The nomination of candidates for the House of Representatives took place at noon yesterday. The hustings were erected outside the Resident Magistrate's Court, but, as a heavy rain was falling, the Returning Officer, Mr M". F. South, retired inside the Court and took up his position on the Bench. The Court was packed with electors.
The Returning Officer read the writ and invited nominations.
Mr J. Chesney said be had great pleasure in nominating Mr Seymour Thome George, as a fit and proper person to represent the constituency. His reason for doing this was that they could rely on his giving 'the present Ministry an unwavering support. Sir George Grey was the only Premier who had stood forward to right the wrongs oi the people, and change the burden of taxation. He had takeu occasion to visit constituencies and observe what their wants were. The people here had derived many benefits in the shape of bridges, and support to the Harbor Board and Hospital. Not only that but the country had borrowed twelve or thirteen millions since 1870, and the burden was upon the same shoulders now as it was then. (Sir George Grey stepped forward to adjust these burdens. (Applause.) No doubt, therefore, he would be vilified by squatters and others. He begged to pfopose Mr George as a fit person to represent them iv the House. Mr Churches had great pleasure in seconding the resolution, and hoped Mr George would be elected. When Mr Gisborne put up the cry was for a local member. Mr Gisborne was fortunately elected, and had proved the best representative they had. Mr Bevan had great pleasure iv proposing Mr G. G. FitzGerald to represent them. He was a man of rare and conspicuous ability, and fit to represent any constituency. He was amply qualified to do justice to their wants. (Uproar). He asked for fair play. Mr FitzGerald was a man of sterling worth, and was there to speak for himself.
A large number of persons outside the Court, who could not gain admission, here created a disturbance by throwing stones and hammering at the door. ; The rain having censed iherjs wcro loud cries for the [Returning Officer to come outside; Mr FitzGerald said he would prefer hi 3 nomination to be taken inside the Court as the fmt had been.
Mr Davidson had much pleasure in seconding Mr FitzGerald's nomination, and hoped he would be returned by a great majority, i A • lot of tailors and local penny-a-line scribblers opposed him. (Confusion and cries of come outside). Mr Hanna, who spoke during much noise and confusion, rose to propose Mr Croumbie-Browo. He was the last man and did not apparently get fair play. Mr Brown was a fit and proper person to represent the third constituency in New Zealand.
A voice : Yes, the third on the poll. (Laughter and uproar). Mr Hanna said it was a disgrace to have to send to Wellington for a baby to represent them. (Laughter and continued noise.) Mr George might be a? good a !man as many of the other gentlemen nominated, but he lacfeed experience. Mr Brown was a journalist and knew the world. He had been travelling around, and they could do no better than to elect him.
Mr Riley seconded the nomination. He was, however, a supporter of Mr FitzGrerald's?. He merely wished to give Mr Brown fair play.
The Returning Officer then proceeded outside and mounted the hustings. He called for a show of hands, and declared in favor of Mr G. G. FitzGerald.
A poll was demanded on behalf of Mr Croumbie-Brown.
Mr FitzGerald said he had often acted as Returning Officer on similar occasions to the present, but he now asked them to return him as their representative. In coming forward he had been taxed with impudence. Well, he had got impudence then. (Laughter.) He would say this, none but a coward would have attacked him ia che way the West Coast Times had done. He asked for the same consideration and courtesy which he had accorded to every one man, woman, and child during his residence ia Hokitika,
Mr Breeze : Except to Mrs Breeze. (Laughter).
Mr FitzGerald said he was the nominee of no creed, class, or nationality. He had been 28 years in the colony, and was one of the oldest settlers in New Zealand. Mr Breeze : " Not so old as me," Mr FitzGerald : Well, perhaps you were out longer. (Laughter).
He had been the greater part of 28 years largely interested in publio affairs. He was known as a political writer of considerable experience. During thirteen years on the Bench he had tried 30,000 cases, and only about four or five had been reversed on appeal. Of his decisions as Warden, no one had been reversed or modified. He asked them to consider those facts. A section of the Press said he was not to be trusted. He was there to give the lie to those gloomy forebodings. They could get no more honest representative than he was. The West Coast Times had been influenced by mean considerations of pounds, shillings, and pence, and the proprietor judged of a candidate by the length of his purse. If he could gain the friendship of the West Coast Times, he would trample it under his feet. He had only three or four points to touch upou. He would support Sir George Grey, who was, as Mr Chesney had said, the only Premier who had attempted to place them on a proper basis. There was this difference betweeu him and JVIr George. If he went to the Assembly, he would consult the wishes of the electors, not those of Sir George Urey. If Sir George Grey kept his promise:?, ho would back him, but if Mr George were sent up,
he would be the Premier's obedient servant. When the Uncle said "quick march," the nephew would put his best leg forward, and when he said " halt," not a move. He was in favor of an extension of the franchise. There ought to be three qualifications— property, lodger's, and residential. He advocated, many years ago, what Sir George Grey OOW advocated. He was in favor of the Grey Ministry. The whole system of public works initiated by his friend Sir George Grey, would have to be completed. The island must be made one by means of the iron horse. We had been too long left out in the cold. He was in accord with Sir George Greyand would have as much weight with him aad independent members as Mr George. He thought there ought to some modification in the Education Act. He did not want to capsize secular and natural education, but something like the 40th clause in the Westland Education Ordinance might be introduced, so that the wishes of the four great religious bodies might be consulted. (A voice : What about the Jews ?) In all great questions he would be in accord with Sir George Grey. Rain here began to fall, and the Returning Officer hoisted an umbrella. Mr George would not detain the electors as be intended to address them that evening "in the Town Hall. He would merely state that he was a firm supporter of Sir George Grey. Mr Browne also said he would not detain them, as it was raining. He was understood to agree with Mr FitzGerald, that some nnfair fighting had been practised.
.A vote of thanks to the Returning Officer terminated the proceedings.
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THE NOMINATION., West Coast Times, Issue 2876, 21 June 1878
THE NOMINATION. West Coast Times, Issue 2876, 21 June 1878
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