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PUBLIC MEETING AT BLENHEIM.

A meeting, described by the Express, from which we take the report, as a "large and influential " one, was recently held at Blenheim for the purpose of considering the action taken by five of tbe inhabitants of the province in going to Wellington to protest against the appointment of Mr. Eyes as Resident Magistrate. The chairman opened the proceedings by stating that he had heard outside that it was tbe intention of some to make it a rowdy meeting, but he trusted they would do nothing of the sort, but calmly and dispassionately listen to the arguments and statements of all who addressed them as men who had a duty to do to themselves and to their children. Arguments were best heard when listened to rationally, and they should bear in mind that perhaps at some future day our children might point to that meeting and say "so have our fathers done before us." Mr. Douslin then moved the first resolution, which was to the effect that tbe gentlemen who visited Wellington did not represent the opinions of the community. After speaking of the high esteem in which Mr. Eyes was held, he is reported to have said that the deputation (No I) well, the so-called deputation (Hear, bear,) had said Mr. Eyes was a drunkard. (No, no) from the visitors to the Ministry). Well, then, they had either individually or collectively represented to the Ministers that he drank , and was the associate of low characters. (Cries of " No," " Chair," and great confusion). He had known Mr. Eyes for many years and had never seen him the worse for liquor at any time. He saw a great many gentlemen present with whom Mr. Eyes had associated for years, and if they were low characters, he thought we were all in low company. (Applause). Mr. Douslin then moved the resolution amidst " tremendous cheering." ' Mr. H. Ingles seconded the resolution, and in doing so expressed his surprise at tbe attack made ou Mr. Eyes in the way in which it had been done by the deputation from the so-called respectable portion of society. They certainly had not represented his views, and consequently he supposed he must belong to the disreputable portion of the province. He bad only been about ten years among them but during all that time, and in fact before he came, Mr. Eyes kad been a

Magistrate and he never heard of any protest against his fitness to occupy a seat on the Bench. According to tbe views of the deputation a certain amount of immorality was allowable in cases which did not exceed £20, after that however immorality would not be permitted. [Laughter and applause. Mr. J. Ward attempted to interrupt the speaker amid cries of chair ! go on ! sit down ! and great uproar. When order was restored Mr. Ingles resumed.] - He was used to being interrupted, but he would repeat that he did not think that any five men had the right to go and talk about the social habits of any man, especially in the underhand way in which they had done it (Applause). He thought it easy to pick holes in any man's coat in that way, and he would say that only those without sin should first cast tbe stone. (Loud applause.) Mr. Joseph Ward, who was one of those who had gone to Wellington, said he was surprised at the course pursued with reference to the action be and his friends had taken. Who said they were a deputation ? He had not said so. A deputation was a somethiog sent or deputed by others, and they never said they were ; they went ou their own responsibility. (Hear). This talk about a deputation was only a herring drawn across the path ; and as for the statement about respectability, he had never assumed half the airs of respectability that some of them had who were moving in this matter. He had worked amongst the people now before him, and had lived in whares and huts along with his men, and he had often found more respectability under a blue shirt and fustian than with those who wore fine coats. (A Voice : " That's another herring;" and laughter.) They bad never stated to the Ministry that they were sent as a deputation. He believed that he was the only one who said that he believed there was a great number of people in the Province who thought as he did. (No!) * * * With reference to Mr. Eyes, he had always been a strong political partizan — a violent political leader, (Voices: "So have you; " "no worse than you.") Perhaps not, but would you make me Residen Magistrate ? (Loud, cries of " No, no "). You will when I ask you; but you would make a mistake. And the man who makes Mr. Eyes Resident Magistrate will make a still greater mistake. Everybody will suspect that his political prejudices will affect his judgment; and though I don't say he would act unfairly, on the contrary I think he would do bis best; still we must admit that every man may be prejudiced more or less; and I think that no man ought to be placed in such a position. * # * Mr. Douslin had told them he never saw Mr. Eyes drunk, and he (Mr. Ward) was very proud to say that he never had, but he had seen him iv such a state of excitement that he had told him he was either drunk or mad. He had a few more words to say, though not perhaps bearing directly on the question. He wished to express his regret at the want of confidence which existed among tbe people of this province. They had no confidence in him, nor had he any confidence iv thsm, with one or two exceptions, He had a little faith in some, but the province had gone to the dogs. We were laughed at and twitted by the other proinces as " poor, little Marlborough," because we had been squabbling among ourselves, one for Mr.Eyes,|and another against him. He had felt ashamed many times — (A Voice :" So you ought to be.") — for the party squabbles they had had. With reference to what had fallen from Mr. Ingles, he denied that there had been anything done by tbem as a deputation from the " respectables ; " Mr. Ingles and himself had drawn their swords, and that gentleman would probably wish himself in the awkward squad before the next session of the Provincial Council was over. He would repeat tbat he had often found more respectability in a blue shirt and moleskin trousers than he had in broadcloth or knicker-bockers. (Much laughter). Mr John Clark said he came forward as one of the working class, and he wished to say tbat he was perfectly disgusted with the presumption of those five men who

