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PARLIAMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 7, 11 October 1879
Per our Special Wire. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Friday, October 9. The House met at 2.30. AN UNKIND OUT. Me. M'Lean gave notice that he would move at next sitting day that the Island of Kiuviui lie included in a Comity, for the purpose of making it liable to taxation. NO CONFIDENCE. Mr. Macandrow gave notice that he would move—“ That Government docs not possess the confidence of the House.” With a view to enable him to make some explanations, he would move the adjournment, of the House. He then proceeded to remark upon the announcement he had just made. lie took it, for granted that the usual com;r:iui ional course would be
adopted on (his occasion, and that Government would refrain from going <>n virh public business imrll ihe molimi was disposed <‘.f. Ho wished in say lh.it tlio Opposition was most, desirous to get on with the business of the country, and that they desired to bring this question to a filial issue at as early a date as possible. If Government wore so disposed they (the Opposition) -were prepared to go to a division on the question at once, and they would bo prepared to abide loyally by the result. For his own part he was prepared to .say that if the motion was disposed of to-day, and the vote given in the affirmative, he would be prepared on Tuesday to bring down the names of a new Government which would command the confluence of the House, and so g t on with the business of passing these constitutional measures that were so urgently demanded. He did not of course expect the Government to go <m with the debate to-day, but ho would ask them an assurance that it would he gone on with as a first Order of the Day next week. si-;.XTLEMKNT ON WASTE BANDS IN OTACiO. Replying to Mr Finn, The Government stated they wore desirous of giving all the facilities they could for thro ring open land for settlement, and that they had under consideration the question of throwing open all available agricultural land at the head of Lake Wakatipu, Otago, and that an explicit answer would he given that day week. WEST COAST NATIVE AFFAIRS. Replying to Mr Tainui, it -was stated the report of Mr Commissioner Young on native reserves on the West Coast, together with all correspondence and minutes, would be produced. RAILWAY TICKETS AND UNIFORMS. Replying to Mr Andrew’s, Mr Oliver said the question of causing all passenger tickets to have the value of the same printed on thorn had been referred to the Railway Commissioner, but as yet no answer had been received ; and that uniforms for railway officials were provided for many places, and that it was under consideration to adopt the same in the North Island.
IN VKIU' ARCiILL RAILWAY. Replying to Mr Hurst, ]\[r Oliver said the Riverton and Invercargill railway was in course of being rclaid with 401 b. rails. COLLECTION OF LAND TAX. Replying to Mr Johnston, Major Atkinson said the land tax in each county would be paid by post-office orders, and that such orders would bo issued free of charge. the mi'muck’s statement. Mr. Hall said that iu not gutting his Government sworn in so as to ho ready to take their soaks on Wednesday, ho had been blamed for attempting to delay the business, and prevent the want of confidence motion coming on. Such was not his intention, he had been told hy Sir G. Grey that it was absolutely necessary that the Imprest Supply Rill should bo passed at once, the Government had no representative iu the Upper House, Mr. Whitaker not having arrived in Wellingeou. He was therefore anxious the bill •should pass through tho Upper House before the late Government left tho benches, as otherwise lie knew it would not be allowed to go through until Mr. Whitaker took his seat, and thereby a whole week would have been lost. Regarding tbe course proposed to be taken, he said he could not yet give a full statement in consequence of Mr. Whitaker’s non-arrival in Wellington. Furthermore the Treasurer had not yet succeeded in investigating the usual state of the finances, although ho had been industriously engaged in the work on Tuesday ; however, he expected being able to lay before them the result of the Treasurer’s labors. At all events, no time would be lost, and actual financial position of tbe colony would bo laid before them at tho earliest moment. The Native Minister had also been busily engaged with the affairs of his department, hut in consequence of the peculiar manner iu which affairs of tho department had been conducted hy tho late Government, it was not by any moans easy to obtain, full and correct information. The Native Minister was therefore not yet in a position to make any definite statement. On Tuesday, however, they expected to he able to state what they believed to bo the position of affairs on the West Coast, and what steps they thought should bo taken in the circumstances. Also, as to the maimer iu which the alienation of tho Native land question ought to be dealt with. The question of the purchase of land from natives was also being carefully considered, and the views of the Government on the subject would then he given in tho matter. On political reform their sincerity had been questioned hy the other side. They proposed to at once dispel all doubts on that point, and proceed with the Electoral Rill ; and he hoped members on the other side would not obstruct the passing thereof. Ho did not agree with the Government measure of last session, hut proposed rather to frame it on tho measure introduced by Mr. 