Monday Evening Political Addresses.
Auckland Printed At The Star Office Shortland Street. MDCCCLXXXVII.
The Political Campaign.
Mr. J. Aitken Connell's Address to Young Colonials.
Mr J. Aitken Connell (candidate for [unclear: den] delivered in the Choral Hall, Auckland, on July 25th, an address to "Young [unclear: lonials,"] being the second of his series [unclear: of] Monday Evening Political Addresses." [unclear: ere] was an assemblage of fully a thousand [unclear: sons,] of which by far the largest pro-[unclear: tion] were youths and young men.
Mr Connell, on making his appearance [unclear: upon] platform, was received with cheers. He [unclear: id] Ladies and Gentlemen,—I am compelled to ask you to-night as usual to choose [unclear: ur] own chairman, for I have no chairman [unclear: is] propose.
After an awkward pause Mr Geo. Akers [unclear: posed] that Mr Wm. Kelly (former [unclear: mber] for the East Coast) should take the [unclear: ir] (Applause.)
Mr Council called for a show of hands in [unclear: our] of the proposition, and a large number were held up. Another long pause
Mr Kelly declined the honour on the [unclear: nd] that he was not an elector of the [unclear: trict]
Mr Connell: Well, it is rather an unusual [unclear: ing] in a large meeting of this kind that [unclear: cannot] get a man to take the chair. If [unclear: cannot] give me a chairman, I shall be [unclear: ged] to choose one myself. I am quite [unclear: your] hands, gentlemen. Mr Akers was then proposed, but de-
Mr. J. R. Green next moved that Mr. [unclear: A. M.] Philson should take the chair.
Mr. Philson : I am not an elector in this [unclear: drict]
Mr. Connell: That does not at all matter; [unclear: you] had better take the chair. Mr Philson : Much obliged, but I would [unclear: ther] not.
At this stage, loud cries of "Hodge!" were [unclear: ed] and Mr. Connell said that he would [unclear: very] glad if Mr. Hodge would come for [unclear: rd] and take the chair.
Mr. Hodge, however, did not appear to be [unclear: ent] and the proceedings again hung
After a minute or two of hesitation Mr [unclear: nell] said: There is a gentleman here I would like extremely to take the chair. I will tell you why later on. He is a young colonial (cheers), and I beg, therefore, that this gentleman here [pointing to Mr George Sexton] should take the chair. Mr Sexton, however, preferred to retain his seat, and firmly shook his head to all Mr Connell's inducements for him to mount the platform.
Finally, Mr Connell said : Well, gentlemen, if you cannot give me a chairman, you cannot expect me to give you a speech.
Hereupon Mr Geo. Akers rose from his seat, strode up to the platform and took the chair, amidst loud cheers. In opening the meeting he said : Ladies and gentlemen,—Electors of Auckland city,—On account of being called to the chair, I think I am here in my right place. (Applause.) Mr Connell told us the other night that he was an old colonial. Well, I am also an old colonial. (Applause.) He told us too that in the year 1859 he stood on the Queen-street Wharf with only sixpence in his pocket. To that I may say that, in the same year, I was for three weeks in Auckland with only sixpence in my pocket. I went up in the world after that, but I have come down again since. Ladies and gentlemen, I trust you will give an impartial hearing to Mr Connell for his address. (Cheers.)
