Reform Association meeting

Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), Saturday 9 August 1856, page 3


On Friday evening, pursuant to advertisement, the adjourned meeting of electors of the central province and of the district of Melbourne, was held in Astley’s Amphitheatre, for the purpose of selecting candidates favorable to the published programme of the Association. The audience though not so large as on the night of the former gathering, was yet sufficiently numerous to insure an animated demonstration of the popular feeling. As the night wore on- .

On the motion of Mr G. Harker, Mr Thomas Fulton was called to the chair. The Chairman felt much honored at being called to preside over such a meeting. Having read the advertisement and the programme, he proceeded to say that though not appearing before them politically, he was prepared to take the whole programme in globa. Nay he would go further, and say ‘pay your members’ (Cheers.) He believed that to pay the representatives would ensure to them the most perfect system of representation. (Loud cheers.) They would permit him to make a few preliminary remarks. As to universal suffrage, he remembered when a boy that great and good men, oven talking about such a thing had been compelled to fly the country. Times were now happily changed. (Cheers.) If the Reform Bill had included the ballot, they would have been in a better position for reform than they wore now. (Hear, hear) They had the ballot now, and let them stick to it. (Loud cheers.) He had not half confidence in some of the men who wore coming forward as candidates for the coming parliament, and he would urge upon them the most strict and strenuous policy with regard to those men. Let them be plain and have no shuffling out of the question. (Cheers.) Other matters he would not press now. He must mention one thing, however, the Argus had thought proper, the other day, to run them down and to mingle himself, Mr Lowlands, Mr Michie, and their friends , with ‘scamps.’ Well they who so styled them, might have what opinion they thought proper, but he believed they could meet them with as good a character as their own any day (Cheers.) The Age; too, talked about ‘ Coppock, ‘ but ‘ Coppock’ could not coppock them ; if they tried to poke at them thov could poke back again, and with all due deference to the Age, he begged to say he did not know even who composed the Reform Association. He was perfectly independent, and spoke and thought for himself. (Cheers and laughter.) The plain simple question was would he come forward to represent the city, he could only say, that when he was prepared to come forward he would not, to use the old phrase, be backward in ‘coming forward. (Laughter.) He felt sure they would maintain the dignity, of the chair that night. If there were opposition, their stronghold would be to hear those who made it,-to hear them to a man. If there were waverers among them, he thought they might yet be convinced. They had got the wedge of reform in, and they were determined to drive it home. He would now call upon Mr Robinson to read the report. (Cheers.) Mr Robinson then came forward to read the report, but was so inaudible, that the meeting grew a little impatient, however, upon the chairman remarking that ‘Every man had not got a great bellows of a lungs like himself a great country blacksmith,’ good order was restored, and Mr Robinson continued. The Report was as follows :— 
Report of the Central Province Reform Committee. _ 
As many unfounded statements have recently appeared in one of the public Journals with regard to the sayings and doings of the Central Reform Committee, the Committee considers it due to itself to lay before the public a brief outline of its operations, so that the electors of the Central Province of the City of Melbourne may be able to judge for themselves whether or not the promoters of the movement are deserving of the censure which has been so ungenerously heaped upon them by one or two members of the Press.
