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GLADSTONE.

(by our special reporter.) The nomination of candidates for the electoral district of Gkdatune, took place it t ho Courthouse, Tonmka, yesterday. A platform was improvised within the court fence for tho convenience of the candidates and their immediate supporters, the crowd thus being kept on the roadway. As 12 o'clock drew near a very largo number (>f people attended, but they were chiefly residents of the town nanioil. A demonstration took place in fav'iiir nf t •:•: iioal man, but on the whole the ;.3i.^';il ; yj was a, well conduced one, good humour prevailing throughout. As tho clock in tho tower of the Roman Catholic Church chimed the hour of noon, Mr F. W. Stnbbs, tho official returning officer, asceuded the platform, read the writ for the election, and the advertisement calling them together for the nomination. The reading concluded, Mr Stubbs called on the electors to nominate their candidates. Mr Jos. Page, farmer, Wai-iti, at ouco came forward, and prefaced his speeoh by apologising for having the audacity to come before electors on a nomination day for the third time. He assured them that he would not say one word against Mr Twomey, or any other man, for he (Mr Page) recognised that all men coming before them as candidates were entitled to an equal share of electors' respect. Since last election he said the state of political matters had not improved by any manner of means, and now the indebtedness and taxation they had to face was something enormous. Every elector should, therefore, be very cautious as t'> the kind of man they chose to represent them in the new Parliament. What was wanted now was men of integrity and honesty of purpose, and of singleraind-'d-ne3s. Here in this colony they had Been young men enter public life under most favourable circumstances ; men with brilliant ideas and of brilliant speech, promising qualities that would grace the ■ iffice of any department of the Government. Yet, where were these men now 1 They had quietly gone ; dropped bel««< the horizon of politic. However they had stiil such men as Fox, Bracken, and others, brilliant star3 in the political firmament. But in spito of these things, he asked electors did they suppose he had the slightest hesitation in proposing a yi>ung and new man. Jio : he had not, and he impressed on them most earnestly that Mr Rhodes possessed qualifications out of which it was capable to make n vary «ood representative. (Applause.) Mr Pagrf Wdild gn beyond that and say that Mr Rlvdes had within him the qerms of a man that would write hi* name in the bonk of the colony, and hand a proud name down to posterity. (Hear, hear.) Mr Pa^e quite admitted that his candidate was a young man, but begged them to remark that his conscience had never been seared or scorched in colonial politics. Among the objections he (Mr Page) had heard raised about Mr Rhodes were : (1) He is a lawyer. But no objection was raised to the profession, the ohjection being that Mr Rhodes used it as a marketable commodity. Mr Page saw nothing to cavil at in this, and pointed out that the whole House were almost similarly situated, for really they held the public estate in truat for the people of New Zealaiid. Another objection was that Mr Rhodes was very rich. This wa3 a very unnatural conclusion to cme to, and Mr Pago warned his hoarers of tho fallacy of the saying, because a man is poor he must bo dishonest, and because a man is rich lie cannot help but be a rogue. The next objection wa^ that Mr Rhodes wa3 a "swell." Mr Page defined a swell as a man who at election time wore two suits of clothes and three pairs of gloves, and who on shaking hands with one of the common herd, wa3 afraid of being contaminated by him. But, such similes apart, Mr Rhodes was no swell. He waß the son of a hard-headed, hard-fisted British yeoman, who, growing in years and wealth, was never known to forsake the people who had started with him in early life. Another objection taken to Mr Rhodes was that he is an opponent to the present Government. (Hisses and howk, and voices " You said the same thing last time," " It won't do, old man.") Quiet beiDg comparatively restored Mr Page said that Sir Julius Vogel and hia Government "by heavens could fiddle," but could not make the "towns spring up," and that the former statesman was like a " sneaking, crawling, wriggling, slimy, marine torpedo." (Loud hisses and deafening howls, and voices "That's enough, Jo," " Come down.") Mr Page then spoke of the Dunedin insurance buildings puruhaae by {sir Julius Vogel Montague Pym,f Sievwright, Stout and Co., and said this was only one instance out of 500 wherein Ministers had wasted public money. (Voices : " What has this to do with Rhodes," "Propose your member.") Mr Page then lightly touched on the " Eraser vote" and Mr Rulleßton's connection therewith, and concluded by nominating Mr A. E. CJ. Rhodes as a fit and proper person to represent Gladstone in the House of Representatives. (Hear, ht-ar, continued hisses and howls.) Mr Inwood, fl:jur miller of Winchester, briefly seconded this nomination. Ho warned electors to beware of side issues j tho question before them was a very distinct one, viz., that the financial proposals of the Government aro unsatisfactory. The plain issues, therefore, worn (1) taxation and the present Government, 2) an absolute policy of retrenchment and the return of the Opposition to power. As to merely local and personal matters tlwy should say nothing ; they xhould be sunk in concern for tho public welfare. (Hear, hear.) They had to chooso whether it wai better to uluct a man of iutolligonco, charaotur, education and knowledge, a man of wealth and csteomed position ;or a man who was uoablo to carry weight in an naeembly of hia follow inon. Ue hoped nil wou'd consider matters carefully and elect the man who would do his best in tho intoresto of tho colony. (A voice ; "That's Twomoy.") Electors woro now really forming a Government, as thu prosent was ono of tho most important elections that had been held. Ho had much pleasure In seconding tho nomination of a. woaltliy, uinhltfous, and native born Now Zoalandor, Mr Rhodes. (Applawsoand groans.) Mr Thomas Loy, farmer, Upper Opihi, came forward, amid applause, and said he had much pleasure in proposing Mr J. M. Twomey as th« representative of tho Gladstone district in thu Gi.-nenil Assembly. (Hear, hear, and applause,) In proposing Mr Twomey, Mr Loy felt that he had a comparatively easy task. Mr Twomoy was well known to most of thom, and not only well known but also favourably known. He was no stranger or jabaontot—(hear, hoar) -but ono of themselves. From Win high chirnctor and sterling qualities ho was capablo of rendering splendid service not only to Gladstone, but to tho whole of the colony. (Hear, hear, and appliuißO.) It had boon fluid by thu aupportont of Mie opposition candidntu