Upon rising to address the audience, Mr. Connell was greeted with renewed outbursts of cheering. He said : Ladies and gentlemen,—I am happy to be able to say this evening that I can see in all your eyes the intention to give me a fair hearing. (Cheers.) Now, this evening I have to speak to you on the subject of Democratic and Representative Institutions. I am sorry that I will not be able to speak to you as loudly as I could wish, because in going to Waiwera I caught a cold; but at any rate I will speak as loud as I can. My object in calling this meeting, as you are aware, is particularly to meet the young colonials of New Zealand, and my reason for doing that is that I recognise the fact page 4 that we have in the young colonials of New Zealand a very large force, and, as I have told you already, I profess to be a tactician. (Loud laughter.) I told you also that a tactician always looks about him for a big force, and, therefore, I have invited the young colonials of New Zealand to meet me to night, because I recognise in them by far the largest force in the country. (Applause.) Now, gentlemen, it is my purpose to-night to endeavour to impress on each of your minds that which is impressed on my own mind, viz., that every young colonial in New Zealand is a very important person. (Laughter.) Most of you are aware that I am not a man who hesitates to tell big men and great men the truth to their faces, and in the face of the colony, and I say also at the same time that I am not a man to hesitate to say good things of any men if they deserve them, and I think the young colonials of New Zealand deserve some very excellent things to be said about them, and it is because they are true that I intend to say them. Now, there are a large number of persons who are only capable of taking a superficial view of things. People of this stamp—I speak as a politician—when they look over the face of society and see a large amount of what is called "larrikinism," and juvenile crime, say, "Ah, what is to become of New Zealand when these youngsters grow up, become electors and have the Government in their hands?" To these persons I reply, "If you take nothing more than a pessimistic view of things, you are not able to see very far through a grindstone. You are only looking at the skin and surface of things." The larrikin element is chiefly to be met with in our large towns, and I think I am correct in saying that it is in proportion to the rest of the population probably not 1 per cent. With regard to the remaining 99 per cent.—with regard to the great mass of the young population of the colony, I think so highly of them that it is my distinct purpose that they shall be an example, not only to the Australian colonies, but also to England and America. I believe that in the young men of this colony we have material not to be surpassed in the whole world. (Loud applause.) Now, when we come to look at democracy it will be found that a large number of people are afraid of democracy because they think it an institution that is bound to end in revolution and ruin. Now I tell you emphatically that I am a democrat to the backbone. (Applause.) I firmly believe in democracy. I believe it to be the grandest and most magnificent type of government the world has ever seen, because it is the government of the people by the people and for the people themselves. There have been other good forms of government [unclear: i] world, but there has been no [unclear: fo] government, in my opinion, which is [unclear: upon] democracy. But unless you [unclear: ha] individual units of a democratic [unclear: na] good material there is no [unclear: possi] having a grand and great [unclear: democra] you have them debased and corrupted you cannot expect to find a pure [unclear: fo] democratic government.
Dangers Threatening [unclear: Mo] Democracies.
Now it is my purpose to-night to [unclear: you] some of the dangers which [unclear: threat] modern democracies, and in order [unclear: th] may be interested in tracing these [unclear: t] source, I propose to glance back [unclear: causes] which have wrecked [unclear: demo] the past. I am not one of those [unclear: who] are fond of theoretical argument I attach the greatest weight to [unclear: hi] facts. If you can bring me a single [unclear: show] the operation of a custom, of a vice, or of anything else, and say, [unclear: is] the consequence of it," I begin to [unclear: it] with the keenest interest; and it [unclear: study] of the causes which [unclear: led] decay and fall of the ancient [unclear: dem] that we may hope to save ourselves similar disasters. If we find the [unclear: sam] operating and producing the [unclear: same] as in ancient times, it behoves [unclear: tho] who look below the surface to [unclear: be] and watchful, and raise a [unclear: warning] the endeavour to save our [unclear: moden] cracies from the dangers [unclear: which] and overwhelmed the ancient [unclear: on] before we go to these ancient report me put it to you in this [unclear: way.] easily see and understand that [unclear: if] 100,000 of the Pacific [unclear: islanders] them into one of our great [unclear: countri] would never make a [unclear: democracy.] be impossible. We are [unclear: indebted] history and traditions of our [unclear: forefa] the customs of our forefathers, [unclear: to] formation sent down to us through of printing and now accumulated [unclear: i] mass, being imparted to us [unclear: in] years—it is solely in consequence and the training we receive [unclear: f] time we are born until we [unclear: are] upon to exercise the [unclear: vote] elector, that we arrive at sound [unclear: pe] Therefore it is highly [unclear: important] us that the great institutions [unclear: on] depend for successful [unclear: training] preserved in their purity and [unclear: intec] have referred in my address to [unclear: the] of Auckland (laughter) to one of [unclear: t] causes to which we can [unclear: trace] of ancient Rome. We find [unclear: the] danger in an attack upon [unclear: the] and beauty of the marriage [unclear: t] after the divorce laws [unclear: ha] page 5 [unclear: hanged] and relaxed, instead of the [unclear: oman] matron being held up to the admiration of the whole world for her chastity [unclear: ad] loyalty to her husband, she gradually became degraded until, in the last years of [unclear: he] Republic, when the State was [unclear: plunged] civil war, women thought nothing of [unclear: