THE OTAGO WITNESS. Dunedin, Saturday, June 5, 1858.
The " Henry," from Auckland via Lyttelton, arrived here on Wednesday, bringing us news from the seat of Government to the 29th of April. John H. Harris, Esq., has been called to a seat in the Legislative Council. The business of the Assembly was progressing with a bare quorum. Of the nature of the business before the House Vr6 have but little information ; apparently,
those measures which were likely to be disputed were put off until the arrival of new Members which was shortly expected. We, however, observe that amongst the measures having reference to the Election of Members, and other bills of the nature of reform, that it was proposed to introduce Vote by Ballot. We reserve detailed reports and any remarks we have to make on the legislation of the Assembly to future numbers. We, however, feel it to be our duty to draw the attention of the Electors of the Province to some important facts, which we learn from a private source, viz., that the old attempt to divide the Province has been revived, and that Dr. Menzies, who was called to the Legislative Council, intends to press the question of Separation to the utmost, and will petition both Houses to carry out that measure, whilst, on the other hand, Canterbury is endeavouring to snip Otago short at the other end. Captain Cargill, of course, is using every means at his disposal to maintain the integrity of the Province; and we need scarcely urge upon the attention of our readers and the Electors of sending up, in the room of Mr. J. Cargill, a Member who will maintain that position to the last. The division of the Province would be the most injurious proceeding to Otago which can be imagined. We have just emerged from that inevitable state of things, in a thinly peopled country, when the unavoidable expenses of Government absorb so much of the resources of the country that nothing is left for public works ; we say we have just emerged from this state of things when it is proposed at once to throw us back to it by dividing the Province, and creating an entire staff of officials, councillors, and representatives, in the South, — a policy which no one in his senses can for a moment be expected to support, unless from personal motives, and one which would at once be rejected by the General Assembly, but from its unfortunately being the interest of certain of the Provinces — Nelson and Canterbury — to divide the New Zealand Company's debt into 4ths instead of 3rds, and to saddle the land funds of what is now the Otago Province with the payment of 2-4ths, or onehalf, instead of one-third of that debt. It therefore becomes the duty of every elector of the Province to exert himself to the utmost to return a gentleman whose 'views on this matter can be fully relied upon. Several gentlemen have been suggested, but unfortunately it is difficult to find any who can go. We observe that our contemporary states that Messrs. Taylor, Chalmers, and Teschemaker have been suggested. Mr. Teschemaker, we know, has declined ; with Mr. Chalmers' intentions we are unacquainted ; but Mr. Taylor, we believe, would accept. We understand also that Mr. Valpy is willing to accept the office. Our contemporary evidently desires the election of Mr. Taylor. We should certainly prefer either Mr. Chalmers or Mr. Valpy, both being real bona fide settlers in the Province. Mr. Taylor is after all only a bird of passage ; he has shifted his residence in the middle island from the extreme north to the extreme south, from Nelson to Jacob's River, and it is possible he may yet return north and settle in Auckland. We must say, in this important question we have no confidence in Mr. Taylor, and if the electors do wisely they will elect a Representative whose interests are identical with their own ; and we would not take any man in the present emergency with his interest in the south, and whose views may consequently change. The other gentleman's views and interests we know are entirely with the majority of settlers in this important question, compared with which all other political views fall into insignificance. Indeed the greater part of the business of the Session will be over before the Otago member can arrive ; and we do trust that the electors will not make a fatal mistake. Mr. Macandrew, whose views on this matter are quite sound, should be urged to attend and take his seat. A short and energetic memorial should also be got up and circulated through the country in order to strengthen our members' hands, and with that view we give a short form, which may be copied in each district, and signatures obtained by local committees, into which the districts should form themselves.
We repeat, this is the most important occasion upon which the electors have been called upon to exercise their rights, and we trust they will not be lukewarm.
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THE OTAGO WITNESS. Dunedin, Saturday, June 5, 1858., Otago Witness, Issue 340, 5 June 1858
THE OTAGO WITNESS. Dunedin, Saturday, June 5, 1858. Otago Witness, Issue 340, 5 June 1858
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