The Lyttelton Times.
Wednesday, January 18, 1860..,,. We disclaim all hostile feelings against Mr. Sewell; we have not interfered with him in his canvass of the City of Ghristchurch for the mere sake of opposition; we have not desired to thwart but to understahd him. In demanding that a,Candidate to fill'one of our few seats in the Assembly should before his election speak put his views on the questions of the day, we have fulfilled ; an evident public duty; one which, it will, be acknowledged, was not in the present case to be neglected, Mr. Seweli may perhaps feel offended at any question being asked him; any doubt being thrown upon his intentions, at the slightest hesitation being shown in .accepting him ; but he has in fact no right to complain. Does he imagine that he is to be the ; only public,man whose acts are to escape public.criticism j or
:That that portion yJt'; l t'h v S,i.'u,lMc whose in.iyrtiv& are specially confided to iiim is alone to abstain from calling him to account? Would Mr. : Sewell feel; it an honor to represent an apathetic, politically-lifeless, constituency, that he demurs to the reception he has met with? The electors of Ohristchurch take an interest in him; they show an anxiety to secure his services to do their work;', and they ask him questions bearing1 on the business between them, not in the hope of finding .him at fault, but'with the plain straightforward desire of having- them satisfactorily answered. It..would'be a course unworthy both of the candidate and the constituency if Mr. Sewell should sink into tho seat without a word of explanation., He owed his confidence to the public, and' maide a mistake for his own 'interests.!in remainingl so long silent. ; At' last; Within'■; a.-. week of' the election, Mr, Sewell lias spoken—we hope not too late. His address on Friday night is given at length in our columns today; and we may mention here that it is his own writing. Having a report furnished by him, as well as our own, though on comparison there was no material , difference between the two, we deemed it right to prefer the former for publication, allowing the candidate to explain himself to the electors at large in his own phrases, even-im-proved-from those which might fall from his tongue in the course of an extempore speech. The address is full of matter, and in our opinion very satisfactory on most points. It is to some extent the explanation we required, and it,is one worth eliciting. ; , : To,the policy of. a railway from Lyttelton to Christchurch Mr. Sewell has given his! assent —though it would'seem under compulsion; as if knowing that, little as the question has to do with the representation of Christchurch in the General Assembly, it is a sine quanon with the electors that their member shall be a supporter of the railvvay in the main. As to the financial part of the scheme, Mr. SewellV opinion is the same as that of almost all in Canterbury. If Mr. Sewell will help us to get the railway project accepted at head. quarters (and his address gives the electors to understand that he will) he may amend the,scheme of finance as much as he likes, and we shall be obliged to him. On this point we are satisfied beyond expectation. As regards his personal conduct, Mr. Sewell explicitly denies that he was performing paid services for the steam company at the same time that he was a paid servant of the colony. His explanation now given is the only, one we have ever had, and it was much wanted. We are bound to say thaty implicitly believing Mr. Sewell's word, this explanation is also satisfactory. His further downright' denial of possessing any interest' in ■ 'another province more than in Canterbury is not indifferent to us; it was appoint to which we attached a real importance; .and we ; are much gratified to recei/e the assurance now published. % . The statement as to ■•• his reasons for leaving the present ministry so soon after arriving in the 'colony we lifi^e heard before,; Mr. Sewell has now gone further, and', declared-' his general sentiments v ,towards the! Government from which he .separated-—a declaration amounting to one of independent support —:the line taken generally by the representatives of' Canterbury. ':- • ' /:V! •-■•■ ■"'■■ ';'; J•' "': v': •''■■ '■'•■ ■•• ' " In treating of thei subjects which may come before th.c Assembly'in its next session, Mr. Sewell.opens"up large questions, into which we cannot now follow him.. Suffice it for our present purpose to. say that there is little or nothing here put forward,: however open to discussion in the House, for which the electors ; need 'object;to the* candidate. -We may observe generally alspj that we should exafet no more definite pledge from a candidate in Mr. Sewell's position than an open statement ; of'his general .views. It would be absurd as well as improper to ask of any representative a promise to'adhere exactly to aline marked out before hahdi The character of a public man is sufficiently at stake to make a pledge supererogatory as a security, to, his constituents. '■•;■... •■.••,'. ■:...; :
We are glad to admit that on the whole Mr. Sewell has satisfied our demands by his plain speaking1; and, having'done so, he has removed the^only objection urged against him, We only hope that this endeavour to win the confidence ol 'the public has not been made too late. .. ..;.■
We observe that at the close of the business of Friday evening, Mr. M. B. Hart announced himself as a candidate in opposition to Mr. Sewell; arid hisaddress in our columns to-day corroborates the report. We are at a loss to understand on what grounds, personal ■or.political, Mr. Hart rests his.claim to support. The, representation of Christchurch.' -in the General Assembly is not a matter to be trifled with; if' we hesitated about receivingl Mr. Sewell because1 he he had not all the requirement of a fitting representative, shall we throw away at once our prudence and, leave the seat open to any.other;candidate who.may.present himselfV trusting'that chance and/the future may develop in him good qualities hitherto unsuspected? In-elections, it will not do- to take ' '■ ovine, ignotumnromirifico*
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The Lyttelton Times., Lyttelton Times, Volume XIII, Issue 751, 18 January 1860
The Lyttelton Times. Lyttelton Times, Volume XIII, Issue 751, 18 January 1860
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