The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55
The Present and Future of the Colony
The Present and Future of the Colony.
Pursuant to previous announcement, Sir Julius Vogel addressed the people of Auckland in the Theatre Royal last evening. It was expected that the attendance would be large, but the expectations of the most sanguine in this respect were exceeded. The doors were opened at 7.30 p.m., and were rushed by the large crowd assembled outside. Scarcely five minutes elapsed until the building was crowded in every part, and hundreds applied unsuccessfully for admittance. The dress circle had been set apart for ladies, and gentlemen accompanied by ladies, and it, too, was filled to its utmost capacity, Lady Vogel and Miss Vogel occupied seats in the circle. Invitations to occupy seats on the stage had been issued to about 200 leading citizens, and were largely availed of. Sir Julius was on the platform at 7.30 p.m., but the curtain being down, he Was obscured from view. This arrangement was a good one, in so far that it prevented the crewd from diverting itself during the period of waiting by recognising, and applauding or Hissing their favourite or unpopular public man; as the case might be.
At 8 p.m. the curtain was raised, and Sir Julius Vogel wheeled himself forward to the front of the stage. He was received with loud cheers and a few Hisses,
His Worship The Mayor occupied the chair, and having read the advertisement convening the meeting, briefly introduced the speaker of the evening. He said it was not necessary he should detain them with any remarks, seeing that Sir Julius Vogel was there at their request. He left the food conduct of the meeting in their own hands. He would, however, say that the people of Auckland were specially favoured in having heard some of the leading statesmen of the colony in that building. (Loud and prolonged cheers.) They had also had the opportunity of hearing Major Atkinson (lessened cheers.) They had heard the extreme, and now they would hear the middle course, for he did not think he Was Wrong in saying that the present Ministry was outside the parties represented by Sir George Grey and Major Atkinson. He would not detain them with further remarks, but would simply introduce Sir Julius.
Sir Julius Vogel (who, of course, sat in his chair while addressing the meeting) said : Mr. Mayor, ladies and gentlemen,—I was about to ask you to extend to me your indulgence for having to address you in this position. I need scarcely say that I am sensible of the honour you do me in listening to me, under such circumstances and that if I had my will, I should be now standing up to address you. I am deeply sensible of the compliment you pay me in attending in such large numbers to hear me, and I hope that I may at say rate be able to return your courtesy by giving you such information as may not be without interest to you. Gentlemen, I am now renewing my acquaintance with Auckland. While it is many years since I visited this city last. I cannot forget that in time past I was on very intimate relations with this city,—having for some years represented a portion of it In Parliament. (Interruption.) You will, I hope, allow me to refer you to the last public occasion on which I addressed an Auckland audience, because some misapprehension on the subject I find is abroad. (Disorder) It has been observed in some quarters that when I last addressed an Auckland meeting I met with a considerable amount of opposition. (Cries of "Speak up ")
At this stage the Mayor appealed to the good sense it the meeting for a fair hearing for Sir Julius. He said : It is impossible for anyone to address you in such a voice as the reach everyone. I must ask you to refrain from making remarks, and to allow those to hear who cattle for the purpose of hearing.
Sir Julius Vogel (continuing) : I will endeavont, gentlemen, as I proceed, to raise my voice. I knew that it is very disagreeable for people in a large and crowded meeting such as this not to be able to hear what is being said, but I shall endeavour to remedy this. It is somewhat difficult, however, to do so at once from a sitting position, but I shall try as I proceed to make my voice page break penentrate to the farthest extent of this crowded building. (Interruption.) I was referring to the last occasion on which I addressed an Auckland audience, and I wish to say something to remove the misapprehension that exists in the minds of many with regard to what took place on that occasion. (Disorder.) I am glad to have your attention, but it is a difficult task to make my voice reach you all. I was about he say that the policy of the Government during the session which had just passed, on the occasion to which I refer, proposed to abolish the provinces of the North Island, but not to abolish the provinces of the South Island. There is no doubt the Opposition made a great deal of this, but the opposition—I have refreshed my memory by a reference to the papers I hate here—the opposition was not to the abolition of the provinces, but to abolition in one Island without abolition in the other.