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At last there begins to appear to be some probability of the Government taking action m the matter of filling up the vacant Beat on the Supreme Court Bench and m that of appointing the Chief Commissioner of .Railways. According to the "New Zealand Times" it is understood that almost immediately after the New Year fcir Frederick Whitaker will come down from Auckland, and that upon his arrival m Wellington a full meeting of the Cabinet will be held, at which the first business will be the appointments to the Puisne Judgeship and the Railway Coramissionership. As to the former it is added that the appointment will almost certainly be made m the course of a few days, but no inkling is given as to who is likely to be the appointee. Bumor says that the ermine has been offered to Mr George Harper and to Mr Haggitt, but has been declined by both gentlemen, and some of the members of the Government are credited with a desire to appoint Mr Conolly, who was Attorney-General m the AtkinsonBolleston Ministry. Whether Mr Conolly has been actually offered the position, and has like his brother practitioners declined it nobody Beems as. yet to know, but it seems pretty clear that the Judgaship has been considerably hawked about. Even if Judge Ward be m the end appointed— as vre hope he will be — he will have nothing to thank the Government for, as it is paying him the poorest compliment possible to select him simply as a dernier reasort Why he was not appointed long ago passes our comprehension, unless it be true as has been . hinted that one or more of the present Judges disfavors his elevation. As to the Railway Commissionership our Wellington contemporary states that " Some doubts are rumored to have arisen as to the special qualifications of the gentleman recommended by the Agent- General, and should the Cabinet decide that he would not be worth the proposed £3000 per annum, it is unlikely that any further attempt would be made to obtain an expert from Europe or America, but some new plan would probably be adopted. pn the other hand the majority of the Government are understood to be so anxious to have the matter settled and a Chief Commissioner appointed m whom Parliament and the public would have confidence (as holding the largely extended powers conveyed by the Government Railways Act, 1887), that if the candidate recommended by Sir Francis Bell proves at all acceptable there is a strong probability of his appointment."

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Bibliographic details

THE VACANT APPOINTMENTS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VIII, Issue 2026, 2 January 1889

Word Count

THE VACANT APPOINTMENTS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VIII, Issue 2026, 2 January 1889