THE GREY VALLEY ELECTION.
OFFICIAL DECLARATION OF THE POLL. [GREY RIVER ARGHT3, JUNE 21.] Between 20 and 30 people assembled outside the Court House yesterday to hear the official declaration of t*ie poll. At ten o'clock Mr Stratford came forward aad announced that the numhera polled for the respective candidates were as follows ;— Thomas Shailer Weston ... 995 Gerald George PitzG-v raid ... 919 James Mill Morris 89 Mr Stratford then announced that he would that day post to Wellington the writ for the election, also adding that Mr Weston bad already left for Wellington to attend to his duties. Mr FitzGerald then cam& forward. He paid thai on the present occasion it would be quite unnecessary for him ro say more than a very few words to the elector?. He had certainly been defeated, but not badly. In his opening address he told them that if he was defeated he would take it in good temper: he was
prepared for either fate ; and now that he had to admit the fait he could tell j them that he accepted it with the greatest [ equanimity. Still ho must thank the very large number of electors who had voted for him. There was only one point that he would care to touch upon at this time of day. He was told on the threshold of the cmtest that if he did not disguise his opinion on certain points the e'ection would surely go against hisn. Although in otier parts of the colony the education question was put in the front ranks, and wai going to be made a test question in this election, he was not going to di.se t bis principles ju>t before the day of election, lie would not make any remarks about the opinions of other candidate?. The conclusions he had arrived at were thß result of tnought, and whenever he appeared before the electors he would maintain those con vie 1 ions It was a'l very well for a candidate to look to his return, and to suit the electors as nearly as possible with hi* opinions in order to secure his election. He might be wrong in the viewj he had expressed, but he had been in the colonies 30 years, and his opinions were the result of experience and reflection. Having said as much a3 he did on the particular point referred to, it had been urged against him that he would be prepared to hive gone a great deal further than his language would indicate. Now, he would say at once that he would do no hing of the kind. Had he disguised his opinions that much, it would have been a very easy matter to disgu'se thsm still more. But he could not do that. From the very first he did not deceive the electors in any way. He had plainly stated his opinions to them, aud left no mauner of doubt in their minds as to what they had to expect from him. Was it not better for him to do that at once without any fencing or equivocation, instead of leaving them to drag his opinions out of him by questioning. Now all he could say was this : that the opinions he had expressed were his honest opinions, the result of thought and consideration. What he said he would adhere to, but he wojld not have gone a step beyond that; They could see that what he had told them in respect to education was perfectly correct, inasmuch as Government had announced in Parliament that they had not the slightest intention of interfering with the Education Act this Parliament at any rate. As for his views on other and general matters, he was convinced that he was as good and as liberal a candidate as any that came I before them. When he came before them he had no hesitation in announcing his ! opinions, the policy he would pursue, and the side he would support. He knew what constitutional Government was, and what it demanded of members of Parliament, and he waa prepared to tike his part in that great game. He did not take up the position which had been taken up by the successful candidate — that is, he did not appear as a mere advocate, or a wedge that would be inserted between parties. A. strong party man, such as he (Mr FitzGerald) would be, was far more likely to be of service to his constituents, than the representative who went in as a free lance, and belonged to no party but trimtned his views to suit the occa-ion. The latter class of representative might be a very great man in (lie lobby, or in great demand on a particular division ; out take him through the sefs on, and he was without any weight whatever. He b?gsed leave to say that he did not regret his visit to the ' Grey Valley. He would have been very proud to represent them had the electors of the Grey Valley so willed it. At any rate he could inform them that lie would contest the next general election, though he should not jjgo the length of making any promises. In the meantime he had no doubt that a great many people would do as he had clone, and think oyer in their own minds the point upon which he had been so strongly opposed, and probably agree with the view he had taken. However, he would heartily thank the 919 electors who voted for him, and would give full credit to those wlio had voted for the successful candidate for the sincerity of their convictions. He hoped that the member returned would do his duty towards the electors as conscientiously as he (Mr FitzGerald) would have done for them had he been elected. (A loud cheer.) Mr Guinness then returned thanks on behalf of Mr Weston, at his request, who was unable to bo present, having gone to Wellington. He felt certain Mr Weston would act up to his pledges, and would be found ' to be the right mai in the right place, and would do the best he could, not only for those who voted for him, but f or those who voted against him, and generally do his duty in an impartial and satisfactory manner. (Hear, hear.) A vote of thanks to the Returning Officer concluded the proceedings.
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THE GREY VALLEY ELECTION., West Coast Times, Issue 3808, 22 June 1881
THE GREY VALLEY ELECTION. West Coast Times, Issue 3808, 22 June 1881
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