THE SUBURBS ELECTION.
.v THE NOMINATION. At noon yesterday there wag a fairly numerous attendance at the Provincial Hall on the occasion of the nomination of candidates for the vacant seat for Nelson Suburbs. The BBXufiNiNO Officer (Mr H. C. S. Baddeley), at the appointed time, said they had been called upon to attend in order that they might make nominations for the seat in the House of [Representatives made vacant by the lamented death of the late A- J. Bichmond, and, having read the writ, he said he was prepared to receive nominations. Mr 0. Curtis begged to propose Arthur Shuckburgh Collins as a fit and proper person to represent them in the House of Bepresentatives. It was at all times a matter of the utmost importance th t every constituency should elect the best man available as its representative, but at no time in the history of the Colony had the choice of representatives been of such consequence as it was at the present. It was known that the state of the finances of the Colony were such as to cause great anxiety and concern; and it was necessary that men should be sent to parliament able and willing to restore these to something like soundness. On that point there should be no difference of opinion, although there might be as to the best means to bring about this desirable consummation. There could be no doubt that the credit of the Colony was of the first importance. In proposing Mr Collins he (Mr Curtis) should have felt more responsibility had he not his past career well hi his mind, and from that past he was able to form some idea as to what Mr Collins could do in the future. They all knew that in 1870 Sir Julius Yogel proposed a great scheme, which the whole country jumped at, and all were anxious for the expenditure of public money, and nowhere were the people more so than in Nelson, where the people resolved to support it at a public meeting. The greater portion of them who looked upon it with less favor were in considerable doubt as to what they ought to do, and after much thought and consultation they decided not to oppose the scheme as a whole, but to let it pass, doing their utmost, however, to reduce itwithin roasonable limitß as far as, they could, and to provide safeguards against extravagance; but there were a few who would not be a j party to this arrangement, and amongst these latter, which numbered only seven, was jir Collins, and therefore, bo far as the acquiring of large i liabilities was concerned, that gentle&an at all events was not responsible, and be thought his prudence could now Bafely be relied upon. Then some two years afterwarfc, when largo annul bad been borrowed
and extravagance was increasing, a stand was attempted. Mr Stafford was amongst the leaders in this movement, and Mr Collins was also an active member, They met with temporary success in ousting the Fox-Vogel party, but they did so by a narrow majority, and they only, remained in power for about a month, for thie Colony was not with them; they brought down proposals for reducing the expenditure, but. the people wanted to> see the money spent. They could thus see that Mr Collins took part.onthe side of prudence, and it was do fault of his if the Colony was ,in a dangerous and hazardous position at the present time. He could. poini out "other matters which would recommend Mr ' Collins to ! their favor ; amongst these he was a thoroughly straightforward man, and they could depend on every promise made by him being faithfully carried out. That he thought was an essential qualification,' and on that ground he had confidence in Mr 'Collins. Another of Mr Collins's,virtues, although it might not be looked upon as such by everyone, was that he was not in the habit ]of making frequent long speeches, although he was not the man to neglect to speak, and that plainly whenever it was really necessary, i Some persons, no doubt, thought their mem- ; ber should take a great' share in the speaking which was done, and they judged of their representative by the length of his speeches as reported in Hansard. Now, those upon the spot knew that these were the very men ; who had the least weight and influenje. A large number of those speeches we,re written :by the reporters. It was that the members remained on their legs for a number of hours uttering tho most incoherent language, and this was put into sense by the skill of the reporters. Directly a man became- noted in this way the 'great majority of members left the House immediately he commenced to speak, and they might, therefore, judge how much effect and how much advantage such a speech had for the constituents. Though he was not a man to waste the time of the country in this way, yet he was never-backward in expressing'himself when-necessity warranted it. He thought that was a virtue which would recommend him to the favor of the electors. Another thing to consider was that their number of representatives was small at present, but it was not improbable that when the Eed'istribution of 'Seats Bill was passed, as he presumed it will be,- that even th'ek present numler will be reduced, and there will be a great disadvantage in contending with other districts.. The best thing then was to make up their deficiency in numbers by returning men of the best description—that'was to send men able to hold their own with the best men in the House, and he could say that Mr Collins was able to holfl.Kb.is own. A man should be sent who would be able to exercise an influence over his fellows. He thought he had said enough to commend Mr Collins to their ( careful attention, and he hoped that on this occasion they would place him at the head of the poll. (Applause). MrtfABKNESS, sen., very deeply lamented the cause which had necessitated this election, but