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ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

On Monday last, the day appointed for the nomination of members to represent t&p Waimea

in the House of Representatives, a small body

lof electors met at the Richmond school-house to propose a member for the vacancy caused by the appointment of W. T. L. Travers, Esq., to the District Judgeship. ' At !Ej7.elye o'clock J. Sharp,. Esq., Keturning Officer, sxglajned the cause of the meeting, and read such portions of .the Disqualification Act as referred,to, the business jn hand, he then called on them to nominate their candidates. Mr. C. P. KEARNSsaid that he rose to propose ftfr.. Jphn Fedor Augustus Kelling tb'rfe-, present the W&imea. He believed that it Wasi necessary under such .circumstances to give some! reason in explanation of the motive which had led him to jjominate a person for th,e vaqancy, and he had a motive for proposing Mr. gelling. There was an old proverb to the effect that the tree might be known by its fruit, and it was jft this way that he judged of the gentleman he nominated. Sometime ago in a contest in which Mr. Kelling was concerned, he (Mr. Kearns) had some doubts, and had voted aga.in£t bina, Qo another occasion he voted for him, aM Jiad jjeps1 since had cause to regret it, He 'had found Mr. Selling to.bo one.,of the few who bad pursued his^pohTica,! .care.ci: in an earnest and fodepenient manae'r j he 'tad en-: deavored to advance the agios of tbe bulk of thef' inhabitants of the province, and nefc the aggfan*' disement of a few individuals. He proposed Mr. Kelling as a fit and proper person to representing. (Cheers.) Mr. Thohjas I^otphy seconded. Mr. Sharp tnetrasiftc! the meeting if they had any other person to propose. $j"o ono an-i 9wering, Mr. Sharp said it then became fcis's duty to declare that Mr. F. KelUog b»d been;' d,«ly elecled.' '' '' .' '"■' '" '." ,' Mr, ICe^ing- said, \ Gentlemen.'^, v^p^cy .having occurred in the ffouse of .Representatives top this district, you lave done me the honor to nominate i^ie as a ,can-' Ijdate to fill this place, and I thank yoii for ha'vi.ng j & ,<?nce^Juepted n\e. ''" '' ' " . J 'hay.c ajrefdy stated in my answer t,o (jhose wJio! avored nue 557 th f^quf^t^tP, the pleasure and [ratification I feel for tfte jujipwifint ,wJfiich, 'ou now intend to intrust we witn',' i» Wdition to ' he many proofs of confidence which you havjs' bown me ever since I have aasiated in carrying;

