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THE CITY ELECTION., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXI, Issue 222, 19 September 1887
THE CITY ELECTION.
THE NOMINATION. The nomination of candidates ior the City of Nelson took place in the Provincial Hall at noon to day, when there was a large crowd present. The Returning Olliccr having read the writ, called for nominations, when Mr Rowe proposed Mr W. B. Gibbs as a qualified candidate to represent the City. Mr Gibbs had been before them, and had spoken to the Nelson and country electors, but must not be held responsible for anything he had said except to tho City electors. He was free and untramelled, could go into the House as a blank sheet, and was capable of good things, and was also accessible to all. If he became proud afterwards he would be the first to oppose him. Mr Gibbs' policy was retrenchment, but he was not disposed to inflict hardships upon any of the Civil Servants, He himself would be no party to anything of that kind. The Service had undoubtedly grown, as Mr Sharp had once said, and no doubt if that gen? tleman had been at the head he would have remedied it fairly and justly. He would make no invidious comparisons to alter their preconceived opinions. He wanted to be at harmony with all the district, and he respected every man and his opinions formed on a fair and true basis. Mr Gibbs had told them he wan a rctrencher, and no doubt others had said the same. AVith regard to railways, he wished tliem to be entrusted to the enterprise of syndicates, lie was an energetic young man, and no doubt he would make an excellent member. fie (the speaker) did not profess to have any influences on so large a community, many of whom perhaps were able to Lake a more eomprehenHivu grasp of political subjects than himself. He bad many conversations with Mr Gibbs, and was perfectly sure that he was a thoroughly qualified candidate, lie did not, however, agree with an indiscriminate slashing ail round. If the country were again taxed, and again borrowed, it would be like the springs of a vehicle that would go down and down until they had lost all elasticity. (Cut it short.) Yes, he would. Mr Gibbs, if returned, would not look for relief from the financial pressure in taxation (Hear, hear), but in a wise and judicious economy. Mr Andrew Brown seconded the nomination. As a colonial himself he had much pleasure in bringing forward one who was bred in the colony, He was a supporter of the Government, and was the only one who had referred to the harbor. He had succeeded in business himself, and he felt sure would make a good member, '
Mr John Sharp thought it very unfortunate f; the election was takiDg place under the present V terms and conditions, as it meant a double s session and extra expense. But the Govern- s ment had no alternative, as the incongruous b elements of which the Opposition was formed t prevented it forming a stable Government, t (Cheers). It had bad the effect of bringing I before the colony the whole financial position a of the country. (Quite right too). In ap- i pealing to the colony they had done a very I wise thing, for if they were not returned with a I majority tbey would form a good Opposition. 3 And this brought him to the point, namely < that they wanted tried members. At first ] ho was not a supporter of Mr Levestam, but 1 after carefully watching his career he felt sure i that he was an able man, and well qualified to represent them. (What has he done?) What had he not done? Not one thing that was for tbe benefit of the district and colony, therefore he had come round from an opponent to a supporter of Mr Levestam, and believed bim to be the best man. (Cheers and cries of No). They could not settle the question by crying out like that, but must do it at the poll. No matter who was proposed, whether Mr Gladstone or Lord Salisbury, no one could represent them all, but they had to select the best of those before the-ri, and he therefore nominated Mr Levestam as a fit and proper person. Mr Alfred Harley wished to aßked Mr Sharp a question, to which Mr Sharp replied bhat ho was not a candidate. (Great uproar lushing for some minutes amid which not a word could b.: heard). Mr Sharp said that ho understood Mr Harley was asking bim why he did not conn fcrward himself, to which he leplied that be hod thought of doiug so but being on the [ same side as Mr Levestam he did not choose to rppose him when Mr Piper camo forward, Ho thought it was a great mistake to have three candidate.--, as the elee'ed one would not then feel that be hid a majority at bis back. For this reason ho had been very sorry to sea Mr Gibbs come forward. Mr Trask bad much pleasure in seconding Mr Levestam, He would say that if they re'urned bim they would return ono who had steered a straight and honest, course for the past seven yeais. He had done bia best and what mori, could tbey extect. (Oh !Oh 1) Some sdd he had done nothing, but he considered that he had done much for Nelson in supporting the Government, and ha had always been accessible to any one of tbe electors and always ready to obtain redress for their wrougs. It was complained by some that he had dore nothing for the harbor, but ns a matter of fact be bnd not been called upon to do eo. He had done much for the traffic, however, for hearing from the Captain of the Rotorua that a debate was coming ou one night on lighthouses he had telegraphed to Mr Levestam aud he had consequently advocated a light at the French Pass, and the result was that tlir-y had got if,. Mr Hursthouse, the othor night, said an honest politician was a rarity, but in Mr Levestam they had one. He had done well for the Nelson College, and he had supported a Government that had said they would stand or fall by the Nelson railway. There was no Government for 25 years had done for Nelson what tho Stout- Vogel Government had done. (A voice : Jack Kerr got more in one year than Levestam in seven.) Mr Levestam had done his best to support tV.G country members. He did not consider Sir Julius Vogel a more extravagant Minister than any other. Major Atkinson had spent far more borrowed money than he had. There was not three men in New Zealand equal to Stout, Vogel, and Ballance, and it behoved them all to support that Government. (Cheers and cries of "Sit down.") Mr Brodie Hoare had advised them to see that the railway was carried out. and to do that they should support the Government. Mr Thomas Scott (Cheers, laughter, and " Now then Tommy") had an old head on his shoulders but he was a young politician. There were three candidates, aud ho had no hesitation in saying that the third was tho best. Levestam