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PARLIAMENTARY.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Friday, August 27. EVENING SITTING. The House resumed at 7.30. The House went into Committee for the further consideration of the resolution about the inscription of stock. The Hon. G. McLean thought that the matter uould stand over, and Mr. Reader Wood opposed the resolution, which on being put was negatived on the voices. The Hon. J. Hall said that he hoped the amendment of the member for Christchurch would not, undeijthe circumstance, be pressed. Mr. Reader Wood argued that the inscription of stock had secured no real benefit to the colony. He could look upon it as nothing more than sucking the life blood of the colony, in the shape of commissions to stock brokers. He thought that the best thing that could be clone was to adopt the amendment. The Hon. J. Hall said that the process of inscription would be only exercised to a limited extent, and he hoped the mover of the amendment would be content with that assurance. Mr. Stevens then consented to withdraw the amendment and the chairman left the chair. The House went into Committee for the further consideration of the Public Works Bill. Several new clauses were added to the Bill, after which it was reported with amendments, which were agreed to. It was then read a third time and passed. The Hokitika Harbor Bill, empowering the Board toraisea loanofLs,ooo, was read a second time, passed through Committee, read a third time, and passed. Mr. Hutchison moved, on the motion for going into Committee of Supply, “ That the 10 per cent, reduction should not apply to salaries of Ll5O and under.” Mr. Bain seconded the motion, and Mr. Pyke supported it, describing the reduction as an income tax applicable to only one particular class of the community.

Sir Georgo Grey said that to impose this income tax on small incomes was to sentence persons who had done no wrongto a life of obscurity and penury. Mr. Saunders opposed the motion, describing it as a bid for popularity. The Hon. J. Hall said that the resolution on the subject of the 10 per cent, reduction was quite explicit. He hoped that the motion would not be carried.

Mr. Hursthouse would suggest that these men should be put on half-pay. He was opposed to the motion.

After considerable further discussion, Mr. Speight moved the adjournment of the House to enable members to reply to the statement that this motion was a mere attempt at courting cheap popularity. Mr. Hutchison’s amendment was then put—-Ayes 21, noes 32.

The House then went into Committee of Supply. Class I—Legislative—Ll4o. Item, Clerk Legislative Council (additional to permanent salary), L9O. , Mr. Pyke moved that progress be reported. The motion was lost—Ayes 5, noes 45.

Question proposed—that the item be struck out —Ayes 25, noes 27. It was proposed to reduce the item by L4o—Ayes 22, noes 27. Class 2—Colonial Secretary Audit Office, L 8450. Passed. Agent-General—L4ooo. Mr. Reader Wood proposed that vote bo reduced YdOOO. After discussion, a motion was put that the vote be reduced—iiyes 27, noes 23, In reply to Mr Swanson, Mr. Hall said the reduction was one of so great importance that Government would have to consider what they would do in the circumstances. In reply to Mr. Gisborne, Mr. Hall said that the reduction in this case would be in addition to the ten per cent. ; Mr. Sheehan protested against the reduction. The persons who had voted against Sir Julius Vogel three or four years ago had worshipped him, and said lie was the salvation of the colon} 7 . He had done good service to the colony. [Cries of “ No.”] Mr. Sheehan said, “Yes.” There were men now voting against him, who, five years ago swore by him. He, (Mr. Sheehan) would not be a party to jump upon a man because he was outside the House/ Those who drank his champagne and, Ate his dinners were now the men to jump on him. If he came in at that door he could imagine that their tune would be very different.' With all his faults he did good work. They wanted a first class man in London,, and the pro- , vision they had made would not secure the. services of such a- man.: There were men voting against him who, but for Vogel, would never have been known. . The vote as reduced was then passed. Vote -Miscellaneous services, L 11,395 15s. Id. Mr. Macandrew moved that the 1 item “ expenses of printing transactions of New Zealand Institute, L 500,” be struck out. Lostbn the voices. Mr. Whyteirioved that the item “expenseof printing . work. on Coleoptera- of New Zealand, L 345 12s. ” be struck out. Amendment not pressed. Mr. Seddon moved that the item—Botanical Gardens (four months), LSOO, he struck out: Not pressed. Mr. Dick proposed to reduce the item —-Local Industries, LGSO, by LGO. Agreed to. At 4. SO Mr. Seymour left the chair, and it was taken by Mr. Kelly. Mr. Pyke, on the vote, Public Buildings, Class 11., objected to the item — Furniture and Fittings for Wellington Hospital, L 1,500. Mr. George said it was very plain, from the state of affairs, that it would be quite impossible to go on with the work. He therefore moved to report progress. The House divided-ayes,'B ; noes, 30. Sir George Grey moved that the chairman leave the chair. It was evident that at least one member was not fit to be there. It was a disgrace to the New Zealand Legislature that large sums should be voted in this way. Mr. Reeves was surprised to hear such remarks from the hon. member. He could not be aware of what he was talking about. 1 ■ .

