ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. NOMINATION.
Pursuant to notice, a meeting of Electors waa held in the Court-house on Tuesday the 15th instant, for the purpose of nominating one person to serve as member of the House of Representatives for the Dunedin Country District. The Returning Officer having read the Writ and the accompanying instructions, requested a fair and impartial hearing for the candidates whom they intended to propose.
Mr. M'Glashan said they had assembled this day to perform, as electors, a very important function, and at an important crisis in the political affairs of the colon)', and therefore one, the exercise of which required on their part careful consideration. They were called upon to nominate a person to represent them in the Plouse of Representatives, and to watch over the interests of this Province in the General Assembly. For that office he would propose John Parkin Taylor as a fit and proper person. Mr. Taylor was a person of intelligence and education, and had a considerable interest in the Province ; he was therefore confident that Mr. Taylor was well qualified to represent them. He (Mr. M'Glashan) did not intend to inflict a speech upon them, but there were one or two remarks upon certain important matters which he would like to make. As to the proposal to dismember the Province, a more absurd proposition could hardly be conceived. But the electors had already, in a very decided manner, manifested their opinion on that matter, and therefore he need not dwell upon it. There were many important measures to be brought before the Assembly this Session affecting the interests of the whole colony, and it was the more imperative upon them to send up a person of intelligence and ability. It was not for them to pass any judgment upon these various measures, but he thought the General Government ought to give the Provinces an opportunity of considering any measures fundamentally affecting our constitutional rights, especially as we have no opportunities of intercourse with our representatives, nor they with us, while sucli measures were in legislative progress. He believed that the present Government had the public good at heart, but he was disposed to watch how far they carried the principle of centralism. He had no objections to central legislation, particularly in matters of general interest ; but he thought that in matters of local interest, there should be both local legislation and local administration. This was the more necessary, from our unfrequent intercourse with and distance from the seat of Government. He understood that his friend Mr. Taylor was at one with him for the removal of the seat of Qovernment, and it was of the utmost importance that it should be removed to a more central position, for speedy, regular, and frequent communication with all parts of the colony. As regarded steam communication, it was a subject of vast importance to the whole of New Zealand ; but he was of opinion that it was too soon to expect regular steam communication throughout the colony ; at least he considered it too expensive as yet for so young a colony. He thought that no time should be lost in establishing sailing vessels for the purpose of keeping up communication with the whole colony. He trusted that there would be no opposition, but that they would be unanimous in nominating Mr. Taylor as their representative. One reasou why he urged this upon the consideration of the electors was, that in consequence of the instructions given to the Returning Officer as to the return of the Writ, the time allowed was so short that at this season of the year many of the electors could not know of the polling ; and therefore they would be virtually for this occasion disfranchised. The taking of a poll would be a mockery and a sham, and they should act from a conservative feeling towards the interests of their brother electors at a distance. For these reasons, and as Mr. Taylor was a person of great intelligence, and well fitted to represent them, and as the electors ought to be very chary of the individual whom they elected to fill such an important trust, he hoped they would be unanimous in choosing him.
Dr. Purdie seconded the nomination of Mr. Taylor, and said, that as far as he was able to judge, he (Mr. Taylor) was well fitted to be their representative. There were many important measures to come before the Assembly this session which would require intelligence and ability to discuss them, and from what he knew of Mr. Taylor, he quite agreed with what Mr. M'Glashan had said as to his fitnes3 to represent them in the House of Representatives.
The Returning Officer requested to know if there was any other candidate to be proposed, and none having been proposed, was about to declare Mr. Taylor duly elected, Avhen several electors desired to know Mr. Taylor's political opinions, and to put questions to him, before he was elected. The Returning Officer seemed to be in doubts as to that course of proceeding. Mr. Cutten said that he would help the electors out of the difficulty by proposing pro forma another candidate, which would give them the opportunity of hearing Mr. Taylor's opinions before 'they elected him. He (Mr. Cutten) considered it unnecessary to address the electors upon such topics as Mr. M'Glashan had adverted to ; their opinions were nearly the same upon those matters ; he, however, thought that as the disallowance of the Waste Land Act of 1856 might have the effect of inducing further legislation by the Assembly, it was certainly desirable that they should know the opinions of Mr. Taylor, or any other candidate upon that subject ; he therefore begged
the sales, and would thus double the revenue without disposing of a greater quantity of land, but he would oppose £2 an acre, the price of land in Canterbury. As to the 2000-acre blocks he would be very glad to see purchasers for them. Mr. Napier next very briefly addressed the electors. He stated that he had no intention of standing as a candidate until Mr. Cutten proposed him. He, however, was quite willing to go to the Assembly as their representative if they chose to elect him. His opinions were similar to Mr. Taylor's, except upon the question of Vote by Ballot, which he (Mr. Napier) was in favour of. He was now before them, and would endeavour to answer any questions which might be put to him. In answer to a few questions, he said he was strongly opposed to any division of the Province and was unfavourable to any increase in the price of land. No other questions having been asked, the Returning Officer called for a show of hands for each of the candidates, when the majority was declared to be in favour of Mr. Taylor. Mr. Napier thereupon demanded a poll. POLLING. The polling in Dunedin commenced at 12 o'clock on "Wednesday. At the close of the poll Mr. Taylor was 51, and Mr. Napier 20. The returns from the various polling places in the country were received on Thursday, and at 12 o'clock yesterday the Returning Officer officially announced the result of the poll to be as follows :—: —
He then declared John Parkin Taylor duly elected as a member of the House of Representatives for the Dunedin Country District.
Permanent link to this item
ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. NOMINATION., Otago Witness, Issue 342, 19 June 1858
ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. NOMINATION. Otago Witness, Issue 342, 19 June 1858
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.