'Whitaker last session. Ho hoped to he able to submit a Native qualification that would he more fair and more reasonable than those contained in late Government measures. ’file next Rill to which he would refer was tho Triennial Parliaments Rill, which was down on the Order Paper for its second leading that day. They believed fhat Rill to bo inquired hi (he ce.’oovy. The measure as prepared, by (ho lain G.ovcrn.meuf, piopo.A-:l that if. slu.nid not come info operation until after tho dissolution of the present Parliament. The third matter alluded to was tho Re-
distribution of So,-its. They agreed a measure was necessary ; still, it was a work of 'difficulty, and it would have to be carefully considered what they should do, and that was that all parts of the Colon}’ should be fairly represented, and no portion of it disfranchised. Laud legislation was next referred to, and in framing a measure on that subject the Government would be guided by the principle that it was absolutely essential for all classes that the land should be settled upon, and facilities for that purpose would be provided. All the questions they would bring down would be not only liberal but likewise well considered. His colleague, Mr. Whitaker, would arrive to-morrow, when they would devote themselves to the work with energy, so that business might be gout into with as little delay as practicable. tkienni al parliaments bill. Mr Hall, in moving the second reading of the Triennial Parliaments Hill, said that since the previous Hill had boon discussed a considerable change had taken place in the position of affairs. His own opinion had been that a four years’duration ought in the first place to have been attempted. The difference, however, was not very lai-ge, and on this part of the question he was the more ready to give wav.
Mr Sheehan said that Government’s silence on the notice of a motion of want of confidence was extraordinary. He challenged them to go on and take the vote on tiio proposed motion at once. If they would take a fair and short fight the Opposition would bo prepared to abide the , issue and go 'on with business at once. Ho had heal’d that an attempt was to be made to burke the question, and that it would not be allowed to come on on Tuesday. If they succeeded in that he would find other ways to test the strength of the Government party. He moved the adjournment of the debate on the second reading of the Bill till Tuesday. Mr. Whitaker said that they had heard both inside and outside the House that the Government did not intend to carry out the Liberal measures. Now what did they find ? The very party responsible for these reports attempting to obstruct them in their endeavor to go on with the very first of these measures. He contended that fact alone went to prove that the Opposition was not sincere in its profession about getting these measures passed. The Premier had told them that the Electoral and other measures demanded by the country would be brought down with the least possible delay. The motion as put by Mr. Sheehan was in the worst possible taste, and showed palpably that no confidence was to be placed in their professions about getting on with the business and carrying out the Liberal measures asked for by the country. He called upon all independent members to take a side against such a proposal, and negative the motion for adjournment. Mr. Turnbull argued that the real question at issue was not the passing 'of the ’Triennial Parliament Mkor any other Bill. It was simply asToflfcither or not the business should proceed’ until the notice of motion given by Mr. Macandrew. had been disposed of. Mr. McLean said Government would stay on their benches till they had told the House about the finances of the colony, or he would have nothing more to do with them. The state of the finances was most deplorable, and it would take the very best men in the House to elucidate the present condition of these finances. It was unfair of the Opposition to offer to go to a division to-day, seeing that four of the Government supporters wore away. A motion for delay was a mere subterfuge on the part of the Opposition to shelve the Bill altogether. The truth was they did not want it, and they are now voting against it. It was apparent from the last Bill that it was not to apply to the new parliament, but thenext parliament. Let them if they were honest pass a Bill to affect themselves, and not make a sham of passing a Bill which will only affect future Legislatures, Mr. Swanson urged the importance of going on with the Bill, leaving the whole question between the parties on the want of confidence motion to be passed at once. Mr. Bowen said it had been’ over and over again stated that Ministers had a right to have fair warning before a vote of want of confidence was taken. The proposal was a most unconstitutional one, and one he hoped the House would not commit itself to.
