The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, SEPT EMBER 20. 1889. THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.
It is rumored m various quarters that tho Government are contemplating male ing additions to the Legislative Council, and indeed iv some instances tho political gossip mongers profess to know tho names of at least a few of tho proposod new Lords. Thus there have been mentioned as probable peers at one time or another the evergreen member for Dunstan, Mr Vincent Pyke, tho elect of Tuapeka, Mr J. C. Brown, Mr Thomson ex-member for Clutha, and others, and | now we see that a Dunedin telegram m to-day's " Press " gives it as an on dit that the last-named gentleman is to be selected and •' with him," as the legal phrase runs, Mr James Fulton, member for Taieri, and Mr W hyto, member for Waikato. But if it be true that all these are to be called to the Council, then, no doubt, there will be several more such appointments, as it is scarcely possible that tho claims of Southland, for instance, to representation m the Upper Chamber can be overlooked, inasmuch as there js not now a single "lord ' domiciled m that part of the Colony. If then anything like an adjustment of territorial representation is going to be attempted we may look, we imagine, for an addition of at lea.t half-a-score new members. Now it is not to be denied that the addition of a considerable proportion of new blood would bo a great advantage to tho Council, which now contains far too large a proportion of effete and worn -oat men, but there are weighty, and we think preponderating considerations which should prevent any additions at all being made at the present time. Of these we need only mention three. The first m order, but least m importance* is the consideration thaUthe addition of ten or a dozen new members means just so many more hundreds a year at a time when every possible economy ought to be exercised. The second, that as it is understood that the Upper Chamber should only oontain half the number of members of the House of Representatives, this will be rendered impossible of achievement for years to come if more Councillors are now appointed. At next general election the Honse will consist of 74 members, and the Council should therefore consist of 37. It has at the present moment 42, and consequently there will properly be no vacancy nntil at least six of the present members have ceased to occupy their seats. The third reason is even stronger, and this is that nntil a Reform Bill has been passed, limiting the duration of office of newly-appointed members, to say six or seven years t no new appointments should be made, as otherwise alljthe evils of the system of life-membership will be perpetuated. On all these grounds therefore we protest strongly against the course which it is listed tbe Government have it m contemplation to take— stated m so many quarters too that we fear there is some solid fovudation for these persistent rumors.