A SCENE IN THE HOUSE.
The Wellington correspondent of the Christchurch Press telegraphs as follows ;
Wellington, July 16,
There was an extraordinary scene in the House this evening. Sir G. Grey commenced to speak on the Maori Prisoners Bill, when seeing that Mr. Hall was correcting proofs he objected to go on till the Premier listened. The Premier still went on reoding, and Sir G. Grey remained silent. Several members attacked the Premier for taking no notice, but as fast as he finished one proof he started on another, Sir G. Grey, after standing half an hour got a messenger to bring a chair into a passage between the seats and propped himself against the back , of., it. Innumerable points of order were raised to get over his difficulty, bub with no good result. Motions, of various kinds, were put but still Sir. G. Grey stood up with folded amis and bowed head, calmly waiting for the Premier, to pay attention. Sir G. Grey said he had a duty to.perform to the House and country, and until the Premier paid attention he would not go on. While Sir G. Grey was still up, Mr. M'Lean pretended to suppose that he had finished, and calmly rose to say a few words on the Bill, but was received 1 with terrific groans from the Opposition, and loud applause from, the Government side. The Speaker ordered him to sit down, but Mr. M'Lean warmly insisted on his right to to .speak, as no one was speaking. Major Harris moved the adjournment of the debate, but was ruled out of order, as Sir. G. Grey had not sat down, and if he did so would lose his right to speak. Mr. Brandon indignantly asked if members were to . sit there for half-an-hour. If Sir G. Grey liked to stand silent it was not right that he should keep the House. Mr. Reeves said it was not right for the Premier to do so. Mr. Wood pointed out that the O’Donoghue once stood four hours in the House of Commons, and the Speaker had no power to order him t) go on or sit down. At this stage Mr. Andrews got up to ask if two members could stand on the floor at once, but was howled t down by cries of “You make the third,” and “ Order, order.” The Speaker said that Sir G. Grey could now proceed, : but Sir George replied that he would stand silent tUI next day if the Premier was not attentive. Mr. Macandrew asked if the House could not adjourn to enable the Premier to finish his proofs. . The Speaker said that the question could not be put till Sir George Grey sat down. Mr. Reeves said that the Premier, . instead of correcting his proofs, should correct his conduct. Major Harris created immense laughter by asking if all this silence would appear in Hansard, on which a member suggested that it should be represented by several blank pages. Mr. De Lautour wished to know if he could not by the rules move that Sir George Grey be allowed to sit. The Speaker ruled that the motion could not be put till Sir George Grey gave way, then he would lose his right to speak. Mr. Reeves rose, amid great uproar, to speak and was peremptorily ordered to sit down. Mr. Johnston drew attention to the rule relative to the obstruction of the House, and members being guilty of contemptuous conduct by so doing. The Speaker said that he could not say that Sir George Grey was obstructing the House. Mr. Reeves contended that the Premier was obstructing, not Sir George Grey. Major Atkinson said that the; Premier had been listening all the time,' but one member of the Government represented all, and the others had been listening'too. The Premier had by this time finished his'..proofs, and commenced to read the Bill. Sir George Grey here got a msssenger to bring his overcoat and pad the back of his chair with it, and a footstool was soon after brought in. Mr. McLean asked if he could not draw attention to strangers being in the gallery, as it was a pity that the public should see the hon. gentleman standing there making an exhibition of himself. Sir George Grey asked that those words be taken down. At a quarter to nine the Speaker asked the House to let him leave the chair for half an hour, which was done. Sir G. Grey had: then been standing silently for one hour. The scene was one of intense excitement, and at times the position was so ludicrousthat the whole House broke out into roars of laughter. About a hundred points of order were raised, and several motions put but nothing altered the position. Sir G. Grey would not give way, and the Premier remained immovable the whole time. On the House resuming, Sir G. Grey proceeded, expressing the hope that the Premier now would attend, to which Mr. Hall replied that he had been attending all the time. This second remarkable scene will probably not be the last one of the present session. Another similar dead-lock may arise at any moment.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 128, 20 July 1880
A SCENE IN THE HOUSE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 128, 20 July 1880
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