Old news from Armidale and New England

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Election time.

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Saturday 6 July 1895, The Sydney Morning Herald




Mr Copeland addressed a large meeting at Hillgrove last night. He dealt principally with the fiscal question, denouncing the Government taxation proposals. He said that if freetrade were adopted there would be a complete collapse. He quoted figures largely to show the progress of certain industries since 1891, particularly tanning and soap and candle manufacture. He had resisted all interference with the tariff and would continue to do so. With regard to land taxation, it was nonsense to take the duties off produce and put a tax on land. The farmers would be utterly ruined. With regard to the Upper House, there was undoubtedly need of an amendment of the Constitution. He thought that if one-third of the members of the Council had to retire at each dissolution of the Assembly they would be more careful of bringing about a dissolution of Parliament. He could not understand the rejection of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. He believed that if the country demanded land taxation at this election the Council would entertain a reasonable measure in the same manner as they accepted the mining on private property legislation against their grain in the last Parliament. He would not commit himself on the question of a State bank unless he was acquainted with the principle of its constitution. He was not favourable to the referendum except in very extreme cases. He claimed to be an out-and-out working man. This was received with noisy dissent. Mr. Copeland was surrounded on the platform by a large number of his Armidale and Hillgrove supporters, and altogether had a tolerably good reception. Mr George Smith occupied the chair.

Mt. Copeland addressed the electors here to-night. Mr C. D. Murgatroyd being in the chair. Mr. Copeland said that since he had arrived here he had received the announcement of the dissolution of Parliament and he therefore now appeared to seek their suffrages as a candidate. As there appeared to be no distinct labour candidate coming forward, he would have no objection to be regarded as a labour candidate. His constituency recognised the necessity for reform of the constitution of the Council. He dwelt at length on the great benefit of the policy of protection to the working classes. He defended the action of the late Ministry in ad valorem duties imposed on luxuries. The meeting was well attended, and was most orderly. In concluding, Mr Copeland thanked the chairman, as he was presiding at some sacrifice to himself, he being a freetrader. Mr. Copeland spoke strongly in favour of federation.

Written by macalba

March 17, 2010 at 8:06 pm

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