lt will be remembered that certain gentlemen connected with the commercial and squatting interests some months ago canvassed certain classes in this city, after meeting together on several occasions appointed general and sub-committees, were unable to agree among themselves that State-aid should be left an open, question, would have carried out the intention of tho requisitionists, and that the masses would have been favored with a popular Ovcrton Job i Tankard, ‘viUiam 1’orsyth, imd William llobin?o\i lart’toSrttor’ »ncl determined to effect what statesmen M^SWwffih tU°o’SiS P-ties took in the matter w,h to roll}- round them friends of progression connected with Overton ltobinTon, Scinfred, and Tankard, was appointed to S upon Messrs. Coolte, .Hodgson, lla., Gm Howl LanglandJ, Fulton, Guthrulge, Hamuiill, ir ‘in. iin’i ind llvans, to ascertain their politiciu creed ‘nd to ‘report at fut.uc meeting. Messrs C,.oke Bell, und Iflla declined to come forward as candidates i ; Dre. Evans and Wilkte were undecided; and Messrs. Westgurtli and tuia \\u^ie wt i denutation that, though they heartily svmmttood wit the , SSf movement’, they could .Jot devote th^time w let was absolutely necessary to discharge aright the time wniciini devolved upon representatives. InVrrter thai io Committee might be furnished with the views of the naries waited upon, through a direct medium, ^ero revived rom Messrs OntUertdgc, Stawell, Gill, and ™ determined that five gentlemen should be recommended as eandWates for the Lower House. On the question being reconsidered :.t a subsequent nifetiuR, where more than fifty |bf S^eht^rnaS^ 3£ fe^ AAs’onlv’ three ot the gentlemen who were waited upon by tho aforenamed deputation were found up to tho political niafliTCmiiicd by the Kcftrm Committee, it became absolutely 2iVri3iVv ? «it)ior to ndopt gontlomen an candidates for tho

with those of the Association, or to look out for other men While the arrangements for the pubie meeting were being made by tho sub-committee appointed for that purpose, one of the members, Mr Cairns, intimated that ho had had a conversation with Mr llusden ; that his views were m accordance with those cntertaine I by ths Association, nnil that lie ;»as ivillins to come forward as a candidate for the Central rnn inco in the Lower Ilansc. The sub -committee recommended to the general committee that Mr Hmdcn’s name should he taken into coiiMderation along wilh that of Mr Guthndge , who in a second letter had modined his vien-J with rererence to prol-°\Vhi}e’lthe’lmattcrs were pending, the announcement of the late public meeting at this building was made, rrior to its coming off, Messrs Wcstgarta and llap, who lii«l p omise;l to aid the committee, seemed disinclined to t.ikc p.ut in tho proceedings. These gentlemen were invited to a tend a meeting of the General Committee, convene 1 for the purpose of nuking further arrangements for the publio mcctiii’ They accented the invitation, and agreed to t.ike ™«t in the f meeting, so to as the political prograiumo was COAtCthnoCmeeting prior to the public one, it was ‘^tevmined that tho cindldatcs should be recommended according to me number of hands held up for each. Hy pursuing tlui co irs. the candidates were placed in the rollowmu- -»r«lor: Up.P^r House— 1, Mr Fawkncr; 2, JlrUodffPoiij J, Dr. ^Ultie, 1, M? ltusden; and S, *Mr Gatheridgc Lower Hous,Mr Michie, 1; Mr Healcs, 2; Mr Langland’, 3; and Mr * ‘on Monday last the Beform Association received a cominunlcation from Mr Thomas JTultpn, declmmg to come tor waul for the city, and an intimation from Mr s–‘feood thnt ho could not take the chair; on tho same day Mr Hoe waited up’ the secretary, and informed him that Mr M’Ciilloch was about to como forward for the city, and that his views were identical with, those of the reformers. A deputation waited upon Mr M’Cullooh, Dr. Grooves and Mr Moore, to ascertain ttinir political creed, and to report at an adjourned mcotiiyj-. Tlie deputation reported to the committee. One candidate only was required, and Mr M’Culloch was chosen by the majority, acquisitions were put into the hands ol the committee, and these requisitions after benv,’ numerously signed were presented to the candidates. Mr Hoad was placed on tho list of candidates, but he did not consider that arcimsition WTheC itebt ‘coiitrnotod up to the present time amounts to £73; towards which £17 10s. has been collected at the mootings of tho committee. Tho membt-rs ol tho committee haTo promised to collect £34, nnd it is proposed t) make a oalleotion to defray tho expenses this eveninig. Mr A. P. Josks said, ho roso with much pleasure, but with a deep consciousness of his inability to do full justice