ELECTION FOR WESTLAND SOUTH.
The Nomination. The nomination of Candidates for the representation of the District of Westland South in the House of Representatives, took place at tho Warden's Court yesterday, at noon. The Returning Officer (G.'ft. FitzGehaid, E?q.,) said — This meeting has been summoned by me,' as Returning Officer, in accordance with the terms of the writ, which I will now read. (Writ read.) Has any gentleman any candidate to propose ? Mr Frederick Dale, storekeeper, Kanieri, begged to pi-oposo Mr Edmund Barff. The Returning Officer — What is your qualification ? Mr Dale— The Electoral Roll. The Returning Officer— Each Candidate must be proposed and seconded by persons on the Electoral Roll of the District for which the election takes place. Mr William Higgin, storekeeper, Ross, seconded the nomination. The Returning Officer— What ie your qualification ?
Mr Higgix— A Miner's Right. (Produced.) The Returning Officer— What is your qualification, as a candidate, Mr Barff ? . Mr Bakff— A Miner's, Eight. (Produced.) The RBTtntxiN© Officer— Has any gentleman any other candidate to propose ? Mr Mack Spbot then ascended the platform, and said that he begged to propose Mr Charles Edward Button as a fit and proper person to represent the District of Westland South. (Cheers.) He had the greatest pleasure in doing so, and in acknowledging the complimbnt paid him in being allowed to make the nomination. He was glad to know that a gentleman, high in the legal profession; and who, by his every act and deed; had gamed their affection and esteem, had consented to represent them. (Cheers.) He was going to represent thenl too at a time when they wanted really first-class men; "hA not mere duffers. (Hear, hear.) He considered Mr Button as a thoroughly fit and proper person on his own account, and much more suitable than the candidate who had just been proposed. (Cheers.) He was desirous of drawing a broad line of demarcation between the two. There was a great difference, a very great difference between them. Mr Button claimed their support as a member of the legal profession of the very highest standing in the place. (Cheers.) As one who, at a time of disturbance, when there ought to be no mistake about a man's loyalty, had come forward to servo them at a great sacrifice to himself. (Hear^hear, and cheere). He much' preferred such a candidate to a - man who, though he (Mr Sprot) could not say anything aoout his disloyalty, yet bad not found out his loyalty until some 4000 or 5000 of his fellow colonists had deemed it incumbent on them to make a demonstration of their loyalty. (Hear, hear). He thought Mr Barff's supporters had not displayed much loyalty in bringing him forward. Those who, tnough they had not infringed the law, hud yet pinched the corners pretty tightly — these were the supporters of the candidate already nominated. He (Mr Sprot) did not think him a fit and proper person to represent them. (Hear, hear). There were only two candidates in the field, and they would have" to decide as to which candidate they thought would make a good representative. In this case it was a purely personal matter. The question lay between two men so enormously different. (Cheers and laughter). Yes there was such an enormous diffrence between them that, if he were lying on his death-bed, with . only one minute more to live, and the polling happened to be equal, he would get up and record his casting-vote in favor of Mr Button. (Hear, hear, and applause). They had ample means of judging of Mr Barff's qualification by his past career. Mr Button had chosen the profession of tho law, and though thero were no noed of the profession here, Mr Button stood no lower than the head, aud by his abilities and talents had gained the respect of the inhabitants. The difference between the two candidates was so great, that they could not possibly hesitate a moment, to- which of them they should give their votes. (Great cheering.) Mr Solomon Mares said he had great . pleasure in seconding the nomination of Mr Button. v Tho Returning Offjcer— What is your qualification ? Mr Masks — A Miner's Right. (Produced.) A Voice — Why, your'e from Ross. Mr Macks — Yes, and I've been sent down specially from Ross to second Mr Button'i nomination. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) . Mr Keaby then came forward and asked the Returning Officer to be allowed to announce his resignation publicly. The Returning- Officer said he had no official knowledge that Mr Keary was a candidate, he could, however, make the announcement he wished after the nomination was over. Tho Returning Officer— l will now take a show of hands. Mr Ceoss — Before the addresses ! The Returning Officer — Allow me to do my business in my own way. