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ELECTION TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR NELSON

SUBURBS.

The nomination and election of a candidate for a seat in the House of Representatives for the Suburbs of Nelson, took place on Thursday at the village school-house, Wakapuaka. The Retubning Offices having read the writ,

Mr. Fell proposed Mr. Wells as a fit and proper person to represent the district in tho General Assembly. There were those present who had known Mr. Wells for a longer period than he had himself, who were able to testify to the honourable straightforward conduct by which he had always been characterized. • It was important at a time like the present, to be even more careful than usual iv electing good representatives of th« people, and it behoved them not to select men who followed -blindly the policy of any particular party, but those who would thoroughly and independently, do their duty to their constituents and to the country in general. The benefits which Mr. Weld's Government had conferred on the colony were acknowledged by all; but it was possible that tho country might again relapse into its former state, if fit men were not returned to the Assembly to give his policy their support. Mr. Doughty seconded the nomination and there being no other candidate, The Retubning Offices declared Mr. Wells duly elected. Mr. Wells, begged to return thanks for the confidence which they placed in him, and which he trusted he should merit. There were several misrepresentations which had been made concerning him, which he wished to set right. An assertion had recently been made that he had pledged himself to support Mr. Weld in the Assembly, and that if returned he should be fettered to his policy. The Colonist newspaper had stated a short time since, that an address had been handed to Mr. Weld by some members of the Assembly, in which such a pledge had been given. He had written to one of the Nelson papers and had denied that such a pledge had been given. The explanation he had given he would repeat. On Mr. Weld leaving Wellington he was presented with a short address, which had expressed the sympathy which they felt with him in his illness, and had, at the Bamo tim.e been expressive of faith in the wisdom of the self-reliant polioy of which he had been the originator. This had since been proved by events. All those who have read the late accounts of the war in the North Island must see tho effects of this policy, and might hope confidently, if it is carried out, that the suppression of the rebellion wsb at hand. But he had never in any way pledged himself to support Mr. Weld. Reports were also circulated that he should, if returned, enter the Assembly as an avowed opponent of Mr. Stafford. Mr. Stafford was now iv office, and if he carried out the policy of selfreliance, advocated the unity of the colony being maintained, and practised economy in his public expenditure, he should support him, or any other government which acted in a similar manner. Mr. Wells went on to remark upon the somewhat unfair criticism on his address, which had appeared in the Colonist. It had been said that he had supported measures which had deprived the provinces of their share of the surplus revenue. The fact had been what with one expense and another, that the surplus revenue had b swamped. He had alao been accused of attributing Mr. Stafford's opposition to Mr. Weld to motives of personal enmity towards him. He had never asserted any such thing. He had, however, said something similar with respect to some of the members of Mr. Weld's Government. Mr. Stafford for instance had said that he would do all he could to oust Mr- Sewell from office.

Mr. Dyson asked What what waa meant by selfreliance, and what part of it Mr. Stafford objected to? Mr. Wells said he could hardly give better illustration than by applying it personally- It was well known that self-reliance in ordinary life achieved great ends. If there was any duty to be performed a man could always do it better himself than others could. By allowing the Imperial troops to remain in the colony a large and useless expenditure was incurred. Mr. Weld had said, We cannot bear this expenditure; let us send home the troops, and undertake to subdue the natives ourselves. This was self-reliance.

An Elector requested to be informed concerning the saving which Mr. Stafford had stated he could effect. Mr. Wells : Mr. Stafford had said he could save the colony £240,000. He asserted this before taking office, and whilst in office, and again at his recent meeting in Nelson. But he had been very silent concerning the method he should adopt for carrying out these reductions, and they would not know how he intended to manage it until the next session. Mr. Weld had asked for a stamp duty, by which he thought the present financial difficulties ot t\ie colony covAi be surmounted. Mr. Stafford bad. said he thought both stamp duty and income tax would be required. He should have thought if these savings could be effected by Mr. Stafford, that the same increase of revenue which Mr. Weld required, would suffice. A vote of thanks to the Returning Officer terminated the proceedings.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NENZC18660217.2.7

Bibliographic details

ELECTION TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXV, Issue 22, 17 February 1866

Word Count
898

ELECTION TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXV, Issue 22, 17 February 1866

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