The nomination of candidates for the representation of the Kilmar- nock district of burghs, including Kilmarnock, Dunbarton, Port Glas-
gow, Renfrew. and Rutherglen, took place on Saturday, at Kilmarnock
Town-hall. The three candidates who appeared were accompanied by several friends,—Mr. Bouverie, among others, by Mr. Edward Ellice,
M.P. Mr. H. Craig proposed Mr. Henry Vincent as the advocate of. free trade, free religion, and universal education. Mr. Vincent was- " an old and tried friend of his own, a gentleman who was possessed of
brilliant talents, the most extensive acquirements, the most refined and polished mind, irreproachable character, and commanding eloquence' Provost Brown of Kilmarnock proposed Mr. Bouverie; referring to•
his printed speeches for accounts of his political opinions. In seconding that nomination, Bailie Young cautioned Mr. Vincent not to divide the Liberal interest. Bailie Wallace proposed Mr. H. T. Prinsep, a gen- tleman of long experience at the head of the Council Board in India: it was his opinion, too, that many of them laid too much stress on poli- tics, without looking at the real advantage of having a person to repre- sent them who would promote the manufactures of the town and coun- try generally.
Mr. Vincent returned the advice so kindly given to him—" not to- divide the Liberal interest"- " I would ask those honourable gentlemen, seeing that I was the first in the- field, and holding every principle which Mr. Bouverie professes, how they can" charge me with dividing, when I have thrown myself upon the minds and hearts of the Liberal interest—of the great body of the Liberal electors. The worthy gentlemen who tender me this advice know well that the opinions of the great majority of the Liberal electors of Kilmarnock are in my favour.
• • • Now, I put it to those gentlemen, if they can bring no charge against my character, and if 1 am a moral and religious man—if I am a Radical Reformer and Free-trader in the fullest and most extensive sense of the term— if I am willing to extend my sympathies to all classes of my fellow-countrymen, and to contend for their rights and interests—how can I be charged with. dividing the Liberal interest ?"
He went on to declare his political sentiments, as an advocate for ex- tending the suffrage, and as the enemy of all monopolies in church or trade; and to criticize Conservatism and the address of Mr. Prinsep, a gentleman educated in the school of Eastern despotism.
Mr. Bouverie thus briefly replied to Mr. Vincent-
" Gentlemen, here is one seat to dispose of, and three of us want to sit in its. (Laughter.) It is not my intention, however, to reply to the gentleman who- has just spoken : 1 respect his character, I honour his abilities, and in moat of his political opinions I confess I most cordially concur; but with regard to. some of them, it is my opinion he is inclined to drive a great deal further and. much foster than is consistent with safety." (Hisses, and cheering.) He also critically descanted on Mr. Prinsep's " Conservative," that is " Tory," opinions, especially on the subject of commercial restric- tions. He concluded with a word about himself- " I stand here as a Reformer—not as one of a class to carry out laws fur their: own benefit : it is true that I belong to a particular class ; but my view will be- to show that I can throw aside all reference to party purposes ; and, if returned- to Parliament by your suffrages, 1 will work body and soul for the welfare and common iuterest of this country." Mr. Prinsep replied at considerable length to the other candidates' strictures. He avowed himself willing, with Sir Robert Peel, to correch proved abuses ; while he charged the Radicals with exaggerating small evils and then crying out for a new constitution. Replying to some of Mr. Vincent's remarks on Eastern injustice, he disclaimed participation in any measure of injustice towards Mode. He would make no ex- ception to exempt agricultural produce from Customs-duties ; and con- tended that to lower them would reduce prices here to " the Continental level."
When the Sheriff put the several names to the meeting, a forest of hands was held up for Mr. Vincent, very few for the other two candi- dates. The show of hands being declared in Mr. Vincent's favour, the others demanded a poll ; which was fixed for Tuesday. At the close of the poll, on Tuesday, the numbers were—For Boa- verie, 389 ; Prinsep, 379 ; Vincent, 98 ; showing a majority for Boar- yerie of 10 over Prinsep, and 291 over Vincent.
The proceedings in the General Assembly slate our last mentiorry which brought the report down to the 21st May, have not been very prominent. On Friday, Principal Macfarlan moved a series of reso- lutions against the abrogation of the laws dictating religious tests to be taken by Professors in Universities ; such a security being a condition of the Union, and essential to the safety of the Church. The resolutions were adopted. In the Free Church Assembly several financial reports have been produced. The amount received on account of the Sustentation Fund was 68,7001.; which allows a salary of about 1051. a year to each mi- nister. The Central Building Fund was 85,9271.; the sum collected for local objects, by 458 congregations, 133323L; besides sums spent by 53 congregations which have built their own churches and made no. return. The sums collected or subscribed during the year for all pur- poses connected with the,Free Church amounted to 420,613/. The law- expenses were 5,000L: arrangements were made for paying off that. debt, by an assessment on all the congregations. Another project referred to a committee was the building of manses throughout the country.