ELECTION OF SUPERINTENDENT. THE NOMINATION.
This ceremony took place at the Town Hall Christchurch, on Saturday last. ' There were about 300 persons present, a large number compared to the gatherings npon former similar occasions, but not by any means crowding the available space "in front of the hustings, which, now for the first time, occupied the exterior gallery of,the new' Commercial Hall; a sufficiently comfortable position for candidates and their supporters. The day was very fine, though rendered rather chilly by the sea breeze which blew freshly round the hustings; and the crowd was good humoured and not too noisy. The colours of the candidates were pretty fairly mingled in the throng, but nothing occurred approaching to riot or disorderly conduct. Before the_ commencement of the proceedings a vrell trained musical band, bearing Mr. Moorhouse's colours, and followed by a party walking in procession, came down the street and took up its ground in. front of the central position. The ■White Hart Hotel, close by, was adorned with Mr. Brittan's devices in deep blue, and ;flags of ; that colour, and of the rival 'red white and jblue,' were paraded in all quarters. A few minutes after 12 o'clock, the Returning Officer. Mr,. C. C. Bowen, followed the opponent candidates on to the platform, accompanied by the proposers, seconders, and some members of each committee. The purpose of the meeting being
explained, a few words of exhortation addressed, jand the writ read by the Returning Officer, the proposer of the first candidate was called upon. ! Captain Westenra then- rose and was re.ceived with cheers by the assembly. His duty 'was, he said, to propose to the electors one of the candidates for their suffrages; from among jwhom ; they had the power to select one to be their Superintendent. The gentleman whom he jwas about to propose to them was one who had filled the. situation of Provincial Secretary with credit; and, not only that, but he had, during the absence of Mr. Fitz Gerald in Auckland, performed the duties of a Superintendent. There iwas no question, therefore, but he must be fully up to filling the situation; however difficult the duties may be, he would be found able ready and willing to grapple with them. He would not detain . the electors further; but would simply announce that he had the honor of proposing Mr. Joseph Brittan as a fit and proper person to be Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury. (Cheers.) Mr. Field had great pleasure in seconding the nomination, but would not occupy the time of the meeting, which would no doubt be better employed in hearing the opinions of the two candidates. He could not fail to feel the great importance of the duty to select a proper person for such a high office; and he would say that, after earnest consideration, and constant attention to the services performed by the gentlemen before them, and to the manner in which they had shown themselves competent to fulfil the duties of that office; after mature reflection he would say that he could not fail to prefer Mr. Brittan. He had had the honor of proposing, him when he first came forward for the Council, and he had then -stated his belief that Mr. Brittan, then an untried man, would prove a most efficient public servant. Mr. Brittan was now tried, and he had the greatest confidence in seconding his nomination as a fit and proper person to be Superintendent. (Cheers.) The Returning Officer having called upon the proposer of any other candidate,
Mr. Oixivier rose amid loud cheers. He ' had the greatest pleasure in proposing to the electors the. name of another gentleman quite as well qualified as Mr. Brittan.. He was well known to the whole province and it would be sufficient to name him to recommend him to their favour. He would propose Mr. W.S. Moorhouse. (Loud Cheers.) He had not filled the office of Provincial Secretary nor any under the Provincial Government, but he had filled some in which his conduct was well known.V The duties of Resident Magistrate had been performed by him with credit to himself and satisfaction to the whole province; and when he ceased to hold that office, it was to the great regret of all. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Moorhouse should, however, speak for himself. He would only remark that the circumstances of the country and its political condition were much altered from those of four years ago. Then we had to contend with many difficulties; many questions for instance concerning the relations with the General Government were in a state of confusion. These questions .were now settled, and the difficulties of Government which remained little exceeded those attaching to an English Municipality. (Hear.) Though at the former election of Superintendent it was most difficult as well as most important to obtain the services of a man of such brilliant attainments as Mr. Fitz, Gerald possessed, there was now no such difficulty in the choice of a Superintendent. Mr. Moorhouse, from his natural talents, his education, and his experience of colonial life, was exceedingly well qualified to fill the office. He had confidence in him, at any rate, that he would never desert any cause in which he had embarked. Let the electors look to private character, in preference even to records of public acts. He had no doubt what the decision of the electors would be found to be after 4 o'clock next Friday. In conclusion, he had been told that a large amount of indifference and apathy existed; but he had seen more than two or three similar occasions, and he had never beheld such a gathering in Christchureh. This did not look like indifference. He had great pleasure in proposing Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse as a fit and proper person to fill the office of Superintendent of Canterbury. (Loud Cheers.) Mr. Stoddart, amid prolonged cheering, briefly seconded the nomination. Mr. Moorhouse he knew well; he was a staunch and true man, who would put his own shoulder to the wheel, and for whom no obstacle in the way of his duty was too great to surmount. Mr. Moorhouse would bring to the duties of his office great experience, combined with a Beep sense of responsibility and true honesty of purpose. (Loud Cheers.) He had great pleasure in seconding the nomination of Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse. (Repeated Cheers.) , No other elector coming forward to propose a candidate,
