THE OTAGO WITNESS.
Dtjxldin, Saturday, June 12, 1858.
The subject which must, as a matter of course, be the most absorbing question with the electors of Otago is the proposed division of the Province, and the election of a Representative to be sent to Auckland. We feel it to be useless to argue the merits of the first proposition, — the absurdity is so generally admitted, that any attempt to advocate the maintenance of the integrity of the Province is a work of supererogation ; but there is a fear, and one not to be disregarded, that the public may conceive it unnecessary to bestir themselves because of that absurdity. We therefore reiterate our former remarks, that energy of purpose often wins a cause in defiance of justice and common sense, and, therefore, no time should be lost in expressing an opinion upon the matter at issue. It is somewhat singular and opportune that we received by the last mail from the South, some notes upon Invercargill, which we have not the slightest doubt express^ with truth and correctness the views ot many, if not all, of the settlers of that district. This document is the more valuable as it is the spontaneous production of a gentleman who, we believe, was formerly an advocate of the cause of separation, and arriving at a time when the proceedings of Dr. Menzies must be unknown in the South, it is valuable as a mere statement of facts unbiased by recent events. " The old war cry of separation is nearly defunct," owing to a change of circumstances. We shall not ascribe that change of circumstances to any alteration in the policy of the local Government or to any other cause ; suffice it to say, that there has been a change, and that it has been satisfactory; but we may say that it has, from unavoidable causes, not been so complete as it was intended to be, and those inconveniences to which our contributor refers, would have been removed had it been in the power of the local authorities to have carried out, their intention. The check upon the full and efficient establishment of the Branch Land Office is simply owing to the same cause as the change in the Head Office; but the Government are making arrangements, with the concurrence of the General Government, to remove the Resident Magistrate, Receiver, and Collector of Customs, to Invercargill, when all that has been and is complained of, will be remedied ; — and if, as our correspondent states, " the progress of the town and district has been as great as the most sanguine in the midst of us could anticipate," we heartily congratulate the settlers there, and assure them that in a short time that progress will be vastly increased. Surely, then, for their own sakes, they should discourage any attempt to change a state of things so satisfactory. As to the other important matter, the selection of a representative, we must confess that the difficulty of finding any gentleman fully qualified, and whose political opinions j are in accordance with the \iews of the body of the settlers, is so great, that we cannot enquire too narrowly into all the views of the proposed candidates. Our contemporary still persists that Mr. Taylor is the gentleman to be sent, and we are so far glad to find that Mr. Taylor's views on the subject of the division of the Province are in unison with those of the majority of the Otago people ; but, alas ! we are in total ignorance of Mr. Taylor's opinions upon other subjects, and he has neglected to express any. In facts, we are under the necessity of assuming that they are unformed, or, if expressed, would scarcely be such as would recommend him to the great body of electors. We repudiate the idea of our objection to Mr. Taylor being founded upon his proceedings before the Waste Land Board. Our only objection on that score would be that he seems to have been too easily induced to become a shield for the questionable proceedings of others ; but in this matter it may be said Mr. Tay-
j lor's proceeding was much the same as that of most men : he sought to obtain all he could for his own advantage, and as a politician, this does not directly affect his position, unless he proposes in all cases to cede to others the advantages he himself ob- , tamed. If so, we should strongly object I to a gentleman who might, by any course I of legislation, let the country at the rate of 100 acres to the sheep, at -which rate the original Otago Block would feed 4000 ! In speaking of the other gentleman proposed (Mr. Valpy), we are not disposed to admit hereditary qualifications to represent us; but as both gentlemen's political experience is nil, we are still disposed to prefer the latter, as having the greater fixed j interest with the community, and as being, as far as we can jndge, the more independent member. Howe\er, should the constituency think differently from us, we shall not quarrel with their choice, and shall afford the successful candidate every information in our power to enable him to maintain the cause of the Province.
Leghorn Straw. — The General Government, with a view of increasing the marketable product of the country, has forwarded to the Local Government of this Province a small packet of wheat, from the straw of which Leghorn hats and bonnets are made, with directions for its cultivation. The quantity of seed is so small that it can only be used for the purpose of raising seed, and 'is therefore rather adapted for the attention of the gardener than the farmer. We presume the Government will distribute it to any person who will be willing to try the experiment, upon the usual terms in such matters — of having a part of the produce returned for redistribution.
Otago Building and Land Society. — We have to remind the shareholders of the above Society that the second subscription night is on Monday first, at the Odd Fellows' Hall, from 6to 8 o'clock pm. "We learn that about 540 shares have been taken up.
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THE OTAGO WITNESS., Otago Witness, Issue 341, 12 June 1858
THE OTAGO WITNESS. Otago Witness, Issue 341, 12 June 1858
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