to tho political history and sterling character of tho person embodied in his resolution. (Cheers.) They were at a most important crisis in Victorian politics. The Now Constitution must undergo n thorough revision before it could give satisfaction to tho enlightened electors of Victoria. Especially should those of tho Central Province exercise an enlightened independence in tho selection of their representatives. ^ They wanted not fine scholars, men of showy parts, aud brilliant perorations ; but men of honest principles, and who would advance the interest of Victoria at large. Striking was the change that had come over the political mind within tho List two years with regard to the government of tho country ‘. They wore at last awaking to a sense of their political responsibilities! Ho would not deal in invidious distinctions between men of similar political principles, but he would tell thorn why ho camo forward to propose that honest political champion, of Victoria, John Pascoo Fawkuer. (Great cheering). Ho (Mr l’awkner) was a national champion ! Though not n scholar, ho bad ono of the iincst political libraries throughout Victoria. (Loud laughter.) Ho had common sense, manliness, and energy, and ho would declare his mind fairly aud openly before any assembly in the colony. (Cheers.) Solemn wcrc/thcsc obligations at tho present crisis, — to lay down n broad and solid foundation upon which to roar a superstructure worthy of tho gratitude and ndmiretion of unborn generation*. (Loud cheers.) Ho proposed Mr lTnwkner because ho believed hi3 views would moot with a response from tho overwhelming majority of tho electors. Ho had nothing to gain but tho estimation of his country, which was his highest honor. (Cheers.) Perhaps tho secretary would read the programme of his political creed. (‘No, no,’ and ‘ AVo all know it.’) He would only mention ono article of his faith — ho was against Stato-aid. (Groat cheering.) After a few remarks about State-aid, which lie characterised as a principle radically and essentially wrong, the speaker concluded an eloquent and effective address by proposing Mr Fawkner as a fit and proper person to represent tho Central Province in the ensuing Parliament. I)r. Hallett seconded. Tho gentleman proposed had been praised with so much force and truth that ho had but littlo left to add, and would therefore! confino himself to the notice of a few points which they should, as he thought, look for in a candidate : such a ono should possess somo positive knowledge of tho history of tho colony— if derived from experience, tho better. At the present time, so astounding was tho ignoranco of Australia which existed at homo that somo believed Melbourne tobe tho capital of South Australia, andotliers fancied that it was in Sydney. (Greatlaiighter.) Their future candidates then must know the circumstances ami history of the coloKy. To what woro we not advancing ? Ho would not call it a kingdom, for ho did not liko tho name; neither would ho term it an empire, for he detested the idea of of an emperor, but rather would ho callit a’great republic. (Great cheering.) Ho hoped that tho colonial resources -would be so fostered, that in tho course of a few years wo should bo a great aud glorious frco state. (Loud cheering.) Dut to answer such a destiny, what kind of candidate must they havo ? They must havo ono possessed of tho courage to speak the truth, the courago to resist tho blandishments of flatterers who might try to seduco him from tho paths of duty and cnuscioncc. (Loud cheers.) He should go into the Council with tho most rigid ideas ofiustico. Ho should bo tho determined foo of class legislation. There should bo ono law for all of us. (Loud cheering.) But there was something the reverse of this under tho specious name of State Aid. (Great cheering.) Tho levying a .fax and distribution of money under tho name of State Aid was an abuse of power, and a gross perversion of justice. They should send a man. into tho Council who would bo unceasing in his endeavors to rectify that which was wrong, nnd establish that which was right. (Much cheering.) Economy, too, was a most important point. (Hear, hear.) How great had boon tho misappropriation of tho funds during tho last few years ! The speaker, who was constantly indulging in illustrations, was hero recalled to tho question, and continued : — Very littlo in addition need bo said upon tho qnalilieation of candidates. Those coming forward tonight were the right sort cf men. With regard to the intellectual character of his friond Mr I’Viwkhcr, ho would say that in the selection of his words he was happy and never misapplied them. Ho was never in want of words to express