ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Pursuant to notice, a meeting of electors was held in the Mechanics' Institute on Wednesday, 12th instant, for the purpose of nominating a person to serve in the House of Representatives for the Town of Dunedin. The Returning Officer having read the writ and the notice calling the meeting, he reminded the electors of the important duty they had met to perform, and trusted they would give an impartial hearing to the candidates who might be proposed. He then called upon the electors to proceed with the nomination. Mr. Shaw proposed Mr. J. G. S. Grant. Seconded by Mr. Caknegie. Mr. G. Smith proposed, and Mr. James TC.itgour seconded, the nomination of Mr. James Macandrcw. Mr. Shaw proposed Mr. W. J. Dyer, but as it was considered irregular for an elector to propose two candidates for the same office, Dr. Williams, pro forma, proposed Mr. Dyer. Mr. W. Iles seconded the nomination. No other candidate having been proposed, the Returning Officer called upon the several candidates to address the electors in the order in which they were proposed. Mr. Grant addressed the electors in a speech of some length, in the course of which he alluded to Mr. Macindrew's absence from the General Assembly during the last session ; and also informed the electors of his desire to see the General Assembly vote a sum of money to establish a University in Wellington or Nelson for all New Zealand, towards the establishment of which he would, if elected, give his most cordial support. Mr. Mac an drew said that though he had appeared once more befoie them as a candidate to represent them in the highest Council of New Zealand, yet he must state that he had no intention of doing so, had not a requisition been put into his hands a few hours since requesting him to allow himself to be nominated. He had no objection to become their representative again ; but he was of opinion that if a man's services were not worth asking for, they were not worth having. He had the honour to represent this Province in the fiist Parliament of New Zealand, and had held his seat until it was forfeited by his non-attendance at the last session. It was a remarkable fact that out of all the members who were absent from that session, he alone had forfeited his seat ; a fact in which he rejoiced, as showing that he had acted independently of any party, otheiwise he would have hrfd one friend to ask for leave of absence for him. He had been accused by the Olago Witness of enrolling himself under the leadership of the Wellington membeis. It was true that in the first session of the Assembly he had pulled in the same boat with them, with the view of bringing the expenditure of the Geneial Government within the limit of £50,000 — a policy which was carried through one of its stages in the House, and would have become law, but for the appearance of two of the Nelson members, who voted against it. He observed that the General Government expenses for last year amounted to £130,000 ; and if they went on at the present rate they would absorb the Customs Revenues of all the Provinces. The colony had been saddled with a debt of half a million of money, from which Otago derived no direct benefit, except, indeed, .hat Otago had got to pay its share of the interest, and the puncipal some of those days. It was true he admired the Wellington representatives as being the best and ablest politicians in New Zealand ; but for his part, he had too much of the donkeyism about him to pin his faith to any party. He had been so often before the public upon similar occasions that it was unnecessary for him to enter into any lengthened explanation of his views on general subjects; — the best exposition he could give on that score would be to point to his past conduct. He hoped he would not be considered egotistical in ascribing to himself some credit for bringing the Province into its present position, and laying the foundation of what it was likely to become. He considered Steam as essential to the development of the resources of the colony. He had been instrumental in getting the Bank of Issue abolished ; but he was firmly of opinion that this Province never would get on until we had a system of joint-stock banks, founded on the principle which had been found to work so well in the mother country : he would have banks free as stores. He would also like to see a more.simple mode of registration adopted — a system by which one man could sell property to another without the intervention of lawyers. He could see no reason why a man could not dispose of his property as easily as he could sell a bag of sugar or any other commodity. The question of the ballot was one which was likely to occupy the attention of the Legislature at its next session, and he must express himself as being favourably disposed towaids it. At one time he was decidedly averse to the measure ; but it had been adopted in Australia, and found to work well. His friend Mr. Grant had, in his veiy learned, glowing, and eloquent speech — which it would be presumption in him to try to imitate — chaigedhim with a breach of faith in not attending to his duties at last session, On his return from Melbourne, he had, through the Utago Colonist, given his reasons for being absent from his place, and he could not now give any better. (Mr. Macandrew here read the letter referred to,) In answer to several questions, Mr. Macandrew «said, the titles to the manse section and other reserves were laid ujion the table of the Provincial Council ; but since then he had not had an opportunity to examine them. He believed the grant for the land on which the manse stood was held for religious and educational purposes. — He would oppose any property qualification. — He was an advocate for local self-government to its fullest extent. He did not mean that they should have a number of Provincial Councils to make lavs, but they could have municipal bodies tlnoughout the Province to manage their local matters. — As to laws he would like to see them assimilated throughout the colony ; but he was of opinion that the fewer laws the better. — He would pledge himself to attend the next Assembly, provided its session did not extend beyond six months. — The disproportion in the representation was another subject which wou^ld. receive his attention, for Otago he found had the smallest representation in New Zealand, in proportion, to her population. — He was not at present prepared to alter the price o.f laud, and did
