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4 corrections, most recently by Iwalter - Show corrections

MR. HORGAN AT THE CANNING

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Mr. John Horgan on Monday evening ad- dressed a meeting of the electors resident at the Canning in the Cannington Hotel. There were about thirty people present. The chair was taken by Mr. Haynes.

The Chairman in opening the proceedings said that Mr. Horgan had come there to speak upon the public questions of the day. Foremost amongst these questions was that of Responsible Government. If they wished to be free men, if they wished to strike off the chains with which they had been fettered so long, they would as men vote for that candi- date who would advocate Responsible Gov- ment. (Applause.) They knew all the can- dates and he would simply give them the advice to return that man who was free, who was not connected with public companies, who was not intermarried with those cliques which went to make Perth miserable-to return the man who was free and independ- ent. (Applause.) If they returned that man they would accomplish the purpose which he had no doubt they had in view. As to Mr. Horgan's meeting on the previous Thursday evening, the editors of two of the newspapers had ridiculed Mr. Horgan because he had had the manliness to speak boldly to the electors. They complained that Mr. Horgan had spoken out and feeling that he had gained an advant- age, that he had gained the sympathy of the people, they said to themselves, " We must do something in order to counteract his in-

fluence." They tried to do that by the way in which they reported Mr. Horgan's meeting, ' and he looked upon that report as a disgrace

to journalism in Western Australia. There was that night a great meeting at Perth at which Mr. Horgan would have liked to have been present. Mr. Horgan was, however, in the hands of his committee, who had arranged for the meeting on Thursday evening-not knowing that the meeting that night in Perth was to be held. Tlie committee, having arranged to meet the electors of the Canning that evening, Mr. Horgan would not disap- point them, feeling that they had an equal right with the people of Perth to hear his views. (Applause.) Mr. Horgan would lay before them cogennt reasons why the present system of administration should be abolished and Responsible Government introduced. (Applause.)

Mr. Horgan said:-Gentlemen, Electors of the Canning, I come before you tonight. Possibly I am a stranger to a great many, but I have been taunted with being unknown in Perth. It is true I have been comparatively unknown for some time, but for the last ten days I have spoken through the Press. My opponents who were in the field before me have thought fit to be silent. I have spoken out honestly, as I have said, at the meeting in the Town Hall the other night. I have spo- ken the expression of my mind. That pro- gramme I faithfully promise to follow out, even if I were to stand alone in the Assembly. If you were to elect me into the Legislative Council, I would go for Responsible Govern- ment, though alone, but I hope in God that I will draw a following. The present rotten shoddy legislators that we have-I call them shoddy because there is an expression 'shod- dy " in England. Shoddy is a rotten kind of wool, made up of old goods. It is made up of old rags, old pieces of flannel and all that kind of thing made up into a kind of adul- terant and sold at a cheap rate-that is cal- led shoddy. Our Legislative Assembly is mainly a woollen representation. (Hear, hear). It represents wool only. It is not pure wool-it is shoddy. (Laughter and ap- plause). If you put me into that Assembly, I will not be one of them-I will stand alone ; and in twelve months or eighteen months at least you will have Responsible Government, and where will the shoddy gentlemen go ? They will be swept away. A new Constitu- tion will be established and the voice of the people will be heard. (Applause.) I am taunted in the Press in this way-as being one alone. As I have said to the work- ing men of Perth, I glory in being alone if I am right. I do not know, gentlemen, whether you have read the papers as to the recent meeting in Perth. I spoke at great length on that occasion. I spoke for an hour. I don't know whether you have read the papers, but it would be a great-it would be rather a privation (sic ?) to impose upon you to read all I have spoken on that occasion. I will shortly allude to some of the points. A very active agent of my opponent, Dr. Scott, has boasted publicly. I have not heard him myself but I have been credibly informed that he had boasted in many public places   he said-I would not call it very polite lan- guage-" I will run the b--- colony in the House." He is the henchman, he is the fugleman of Dr. Scott. We are speaking now politically and I may mention that the per- son I allude to is Mr. James Grave (Laugh ter.) He is the political agent of Dr. Scott. I am informed he has stated that "He will   run the b---- colony in the House " He has already succeeded in running Mr. Sholl, the member for the Gascoyne-that is an elec- torate that numbers 61 or so electors. Well the Perth electorate, if it were properly re- presented would be about 1500 or 1800-at present it is only about a thousand. One man has been elected for the Gascoyne, Mr. Robert Sholl. He is a brother-in-law of Dr. Scott. There are several members-I wont mention them-there are five or six other members at present in the Council who are completely under the ban of Mr. James Graves. You can, therefore, well understand how justified he was in making that boast. He will try-and I fancy, he expects to put

