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PARLIAMENTARY NOTES

(from oub own corekbpondknt.J "WILLWGTON, July 23. Mr Fish has given notice to move tor a Beleot Committee to enquire into the oircumstanes which led to the publication of the precise correspondence between Judge Ward, the Colonial Secretary, and the Minister of Jostico, before that correspondence was laid on the table of the House. < Government are considering the advisableness of allowing local bodies to send out notices and receipts by book post, j also communications with the Obi f Surveyor relating to local matters. Government propose to give members . of Bifle Clubs established m the oountry every facility to travel upon the^ railways to and from shooting competitions, bu. have not intimated what facilities will be proposed. it Is not intended at present to fill up the vacatcy m the Cabinet ; the Premier ■ays Government have decided to try to do without another Ministsr with a view to economy, and that plan is now on trial. He alio states what does not appear to be generally known, that tha minuter of Lands is acting as Minister of Agricnltnre, and that he has devoted and is devoting much of his attention to matters agricultural. The Bankruptcy Aot Amendment Bill, whtoh is to be Introdnoed this seßsion, is Dot jet ready. It has been revised two or three times, and is now undergoing §nal examination. It is understood tbe Bill will be brought down towards tbe end of next week. Mr T, McKbl zle Is deelrons of getting Government to consider the propriety of granting to looal bodies power to prohibit ■owing ot planting of gone opun eonntrj toad boundaries, and tbe Premier has promised to consider the question fairly. Sir G. Grey drew from the Premier an admdilon that Government are responsible for the letter written to the French Vioe-Oonaul and signed by the Governor, nfleetiog on tbe conduct of Mr Fisher, ex-MlnUter of Education, and the Premier was severely denounced by Sir Geo, Grey for plaolng the Governor In a false position ; and fatther. he thought it very objectionable for the Governor to sign documents to Inferior officials. Oo the question of going iato Committee on the Imprest Supply Blli this afternoon the olty members raised a small ■tonewall, with a view to taking np tbe rest of the afternoon and preventing the debate on the second reading of the Rt-presentatton-BUI being resumed. The Supply BUI wai a mere formal matter, bnt only managed to reaoh Committee as the boor of adjournment arrived There was a most depressing evening, m tbe continu&t'on of the debate on the feoond reading of the B presentation Bill, during which the Heuae has been empty, and the debate was only allowed to proceed m order that a div sion might be taken at an hour when farther talk becomM so nauseating that even those who previously desired to stave off the evil hoar became anxious to bring down tbe ourtaln on the sorry spectacle. We have been told all along that oountry members were not to speak on the question of the second reading, but that has aot been borne ont by to night's proceedings, for the oountry m mbon h »ye been as loquacious as their brother members of tbe cities. Dally the rumor grows stronger that the Government are drifting Into a very dangerous position over this Representation question, and rumors of secessions from tbe Government ranks are now assuming snob definite shape that I am able to say on authority that Messrs Fish, Allen, and Withy, have eaoh written to the Government whips Intimating that they can no longer support Government j whilst Messrs Barron, Goldle, S. Thompson and others are likely to do tbe same to-night or to-morrow. It Is stated In the lobby that quite a drz?n Government supporters are crossing to the Opposition, and In these olrcumstaooes It is not strange that people are beginning to talk of a no eonfidenoe motion, and It la even ssld that Mr BslUnce has baen approached with a view to getting him to move In tbatdlreotlon. It Is not likely, however, that the position will asmme auoh a critics! phase for some time yet. At ] o'clook Mr Barron moved his amendment to the eff.-ot that ai tbe present Parliament has passed tk~> Aot leduolng tbe number of members subject to the existing qnota it is undesirable to disturb that deolaton without further reference to the constituencies. This move of course g'ves every member who has already spoken the right to speak again, and although everybody Is sick of the whole business and anxious that a division should be taken at once, the debate msy be protraoted to almost any length of tlm \ At about two o'clock the Clerk of the House, Major Campbell, intimated tfaat the Speaker desired to retire for a few hours, and Mr Hamltn tcok the ohnlr as Deputy Speaker. A moment afterwards Major Steward stated that he had reoeived information from the chief of the "Hansard" staff to the effect that the itaff were nnable to report the further proceedings with any obance of being able to resnme their duties next day. Mr Fish said under these circumstances he would make a last appeal to the Premier to adjourn the debate, but Sir H. Atkinson, now perceiving that he had the whip hand, put on his " hobnailed boots " and deollned to think of adjourning the debate, giving as his reason that tbe oity members had aroken the pledge that they had given him and been guilty of deliberate stonewalling during the afternoon. I»r Fitchett ! spoke at some length m explanation cf toe action of the city members m tbe afternoon, and during bis remarks Bir H. Atkinson, and Mr Macarthur were seen to be m earnest conversation when •uddenly Mr Macarthur rose and called the attention of tbe Chairman to the preenoe of strangers In tbe gallery. This move was taken In order to get tbe 11 Hansard " ont of the gallery, and prevent the speeches of stonewallers being teoorded. There was a leok of blank despair on the faces of Mr Fish and Dr Fltohett, bot the question is one that osnnot be deba'ed. A division was taken, md by 34 to 19 'he House decided that strangers be ordered to withdraw. At two o'clock your correspondent was Interviewed by the most polite of Sergeant-at-A»mi, and packing up his notes left the gallery. Mr Fish spoke Mil 3 30, when a division was taken on Mr Barron's amendment which was negatived by 84 to 12. The question of tbe second reading of the Bill was then pat and carried by 33 to 12. The Premise moved that the Bill oe eemm'.tted at next sitting wbioh was oarrledby 32t>12. The House rose at 3.45 a.m. till 7.30 this evening. The "New Zealand Times" this mornIng asserti that it will probably be arranged that the Bepresentatlon Bill be placed low down the order paper, and so allowed to die ont. I have the best authority for stating tbafc there Is no foundation for tbe report, snd Govern msnt Intend to see tbe thing through to the bitter end. A meeting cf olty members is to bs hold this afternoon to consider ibe situation. At the me*tiDg of city mambera this afternoon, 13 were present, Mr Moss In the chair, it waß dec ded to oppose the passing of the Representation Bill by every constitutional means In their power, until the country has had a far chance of considering tha BilU A further meeting Is to be held a four o'oleok to-day.

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PARLIAMENTARY NOTES Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2181, 24 July 1889

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