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PARLIAMENTARY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 693, 20 July 1882
LE GHSLATIVE COUNCIL. Wednesday, July 19. ASHBURTON COUNTY COUNCIL BILL. Ou the motion of the Hon. Captain Bail lie, Standing Order No. 20 was suspended to allow the Ashburton County Council Empowering Bill to be proceeded with. VAGRANT BILL. The Council agreed to the amendments
made by the House of Representatives in the Yagrant Bill. JUDICIAL. The following statute revision Bills were re id a first time;—Explosive Goods Bill; Imbecile Immigrants Bill; and Prisons Bill. DOO REGISTRATION BILL.. The remainder of the sitting was in Committee on the Dog Registration Bill, which was reported with amendments. The Council rose at 3.45. HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES. Wednesday, July 19. The House met at 2.30 p.m. LOCAL LEGISLATURES. Mr Moss gave notice of motion in favor of the re-establishment of local Legislatures throughout the colony. NATIVE AFFAIRS. The report of the Native Affairs Committee was read, to the effect that Judge Smith should be summoned to attend to give evidence on the petition of Taiaroa and Tenui on the Middle Island Native claims. After a long debate the original motion for the report to lie on the table was carried, an amendment to authorise payment of expenses being negatived. QUESTIONS. In reply to questions it was stated by Ministers that it was intended to proceed with the Natives Reserve Bill.—Government had received information in reference to the culture of tea and silk’in the North Island. It was not satisfactory.— The Government were making enquiries regarding the fencing of railway linos.— Government would make enquiries concerning spuiious coins alleged to be in circulation in Christchurch. PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
Mr Vincent Pyke asked the Colonial Treasurer whether the Government will bring in a Bill during the present session to amend the law relating to elections of members of House of Representatives in following directions :—(1) To prohibit the placing of names on the electoral rolls within two months of any election, so as to prevent sham residential electors being improperly placed on the rolls; (2) to make it penal to personally canvass elec* tors for support by any candidate, his servants, or his friends ; (3) to prohibit the use of vehicles, whether hired, lent, or otherwise, for the conveyance of voters to or from a polling booth. In answer to the first question The Hon. Mr Dick said the Government intended to take some action during the present session. In regard to the other two the Government could nut deal with them this session. AN EXPLANATION.
Mr Sheehan, as motion of personal explanation, stated that a few days ago, speaking on the question of payment of members, he had spoken of one -case in which a member had refused to accept the honorarium, and then applied for it after failing to secure re-election. He now found that he had been misinformed, and regretted having made the allusion. Mr DeLatour read the Treasury minute showing that Dr Hodgkiuson, who was referred to, had only drawn LSO put of the L 207 due to him, alleging that, the former sum was sufficient to cover his ex-
penses. The Colonial Treasurer and the Speaker confirmed this. ( CHATTELS SECURITIES ACT. The Chattels Securities Act Amendment Bill was read a second time. CHARITABLE AND EDUCATIONAL TRUSTS. On the motion of Mr Peldwick, the debate on the second reading of the Religious, Charitable, and Educational Trusts, Corporations Bill was adjourned till the 10th of August. CORPORATIONS ACT.
Mr Moss moved the second reading of the Municipal Corporations Act Amendment Bill. He said the Bill provided for an extension of time for which a borough could make a contract. It would be a useful measure for small boroughs. After an animated discussion the Bill was read a second time. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION.
The Constitution Amendment Bill adjourned debate was resumed. The Hon Mr Rolleston said the Bill was one of the most extraordinary he had ever seen. He moved that the Bill be read that day six months. Colonel Trimble would oppose the Bill. It was the most tyrannic measure ever put before an Assembly of a free country. It would give the same power to the Legislative Council to alter the constitution of the country as was possessed by the body representing the people, r As a Liberal he protested against this , most illiberal measure, and would support" the amendment that the Bill be read that day six months. Sir John Hall agreed that the people of a free country should have power to alter their constitution in accordance with altered circumstances, but contended that this colony had this power. He wai} in favor of making the Legislative Council elective, and was sorry the Government had not seen fit to bring in a measure to effect this. He did not see the necessity for passing this Bill, which practically abolished a second Chamber. The most important part of the constitution of. the colony was not in the Constitution Act, but in the statutes of the colony, -The Bill practically abolished the representative of the Crown as a branch of 'the Legislature. If the two branches of the Legislature agreed to an alteration of the
constitution, these alterations could be carried out. There was not the least chance of the Bill passing. The Bill was the same as that of Victoria, but the cir-. onmstances here were entirely different, 1 and there was no necessity for a radica measure like this to ensure any necessary alterations in our constitution. The his-
tory of the colony did not point to the necessity of this Bill. It was a mischievous thing to be always tinkering with their constitution. It was a step to the abolition oi the Governor and the Legislative Council; a step to an elective Governor and the severance from the Mother Country. He would oppose the Bill. Mr Kelly could not assent to the second reading of the Bill.
The Hon. Mr Bryce said the Bill was subversive of the constitution.
Mr W. M. Green, with a slight amendment, approved of the Bill. It simply provided for the will of the people being carried out. When the Council treated a Bill passed by this House with the discourtesy the Council had shown yesterday in throwing out the Eight Hours Bill, it was time to make some change. The Speaker called the hon. member to order. He could not refer to the Council in such terms.
Mr Green withdrew the expression. He would like to see the Bill so amended as to require the House of Representatives to pass a measure in two successive sessions before putting it to the popular vote. It would then prevent all chance of a dead lock. Mr Turnbull moved the adjournment of the debate.
The Hon. Major Atkinson said Mr Montgomery seemed to treat this Bill as a huge joke. The Government looked on it as a serious question, and would not consent to any adjournment of the debate.
Mr Montgomery said if he had laughed, how could he or anyone else help laughing when he saw the consternation existing on the Government benches ? He thought the Bill deserved full consideration and discussion; but who could help laughing at the ridiculous attitude of the Government? He should vote for the adjournment, and speak on the Bill afterwards. Mr M. W. Green said that he had entered the House with the earnest inten-
tion to support the Ministry, but within the last few days he had arrived at the conclusion that he could do so no longer. The Hon. Mr Bryce objected to any adjournment. He objected to constantly hearing of Mr Green’s conscience. It was trotted out on every occasion. The Bill involved the most important constitutional question raised for years, and no other business should go on until it was settled. Mr Moss supported the adjournment. Colonel Trimble said the time had come for checking the Fabian policy of the Opposition, and compelling them to take a decided stand on great measures. The leadership of the Opposition should be put up to tender. After a prolonged discussion the Bouse divided, with the following result:—Noes, 44; ayes, 40. Mr Montgomery expressed the opinion that the Legislative Council should be elected by the same constituents and on the same qualification as members of the Lower House, but elected for only five years. If there was then disagreement, he thought the two should meet, and if the two were then unable to agree, the Governor should bo enabled to dissolve both Chambers. After Sir Geo. Grey replied the House adjourned at 1.5.
PARLIAMENTARY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 693, 20 July 1882
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