THE DELAY IN ISSUING THE WRIT.
Ministers have at length been shamed into gazetting Mr. Reeves's resignation of his seat, and we suppose we may now look for the issue of the writ. In connection with this subject we note that a discreditable attempt has been made to shift on to the shoulders of his Excellency the Governor the unpopularity which has accrued to the Ministry owing to the Don-issue of the writ. The blame, if any, it is suggested, lies between his Excellency and Mr. Reeves. The idea is/so palpably and monstrously unjust *to both that it really needs no refutation. It implies either that Mr. Reeves, while handing in the resignation of his portfolios, took steps'to keep back the resignation of his seat, "or else that Lord Glasgow either made it impossible for the resignation to be submitted to him because he was away "touring," or in the alternative deliberately hung up the proceedings. It is only necessary to state the case to show to what lengths Ministerial apologists are prepared to go to excuse the Ministry in this matter, and what a flagrant attempt has been made to deceive the public. The true facts of the case, however, are plain enough to anybody who has followed the newspapers. It was officially announced from Wellington on January sth that the appointment of Mr. Reeves as Agent-General had been confirmed. The telegram added :—
" The Governor expects to reach Lyttelton on January 13th, when be will receive Mr. Reeves's resignation for Christchurch city. The new writ will follow immediately, and it is expected that the election will take place early in February."
The Governor reached Lyttelton on the date stated, namely, on the 13ih January. Mr. Reeves's resignations, both of his portfolios and of his seat, were handed to him and returned to his Ministers on that date. The formal gazetting and the issue of the writ then rested with them, and we have no doubt that the original programme would have been carried out and the writ issued immediately but for the unexpected introduction of an item which was not contemplated by the framers, and certainly was not relished by them. We mean the retirement of Mr. J. L. Scott, which took place on the 14th January, the day after the Governor passed through Christchurch. This upset all the original arrangements. The Government notified the resignation of the portfolios in the next issue of the Gazette on January 16th, but they kept back the gazetting of the vacancy and the issue of the writ while they fished round for a candidate. Somehow the fish were
not " on the feed," and the angling was anything but prosperous. Meanwhile the indignation of constituency at the manner in which it was being trifled with grew so strong that Ministers dared not defy public opinion any longer. On Thursday night the so-called " Liberal " organisations met in conclave and selected Mr. R. M. Taylor as the Government candidate. Yesterday morning Mr. Reeves's resignation was gazetted, and the writ, as we have said, may be expected to follow. This we believe to be the simple history of the whole transaction. From first to last it has been an uncalledfor, impudent, and fortunately unsuccessful attempt to interfere with the freedom of the electors to select their own candidate. The conduct of Ministers has naturally brought them into a good deal of odium, and to attempt to transfer this odium to his Excellency the Governor shows an amount of barefacedness which we had hardly thought possible. The public will have no hesitation, however, in deciding on whose shoulders the blame ought to descend.
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THE DELAY IN ISSUING THE WRIT., Press, Volume LIII, Issue 9323, 25 January 1896
THE DELAY IN ISSUING THE WRIT. Press, Volume LIII, Issue 9323, 25 January 1896
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