no delay in getting a road in some -way or other ; he was not sufficiently conversant with engineering matters to say what^would be the best line of road, but he could not help feeling a considerable doubt as to the propriety of continuing the present line by Sumner. He need hardly say that other roads to open up the country must not be overlooked. On the subject of compensation to the original purchasers of land, in the event of the price at which they purchased being lowered ; he was prepared to withstand such a measure to the utmost, as it would inflict the greatest amount of injury upon them, (hear, hear),. He considered that such a measure would be more than injurious, it would be almost dishonest, (cheers). When the present purchasers obtained their land, they took it at their own risk, for better for worse, and he thought it would be monstrous to admit that they could have a shadow of an excuse for demanding compensation. (Loud cheers). — Should such a measure ever be proposed he would oppose it by every means in his power. He would detain them no longer, and sincerely thanked them for the kind attention which they had given to his reremarks, (cheers). -
Mr. Halt., alter alluding to the hesitation with which he sought a seat in an assembly, about to enter upon duties of no ordinaiy difficulty, without the experience of any previous council for its guidance or warning, proceeded to refer to some of the subjects which would come before the Provincial Council. While he would endeavour to make the best use of the legislative powers and pecuniary resources at the disposal of the Council, he feared that some of the expectations which were entertained, as to its capabilities, were rather romantic. He trusted the General Assembly would speedily relinquish a large share of the legislative power now reserved to it, besides placing at the disposal of the Provincial Councils the greater part of the provincial revenue, and he strongly insisted upon the necessity of not sending this revenue to Auckland at all, but only such portion of it as might be declared absolutely necessary, for the purposes of the Central 'Government. If the farmer plan were acted upon he feared our revenue would return to us in such an attenuated form as to be barely recognizable. In any case he (Mr. H.) feared that the surplus at our disposal would for the present be very small, but had no doubt that it would increase with very great vapidity ; we, however, required roads, bridges, drainage, &c, as well as a supply of labour at once, and he therefore thought we should act wisely in raising a loan upon our augmenting income ; the valuable improvements which this would enable us to effect would develupe to such an extent the wealth and resources of the settlement, that in a few years we could without any difficulty wipe off the debt. Mr. Hall thought that the attention of the Council should at once be directed to opening a communication between Lyttelton and the Piams, but considered further enquiry necessary before the precise nature of that communication was-decided >m. J'ne circumstance of the capital town havnsg ,,w h eeuleft for three £ rs wtliout any regular Post-OiHce, an-1 entirely dependent lor tne receipt and transmission of its correspondence upon private enterprise was in ir.s opinion, a sufficient proof that the ma-Du-vemeut of the Post-O;nce, within this Province, should no longer rest with the Central Government In dealing with any proposals that might be made to the Council by the Agent of the Canterbury Association, Mr.' Hall declared that, while refusing- to assume a'i>y
burthen, which might be the result of mismanagement, to which we were not fairly liable, he would act towards the Association with the liberality with which we were bound to treat a body that had .conferred upon us great and lasting benefits. Upon the land question Mr. Hall admitted himself to be a convert from the low price system. He had formerly swallowed the argument, that if Government offered land for sale at ss. or 10s. an acre, capital and labour weuld be attracted from England, and purchasers ofland would, by a saving of their capital, be able to cultivate more extensively than if the Government price was high. Experience had, however, convinced him that these desirable ends would be frustrated by large tracts of the most available land being bought up by speculators, who would exact a high price from the morking man and others seeking land for beneficial occupation. A wild-land-tax or any regulations that might be framed, with a view of ensuring the beneficial occupation of land, held by monopolists, always had been and always would be evaded. That this was not a mere visionary danger was proved by the history of other colonies, by what was daily taking place in other parts of New Zealand, and by the well authenticated fact that a large amount of capital was ready to be invested in land here, the moment its price was reduced. From communications with working men on the plaius, Mr. H. believed that not one in five would now be found in favour of a low price of land. The Provincial Council would, doubtless, collect evidence upon the subject from persons of different classes, and only come to a decisiou after the most mature deliberation. Two principles which he thought should not be lost sight of were, the necessity for keeping out the monopolist, by a sufficient price, and the benefit which would be conferred upon the working classes by selling land in small blocks. Mr. Hall earnestly deprecated the system of pledges, which he believed to be incompatible with the independence, the usefulness, and the dignity of a representative, and concluded by urging the electors to muster strongly on the day of the poll. Free institutions, he said; besides conferring inestimable privileges, imposed inevitable duties, one of which was, on important occasions to allow no consideration of private comfort and convenience to interfere,with the exercise of the electoral franchise. The present occasion he considered a most important one, for the first Provincial Council would possess powers for good or evil, which could hardly be overrated. It might inflict a mischief which would never be repaired or, by wise and temperate legislation, it might, and he trusted it would, lay the foundation of a state of prosperity without a parallel in the history of colonization. (Cheers.)
