The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. TUESDAY, JULY 4, 1882. The Opposition.
[lssued at 4.40 p. j
We are told that there is to be a trial of strength between the Ministerial party and the so-called Opposition on the return of the members from their high jinks in the Cathedral City. Possibly an attempt may be made by those opposed to the Ministry to wrest the reins of power from the present Cabinet during the current session, but that this will result in anything more than a grievous waste of valuable time—time which might be very well spent in the consideration of necessary measures—we do not for one moment imagine. Indeed we do not think that the three parties—the Montgomeiyites, the Macandrewites, and the Greyites —have themselves the faintest hope of thrustthe present Ministry from office. We have a shrewd suspicion that should the member for Akaroa seek to lead the disunited atoms which at present compose his nominal following to victory during the present session it will only be in the hope of concreting his forces, and preventing the entire disruption of “Her Majesty’s Opposition.” To prevent them tearing themselves to pieces, Mr Montgomery may possibly throw them a bone to worry, in the shape of a “ No confidence” motion. But if that be the end and aim of the lately elected leader, we fear it will not have the desired effect. And we are sorry for it. Because, next to a strong
Government, a compact and wehgeneralled Opposition is of the greatest importance to a country blessed with responsible Government; and so we should like to see the hon. member lor Akaroa leading a wellorganised and united band, in place of the three several parties who at present profess to follow iiis fortunes. But, as we have said, we have little hope of it. In the first place we hardly think that gentleman has the necessary qualifications to bring into unison, and firmly hold in hand the “malcontents” of the House. Sir George Grey, in his palmy days, would have been the man for the exceedingly difficult task which is set the hon. member for Akaroa. Although one of the most shrewd and far-seeing men in the House, even his admirers do not claim any great brilliancy for Mr Montgomery. Anything but a dashing speaker, he has not the necessary elan to lead a forlorn hope. And to judge from the numbers said to have been present at the various Opposition caucuses, a “no confidence ” motion during the present session would be a “ forlorn hope ” in more senses than one. For, given the Opposition a victory on the motion, their leader s troubles would only be commencing, because he could not form a Ministry which would stand for a fortnight, and
he would again have to retire to the “cold shades ” with a following more disunited and discontented than before. Taking all things into consideration, we should not be surprised to find the much - talked of “no confidence ” motion degenerating into a series of guerilla assaults on the Ministerial position, a class of tactics which we think will prove more congenial to the taste of the new blood in the House, which has on more than one occasion shown itself impatient of being in leading strings, a course which we half suspect the venerable gentleman from Auckland City East does not disap prove of. He sees that he has no present opportunity of leading the party, and he would, no dcubt, like to see others try their “ prentice hands" at the problem, and fail, in order that, in their despair and longing for the sweets of office, they might turn to him again in their hour of trouble, when they found that each and all of the smaller fry had signally failed to accomplish their object. But, poor as we think Mr Montgomery’s chances of uniting the various factions composing the Opposition, we do not think even a more able man would be more successful at the present juncture. There are too many among the new members of the House who imagine themselves eminently qualified to lead followers — when they get them —to victory. Then there is the Knight of the Kawau, who, unable to lead for the lack of a following, resolutely declines to take his place among the rank and file, preferring to play the part of a free-lance, and, Micawber-like, wait for something to turn up. But we do not think Sir George Grey will ever be successful in again commanding a strong following. Some half-dozen of sworn allies from Auckland he will have doubtless as long as he holds a seat in the House." But before he can command a party of sufficient numerical strength to make itself really formidable he will have to alienate the Macandrewites from the canny Scot, a task by no means easy of accomplishment. So, looking at the matter from whatever standpoint we may, we are not hopeful of an united phalanx being evolved from the present Opposition atoms. Possibly next session, when the many political Richards now in the field may have found their true level, and learned to follow a chief with something like loyalty, a leader may arise who will be able to cement in one harmonious whole the fragments which at present occupy the Opposition benches.
ITujst Club Steeplechases. —We have had a cursory view of the programme adopted by the committee of the Hunt Club, but it will not be advertised until Saturday next, some details being required for its completion. There are five events set down for decision—viz , Hunt Cup, value 13 sovs, handicap. Maiden Plate, 10 sovs ; weight for age. Farmers’ Steeplechase, 10 sovs, handicap. TallyHo Steeplechase, 10 sovs, handicap ,• and Consolation Steeplechase, 7 sovs, handicap. The prizes in all cases will be trophies, and the races confined to horses which have been regularly hunted with the Ashburton hounds, liiders will have to qualify in the same way. The TallyHo Stoepleehase is to be ridden by members who have never previously ridden in an advertised race.
Obitoaiiy. —On Sunday evening passed away Mrs Bland, a very old and respected resident of the Ashburton county. Mrs Bland was the wife of Mr James Bland, of the Orton Green farm, distant about 11 miles from the town on the banks of the Ashburton river. Mr and Mrs Bland took possession of their farm twenty-three years ago ; in 1873, Mr Bland was drowned in crossing the Ashburton, and about two years ago his widow gave up the farm to her two sous, Messrs William and James Bland, and came to reside in the town. Here she had a large circle of friends, and was held in the highest estimation by every section of the community. For sumo years prior to her death, she h id been suffering from a wasting disease, but bore her cross with true Christian patience and resignation. She was not unprepared for death, and passed away most peacefully on Sunday evening, to the regret of all who knew her. The deceased lady was a member of the Wesleyan Church, and at the time of her death was „ged <ls.