isoning] their husbands. In a single [unclear: ar] two hundred women were found [unclear: guilty] poisoning their husbands. (Laughter.) [unclear: nd] women in the highest places—not [unclear: erely] the lowest portion of the [unclear: population] were found guilty of these terrible crimes. When we compare that state of affairs with [unclear: he] state of affairs in modern democracies now in regard to women, we find [unclear: he] same danger. The institution of [unclear: arriage] is being attacked. A [unclear: cry] being raised by unthinking [unclear: persons] the divorce laws to be extended, [unclear: and] sanctity of the marriage tie is being [unclear: in-ded]. We have to fight it at the initial [unclear: int] If we do not, but allow these things [unclear: d] the abominable innovation of the Woman's Suffrage Bill to go on to the [unclear: grading] of our women—although it [unclear: ay] take fully 200 years to degrade [unclear: e] women of England—yet, as [unclear: surely] history repeats itself, so [unclear: surely] women of England, of [unclear: America,] of these colonies will be degraded [unclear: un-] we faise a warning voice in time and [unclear: see] thing stopped Then, again, [unclear: another] cause of the fall of Rome was the [unclear: aption] of her senators and [unclear: legislators.] can take a time in Roman history—I [unclear: k] about 270 or so B.C.—I have the [unclear: date] a time as late as 277 B.C., when the [unclear: tors] of Rome were pure and the [unclear: citizens] pure. Anyone going then and [unclear: mpting] to bribe the Roman [unclear: Senate] the Roman people met with a [unclear: queer] kind of reception. In [unclear: B.C.], Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, came [unclear: taly] to assist the Argentines against the [unclear: ans] He defeated the Roman armies [unclear: h] great loss, and he found himself in such [unclear: postion] that he thought it a capital [unclear: potunity] to make an advantageous [unclear: ty] He therefore sent his minister, [unclear: great] orator, to Rome to nego [unclear: terms] of peace. And that great [unclear: or] used his utmost arts of flattery upon [unclear: Roman] people and upon the Roman [unclear: ate] He was also furnished with large [unclear: of] money in order to bribe the Senate, [unclear: what] did he find? He found that there [unclear: not] a man in Rome whose hand would [unclear: upon] gold, and when he went away he [unclear: lared] that every burgess in that city was [unclear: ai] to a king. (Applause.) Well, [unclear: gentle] we pass on to a later age, and in the [unclear: atime] a great change had come over [unclear: Roman] people. Something like 150 [unclear: had] passed away when another [unclear: suggestive] circumstance took place. You have all read of Jugurtha? (Cries of "No we haven't.") Well, if you have not you had better do so. (Laughetr.) Well, Jugurtha was an African General who had served under the great Scipio and who had taken it into his head to usurp the kingdom of Numidia. He came over to Rome bringing immense sums of money with him, and he found a very different reception on the part of the Roman senators and the Roman people from that which Pyrrhus had experienced. He found he had not enough gold, vast as his wealth was, to grease all the palms that were held out for it. That was the state of affairs then. (Cat-calls, general disorder, at the extreme back of the hall, and a voice, "Hurry up, old man.") Now, you know you will have to behave yourselves there behind. Well, gentlemen—(renewed disorder and a voice : "Oh, shut up")—when Jugurtha left Rome his testimony was very different from that of the minister of Pyrrhus. His words were : "Here is a city for sale if she can find a purchaser." Now, during these 150 or 160 years a very marked change had been coming over the Roman nation. It was found at the elections that bribery was going on. It was found that this system of corruption very gradually begun, was permeating the whole mass of the Roman people.
There was another thing that characterised the last century of the Roman empire. (Interruption.) It was this: the sudden rise of demagogues. These demagogues got so bad at last that they actually would pay men to come and listen to them, and they went on making great speeches, trying to tickle the ears of the more ignorant portion of the people, and to delude them by putting before them all sorts of visionary ideas and by promising them all sorts of magnificent things if the people would only place them in power. Cannot you see some of these things passing round about us now? I see them with great clearness. I see a degeneracy of the integrity of public men in the last few years. I see attempts made in England and in the colonies to imperil the constitution, and to degrade the citizens by appeals to the lowest side of human nature. I see all sorts of promises made by our public men in attempting to get power into their hands. I see them promising large sums of money to be spent in various districts if they are put into power. That is neither more nor less than simple bribery—than corruption of the people. (Cheers.) If it were not for the fear of wearying you, I could show you other signs of weakness in the ancient democracies rising into the greatest prominence now. There was, for instance, the worship of wealth—one of the most notorious things that characterised the decay of the Roman empire. We see now page 6 amongst ourselves in Europe that if a man has a large amount of gold every one bows down to him. Scepticism spread with alarming rapidity throughout the whole mass of the people, and unholy and unclean orgies of the most frightful character debased and degraded the people. To such a terrible extent had this grown that at one time 7000 men were put to death on account of it without, however, crushing the frightful disorder. All these things we may see traces of in our modern democracies and we must face them with a determination to purge them out of the land. In attempting to do my share in this direction I have a distinct purpose in standing for a seat in parliament to endeavour to aid in raising the public life of New Zealand, and to purge out of it these evidences of a decay or of a corruption which is sapping the public life of the colony. And, gentlemen, when I think, or when I thought, how best it was to be done, I could see that my hopes lay with the young colonial blood of the colony. (Cheers.)
