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THE WAIRAU ELECTION.

MR SEYMOUR'S RESIGNATION. I We continue our report of theproceedings at Mr Seymour's valedictory meeting on 6th May : — I At the conclusion of Mr Seymour's address Mr Fell said, as no one appeared disposed to ask any questions, he would ask the meeting to assent to a short motion which he was about to j propose. They had met to say farewell to a gentleman who had long been at the head of the Government, and their most efficient represen- I tative m Wellington, he would therefore move the following resolution : — "We thank Mr Seymour for his address this evening, and for his past services as member for the district m the House of Representatives, and learn with regret that he cannot attend the next session. We are, however, glad to hear that he intends to offer himself for our suffrages at the next general election, when we pledge ourselves to use our best endavors to secure his return." — For the first part of the resolution he felt per- | fectly sure, that they did all thank him for his i address and for the information he had given ! them, which was interesting ; he felt, sure, too, that they would all thank him for his services m Wellington ; and though the next session might not be a very important one, they could not but regret that he would not be there to represent them. He also concluded that those ' who regretted his absence would wish to see him back again. He (Mr Fell) had often thought that a vote of thanks like this was but a poor reward for all the long services, and the cares and anxieties of office, and he wished to make this something more than a mere formal vote of thanks, he therefore asked the meeting to pledge themselves to support him ou his return, (applause.) Mr J. 0. Chaytor m seconding the motion, said they would agree with him m thanking his Honor Mr Seymour, and he hoped by the man- ! ner iv which those thanks were expressed that they wouldshow that they all appreciated his serI vices. He would not allude further to Mr Sey- ; mour's worth or character, as he was too well known to require further comment. He thought it was very desirable to have the Superintendent m the House of Rupreseiiliilivea, "s lie*was [ so much better acquainted with the requirements of the Province thau any one else, and he hoped some gentleman would come forward who would not oppose him at the next general election. MR. WARD A CANDIDATE. Mr Ward said, before the motion was put, he would like to say that if they decided to send | another member to the House, he was pi - epared to offer himself. He would not attempt to cast the slightest shadow on anything that had been said m favour of Mr Seymour. He agreed with him on most things, and where they differed was only on minor points. He would join with the meeting m wishing him a speedy and prosperous voyage, and a safe return, and he was sure there was not one there who could appreciate him more highly than he did ; but lie wished them to understand that he did not agree with the last part of the resolution. He would not promise not to oppose Mr Seymour at the next election, and he would not go to the Assembly as the mere keeper of the seat for Mr Seymour. (Hear.) Mr T. A. Dickeks asked if Mr Seymour would keep his seat if requested to do so by a majority of the electors 1 Mr Seymour said a request from a majority of the electors would certainly have great weight, but he should not be satisfied with his position. After he was gone they might find that they had made a mistake, and have cause to regret the course they had pursued ; nor would it be satisfactory to his conscience. There was one of the oldest inhabitants of the Province who was willing to serve them, and the advice he would give them was to accept the offer. He quite agreed with Mr Ward, as to the latter part of the resolution, since he could not expect any man to pledge himself not to oppose him m such a case. Mr Ward said though he had cleared himself of any promise, yet he thought it probable that he might not oppose Mr Seymour, as he had I partly promised '.another constituency to stand, but there were so many things that might occur that he could not say >vhat he might do. He had been asked if he was a Proviucialist or an Abolitionist ? Well, he objected to placing j the whole government and patronage of the Colony m the hands of a central Government. In that sense he was a Provineialisfc. There 1 were doubtless some defects m Provincial Governments, but he thought the affairs of the country would not be so efficiently conducted under a central system. There was a proof of how things were neglected by the manner m which tbe district of Kaikoura had been treated with reference to the Diseased Cattle Act. Whatever the defects of Provincial Governments might be, he thought if they had been under the General Government they would have been m a much worse position. Mr Sinclair rose m the body of the meeting, and proposed as an amendment that they should give three cheers for Mr Seymour, and three for Mr Ward. Mr James Eoblxson could not agree with the last speaker, they had met to thank Mr Sey- I mour, and this meeting had nothing to do with thanking Mr Ward. Mr H. Dodson wished to see the last part of the resolution eliminated, he cordially agreed