Sir George Grey said the fact that such conduct had been going on showed that members w r ere not in a fit state to vote away large sums of money. They had worked for eighteen hours. Mr. Hall said certainly one member was not in a fit state, but that- was no reason for saying the House was not in a fit state to go on. He objected to adjourn.

Mr. Pyke said he had not obstructed business. He was inclined to say 7 that the Premier had been guilty of impudence. He asked a question himself, and he had a right to ask the question, He had waited there the whole night, and he intended to remain until this vote had been struck out. He would not be told by the Premier that he was trifling with or obstructing the'House. The;motion for leaving.the chair was put and negatived on the voices. ' Mr. Pyke moved that the item—Ll,soo, Wellington Hospital, be struck out—ayes, 1.7 ; noes, 28. Sir George Grey said that it was absolutely necessary to report progress. It was evident there were members who were not in a fit state to go on. Mr. J. T. Fisher hoped they would not meet again until Monday. Mr. Lundon said there was every prospect of a quarrel if they attempted to go on.

Mr. Hall said that it was disgraceful that nine-tenths of the members should be kept there simply to please one or two. These two or three members were simply there to obstruct business.

Motion for reporting progress put and negatived on the voices.

After further discussion the vote was put and passed. .

A number of other votes were discussed and passed. After Sir G. Grey' insisting that the House was not in a fit state to proceed with the business, he moved that they report progress. The division resulted in the motion being negatived by a large majority. , ; Mr. Pyke called the attention of the Speaker to the fact that the member for Hokitika (Mr. Seddon) who was present ,in the House had not recorded his vote. On being asked for and challenged, Mr. Seddon said he voted against Mr. Pyke. Mr. Pykeinsisted that the vote had been irregularly recorded, and in defiance o repeated orders from the chair to resume his seat, persisted in standing, and protested against the manner in which the vote had been recorded. A Scene

of great disorder ensued, amidst which the remarks- of both the Chairman and Mr. Pyke were wholly inaudible in the gallery. Mr. Pyke was understood to say that he insisted upon the Chairman leaving the chair, and reporting what had transpired to the Speaker. Amidst the utmost possible confusion and disorder, the Chairman left the chair, and on the House resuming, he reported to the Speaker that the honorable member for Dunstan had been guilty of disorderly conduct and insubordination, inasmuch as he had refused to resume his seat in Committee after having been repeatedly called upon to do so.

Mr. Speaker said he would take cognizance of the report, and called upon the member for Dunstan tn afford the House an explanation and apology. Mr. Pyke, who was indistinctly heard, amidst the confusion and uproar that ensued, was understood to offer some explanation or justification of his conduct. Mr. Speaker (interrupting him) —It has been reported to me by the Chairman of Committees that the honorable member for Dunstan : has been guilty of disorderly conduct, he being a member of this House, while the House was sitting ; and I now call upon him to make explanation and apology for so doing. Mr. Pyke again essayed to speak, but his voice was drowned amidst cries of “ apologise ” and “ withdraw,” uproar and confusion.