out our representative government. The duties which, as a member of the House of Representatives, I shall be called upon to perform, are of far greater importance, and more difficult to carry out, than those which I have had hitherto to do, and. do not only require the. local knowledge of our Province, or careful consideration of the various questions brought before the House, but often the study of the history of nations, and the knowledge. of governments generally, in order to make use of the passed experience of various nations, always bearing in mind the different nationalities, their governments, and their situations, and comparing all this with ourselves. Although we are only a fraction of a great empire, our constitution confers so much power to us, and the home government interferes so little with our doings, that we may look upon ourselves, as regards the management of our government, as an independent estate, and thereby throws a greater responsibility upon those who undertake to assist in carrying it out. It requires the knowledge of political science in all its branches. Considering these difficulties, connected with the task which, as you choose, I am ready to undertake, I may here state again what I said when I first entered my political career of life, namely:—" Should I be elected as a member ot the House of Representatives, I should begin my duties with fear, but not without hope. For I consider that the consequences of how a member acts are of very great importance. It is seed sown now, the fruit of whim may ripen in another or later generation; and as His Excellency, at the laying of the foundation stone of the college, very 1 truly/remarkedj that mari'ilife is in the history of the world but like a single day. Gentlemen, I have no doubt you expect me to state my political opinions on the most important matters, on which 1 have not had an opportunity of expressing myself in the Provincial Government. First and foremost then I will state what the relationship between the General arid Provincial Governments, in my opinion, should be. This can be said in a very few plain words, namely: the former (General Government) should make all: laws in. which the colony at large is alike interested, and should therefore be uniform; and the latter, or Provincial Government, all local laws, which concern each province itself in particular. To go further into detail on this question, I find, in such a short address as this, can only be impossible, as I cannot know what laws the General Government will introduce; and as-1 have only a vague idea of the policy it intends to follow ; I think you should leave to your Representative to decide, what ought to be for the General, and what for the Provincial Governments. In principle, lam of the same opinion as I was four years ago, when I said, in my first political speech, the following, " It was true, as had been said, &c. By a strong General Government, I mean a government that has the power to direct, and if necessary to check the action of the Provincial Governments, and I am extremely glad that it has, in some instances, exercised .that power, It has prevented the Provinces f; pom borrowing money without its sanction, a very wise and prudent measure. Wellington is now, I believe, in debt to very nearly the amount of £300,000; the interest of this sum, together with the capital, which fa to be paid off by instalments, must come to a large annual sum of money, and 1 doubt whether that Province will ever be able to liberate itself from it. Many may say that it is not necessary to pay off |the Provincial debts, but I do not approve of such policy, for when no revenue is any longer to be received from the sale of Waste Lands, then the pressure of these debts will be more heavily felt, and more, taxe3'will have to be laid on the .. : • With regard to the power which the Provincial Governments exercised, perhaps you will remember when the Superintendent of Canterbury called out his militia to fight, who I don't know, but perhaps Nelson, to conquer the Amuri distrJcf, on which they looked with as covetous eyes as the French do O£ £he Prussian Provinces, on the western bank of the Rhine; andy;again, ;when our former Superintendent, sp«»0 years ago, overruled the decision of a judge, Wflifih is .more than a King of England dare doj arid the Superintendent,of Wellington spends up to' the present tinjd the public money without the consent of ttie people's Representative^ which cost one King of England his head ; I think D. r. jFeatherstone might be called Charles the First of New Zealand. As yet, I believe, the General Qoyernment has not intruded on the rights of "jthe. Provinces., but the people's Representatives should watch jbheir proceedings with jealousy. Their non-interference with the disputes and antagonistic strifes of the Provincial Governments appears to me to be a policy, calculated to assist in bleeding to death (if I may express myself so) the latter. The new Provinces Act is a law of the utmost importance to all settlers in the colony; it may do good, and promote local self-government, if the people avail themselves of it in case of real necessity, whilst, '<jrs the other hand, if made use of by a few lexers v/ho are in favour of centralisation, or on account'of petty prejudice; or of ©few individuals who seek for offices, then ifc Ytrojtfd become Mother instrument to destroy local legislation instead of fur^heringit. There can be no two opinions upon it, than ,tha£ it wpuld increase the expenses of our already too $os% Qoyernment, and a remodelling of our present PrQvijjcjaJiyQyei'nincnt in this respect should take place. . Of what the General Government has done, I disapprove of the creatjpn of District Judges, it; is an additional expense, and the Resident Magistrate could, as at first, perform the duties, Perhaps there are many magistrates who are not; competent for the task, but then these could haw been changed, instead of new men being appointed.; A'nothjr reason why I don't like this creation is,; that yw $7o,ijld haje kept a very able Representative in the l|obge' £' '■ / ' His Excellency's Government, I dare fi&y ? -^H: bring in a Bill which proyides for theisale'and *dfs-? posal of the Waste Laads of the Crown, as the last Act passed for this purpose has not received! her Majesty's sanction. If you ask me what this Bill, in my opinion, ought to be, I must at once frankly and openly declare, "I don't know;" there are eight different sized heads to be fitted to one hat, it must undoubtedly be one of Indianrubber, sd as to be sufficiently elastic. As, however, the Wairau is now separated from us, and forms a .Province by itself, it''is to u us .;.jh6re of very little i Importanice, what the Bill wm.'be, for I believe we shall-have so little land for "safe, that we can dispense with half a dozen officers "of the Land and Survey departments, on account of the few sales of lancl which w^U' take pla(?e, unless the W#3t Coast turns put to % some compensation for what we feave given up in the East." Then, sgaty, I presume the question will be raised, which Province js best adapted for jfcbe seat of the General Government'} I say without hesitation Nelson. Wellington' pjaims fn tf)fa as well as in all other respects the superiority, but if we reflect only for a moment, we soon see, that there are many grounds why it is not so. The violent winds, the severe earthquakes, the political party strife, and many other facts speak against YJfjeJJjngton and in favour of Nelson. presume it will ajso have to be determined by tlje ijpuse #fr representatives liow much the new proving of Marlporpuglt^ri'h^ye ,to pay of ppy province's debt, it -i^S Wfl nearly; alj « ble land frbrii us, of which this &^# t0 H?M™? and a large sum in the Debenture bill w£§ $PP rO-" priated for public works in that province. • I have now spoken first of what the General Government has done, secondly, of what it is likely to bring before the house; now I wish to mention a#W Jays which I wish it would introduce. ' I should like *o see a bill passed whereby the sale of landed proper^ is simplified and made less cp3tly. In Other countries a man'oati biff landed property without any lawyers' documents ; the parties go to the'registration office", have the sold property entered .in the'buyer's name, for'which they pay a few pence, and the transaction is made; and why should ft not be sor here;' where land shanjjj;es lianas so frequently. I saw some time igo'that ttie Government "of Australia hatf introduced such a'blU:' 11' <! V «•" -"-i .i.fti-' I should further like, to see a ,bsl introduced, sriHch Fot)fd ajlow the distUlation of Spirituous iquonitt tiw colony, TM» % 4 sublet1 ujwn

wince I have spoken sol mttch {already ia public that my opinion must be well known, I will therefore not now. enter Upon the merits of the question. Whether, .your late representative would have advocated these two measures I. don't know, but I am convinced that if they were made law, they would be advantageous to* the public at large. Then it appears that there is no law in existtence whereby bankruptcies are ruled and regulated and as this is a subject upon which the. general government would have to legislate,, it seems necessary to pass an act, which provides for such unhappy occurrences. It seems to me hardly necessary to state, that nothing would give me greater pleasure, if an opportunity occurred, to further the interest and progress of the agricultural community of this province. As you well know, I have from the first been occupied in this business, and therefore | know all the hard work which it requires, and I little profit it yields; it is therefore only natural I that my sympathy should be with you. Having said thus much I will not occupy your time any longer, believing that 1 have fully expressed my opinion on the. most important subjects. Mr. Keaens then asked the new member to use his endeavors ia the elucidation of the compensation question which some "legal difficultiee" had stulified. This being favorably responded to the meeting broke up. There were few more than 20 persons present during the proceeding!; which did;not occupy half an hour's space1. ' "'

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Bibliographic details

ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY., Colonist, Volume III, Issue 229, 30 December 1859

Word Count
2,180

ELECTION OF A MEMBER FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Colonist, Volume III, Issue 229, 30 December 1859

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