Mr. Connells Faith in Young Colonials.
Now, I will tell you one principal reason why I have such faith in young colonials. It is this :—We all have character. (Laughter.) Mind, you have all got character—some a little better than others, and some a little worse. And that character was not made in a day. It is a thing that has been built up. It is the result of causes which have been at work for years. And each one here bears in himself the effect which those causes have produced. Now, the grandest of all things for building up character are the influences of home association, and the influence of work. Mark that. I say the greatest thing for forming and settling a man's character is that home influence and the nature of the work in which he has been engaged; and there is no kind of occupation in this world that yields such splendid character as outdoor labour in a young country. If you find a large number of the population of a country engaged in assisting to conquor nature, and in improving the face of the land on which they live, you get the finest material in the world for a nation. But if you find the vast mass of men shut up in small rooms, ill-ventilated, and engaged in a dull routine of toil in the production of boots and shoes, and things of that kind, you cannot expect to have the sturdiness and manliness of the man who takes his shirt off and knocks down a big tree every day of his life. (Cheers and laughter.) Therefore it is because our young colonials know what this sort of work is that I believe they are unsurpassed in the world. ([unclear: Laugh] cheers.) There is scarcely any [unclear: colonial] who does not know what to knock about in stock-[unclear: yard] his knees in mud [unclear: among] or who cannot take his axe in his [unclear: ha] chop down a tree, or who cannot [unclear: ta] spade and dig up a patch of [unclear: potatoes] voice : "What about gum-[unclear: digging] will tell you something about [unclear: gum-] in a little. I say that that is the of occupation that forms [unclear: cha] and it is in the out door [unclear: sports] occupations, and the life of young New Zealander, that I sec the [unclear: tion] of the grandest material to be [unclear: fo] the world for democratic [unclear: gover] There is another thing to be seen, [unclear: and] is what I call the esprit de corps of the colonial. (A voice : "What's [unclear: that] laughter.) It is a grand [unclear: thing] older hands have got the [unclear: esprit de] old colonials, and the chairman [unclear: and] feel a bond of sympathy between us [unclear: t] simply because we are old [unclear: colonials.] every old colonial has got a [unclear: love] liking for every other old [unclear: colonial] then, that the young colonials [unclear: have] esprit de corps. And I will tell [unclear: you,] men, that, highly as I think of my [unclear: ov]—the old colonials—yet that I [unclear: thir] more highly of the young colonel (Applause.) That is a fact. (Cheers)
Mr. Connell Tells a Story
Now, I will diverge here a little [unclear: fr] subject, and tell you a story [unclear: about] diggers. As you have asked [unclear: about] digging. (Laughter and applause.) know, gentlemen, that I [unclear: committed] at the Opera House to the [unclear: statement] is a most unfortunate fact [unclear: that] able number of old colonials have way to drink. (Laughter.) [unclear: Now] men, that is a statement which is [unclear: ab] true. (Cries of "No.") Wait a [unclear: lit] say with sorrow that it is a fact, [unclear: be] speak of my own class. [unclear: (Interr] Now, I will tell you a story [unclear: about] diggers, but you must not make [unclear: a] (Derisive calls of "Hush, [unclear: hush.")] was going to Waiwera on Saturday spell, and I reached a point on [unclear: the] where I thought I would enter a [unclear: ho] get tea. That was at the [unclear: Wade.] into a public-house there. (Loud [unclear: la] and cries of "Oh, oh!") I say again, [unclear: men], I went into the public-[unclear: house.] newed laughter.) They were going me into a nice little parlour in [unclear: the] where there were muslin curtains mahogany table. It was very [unclear: co] seeing two men in a room by [unclear: themsel] tea on the table, I said, "[unclear: No] going in here." The men were two diggers,; (A voice : "Old [unclear: colonials?] page 7 [unclear: They] were both old colonials. They had been [unclear: soldiers]. One of them was what I call [unclear: ree]-quarter seas over, the other was not [unclear: ite] so bad. (Laughter.) We entered [unclear: conversation] and managed to shake [unclear: n] well together. I said to the one who [unclear: furthest] gone, "Look here, you are a [unclear: tty] kind of fellow to be like this now. [unclear: are] an old colonial. (Yells of [unclear: ghter].) It is drink that is keeping [unclear: a] poor man. Why should not man like you who has been so long [unclear: e-for] they had told me that they had [unclear: th] been about 30 years in the colony—be comfortable position by this time? Why [unclear: it] that after making so much money you [unclear: ve] not got a good farm instead of sitting [unclear: e] in a hotel under the influence of [unclear: or?"] "Well," he says, "that's a fact. Remember coming down here one day with 7 10s in my pocket and leaving