—* HIS excellency’s SPEECH. [by telegraph.] Wellington, To-day. Parliament was opened by the Governor in person at 2 o’clock to-day; eighteen members of the Council and twenty-four members of the House were present. A large number of ladies were also present. The Governor wore the collar and robes of a Knight Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George. The business in each House was purely formal, and adjourned till to-morrow. His Excellency said : Honorable Legislative Councillors, AND GENTLEMEN OP THE HOUSE OF Representatives—
It affords me much satisfaction, in meeting you for the first time, to be able to congratulate you upon the steady progress of the colony dur-
ing the past year, the revival of its prosperity, and the increased confidence in the future which animates all classes of the community. The course preesribed . by Parliament to bring to a termination the unsatifactory state ‘ of affairs existing on a part of the ‘ west coast of this island, has been ' steadily pursued, has, up tothe present time, been attended with marked ! success. Effect is being given to • the recommendations of the Royal Com- 1 mission appointed to enquire into the gre viances which were alleged to exist among ; the natives of that locality, and the determination on the one hand to assist the supremacy of the Queen and repress any lawless action ; and on the other hand, to redresss all real grievances, will apparently effect a peaceful solution of questions which a short time ago wore a threatening aspect. The lauds which have been appropriated for European occupation on the Waimate Plains have been for the most part sold, and are now being occupied by settlers. The prisoners, whose detention up to the present time has been deemed necessary in the interest of both Natives and Europeans, have been released and returned to their homes, with the exception of a small number, whom it is proposed to set free in a few days, nor do my responsible advisers apprehend that it will be nccssary again to have recourse to extraordinary measures for the preservation of peace and good order in the district in question. Papers will be laid before containing the minutes of the proceedings of an Intercolonial Conference, held at Sydney in the month of January last, at which a member of my Government was present. You will learn from these papers that several measures of considerable interest to the Australian colonies were considered by the Conference, and, in accordance with one of the conclusions arrived at, a Bill will he placed before you for the regulation and restriction of the influx of Chinese into the colony. • The recognition of a community of interests and mutua interdependence among the Australian colonies evinced by this Conference, may hereafter be attended by results of considerable importance. The railways and other public works authorised by you, have been proceeded with as rapidly as was expedient, in the present circumstances of the colony. In view of the necessity for maintaining the progressive work of colonisation, proposals will come under your consideration for giving assistance to companies prepared to construct or continuancy of main lines of railway. The termination of existing leases of lands in the Middle Island, and held for pastoral purposes, affords an excellent ■ opportunity, which has not been overlooked by my advisers, for rendering those lands more generally useful to the State. Carefully-considered plans for effecting that object will be laid before you. The systematic laying blit of roads in anticipation of the sale of waste ■ lands has, in a very marked manner, promoted their occupation during the past ; year. You will be asked to sanction further expenditure to enable the land department to give effect to plans which, if carried out, will practically enlarge the : area available for settlement, and invite a more extended employment of labor and : capital. The revenue received from the ; sale of waste lands during the past i year has exceeded the estimate, and the increasing demand for land for [ actual occupation, together with statistical information recently obtained, affords convincing proof that a fresh impulse is being given to the work of settlement, ; while the expansion of local industries > promises to provide profitable empoyment for a rapidly increasing population.
Gentlemen of the House op Representatives — Large reductions have already been made in the public service, without impairing its efficiency, and the estimates of receipts and expenditure for the current year, which will shortly bo laid before you, have been prepared with strict regard to the most rigid economy. The revenue for the past year must, on the whole, be considered satisfactory. The excess of receipts over expenditure upon the railways amounts to a return of per cent, upon the outlay incurred by their construction. Honorable Legislative Councillors and Gentlemen op the House of Representatives—
Bills will be submitted to you for the re-distribution cf the representation of the people, and for the regulation of elections, which, in view of the approaching termination of the present Parliament, I recommend to your early and most attentive consideration. The Com missiouers appointed last year for the purpose of enquiring into the constitution, practice, and procedure of the Supreme Courts, and other Courts of the colony, and of ascertaining by what means the administration of justice therein may be rendered more speedy and efficacious, and at the same time less costly, have made an ad interim report, a copy of which will be laid before you. lam glad to be able to inform you that the Commissioners have proceeded so far with the work entrusted to them as to enable them to anticipate the close of their labors in the course of the month of July. The measures necessary to give effect to their recommendations may, therefore, be submitted to you during the present session. A Bill will be laid before you which will have for its object the abolition of the restraints on the alienation of land, while guarding the interests which may .arise out of any tracts to which it has been made subject. Bills will also be laid before you, for the regulation of the administration of charitable aid, for the consolidation and amendment of the Licensing laws, for the amendment of the existing law in respect of administration of native reserves, for rating Crown lands, and for providing for the grant of assistance to local public works. I have recently visited many diffrent districts of the colony. During these journeys I have had repeated opportunities of observing signs of increasing wealth, the spread of settlement, and energy and activity engaged in industrial pursuits, throughout the country the impressions which I had thus been led to form are strengthened by the results of the recent census and by a perusal of reports and returns which will be filaced before you showing the revival of he trade, the growth of new and important local industries, and the satisfactory condition of the ordinary and territorial revenue for the past year. Ip the discharge of the high functions committed to me by the Queen, it will always be my view to manifest the same scrupulous and loyal regard to constitutional practice and usage, not only in the latter, but in the spirit which has ever distinguished the sovereign whom I represent among you. You may rely with confidence on my hearty co-operation in giving effect to the deliberate decisions of the Legislature, and it is my earnest hope and desire that your labors may be so directed as by God's blessing not only to promote the material welfare of the colony, but to secure the stability of its institutions, the development of its great resources, and the permanent happiness of all classes of her Majesty’s subjects within its bounds.
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PARLIAMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 366, 9 June 1881
PARLIAMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 366, 9 June 1881
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