had taken upon themselves to interfere in a most unwarrantable) manner with the character of Mr. Eyeß. He would not say all he thought, but some years ago he thought such a proceeding would have caused them to be called a lot of crawlers (Laughter aud hear, hear). Mr. George Henderson, one of the deputation, said that a great point had been made on the assumption that they went to Wellington as a deputation, they did not do so; although they might feel within themselves that they represented Ihe feelings of the class to which they belonged, they never assumed that position. It may have been so stated in the Evening Post. But we never pretended that you sent us. I claim the right to go to Wellington for any purpose I think proper, and I ask you if I have not that right (Yes, for yourself). Yes, for myself; and if Mr. Dodson and Mr. Ward, and others of my friends held the same views, have they not the right to go for themselves and their friends ? I ask you to reserve for me the rights you wish for yourselves, and for which we have all struggled. I ask you as men to support me in the exercise of those rights, and not to condemn me, by refusing to pass tbat resolution. We know that Dr. Muller possessed all the qualities of a good magistrate. I said, Mr. Eyes has been a political partizao, and you put him in a bad position, as his political prejudices will be always suspected. He may possess the abilities for the office of a Resident Magistrate, but it should be somewhere else, and not iv Blenheim. Another reason was that the Government was throwing over the experience of Dr. Muller, and putting in his place a very inefficient man (Oh !). There was no economy in saving a few pounds at the expense of efficiency (Hear). Now don't get excited, for I am going to say something that I wanted to say to you twelve months ago, and which you would not hear (Great excitement), and, well, gentlemen, it's nothing so very dreadful (Oh !), but I do consider that our Resident Magistrate should be like Cassar's wife, beyond suspicion (laughter). If we have a Resident Magistrate, it should be one to who n we cau look up, and not one whose character is notoriously bad. I hinted to tbe Government that Mr. Eyes was not witout reproach, and I can tell you that gentlemen in Wellington said to me, "we are pointing the finger of scorn at you for sitting down quietly while such a man is placed as Resident Magistrate over you." Mr. Gisborne himself said tbat they (the Ministry) had been told that so and so was the case, but that was all over now. Mr. Dodson, also one of the deputation, defended the action taken by himself and the four other geDtlemen, as he did not think it was well to pension off people who were able to work. He had pointed this out to the Ministry, and they were perfectly aware of Dr. Muller's fitness and

