The Akaroa Mail. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 1913. THE STONEWALL THREATENED.
The stonewalling of Ihe Legislature Act' Amendment Bill has recalled He famous stonewall of 1881 of the Hall Government's Representation Bill, and it appears as though matters are to be settled in the same way, It will be remembered that after the Rspresen tation Bill had been stonewalled for 48 hours continuously, and 28 motion to report progress and for the chair man to leave the chair bad been put without tbe Bill being advanced, the Chairman of Committees he would accept no other such motion. Sir Maurice O'Rorke, the Speaker, then addressed tha House, aud intimated clearly that if the warning given by the Chairman of Com raittees, fllr A. P. Seymour, was disregarded, be would not flinch from bis duty, ag he considered the stone wall was not carried out to the in twests of the public. One of the stonewallers (Mr Gisborne) persisted in moving motion, and was fined £20 for contempt of the House. The present stonewall has lasted four days, and there seems every liklihood that Mr VJas3ey will ask tho Speaker to interfere in the same way as Sir Maurice O'Rorke did in 1881. The re j peal of the second ballot is not at all un j expected, aa it baa proved most unsatisfactory as well as expensive, and even the stonewallers admit tbat the repeal is necessary. We cannot see why the Opposition should seek to save the life of this unsatisfactory electoral system. If the country wants another sy.tem to replace the ordinary straight out vote the new system will be inaugurated sooner or later. From the speeches of the members of the pre-
sent Opposition some time back, it was quite clear that tbe Ward Govern ment, if it had returned to office, would have repealed the second ballot. The outsider can only form one conclusion, therefore, and that is tbat tbe Opposition merely wants to obstruct business. Mr Massey certainly bit tbe nail on tho bead, wben, after listening to tha continuous remark tbat the!
aiugle voting system would impose the rule of the minority, he pointed out that Sir Joseph Ward and his party, by their stonewalling, were imposing the minority rule on tbe House. The Opposition has Jbad its warning to break up tha stonewall. There is no doubt that unless Mr Massey's hint is taken, tho Speaker will fine stonewallers for contempt. No one can blame tho Premie, if he cuts the "gordian knot," as four days' waste of time at this juncture is a serious mattor, No doubt the- Speaker will en force his ruling to> prevent useless motions, and the remaining business of the session will be carried through . expeditiously. |