The Speaker—l have again to ask the honorable member for Dunstan, Mr. Vincent Pyke, if he is prepared to offer an apology for the conduct of which he has been guilty in Committee, and which has been reported to me by the Chairman of Committee.

Mr. Pyke—l say no. I do not apolo* gise. I have got nothing to apologise for. The Speaker—Then, in that case, the

member having been duly challenged, and having refused to apologise for his conduct in Committee, I direct that he will at once leave the Chamber.

Mr. Pyke then rose, and in withdrawing, ejaculated in a loud voice something which sounded like a note of defiance. After he had withdrawn, Mr. Hall said that they must all regret and deplore the painful scene which had just been enacted. The dignity of this House had been outraged, and its authority set at defiance. To him it was a mat- ■ ' ter for deep regret, and he had not-the least doubt but that-all present shared with him in that regret. They must, however, bear in mind that they had a duty to discharge both to'themselves and the ■■■■*■■ country, and that duty could not be discharged unless they- took cognizance of the conduct which had just now been , . enacted. He would, move that this House, having taken into Consideration the insulting and disorderly conduct manifested by the member for Dunstan towards a Committee of the House and its Chairman, and the fact that when challenged, , by Mr. Speaker in pursuance of...his ! authority lie refused to apologise, therefore this House expresses its disapprobation, and censures Mr. Pyke for the’same. In the course of a very animated discussion which ensued oil the motion,, the , attention of the Speaker was called to the fact that Mr. Pyke had taken up his position in the reporters’ gallery. Mr. Speaker—Do I understand that the hon. member for Dunstan, who has just been ordered to leave to the chamber, is still present in soine,portion of it. , ,** r Mr. Andrews—He is, sir, present in the reporters’ gallery. . r , ~ , ,- r Mr. Speaker—Sergeant-at-Arms, you will proceed to the gallery ;of this' House, and if you find the lion, member for Dunstan there, you will order him to leave by- > directions from the Speaker. In due course that functionary made his -, appearance in the press gallery, and pro-i? preceding to the extreme end of it, where ■ 1 - Mr. Pyke was seated busily employed tracing hieroglyphics on a sheet of foolscap paper, tapped Mr. Pyke gently oh the shoulder, when the latter looking up with some surprise and considerable indignation, demanded to know what he meant by assaulting him while he (Mr. Pyke) was in | execution of his. duty. The Sergeant hav- v ' ing delivered the message given to him by the Speaker, ;1 ■ Mr. Pyke replied as follow: —-I’ll not. go. ■; Keep your hands oft'me, sir, or I’ll have, you brought up before the Court’ for ah' * assault. Stand out cf this, !am reporting for a newspaper. I am reporter for the Association. Get out of this, or I’ll have you up for assaulting me, ■ ; The Sergeant having ‘withdrawn, and reported to the Speaker the state of affairs y in the gallery, he was directed by the | g Speaker to proceed to the gallery, and, if needs be, have Mr. Pyke moved by force, The'Sergeant paid a second visit to-the* gallery, with, on this occasion, his dresscoat buttoned to the throat, his wristbands , turned up, and two attendandts at his 1 .■ heel. The aspect of affairs was so very 7 alarming that the only other occupants of ! 