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THE COLONIST.

NELSON; TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 1861.' Auckland seems to be the only place iin New Zealand (if we may judge from tb:e number of candidates and the spicy nature of their addresses, specimens of which we gave in a former number) where the election of members for the House of Representatives is likely to be carried on with that vigor and wholesome opposition which ought to be the general characteristics of affairs of this momentous nature. At all events the Auckland people are determined not to come under the contemptuous curse of lukewarmness. The city of Wellington is an exception to this charge; yet the members of the out districts of that province have been or will be elected without opposition. Two members have been returned for Otago alter a very feeble contest. Two candidates are in the field for two districts of Canterbury, without opponents at present. A meeting of the electors of the Motueka district, called by Mr. Herbert Evelyn Curtis, took place on Monday, the 21st instant, at Mr. John Palmer's, Waimea West; N. G. Morse, esquire, in the chair. There were between twenty and thirty persons^ present. , Mr. Curtis addressed the meeting to the following effect. He said he had come there that evening that hemight explain to them anything they might wish to know concerning his conduct in the late assembly; any question they wished to put he would be glad to answer. Mr. Curtis then, spoke at some length of the conduct of the natives upon the North Island: of the insulting manner in which the settlers had been treated by them, that if they stole anything belonging to the European settlers the Government were incapable of bringing them to justice; that on the other hand if the settlers did anything wrong to the natives, they were visited with the law. lie also stated that in one instance they had stolen a quantity of gunpowder from the Government, and that when the Government made enquiries after it they were told in a very insulting manner if they wanted it they might fetch it. ? Mr. Curtis then told the meeting of the many good things that had been done by the present Government; how they had obtained their land fund, instead of it being expended upon the other Island in the purchase of the re-apportioning of the New Zealand Company's Debt;.of the advantages received i:n Nelson being mace the port for the arrival and departure of the mail steamers, &c. Mr. Curtis then spoke at great length upon the Tariff that the Government had asked him to assist in, devising the best plan, &c. Mr. Curtis then cautioned the electors upon the consequences of sending new members to the Assembly, of the loss of time to be sustained by new members not knowing whether they were upon their head or their heels; that nothing would be done by new members the first session. He then warned the meeting of the " Peace at any price party ;•' said that some had wished to go to Kingi arid beg for peace, &c. Mr. Curtis said he had nothing to say against Mr. Parker; he did not know Mr. Parker's views. After thanking them for the patient hearing they had given him, Mr. Curtis sat down amidst considerable applause. . Mr. Simmonds said as no one appeared to have anything to say to Mr. Curtis, he would say a few words: he hoped Mr. Elliott would make a true report of the speech that had fallen from Mr. Curtis, for he had never heard a better speech in proof of the incapacity of the present government than the one that had now fallen from Mr. Curtis. Mr.; Curtis had commenced by telling them how incapable the government were in dealing with the natives, how the natives had been allowed to steal the property of the settlers, to insult and threaten them while the government were incapable of ■bringing them to justice; while on the other hand if the settlers in any way transgressed, they were punished with severity. Mr. Curtis next tells us of the natives stealing a quantity of gunpowder from the government, which certainly betrays a great want of watchfulness on the part of the government to allow a quantity of gunpowder to be taken away by natives who were constantly stealing, threatening, and insulting the settlers. Surely, under the circumstances, there was the greatest necessity of putting such a thing in the .greatest possible security. But this is quite in keeping with the conduct of the government with the natives, for we find ourselves involved in a war with the natives when we had no more means of protection than when; the natives were allowed to help themselves to the, property of the settlers or the gunpowder of the government. Mr. Curtis qext tells us of the many good things the late government have done for us, and appears to take great credit to himself and the Nelson members for obtaining our land fund and the re-apportioning of:the New Zealand company's debts; but Mr. Curtis must be aware that we had the co-operation of the southern members in obtaining these. We are next told of the great good Messrs. Curtis and .Co. have done us by making Nelson the port of the arrival and departure of our mail steamers, while Mr. Curtis tells us in the same breath .that the shipping agents admit it to be the best paying port in the colony, and we all know that it.is the port and the facilities offered for careening vessels that gives it the preference to other ports, .for steamers to arrive and depart from, and not what Messrs. Curtis and Co. have done for it. Mr. Curtis next tells us pfthe £ieat services he has