H. I. Tancbed, said, —In coming fouvard as a candidate to represent you in the Provincial Conncil, I am met at the outset with two difficulties which will prevent me from explaining to you as fully and satisfactorily as 1 should wish, my views upon those matters with which that body will have to deal. The first of these is, that as so many candidates have to address you to-day, it will be improper in me to detain you longer than is absolutely required, in order to give you a very general statement of my views oil those subjects which are of more pressing and immediate importance. And the second is, that the powers and duties of the Provincial legislature being as yet so limited and ill-defined, I hardly know to what particular points I ought more especially to draw your attention. As so much has been said of the propriety and impropriety of pledges, I think I shall not be going out of my way in saying a few words upon this subject. I think it is the duty of every one who comes forward, to represent you to state fully and unreservedly his opinions upon all matters affecting the public interest; but at the same time, I do not think he would be consulting your interests, or the dignity of his own position, were he to bind himself to advocatee any specific measures. Your representative ought to state the general principles by which he would be guided ; but he ought to be left at the most perfect liberty to decide by means of what particular measures those principles are to he carried out. With these general remarks I will at once proceed to some of those questions which more particularly engage our attention at the present moment' And lirst, as to the disposal of the Waste lands. Theoreatobject I should propose to myself in dealing with this question, would be to' secure as far as possible, the beneficial occupation of the land. Now this can be effected in two ways
—Ist for agricultural, and 2mlly, for pastoral purposes: but inasmuch as "the raising of agricultural produce demands both a greater outlay over a given space, and conduces most sensibly to the general comfort and prosperity of the com in unity, I would in every way endeavour to. facilitate the acquisition of land by those who - will turn it to this, the best purpose. The first thing, then, to consider is, what class of settlers is most likely to break up and cultivate the land ? Is it the large capitalist, with a property of 500 or 1000 acres, or is it the small holder, cultivating 3, 4, or 5 acres ? I think the experience of every colonist is, that the latter are the real tillers of the land, and I would consequently endeavour to throw the occupation of the land for agricultural purposes into the hands of this, class. I would in the first place endeavour to remove every obstacle which would* interfere with this grand object, and first of all, I would do away with every species of monopoly. So much has been said, and we so fully enter' into the evils of the monopoly by large capital- . ists, that I will not discuss this question at pre. sent: but there is another kind of monopoly which has been less noticed, and from which we are now suffering, and which I should wish to see done away with, and that is the monopoly of land by what I may call the men of moderate capital. Under our present system land can only be bought in blocks of 50 acres, which at £3, per acre, involves an outlay of £150 for the land alone. Now I would ask how many of that class which I have designated as the most desirable occupiers of land can afford to sink this sum in land? I believe not one. They are generally men possessing a disposable capital of £20 to £100, who are at present compelled to buy land in small quantities from the original purchasers at very high rates. I would make it possible for them to purchase direct from the Crown at moderate prices. In order to do this, I would, without matei-iallj', if at all, reducing the price per acre, reduce the size of the blocks so as to put it in the power of small capitalists of from £20 to £100 to purchase enough for their actual wants. Those are the general principles which would guide me in. regulating the disposal of land by sale. I see many ways in which the cultivation of the land might be promoted, such as some system of arterial drainage, better regulations as regards trespassing by cattle, making