The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 30
The Wanganui Contest
The Wanganui Contest.
He had, since he came to Wanganui that week, been informed that he was to be opposed for this constituency. Of course he could not object to that; it was not for him to make any objection for he held that it was the duty of any section of the community that felt that its views were in accordance with those of its representative to make an appeal to the electors, He believed page 4 that this contest should be decided in a decorous manner and without recrimination or ill-feeling. (Hear Hear.) He thought that it could be fought out on higher grounds, as there were broad questions and broad principles to be settled, and they ought to settle them without any unnecessary amount of personality or abuse. Having said so much he would like to add further, that he was not conscious of having done anything during his term of office since his election in 1884 to lose him the confidence of those who returned him to Parliament (applause). If they returned him again his services were at their disposal, and if he were not returned again he would submit to their decision without a murmur. It would not be becoming on his part to dictate to any constituency as to what they should do, and he could only say that he felt confident that his political friends, who assisted him so largely at the last election, had not bad their confidence shaken. He was aware that like every one else he had made mistakes. It was said that those are the most successful generals who make the least mistakes Every battle teems with mistakes that are made on both sides; only those made on the winning side are fewer than those made by the losers. He was conscious that he had made mistakes, but he was also conscious that what he had done was tor the best. He had tried to promote those principles that he thought would tend most to the good of the colony, and he did not think that anyone could accuse him of having been inattentive to the wants of this particular community. (Applause.) He had felt, and always should feel, that Wanganui was his home end the people were his people, and that he was closely associated and indentified with their progress. Therefore, it was not only a task, but a pleasure, to do all that lay in his in his power to promote the interests of Wanganui, and, as their representative, his object had always been such. (Applause.)