THE REPRESENTATION QUESTION
1 STONBWAIiL, (FROM OUB OWN CORRESPONDENT.] WxixnraxoN 1 , Jaly;2s. At the meeting of Town Members this morning the following jresolu ioa was carried : — ' • That the Representation Bill aow before the Hsase is an sot of in* justice, and at variance with every sound and hitherto accepted principle of fair and equal representation, and that la order to give farther time for the consideration of the meaanre by the constituencies and to? an expression of opinion thereupon -the undersigned pledge themselves to use every oonstltu tional endeavor to delay m passage :— Staart Mentaath, Fiah, Fitohett, Barron, Robb, W. P. Raeveu, Sic G. Grey, Loughrey, Newman, Allen, Goldie, Peraeval, Mobs, Jones, Humphreys Fisher and Tayldr." An adjourned meeting waa held this afternoon at 4 o'olook when It was decided to aot on thia resolution. A deputation waited on the Premier asklnc? him to postpone the committal of the Bill till Tuesday, next, the town member on their part /undertaking to let tha Bill be committed with* out debate, but reserving to themselves fall freedom of action when m o^mmitteeIt waa argued that the delay would enable them to ascertain the vlewa of their constituents and permit, of every possible compromise being Bought for. The Premier, however, refused this offer unless the town members would under* take not to delay the Bill m Committee. This the town members could not agree to* At ba'f-past seven the Premier moved that: the Speaker leave the chair In order that the Bill be considered m Committee. Me, Moss and others made s> vain attempt to get the Bill delayed, even promising to allow the Bill to go Into Committee without a word of dlsoaiilon if time were given the ooantry to consider Is provisions. This offer, however, tat Premier debllned and the debate U now being carried on by the olty members* Mr Ballanos Is arranging to take a ballot of members of the Bouse on the question of iDoreasfng the number of members of tbe House to 91* Voting papers have been printed and are to be lodged In on* of the rooms of the House by noon on Friday. Sir G, Grey is very much incensed at thin proposal, and sayo/lt is an insult to members to aak them to give a seoret vote. The proposal was mooted yesterday by Mr Dodaon, and Mr Billance thought It a good Idea, possibly also having a view to oontlngenolei, for then Is « very general feeling that the end of this representation business will be the repeal of the Aot of 1887. . At twenty minutes to ten an adjourn ment "was mnde for an hour with a view to effecting a compromise. The city membeis then held a meeting at which the followlDg>eßolaUons were passed :— (1) That tbe P emler be requested to ad« bore to the Aot of 1887) substituting twenty-five per cent advantage to the country dlstr'o> for the eighteen per cent given under the- Aot. (2) That If this proposal be rejected In aommittetv the Premier be requested to withdraw ths> present Bill. A deputation of city memhart U now waiting on the Premier, The follow, tag . Is ihe position 'of "affaire on the Repreaeutation question. I have previously given you the resolutions •greed m by the ei*y members; to tnortmghly understand those resolutions, or rather the first onie, It mu»t be borne In mind that the Aot of 1887 gives the country electorates a quot» of eighteen per cent and small boroughs having c | population of 2000 do not sh»re In that | advantage. Tbe Bill before the House dedno-8 25 per cent from the populations at iha four chief cities, and the proposal of tha olty members Is that the Aot of 1887 be retained, substituting 25 pel oent for eighteen per cent, an lnoreasa of sever per oent m favor of the country brlnglug email boroughs Into the ism» position as the four chief oltles and the benefit of seven p^r cant would go solely so bona fide ouuntry electorates. After the d*pat»tlon of olty members had waited on tha Premier, he consulted the counfry party and submitted to ;hem the proposals of the city member*. They intimated that they would stick to their demand for 334 ptr oent and a meeting of the OaMnut was la)d. Aftef some di«Qo9sloa Government agreed to insist on 25 p r oent f.dvant ge t) the country districts, ou ihe b»als of iha Aot of 1887 luateal of 18 per oeat as at Ipreseoi and were prepared to car y the 8 11 wl h25 per cnt adv*ntage aad they woaid rocept aaifipr more n rli^a Tharft w howtvdr, a diffcreood of opinion v to; • wbat tiovernm»nt renlly mtl&w'w^ilJMl
they mean to a«j<ee to 25 per cent nominal which would mean 33 J ptr cent aotual — but my own impression is that the country members bave got whot^they agreed to take. They still appear to be somewhat dissatisfied Bnd affect not to understand the position, At two o'clock tbe debate is proceeding Mr Fifth holds the floor and giveß eveiy appearanoe of being a good stayer. It la rumored that the gallerioe wilt bo cleared presently. A number of members are provided wiih rugs and plllowfl, Mr His. op and Mr MiicheWon are slumbering on the Treasury benches. Late. At 3 a m. tha galleries were again cleared and arrangements made to carry on the debate till seven o'clock. Mcssrß Fish, Fibhar, Fitchott, Menteath acd Goldie follow each other and Dr Newman who has gone home for a sleep will take up the running about the hour named. Wellington, July 25, noon. The gaileries.are still closed and stonewalling prooeedlng. Mr Fiih spoke till bail-past four, when Mr Boobla Msckecsie moved the previous question. The following have been speakers up to tbe pre sent:— Meiers Flaher, Goldie, Joyce, Jones, Feldwick, Allen, abd Mesa, ia that order, Mr Mobs ia now spanking and It reading page after page of s'atlstlcs of Hew Zealand to show the tffeot of tbe Bill on the population of anull towns. A Hoo.se is kept with difficulty, and tbe ball la constantly rings for a qaorum, and whilst a qaotum is belug obtained tho speakers gain a few mtnutaa rest. Mi Mois had been speaking amoe nine u'olcck The moving cf the prevloas question leaves the position much the lame as It w»s before. Every member who ipoko on 'h' qaestion of the second rßftdiDg of the Bi i may now speak on the qaeation " that tho pievtou* question be now put,'* whioh I - now the question before the House, bui - J having spoken on the previous question cannot afterwards speak on tbe qaestioti : of the seoond reading of the Bill. Memben who happened to be In the Hooso when the previous question was moved by Mr Maokenz c were not awcre that they •oald debate tbat qaesttoo, and it was within »b soe of being pot. The only other amendment that could htve betn moved was the scjjaromrniot the Hoaae. The House has now been sluing continuously slcCi eleven last night. No »d---joninment is to be Jiada f,r mea'». There is only a bare quorum In the Hooia, members wbc are not on guard taking a(r and exeroUe to be ready to take their tore later during the day. As mentioned before tbo objeot of the olty memben ia etonewsllfng is to arrest tbe aUention of the eumtry with a view to public meetings being held throoghoat Tie colony. Mossrn Fisher and Iz.rd will a'art the ball, and will address » meeting to-morrow night. While the Hov e is sitting no Commit Imi can meet, and all business is suspended. It is expected that the stonewall will lest faliy forty -eight bou s longer. The dty members are very fit. The difference between the town and country is that the Government proposition last night wa«s based on tbe present BIH, not on the Aot of 1887, and the olty members want small towus plaoed In the tame posit on as olt.'es, a Atlp.m, the etonewalling sti-1 continued, and all strangers are excluded from the galleries.
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