was good, Gibbs was better, but Jesse ; iper was (the worst) the best. (Laughter and uproar .) His platform was the best, at all events he went in for local option and the Bible m schools, and on these two grounds he preferred Mr Jesse Piper, and he trusted they would put Ljrn at the top of the poll. Mr Fathers said he was somewhat young in political experience, but had no hesitation in seconding Mr Piper. He bad proved himself capable of managing his own affairs, and they need have no fear of entrusting the affairs of the State to such men. (Laughter.) The greatest question to be faced was the financial condition, and Mr Piper would do his beßt to place this on a sound footing. His recent travels had added to his experience, and together with his interview with the Chairman of the Midland Railway Company were great advantages to him, and would be to the furtherance of the railway. His utterances had proved him to be a man having an .intelligent grasp of colonial affairs, and he had every reason to believe the intelligent electors would place him ut the head of the poll. (Cheers and laughter.) No other candidate being proposed, Mr Gibbs said that lie did not propose to make a speech, as he intended to hold a meeting on Friday, but he would give them his platform. He was a staunch supporter of the Government ; lie would help to reduce the expenditure ; ho would cut down the Civil Service without impairing the efficiency and would cut down no salaries under £200 ; a non- political Board for tho railways; an income tax in conjunction with Property Tax ; reduce the Education Vote by LlOO.OOO spent on educating the children of the wealthy ; not to give the southern runholders a renewal of their leases, but chop the runs up and settle the people on them ; to reduce the number of members and honorarium ; cut off the -£30,000 for Defence, but encourage the Volunteers : do away with the Frisco service ; have a State Bank of Issue ; work tooth and nail for the harbour ; make tlie Maoris pay rates, Mr Trask stated how this Government had done more than any other Government for this province, and how much the members had done to help them. (About as much as you will). It had been asked why Mr Gibbs, an outsider, should contest a Nelson scat. Why if there was an outsider it was not himself, for lie had lived in the province lo years, and his lather had been a member of the Provincial Council and of the House of Representatives, and was Chairman of Committees in the former, so he had a political pedigree that some of the candidates had not, and when his father retired it was his place to step into bis shoes. Ho believed that this election was settled before tbey were born. The man who had invented the alphabet had shown that, He would answer all (pies tions on Friday night. Mr Levestam stood before them again as a candidate, but would not detain them by lengthy remarks. He said six years ago all his ability should be used on their behalf Had he fulfilled that pledge ? (Yes and No and Cheers.) He asserted without fear of contradiction that he had. He had a record extending over some years, and he asked any one to place his finger on a single spot where he had done wrong or failed to fulfil his promise. His votes and actions had been before them for some time, and he need not row touch on tbern. With reference to the Canterbury runs he might say that it took acreß of some of the land to feed a grasshopper. The evil about the arrangement was that the holders had what was tantamount to a perpetual lease, and this should be altered and the runs let out in limited areas. As for non-political railway Boards he regarded it as pure bunkum and impossible, and if further proof was wanted, he asked tliem to look at the non-political Insurance Board. What they wanted was a statutory Ollicor, to whom should be entrusted the entire control and management. He was at one time In favor of leasing the railways, but the difficulty was to draw up an agreement through which a coioh and hor e.; could bo driven. Ho ixplaincd that Harl.or Boards had thoniselvoa ruiard ihe monoy for the works. If they wanted a Harbor Bo.rd let them have it, but they muat do it themselves, and not expect tbe number to initiate fresh taxation for them. There -was a Chamber of Commerce and a City Council, and they wero ihe proper bodies to undertake this. It had been stated that it was a elice of luck that the Foreshore Bill wns thrown out. The Bill was arranged by tho City Council, and had been submitted to the public, and nothing was then said against it until now when it was thrown in bis teeth that it was a bud measure. Mr Gibbr had spoken of his political pedigree, ani that his father had been a politician. Tljfe question was not, who wts a candidate's
father, but who was the caudidate himself ? Who was Napoleon's father, and who his son ? Who was the gre<t Pi t, and who his son ? (Great cheering.) Mr Gibbssaidhe had been 40 years in the province; ho himself hcdbe-n here thirty yours, and the extra ten were spent by Mr Gibbs here as a child. He claimed to havo done for Nelson as much as any member ha<l done. Not n single wish had been expressed by his constituents but he had endeavored to get it, r.aliaod. He had got Nelson well represent' d in the Legislative Council; be bad got works taken on hand A Voice: You are nol like Jack Kerr though], Jack Kerr and other members had always got bis euppoit. He challenged auyone to come forward aud say that ho hud not attended to the slightest wish and .one his best for them. Mr J. Brown said that a letter had reoently appeared in the Mail stating that Mr Levestam had said he did not see what good it would do for the railway to come to Nelson &o. (Cries of " Who wrote the letter ?") He was the writer and he wished to hear Mr Levestam's reply. (Cries of " question " and great uproar.) Mr Levestam denied it and had asked the gentleman who heard the statement to meet him at the hustings. That gentleman was Mr Drummond of Moutere and he was present. Mr Brown was then about to leave the platform when Mr Levestam took hold of him saying Wait a minute, I have not done with you yet. (Great laughter and uproar.) Mr Brown : Did you say it ? Say Yes or No. Mr Levestam : No. Mr Brown : Then I call on Mr Drummond Mr Levestam : Mr Brown read a letter oonto come on to the platform. (Loud cheeriDg.) taining certain hearsay statements, and these were misstatements of a private conversation. (Groans and cries o,f ,'; Oh,") Mr Drummond C ContinuemJt&t'lTiird Page.)
THE CITY ELECTION., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXI, Issue 222, 19 September 1887
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