Last modified on 20 November 2015, at 22:00

Alexandra Times at KellyGang 28/4/1877

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There was a numerously-attended public meeting held in O'Callaghan's Hotel at Gobur Tuesday evening, to hear Mr Whitelaw explain his political views. Mr Robert Burns was voted to the chair.

The Chairman, in a few words, introduced the candidate, stating that he was well known in the district for many years, and had al ways taken an active part in everything connected with the prosperity of the Alexandra Shire; and he thought they could not do better than give him a unanimous vote to put him into Parliament.

Mr Whitelaw, who was received with applause, stated that he had seen the rise and fall of Gobur. He remembered when the only buildings or places of business consisted of wagons which were distinguished by the name of public houses. The place grew with a rapidity unknown in any other part of the district. It was now on the decline, but there was good land for settlement all round it, and no doubt the place would revive, provided that mining exemptions were removed from the land. The proposed railway from Tallarook via Yea, Molesworth. and Doon, to Mansfield, would improve the value of property, and give fresh validly to the entire Upper Goulburn district.

He described himself a moderate Protectionist, and ridiculed extreme views, either on Protection or Free Trade. He was a Protectionist from conviction, believing that the Protective policy had been beneficial to the country at large. Since the initiation of a Protective Tariff, numerous industries had sprung up, giving employment to tens of thousands of people, and promising continual employment to the sons and daughters of the industrial classes. To extinguish these industries and deprive thousands of their livelihood, would, he considered, be the most criminal and unpardonable act any Legislature could be guilty of. He was in favor of a land lax on all holdings over 640 acres. He considered that the large Ianded proprietors had not contributed anything like their fair share of the expenses of government, the amount they contributed being altogether disproportionate to the privileges which they enjoyed; in fact, the great burden of taxation now fell upon the industrial classes, instead of upon those better able to bear it. (Loud and prolonged cheers).

After speaking for a considerable time on the leading political questions, Mr Cummins moved, and Mr Simcocks seconded, "That this meeting, having known Mr Whitelaw for many years as an active and sincere friend of the district, resolves to support his election as a member of the Assembly."

The Chairman called for a show of hands for and against the resolution, which he declared carried unanimously. A vote of thanks to the Chairman closed the proceedings.


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