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I want a show of hands in ' favor of Mr Barff. (A few hands held up.) I want a show of hands in favor of Mr Button. (Nearly all present held up their hands). For Mr Edmund Barff, five ; for Mr Charles Edward Button, forty-one. (Great cheering.) Mr Dale demanded a poll on behalf of Mr Barff. The Returning Offices (h avm g referred to the Act) — The poll must be demanded by the candidate, or by' two electors of the districts. Mr Higgin then also demanded a poll on behalf of M> Barff. The Returning Officer— A poll has been demanded on behalf of Mr Barff. The poll will take place on 6th April, this day week, both here and at G-reymouth, and the other polling places. Mr S. Marks enquired if there would be a polling place" at Ross. The Returning Officer— You will see the list of polling places in the schedule, published in "Gazette,' and newspapers. (A voice — " And at all tho old polling places.") The Returning Officer — Yes; and I think at two more ; but you will see all that in' the newspapers. Mr Keaby said that he wished to announce his resignation in favor of his friend Mr Barff, who had always consulted the interests . of the mining community. It was that community which he (Mr Kcary) would like to have represented ; but he had no means, and as Mr Barff had always advocated the miners interest, he should do all in his power to support lurn ; but at the same time he had no antipathy to Mr Button. Mr Barff then ascended the platform and addressed the electors present. He said he had heard that unfounded reports had been circulated in regard to him, and after the very choice remarks that had fallen from Mr Sprot, he had no doubt such was the case. For some time past he heard that reports detrimental to him had been very industriously spread. Mr Sprot had brought very grave charges against him, and he wished to say a few words to show how unfounded those reports and those charges were. It had been alleged against him that he had walked iv the procession on the Bth inst. He could assure them that he had taken no part or act in .that procession. Then he had been aocused of being lukewarm in his loyalty. He had been born in one of the most loyal parts of England— the County of Kent, and he had nevor disgraced his country. ; he had always been a true aud loyal subject, and should always continue so. It had been said that ho had not shown his loyalty until some 6000 of his fellow" colonists had done the -' eazne. This pointed very plainly to the procession on the 25th. He had walked in that procession, but had not gone on to the stage at tho Theatre because he had not been invited. If ho had not expressed his opinions at that time, he hoped to be allowed to do so then. He said he had been born a true and loyal subject, and would remain such. He admired openness of character and outspokenness, and he defied any one to say that he had ever concealed his opinion. (Cheers.) He courted publicity, and held that there should be no secrets betweou a representative and his constituents, He entreated'them not to listen to statements that were contradicted by all his acts. He wished to say a few words more about " loyalty." No one heard the news of the foul attempt on the Prince's life with greater horror or with deeper grief than he* had, and no one had felt greater joy (and expressed it in words) than he had on learning that the base attempt had not succeeded, but he made no demonstration. There was no getting on the stage and waving of arms, and carrying away the feelings of the audience by such manual gesticulations with, him. (A voice— "Did you not do the same thing" at Stafford Town?") He had been accused of making inflammatory speeches at a banquet at Stafford Town. He f would tell them what haa taken
- place on that occasion. He had had the honor of receiving an invitation to a ball and supper— not a banquet — to be held there on St. Patrick's Day. Mr Bonar also received an invitation to attend a similar festivity in Sokitika, and had been solicited to act as vicefchaimau. He (Mr Barff) had been informed that Mr Bonar did ilttend, and did act as Vice'chairman. If it were nofc improper for Sir B'onar, tlie head of tlie Government here to attend, was it, lie would ask, improper of him (Mr Barfl) tb accept tile intuition of his friends. He was desired to return thanks on behalf of the mining infercsfc, when that toast was proposed. He did bo, and in a very few words alluded to the growing importance of it, and said that it would become tlie great staple interest. in Westland. In connection with the festivities, he had said that although he had not .the honor to be ,an Irishman, as jie was an Englishman and loved hia country, and as he held that there was up holier feeling tlian love of country beating in the human breast, lie could appreciate the reason of their assembling together on the anniversary of thencountry's patron saint. If there was any sedition in that, then lie was guilty of sedition. If there was any harm in it, he was guilty of the mischief. (Faint