again in out [unclear: ut] a week £4 in debt." I said, "Yes, that the way they do. You had better join the [unclear: Ribbon]." He said he would not, [unclear: cause] he could keep from the drink if he [unclear: ed] I said, "Well, you had better like [unclear: "] I also told them that I had got into [unclear: ow] at the Opera House, because I said [unclear: t] if old colonials got out of work it was [unclear: tly] always through drink. (Cries of "No" and "Yes.") Listen, and I will tell [unclear: what] the two gumdiggers said-and [unclear: y] were both old colonials "Well," they [unclear: said], "that's a fact." (Cries of "Oh" [unclear: laughter].) That is just what they said. [unclear: therefore], much as I respect the old [unclear: ial]—and I am one myself—I say that a [unclear: at] number of these old colonial hands [unclear: not] had the same educational [unclear: advan-] and have 'not had the same moral [unclear: ning] in the form that you young colonials [unclear: e] and the consequence is that a large [unclear: ber] have developed drinking habits and [unclear: her] things rendering them not so good as [unclear: young] colonials.
Now, I wil tell you a very creditable thing out the young colonials. It is a very rare [unclear: ng] to find a young colonial that drinks, and laughter and boohooing.) Now, when [unclear: as] at Waiwera the other day there happen-to be there at the same time a [unclear: tleman] who had got a large quantity of d-1,0000 acres of fine agricultural land. [unclear: And] he was a very good sort of [unclear: was] too, although he had got plenty of [unclear: d] (Laughter.) Some of you think that [unclear: e] is no good in a man when he happens have a large quantity of land, but I tell [unclear: that] there is not one of you mad enough to [unclear: e] a piece of land if he could honestly get it. [unclear: for] myself, I have never owned an acre agrecultural land in my life, but the only [unclear: on] for that is that I could not buy it. [unclear: ughter].) I was speaking to this land-owner about myself, and I said to him, "What sort of fellows have you got working about your place?" He replied, "Mostly young colonials." I asked what he thought of them. He said, "My experience of them is grand; none of them drink." (Cries of "You don't say so?" and loud laughter.) It is a fact. The young colonial that drinks is the larrikin about the city. (Cheers.) And that man simply told me, gentlemen, the very same thing that I have observed myself throughout the colony—that the young colonial sticks to his work like a man and that he is a grand fellow. (Cheers.)
Now, I promised to-night not only to speak about Democracy, but to say something about Representative Institutions. (A voice: "What about the gum diggers?") Now, our modern democracies have got many great advantages which the ancient democracies did not have, and one of these is the perfection of our representation and representative institutions. The older democracies were subject to very, very great drawbacks in this respect. They did not have anything like the perfection of our representative system, nor even any approach to such a system. It is a device of a more advanced civilization to gather up the minds of the units of the nation and concentrate them in a single point, viz., the representative of the constituency. And, gentlemen, it is a grand device. I say then, that for a man to deserve to gather up that magnificent power into his own hands he can only do so properly by acting faith-fully to the trust reposed in him. If our public men take over this glorious thing called "power" with a deep and true sense of its responsibilities, and instead of debasing their constituents by abominable bribery, act with honour and uprightness, we may have representative institutions such as the world hag never seen. (Interruption.) Now, gentlemen, as we have these representative institutions at work amongst us, I want, to-night, to tell you one or two things about them. They are marked by great strength, but they are also subject to great weakness. At present democratic institutions in England are going through a period of considerable peril. Why? For this reason : because representative institutions and government necessarily involve the opposing of two great forces—the force that governs and the force that desires to govern. There is no room for any third, fourth, or fifth forces. We have to send a great mass of men to Parliament, and once there that mass has got to select from its own members men to be entrusted with the power of the Government of the country, and that House of Assembly page 8 must then fall into two great ranks. (Interruption.) I say it must fall into two great ranks—the ranks of those who uphold the existing Government of the country and the ranks of those who oppose that Government. As soon as the Government of the country has, by virtue of misconduct, or ill-doing, or by incapacity on its part, lost the confidence of the nation or the House, then the number opposing it grows larger and larger until it becomes the majority, in which event it casts that weak and incapable Government out of office and out of power. And then those who have gathered the concensus of opinion on the other side take their places as the Government.
