WAIMEA EAST ELECTION.
The nomination of candidates for the Wai* mea East District, to supply the vacancy in the Provincial Council, caused by the lamented death of F. Otterson, Esq., took place yesterday at Richmond. After the Resident Magistrate had read the writ,
Mr. W. Lynb proposed W. O. Cautley, Esq., as a candidate.
Mr. O'Laughlan seconded Mr. Cautley's nomination.
Mr. A. Saunders proposed S. L. Muller, Esq., as a fit and proper person to represent the district.
Seconded by Mr. Kjearns. On a -show of hands I.eing called for, the Returning Officer declared that the choice had fallen on Mr. Muller. On this Mr. Cautley demanded a poll, which will take place on Monday next. As the weather was very inclement during the proceedings, which were conducted in the open air, it was agreed that no discussion should take .place on the hustings, but that an adjournment should! be made to the Star and Garter, to allow both candidates and electors the opportunity of expressing their sentiments. On' the conclusion of the business on the hustings, this adjournment accordingly took place, and the -Returning Officer was requested. to take the chair.
The Chairman having called upon the proposer and seconder of Mr. Cautley to address the meeting on behalf of their candidate, and these gentlemen having stated that they had nothing at present to say, Mr. A. Saunders, as the proposer of Mr. Muller, then came forward, and said, that in speaking of the present candidates, he should confine his remarks to the public character of these gentlemen, for with the private character of either he did not profess to be intimately acquainted, nor did he consider it desirable that private character should be canvassed on such an occasion. There was, he was sorry to say, a very .general tendency to consider a man's social .qualities when his political qualifications only should be kept in view, and vo'.es were often given more from a consideration of a man's social habits than from any conviction of his fitness to fill a political office to which he might aspire. Of Mr. Muller's public character, however, he could Bay but little, for that gentleman had not been very long in the colony, although he had lived amongst them BOtne time before the colony had any political existence. From the little which he had seen of Mr. Muller, who had lived in a very .quiet way, never seemingly caring to obtrude himself or his opinions on the public, but willing at all times to lend his aid in forwarding every object of public welfare when his services could be of any assistance, he was disposed to think that he would become a useful public man were the opportunity afforded him. It was true he had not yet been tried ; and he wished he could say the same of his opponent, Mr. Cautley, who had been tried in various ways, and found wanting. Mr. Cautley had been tried as a nominee, and had stuck to hie office like a leech, in opposition to the feeling of his fellow settlers ; he had also been tried as a representative, and had deserted his- post at the moment -when his duties should have begun. Mr. Saunders here referred to the address issued by Mr. Cautley on resigning his seat for the Waimea District* in the General Council, to show the opinions which that gentleman entertained as-to the absence of obligation on the part of the representative to the electors, and continued by saying that on the occasion of Mr. Cautley's election to the House of Representatives, the gentleman who had proposed him gave as the sole reason for bringing him forward, that he was the -largest cultivator in the diatrict, which Mr. -Cautley suffered to pass without remark, although he has since told the electors that he was at the time in the occupation of a 'farm of eighty acres only, and a certain amount of waste land which he was prepared to bring under the plough at his leisure. The sole objection to the-candi-dates who opposed Mr. Cautley on that occasion was, that they would not pledge themselves to take their seats if the Assembly was summoned during that year, and to strong was this objection felt to be, that the friends of Mr. Elliott and Mr. Saxton wished them to with* draw, yet Mr. Cautley, who led the electors to believe that he was prepared to attend to their interests when and wherever called upon, got up an excuse for not attending at the eleventh hour, on account of his private affairs, and left the district for a time unrepresented. Mr. Cantley, on the occasion of his former election, had promised every man who should vote for him beer and bread and cheese [Mr. Cautlby : I never did co] ; but he would have to increase
the quantities if he wai now to succeed in hi* election. In Mr. Muller, he believed, the electors would find an honest man. It was not honest to get elected by false representations ; it was not honest to offer paltry bribes to the •lectors, and then turn round and question their fitness for the franchise because they had become the tools of those who sought to debase them. It was easy to set up for a Liberal in politics : but that man only was worthy of the name who did unto others as he would be done by. He was no Liberal who would make land, and land alone, as Mr. Cautley had stated in his late addruu, the basis of representation : he was not a Liberal who upheld class distinctions; \ he was no Liberal who, under the name of religion, would violate conscience. As a liberal entertainer of his friends, and a pleasant companion, Mr. Cautley was entitled to the highest praise, -but this did not fit him for the office