they had presented to them a candidate who, in his opinion, would prove a very excellent successor to the gentleman whose death they deplored, and he (MrHarkness)hadcome forward to second his nomination. He had known Mr Collins 30 years, and had always found him an excellent colonist, a good citizen, and a useful member of society. He would not be a new member, for ho hr.d been tried, and if elected he would go back with vigor, atid take kindly to the harness, knowing his work. -, Mr Caekeek said he had been asked to undprtake the very ploasant task of nominating Mr Alfred Harley as a fit and proper person to represent the constituency at the forthcoming session. He thought they would agree with h;m that Mr. Harley had been a very bold man to come forward against Mr Collins. As regarded Mr Harley's general character they perhaps knew more of that than he did, but 30 years ago they went to school together, and as the child was father of the man, what he was as a boy gave an index to his present character. He (Mr Carkeek) had 'a vivid recollection of him at that time as most determined and painstaking in carrying out any object he had in view, and he was confident that he would energetically and strenuously endeavor to carry out the wishes of the electors. .He believed that if they had had representatives of Mr Harley's stamp they would have had better railways and better roads than they had. They must bear in mind, too, that they had never had such an opportunity as the present to put in an untried man, for if he failed thfn they would have the opportunity, after the next session, of putting in a better man in his place, and although he had not the opportunity to discant on all his, good, qualities, he would say that he had, evory confidence in Mr Harley as being a fit man to represent them. (Applause); Mr Henev Lankow briefly seconded the nomination. Mr A. Collins said it was with very^ great pleasure he stood up to address a meeting of that, kind again, for it was seven years since he had had the opportunity, as he had been opt of politics during that time. The reason he had left political work was that he felt their efforts were hopeless to prevent the extravagance occasioned by tbe incapacity of the Government then in office. He must • confess he had. no desire for narliamentary honors, and he should not have come forward, but that he felt that the request that he should do .so on the part of so many of those amongst whom he lived was an honor he could not throw away. Another reason which actujv eel him was that he felt the time had now come when, owing to their blindness and the excesses, extravagance, and incapacity of successive governments, the country had got into such a serious position as to demand that every man who had the time at his disposal Mid the ability, or who thought he had, should come forward and work for the Colony withoul any local jealousies. They all ought to work together to pull New Zealand out of the slough of despond into which she had got. (Applause.) But he did nojb wish to speak of New Zealand in a hopeless way. He thought their eyes had been opened by reports of the several commissions, and that, had this not been the case, they might have been landed in very serious difficulties: Since 1870 their taxation had been annually increased, and with that their debt had also been increased at a much greater ratio so that it became really alarming. Every successive government- appeared mora reckless, more incapacious and more extravagant, and he then referred to the inexpensive habits of such men as Weld, Stafford, and Richmond, who travelled in ordinary steamers and lived in ordinary houses, and he Baid he did not see why the same could not be done now. He daresaid many of them would remember how thoy who fought against Vogel's scheme and the extravagance were abused, but now the vary papers and people who abused them bad turned round and now abused their opponents; but they had not turned round any too soon. Mr Collins then spoke of payment to members, which be thought should be the same as when he was in the House—that was that a member should rereive a guinea a day, and that those who could not live on -that, should find the rest out of thoir own pockets (Applause.) He thought' enormous savings could be effected, and he referred at length lo •he Agent-General's department and to the Crown Agents. He said they all knew thu't immigration had not been wanted, for a long time, although that great' Liberal, Sir George Grey, in a surreptitious manner, and without authority, hid lent Horn* for 6000 whom
they now bad to pay for work which was no wanted. He spoke Bgainst expenditure on tr Wanganui harbor works, the Timaru break water, and the Taraoski harbor works, ar« condemned the expenditure on Native lands adding that the present 'Government hae cleverly gotoi I of paying for a great portion bj which action he thought they would savi nearly,a, million; He did not defend *tbi Ball Ministry in every' particular, and h< looked upon the ten per ennt. reduction all round as very unfair, and promised, if eleoted, to alter that; but he said he did not believe in keeping more cats than they had rats for them to catch. He contrasted the promises mad<) by Sir George Grey with tbe actions of the present Ministry, and said tbe only financial feat performed by Sir George was in reducing the valuation of his own Island property from £29,000 to £2000. Regarding the Property Tax, be said it was infinitely fairer than the Lund Tax; and having a >am referred to Sir George Grey and his r marks that he had by the Land Tax given t(ie people a handle which they could turn as they pleased, he said he" should prefer to see the Property Tax much reduced and supplemented by