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HEATHCOTE ELECTION., Star, Issue 1381, 31 July 1872
The nomination of a candidate for the scat in the House of Representatives vacated by the Hon. John Hall, took place at the Road Board Office, Terry Road, at noon, yesterday. There was a large concourse of electors. Dr Doxald (Principal Returning Officer for Canterbury) read the writ, and after explaining the necessary qualification, called upon any elector present to propose a candidate for the vacant seat. Mr William Wilson, in coming forward, said he was sorry to learn that he was likely to be deprived of the privilege of making a long speech. He had been accustomed to making long speeches under that verandah at various times, and he had been in hopes that he would have enjoyed the same privilege on this occasion. Of course as there was a walkover, it would not be necessary for him to detain them at any length. (Hear, hear). He would ask them, however, to hear the substance of a letter from the Hon. John Hall, and probably at the close of the proceedings, he would ask them to join with him in passing a vote of thanks to that gentleman, if Mr Ollivier was not there to do so. Mr Hall had written a long, and what might be termed a political letter to him, in which he desired to express his thanks to the electors of the Heathcote district for the confidence which they had always bestowed in him, and expressing his regret that ill-health had compelled him to sever the connection. Mr Hall had accepted a seat in the tipper House, where the hours were shorter, and where there would not be such a straia upon his health a3 there would be in the, House of Representatives. Mr Hall parted from the Heathcote electors with a great deal of regret. Coining more immediately to the business of the day, he (Mr Wilson) had now to propose a vei-y worthy successor to Mr Hall — Sir John Cracrof t Wilson, a gentleman who had been for a number of years a membe? of the General Assembly and also of the Provincial Council, and who had rendered veiy efficient services, indeed, to the province of Canterbury. (Hear, hear, and cheers). In the course of his political career, Mr Wilson had never done anything unjust or one-sided ; in fact, he had done his best on all occasions for the .interests of the whole province and colony. (Cheers). Mr Wilson had also won honours from Her Majesty for services in India in the cause of saving human life. He (Mr W. Wilson) was glad to say that opposition was disarmed on this occasion, and that Mr Cracrof t Wilson would be returned to the vacant seat unopposed. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Mr W. B. Tosswill said he had great pleasure in seconding the nomination. For many years, he (Mr Tosswill) had the honour of sitting with Mr Wilson in the Provincial Council. They had doubtless watched his conduct there and also in the General Assembly. He (Mr Tosswill) had done so, and he must say that Mr Wilson had always acted in a strictly conscientious manner. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Indeed, if Mr Wilson was not so honest, he might have been more popular. (Cry of oh, oh.) He (Mr Tosswill) thought that in times like the present, it was of the ufrmost importance that they should have h»aest and independent men to represent the at .in_the Provincial Council and General Assembly. (Hear, hear.) For his own part, he would sooner elect an independent man who entertained views contrary to his own than elect a man who held similar views, but who was not independent enough to act as an honest and independent man should discharge the duties entrusted to him by the electors. The success of this- colony. was depending. on the way in which the public works were carried out. (Hear, hear.) If they were carried out indiscriminately — if railways were made to places where it was impossible that they could pay, they should all be so heavily taxed that it would be ruination. (Hear, hear, and cheers, and a voice : We are already.) They should elect men who would set their faces, as Mr Wilson would, against all log-rolling and jobbery. (Hear, hear,, and cheers.) When anything of -that kind was proposed, Mr Wilson was always one of the first to raise his voice against it. (Cheers.) He (MrTosswill) had great pleasure in seconding the nomination of that gentleman. (Cheers.) •The Returning Ofbicee iaquired if any other elector had a candidate to propose. Mr Wjtnk Williams said that as a matter of form he would propose a candidate, in order that he might have an opportunity to Bay a
few words. (Hear, hear.) He would state the reason why at the last moment, he had made up his mind to withdraw. Ho should also explain that it was also at the last moment that he consented to allow himself to be pat in nomination. A numerously-signed petition (which he had in his pocket) was presented to him, asking him to come forward for the district, but after a great deal of consideration he withdrew from the election alike on personal and public grounds. He thought that a remark made by Mr Wilson's seconder should not be allowed to pass unchallenged. He (Mr Williams) did not dispute Mr Wilson's honesty — he believed that he was thoroughly honest — but at the same time he did not like to see people stand up and declare that no one was honest but themselves. (Hear, hear.) He did not think that any person there had a higher opinion of Mr Wilson's honesty than himself (Mr Williams.) He objected, to Mr Wilson because he. would go to the General Assembly as a thick-aiid-thin opponent of -the Government. He thought that what the.Government wanted at the present time was a good supporter. This Mr Wilson would not be ; his (Mr Williams') opinion was that he " would be a thick and thin opponent of the Government. (A Voice : How do you know that?) Because he had said so j they knew what his views were on subjects generally, At the publio ; meeting the other evening, Mr Wilson told them that they all knew how he would vote, but he had never called any public meeting to explain what his opinions were. [A Voice: He has got them in Cashmere,] Mr Wilson, in pro, posing his namesake, remarked that opposition was disarmed. It was not disarmed, but for certain personal reasons it was impossible for him to put himself in opposition to Cracroft Wilson. Allusion had been made to the pre.sent scheme of public works. His opinion was that if they were carried out judiciously, the scheme was one that would benefit the colony to a very large extent. (Hear, hear.) Some had denounced the scheme as being fabulous and absurd, but they did so because they were opposed to the Government. But for the personal considerations to which he referred, he should have contested the election, and. he felt certain that he would have been returned as the representative of the Heathcote district in the General Assembly. (Hear, hear ; and a . Voice : Certainly.) However, on some future occasion, should those personal considerations be put out of the way, he should be happy to come forward and solicit their suffrages. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) He should go in strongly as a supporter o£ the Government with regard to all matters that affected the downright progress of the place, providing he saw that the public works which were carried out were paying concerns. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) When Mr Hall joined the Government, he (Mr Williams) felt that there would be a much better chance of those works being carried out fairly and equitably. He would explain that having seen the telegrams in that day's paper as to what had taken place with regard to the question raised between the provinces and the Government, ho should have gone strongly against the Government if he had a seat in the House, and he hoped that Mr Wilson would do so, too. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) Ho trusted that he would do so. . As long as provincial institutions existed, he (Mr Williams) thought that Superintendents ought to have the necessary powers to carry out the public works of their respective provinces. As lie had said before, he had been obliged at the last moment to withdraw, but he trusted he should- so arrange matters as to bo able to come before them on some future occasion. (Hear, hear.) He trusted that he should continue to enjoy the confidence of the public as he had done up to the present time. (Cheers.) He only trusted that the other side would cease to use a term which had now become hackneyed: they talked of honest men, and paraded Mr Wilson's honesty by a freqnenfc use of the word, but he could assure them that thoro were other people in the" place who were quite as honest as Mr Wilson, politically or otherwise. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) He would ask them to do away with the use of that word ; — (hear, hear)— it was no use to express it so frequently, and apart from ita uselessness, it was unpleasant and must reflect on somebody or other. As to Mr Wilson, h« believed he was as honest a man as he (Mr Williams) was, or anybody in the place, and no one could doubt that he was a plucky man. (Hear, hear.) In conclusion, he begged to thank those of the electors who had bo kindly promised him their support, and he should have accepted their invitation but for tile reasons he had stated. He had now very great pleasure in proposing Dr Donald atr a- fit and proper person to represent the Heathcote district in the General Assembly, (Loud laughter.) : ; Mr W. Parish seconded the nomination, and Dr Donald, of course, . deolared that ho would not Btand. . / The Rbtttrning Offices then asked if any other elector had a candidate to propose. No one responding, Dr Donald declared Sir J. Cracroft Wilson duly elected. (Loud cheers.) ■ •, , Sir J. 0. Wilsok was received with cheers on coming forward to addresß the electors. He said that those who had watched his public career in. this colony. would know perfectly well how he should act when he again went to the General Assembly. He had stated the other night that almost any man could know for a' certainly how he'ehould vote. Everything that he had said in the General Assembly had been repeated to them in print. He had never voted systematically or fae-, tiously against any Government. (Hear, hear.) He had been deceived by both parties in the House, and he hoped his friends of the press would put it in large letters. (Hear, hear, and cheers). Hod honesty prevailed in the General Assembly, Canterbury and Otago could have had their railways made first, without becoming, security for insolvent provinces. ■ (Hear, Hear, and cheers.) if; men had stood together and had done eway with the infamous conduct which pre-
Tailed in that House, things would have been rery different indeed to ■what they were. (Hear, and cheers.) lac first proposal that had been made was this : there were £10,000,030 to be spent in pubVc works, &c, besides £2,000,C3D, or its equivalent in land. The Picton and Blenheim railway scheme was brought before him as Chairman of Committees ?n 1861, and the opir : on he then expressed was that if a private company could induce capitalists in England to construct the line, all weH and good, but that the Government should have notb : ng whatever to do with it. That Jine. would not pay for a hundred years to come. [Hear, and a Voice : That is true ; I have been there.] Tnat province was insolvent ; they could not pay the?? wretched pittance for the Superintendent, but ■were obliged to come to the General Assembly for the money. He did not believe in malrng the railway frem Wellington to Napier over the Eimutuka. It would cost £3,C 30,00, and nobody lived in the country. Some people said that he was opposed to progress. Had he been opposed to progress at Cashmere ? [A "Voice : That is your own property. — Another Voice : The Masters and Servants Act.] He thanked God that he should never be ashamed to look anybody in the f ace jjft^ceference to that measure. (Hear.) AiTjSg|gj|tbuig he had opposed, and he thought^gSiSp i^ght i~i opposing it: these men waDiraJlpfljSjC 33,0*3, and to have the .-.-pole power 6^g|^4j3 : ng the money for a period of ten years^pw"c9 that a thing he wouMJsubiMt to on their pai 'i ? He should have lUjgenXaT dirty blackguard if he had done so. '^A. Voice : Honesty again. — Laughter.] Speaking of the General Assembly, he might tell them that when he first went up to Auckland, and was met there by his son-in-law, after the usual shaking of hands, he asked him what had brought him there. He told him that there was not an honest man -in the Assembly then, and he thought his fl6n-in-law was right. For his own part, all he could say was, that he was not a determined opponent of any Government. He firmly believed both parties to be dishonest when they wanted to get votes. One of their reprobates who had gone into the House to get £300 a year, had the cheek and audacity to get up and say to him, "If you back the Government, we shall keep you here for six months." [A Voice : Name.] The -person he referred to had been so disgraced that it was not his father's name he bore. (Hear, hear.) In conclusion, he begged to thank them tor the honour they had done him that day, and he begged to assure them that the very moment they asked him to resigr, they should have his resignation. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) On the motion of Sir J. C. Wiison, seconded by Mr W- B. Tosswitii, a vote of thanks was passed to Dr Donald, and the proceedings terminated.
HEATHCOTE ELECTION., Star, Issue 1381, 31 July 1872
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