of their representative ; and as he had never yet succeeded in a contested -election, so he hoped he never would. Mr. Cautley referred with deep regret to the painful event which led to his presence there as a candidate. His remarks in reply to the attack of Mr. Saunders should be very brief. He-bad been known to the inhabitants of the district for eleven years, and on the character he had ever borne amongat them he would now stand, and not trouble himself to refute the charges brought against him. It was true he had been what was called a Nominee, but the office yielded him no profit, and while he held it he always did his best to forward the interests of the Province. At the time he accepted a seat in the House of Representatives as one of the members for the Waimea districts, he did so in the full belief that he should be able to attend to their interests when summoned for that purpose ; but circumstances arose which he had not foreseen, which rendered this impossible unless he had been prepared to make sacrifices which he could not afford. He had been told that he might have left his farm to the care of his servants ; but every person knew how necessary was the master's eye to ensure work being done as it ought to be. With regard to the Provincial Coincil, he had made arrangements which would allow him, if elected, to attend fully to his duties, and his constituents should not again sustain disappointment from him. He denied that he had ever been an advocate of class legislation in any form, and had always, both on principle, and for his own happiness' sake, endeavoured to follow the golden rule quoted by Mr. Saunders. He certainly thought Mr. Travers right in supporting a plurality of votesto property in the Trust Funds Bill, as that was a measure of a peculiar character : and he would never shrink from declaring that he was opposed to universal BufFrage. He was to sectarian education, but should be glad to support public education of some kind or other. Mr. Mvllbr deeply lamented the event which had led to the vacancy in the representation of the district, and spoke in terms of great personal regard of their late member. The occasion which had brought them] together, namely, to elect a representative, was one of grett interest and importance, and the pririlege they were -called upon to exercise was one for which they had long con* tended, and which had not yet been .granted to to full an extent to the inhabitants of any of the neighbouring coloniei. It had been said that New Zealand was too young to have such a privi* lege bestowed upon it, but from what he had seen of the electors, the acquaintance which many of the working classes showed with political events elsewhere, both past and present, and the sound deductions they made from them, he thought, on the contrary, that the constituencies of the colony were fully entitled to be entrusted with the franchise. If they looked also to the members they had elected, it would be found in the majority of cases that the bett men had been returned : and he had heard a gentleman from England, of high standing in society, lately remark that many of the speeches delivered in their House of Representatives would not suffer in comparison with the debates in the British House of Commons. On the present occasion he "had no dOttbt but the elector would likewise exercise the tame sound discretion in the election of their representative. If the choice should fall upon himself, he would serve his constituents truly to Jhe best of' hie ability ; but, should he be rejected, he would bow cheerfully to their decision, and although his opponent could not serve them with more zeal than he would himself have done, he might do so with more ability. At his opinions were not perhaps known to some of the electors present, be should be happy to have aDy questions put to him, which he would answer fully without the least reservation. Mr. Hornb said that Mr. Cautley, although he had not given a distinct pledge to take his seat, | if elected, when he was a-eandidate for the House of Representatives, had certainly given the constituency reason to believe that nothing would prevent him from attending to his public duties. From the terms of thet gentleman'! late address, it would seem that it wa» only on the occasion of^ the lamented death of their late member that he v had felt he must make some sacrifice of his own personal interests to the public welfare. Mr. Cautley had now pledged himself to take his teat in the Provincial Council, if elected, but would he pledge himself to do so under whatever circumstances might arise ? Unless he would do this, they might find themselves placed in the same position by him as before. Mr. Cautxbt said that the pledge he gave hid only reference to his present business. Mr. A. Saunbbbs quoted the passage from Mr. Cautley'i address, which spoke of land v the aole basis of representation, and inquired what was to become of men's minds and brains. Mr. Cautmet repeated that he could never become the advocate of universal suffrage, although he admitted that, by denying it, partial injustice might sometimes be done. A vote of thanks was then proposed for the Chairman by Mr. Mdu.br, which was seconded by Mr. Cavtiay, and the netting dUpcncd.
Permanent link to this item
WAIMEA EAST ELECTION., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XIII, 11 November 1854
WAIMEA EAST ELECTION. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XIII, 11 November 1854
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.