cheers.) He had been accused of having had the names of seditious persons on his committees. He had always mado it a matter to consult all interests and to make j all the friends lie could. In the Waimea he I had always been supported, and he may add respected* by all classes, and if anyone would take the trouble to go through his Committeelists they would find at least an equal number of both parties. It was an easy matter to call a man a Fenian, but it was quite a different tiling to prove him one. It had been said that lie had the name uf Father Larkin on his Committee. It was not Father Larkin at all, but another person of the name of Larkin. Ho knew that on his last election Father Lardiu did all in his power to keep votes from him. He (Mr Barff ) had been denounced from the alter of two different chapels. No reasonable man would suppose, after that, that the name on his Committee was that of Father Larkin. There was not a more loyal man, or one more desirous of maintaining the peace than himself. He would not run all over the country setting class against class, for unfortunately in Westland they had been divided into classes. (Who did it? Ay, who did it?) As he was saying, there was no one more desirous of maintaining law and order than himself. It was a bad feeling to set class against class. Ho would maintain law and order, and then sooth the irritation that had been excited. Thoso would be his aims. They had tliree years' ! evidence before them, that duriug that period he had tried to serve his constituents in every particular, and in no instance had ho ever considered his own interests. (Cheers). Mr Masks drew Mr Barff'e attention to a statement made by Mr Keary, at Boss, that he (Mr Barff) had said that he had uot joiued the procession on the Bth March, because it would injure his election. (?) (The exact expression wo did not catch). Mr Keaby denied haviug made auch a statemont. Mr Mabks was present wheu the statement. . was made. Mr Barff totally denied having ever made use of such an oxpreßsiou. There were a ! great many curious rumors going about, and he supposed that was one of them. The other day, when ho wont to Boss, ho found the flag half-mast high, and when ho enquired the cause was informed that it was for those who had fallen at Hokitika in tlio late Fenian outbreak! (Laughter). Though ho did not suppose that Mr Marks was one of those silly men that gave credence to every idle rumor, ha had accused him (Mr Barff) of holding certain opinions quite the reverse of what he did hpld. What he had said was this : — One of In3"lriends had said to him that he had done quite right in not joining the procession on the Bth. His reply was that if he had walked in that procession he should have had to wear" colors that did not" belong to him. Others said that he had walked to the Cemetery with the procession. He bad done no such thing, for he was very cautious in his manoeuvres. (Laughter and cries of " Aye ! aye!") He had stood at the comer of Stafforn street when the procession entered the town, and he was there when it le t. He could assure them, on his word of honor, that he had not walked a yard with them. If he had, he should only have been regarded as a spy by one party, and by the other as a Fenian. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) Mr Habris said I should like to ask you one question, Mr Barff. In the event of your being returned to the Assembly, whilst upholding the rights of all classes of the community, English, Irish, and Scotch, irrespective of nationalities and creeds, are you prepared, at the expense of life and every thing else, to uphold the laws and constitution of Old England, under which we live, and to do your uttermost to wipe out the foul blot of Fenianism that has appeared in New Zealand. Mr Babff said '-in reply that he waived the point of Mr Harris's name being on the roll, and would answer his question. He was ready, and always had been, to uphold law and order. Mr Harris — that is not an answer to my question ; are you prepared if returned to do your utmost to crush out Fenianism ? Mr Babfe — Whether it were Fenianism or anything else, that opposed law and order, lie was and always had been ready to put down. He had been sworn in as a special constable, and had been as zealous as any of his brotherspecials in the cause. He thought his conduct was a sufficient reply. Mr J. B>. Anderson — Be a man, Barff, and ■ay yes or no ? Mr Habbis— Do, Mr Barff, give uio a straightforward answer to myjquestion. Mr Anderson — Put the question to me and I will answer it. Mr Babff — If Fenanism, or any othor combination was opposed to law and order, he would risk his life to.put it down. Mr Habbis again endeavored to extract a straightforward yes or no to his question, but Mr Barff said he had already replied to it. Alf Electob asked Mr Barff if returned, would he bring in a Bill to make one minor's