with the rest, but he would not pledge himself as to what he would do m twelve mouths' time ; he thought there was time enough for that when the occasion arose. Mr Fell made a few remarks m support of the resolution. Mr G. Henderson said he was highly gratified with the address he had heard from Mr Seymour. He was quite willing to thank him for his address and for his past services. He respected him as a man of sterling integrity and perseverance, and acknowledged that he had himself the best man they had yet had as their representative. But as Mr Seymour had himself very wisely said, he would not pledge any man nat to oppose him on his return. It was all very well for Mr Pell as a young man to say this, but while it shewed his devotion to Mr Seymour it also shewed his unwisdom. If the last part of the resolution was retained ifc would deter him (Mr Henderson) from joining heartily m the applause when the resolution was put to the meeting. Mr Chaytor, as the seconder, was quite prepared to stand on the resolution as it was, and believed nine out of ten would do the same. Mr Robinson said he was prepared to vote for the resolution as it stood, and those who did not like it could vote against it, or not vote at all, just as they pleased. (Cries of Hear, hear.) When he looked round and saw who they .vere who wished to have the last part of the resolution struck out, he was not the least surprised. They were, when Mr Seymour was last elected, his political opponents, and he had no doubt that it was likely they would be again. He thought the electors of Wairan should not allow their member to go away m doubt as to whether they would give him their support on his return, and he saw no objection to telling him that they would support him again, and that the same hands that wished him farewell would be stretched out to welcome his return. (Loud applause.) The resolution was then put to the meeting, a forest of hands beiug held up m its favor, and only three agiinst. The announcement was followed by a rouud of applause, and Mr Seymour briefly thanked them for their hearty response to the resolution, assuring them that it would be a cheering thought ©n the voyage, that he carried with him the esteem and good wishes of the electors of Marlborough. MR MOOJtHOTJSE APPEARS ON THE SCENE. Mr Mookhouse had entered the room just as Mr Ward ceased speaking. He now came forward and said he had left Wellington this afternoon, after hearing that his old and esteemed friend and their worthy Superintendent and representative had determined to resign his seat m the House of Representatives ; and he had come there to offer his services. He was an earnest politician, but he had no aspirations beyond New Zealand, except his allegiance to that Empire of which he was proud to know this Colony formed no insignificant part. He was not an eleeter of the Wairan it was true ; but it had been the boast of some m the olden time that they were citizens of Rome : it was his boast that he was a citizen of New Zealand, and "m that light he hail as good a claim to their suffrages as any one else. He had served New Zealond long, and he had served her faithfully. When he left Wellington he did not expect to find their esteemed friend Mr Ward m the field as a candidate. He had always been on very excellent terms with Mr Ward, and he had no doubt that should they contest this election they would esteem each other just as highly as they did then. He certainly did feel strongly inclined to contest this election. He was the oldest member of the General Assembly when the ook his seat there, and he had a large personal knowledge of all the leading members of the House, and, m fact, of all the public men of the Colony. He had eight years experience as Superintendent of a large and influential section of New Zealand, where he had initiated a system of public works, which at the time had been considered bysomeUtopian and premature, but he had lived to see that system extended to the whole Colony. He had always desired to see New Zealand become a nation j at the present time it was not so, there was no great and comprehensive policy taken up by the people m a national spirit ; he did not know a single question on which he could lay his finger that would awaken a universal throb of sympathy through the length and breadth of the land. He hoped, however, to live another ten or twelve yeai-s at least, and he hoped before that time expiredtoseeareally national spirit existing m New Zealand. He just caught a word as he came m, he heard Mr Ward say that he was a Provincialist. So was he (Mr Moorhouse) a Provincialist, and a warm conservator of the existing order of things. When he said that he was a provincialist, he must say that m the old meaning of the term he considered it next to impossible to be so ; the progress of the Colony rendered a more extended policy not only desirable but absolutely necessary. He was very glad to be present there that night ; it gave him great pleasure to add his personal testimony to the worth of Mr Seymour as a public man, it was his ability and integrity that had raised him to the important position he held m the House of Representatives, that of Chairman of Committees, and he was sorry to see him going away ; at the same time he hoped for the sake of the Colony to see him soon return. He (Mr Moorhouse) had heard from a certain quarter that they h.id made up their minds to have a " local man." That settled the question m his mind, and he determined to come at once and see this " local man," and if necessary to fight him. (Laughter. ) Of course he would not pull off his coat to him, he hoped to win without that. (Renewed laughter. ) He would acknowledge that a " local man " aiight be better posted up m the actual topography of the district ; he might know every ditch, and the special requirements of this or that farm, and who ought or ought not to cut a drain, and be aware of every hole m every bridge between this and Picton. (Renewed laughter). [Mr Ward made several jocular little side speeches during this portion of Mr Moorhouse's address, to which Mr Moorhouse at length replied.] He did not wish to merely exchange banter with Mr Ward, as he was m earnest. If he was not a local man he was well acquainted with their position ; and if he did not know every nook and corner of the Wairau, he might say that he knew the whole Colony, for