A Cause of Peril.
Now, the great peril in which, at this moment, democratic institutions in England stand, is that this distinguishing principle has become confused by the introduction of the Irish question. In England we have now-in consequence, I may say, of absolute blundering, which I propose to deal with more particularly next Monday night—got the spectacle of the English Government and the English House of Commons in a state of almost irretrievable confusion. Instead of those two great forces of which I spoke being alone at work, we have now the introduction of a third force—Mr Parnell and his party—who hold the balance of power and render it impossible for either side to govern with effect. (Applause.) Now, gentlemen, it is because I see the trouble that this state of affairs is bringing upon England—because of the confusion and loss of power which make it impossible to carry forward good measures—in consequence, I say, of that third power—that I have distinctly stated we must not and shall not have a similar state of affairs here in New Zealand. I say that at the present time the crisis here is so serious that we must have representative government in an orderly form. And if we have a third power, neither falling in with the Government nor with the Opposition, the hands of the Government will become paralysed like those of the Government at Home. The hands of the men who are knocking on the head the ignorance, fraud, deceit, and incapacity that have arisen of late in the colony must not be paralysed by some third power. (Interruption.)
Sir George Grey.
And, therefore, gentlemen, at the risk of all the unpopularity you can cast upon me, I testify, in the face of the colony, that there is a power in New Zealand incapable of falling in, I believe, with representative institutions, and that power is Sir George Grey. (Tremendous uproar, hooting and groans from the back of the hall gentlemen. I have never said-and anyone to point out that I have [unclear: e] an unkind word of Sir George—(disorder)—and if [unclear: anybody] have, I ask you not to [unclear: blie] (Three cheers for Sir [unclear: George] followed by three groans for Mr [unclear: O] You must know that it is not [unclear: be] that will do it. You must bring [unclear: arg] Now, I say this, gentlemen, that [unclear: if] get into Parliament with a [unclear: following] seven, or eight men after him, he [unclear: wil] neither to the Government [unclear: nor] Opposition, and good and [unclear: effective] ment will become dimply [unclear: impo] (Uproar.) Gentlemen, if the [unclear: colo] New Zealand send Sir George [unclear: Grey] lament with any tail behind him, [unclear: the] the slightest use talking of [unclear: retren] You will have no [unclear: retrenchment.] feeling with regard to Sir [unclear: George] almost one of affection, because [unclear: he] exercise a magnificent influence [unclear: for] our democracy if, instead of sitting [unclear: i] ment, where he has no power (loud [unclear: he] stood outside where he would [unclear: guardian] of the liberties of the [unclear: pec] could make magnificent orations [unclear: is] crises which would compel the [unclear: Gov] to do right, and he might be a [unclear: mag] force in New Zealand of a kind that [unclear: ha] been seen in any country in the [unclear: I] recognise in Sir George Grey great [unclear: of] purpose, and that he has the real [unclear: the] colony lying at heart, and I [unclear: w] say that of any man unless I believed true. But, I say again, in [unclear: make] him an effective representation must have in him sound practical [unclear: character], and the training of Sir [unclear: Grey] has been such as, in ray [unclear: op] render him unfit to work in [unclear: representatives] of the people, [unclear: ing] and hisses, culminating [unclear: i] cheers for Sir George Grey, [unclear: follo] three groans for Mr Connell. The [unclear: paused] to consult his notes, [unclear: whereup] cries of "Go on, Connell," were [unclear: raised]
Young Colonials' [unclear: Demori] Association.
