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The House of Representatives, at the invitation of the Government, will engage this afternoon and evening m discussing certain resolutions to be submitted on the subject of Australian or Australasian Federation, and will be asked to decide as to the sending of delegates to the approaching Conference at Melbourne, and as to the instructions which shall be given to such delegates as to the attitude they are to take up on the part of this colony. It may be, and doubtless will be said, that at a time when Parliament is unable to deal with one-half of the business already before it, and when the existing labor crisis is filling all minds with anxiety, that the juncture is an exceedingly inopportune one for a federation debate, the more especially that a vast preponderance of opinion m the House and m the country is on the side of those who urge that if there be a federation of colonies m these ■aas, New Zealand, for the present at Any rate, will consult her own interests by declining to be included therein ; yet, thougii the peculiarity of the position must be admitted, nevertheless the Government could not have done otherwise than bring the matter before the House without breaking faith with the sister colonies, and the delegates to the preliminary Conference, held some months ago, having pledged the Government by which they were accredited to submit the question to their several legislatures. The debate of to-day will therefore be miserable, but its outcome, we opine, will be equally so, namely, that while New Zealand will again be represented m the Council of the Colonies to be called together to work out a definite scheme, our representatives will be restricted to the attitude of sympathising advisers, and will havedefiniteinstructionsnotto commit New Zealand to inclusion m the proposed federation. At the same time doubtless they will be directed to seek that provision may be made m the new Federal Constitution of United Australia for the admission of New Zealand at any future time, should she •lect to cast m her lot with the Federation. This is undoubtedly the action which will commend itself to the approval of the country. So far and no farther at present is it prepared to go. There is, however, another matter which may be discussed at Melbourne m conjunction with the federation proposals, and that is that of reciprocal exchange of products as between Australia and New Zealand. We hope that it will be so, and if the risit of our delegates to Melbourne helps to forward the removal of restriction to intercolonial commerce, their mission will certainly not be m vain.

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Bibliographic details

NEW ZEALAND FEDERATION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2511, 6 September 1890

Word Count

NEW ZEALAND FEDERATION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2511, 6 September 1890