lie had been m every Province, and knew personally all their public men. If Mr Ward could convince him by fair argument that his (Mr Ward's) services would be better for this district and for the Colony than his, then he would retire. He expressed his own conviction that he was the heaviest man of the two, but if he found himself to be the weaker vessel he would wish Mr Ward God-speed, and give him all his help, as he would never stand m the way of a better man. But if he was returned, he would as their member endeavour to secure for his constituents all just and reasonable local benefits. He believed the meeting was too intelligent to suppose that their interests would be best served by attending to mere local details ; it was not mere Provincialism that gave birth to the system of public works. He had made himself acquainted with the financial condition, the trade, and territorial wealth of this Province, and he could tell them it was the great colonial policy of the greatest genius oE these colonies, Mr Vo^el, that had giren them the railway, for what it was worth ; it was not the efforts of Mr S ymour alone as their member, but his adherence to and support of the great policy of Immigration and Public Works that made that railway, and he was sure Mr Seymour would endorse his statements. Should he be elected he should go m as an adherent to the general policy of the present administration. It was quite likely that there might be measures introduced that would not iv all their minor details exactly agree with his own personal views ; but we could not have everything our own way. Like other people, politicians have to take thiugs as they can get them, and accept the nearest approach to abstract perfection. He quite agreed with the last part of the resolution; he thought it was quite right that the assurance should be given, that they would welcome Mr Seymour back to occupy the same position again which he had so worthily filled. (-Hear, hear). Mr Moorhouse continued by saying that he would pledge himself to retire m favour of Mr Seymour on his return, and bow to his superior fitness as their representative. Although he was not a " local man " he would be if he was elecfced.and should endeavour to faithfully serve his clients when he endorsed on his brief " Moorhouse for Wairau ;" at the same time he should always have m view the wish to make this Colony a nation, and not a mere aglomeration of villages. He said no abolition of the provinces was necessary for this Island ; he was m favour of it m the North Island where he lived, but he was not for the destruction of the present system until something else was produced; he was not an iconoclast, and he did not wish to radically destroy that which was carrying on the government of the country, though it might be clumsily, it might be expensively, but it was peaceably doiug its work. The circumstances of the North and Middle Islands were not the same, they were m fact widely different, and he did not think that so wide and radical a change as the overthrow of the Province, was needed for this Island. He had administered the affairs of a Province for eight years under the existing law, and whatever might be its defects, it had done, and was still doing, its duty. He was a working man and had to earn his living, which meant that he had to look after his clients' interests, and he probably could not afford to go into Parliament only as he was living m Wellington, and could walk into the House of an evening without entirely neglecting his own business. He then humourously sketched out the course to be pursued by Mr Ward and himself so as to prove to each other which was the best man, and renewed his assertion that he would retire m favour of that gentleman, if Mr Ward could prove himself the most eligible candidate ; but, he said, if they still differed, and the election had to be contested, he would fight it out to the last gasp— (laughter), of course m the fairest and most gentlemanly manner. He concluded a very able address, of which our space compels its to give but a brief summary, by thanking the meeting for giving him so patient a hearing, and sat down amidst considerable applause. A vote of thanks to the Chairman closed the proceedings.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/MEX18750512.2.14

Bibliographic details

THE WAIRAU ELECTION., Marlborough Express, Volume X, Issue 709, 12 May 1875

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THE WAIRAU ELECTION. Marlborough Express, Volume X, Issue 709, 12 May 1875

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