and improvement of roads. Counected with this subject is a question lately raised, namely, compensation. That is, compensation to original purchasers for the depreciation of their land, which might be supposed to follow from the lowering of. the price of land. I need not add anything on this subject to what you have already heard from my friend, Captain Simeon, except to say that I fully concur in what he has said, and would oppose any such attempt to the utmost of my ability. I heard this matter put in a very clear light the other day by a friend of mine. Speaking of those who claimed compensation for this supposed.injury done them by lowering the price of land, he asked, whether .these same claimants would be willing to give compensation to the public, in case the price ofland were raised. I for my part set my face against both giving aii& receiving compensation ; what I bought is absolutely mine, and no more, and in buying I expected that the extent of my property would be neither increased nor diminished by any future changes in the regulations in the" disposal of land. A question with .which we shall soon have to deal, is Education. I confess I cannot see my way to a perfectly satisfactory arrangement, as I consider that education withoutreligion is in fact no education at all: I feel some jealousy of interference by the State, which comprises men of all religious denominations. And yet, there is no doubt that it will be the duty of the State to see that the people do not sink into ignorance and heathenism. The only practical solution to this difficuhy which I can now see is, for the province to make grants to each denomination, in aid of its schools, according to the number of its members. This is, I believe, the principle which has proved the most practical and efficient. Our relations with the Canterbury Association will demand .our early and most serious consideration. I cannot enter into any details, because as yet we have no means of judging of the actual position in which we stand with regard to that body. I only wish to say that, considering the great work which has been eff- • ected, and the pure and disinterested motives which have animated the founders of this settlement, I should be disposed to deal liberally and to look leniently on any mistakes in matters of
detail into which they may have fallen. Permit me, before I conclude, to advert to one more subject to which allusion has been made on the «ustings to-day, I meau the question ofcauvasng the electors for their votes. This proceeding as I understand, has been characterised as dis: honest and dishonourable, and I wish distinctly to say that I dissent from that opinion, and that, on the contrary, I shall take every opportunity of seeing and canvassing every elector. As far as I have done so, I have met with nothing but kindness and good will, and besides
this, I have made many valuable acquaintances which I should otherwise not have done. Therefore I say, that canvassing, so far from being disgraceful or dishouest, is, in my opinion, both a -duty and a pleasure—(cheers).
A show of hands was taken, and declared to have fallen on Captain Simeon, and Messrs. Hall, Bo.wen, and Tancred. A poll was demanded for Messrs. Burke and Bray, which will take place on Saturday, the 10th inst. After the show of hands for the country the nomination of candidates for the town took place. Mr. J. Brittan proposed, and Mr. John Bealey seconded, Mr. S. Bealej'. Mr. Laurie proposed Mr. Cass, and in doing so complimented the bevy of fair ladies who were sitting facing the hustings, on the interest they had taken in the proceedings, and the extreme patience they had exhibited during the long speeches that had been delivered (laughter). Their bright eyes quite dazzled him (laughter), and prevented his saying all he intended in behalf of his friend, whom he recommended to the notice of the constituency, as one well versed in public affairs, and fully competent to discharge the duties of a representative.— Mr. Laurie then, in a very warm and enthusiastic manner, proposed Mr. Cass. Mr. Gregg seconded Mr. Cass, in a few pithy and sententious words. Mr. E. J. Wakefield proposed, and Mr. Spillard seconded, Mr. Dobson.
Mr: Gibbs proposed Mr. Fooks, and Mr, Bui'ke seconded him. Mr. Wilson proposed, and Mr. C. W, Bishop seconded, Mr. Packer.
