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THE GENERAL ELECTIONS.

AVON DISTRICT. Yesterday, at noon, tho Returning Officer attended at tho old school-room, Papanui, for the purpose of receiving nominations of candidates for the representation of the Avon district. The attendance of the publio was extremely limited. At the commencement of the proceedings there were present only the Returning Officer (Mr G. L. Lee), Mr Rolleston, and three electors, besides three representatives of the fourth estate. At the close tho number of persons present had reached barely a dozen. The Returning Officer, addressing the electors, said they were met that day — those who were present— for the purpose of electing a member to represent that district in the House of Beprosentatives. He would read the writ, and would then call upon someone to propose a candidate. After reading tho writ, Mr Lee continued — He would now ask any elector who wished to nominate a candidate to do bo. Mr W. Norman, in the absence of anyone else, would have to do the job. He was sorry that someone more able than he was had not undertaken it, but as far as the election was concerned that matter would soon bo got over. Th9 good qualities of Mr Rolleston were well known, and he no doubt would continue to do as good service in the futuro aB he had done in the past. They would remember that he had formerly got Canterbury out of hor difficulties, J when she was very nearly bankrupt, and that while under his rule she had soon become the reverse of bankrupt, very prosperous. Every elector of the Avon district would, he was sure, be proud to see Mr Ro^eston once more representing tho district, wliich that gentleman would do conscientiously for the benefit of the district and of the country. He had great pleasure in proposing Mr Eolle3ton as a proper person to represent the district of Avon. (Applause.) Mr James B. Adams seconded the nomination. There was no necessity for him to say anything in addition to what Mr Norman had said. The Rolurning Officer said if there was no other candidate to be proposed, it was lub duty to declare Mr William Rolleston to be duly elected the member to represent the Avon district in the House of Representatives. (Applause.) Mr Rolleston, addressing the Returning Officer and those present, said he could not have wished to be proposed by two better colonists than those who had nominated him on the present occasion. He would take that opportunity of thanking the electors of that district most sincerely for the handsome manner in which they had behaved to him on tho present occasion. The confidence which they had again placed in him placed him under greater obligations to them than ever to to do his best to sorve them in the House of Representatives. They might rely upon hia devoting himself to tho best of his ability to their interests, and to the interests of the country at large. Ho had to thank them specially for returning him without a contest. It would help to inoreaso the influence which ho would have as a member in tho House that ho should have been returned in tho manner he had been. He was thankful that there had been no contest also, because he felt that there had been no question raised worthy of being referred to the eleotors for decision. The question had been one which, in his opinion, should properly have been decided by the vote of the House of Representatives, and there had been no ground for the Ministers advising His Excellency the Governor to appeal to the people, as against the vote or noconfidence passed by tho House against the Ministers. There had been very considerable difficulty attending the dissolution at the present time, because the only question had boon, as hs had already said, one which should have been finally decided by the Representatives. It had not been a question of Liberal policy, for the Representatives as a whole were quite unanimous on the genoral questions of policy whioh wore involved in what was now called the Liberal programme. The question which tho electors now had to decide, and which had been refered to them — tho real and only question — was whether the country was in the future to be constitutionally governed, in accordance with the principles of responsible Government, or whether there was to bo personal Government in the country. That was the question to be now decided. The question was, whether the Ministry of the day was to be bound by the decision of the Legislature or to be allowed to disregard that decision and to choke off, if he might use the expression, the representatives of tho people as soon as their backs were turned ; and whether tho Government was to be guided by the principles of constitutional Government, the only principles by which the liberties of the people could be secured. That was the question the electors had now to decide. Their representatives had determined that the Government of the day had neglected those principles, and had gone outsxle the law, and acted in a manner which was entirely subversive of the liberties of the people— the Parliament had coma to a decision to that effect, and the people were now called upon to say whether the Parliament had been right or wrong in coming to that decision. He was very aorry that the country should have been put to the trouble and expense of deciding upo'n the correctness of the action taken by Parli ament. The question was one of administratio n, and not of policy. It was whether the Mir j^ters were governing in accordance with the principles of Parliamentary. Government. TY iero was no doubt that he would have to • appear before them again ere ; very long. V/hen the Representation Bill and the Electoral Bill were passed he would ; have to 'appear before them again, and ho hoped that at that time tho great questions of tho day which called tor; their serious attention would be discussed. The questions which would then co me before the country would bo jfo)siS&'"updri if; by the difficulties of the Tlnatacial position. The General Assembly was at the present time becoming simply a

scrambling ground for borroweS money: and sooner or later thafc would land th« country^ in great diffioultieß. The 1 question would then arise as to the best fond of local Government which could -be devised; The ; present system of endless Boards performing different functions more or less expensively— the County Councils and Road Boards, with to a certain extent concurrent powers, with a General Assembly levying taxation on the industries of the country, and going in for a scramble over the produce— was a system which sooner or later must lead to great financial difficulties. The best and simplest form of local government, and the relation whioh it should bear to the central Government, would hare to be decided upon, andthey would have to purify the Legislature as far as possible by removing the temptations to scramble for borrowed money. Until this ! was done he had but little hope for the country at large. He now had to thank the electors for once more returning him as their representative, and hoped he would not disappoint the expectations they had of him. (Applause.) It devolved upon him to propose a vote of thanks to the ReturnineOfileer. . B Mr Lee briefly acknowledged the compliment, and the proceedings terminated.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TS18790828.2.7

Bibliographic details

THE GENERAL ELECTIONS., Star, Issue 3551, 28 August 1879

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1,253

THE GENERAL ELECTIONS. Star, Issue 3551, 28 August 1879

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