Mr Reader Wood contended that the ■ late Government had not had a fair trial. Immediately the Governor’s Speech was brought down they were attacked and displaced. He blamed Government for not having attempted a re-constructiofa of the late Government and then the Premier would not have placed himself on the benches with colleagues even more objectionable than any members of the Government they had displaced. No reason had been shown why the proposed want of confidence motion should not be gone on with at once if either had a majority. It was put forth that the want of confidence motion and the motion for adjournment had been moved by members who per- „ sistently voted against the Bill on various*! occasions. If it was a fact that after two years of office not a single Liberal measure of which they had talked so much was in a fit state to be presented to the House, he would also be able to show that the finances of the country were in the same condition. If this Government was turned out, and another put in, it would be a Ministry put in by the will of the late Premier, despite all they had heard of that hon. gentleman's unfitness to be leader of his party. He would ask new members to give the Government an opportunity of placing their measures before the House, and judge for themselves how far that confidence could be extended. He could tell the House they were determined to go into the whole question of finance, despite the anxiety shown to prevent their doing so. Mr. Macau drew denied he had opposed the Triennial Parliaments Bill in the past. Ho disclaimed all intention of attempting to defeat the passing of the Bill. It was in reality their Bill, and they were determined to get it passed. His idea in supporting the motion for adjournment was to force the Government, to accept his proposal—the want of confidence rhotion— in a regular and constitutional manner. Iho Hon. John Hall maintained that to ci y ne w Government was entitled to,a ta n' hearing, and that was in effect whip.
v ;u before them. Ho would ask ineinto tlo themselves the justice to oil 0 '*? Ihjvornmcnt to state of nfikirs. h l ll til tliat was doneJSky would not accept
the proposed vote ; but immediately it \yjis done, they would be quite prepared t>« accept the vote \ and if adverse, they would not take three days to resign. There was really nothing to be gained by postponement, they would not force on the motion of no confidence a day sooner. Mr. De Latour said the question was whether the House had confidence in the Government or not. Government declined to allow the motion of no confidence to come on, that was the only way they could take to get at the question. Mr. Rolleston scouted the idea of a motion for adjournment being accepted as a vote of want of confidence, and the Government, at all events, would not accejff it in that light. Mr. Kelly spoke against the motion for an adjournment. The debate was interrupted by the 5.30 adjournment.
On resuming, Mr. Moss quoted from Parliamentary authorities to show that it was not competent for a Government to use its position to call in question the acts of its predecessors. Whatever information they obtained they would therefore have to bottle up until again in Opposition. Major Atkinson quoted from Hansard to show that when the Bill was last before the House, in the session of 1875, Messrs Macandrew, Sheehan, and Sir G. Grey voted against the Bill, and he (the Major)
voted for it. Mr. Gisborne spoke in favor of adjournment of the debate on the Bill. He contended that the question of no confidence or otherwise took the precedence of this or any other measure. The debate was resumed by Mr. Kelly, who strongly urged the impolitic course pursued by the Opposition in attempting to delay the business. Mr. Adams quoted from an authority on Parliamentary practice to show a vote of want of confidence should not be brought forward until the Ministry had an opportunity for disclosing the policy. He expressed a strong opinion that it was the wish of the country that Government, as constituted, should have a fair trial. He appealed to independent members not to give up the time of the country to a fight between contending parties, but rather join heartily in getting the measures into law. Mr Saunders said it was singular that one member of the late Government should be so anxious to claim the Bill while another member wanted to repudiate it. Altogether, the fact was that it was Sir G. Grey’s measure, and the other members of the late Government had little to say in the matter. They had been told of gross malversation of office by the late Government, and yet, in the face of these charges, they wanted to get back before the charges could be investigated. Such conduct was simply shameful, and he was surprised Sir George Grey who had hitherto held an honorable place in the respect of the colqpr, should be found lending out this purpose. If the new Go “mment did not succeed in TnaVing good their charges after reasonable opportunity had been afforded, he, for one, would desert their cause. On the other hand, if they did, he hoped that very few would be prepared to give further support to the Opposition. The question of adjournment was put, and a division taken as follows— ayes, 38 ; noes, 36. ~
PARLIAMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 7, 11 October 1879
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