right do for the whole colony ? Mr Babff thought there was no nocessity for such a course, as the Goldfields Kegulations would, in all probability, be remodelled — but he would use bis best endeavors for that purpose. An Elector — Mr Barff, you said you never looked after your own interest ; now don't you thing voting yourself L 3 a week looking after your own interests. (Hear, hear and laughter.) Mr Barff wished to offer some explanations on that subject. His last election had cost him over L6O, and altogether he had lost hundreds by the elections. The question had been brought on hurriedly, and he did not know whether he had voted or not. (Oh yes you did.) He certainly had not spoken on the motion. He thought it was impolitic to make their representatives salaried servants of the people, or rather the salaried servants of the Government. Mr J. E. Anderson— You say your elections have cost you over L2OO. I»id any of Uyour Fenian friends help you with a subscription to meet it ? Mr Cboss— What, no subscription, Barff? Mr Babff— No, not any of yours, Mr Cross. Mr Cboss— l am perfectly aware of that. (Laughter.) Mr Babff— No. Having, he said, replied to the questions that had been put to him, he expressed himself ready to answer any others, but none were put. Mr Button then addressed the meeting. He said he waa placed in a very awkward p< sition. They were aware that he had declined to accede to the requisition that had been sent to him from Boss. Since then his friends had insisted on his standing, and Mr Sprot, -a ho had flattered him so highly, for he could npt regard hit remarks ai anything
olee but flattery, relying on liis poreuasivo powers, assured them that ho would consent to stand. If they placod him at the head of the pollj they would have to fulfil the terms on which he had consented to become their representative. He could not afford such a vast sacrifice as an attendance. at Wellington rt-ould entail. Without votiug himself any public money (Hear, hear), and with no ulterior object in viow, ho must fall back on those terms if_,fch,oy could not find any one else to represent theni. .Were it in Hokitika, ho would serve theni, rind sit ,up at night to Bttend to his own business. (Hear, hear and cheers.) He would answer the question put to Mr Barff—" Will you crush out Fenianism ?" in one word, and that should be a monosyllable — '• Yes." (Hear, hear, and cheers.) He had no hatred or antipathy to Ireland ; he had no hatred or antipathy to Scotland ; none to England. He was a Tasmanian, and much he loved his country. (Hear, hear, and cheers.) But any organisation to subvert law and order, whether it were fenianism or anything else, ho wrs determined to crush, particularly when it manifested itself by murders and attempts to assassinate persons in high positions. He said this out of no hatred to Ireland. While he admired patriotism, and demonstrated it perhaps with maniacal gesticulations (laughter), he was as jmtriotic as any. He was ready to lay down his life for his own country, although it did not bear such a good name. (Hear, hear, and Laughter.) Trust him, he loved Tasmania; loved Launceston better than all the towns in it ; Bathurst street better than any street in Launceston, and' a pretty little house in Bathurst street; so that patriotism might be narrowed down to the smallest limits, j Love of country was good, but the time was fast coming when the whole would be under one great Government; when the colonies would look like their municipalities did now. When there would be no appeal to war — the appeal would be to the great Congress of nations. Love for particular localities was good, but ought not to rise up in opposition to the general weal ; it was then no longer deserving of an honorable name, but became alow exhibition of narrowness of feeling. In general he gave expression to his views with moderate questions, but when violent emotions seized him he was not the man to govern his " manoeuvres." (Hear, hear, and laughter). He was compelled by his constitution to give expression to his ideas, and he did so fear> lessly. (Hear, hear). It had been well said that language had been given to man for the pnrposo of couccaling their ideas ; but that was not the use he made of language. Ho could not consent to it — he must be outupokcu. As he had said before, he could not afford it, but if they sent him in— and he supposed, it would come to that — the probability ,was that he shall serve them. (Cheers). T^ree cheers were then given for Mr Button, and three cheers tor the Beturuiug Officer. Three cheers were proposed for Mr Barff, but bis friends had dispersed, and there was no re&ponse.
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ELECTION FOR WESTLAND SOUTH., West Coast Times, Issue 786, 31 March 1868
ELECTION FOR WESTLAND SOUTH. West Coast Times, Issue 786, 31 March 1868
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