Ashburton Cheese and Butter Factory.—A meeting of the Committee of the above was held last evening at Messrs Poyntz and Co’s offices. A letter was rea l from Mr Bowrojn, stating that he had purchased all the necessary appliances for the Factory, and had engaged the necessary hands, who left Home at the end of May, and might bo expected here about the middle of .August. The appliances for the Factory, which are of the very beat procurable, will arrive by the same ship. It was resolved to make a fourth call of 10s per share, payable on the 291 h July, at the Company’s offices. la view of the approaching expenses in connection with the fitting up of the Factory, etc., all calls in arrear must he paid up by the end of this month, or otherwise the Directors will be compelled to enforce the payment of same according to the articles of Association. The contractor for the Factory buildings is making satisfactory progress with the work, the cottage adjoining the premises being nearly completed. It now rests with the farmers to make the factory a success, by taking care that it is supplied with plenty of the raw material—milk. Should all go well, the Directors hope the Ashburton Cheese and Butter Factory will have become an accomplished fact by the beginning of October.
Hinds Pound.—Mrs Woodley has been appointed poundkeeper at the above pound. I. O. G. T,—The Safe Retreat Lodge will hold an open meeting to-morrow at 8 p.m., when a good programme is promised. Admission will be free. Bank Notes Found. —Mr Carson, of East street, discovered a roll of bank notes in his shop this morning. They await identification. There must bo some money about after all. Accident. —We regret to learn that a little daughter of Mr James Bradley’s yesterday, while playing in the school ground, took up an adze lying near, belonging to the workmen repairing the fence, and in attempting to show her little companions how to use the tool, she severely cut her foot with it. She was afterwards taken home. Excursion to the Exhibition. —This morning an excursion train left Ashburton for Christchurch, at 9.15 a.m., consisting of nineteen carriages. Two hundred aud four school children and two hundred adults availed themselves of the opportunity to visit the Exhibition, which will close in a few days’ time now. The train returns at 8.5 p.m., but the holiday makers have the option of remaining in town until Saturday. Dunedin Benevolent Asylum. —The Benevolent Asylum enquiry was resumed yesterday, when Hawkins, a prisoner, was brought up as a witness to deny that fou! language attributed to the master hac
been used in his presence. Medical evidence was given to show that the master was suffering from paralysis of the logs, which might account for the charges of drunkenness. The Commissioners decided to take no more charges, but to visit the institution, and will ask each patient individually if they have any complaint to make. Evangelistic Services. —A meeting of the Ashburton Evangelistic Committee was held in Mr John Ocr’a office yesterday afternoon, the Rev. E. A. Scott being in the chair. During a conversation on the advisableness of carrying on the services in the Town Hall, it was stated that the majority of those attending the meetings had expressed a desire that the services should be continued, and several gentlemen had offered to contribute liberally towards paying the expenses. Ultimately it was resolved that a public meeting should be hold in the Presbyterian Church, on Monday nest, at eight o’clock, to consider what steps should be taken. The Rev. A. M. Beattie having suggested that the ordinary week-night services of the various churches should be held on the same evening, the meeting terminated. Gay Doings at the Exhibition.— Those indefatigable gentlemen, Messrs Joubert and Tv. openy, appear to be having a very busy time of it just now. On Saturday they entertained the members of the Legislature at luncheon, and yesterday evening they gave a citizen’s ball, when the Parliamentary visitors from from Wellington were again the guests of the promoters of the Exhibition. The “hop” came off in the Main Hall, and the supper, which appears to have been a very recherche affair, being served in the concert room. The floral decorations in the latter elicited general admiration, and the electric light shone down upon as merry an assemblage as ever met in Christchurch yet. To-night a children’s fancy dress ball is to take place in the Art Gallery. The promoters of the Exhibition seem determined to keep up the interest in the concern to the very end. Upper Ashburton Road Board. Tenders are invited by the above Hoard for planting about seven acres forest trees, Road Board reserve, Alford Forest road, back of immigrants’ cottages; fencing three gravel reserves, rinety chains (more or less), with ploughed soda, stakes and wire (labor only); ploughing, harrowing, and rolling with Cambridge roller three (above) gravel reserves, about four acres each; clearing tussocks, filling up hollow on footpath opposite Mr Orr’s, Alford Forest road, fiom Borough boundary to Winter’s road, by Mr Williamson’s property, eighty chains (more or less); making race or ditch, about one-and*a-half chains of timber shoot, ford, etc., lowering a ford and shoot, etc., both on Winchmore road; forming a few chains in places as shall be pointed out on north bank Hinds road, opposite Maronan Station; tenders for the lease of the Hoard’s reserve, Tinwald, fifteen acres, No. 2064, for five years. Specifications can be aeon at Mr Williamson’s store, East street, where tenders will be opened on Saturday at noon. Ashburton’s Progress. —We are informed that Messrs Orr and Co. have purchased from Mr Bullock the valuable property in East street, extending frpra the New Zealand Clothing Factory on one side to Mr A. Orr’s drapery establishment on the other. The land, which is, perhaps, the best business site in Ashburton, has a frontage of 82ft in East street, and a depth of 130ffc, which includes a right of-way at the back. The price paid was between L 4.000 and L 5,000, and the
enterprising firm are to be congratulated on having obtained such a capital bargain. We understand that Messrs Orr and Co.’s lease of their present promises at the corner of East and Tancred streets will not expire for several months, but that on vacating them, Mr Andrew Orr will take up the lease, when he intends to build magnificent premises, extending from the Bank of New Zealand to Fowler’s buildings. It is also the intention of Messrs Orr and Co. to erect several shops next to Mr H. M. Jones’, Baring Square, and tenders for the buildings will be issued shortly, Messrs Fooka and Sons being the architects. It is evident that the above-mentioned firm have implicit confidence in Hie stability of Ashburton’s trade, and it is with much pleasure that we are enabled to give publicity to such praiseworthy enterprise, which wo trust will be rewarded with increased prosperity and success.