THE GLADSTONE NOMINATION.
The nomination of candidates for the representation of the Gladstone district m the House of Representatives took place on the 2nd Feb., at the Court house, Waimate. ■ As there was opposition expected, there was more than the ordinary attendance of electors present. At 12 o'clock, J3. Woollcombe, Esq., the Returning Officer, after having read the writ, called on the electors present to nominate a fit and proper person. After a little delay, Mr Manchester briefly proposed Mr G. B. Parker as a fit and proper person to represent them. Mr L. Price seconded the nomination. Mr R. Worlhington (of the Point) proposed Mr E. C. J. Stevens, which waa seconded by Mr Thomas Bruce, of Waimate. Mr T. Brace then proposed Mr R. Turnbnll, which was seconded by Mr R. Worthington. The Returning Officer then said it was open for the proposed candidates to ad-> dres the electors. Mr Parker then came forward and said lie had now heard of his opponent with which the Timartt Herald had threatened him ; .and he looked on the opposition to him as entirely the work of the Timaru Herald. Here was the man who had been beaten the day before at the Selwyn brought forward as a candidate. [Mr M. Studholme : To run here for the Consolation Stakes.] Mr Stevens had been defeated on the question of pi'otection, and he thought very properly. It was his opinion that some tax must be laid on the importation of grain. At present it wfvs most unfair to the farmer, who laid under great disadvantages, and if he were elected he should support any such measure. Mr Stevens was a gentleman of whom he entertained a very high opinion. He was a man of very great ability, but so crochety that no party had hitherto been able to work with him, thereby hindering his usefulness. He was one of that party who were called the " Cave." This was a name taken from scripture m reference to those who resorted to the Cave of Adullam, and he felt sure that Mr Stevens would, however great his ability, be useless to the district. They might see the cause of the opposition of tho Timaru Herald whim. It had been most active m obtaining the Board of Works Act, which m his opinion had, proved that all attempts at local self-.
government were a failure. In reference to the ministerial scheme he had been mis-reported, or words had been put into his mouth which he had not uttered. What he had said m reference to the great scheme now before them was, that be viewed it with very great distrust, and that the Ministry must be carefully watched m carrying it out. There was one work which, if elected, he should make the first object to endeavour to get carried out, and that was the Waitangi bridge. He need not tell them that he had considerable local interests, and that would be the best guarantee that he should attend to their interests. He was the owner of a large interest m the Waimate bush. He felt sure they would not allow themselves to be dictated to by theTiMAßtr Herald, which appeared to be adopting the same course as Mr Stafford, who was busy influencing the election m Otago, and left them to do the electioneering here. Mr Tubnbull next addressed the electors, and said that he felt sure he need urge no excuse for coining forward on the present occasion to offer his services, as it was a privilege here that no matter how poor a man was, if he had sufficient ability, the highest offices were open to him. They had now no excuse for their voting, as since the last election they had obtained the ballot, and he hoped every man would remember his high privileges and make use of them for the good of the colony. They had heard about local interests, and attention to them, but he must confess, as far as he saw, local interests and influence had very little to do m the matter. They were just a corner of a large district extending over one hundred miles, and surely those people residing on another part had a right to be considered also. : He took a much broader view of the < matter, and though one particular portion < of the province elected, he looked on it ; that it was for the colony, and it was on this principle, if elected, that he should : act. The question with him would be, ' not what would benefit them, but what ' would benefit the whole colony, that is on . general questions. Of other things con- , nected with their interests, not interfering ; with the general welfare, he would always ] be found a strenuous supporter, but he i certainly had no intention if they sent 1 him to the Assembly, of acting as delegate ' from the Waimate. Referring to the < question of local influence, he did not ' believe mit here. It was no doubt true 1 that Mr Parker, by his boundless generosity and readiness to assist them m ' their trouble and distress, might obtain a l certain amount of influence, and very ( proper. He had no doubt Mr Parker ( would acquire influence from the fact of his being a most liberal landlord, a , kind and generous man to those he em- ( ployed — he would acquire influence from j the fact of his social position — and t from being a prominent leader m the 1 moral movement they were now making — t and from the interest he took m t the rising generation, and seeing they ' obtained an education fitted to t their future station m life. All these a things gave a man a certain amount of l influence, but not an influence m these * matters — they were duties. When he spoke of local influence they must not confound it with what was called local m- * fluence which influenced elections m large constituencies at home. That was not a local influence, it was an historic influence ; it was the influence of names interwoven with the honor and