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The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Praevalebit. FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 1881. The Governor’s Speech,

TOWN EDITION.

We published yesterday the first Speech delivered by Sir Arthur Gordon

to the New Zealand Parliament. As a Speech from the Throne it must be considered perfectly en regie, containing, as it does, the principal subject matter, condensed and so peculiarly worded, rs arc all such mysterious speeches delivered as emanating from “ responsible advisers.” His Excellency’s Speech was, after all, very little more than a summary of the Premier’s address given to the Leeston “bumpkins” a few days ago, but it has an earnestness and straightforwardness about it that commends it to anyone interested in the country’s welfare. We did not expect to see anything in it bearing on matters which the Hon. John Hall and his Government would consider as dangerous and politically exciting, but there are several questions omitted from the speech upon which the Premier laid great stress, and there are others mentioned to which the latter carefully avoided allusion in his late address.

A retrospect of the several political events during the recess, such as Ministers have thought advisable to bring before Parliament—after the usual compliments and congratulations as to the success of the colony—is the first portion of his Excellency’s Speech. Mention is, of course, made of the pleasant state of affairs on the West Coast, and its rapid settlement by Europeans. Parliament and the Royal Commission on the Native question are alike applauded for their determination to uphold the supremacy of the Queen and to repress Native “ ploughing matches” on the one hand, and on the other, to redress all real grievances; and so at last a peaceful solution of the Native difficulty is apparent, and the compilers of the gubernatorial speech consider that it will be unnecessary to have recourse to extraordinary measures for the peace and good order of this particular district. We certainly hope so too, because these Royal Commissions are almost as expensive as a small war. The Waimatc Plains prisoners were kept in prison longer than they should have been, but their detention was “ in the interests of both Natives and Europeans,” and all have

been sent back to their homes with the exception of a few. His Excellency has not made it clear that they are too well pleased with the way in which the country has been sold and settled during their absence. The Government, have in a very weak manner, alluded to the Chinese influx. It is in some strange way mixed up with the Intercolonial Conference, as if the Conference had only to deal with,the question in fact. We hope that this question will be one of the most prominent ones before Parliament this session, notwithstanding its unique place in the Governor’s Speech. Let the whole matter be placed as a measure wantingthe Government support without delay. This is what the country demands. The railways and public works progress throughout the colony is to depend upon a Bill to be introduced to grant land to railway companies. Here we come to a very grave question, and one that will cause some little uneasiness to the present Government, and so they say very little about it. The early termination M the existing leases in the Middle Isjjlftd, aad the proposal to make the lamis more generally useful, will cause a little “ flutter” among the runholders, and “ carefully considered plans effecting this object” will be brought before Parliament, and the Lands Department will have something to do to enlarge the area available for settlement. This will do good, because it will necessitate a large expenditure, consequently a more extended employment for capital as well as for labor. Mr Hall hinted at Leeston that the Government intended to bring in a Bill providing for the disposal of the Otago runs, and if such is the case, the present session will have some very important measures to deal with in respect thereto. The increased revenue from the w’aste land sales is regarded with satisfaction, but we should like to see the “ systematic laying out of roads in the anticipation of the sale of waste lands ” very 'carefully considered, and no one county more favored than another, and, unless the Government intend to do it on an equitable basis, a matter on which the Speech is, to say the least, decidedly foggy, gross abuses will be the result.

The Speech introduces the subject of the Representation Bill, with a very earnest recommendation to the early and most attentive consideration- of Parliament. We are glad his Excellency has given such emphasis to this matter, as we require in this district a decidedly increased representation at the next election. With regard to the Bill dealing with judicial reform, we are glad to find that the Government have {seen the necessity for enquiring into the practices, constitution, and procecdure of the Supreme Court machinery, with a view of rendering justice more speedy and efficacious, and less costly. We hope the recommendations of the Commission will be approved of, or else the question will have to be delayed for another year. Bills for the regulation of the charitable aid distribution, the abolition of the restraint on the alienation of land, in the licensing laws, on native reserves, for rating Crown lands, and for providing assistance to local public works, all of more or less interest, will be considered, so that the Governor’s Speech contains a fair synopsis of the business before Parliament. The Governor alludes to the opportunities he has had during his trip through the colony to witness its rapid and permanent settlement, and concludes by stating that, as her Majesty’s representative, he will always have in view and manifest the same scrupulous and loyal regard to both constitutional practice and usage as has ever been distinguished by our Sovereign. It will be seen, therefore, that Sir Arthur Gordon is not an “ unconstitutional ” Governor, as some have tried to impress upon the public piind, but decidedly otherwise. Taking the Speech on the whole, there is something so straightforward in its remarks that it cannot fail to convince us that we have a “ right good Governor.” We have stated that there were several Ministerial matters which had not been mentioned, and one of which was particularly emphasised by the Premier. ‘This was the proposed constitutional reform in the Legislative Assembly. Perhaps Ministers have seen that the question had better not

be discussed just now, asTthey-might possibly be disappointed in the probability of the measure being supported. They have plenty to do with other far more important questions. In conclusion, we think that the Speech indicates a busy session of Parliament; but no great forecast of events is afforded to prophecy the political success of the present Ministry.

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Bibliographic details

The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Praevalebit. FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 1881. The Governor’s Speech,, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 367, 10 June 1881

Word Count
1,130

The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Praevalebit. FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 1881. The Governor’s Speech, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 367, 10 June 1881

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