the meaning of his thoughts. But more than, all this, as they all knew, ho was an old servant, who had served them right v, ell, and would never givo m- his point while his conscience dictated to him to hold out. (Loud cheers.) The CiiAiiiMAJi said, before putting the resolution he would givo them a proof that Mr Fawkner could at least write. (Laughter.) Ho held in his letter a hand. (Much laughter.) Ho had put tho cart before the horse ; ho held in his hand a letter which proved that Mr Fawkner had his heart there, oven ii’ his body were not with them. The chairman then read the letter, which was nn oxeuso for non-attendance ou tho score of indisposition, and also nn expression of sympathy in tho progress of tho mavement. A gentleman on the platform here camo forward, and said ho was desirous of asking a question. Amidst somo confusion and cries of ‘ name ‘ ho gave that of Mr M’Eachern, and said— I am a friend and supporter of Mr Fawkncr, and havo not come here to move an amendment, but to elicit ono point of information. I understand that amongst tho fundamental principles of those gentlemen whom this Association professes to support, the abolition, of tho property qualification is one. (Loud cheers.) And so it ought to bo, for it would be unfair to tho enlightened democracy of this critical period, to select any batch of men, unless they aro with us heart and soul upon this vital question ! (Loud cheers.) I wish tho Chairman would read what Mr Fawknor says upon tho point. (Cheers.) After a short pause, Tho Chaiiiuax road from a slip of paper, Mr Fawkuev’H views, to tho effect that he was in favor of a reduction of tho property qualification. (Cries of ‘ that is not enough.’) ”Mr M’E.voiiBiiK : If you are satisfied with a vague promise of reduction, I am not. (Groat cheering.) I advise, before you arc entrapped, that you pause well, and endeavor to elicit som. thing more to the purposo from Mr Fawknor. (Croat cheering.) I knew Mr Fawkner of old, nnd was connected with him in tho production of tho Patriot newspaper. (Chcora.) I am a bosom friend of Mr Fawkncr, but although I love Ctcsar much, I love liomo more. (Renewed cheering.) If necessary, or a point of order, I will move an amendment, not ono which would hurt the feelings of Mr Fawkner, but— (No, no, and uproar, chiefly from tho Btaac.) If this is going to be a closo platform, I have done. (No, no, cheering, and continued uproar.) I was tho author of a scries of letters in the Herald under the title of The Democratic Platform : they contained principles consistent with tho principles of this association. (Uproar, aud ‘ Question.’) I implore you not to yield on this vital question. It seems to me that tho views of Mr Fawkner aro not plain ; I will therefore move the’ previous question; or, rather, that Mr Fawkner’s name bo kept in aboyancc till he has made up his mind on these important points . (No, no, and great uproar and cheers.) Mr M’Fall seconded tho nmondment. Ho had been a working man, and it was necessary for men like him to know what were his (Mr Fawkner’s) views upon the ballot as well. Cheers.) Whether he was a convert, or whether they were to expect his persevering opposition to it ? (Loud cheers,) amidst which Mr G. Hahkiik. camo forward and was mot by a round of applause. Ho said ho wished to set Mr M’Fall right as to Mr Fawkner’s viewsupon tho ballot. Tho other day nt a meeting, whero the point was raised, he distinctly stated that as tha ballot was the law of tho laud, ho was willing to give it a fair trial. (Loud cheers). He was an honest man, and his history proved that they might rely upon his word. If Mr Fawkner was adverse to tho ballot, ho would never havcliccn a party to bringing him forward. (Cheering). The CuAiitMAN said ho hoped they would act temperately. Let them tako the men that would go as far a= possible. If Mr Fawkner was so far sound, dont let them throw him overboard. He helioved the pressure from without would have tho best effect upon him, as he was not a man to change his opinions. (Cheers.) Mr Blaih hero camo forward amid continued excite* m«nt, ohwicjj, tmd «?untu-sh,««{hig. Zi« eald, Iw m«