1 ' the gallery, two druwsy-looking newspaper™ reporters, deemed it prudent to take back seats. On being again challenged, Mr. Pyke, who was still busily employed tracing what appeared to be a-serio-comic f sketch of Mr. Speaker in his with -. ■ an equally whimsical representation , of';," Cabinet Ministers in dishdhillej protested 1 that this was an unwarrantable interference with the liberties of the’ press, that he was a newspaper reporter on this* occasion, reporting for the Otago Daily Times. . ' - , Sergeant—“ Come : away, Mr., Pyke,' 1 and not make a d —-—d fool of yourself.” .. . ~.. .... Mr. Pyke—“ Take your 'hkhds ‘off me, sir. How dare you come 1 here and interfere with me I I’ll have you punished with the utmost rigor of the law for assaulting me in the execution of my duty.” ' ■ T a ,f"¥ At this juncture, the Sergeant; applied jj some slight force, when Mr. Pyke rose to his feet, and facing his antagonist took a working survey of him from head to foot. When his eye lightedupon the buttonedup coat and wristbands he appeared to take in the situation at a glance, and without farther resistance followed the Sergt. and his attendants downstairs. On again making his appearance on -the floor of the House the Sergeant reported he had at last succeeded in ejecting Mr..Pyke from the gallery. An animated debate then ensued on the motion tabled, by Mr. Hall, which resulted in Mr. Pykd being called in, when the Speaker again, called upon him to apologise for his conduct in Committee. ... Mr. Pyke replied that he did not klidw j what he had to apologise for in calling ,the ,; attention of the Chairman to the fact 1 that \ Mr. Seddon had not voted. He .simply * discharged a'duty he ovi'ed to tho’Hinise and the constituency by whom, he had been sent there. If there was anyone’to be blamed, it , was not him : it, was the Chairman, who persistentlycalledupon'Mim to sit down when he was calling attention to the abovenamed fact. ; The Speaker—l find that you are still unwilling to apologise for your conduct. I have power, if you remain refractory, to either order you into the custody: of*, the-ri'' Sergeaut-at-Arms, or else to impose a fine upon you to the extent of L 50.; ( Mr. Pyke—l decline to apologise for an offence of which I am perfectly < The Speaker— I Then you will fetire.’ ’ Mr. Pyke then left the chamber. Mr. Sheehan said he blamed the Government very much for what had;taken place. They had kept members sitting there for close on twenty-five, hours, and it was not to be wondered at that disorder and irregularity arose. Mr. Tole said that Mr. Pyke told him he did not mean any disrespect to -the— House, and all he intended to. dp was to assert what he considered to be his privilege. He thought they should be satisfied . with that, and allow the subject ftp drop. f. ; He tabled a motion to the effect that ’the * 7 .Uouse take no further notice of. the' ! j'. matter. _ \ Mr. Hall 'said'he had listened with I 'the utmost attention to what had been’said ' '”' by Mr. Pyke, and he had npt heard a single word that 1 could possibly hb'construed into an expression of regret or apology. He regretted the circumstances as much as anyone could do, but he had no alternative left but to insist on the vote, of censure. Mr. Seddon, after detailing the circumstances under which he recorded his . vote, said that when the hon. member for' the Dunstan was ordered to-sit down, there ,■ was a great noise in the House—members * • calling out, “Chair,” “Sit down,” and,-’! making all manner of noises. It .was quite ... possible the member for the Dunstan did - / not hear the orders given to him by the. ‘ Chairman „ vv u Mr-. Reeves said the hon. member for;Dunstan was quite right not to apologise. and was glad to see that ho was. de-. termined to fight it out to the bitter end,.... It was not the member, for Dunstan that was to blame but the Chairman. He was the only man to be blamed under the circumstances. He had occasioned - the, ~ whole of the trouble. , . ' The Speaker—l cannot allow y0uj.t0j,,... censure the Chairman of Committees!/ You must confine yourself to the member ; for Dunstan. , t s. s . Eventually it was agreed the motion should be allowed to stand over, ■ and that ’ ; the debate should he resumed at 7.30. The House rose at 8.30 on : . . Satdbday, August 28. ' - EVENING SITTING. The House met at 7-30 p. in. ME. PYKE’S CASE., , .. 'Mr. Montgomery applied that tin “ hoii. member for Dunstan should be heard in further explanation.