Mr. Bealey addressed the electors at considerable length, entering very minutely into the various questions of interest before the public. Our limited space, this week, forbids other than a very brief report. Mr. Cass said—On being requested by my friends to come forward as a candidate, for the honor of representing you in the Provincial Council, I felt some hesitation in complying-, thinking my public duties already sufficiently onerous ; but I was assured that the experience and knowledge I acquired in the performance of those duties, in some measure qualified me for a seat in your Council; more especially in the first Provincial Council, where so many questions would arise, upon which my local and professional experience would bear, and be of some service. I will touch briefly on what I consider some of the most important questions to be brought early under the consideration of your Council ; foremost among which is the communication between the Port and the Plains. I have ever been of opinion that the road by Simmer will be the best to carry out ; but as that, under ordinary circumstances, will be a work of time and expense to complete, something advantageous would be effected by commencing on this side by throwing a bridge over the Heathcote near the Ferry and completing the road on to Suinner, and enable vessels to avoid the tedious and somewhat intricate navigation through the mud flats, and up the rivers to the Bricks and Christchurch Quay. I should fthink there would be little difficulty in raising the means for this, on the strength of the increasing revenues arising out of the letting of the waste lands. I believe the rental alone of the pasturage rims of the whole Province may, in a very i'ew years, under judicious management, yield £10,000 a year, without interfering with the agricultural interest. In making an effort to open a communication with the Port I would by no means lose sight of the absolute necessity of rendering passable the other roads in this settlement, and also of providing means for keeping them so, and thus bringing into profitable occupation much fine, and conveniently situated land, lying at present in a state of nature. The opening up
the communication with the adjacent provinces of Nelson and Otago by means of a bridle road, and the encouragement of properly appointed ferries, over the large rivers, where necessary, would be the means of opening up and as it were bringing nearer to us the fine pastoral districts of this Province. The continuance of the surveys of the main features of the country— though it would be unnecessary at present to carry such surveys out, on the detailed and somewhat elaborate scale hitherto undertaken here—would tend materially to the advancement and prosperity of this settlement, as there are, doubtless, many fine tracts of country, lying away amongst the hills to the southwestward, available at any rate for occupation as pasturage (entirely unknown to us at present in whose Province they be). The framing of a clearly intelligible trespass ordinance will require the early attention of your Council; fully protecting the interests of the agriculturist without bearing unreasonably on those of the grazier. The scab ordinance I think also requires much consideration, in a country where so few natural boundaries occur to separate the several sheep runs. I will now add briefly a few remarks on the question of the price of land. lam an advocate for cheap land, but by no means for the indiscriminate disposal of it at ss. or 10s. an acre.— The sufficient price in my opinion can only be arrived at after mature deliberation ; at any rate whatever the price is to be let us fix that price ourselves, being tne most interested in the results. The waste lands I consider are public property, and the colonists should best know how to dispose of them for the advantage, interest and prosperity of the colony at large.— (Hear, hear). I think there is much unappropriated land in the vicinity of the towns, and the main lines of road, which, if sold in small lots, is better worth 2, 3, or £5 an acre, than much la".id I know of, within 10 or 20 miles of Christchurch, is worth os. an acre ; and that small capitalists think the same, is a fact borne out by almost every days' experience, for I hear of plots of land being sold constantly, in an available position for £o an acre and upwards. I am an 'advocate for a price that would give cheap land to the small capitalist, and at the same time if possible, guard against the best of our lands falling into the hands of monopolists and land speculators, though the present result might be a full treasury. I have heard it argued that by selling the land at ss. an acre the grazier would be induced to purchase largely, and improve his so acquired land, so as to make it carry 10 times the quantity of stock it will at present. I would by all means hold out every encouragement to the run-holders, to improve their pasturage runs, by giving them pre-emp-tive rights over their iinpiovements, a larger tenure of their leases than 7 years, or even 14 years, and every other possible and reasonable encouragemens, for on their exertions depends most of the future prosperity of this important Province. Mr. Cass concluded by saying, that should he be elected, he would do liis best to promote their interests (cheers). Mr. Dobson spoke at great length on the question of Waste Lands and the communication between the Port and the Plains. We shall publish his remarks next week.
Mr. Fooks confined his address to a very few observations, in consequence of the lengthened speeches which had preceded him* He advised the electors before they considered the question of the price of the waste lands,'first to pret the management of them ; however, a great deal depended upon the charges which the General Assembly might impose upon them. He also stated that if he were elected he should propose that the Council should be open to the public under proper restrictions, in order that the electors may be satisfied that their representatives carried out in the Council Chamber what they proposed to do from the hustings.— Mr. Fooks entered into several questions in a business like manner, which we regret we have not space to give ir« detail.