MB^MM— 8MB— I— «**’^— for tho purpose of moving another amendment (C hcers and uproar) Ho had a perfect right to take what coursc’l o incased, so that he was in order, at «. .wM of British subjects. His amendment was a bonajirla amendment aid of strict application to tl jo ? ‘-‘ »i hind (Uproar, and cries ot ‘ read, read. ) Ho w ouicl ‘ad the amendment when ho had prefaced it ,ya lew words of explanation. (Moro uproar aud icad. ) He knew no law to compel him to read his amendment *& io^h!^ and whispered to the Chairman something to the effect that ‘ It was quite out of O1Tho Chaihman said ho was satisfied it would meet the Wows of all parties, if Mr Blair would read his amendment first. (No, no, and uproar, and ‘rood, 10Mr. BiiATB had no objection to read his amendment first, but objected to being dictated to. (Oh ! oh !) He would read the amendment then. That as the objc=t of the New Constitution in requiring, tho members of tho Cabinet to bo elective member* of tho ^’islaturo is to provide n constitutional tribunal trjing pohtic.u offenders, and for punishing misgovcrnment, by rejecting tne delinquents at tho Wings and at the poll; and as this meeting holds the present Govcnuent, more especially the Attorney General, to bo resp. nsible for th-i inal-admiinstration of tlio last five year’, it l ledges itself to reject anv member of the Government, or any Government ollieial, who may present himself as a candidate for the city during the ensuing election. ? t This gave rise to cries of ‘ Captain Clarke, ‘ Clarke, Clarke,’ and great uproar, in tho midst of WMr Tankard stopped to tho front of the stage, but fell back again without saying anything which could be heard. , , Tho Chairman made some brief remark upon the introduction of Mr Blair’s amendment not being at tho right time. Mr Blair said something which was succeeded by another storm of yells, hisses, nnd uproar; tho Chairman in vain endeavoring to restore order amidst continued shouts of ‘ Blair, Blair.’ Mr Blair continued. IIo insisted that ho was m possession of tho chair, and that his amendment bore on the original resolution. Ho would stand till midhight or gain a hearing. Tho Chairman to tho meeting : If you approve ol hearing Mr Blair, I— (noise and confusion.) But gentlemen— (noise, hootings, yellings, aud angry interference with tho speaker.) Mr Blair kept his stand, but not a word could bo heard from him. Tho Cit.viitMAN- said at length that ho would put it to the meeting whether Mr Blair should be heard or not; and if they decided that he should not, ho would call upon thorn to hand him ofF the platform. (Hooting and yelling.) Tho motion was at length put, when a great majority decided that Mr Blair should be heard. Mr Bi/Ain then said that he was astonished at the statement with which he had been met, that his amendment was not an amendment that bore upon tho resolution that had been put to tho meeting. They had all heard tho report road, and they saw that by it at least two Government oflicors were admitted to be fit and proper candidates for tho city. Ho would ask, were their ears to be made the fools of their other senses ? Tho names of Mr Itusden and that of tho AttorneyGeneral had heen mentioned. He hold, therefore, that his nmondment was in tho spirit of tho resolution, so long as the association would assert that Government officers can bo invited to stand as candidates for the representation of the people. (Mr Blair was hqro so frequently interrupted on the platform that ho was heard with difficulty.) Ho continued by attempting to quote an anecdote from Dickens, but was interrupted on- tho platform. t He said that candidates had been invited there that night, and they should bo heard without the circuitous process of appearing through tho .Reform Association. They should be permitted to. speak for themselves. (Cheers.) Ho would look upon it as a ilat insult to be asked to apDear through another. How could Brown, Jones, and Robinson become responsible for other men’s opinions ? Lot theso men como to tho front themselves, nnd speak for themselves. (Interruption.) Ho would ask was it tho solo business of tho meeting that night to hear the praises by cortain gentlemen of J. P. Fawkner ? Woro not other candidates to bo proposed, and did they mean to como out an:l speak for themselves ? Tho Cjiaiuman would promise that at least two candidates would that evening como forward and address tho mooting. Mr Blaiu— So much will have been gained then. (Confusion, noise, cheers and yells). Tho Chairman — If Mr Blair does not speak to tho resolution I’ll put it to tho meeting again, and call upon you to put him out. (Yells.) Mr Blaiu’ said that ho was speaking to tho point. Ho objected to tho resolution, not .because it proposed J. P. Fawkner, but because of the principle whic’i it embodied. This ho would say to his face. Ho thought tho whole proceeding cast grave doubts on tho proceedings of tho Association. AVere their motives pure ? Who could answer for them ? In fact grave suspicions were cast on tho purity of the principles which guided them. He would pledge lm honor— (Cheers from tho mooting ; yells lVoni tho platform.) Ho had been informed that a certain candidate who had no intention of coming forward savo on independent grounds, had been requested by this association to place himself under its patronage, nnd, that by paying £150 his return would bo guaranteed. (Urics of name, name.) Ho would nnmo tho person provided tho gentleman from whom ho had ths information would consent. (Noiso on the platform, which was .much increased and extended to tho mooting upon Mr Tankard presenting himself.) Mr Tank aud nttempted to gain a hearing, but was received with yells and cries of ‘ Lie down!’ ‘ Blair, go on !’ Mr Blair then said that tho namo of the person given to him was that of Dr Wilkic. (Noiso and much confusion.) Mr Blair continued,— that ho objected to tho principles ou which the resolution h:id been based, and not to tho persons named in it ; aud for this reason, that ho looked upon tho proceedings of tho association ns un-English, and opposed to tho freedom of election. Candidates should want no godfathers to answer for thorn. Those who wished for tho suffrages of the people should como forward, and not depend upon half-a-dozen individuals, as their sponsors, whom nobody knew. lie was in connexion with nobody. Ho did not oven know whether his amendment would find a seconder ; but, whether rejected now or not, ho was sure that, during tho .elections, tho principle ho then enunciated would bo affirmed by tho people. (Cheers.) The Chairman then a3kod if any one would second tho amendment, when a. working-man stood up in the body of the mooting, but was beckoned to the platform, to which ho advanced and seconded tho amendment. Mr Blaiu hero consented to lot the original motion bo put first and his amendment afterwards as a substantive motion.The The Chairman then put Mr M’Eachern’s amendment, that Mr Fawknor should be further tested, hut it was lost, and the original motion carried. Mr Lanolanbs hero camo forward, but was received with hooting aud erics of ‘ put Blair’s motion,’ which induced Mr Langlands to withdraw. Mr Blair’s motion was accordingly put when a forost of hands was held up for it. On calling fora show ot hands to tho contrary, only a few were hold up. The chairman declared Mr Blair’s motion carried ? amid tumultuous applause. Du. Emulixg, who was received with choers and hisses, came forward and proposed Mr Hodgson as a fit and proper person to represent the Central Provinco in tho ensuing parliament. He know that. Mr Hodgson had been u tried man, and one that had a colonial history to refer to. (Question). Dr. Enabling continued, if they wanted a man to represent them, on whoso word they could rely, ho know that man was Mr Hodgson. Dr Ii’ri.A. had much pleasure in seconding the motion, and he did so, because he know that, lately many of tho journals had been in the habit of flinging as much dirt about them— (yells). — Ho claimed a patient hearing, and said that, Mr Hodgson was a man. who had proved that he hnd fixed opinions, and that, as those opinions were known to bo right, he would second his nomination. Mr Hodgson said ho would not trouble them with ii full exposition of his political opinions. It was too lato. Ho had been before them however for nineteen years, and they ought therefore to know him. Ho would therefore simply refer to some of the leading political questions of tho day. He ivas in favor of manhood suffrage, of oqual doctoral districts, and was nvorse ».o state-aid and compensation to the squatters. He was favorablo to short parliaments, nnd as ho had had a hand in framing tho New Constitution, &c, if returned, ho would endeavor to improve it. Ho was in favor of general progress and a cheap system of railways, and would not oppose tho law of the ballot. Tho motion was then put and carried. Mr. Juuu proposed Mr. Guthridge as a fit and proper person to represent tho central province in tho new parliament. Mr. Littlb seconded tho nomination. Mr. N. Gui’iiiuDCiE regretted that it was so lato that ho could not go fully into his political principles ; but ho would tako another and an early opportunity of doing so. Three years ago ho had been thought too radical to be returned, and now ho heard that he was not, radical enough ; but still ho did not think tho colony had gained much upon him. Ho then read some extracts from his published address, and said that while ho was opposed to State Aid to religion, he could onlightcn them, ho thought, on tho subject of tho educational grunt; f 00,000 was granted for this purposo, but a groat part ot vh;\t sum, ho could assure tho mooting, went in aid of the£.50,000 grant to religion. lie wouldjhowever, exonerate tho Denominational School Board from wmplicity in this arrangement. They were obliged to do ns they woro directed. He agreed with Mr Hodgson as to cheap railways — in fact, he wiu the originator of tho first railway in the Southern Hemisphere — but would not consent to the expensive nnd slow course of our present railway arrangements. He would favor tho Ballot if it woro made a secret mode of voting, which it was not. Ho hero road a clause from tho Electoral Act, which directed that the voter’s number on tho electoral roll should be entered on his voting paper, and this he asserted destroyed tho Heci’ocy of voting.– Hero several porsons from tho m«ettag (U 93?o b?g!\n to yjv rjuwuon) $« £Iv Q«U»