that Mr Twomey would have no weight in the House, and that Mr Rhodes would. But to Mr Ley the real difference in the candidates was this : Mr Tw< mey relies for weight on tho powor of intellect ; Mr Rhodes on the power of gold. (Loud applause.) In reference to the choice of political leaders Mr Twomey came before them and frankly and honestly said " I win support Sir Robert Stout and stand or fall with him." Mr Rhodes said " I «o to the, Assembly to destroy the administration of Stout," but to the question, " Who will you follow 1" he (Mr Rhodes is dumb. (Applause.) In fact Mr Rhodes was ashamed of his political leaders ; they were too well known. (Applause, and a voice : " Give it to him Tom.") As to the Political Reform Association—(Hero three groana were given for tho association) — Mr Ley asked were the new men coming to the front under it going to thrust the old political leaders mide. Was it likely that men of the Stead, Cunningham, and Postlethwaite stamp were going to lead such men as Atkinson, Hall and Rolleston. No, the lions of the assembly would never bo led by as*es. (Laughter and vociferous applause.) The three questious now prominently before electors threw all others into the shade, viz. , retrenchment, education, and land settlement. In tho matter of retrenchment Mr Tworcey waa in favour of the real thing, not the sham retrenchment of the Political Reform Association, which rairely meant shifting the burden from their own shoulders on to that of their poorer neighbours. (Hear, hear and groans.) In the matter of education they could rely that as long as Sir Robert Stout waa at the head of affairs no tampering would be allowed with it. (Applause.) Education was safe in hia hands and always would be. The last question was, perhaps, the mo3t important of all. Ho would ask any man who looked to New Zealand as the future home of hiti'self and children, li Is (his country to be a prey to speculators and monopolists, or are the people to own the land they live in I" For they could rest assured that a shout of exultation would be raised by every money ring, by every chamber of C'lmmerce, by every land shark in tho colony, if the administration of the Stout Ministry were overthrown. (Loud applause.) Mr Ley concluded by appealing to them all to rally round the present Liberal Administration and return Mr Twomey at the head of the poll. (Loud and continued applause, and a voice " Well done, Ley.") Mr W. L. Duncan, farmer, of Kakahu Bush, seconded the nomination. He spoke briefly, mentioning that some of Mr Twomey's supporters had said he (Mr Tworacy) had been brought up in a mud cabin. (Voicea : " That's one into you, Doctor," " Where is he ?") Well one of tho moat gifted of Scotland's men had been born in a mud cabin. Other great men had also risen from a lowly estate, and, y ran ted that Mr Twomey had been born in a mud cabiu, it was no disgrace to him. (Applause.) A break here occurred, and after a few minutes had expired, Mr Siubbs asked if there were any more nominations. Mr Franks at last ascended the platform, and waving his hat in his left hand and a good thick sack in thu other, said that as tin could gut no one to nominate him, he would do the duty himself. He had been promised lots of support, but that morning some of his friends had deserted him. It was disgraceful to think that Borno men could be bought over so easily. (A voice : "Go down; we have one Liberal candidate ; we don't want you.") Mr Franks would not go down, ho had deposited hia £10 note — (A voice : " Whow, yi'ii'll lose it, old man.") — and would see the election through, air Franks then enlarged on some of the questions before them, the crowd keeping up a running tire of intenuptions. The burden of his later remarks was that his followers had been tampered with, but, Mr Franks tragically added, "no little crawlers for me." Mr Franks finally vacated the platform. Mr Brewer then rose and Baid that he had pleasure in proposing Mr Franks. Mr Bolton seconded, stating that it waa a pity electors were not more agreed now that such important (jubstiona were before the country. He said that Mr Rhodes was not the man to represent Gladstone. The colony could not afford to wait until Mr Rhides' ambition to represent this conatitueuoy