The application was agreed to, and the Sergeant-at-Arma was instructed to bring in Mr. Tyke. Mr. Shephard moved that strangers be excluded, but the motion was objected to and withdrawn.

Mr. Pyke was then brought in by the Sergeant-at-Arms, and took hia seat. The Speaker—Mr. Pyko, tlio House gives you another opportunity to explain your conduct whilo in Committee of the House this morning. Do you desire to avail yourself of it ? Mr. Pyke—Mr. Speaker, the explanation! have to make is this; Whenever I heard myaolf desired by the voice of the Acting-Chairman to sit down, I did so. At the time, hon. members on all sides of me were shouting out “ Sit down, sit down.” The remark I made, that I would not 'sit down, was addressed by me to these members, and not to the Chairman, and I beg also to add that I intended no disrespect either to the Committee or the Chairman. 1 beg also to state that certain language imputed by the papers to the Sergeant-at-Arms when ho visited mu in the gallery is erroneous. That officer did his duty without using any improper or disrespectful language. The Speaker then put the question—- “ That the explanation bo accepted.” A response being made in the affirmative, Mr. Pyke said that ho regretted he had inadvertently been the cause of the disturbance.

The Hon. J. Hall asked leave to withdraw the motion censuring Mr. Pyke, which was granted. Mr. Tolo withdrew Ida amendment. The Speaker said ho wished it to be clearly understood that the House had ample power to punish refractory members, and although in this case the power had not been exercised, the present case was not to be taken as a precedent. Mr. Moorhouse corroborated what Mr. Pyke had said about the language alleged to have been used by the Sergeant-at-Arms when he took Mr. Pyke into custody in the press gallery. Ho added that at the time ho was in a position to hear what passed. SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES.

Th,o House then went into Committee on the Supplementary Estimates. Clause 3—ltem purchase of wagons L 22,000. Mr. Saunders said that if railway workshops were to be kept on, the propriety of which he doubled, wagons ought to be made in those simps. Government kept a largo number of men as a stand-by, and by adding this as a department to those shops it might bo the means of keeping them fully employed. l:e hoped Government would take under their protection the witnesses who gave straightforward manly evidence to the Civil Service Commission. They had already seen that the South Island Commissioner had recommended some of these men to be removed out of tlie way ; and there was only too much reason to suppose that if these recommendations were given effect to, not one honest man would be left on the South Island Railways. He therefore hoped Government would protect their witnesses from the persecution and injustices to which their evidence given before the Commission was liable to subject them. That appeal was more necessary, seeing that the recommendation of the Commissioners had not been carried out. The Hon. R. Oliver said he would give the Hduso the assurance that no civil servant would suffer in consequence of evidence he might have sriveu before that Commission. The Hon. E. Richardson was glad of the ■ assurance just given. He had only that day received telegrams from two of these witnesses to the effect that they were being subjected to much persecution on account of the evidence they had given. The item was agreed to. Item provision for unemployed, L 75,000. The Hon. R. Oliver explained that he intended to disperse these labor gangs over the colony at such works as might be most convenient. Mr. Macandrow objected to Government having sums of money like this to spend, without a definite understanding as to the works upon which they were to be expended. Mr Adams moved —“ That the vote be reduced L 20,000. ” The Hon. J. Hall said a heavy responsibility would rest on members if they refused Government power to spend this money if it was required. Not one shilling of it would be spent unless absolutely necessary. Government had not yet time to say where the unemployed could be most advantageously employed. The vote passed as printed. The remainder of the supplementary estimates passed, and on the motion for the adoption of the report, Sir G. Grey asked leave to move a motion to the effect that the proclamation over the Patctero block of land should not be removed during the recess, nor rill the conditions of removal had been first submitted for approval to the House. Leave being refused, the motion for the adoption of the report was carried. A message was received from the Governor announcing that the Deceased Wife’s Sister Marriage Bill had been reserved for the assent of Her Majesty. MISCELLANEOUS. The Property Assessment Amendment Bill No. 2, providing only for a simplified schedule, was introduced and passed through all its stages. The Council’s amendments in the Public Works Bill, Hokitika Harbor Loan Bill, Otago Harbor Board Bill, and other Bills were agreed to, and the House at 11.40 p.m. adjourned to 11 a. m. on Monday.