ridgc. Much noiso ensued, and when order was a little restored, . . , The Cir urman put tho motion, which was earned. Mr John Hood said, that in order to pave time he would lay before tho me.-ting an outline of his political principles, and not wait for the formality of a regular proposer and seconder. Ho looked upon the educational question as of as much importance as tho religious question, .ind, on tho whole preferred the ^National System thoroughly secularized, to tho Denominational. He would, in fact, render it compulsory on parents to cdiicato their children. (Confusion.) He held it as an axiom that it was as much the duty of the State to educate the people as it was to ftcd them. As to tho State-Aid Question, he would prefer tho gradual cessation of tho Grant to its sudden repeal. (Great confusion: minglod with cries of ‘ you won’t do ! ) He would not graxt compensation to the squatters. Ho could not imagine any case in which it could bo claimed. (A. voice — ‘ Oh, but they do.’) He thought tho fint duty of tho now Parliament should be to appoint an officer through whom tho Government could suo and be sued, and then a jury would settle this as well as all other Jiko questions. Ho did not think tho upset price of land was a matter of much consequence. In the auction system, no matter what that price might be, whether a farthing or a pound an aero, it would surely find its value. Ho approved the principle of tho ballot ; in fact ho had been n ballotman for tho last ten years, and thought that Mr Guthridgo was wrong in his strictures on the Electoral Act, as connected with tho ballot. Ho did not approve of the impost on Chinese immigrants. Ho thought it too high, and would endeavor to obtain n modification. Mr Casiimorh proprosed Mr Hood as a fit and proper person1 to represent the Central Frovinco in tho now Parliament. At tho same time he looked upon all the proceedings there that evening as so much bosk! (Cheers from tho meeting, groans from tho platform.) Ho was a plain spoken man, and said what ho thought. (Cheers, mingled with cries of define ! define Bosh ! Mr Cushmon here looked round him, and pointing to tlio members of the association, said humbug, nnd plenty of it.) Ho would ask, were they, as citizens, to be dictated to as to tho choice of their representatives by any set of men? They should havo moro candidates (Great noiso on tho platform) and then they would choose tho best. Ho knew many men kept away that evening who feared they could not got n hearing because they did not belong to tho association. (Great confusion.) Mr Cashmoro said, ‘facts arc stubborn \hings’ and read tho advertisement calling the meeting. (Again a noise and a regular scramble as to who should address tho meeting.) Mr Ferguson seconded the nomination of Mr Hood which wan put from the chair and carried, Mr Hood having explained why ho had chosen to appear before them without n mover and seconder, but said that on the day of nomination he would be provided with both. Dr Daniels proposed Dr Wilkie as fit and proper person to represent them in Parliament, and explained why the association had offered to bring about his return fora certain sum. Ho said that it was because it was thought unfair to a?k a man at the samo time to give up his time and energy to the public service, and also to go to great expense in bringing about his election. Ho spoke highly in praise of Dr. Wilkie. Dr Eados briefly seconded the nomination, which was put and carried. Great noiso ensued during whioh, Mr Tankard announced that a collection would be made at tho door. (Yells and laughter from those who hoard him.) Ho roared out it was toi defray expenses. (Laughter.) Mr Beiian (a member of the Geelong Reform Association) tried to speak but could not get a hearing. The Ciiatrjian declared the business of tho association at an end. Ho received a vote of thanks from those immediately around him, and tho mooting separated. There wore nearly- fifteen hundred persons present, and at ono time the platform was so crowded that it gave way and sunk several inches.

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