n ot admire the proposition to raise it, the more especially when he considered that it emanated from those very parties who were loudest in their call for land at 10s. an acre; but now that they had got all they required for themselves they were the first to agitate a ri9e in price ; he thought that any alteration in the Land Regulations would be detrimental to the Province, as they had been published and circulated both at Home and in the Australian colonies, and people seeing them and coming to this Province with the expectation of finding land at 10s. an acre, would, on their arrival, be rather disappointed to find the pi ice raised, and no doubt would look upon it as a deception ; rather than see the price increased ha would be in favour of giving it away for nothing ; he thought the man who would go into the wilderness to subdue it deserved the land ; the only alterations he considered necessary in the Regulations were merely technical, in spirit they ought not to be interfered with. — As to the restrictions they were sajd by lawyers to be all "bosh," but he did not think so. — He was not very clear on the question of proclaiming Hundreds, but was of opinion that it ought not to be left to the caprice of the Executive of, the day to proclaim any District they might think proper into a Hundred. Fiom his past experience of the Waste Land Board, he thought the management of the whole affairs connected with that department ought to be left to the Chief Commissioner, provided he was a thoroughly efficient person. — He was opposed to the endowment of religious bodies. — As to a University for New Zealand, referred to by Mr. Grant, he considered it unnecessary. "In Melbourne a College had been erected at an enormous expense ; and he believed the students at piesent graduating there cost the public £2000 each. It would take £100,000 to eiect a University for all New Zealand, and rather than spend such a large sum uselessly, he would be inclined to send those who wished a college education home to Cambridge, and pay their passages. — As to the education of the Natives in this Province, he had, four years ago, obtained a vote of £500 a year for that purpose, but no action had been taken in the matter, and for what reason he did not know; however, if he went back he would endeavour to get the vote renewed. — He would oppose any money being voted for an Emigration Agent for all New Zealand ; let each Province provide their own Emigiation Agent.
Mr. Dyer said he differed somewhat from Mr. Macandrew with regard to being solicited to accept a seat, he thought it was or ought to be an object of ambition with every man to occupy a seat in the Assembly ; no doubt it was a weighty responsibility to make laws for future generations. With regard to education, he would support any measures calculated to promote a cheap and efficient system of education ; he would like to see it in the power of the poorest man to give his family a proper education, and would be in favour of a very large sum being voted for that purpose. As to the steam communication which had been established by the General Government, it was an arrangement by which this Province, from its position, derived very little benefit ; it frequently happened that people had not more than a few hours to answer their letters. He was averse to any alteration in the Land Regulations ; he held the same views as tho--e expressed by Mr. Macandrew on the subject; but if theie were to be any alteration he would be in favour of a reduction in the price of land, and have it all put up to sale by auction. He was opposed to the New Provinces Act of last session, and thought that unless this Act was soon repealed it would prove ruinous to the colony by splitting up and sub-dividing the Provinces. He was in favour of a central Government and vote by ballot, but was opposed to a property qualification. He would be in favour of a sum of money being voted to be divided proportionally amongst all religious denominations ; also for a University in New Zealand. He would vote for a sum of money to be placed on the estimates for the education of the Maories in this Province
No other questions having been put, the Returning Officer nailed for a show of hands for each of the candidates, when the numbers appeared to be for Mr. Macandrew, 24 ; for Mr. Dyer, 4 j and for Mr. Grant, 3. The Returning Officer declared the majority to be in favour of Mr. Macandrew, whereupon Mi. Giant demanded a poll.
A vote of thanks to the Returning Officer for his services in the chair terminated the proceedings.
The polling commenced at ten o'clock yesterday morning, and closed at four, when the numbers stood as follows :—: — For Mr. Macandrew 40 For Mr. Grant 3 Majority for Mr. Macandrew.. 37 We understand that during the day Mr. Dyer withdrew his name from the list of candidates.
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ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES., Otago Witness, Issue 372, 15 January 1859
ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Otago Witness, Issue 372, 15 January 1859
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