THE MOORHODSE RECOGNITION BILL.
On. Wednesday, in the House of Representatives, Sir G. Grey moved the second reading of the “ Moorhouse Services Recognition Bill. ” He stated that in 1868, as Governor of the colony, he visited Canterbury, and found Mr. Moorhouse, the then Superintendent of Canterbury, administering the affairs of that Province with great ability and foresight. His efforts in promoting the Lyttelton tunnel, in order to connect Christchurch with the Port were alluded to in flattering terms. What he asked was that a medal should be struck, and be, in the hands of Mr. Moorhouse, his heirs, and their heirs, in all generations, recognised as a free pass on all railways. This effort he looked upon as a move in the direction of entering upon a new field of rewards, superior to any knighthood or peerage. Although between him and Mr. Moorhouse the utmost friendly feeling existed privately, in political life they had never voted on any occasion together. He hoped that this fact would go to show that merit could he acknowledged freely by all parties independent altogether of political predilection. Mr. Hall seconded the motion. He k could not agree with the speaker in the remark that this was a kind of protest against the opinion that’ the Imperial authorities were alone capable of being entrusted with the reward of their distinguished men. He agreed with the warm eulogism expressed upon Mr. Moorhouse’s public career, more especially iu
the indomitable perseverance he had shown in carrying out the Lyttelton tunnel scheme. It reflected the utmost credit upon his foresight and sagacity. He recognised the appropriateness of the recognition proposed to be conferred on Mr. Moorhouse. Mr. Macandrew also concurred, ard hoped that the Bill would pass without a dissentient voice. He looked upon the testimonial, not only as a compliment to Mr. Moorhoxxse, but to the Pilgrim Fathers of Canterbury. Mr. Bowen bore witness to the extreme earnestness and anxiety with which Mr. Moorhouse carried out the tunnel work, and also to the valuable services he had otherwise rexxdered to Canterbury. Mr. Ireland objected that- in a young conntrv they should establish hex-editary honors* He believed in rewarding merit, and that was enough. It should not be made to descend to the children. Mr. Turnbull thought they had no right to saddle future generations with an exemption of this kind. It was a trifling exemption in this instance, but it opened the door to a more serious question. Sir G. Grey x-eplied that the Premier had been mistaken as to what he meant by his reference to the Imperial authorities. What he meant to assert was, that they should show that they were able, independent of political strife, to recognise and reward merit as they found it existing among themselves. If it was thought they were going too far in making the xnedal a railway pass in all time coming, let some other member move for the striking out of these words. He would not object. At the same time be denied that it was an hereditary honor in the acceptation of the phrase. The motion was put and cax’ried on the voices, and the Bill committed. In Committee Mr. Murray moved—- “ That the words ‘ and to his descendants for ever ’be struck out. ” * A divison was taken on the amendment, which was lost; ayes. 42, noes 9. Mr. Murray protested against the result as an attempt to create in New Zealand a nobility. Mr. Stewart moved—“ That the words ‘ eldest heir in a direct line for the time being ’ be inserted instead of the word ‘ descendants.’ ” Mx - . Andrews denounced the course sought to be pursued, and stated that if returned as a member of that House he would time after time move that the i motion be struck off the records of the < House. . ’ Mr. Seddon expressed surprise at the '■ opposition coming from the quarter it < did. It showed what might be expected 1 if they were left to the people of Christ- ■ church. Mr. Stewart’s amendment was then put 1 and carried. _ ' On resuming, the Bill was reported with 1 amendments. 1 Mr. Murray again protested, stating < that the proceeding was opposed to the democratic principles the House pro- x fessed to support. 1 The bill was then read a third time and | passed. 1
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