in an able manner was gratified, for if they had to wait, by the time he had learnt politics the colony would bo a long way behind. Mr Bolton then essayed to speak about Mr Twomoy, but was howled down. However, he gamely tried to speak for about ton minutes, but very few words were audible, though Mr Bolton shouted at tho top of hia voice. Mr Stubbs then called for a ahow of hands whiph (as near as our reporter could guess) resulted as fallows ; — For Rhodes, 20 hands ; for Twomey, 10 hand3 ; for Frauk3, not cvou a linger. Mr Stubbs declared the show of hands in favour of Mr Twomey. and Mr Franks thereupon demanded a poll. Mr Rhodes next came forward and briefly addressed them. He did not intend to make a speech, for that platform was hardly the one to make it on. He hoped that he had a sufficient number of friends to ensure his return to Wellington. (Voices : " No, no," " Don't you bolieve it.") He was satisfied thu electors did not want a platform orator and frothy talk, but a man of honesty anil intearity of purpose. He deprecated candidates trying to set class against class, and aaid this had been dona by the Ministerialists in order to secure the return of the Stout-Vogel Ministry to the Government Benches. (A voice : "Quito right to.") Oa the eve of an election, Mr Rhodes said it waa impossible for him to tell them what Ministry or parties would go in, or for him to forecast the future. If they sent him to Wellington they must trust him to support the combination which Baited them best. (A voice : "Gridironing.") Both his opponents posed as working men's candidates, but Mr Rhodes reminded electors that he supported the three F's, freehold tenure, financial reform, and freetrade. He was assurod thia was tho beat for the working men and the colony at largo. If they did him the honour to Bend him to Wellington ns their representative, hn would aervo them to tho beat of his ability and bring buck with him nn untarnished record. He wouid not speak any longer to them now, but promised to meet them again on Monday ovening. Mr Twomey then came forward amid prolonged applause. He began by attacking Mr Rhodes on the squatter question and twitting him about his connection with tho Political Reform AHS"ciatiou. (A voice : " Give us something new.") Mr Rhodes had been dry-nuraed by the Association, but now they had turned wet nurse f>r they had fed Mr Rhodeaon milk and water. (Laughter and applause.) With ro(rfird tothe insurancuepisodo montioned by Mr Pago, Mr Twomoy showed that it took place when tho Insurance Department was not under tho control of tho Government. Mr Twomoy then touched on finanoial reform, borrowing, and tho saving effected by the proautit Government, With regard to the mud cabin (A voice : " That'o it Twomoy, rub it in about that.") ho characterised it aa u trumped up lio. Ho then oloquoutly warned his hearers to boware of " Heß and tho inapirers of them." Ho had been resident horo 10 years, and ho challenged anyone to bring forward anything against his character. But, ho addad, lot opponents state ho waa born in a mud cabin and that ho, tho working men's candidate, smelt ♦' rank." He claimed from the start that ho had worked tho election on fair lines, had raised no class cry, but now ho would take thia opportunity to proclaim that he waa " tho working iron's candidate" (Loud applause.) As to tho fiasco about Mr Franks' supporters deserting him, Mr Twomey had noticed that some sort of partnership existed botweon somo of Mr Rhodes' supporters and that gentlomnn ; that something waa browing b«siden boer. (Loud laughter.) Mr Twomey concluded a raUior lengthy speech by referring to his racotings up Albury and Winchester way, rotiring amidst applause. Mr Franks then had another iuniqijs,

which Mr Leech cut short by calling for " threo cheers for Mr Twomey." Mr Franks took the hint, moved a vote of ihanks to the returning officer, which Tote Mr Rhodes seconded, and tho pro- | ceedings terminated.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/THD18870917.2.21

Bibliographic details

GLADSTONE., Timaru Herald, Volume XLV, Issue 4039, 17 September 1887

Word Count
2,646

GLADSTONE. Timaru Herald, Volume XLV, Issue 4039, 17 September 1887

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