The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1890. A NARROW-MINDED CANDI DATE.
Mr W. F. Buckland has given as one of his reasons for opposing Sir M. O'Rorke for Manukau that m consequence of the latter being Speaker of the House, and Major Hamlin Chairman of Committees, the North Island loses two rotes m the House. Prom this remark one may gather that, should Mr Buckland be returned to the House, he will firmly set his face against any North Island member's appointment to the positions named. This is altogether a new and original view to take of the result of Parliamentary honors being awarded to any member who may have speoial fitness for the discharge of important public functions. It is also an essentially view, and we trust the spirit which suggests it is not general m the North or South Island. The position of Speaker m the House is one of the most responsible and honorable positions a member can hold, and the constituency that returns a man capable of fulfilling the duties appertaining to the office has hitherto been considered as specially favored. The Speaker, it is true, is unable to take charge of Bills, even though directly affecting the welfare of his particular constituency— except m Committee—but he has no difficulty m getting a member of the House to introduce a Bill on his behalf ; and the fact of the measure being introduced at the instance of the Speaker very often ensures for it more respectful and favorable attention than would be the case if suggested by an ordinary member of the House. The constituency, therefore, returning a Speaker is not so unfortunate as Mr Buckland would have the electors of Manukau believe. What applies to the Speaker also applies to the Deputy-Speaker, the Chairman of Committees; m either case Parliamentary procedure provides that the constituencies represented by these important members of the House ahali not suffer. Mr Buckland is doubtless aware of this, and he has therefore taken up the more tenable ground that the North Island as a whole, as compared with the South Island, is a sufferer through two of its members being specially honored by the House. It is'true that there have been occasions when the question arose North versus South— fortunately these occurrences are yearly becoming less frequent, a more national feeling haying taken the place of petty jealousies—and the North Island has been a sufferer m the direction indicated. But that the North Island has suffered to any extent during the past three years through this cause we must refuse to believe. The record of last session points distinctly to the fact—which we have indicated on a former occasion—that the lion's share of expenditure has been authorised for railways, roads, and bridges to open up the North Island for closer settlement.: In this respect the Southern members have shown that they can rise superior to petty interinsular jealousies. It is therefore a pity that a gentleman of Mr Buckland's political experience should endeavor to arouse again into activity that spirit of hostility between North and South which m former years has done so much to retard the progress of both islands. What the most far-seeing public men of New Zealand have been striving for during thtt past few years has been to abolish for ever the petty jealousies between the North Island and South Island; but injudicious men, such as Mr Buckland, would fan the dying embers again into a flatne. We trust that the electors of Manukau will firmly set their faces against a perpetuation of the North verstis South tftrjfe, which, if persevered m, can only result ia disaster to both Islands. If for no other reason, therefore, than to convince Mr Buckland and those who think'with him that the days have gone by for playing upon the prejudices of the people, we hope to see Sir ,M, G'Ropke returned by an overwhelming majority. The absence of the present Speaker from the House would be a serious misfortune to the country. His place cannot readily be filled. His thoroughly impartial attitude m. the chair has caused him to be respected by all sections of the House. Sir Maurice is the beigt man m the House for the position of Sp/e^ke^ and it is, to be sincerely hoped tljat no petty considerations such as those sought to be introduced by Mr JJuckland will result m the Joss of his valuable services to the oolony. ,