THE OTAGO WITNESS. Dunedin, Satubpay, July 23, 1859.
The address of His Honor the Superintendent, delivered at the meeting at Invercargill, published in our last issue, came to hand so late in the week as to prevent
our noticing it. One portion of that address in which His Honor states, " that it luis been his feeling for some time past, under a sense of advancing years, to retire from the Superintendency," has excited considerable sensation. Our contemporary, with his usual want of generosity, has hinted at some other cause, or has left it to be inferred that there is some other cause for this intention on the part of Captain Cargill. We know that the desire to letire from the turmoil of politics, and to spend the few remaining years which he may enjoy in this life, and to prepare himself for the change which all must meet sooner or later, is the single motive of the father and founder of the settlement of Otago for retiring from the public business of this Province with which he has been so long connected, — that for any other object it would be painful to leave it, and could be no more expected than that a father should neglect his child which he had fostered in its childhood — cherished in its youth — and sustained in its manhood. By no man in the Province would an injury to Otago, or a false step on its part, be more bitterly regretted than by Captain Cargill — whose aim has ever been the one sole object to further the welfare of those whom he had the honour to lead from their fatheiland to colonize and subdue the wilderness. We have often differed from him in the course pursued ; but of the honesty and sincerity of his motives we never entertained a doubt; and we arc certain that our sentiments on this subject are entertained by the whole community, with the exception of a few whose personal animosity warps all judgment.
The purport and meaning of the sentiments of His Honor on the subject of his retirement from the Superintendency seem to have been misunderstood, at least, by our contemporary, who seems to assume that the retirement is to be immediate. We have every reason to believe that His Honor will hold office until the period when his term of office and that of the existing Provincial Council shall expire, which will be in November next* Any election, therefore, will not take place probably until December ; and as the Superintendent holds office until the election of his successor, the present Superintendent will probably hold office until that period. To resign at an earlier period j would have the effect of putting the public | to the trouble and expense of a double election, as the Superintendent must go out with the Provincial Council. The timely notice given, was, therefore, to enable the community to consider well who they will elect as a successor to their first Superintendent. This deliberation is sought to be curtailed, and the question decided by obtaining signatures to a requisition to stand, so unanimously signed as to settle the question. We consider the electors of the Province to be acting in rather a foolish way in allowing themselves to be thus . drawn into a pledge before they have in any way been addiessed by the candidate or person who may come forward. Twenty or thirty names of persons of standing are quite a sufficient requisition to any genlle- ■ man to offer himself as a candidate; anything more, such as obtaining a pledge from a majority of the electors, is a mere trick, and makes an election a race in which he who starts first is pretty sure to win. Of course our contemporary has named his man, and given a loud blast upon the trumpet which the Colonist was established to blow. We have great objections to the gentleman proposed. We believe that in some respects a more unfit person could not be found. We have witched his political career ever since he joined the settlement, and we fail to discover in the whole of that career anything that is deserving of commendation, either in the Provincial Council or the General Assembly. In the first and most important session of the latter body, he supported a weak, miserable, faction, under Mr. Wakefield, with no adequate public motive ; and at the last, he was absent when his vote might have been of con""sequence. In the Provincial Council lie has never taken an active or originating part. On political grounds, therefore, we do not see that he has either claim or qualifications to justify his election to the Superintendency. As a settler, he may have been useful and entei prising, as our contemporary says — speculative and rash we should rather call it — but hib qualification on these matters, however they may occasionally serve for mercantile business, are dangerous characteristics in a Superintendent.
A fatal mistake may, in the ense of an individual, take place without injury to the community ; but a failure on the part of the Government would bring disgrace upon the Province. Besides, bo man can expect to attend to a commercial business, and do vote proper time and attention to the affairs of thu Province. The gentleman is also a very large contractor with the Government, to sums amounting to nearly the whole last year, and about half of the public revenue of this year : some £24,000 of the public money pass through his hands. Is it proposed for a moment that j he should be Superintendent, and contractor to this extent? If the contracts are ! to be resigned, and assuming them to be j of the enterprising nature and benefit to the public which our contemporary assumes, then, by electing him Superintendent, the public must lose the benefit of his enterprise as a settler. A Superintendent may have investments and be a runhokler or a freeholder, but it would never do to have a merchant actually engaged in business. Any other person would be called a placehunter by our contemporary, who, like a dirty boy, stands at the corner of the street ready to squirt stinking water on any one who dares to oppose his patron. We have many other objections to Mr. Macandrew, but we refrain from stating them. We have no wish to encourage the rancour of an election dispute six months before the time of action ; besides, if we are to have no other candidate proposed, it would be useless to engender angry feeling without a purpose. As we cannot throw stones, we certainly shall not throw mud, but shall content ourselves with placing our opinion upon record, and reflecting that bad's the best.
Permanent link to this item
THE OTAGO WITNESS. Dunedin, Satubpay, July 23, 1859., Otago Witness, Issue 399, 23 July 1859
THE OTAGO WITNESS. Dunedin, Satubpay, July 23, 1859. Otago Witness, Issue 399, 23 July 1859
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.