i Mb. Joseph Brittan rose amid mingled applause and hisses. When silence was obtained" he commenced by saying that he congratulated ; himself and the electors, that they had at last arrived at the beginning of .the end of this most prolonged contest; and that another week would finish it. It was now five months since his address to the electors had been first published, and smce that time he had personally addressed the electors on six or seven occasions in different parts of the province. As he had then set forth his views in detail, it would not be necessary to do so upon this occasion. His personal qualifications also were before the electors; for since the first establishment of local government he had mingled in .public life. A candidate should be judged by his antecedents rather than by the terms of a studied election address. It was, however, due to the electors and to himself to otter some remarks on the public questions of the day. First he would thank the proposers and seconders of the day that nothing had been said by them which called for a reply on his part; and he would at once acknowledge the obligation which he was under in being relieved from saymg one word as to the manner of introducing the candidates to the notice of the electors. They were met for the election of the highest civil ofiicer, and they were to confer upon one of the candidates an appointment which would last for four years. This was a most important period, equal to forty years in an established country, and full of incalculable
events in a growing settlement like Canterbury: I Let them look back four years, and see what ;had ibeen done, not by undue bolstering or the lavish expenditure of funds by an external Governhnent, but by the energy of its own settlers. He ' could not but reflect upon the onerous nature of : the duties which would devolve upon the man whom the electors would choose to govern them; and he was fully conscious of the invidious comparisons which might be drawn between him [and the last man who had filled the high office .of Superintendent. It was, therefore, with no ; pretended diffidence that he presented himself. I before the electors. Mr. Brittan then explained •the reason why he had offered himself as a canididate when Mr. Fitz Gerald's illness had renjdered it impossible that he should offer himself ;for re-election. He (Mr. B.) had then been urged, ;not by the promptings of a wild ambition, nor jfrom any desire of place or power, nor from hope iof gain, but because it had been presented to Shim as the course of duty. Next Friday* \ would decide whether he had come forward ■on sufficient grounds. To turn to topics of i policy, he would repeat what he had stated ibefore, that a Superintendent was not a dicjtator, but his duties were prescribed'by law; rthe legislative by the Constitution Act, and Jthe executive by local ordinances. As for his legislative duties, he should do as little ias possible. The state of things in New Zealand was not lasting; any reflecting man could see that the position of its Government was only justified by the circumstances of the 'time. If he had a policy, then, it was to legislate as little ;as possible. Opinions had been expressed that ■the office of a Superintendent was a sinecure, and ;that the duties were performed by the Executive I Council: that was a gross mistake; the duty .;of that Council was to advise, not govern; while ithe Superintendent himself was the mainspring ,of action. Unless the Superintendent was a jmost vigilant officer, quick in foreseeing emer-' ! gencies, and prompt in providing for. them, the ; Government would fall into confusion. He need ■not, however, be a man of towering genius, but \he must be painstaking and laborious. And now ,he would mention one or two points of governiment. First as to emigration: his decided view was to,populate the country, in due proportions ;of labour and capital. This would be aided by pushing on surveys, opening up new country, i and providing that settlers should obtain speedy possession of their land; to make roads, bridges, and other public works. There was plenty of . work cut out for every man who concerned himself with the government of the province, without legislation. The chief labour of the Super-: intendent would be to push on public works; and by his success in this department his credit would be measured. He would, now advert to some cases of misrepresentation, but would not follow into all the little electioneering artifices of the contest. It had been said that he was the enemy of the working man; that he desired to reduce wages. This was absurd and untrue. He Avas a colonist like those around him, and when he was doing any work he counted the cost and did not pay more, thanTwas necessary. But, if the charge was true, what had it to do with the'election for Superintendent? how could he touch the price of labour? The proportionof demand and supply settled the price, and the Superintendent might as well try to stop the flow or ebb of the tide as, to interfere with the market rise or fall of wages. Again it had been said that if Superintendent he "would tax the people; they perhaps thought he was a specimen of the English Old Tory breed, born with a natural unappeasable appetite for taxation, over which he had no control; and that the first thing he would do would be to levy a tax. Now, in fact, like every other Englishman, he had a natural impatience of taxation. The present cry was traceable to his introduction of the Roads Bill. The cause of that measure was the fact, that at the time there was no money in the Treasury, and the Council was going to meet; the first question would have been' What are you going to do with the roads?' which were then very bad. Accordingly this bill was prepared, by which the people could rate themselves^or let it alone if they chose. The bill did not tax them, since they actually were not taxed. This representation was an electioneering trick, and all fudge. He would take the opportunity to add, before concluding, that he was aware that there were some electors whom he had been unable to canvas; some of course were declared voters for his hon. rival, and some were [men who, he knew, preferred acting upon their own judgment, without solicitation; but, if there were any who had expected, but* whom he had not been able to call upon, he hoped they would not impute it to neglect on his part.. He was glad to see the election so quietly conducted, so that the entry into office of the successful candidate should not be disturbed by the bitterness of the preceding contest. He was certain of success; he ; knew the roll well; and would speak his conviction that |if promises were kept his I return was certain. He begged the electors to make the question of choice one of duty and conscience; if they were satisfied in their hearts that Mr. Moorhouse was-the more eligible ;candidate, he hoped they would elect him; but if they preferred himself, he asked them to come honestly forward on Friday and record their votes for him.' ■ • :