ability . for the office. It was not the custom of large mercantile firms to pension their servants while they were fit for work; there was no economy in doing bo, and the sooner the Government were told that it was their duty to take care of our money the better. As to the charge of slandering Mr. Eyes, he would ask, did any of them think he and his friends were such fools as to go to the Ministry and abuse Mr. Eyes. Mr. Douslin said they had accused Mr. Eyes of drunkeness, but he would throw back tbe word to Mr. Douslin. It was he who had used it, and not him. As to Mr. Clarke, he was not at all surprised at the manner in which he had addressed the meeting ; he was a gentleman no doubt who was easily disgusted at anything but beer. He (Mr. Dodson) went to "Wellington because he considered the appointment of Mr. Eyes uncalled for. What security had we that some future Ministry might not do tbe same thing when they had some one they wanted to pension off or put out of the way. Mr. Jas. Robinson : Did you say that Mr. Eyes associated with low characters ? [Our reporter did not take down the reply which was succeeded by great sensation, and cries of " Order," " Chair," &c] Mr. John T. Robinson said, as the self-styled deputation had claimed the right to go to Wellington as they had done, so the meeting had the right to disclaim any connection with them, and to protest against all they had done. (Loud cheers.) It was nothing more or less than a political move hy a lot of Mr. Eyes' most bitter political opponents, who hal been mean enough to go to the back door to take away the political character of Mr. Eyes. (Hear, hear,) He did not believe there were half-a-dozen men in the province, the deputation excepted, who would have so demeaned themselves. (Hear, and applause.) They did not go to Wellington for the sake of Dr. Muller ; it was to oppose Mr. Eyes. The party feeling bad shown itself before the amalgamation of offices was thought of. Mr. Collie said that he rose 'not as an apologist for any one, but on his own individual right. He considered the motion before the meeting was unfair, as it blamed those gentlemen for doing what they considered to be their duty. He would move as an amendment — " The gentlemen who went to Wellington bad a perfect right to visit the Government and object to the removal of our Resident Magistrate." He was sorry so little stress had been laid on morality by most of the speakers. He thought it the mo.it important of all questions, and what, he would ask, was the seat of justice to be where so little importance was attached to morality ? Mr. Sinclair, pro forma , seconded the amendment, which was lost by 48 to 36. The original resolution was then put and carried almost unanimously.

It is said that chignons, plaits, and curl 3 can be and have been made of spun glass, which for cleanliness and other reasons are preferable to human hair, goats' hair, or jute, the materials hitherto used for that purpose. A Spiritualist authority asserts with confidence, without mentioning his data, " that about one-third of tbe population of G-reat Britain is susceptible to spirit influence, or in other words, nine millions of the inhabitants of Great Britain are mediums of more or less power." Me. Yogel atsid the Stamp Duties. • — History affords numerous examples of illustrious names having been imperishably linked with mean and common-place objects, says the Post. For instance, that of the Duke of .Argyle with a certain post, and that of the hero of Waterloo with a pair of boots. In like way the name of the greatest man New Zealand has yet produced — her unrivalled financier — seems- fated to be handed down to posterity in connection with a twopenny stamp. The increase of the duty on cheques and receipts from one penny to twopence, is a measure signally representative of the whole Yogel policy — vexatious, unjust, shortsighted, and fallacious. It is clearly seen already that as a means of raising revenue it will prove abortive j it will bring in one half of what the penny stamp did, but the vexation remains. Titoko Waru. — A traveller, lately arrived at Wanganui from New Plymouth writes to the Herald: — "I left New Plymouth at 6 o'clock on Saturday morning last, arriving at Opunake at 2 p.m. It was a great eyesore to see the immense tract of flax land which has recently been destroyed by fire, over 2000 acres of first-class flax : it is said to have been done accidentally. I stopped at the Opunake Hotel, which has recently been erected, and I must say there is very good accommodation, and that everything is kept very clean. I left Opunake about 8 p.m., as I thought it was cooler travelling by night than hy : day. Everywhere the effects of tbe late drought is visible. When I got within a short distance of Kapukanui, I met two natives ou horseback galloping towards Oao, in the

direction of Omuturangi; about 50 yards further on I met four more, who called to me to stop, and as I paid no attention they turned and followed me ; when I pulled up, they asked me my name, and then came up and asked me where I had come from, and where I was going toj I replied, and then went on. A short distance further I met Titokowaru himself, and he merely said " good night," aud passed on. On my passing Luke's kaianga about a mile further on, I was challenged and replied to it. Titoko Waru was waiting at Kapukanui thinking that the coach would pass that night with Mr. Commissioner Parris, whom he was desirous of interviewing, but Parris stopped at Hawera that night and did not proceed on his iourney until 4.30 p.m. on Sunday morning. I cannot say what was the object of tbe interview, but I am certain that Titoko Waru will settle down quietly if unmolested.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NEM18720208.2.9

Bibliographic details

PUBLIC MEETING AT BLENHEIM., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume VII, Issue 34, 8 February 1872

Word Count
2,703

PUBLIC MEETING AT BLENHEIM. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume VII, Issue 34, 8 February 1872

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