Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), Saturday 13 September 1856, page 3
MR M’CULLOCH’S MEETING.
Last evening Mr M’Culloch addressed a meeting of the electors of the City at the Golden Fleece Hotel, Russell street. Mr Ferguson took the chair, and briefly introduced Mr M’Culloch to the meeting. Mr M’Culloch, who was well received by the meoting, said that he was glad of another opportunity of giving expression to his political opinions, for he was opposed to the systom of canvassing, or, indeed, of using any pressure whatever from without. The present was a most important epoch in tho political history of the country. (Hear, hear.) The system so. long in force might have answered well enough when
the country was in the hands of the squatters, but was ill fitted for the present state of the colony, which required something of a more liberal and progressive character. The candidate then went to declare that he was in favor of a repeal of the 53rd clause of the Constitution, and that it was the duty of Government to see that every child in the colony had a sound practical education. He then gave his opinion on the elective franchise, referring to the fact of his having been a nominee of tho late Sir Charles Hotham, which might, he supposed, lead to the opinion that he approved of that system, which was not the case. He had oftener been found in a division in the ranks of tho opposition than on the Government side, and he would say that he was in favor of the suffrage being allowed to every man of the age of twenty-one years, untainted by crime. He was in favor of a reduction of the property qualification of members. Indeed, it was a question with him whether it might not be wise to abolish the qualification altogether. (Hear, hear.) He was in favor of triennial parliaments, in order that the members might appear before their constituents and give an account of their stewardship. He would support any measure for the improvement of tho ballot system, for tho purpose of rendering it still more secret, but would oppose any attempt to set it aside. He would support a proposition for the re-arrangement of the electoral districts. He was in favor of the immediate construction of railways, and for the better carrying out of that desirable object he would have an alteration in the railway board. The railway system, and public works generally, should be carried on, — not for the benefit of any particular locality, but for the good of the colony at large. He was in favor of the widening and deepening of the river Yarra. He was in favor of tho appointment of an agent by the colony, whose duty it should be to select suitable emigrants in England, and who would be accountable to the colony for the proper and advantageous performance of his duty. He was desirous that a federal union of the colonies should take place, in order that the postal system and other matters affecting the colonies might be arranged to advantage. He would, if elected, pay particular attention to the financial matters of the colony. He believed that his sentiments were of a liberal character, and he would say that he was the advocate of progression. If there was any question that he had not touched upon, he was prepared to give the fullest explanation. In answer to various questions’, Mr M’Culloch said that he was entirely opposed to a system of compensation to the squatters. He was in favor of the system of direct taxation. He was opposed to pensions thoroughly. He approved of the objects of the meeting held on Thursday respecting the construction of tho roads of the colony during tho summer, and had no doubt but that a bill of indemnity would be passed in consequence of the anticipation of the revenue. He was in favor of a thorough system of audit as regarded the Government accounts. He was in favor of the Chinese being allowed to come into the colony, and would repeal the capitation tax. Mr Dash moved, and Mr Jones seconded a proposition that Mr M. M’Culloch was ‘ a Stand proper person,’ &c. The Chairman put the motion, and declared it to be carried unanimously, which was indeed, the fact. Mr M’Culloch thanked the meeting, and proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, which closed the proceedings.