Now gentlemen, if I have spoken [unclear: to]-night with any effect I hope I [unclear: ha] this : I hope I have raised in the [unclear: miod] young New Zealander this feeling [unclear: I] said before, he is an important man gentlemen, mark this : You may [unclear: ha] forces which are at present wasted [unclear: Because] they have not intelligence [unclear: them]—because they have no [unclear: po] organisation. You have no [unclear: conce] what might be done by organisation [unclear: I] want the young New [unclear: Zeal] wake up to a sense of [unclear: the] ance Of public affairs, [unclear: and] page 9 [unclear: to] A perception of the fact that [unclear: is] the substance of which a great [unclear: tion] is made. And I want the young [unclear: onial] of New Zealand, not only in Auckland but all over the colony, to organise [unclear: a] Young New Zealand Democratic [unclear: ociation] in order to take an active interest [unclear: part] in political affairs. If you had such [unclear: association] as that, not committed to any [unclear: cial] programme, but a kind of committee [unclear: public] safety for the whole colony—an [unclear: ociation] which would guard the liberties, [unclear: d] the privileges, and the hopes of New Zealand, and composed, not, mark you, of [unclear: ery] young man in the colony-because I [unclear: lieve] it ought to be an association which [unclear: should] be considered an honour to long to; and my own impression there-[unclear: e] was that no one should be admitted to [unclear: anless] he came within certain limits of age [unclear: ay] twenty to thirty that he was follow-[unclear: some] outdoor occupation or belonged to [unclear: e] athletic club. That is my idea, but I [unclear: y] say that there is a young man sitting [unclear: this] room to whom I am indebted for [unclear: nging] my views into practical effect. I [unclear: ow] what was in my heart it was the [unclear: ire] raise the public life of the colony. [unclear: hen] I found the spirit of disorder mani-[unclear: ing] itself on the occasion of my first [unclear: earance], I felt that what I needed was [unclear: sympathy] of the young colonials, and I [unclear: w] that I would get it. My first idea [unclear: only] to ask the young colonials to see [unclear: I] got fair play and to put down that [unclear: of] larrikinism that I saw at my first [unclear: tnigs] and to show an interest in public [unclear: irs] and a determination to uphold right [unclear: g] But for the enlargement of that [unclear: for] the bringing of that idea to the far [unclear: re] important form which it assumes in [unclear: mind] to-night, I am indebted to a young [unclear: nial] who is present here to night. (Loud [unclear: of] "Name.") I do not know his name, [unclear: there] he is, gentlemen. (Here Mr Connell [unclear: ted] to the young man whom he wished [unclear: ake] the chair at the opening of the pro-[unclear: dings] Cries of "Platform" and "Name.") [unclear: will] get his name afterwards. (At this [unclear: ge] Mr Connell consulted the young man [unclear: whom] he referred.) It is Mr Sexton, [unclear: tlemen.")] (Laughter and renewed cries of "platform.") I am indebted to that [unclear: tlemen] for giving me a larger and [unclear: ter] idea than I had myself conceived. [unclear: d] this idea was, that I should not merely [unclear: k] the influence of the young colonials for [unclear: work], but that they should be [unclear: enraged] to form themselves into an association to do their own work. If you think [unclear: per] I shall be glad to have you throw [unclear: overboard], for I want only to be the [unclear: ans] of assisting you in the way I have [unclear: licated]. I am a politician, gentlemen—practical politician—a common-sense [unclear: tician]—I even profess to be a little in the nature of a scientific politician. And I tell you, gentlemen, that I can see the enormous power you can exercise in politics. I tell you that there is no man in New Zealand who had a constituency to represent would dare to do wrong if there was a strong democratic association like this in existence, determined to see right done, and to support only men who were determined to do right. There would be an end to all the chicanery, log-rolling and corruption, which of late have been so disgraceful to the name of the colony. Now, gentlemen, that is about all that I have got to say to you to night. But, before I sit down, I want to move the following resolution :—"That this meeting cordially approves of the suggestion that a political association should be immediately formed, and be called the Young New Zealand Democratic Association, the members of which shall consist of persons between the ages of 20 and 30 years, and that a committee be selected from young colonials to convene a meeting of such persons as may be willing to join such association, for the purpose of enrolling names, settling the constitution of such association, and otherwise taking steps to give effect to this resolution." I beg therefore to move that resolution with the greatest pleasure. And I have not the slightest doubt that in Auckland, you who are young colonials will appreciate the honour of starting this association, and that you will have branches all over the colony. And before you know where you are you will have 20,000 young men, the back bone of the colony, influencing these elections for good, and thus saving New Zealand.
Mr Connell resumed his seat amid loud cheers.
At this stage a little fellow of about 15 years, who subsequently stated his name to be Frank Mason, mounted the platform in order to propose an amendment, and was received with loud cheers. He said : Mr Connell, I wish to recommend an alteration in the resolution you have just proposed. I suppose you can easily see by my appearance that I am not used to public speaking. (Loud laughter.) I hope, gentlemen, you will give me a fair show. (Cheers.) Mr Connell, I attended both of your other meetings, and I learnt there that you were an old colonial hand. (Shrieks of laughter.) you are also, I believe, a Scotchman. Well, I am a bit of a Scotchman myself. (A voice: 'A mighty small bit," and daughter.) My experience of old colonials is—(here the lad's voice was drowned in uproar).