rendered us by assisting to frame the Tariff, the Government having asked him to assist them in framing this document; Mr. Curtis had here complimented himself upon- his statesmanship for which he (Mr. Simmonds) was quite willing to give him credit. We are next warned of the consequences of sending new members to tlie'Assembly, Mr. Curtis affirming tlftt they ;did n£t know whether they were on theiv head or their, heels. He supposed Mr. C. had been in that unenviable position; or he would not be 'able to imagine others. ("So I,was,'' from Mr. Curtis.), sojweak and unfortunate, Mr. Curtis then winds up with that miserable piece of claptrap, the peace-at-any-price party. Now I ask you as men of common sense, can you believe any one capable of acting as Mr. Curtis has stated? I would wish to refer you to some letters and extracts bearing upon this subject in the Colonist of Friday last, when I think you will be satisfied it is nothing more than a piece of electioneering dodgery. I would ask, was it to be wondered at, when we were suddenly plunged in war with the natives without the means of defending ourselves, when the natives were in possession of abundance of guns and ammunition, by the restriction upon the sale of firearms being withdrawn by the Government ? Was it to be wondered at that men should desire to have an understanding, and prevent if possible the further spread of war, if it could be done consistent with the dignity of the British crown? I hope the electors will not be led away by statements of the incapacity of men because they belong not to a certain class. Mr. Parker is a man that you have tried as a member of the Provincial Council over a period of several years, and has proved himself an hone3t politician: he is a resident of the district, and consequently more likely to serve your interests than one. who is not. . A show of hands was taken at the close of the meeting in favor of each candidate when the result was about equal. . The nomination of candidates to represent the Motueka district in the House of Representatives took place on Friday, the 25th instant; but, owing to most of the electors being busy with the harvest, there were very few in attendance. The Returning Officer, A. L. G. Campbell, Esquire, having read the writ—

Captain Fearon said that he had great pleasure in again proposing to the electors a gentleman whom four years ago he had proposed to them, and they then unanimously elected him to represent them ; and he (Captain Fearon) believed that no one could find fault with the manner in which that gentleman had performed his duties as their representative: for at the various public meetings which had been held in the different parts of the electoral district no person had brought forward a single accusation. He therefore thought that in justice and in gratitude to a tried and faithful servant they were bound to re-elect him. He begged to propose H. E. Curtis, Esq., as a fit and proper person to represent this district in the General Assembly. Mr. Henry Nason briefly seconded the proposition. Mr. B. M'Mahon, M.P.C., had great pleasure in proposing Mr. C. Parker as a candidate for this district. Mr. Parker had represented the Motueka district in the Provincial Council for eight years, and what more could be said in praise of any man than that "he has done his duty;" and this he could fearlessly say of Mr. Parker, and he had no doubt but that if Mr. Parker was elected to the General Assembly, he would there also do his duty. . Mr. James Wilkib seconded the proposition. """MrTCuiiTis*would make a few remarks; but as he ha<? attended meetings of the electors in different parts of the district this week, and there fully stated his views on most subjects that had engaged the attention of the House of Representatives since he had been a Member, as well as those subjects which were likely to be brought before the House at its next meeting it would, be unnecessary for him to take up much of their time how; but he should be most happy to answer any questions that might be put to him by any elector pretent. Several questions were asked by some of the gentlemen present, which Mr. Curtis having answered' — Mr. Parker said: The question has been asked why I am here to-day as a candidate to represent this district in the General Assembly in opposition to Mr. Curtis? I understand it has been canvassed at some of the meetings called by Mr. Curtis; and that it is looked upon as presumptuousbnmy partto come forward, or for the working classes to attempt to return one who professes to represent them. I stand here to-day as a candidate for your suffrages because I have been called upon to do so by a numerously and respectably signed requisition, and if the electors do me the honor of electing me, I shall ' dare' to go to the General Assembly and represent them to the uttermost of my powers. Mr. Curtis wishes to know why I have not made known my political views, and my objection to his (Mr. Curtis's) proceedings in the General Assembly. I have-attended at a meeting of the electors at Waimea West and at the Mouteve; I did not attend Mr. Curtis's meeting last evening, because I knew I should have an opportunity of meeting that gentleman and the electors to-day. I would ask Mr. Curtis how it ia that he has never met his constituents from the time he was elected five years ago until the present time. Mr. Curtis may have consulted with some of his present supporters during that time; but a* he states that he was elected unanimously, then how comes it that he has not met nor consulted with the electors of the district? I feel assured had he done so, he would hays found that he had been acting quite contrary to the wishes of a large number of the electors. Many of the Acts passed in 1858, which Mr.1 Curtis prides himself upon for supporting, he (Mr. Parker) very much disapproved of. The New Provinces Act is one of them. .The supporters of that measure profess to have done so to extend local self-government. I think few will give them credit for such motions when it is well known that those gentlemen opposed the granting of a free constitution to New Zealand, and have upon all occasions prevented as Jar as they could the passing of any measures calculated to give the power of dealing with local matters into the peoples hands. He (Mr. Parker) believed that the New Provinces Act was not intended nor wpuid it give local self-government to the settlers of Marlborough. Mr. Curtis admitted that the act was very faulty in many respects ; then why did the representatives of this province allow such an. act to pass calculated'to injure to such an extent the Province of Nelson ? He ( Mr. Parker) totally disagreed with Mr. Curtis on the New Tariff that taxed the poor much more heavily than the, rich : the blue slop must pay more than the broad cloth coat; the cotton dress more than the silk ; or unbleached calico more than satins, —machines may come in free, but saws and axes must pay; —gqld that the hard worker mines for must pay an -ex- j port duty, but jewellery comes in free. . Mr.! Curtis states that his objection to the Ballot is, that it is un-English; he (Mr. Parker) would suggest an alteration in the Tariff that was English; he would do away with most of the customs' duties, and substitute an Income and Property tax; then all parties would contribute their fair proportion for the support of the different departments of Government that is found necessary to be kept up for the protection of properly. It would do away with a number of servants now employed to collect these customs duties, which in many instances does not amount to as much as is paid for the collecting; if would to some extent prevent another evil, that of New Zealand being ruined by Pensioners whiclr is likely to be the lease by the Civil Services' Superanuation Act, passed In 1858. He (Mr. Parker) considered that the late members from this province had not performed their duties in not supporting the Bill sent from the Provincial Council for giving compensation to certain persons as recommended by the commissioners appointed to investigate into iheir claims; His (Mr. Parker's) views respecting tine present war with the natives ia the JNor,tUera Is-