existence of England. There was not a page m her history but where their names were written — there I waß not a great movement or important event m which they had not assumed a prominent part. Our local influence was nothing, and he felt sure they would not let that interfere m choosing who they * thought best. Mr Parker had told them . he was m favor of protection. He (Mr Turnbull) could assure the electors that T _ if returned he would use every effort to obtain the passing of such measures as t would benefit the farming interest. He ], looked upon it as the most important m- c terest. That the farmers at present v laboured under very great disadvantages, ii and that without an import duty they s were placed m a very unfair position m a their relations with other colonies. As t regarded the bridging of the Waitangi, li he could assure them it did not depend ■« on the return of Mr Parker. That was a ° work of such vital necessity to the com- * munication between the provinces, that *■ it mattered not who they returned, or * what ministry was m office, they were \ bound to do it. Tt was not a work that 0 would be left to be done by their member, fc but would be a work commenced as soon t as the General Government had the power. Referring to local governments, he stated j his opinion that the time had arrived \ when they might very well be dispensed c with ; that all great works should be un- i dertaken by the General Government, 1 who he thought would carry them out at ( a far less cost. He felt sure the time had a now arrived (and if elected hn would use r every effort to accomplish the end) when •■ Provincial Governments should be entirely ( abolished, or so modified that they should ' be powerless. They had done great m- j jury to the colony, and if they continued m existence much longer would ruin it. t The seventeen years they had been m ] existence they had frittered away very ] large sums of money, and had helped to t saddle us with a debt of seven millions, i The question naturally arose why they ' were called into existence. They must i remember the Government, at the insti- < tution of the provinces, could not well i overlook that there were certain vested ; interests which could not be well inter- ' fered with. Communication was not so ' frequent as now, and they might have - been made harmless m their operation ' but for the unfortunate manner of their introduction. They were elected before j the Assembly. The most able men m the provinces were elected to the chief offices, , and increased the powers of the provinces ( at the expense of the General Assembly, ] and hence had arisen the struggle which i had been so disastrous m its effects to the I colony generally, and which it would not ] recover till the provinces were done away I with. As regarded the present Govern- I ment, he must state he had no confidence ' whatever m them. The shameless way ' m which offices had been created and ( large salaries attached to them, showed ' their recklessness. They had a General Agent at a thousand a year, and then by ' a clever transposition they had another ' thousand a year for an Agent-General. , They had given this man £800 a year, and others of their friends proportionate '. salaries, — and all this was done while the people were labouring under the heaviest j debt any nation possessed. We had already a debt of 427,000,000, and they proposed to add another £13,000,000 ; and with such a serious state of affairs it required the greatest prudence m the i holders of office, which he did not consider the present Government possessed. They must remember the present amount of taxation was something like £4 per head, so that if the amount was actually apportioned, a man with a family of six children would have to give more than two days labour per week to pay his share of it. In practice, this was not so, as of course many paid more per head, and reduced the cost to others, gut this would show the enormity
of the debt, and the great importance it was to return men who would watch carefully the expenditure of the proposed loan. He hoped Mr Stevens would be able to come down on Saturday to address them. He was a most able man, and one who would be a credit to the constituency. It was true Mr Stevens had been defeated at the Selwyu, but now his views might be considerably modified. It was a point of honour to contest the Selwyn on the question of protection. Mr Stevens had voted against it last session, and stated he contested it on the same ground at this election. Any modification, however slight, of Mr Steven's views would most probably have carried the election but such a step would have been unworthy of liim. If they were satisfied with Mr Stevens he would be most happy to retire. If, on the other hand, they found they could not support him, he (Mr Turnbull) was perfectly prepared to contest the matter to the utmost, and would pledge himself to go to the poll if no other votes were recorded than those who so kindly supported him on this occasion. They might depend on one thing, whatever the result of the election might be it wo\ild not interfere with their long friendship, nor efface the remembrance of the respect and kindness he had always received at the hands of the people of Waimate. The Returning Officer then called for a show of hands, which was declared m r avor of Mr Parker. A poll was demanded I by Mr Turnbull.
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THE GLADSTONE NOMINATION., Timaru Herald, Volume XIV, Issue 600, 25 February 1871
THE GLADSTONE NOMINATION. Timaru Herald, Volume XIV, Issue 600, 25 February 1871
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