Mr Connell : I think, gentlemen, you really ought to give the lad fair play.
The appeal was effectual, and the youngster resumed :—My experience of page 10 old colonial hands has always boon that they give the young colonial hands a fair show. I have attended all the political meetings I could during the last three years. (Loud laughter.) And I take a very great interest in politics. I attended both your other meetings and I may say, conducted myself in a very orderly manner (renewed laughter), considering the way that other people conducted themselves. (A voice: "Oh, put him out," and laughter.) I saw your advertisement in the paper, and I have had for some years a great desire to belong to such an association as you published your intention to form. I came here, and on coming to the door I was told that I was not a young colonial hand—in fact, that I was only a boy. (Laughter.) And the gentleman said that as Mr Connell was down in Otago I could not see him, and that I knew nothing about politics. (A voice, "Let us see if you are stuffed") Well, I have managed to see you at last, and I have no hesitation in saying that if the gentleman at the door only knew one-half as much of politics as I do it would be well for him. I do not see why I should not be admitted to the meeting I was told no one would be admitted except he were over the age of 21 years. I consider that when one has reached the age of 21 he is not a young colonial. (Laughter and uproar.) I knew, Mr Connell, that this could not be your purpose, because you said your were a tactician (laughter), and tacticians should know that in order to produce any effect, the child should be trained up in the way he is desired to go. (Laughter.) I see from the resolution you have read that no one is to be allowed to join this association unless he is between the ages of 20 and 30 years. Well, gentlemen, I beg to move as an amendment that the limit of age for members of the association be altered from 15 to 30 years.
Mr Connell : Speaking to that amendment, gentlemen, I should say that if all our young fellows had the intelligence of our young friend here, it would be highly advisable to make the alteration he suggests. (Cheers.) But, unfortunately, we know but too well that our young lads have not the necessary self-control and confidence, and many would probably prove a source of hindrance and confusion to the association. I think they may very well study politics, as this young fellow has been doing very effectively for some time. (Interruption.) I think, however, we might, perhaps, carry the limit of age down to 18 years. But I do not think it would be wise to make it any lower. [unclear: (A] "Did you give him half-a [unclear: crown] laughter.) If you will allow me, [unclear: the] I shall alter the ages proposed in [unclear: m] lution to 18 to 30. With regard to boys out of the hall we thought it do so in order to ensure order when I saw the anxiety of our friend and his mates to get in, I [unclear: said] can come in, but you must [unclear: beha] selves." I now move this [unclear: resolution] 20 years being altered to 18 years.
Mr Sexton : I beg to second [unclear: the] sition.
A gentleman at this stage rose [unclear: u] body of the hall and began to [unclear: addr] chairman, but a noisy uproar [unclear: preve] from being heard. He [unclear: several] attempted to speak, but his [unclear: voice] amid cries of "Platform."
The Chairman requested a fair [unclear: hea] him, but without avail.
Mr Connell : Gentlemen, this [unclear: is] unfair proceeding. The [unclear: gentleman] to say something which I would [unclear: like] as it may throw light on the [unclear: subject] considering. (Disorder.) Why do [unclear: you] at him as it he were a bull? ([unclear: Loud] Mr Connell (to the subject of [unclear: the] You had better come up on the [unclear: plat]
The gentleman in question : No [unclear: f]
The Chairman was about to put [unclear: th] [unclear: lution,] the amendment not [unclear: havi] seconded, when Master Mason [unclear: ca] ward and appealed to the audiences seconder.
Mr Mills: I will second it.
The amendment and resolution then put to the meeting, and [unclear: upon] of hands being taken the Chairman clared the resolution carried. The Chairman asked if there [unclear: w] questions, and one written upon [unclear: a] paper was handed up.
Mr Connell however, declined [unclear: to] questions, explaining that he only [unclear: d] meetings of his intended [unclear: constituen] The assemblage at the back [unclear: of] then gave three cheers for [unclear: Sir] Grey, and three groans for Mr [unclear: Co]
Mr Council proposed a vote of [unclear: ti] the Chairman, and this brought [unclear: th] ceedings to a conclusion.
The admission to reserved [unclear: seats] ticket (free) only. About [unclear: six] orderly citizens, some [unclear: accompa] ladies, availed themselves of these [unclear: ti] Admission to the back part [unclear: of] the thrown entirely open. Any [unclear: interrnoise] was confined throughout [unclear: the] to the back part of the hall.
Printed at the Star Office, Auckland.