The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 1890. THE FORTHCOMING SESSION.
In view of the early meeting ofi Parliament it would be interesting to know what policy the Ministry intend to present to the country. The deliverance of the Hon. Mr Fergus having been practically repudiated, and the Minister of Lands having disavowed his intention of "anticipating the Financial Statement "• by the divulgence of Cabinet secrets, the political situation would appear to have drifted back again to much the same position as formerly—the Cabinet intend to pick up a policy from the House as the session goes on, and do exactly as they are told. Not a dignified position for. a Ministry to occupy certairfly; but it has the great advantage, from a Ministerial standpoint, of being one which permits of present members of Cabinet retaining their portfolios. One serious drawback to the realisation of Ministerial hopes in this particular is the health of the Premier. But for his illness, and the session being the last of the present House, it is possible the Cabinet would be permitted to stick to the Benches a little longer. This accident has entirely altered the complexion of affairs, inasmuch as that the only fighting strength of the Ministry will be taken away, should the Premier, as indicated, be compelled to retire from active life. In addition to this danger is the probability that, even should the Cabinet get a leader, he will be unable to kesp the members thereof together a,s Sir Harry Atkinson has done. Already one Minister has been sacrificed to appease Cabinet dissension, and it is quite on the cards that another will resign 'shortly, after the ".shabby" way in which he lias been treated by his colleagues. Another member of the Cabinet, it will be remembered, is also in disgrace with the country in consequence of an interference with the cour.se of justice in some bankruptcy proceedings. When these circumstances have clue weight attached to them, it will be seen that the opening of Parliament on the 19th inst, presents some most unusual features. Only the remnant of a Ministry, never remarkable for its strength, will face the Opposition and the country ; and this, to all appearance, without a policy, or what is worse, a divided one. Every thoughtful elector and colonist who isinterested in the progress of the Colony has been looking hopefully forward to the present session of Parliament, in the hope that some legislative measures will be introduced which will restore public confidence, and prevent i artisans and small capitalists fleeing : from the colony as if it were plaguestricken. . But it would now appear that to look for this from the shattered remains of the present Cabinet will be sheer madness ; and the hope of the colony, therefore, lies in a speedy change of Ministry. Whether it will be advisable to bring this much-needed change about by an early want-of-confidence vote in the present Ministry, or by keeping the remnant of the Cabinet in and their measures out for another session, cannot well be decided until the House meets, and the policy of their probable successors is placed distinctly before the country.