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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55



I come back then to the point from which I started; but I say whilst these things can take place we have no true freedom, and what you must do is to make up your mind to stand by those men who are determined that a change shall take place in the constitution of the Government; that there shall be so plural voting, that everyone shall have one vote and no more; that the Legislative Council in the present form shall not continue to exist, to which nine new members have already been added during the recess to carry this next session. A tyrant is bad enough, but if tyrants do not succeed one another, you might hope that when one died you might come to an end of the tyranny; bat if you have a Legislative Council for life, they may die off one by one, but there comes no end of the tyranny till the whole are gone. (Cheers.) The alteration I ask you to nave made is this : That if an Act is passed twice page break by either Chamber of the Legislature and the other Chamber twice rejects it, an appeal appeal shall be made to the people, and they at their polling-places shall vote whether ft shall be the law of the land. (Cheers.) If that be done, then it does not matter what Council we have. It is petting late—(A voice : "Go on")—and what I shall say now to you is this : that I have said much that will give offence to many. I have produced documents which they thought were long since forgotten, (Laughter.) I have done that, but I really felt when I read the fact of those families living upon twopence a day a head, in a land of plenty and a soil of the utmost fertility, and knew that that soil had been in great part wrongfully taken from those who ought all to be in wealth; when I knew the children were growng up in poverty, and that the grandchildren after them would be in worse poverty—I felt a duty rested on me which no personal consideration whatever could induce me to abandon. (Cheers.) Mr. Stout says it is better to go floating about from side to side and looking in every direction, taking care not to be swept away altogether by the tide; although he has told you this—I know what I believe to be my duty, what I believe to be right, and nothing shall ever move me from sticking to these questions which I have so long fought out, so long as Providence permits me. (Loud cheers.)

Mr. W. F. Farnall in a speech in which he could not allow the vote he meant to propose to be a simple vote of thanks, but an expression of their confidence in Sir George Grey as the leader of the Liberal party in New Zealand, proposed, "That this meeting tenders its hearty thanks to Sir George Grey for his address; that it places the utmost confidence in' him as the leader of the Liberal party in New Zealand, and that it also expresses its opinion that such a leader should be supported by every man in the colony who wishes for the well being of his fellow colonists."

Mr. T. B. Hill said he had very great pleasure in seconding the resolution, and he was sure every Liberal would re-echo the expression made use of by Sir George Grey when he said he wished he was a younger man, to lead them to that victory which he said he was able to do now. (Cheers.) If the present Ministry were such rogues [Here Sir George Grey pulled Mr. Hill and remonstrated against the use of this term.], and, Mr. Hill went on to say from their actions he thought the quicker they turned them out the better. (Laughter.) The electors and Liberals throughout New Zealand should return to Parliament those holding true Liberal views and opinions, and who would go in to support Sir George Grey, He told them he would bring down a Bill to cure all the evils he had pointed out, and he hoped they would return men to Parliament to help him to carry it. He had great pleasure in seconding the resolution.

The motion was put to the meeting, and carried unanimously, and when the result was announced by the Mayor it was received with prolonged applause.

Sir George Grey rose amid renewed cheering and said : I thank you very sincerely for the vote of confidence you have given me, and I ask you now to accord a hearty vote of thanks to His Worship the Mayor for the able manner in which he has presided to-night.. Mr. Waddel, in his exertions for the good of this city, has never been surpassed by any Mayor you have had. (Cheers.)

The vote was accorded with acclamation.

Three cheers were called for Sir George Grey, and were lustily accorded, after which the meeting dispersed.