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IMPERIAL REPRESENTATION., Press, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5547, 29 June 1883
Mr Bjsbtham moved—"That in the opinion of this House action should be taken in conjunction with the other colonies to obtain a fair representation of the colonies in the Imperial Parliament." He quoted statistical information to -show the magnitude of the trade transacted with Great Britain and the colonies, and argued that on many grounds representation in the British Parliament was desirable. Without representation in the House of Parliament the question of separation from the home country would ere long have to be considered, and such a step on the part of the colonies, he contended, would ba prejudicial to the colonies. The introduction of colonial blood into the Home Parliament would, he thought, be of advantage to the hitter. Unless in some such way the bonds of union were drawn closer, he feared the colonies would drift apart from the Empire.
Mr Joyce argued that the tendency of th 6 self-reliant policy entered on by the colony was not in the direction of the federation contemplated by the motion, but in the direction of more complete disseverance. Its effect would be to moke us contribute largely to the Imperial revenues. It would throw representation into the hands of returned colonists—a class who was not at all calculated to advance the interests of these colonies.
Mr Tbimble supported the spirit of the resolution, although he admitted that at present it was prfemature. Whatever pecuniary sacrifice the colonies might be called on to make would be more than compensated for by the career it opened up to the colonists. When the time came for giving effect to a proposition of this kind he believed that it would be heartily acquiesced in by the home country. Mr Moss proposed the adjournment of the debate. With representation in the Imperial Parliament they would be told that it was entitled to make laws for them. That was a state of things to be deprecated. The true way to preserve loyalty to the mother country was the ready recognition on the part of Britain of our right to take care of ourselves. Half-a-dozen of rich colonists residing in London never could fairly represent the colony. ' Mr Fish opposed the motion, stating is was a well known fact that the coloniee never thrived until they got quit of Horninterferences. He counselled them to dist miss the subject at once, and t* proceed to discuss something that came within the range of practical politics. Mr M. W. Gbeen spoke in support of the motion.
The Hon. Major Atkinson thought that this was a question of practical importance. , The question was not yet ripe for discussion, but still he thought it was a question nearer at hand than some supposed. Our relation with the Home country would have to be strengthened, but still he questioned if this was the right way to do it. He believed that federation was the right course, and Great Britain was awakening to the importance of the subject. He thought it right that we should begin to consider the matter with the view of giving it eventually some practical effect. He believed some great changes were impending, and it was right they should consider the subject, so that when these changes were given effect to, they might be the better able to make up their minds.
Mr Kelly had not made up his mind on the point. So far as he had considered the question, he did not think that representation in the Imperial Parliament would effect much real good;' He would therefore vote for the amendment.
Mr Montoombbt said that they were loyal because they were allowed to manage their own affairs, and if they wished'topreserve that feeling they must remain free. He hoped the time would never come when they would go voluntarily into a system of federalism. It was out of the question to say that this colony was to be bound by what five or ten men might say in the Imperial Parliament. He was clearly in favor of New Zealand remaining untrammelled and allowed to manage its own affairs. Mtßbbthak said that he never for a moment supposed that the colony would lose ite own powers of self-government. What he advocated was that war involving the safety of these colonies, for example, should not be entered upon without the voice of the colonies being heard. He denied that the time had not yet arrived when the question should at least be considered, and he could only think Mr Montgomery had not considered all the facts of the case. He defended the retired colonists j from the aspersions cast upon them, contending that as a rule they were men whose opinions of colonial affairs was worthy of respect, but he would not have them for representatives. Having been instrumental in introducing the subject to notice he -would be content to acquiesce in the amendment for-adjournment. The question for adjournment was put and carried. HASTY LEGISLATION. Mr Cadman moved—" That in order to prevent hasty legislation, it is the opinion of the House that after the present session all Bills be circulated within the colony not less than one calendar month before being discussed in Parliament." The Hon. Major Atkinson said the proposal was impracticable, and to give effect to it would practically stop Legislation altogether. No policy Bill could possibly be distributed in the way proposed. No Government could possibly maintain its position were such done. Mr HuBSTHOtrsK and Mr Shkfhabd would like to see some check on our legislation, but could not support the motion. The motion was lost on the voices. fabnhill's petition. Mr Gbobgk's motion for printing H. FarnhilTs petition was negatived. SKILLED LABOE IN 6AOLS. The adjourned debate was resumed on Mr Hutchison's motion—That the teaching of trades and the employment of skilled labor in gaols are inimical to an enlightened system of prison discipline, and that the same be discontinued. The House divided on the amendment— That a return be applied for showing the value of the skilled labor performed in the prisons, together with the number of prisoners employed thereon. There voted for the original motion, 7; and for the amendment, 45. The House adjourned at 5.30.
IMPERIAL REPRESENTATION., Press, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5547, 29 June 1883
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