Loud and prolonged applause succeeded the conclusion ftf Mr. Brittan's address, amid which some groans and hisses were discernible. Both expressions of feeling continued without abatement till the rising of
Me. W. S. Moobhouse, who was greeted with a special round of cheers and groans, and proceeded to say that in the course of his canvas he had often heard electors say that they would wait to hear, what he had got, to say at the hustings. He was sorry for this, for he was not anxious to be considered the mere hustings orator, and he was besides then far from being well; and after the excitement of a prolonged canvas he could not be expected to make an eloquent speech or an oratorical display. He had thought that if his printed address was believed, the electors would be satisfied: that address was consistent with all his words and actions. It was difficult to urge in any terms matters in favour of himself; but he wished it generally to be impressed upon the electors that he would respond to a sense of duty on every question brought before him, either through the
public or the Council. :-His conduct had h seen m office, and he felt easy a s ; to his irfor v antee of his: duties there. '(Hear "h e^ r^" this occasion he felt surethat-"the-j DoliI'» S n show a result placing him in ; advanceof hi « ponent. He had, however, not canvass^ifff p* tively; his time was divided tooSSS opolitics and his private business; and-wh^l he had been he generally found that feer had been there before him. He could hoWn ; state positively that a: majority of the m™ri» ' had delared themselves personally to him inn.°- c favour; and he relied upon their actinjr toS 8 him with that faith- thatihe^^hadetS^dfilJ^ : towards them. ;: (Hear, hear.) i He IJSS i used any unfair means. to, obtain promises V^ j he '.therefore felt confident that fifS? i which he had : received would bekeptT w- S I reading-of the duties of Superintendent wa? | very similar to that of his hori; rival rl voice: "How about the Suninerßoad?'") As t : the construction of that or any other work h ' would feel bound to permit it if it was deeirl i ■by the Council. He would trust the Council t« i settle such matters; but he would restrain them from grasping at powers which were not intended He thought he should be found tomaintain firm' ;ly any position when he had formed his opinion iupon it, and: his judgment was convinced Hp agreed with Mr. Brittan as to the necessity for the advancement of public works; if his advi™ had been followed, the province would have e<ml ahead faster than it had done. However every thing was now in a state of rapid progress- the customs duties were pouring in at a rate nearly < double that of previous periods; population had doubled in a short time; wool and other exports were increasing, with enormous strides. He ani nounced himself as a progress man, but he would j be cautious not to encourage any over trading or any course which could'create embarrassment Trade ought to be free and;unrestricted; all experience proved, as in England, that commerce and wealth progressed in proportion to the removal of restrictions. It was the primary duty of Government in this country to facilitate j population by opening up the country and in- : ducing the introduction of capital and labour He would now express his thanks forthe kindness which he had experienced in his canvas and the pleasure he felt in remembering that aot one unpleasant remark had been addressed to him in the course of the contest; this circumstance assured him that he had obtained the cordial respect of the electors; he knew that he iwas supported by a majority of the province. He would never forget the kindness of the electors to him throughout this: contest; nor would he, if successful, be unmindful of his duty to the Disposer "of all events. As to the price of labour, there Avas a story circulated by his ; honourable rival's bottle-holders that he wished to bring down the price of wages:, this ;? was so absurd and ridiculous that it would have been undeserving of comment by him, had ; he not found some sensible men actually believing it. The demand which existed now would continue for hundreds of years, and wages . would, it could scarcely be doubted, continue proportionately high. For instance, there was 'the case of: Melbourne importing at the rate of 70,000 immigrants per. annum, and yet wages iremained as high as ever. He; would never ut|i tempt to control the market unfairlyj but if he , came into the market he would expect to secure k such advantages as were allowed by the.position ;of circumstances, After a few concludiiig Mr. Moorhouse sat down amid enthusiastic applause.
The Returning Officer then, called for a show of hands for each of the candidates successively. We are able to state the numbers with close accuracy at 86 for Mr. Brittan, and 105 for Mr. Moorhouse. A second show of hands was called for, but from some cause the display was not so numerous as on the first occasion. The Returning Officer declared in favour of-Mr. Moorhouse, and Mr. Brittan demanded.a poll, which was granted, and fixed, according to arrangement, for Friday next,, the 30th inst. Mr. Mookhouse then proposed a vote of thanks to the Returning Officer, which was seconded by Mr. Brittan, and granted cordially; after which the meeting separated, about a quarter to two o'clock.
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ELECTION OF SUPERINTENDENT. THE NOMINATION., Lyttelton Times, Volume VIII, Issue 520, 28 October 1857
ELECTION OF SUPERINTENDENT. THE NOMINATION. Lyttelton Times, Volume VIII, Issue 520, 28 October 1857
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