Monday, Ago. 30. The House met at 11 a. in. The amendments made by message upon the Financial Arrangement Act, and upon the Public Worts Bill were agreed to. Later. In the House Sir George Grey has tabled a long series of resolutions about the Patetere block which are being discussed on a motion for adjournment.

afternoon sitting. The House resumed at 2.30. Replying to questions put it was stated that Government would, during the recess, consider the propriety of amending the Bankruptcy Bill so as to embody the recommendations of the joint committee on bankruptcy.—lf it would interfere with the revenue, Government would consider the propriety of rearranging the Customs regulations so as to cause the weight of the smallest legal package of tobacco which can bo taken out of the bond to be reduced from COlbs. to 301b5., so as to meet the requirements of small dealers, such re-arrangement to include the reduction of the legal packages of cigars to 251bs. or 2,500 cigars.—Government would consider during tho recess, and most probably deal with the question next session, so as to be able to give effect to the recommendation of the Agricultural Committee, that with the exception of that imported from Fiji, tho same duty should be imposed upon imported maize as is imposed on other imported grain. Sir George Grey gave notice that he would move early next session that Government having acquired an interest in any block of land, such becomes Crown land, so that Government can only dispose of the public interest in it by allowing the public openly to compete for same ; that Government, entering into such arrangements as in the Patetcic Block, though two members of this House acted as paid agents of ah Association, owning an interest equivalent to a vast sum of money, and composed of persons gome of whom there is reason to believe have illegally-dealt with public works, the Government ia thus, whilst betraying a

public trust, imperilling the independence of this House.

Mr. Beetham gave notice that next session he would move that thu previous Government bo censured for the payment of L3OO to Mr. Rees, as reported by the Public Accounts Committee.

Mr. Sheehan reprobated the conduct of members bringing down motions of this kind, more especially when it reflected upon the conduct of members who had no chance of freeing themselves from the implications made against them. The motion re Patetoro should have been brought down earlier in the session, so as to have it disposed of during the present session. His own connection with Patetoro block was easily explained. Government having intimated its intention of not proceeding with the purchase of these blocks, he was then engaged, in bis profession as a barrister, to complete the purchase of Patetere on behalf of clients, otherwise ha was in no way interested in the transaction.

Sir George Grey said he could not bring the motion earlier in consequence of the papers not having been brought down until lately. Sir William Fox spoke in support of the motion, and Messrs. Turnbull and Montgomery against it. Mr. Whitaker said ho was one of the members whoso conduct was impugned by the motion, hi is connection with the purchase of the block was that of a barrister, acting in the interests of his clients—■ nothing more. Mr. Beetham said ho had boon induced to table the motion to counteract the effect of the one tabled by Sir George Grey. Mr. Hall said that while be did not think that any alteration would bo made in the absence of his colleague, the Native Minister, the Patetere Block would bo further considered.

Sir Gaorge Grey said that after that promise he would withdraw the notice of motion.

Mr. Sheehan complained strongly of Sir George Grey’s action towards him in the matter,, and the question dropped. The Hon. Mr. Oliver moved the second reading of the Railway Construction Bill, 1880.

Mr. Murray moved an amendment that it is inexpedient to construct lines such as those indicated by the schedule, at the solo cost of the colony. The debate was interrupted by the 5.30 adjournment.

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Bibliographic details

PARLIAMENTARY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 146, 31 August 1880

Word Count
4,520

PARLIAMENTARY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 146, 31 August 1880

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