in Dr. Scott as another to add to the influ- ence that he expects to have in the House. Well, gentlemen, if you are inclined and dis- posed to promote that kind of thing, it rests completely with you to do so. If you are willing to send in a band of what I call conspirators to work for their own selfish in- terests- a clique within a clique-well and good. The House at present is a woollen clique. Besides that you have Mr. Grave who wishes to establish another clique within that clique. Well, gentlemen of the Canning, if you are inclined to promote these objects it is for you to judge. (" No" and applause). The speaker then proceeded to speak of Responsible Govcrnmeut and quoted from Mr. Gladstone's great speech the following: " I had the honour of holding office in the Colonial Department-perhaps I ought to be ashamed to confess it-fifty one years ago, and at that time the Colonies were governed from Downing St. It is true that some of them had Legislative Assemblies. What was the result? We were always in conflict with those legislative assemblies. We were always fed with information from what was termed the " British " party in these colonies, and the state of things in which we lived was that a clique of gentlemen consti- tuted the British party, and that the non- British party, or, as it was sometimes called, the " disloyal " party, was composed of the enormous majority of the population of the colony. So we had continual shock ,continual debate, continual conflict. All that has been changed. England tried to pass good laws for the Colonies at that period, but the Colonies said, ' We don't want your good laws, we want our own good laws.' We admitted the

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come to us across the seas." (Applause.) That is exactly a picture of the state of things here. Here a few hungry families-six hungry families-have gathered round the Governor. The Governor comes here a stranger-comes for five years. He wants to lead a pleasant life and wants to make every- thing pleasant and smooth for himself. This Colony is simply a stepping stone to him to fit him for a higher position. Well, he says, I am in West Australia and I will make things easy for myaelf. Then these five or six

hungry families gather round him, and they inspire him, and he is a stranger knowing nothing about the Colony, and he takes his cue from the six hungry families. (Laughter.) These six hungry families get their sons and nephews and sons-in-law, and all these kind of people into all the vacant positions that open. They are like a group of sharks around the tail of a ship watching to see what drops out ready to gobble it up. (Laughter.) You must be very dull of comprehension if you cannot see that the Governor's object in all the appointments made by him is simply to please the six hungry families. (Laughter.) The speaker then proceeded to condemn the appointment of Mr. Hare, the police inspector to the magistracy at Cambridge Gulf, and that of Mr. Finnerty, manager of a sheep station, to the vacancy occasioned by the elevation of Mr. Hare. He proceeded as follows:--'I am only giving this instance of the unhappy selection of people who are totally unsuited for the places they are being placed in." Having               say what they intend doing to-night, but an               exactly on my programme. They do not strike out anything new or original for them- selves. They are plagiarists-political pla- giarists." Having condemned gambling in syndicates and bogus companies, he said, " Some companies started and they have ex- hibited specious profits at the outset. Next year will tell tales. I hope, gentlemen, none of you present are interested in any of these bogus companies." He then continued, ' I am inclined to support justice in every way I can. I find that as an humble lawyer in my profession, I cannot speak out in public. I want to be in a position that I can speak to the colony and to the peo- ple and where I can speak freely and with-

out the sword of slander-as I call it-hung over me. You know, gentlemen, that people in ordinary life cannot speak out, but once you get into Parliament you are privileged to speak the truth without reserve. That is my object ; that is the summit of my ambi- tion." The speaker then proceeded to say he was in favour of justice for the poor as well as the rich, and condemned the Master and Servants' Act which enabled a Magis- trate to send a workman to prison for a breach of it but not an employer. The sys- tem was a relic of slavery. It had been abolished in the other colonies and should be done away with here. He continued: We are going ahead in Western Australia, bnt we are not going ahead enough. We have not progressed as we ought. We are govern- ed here by a gentleman from Downing Street. He is a man. He is not a god. He is not a Czar of Russia. Gladstone, the great Glad- stone could be approached and even on his way to Parliament last week he was met by enthusiastic thousands. He was not shamed   to put his hand out to the honest man on the way, the honest humble man of toil. He

was not ashamed to do it. He did it. Here we have a Governor who is as imperious at any emperor. You cannot approach him. He is a God Almighty man in his own estimation. Gentleman, I speak from experience. His predecessor in this go- vernment was not so. I had no difficulty in approaching Governor Robinson-no difficulty at all. I had occasion a couple of times to approach this Governor. I should first speak to his secretary ; then the secre- tary would speak to him. I should tell my business to the secretary. The secretary would translate it to His Excellency and then His Excellency would weigh and ponder and consider whether he would receive that low fellow Horgan. (Laughter.) He would con- sider whether he would receive and listen to the low fellow Horgan. Well that should not be gentlemen-that should not be-that should not be." Speaking of Responsible Government he said that with it, whereas we were travelling at ten miles an hour now, we would travel at forty miles an hour. He concluded by advocating manhood suffrage and by saying that areas should not be repre- sented but people. (Applause.)

In answer to questions put by Mr. Colreavy and Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Horgan said he was in favour of a poll tax being put on the Chinese, of public libaries in towns and town- ships, and of the promotion of railways.

Mr. A. Cumming and Mr. Dearden seconded the following resolution: " That this meeting   is of opinion that Mr. Horgan is the most fit and proper person to represent Perth in the

Legislative Council."

The resolution was carried unanimously, and the meeting closed with a vote of thanks

to the Chairman.

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