Mr. Packer said that after the numerous (some fifty he believed) and eloquent harangues the electors had been favoured with that day, it would be presumptuous in him to detain them with any lengthened exposition of his opinions. In fact every question had been so argued and reargued, that he was quite sure they would be better pleased if he said nothing about these questions. He severely animadverted upon the proposer of one of the candidates, who had violently assailed the Colonists' Society, as a mere pot-house club ; declaring that nothing had ever transpired a.t its deliberations which any-
one need feel ashamed of, as all its proceedings were conducted with propriety and decorum, and had been of considerable benefit to the town —(hear, hear). Mr. Packer then, in a very humorous and effective style, proceeded to show in what a fix the town was placed, with only three places to be filled and five candidates aspiringl to the honor. He suid the subject had given him considerable anxiety, and he thought he had hit upon an expedient, by which the dilemma might be got over. He' said there was his young and esteemed friend Mr. Bealey, whose modesty and attainments peculiarly qualified him for the post of their representative.—But Mr. Bealey was but recently married (laughter), and though the honeymoon (laughter) was over, yet it would be unkind to withdraw him from the circle of domestic bliss to the contentions and strifes of public affairs— (great laughter). It would be unkind, therefore, to elect Mr. Bealey (laughter). Then there was his friend Mr. Dobson, also a most worthy and eligible person, but where did Mr. Dobson lire ? Why, at Sumner! (laughter).— He might just as well reside in the moon—■ (great laughter). He, Mr. P., recently had occasion to go to Sumner and was nearly lost on. the road through falling into a swamp, (roars of laughter,) which he only escaped from by accident, and he had to make a detour of several miles to get to Sumner (laughter). Now what would be the case if Mr. Dobson were elected ? He would have to come to Christchurch, ar.d what was more likely thun that his friend, his mind abstracted by some great question he proposed submitting to the Council, would walk clean into the swamp (laughter), and we should never see him again in Canterbury, though perhaps he might, being in the antipodes, turn up under Lord Lyttelton's table in the Adelphi Chambers (shouts of laughter). Did the electors wish such a catastrophe to happen ? If they did, then elect Mr. Dobson (laughter.)— He now came to Mr. Cass, whom he was pleased, to see present. There was no one in the settlement known better thau Mr. Cass, or one who had had more commendations and honours bestowed upon him; he thought, therefore, it would be imprudent to inflict more upon him, lest he should break down under the burden— (laughter). There was an old saying, that the lust hair broke the camel's back, and he was afraid that would happen to Mr. Cass, should they elect him—(laughter.) Mr. Fooks was the fourth candidate, and they had just heard that he was only coining forward agreeably with the wishes of his friends, and against his own inclinations —(laughter). Mr. Fooks said he preferred retirement —(laughter). Would it iiot, therefore, be doing Mr. Fooks an injustice to withdraw him from that quietude which was so congenial to his feelings-~(great laughter.) Now then, continued Mr. Packer, there remains but poor me—:(roars of laughter). I'm the only fit and proper person to represent you—(laughter). I'm an old married man, and long out of the honey-moon; I don't live at Sumner, and therefore I shan't iret bogged—(laughter.) I can attend to your business without any fears of my succumbing to it;—(laughter), and, Gentlemen, I don't love retirement; —(shouts of laughter). Can any reasonable doubt exist, then, but that I am your man ? I think not. Well, then, the best thing you do is to elect me, and you may depend upon it, that his Honor, the Superintendant, will be better pleased to argue with and convince me, than if lie had to deal with three members—(laughter.) Mr. Packer concluded by cougrutiiiatiuir me electors on the orderly nature of the proceedings, which the old country might take a lesson from. It was a common and much used expression that the eyes of the world were that day fixed upon them ; it was true in a i-vr-tain sense, for they might depend upon it that all that was transpiring in New Zealand was earnestly watched at home, to see whether we were worthy of the constitutional liberties we were now enjoying, (hear, hear). He did not suppose that the Czar of Russia, the Emperor vif China, or the King of Timbuetoo (lau-htev), took any great interest In these proceedings, but depend upon it the manner iv which everything had been conducted would prove a source of infinite gratification to their friends in England, (cheers!)
A show of Lands was then taken and declared to be in favor of Messrs. Packer, Cass, and Bealey. A poll was demanded on behalf of the other candidates, which will taice place this day.
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CHRISTCHURCH ELECTIONS., Lyttelton Times, Volume III, Issue 139, 3 September 1853
CHRISTCHURCH ELECTIONS. Lyttelton Times, Volume III, Issue 139, 3 September 1853
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