land was well known amongst them. Should he have the honor of being elected he would give his warmest support to the Government to put an end to the war in the most effective manner possible. Several gentlemen then pot questions to Mr. Parker,..which haying been answered by him— - The Returning Officer called for. a show, of hands, when he declared the numbers to be equal, and as Returning Officer he had to state the election had fallen upon Mr. Curtis. Two electors then demanded a poll on behalf of Mr. Parker.

'•■MX: Curtis proposed a vote of thanks- to the Returning Officer, which being seconded by Mr. Parker, the meeting closed.

The polling will takei place on Tuesday, the sth of February,

On Saturday, the 19th instant, Mr. Kelling met the electors of Waimea South, at the Wakefield Aims; Mr. Baigent in the chair. Mr. Kelling went over the oft-, trodden ground, and explained the reason, or rather the inducement, why he had again changed his mind and now came forward to endeavor to represent the Waimaa instead of the Suburban district. Several questions were put, especially regarding the New Provinces Act; to which Mr. Kelling replied in the usual style, that it was not a good act, yet he bad supported it. Mr. Charles Elliott laid it down as his opinion that it would be a long time ere that district would be represented by better men than it had last time; Mr. Creasy moved and Mr. Wratt seconded the following resolution:— :' This meeting is of opinion, after hearing Mr. Kelling's political views, that he is a fit and proper person to represent the Waimea district in the next session of the General Assembly. Mr. Rennell moved and Mr. Griffiths seconded the following amendment :— That this meeting is too small to represent the views and wishes of the people of this district as to the fitness of Mr. Kelling as their representative in the General Assembly. The amendment was carried. On Thursday, January 24th, Mr. Saunders met a very large gathering of the electors of Waimea South at the Forest Inn. We must defer printing his speech till our next number. The following resolution, proposed by Mr. Boddington and seconded by Mr. Currer, was carried:-— Resolved that this meeting thinks Mr. A. Saunders a fit and proper person to represent this large and progressive district in the next General Assembly, and has the most unbounded confidence in his sincerity and ability, he having (as the member of Waimea South in the Provincial Council of tins province) always advocated every measure which tended to the enlightenment and general advantage of the many,, in opposition to, the selfish and grasping policy of a few. And this meeting has no doubt that, if elected as the representative of the Waimea district, he will still continue to act in the same honorable manner. < A meetinfi of electors likewise took place on Saturday evening at Richmond; this was called by Mr. Kelling. So small was the attendance, .that at one time it was thought it would be abandoned; but eventually about nine electors assembled, and voted Mr. M'Rae, M.P.C., to the chair. Mr. Kelling then recapitulated the statements made at a former meeting; Mr Hark ness moved and Mr. Disher seconded the following resolution :— That this meeting considers that Mr. Kelling is the most fit and proper person to represent them in the General Assembly. , Mr. Horn moved, as an amendment:— That Mr. Kelling is not the most fit and proper person to represent them. The amendment being put four hands were held up, and five for the resolution, which was accordingly carried by one,

The election of a member for the Suburban district took place on Monday, the 28th, when Mr. Wemyss was returned unopposed. Although Mr. Wemyss had come all the way from Wairau especially, he found few more there than his proposer and seconder.

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Bibliographic details

THE COLONIST., Colonist, Volume IV, Issue 342, 29 January 1861

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3,084

THE COLONIST. Colonist, Volume IV, Issue 342, 29 January 1861

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