an Income Tax. He repeated his former remarks a» to free trade, and although he was agreeable to such exceptions as timber and grain, whioh were already protected, he advocated a system of bonuses or guarantee of interest, on outlay for a.time. He then criticised tbe'action of Sir George Grey in raising the price of land, whioh he mid reduced the.revenue therefrom to a tenth 3f what is had been; but he would not idvocatetbe price beiog made- so chnap as it lad been done in Ne/son with tbe result that capitalists bad bought up immense blocks. Be then spoke of Native affairs, and the disclosures made by the Hon, Mr Bryce, md referring to one result of the Public Works Commissioners' report, said that some ines which did not pay for the grease for the wheels were now paying nine per cent, and ie took credit for that on behalf of the Ministry. He repeated bis former remarks is to Triennial Parliaments, which measure ie said he would support, as it appeared to )e tbe wish of tbe constituency. He said he s-as a Liberal, but not of the same class as Jir George Grey, who went about eettirg class against class; and regarding Volunteers, ie said he would support a capitation allowince, as he considered they, were a valuable nstitution. He would close his remarks by elling them that if they did him the honor to )lect him, he would do his duty in the House n attending to their interests and to.those >f the Colony. He was sure tbe time bad some when Jlelson no longer looked to stand ipart from the Colony, and without neglectng local affairs, he hoped to be able to point >u« that be had given very keen attention to ho finances of the country. After every ■ece9s he Bhould feel honored if they would neet. him and tell him honestly whether they pproved of his conduct or not, and if the atier, he could assure them they would have 10 difficulty ia gettiug rid of him. (Apilause.) Mr Habiot said that Mr Collins had told hem nothing new, for they all knew their ifficulties—the thing was how to get out of bem. He had taken up with a part of bis Mr Farley's) policy, and he would say that ie had come forward with a policy, fit for a )abinet Minister, as he had been told by a entleman. Mr Co lins had spoken about aising the price of land, and did not beNeve a its being sold for a good prio; but be Mr Harley) said if it had been leased out Dstead of sold thoy would not have had to lay taxes, and the best thiug tbe Government ould do would be to buy it back again. Mr Jollins approved of the Property Tax, and opposed the Land Tax, as all landsharks and arge holders did ; but, he said, go and look t the country where their shetp runs were, and eetbeirown9tnall (armis; they were the poople vho made New Zealand a garden, and they ihjected to the Property Tax, whioh taxed all heir improvements. A Land and Income Fax 'was the fairest tax there was. He sould assure them Mr Collins and he were otally different; in fact, Mr Collins had got io policy. He (Mr Harley) would leave no tone unturned, he nerer jibbed, and,if be mly got into a position to carry out his ideas, ie should be able' to tell them something, rle had been told that the country had been ransacked, to find a better man, and, there'ore, as tbey had not found one he (Mr Eafley) must be the best—(laughter.) All tie wanted them to do was to put him in the position of their representative, and if they lid he could assure them he could clear the country of the national debt, and place the railways on a very different footing. He reEerred to our local railway, and said that if it were continued to the West Coast they could 3ell their produce, but as it was it waa actually ruining the farmers, for without it their grain would go to feed horses. As it was he spoke of the price of produce, and referred to butter at 4d per lb.i Mr Collins said he was in. favor of a beer tax, and he was surprised to see Mr Dodson at his side. Beer was the one luxury of the poor man, and he asked did the brewer pay it. When the brewer bought his barley he.said, "'Oh! I can't pay you so much, for I have to pay the beer tax," a^d then he charged/the publican with it. He asked who was it that brought the country to its present state ? Was it the farmers ? He answered no; hut those were the men (looking towards Mr Collins); there they sit. He was not wedded to Sir George Grey or the Hon Mr Hall. Were tnere no other men who could bring forward a polioy; why, he had brought one forward himself. Mr Collins had been to the House before, aud the man who wanted tor be dragged up to the scratch was not the man they wanted ; they wanted volunteers. Mr Collins would have to stay at home with his shoddy friends. ; He.was the best friend Mr Collins hud when he advised him to retire from tbe contest. There (pointing towards Mt O'dhani) was One of these gentlemen who waehited in the district, who prosecuted under the game laws.' They would have no game laws tber.e. Who brought out the birds ? ; The Acclimatisation' Society. But they would do away, with the misohief. By G-eorge ! he could talk to them for a month. He wanted them all tJ vote for him as volunteers ; be wanted no one to be dragged to support him. He wanted to work for them and to clear off the National debt; and if olect od that he would do. (Loud applause and liugbter.) The Returning Officer then called fjr a show of hands, when the result was Mr Collins 19 Mr Harley ... ... 14 A poll was demanded on bshilf of Mr Harley by Mr Carkeek, and Ibis will take place on tbe 11th inst. '
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THE SUBURBS ELECTION., Colonist, Volume XXIV, Issue 2804, 4 January 1881
THE SUBURBS ELECTION. Colonist, Volume XXIV, Issue 2804, 4 January 1881
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