FRIDAY, MAY 19.
In the Legislative Council — At 2 p.m. his Excelleucy entered, I and the members of the House having been requested to attend, his Excellency read his opening speech, as follows : — Honourable Legislative Councillors, and Gentlemen op the House op Representatives, — It is with much pleasure that I have recourse to your advice and assistance on the occasion of the opening of the eighth Parliament of New Zealand. I forwarded to the Queen an expression which 1 feel sure will have your hearty concurrence of the deepfelt thankfulness with which all classes of her Majesty's subjects in New Zealand heard of her recent preservation from danger, and of their earnest prayer that she might-be long spared to reign Oyer a loyal and united Empire.
The measures adopted by the last Parliament to extend the franchise, to increase the representation of the p3ople, and to afford more frequent opportunities of ascertaining the opinions of the constituencies may, !I trust, cause all classes of the community to watch your deliberations with keen interest, and be found conducive to the permanent welfafO and happiness of the Colony. I am glad to be able to congratulate you upon the renewed and well-founded confidence which exists as to the commercial prospects of the Colony, upon the. disappearance of distress amongst the working classes, and upon the general increase of the revenue. The proposals submitted to Parliament last session for the systematic laying out of roads to promote the colonisation of the waste lands have had careful attention during the recess, and in all parts of the Colony the work of settlement is progressing favourably. New openings are in the course of development for the employment of labour and capital, the railways have become more productive, and fresh groups of population are settling in districts which only require means of convenient access to make them prosperous. A desire for permanent settlement on the goldfields and for the profitable union of mining and agricultural pursuits in the same localities is becoming more manifest. The present time is, in the opinion of my Advisers, a favourable one at which to press forward the construction of roads and to facilitate the influx of population. The success of the scheme, which has been adopted at Rotorua on a limited scale, for administering Native lands on behalf of the Native owners, leads me to hope that it may have a beneficial and more extended operation in the future. My Advisers are of opinion that a plan for leasing agricultural lands, with fixity of tenure, upon reasonable terms, may with advantage be incorporated into the general system of administering the Crown lands of the Colony, and a measure will be submitted to you with this object. Towards the close of the last session of Parliament tlie aspect of affairs on the West Coast of the North Island appeared to my Government to have become more threatening than had previously been the case, and my Advisers felt themselves compelled to consider whether more active steps than had yet boen taken might not be required for the repression of lawlessness, the pi*otection of her Majesty's peaceable subjects, and the termination of the increasing excitement in that district. At their request the House of Representatives voted a sum of a Ll oo,ooo to meet such a contingency. In the month of October the time arrived when, conciliation having in the opinion of my Ministers failed to affect its object, they considered the adoption of more rigorous measures to have become necessary. A proclamation was accordingly issued during my absence from the Colony by the Administrator of the Government calling on Te Whiti and his adherents to accept within a specified time the land offered to them — a requisition with which Te Whiti failed to show any sign of compliance. The danger and difficulties of the position were judged by my Government only to increase with the continued exercise of forbearance, and it was resolved that the periodical meetings of the Natives at Parihaka should be no longer allowed to be held, that the numerous Natives from other localities congregated there should be compelled to return to their own districts, and that Te Whiti and Tohu should b« removed from a position which was deemed by my Advisers to constitute a standing menace to the peace of the ' Colony. Te Whiti and Tohu were therefore arrested, and were committed for trial on a charge of sedition. In order to secure the success of the operations necessary for these objects the Volunteers were invited to leave their districts to render assistance, and a large addition was made to the Armed Constabulary. The thanks of the Colony are due to the Volunteers for the readiness with which they answered the call made on them, and for soldierly conduct while on active servica The discipline and good conduct of the Armed Constabulary entitle them to the highest praise. My Government desire it to be recognised that in the course pursued they have been and are actuated by an anxiety to avert consequences disastrous to all classes of Her Majesty's subjects, rather than by an desire to inflict punishment A bill will be laid before you having for its object to render the trial of Te Whiti and Tohu unnecessary, and at the same time to prevent them from returning for the present to Parihaka, or recommencing an agitation which has long caused alarm and apprehension of danger among the settlers on the West Coast lam assured that confidence in the tranquility of the district is established, ahd that a feeling of security exists among the inhabitants which has been long unknown to them. Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, — The estimates of revenue and expenditure for the current .financial year will shortly be placed before you. Honourable Legislative Council- . lors, and -gentlemen of the House of Representatives, —
Returns will be laid before you which show that the revenue has considerable exceeded the amount estimated. The railway returns especially show a gratifying increase. The surplus of receipts over expenditure during the past year amounts approximately to 4 per cent, upon the cost of construction. A new impetus appears to have been given to every branch of industry. The yield of gold for the year which has just closed, as compared with that of several previous years, shows a marked development of this important industry, and encourages the belief that further expenditure in opening up the goldfields wiil be productive of the best results to the Colony at large.
These facts appear amply to justify your making provision for the extension and ultimate completion of the main trunk lines of railway, as well as for other important works in connection with them, to which Parliament has already given its sanction. Proposals with these objects will be made to you, which the increase of revenue and the revival of prosperity appear fully to justify.
The Commissioners appointed to inquire into the constitution, practice, and procedure of the Courts of Judicature within the Colony, with the view of preparing such measures of reform as would render the administration of justice more speedy and efficacious, and at the same time less costly than at present, have completed their labour.
Bills will be presented to you for giving effect to the recommendations of the Judicature Commissioners, to amend the Counties and Road Board Acts, to regulate the making and levying of rates, to effect important changes in the working of the Government Life Insurance Department, to improve the law affecting lunatics, to enable affirmations and declarations to be takeii in lieu of oaths, to abolish the restraints on the aliention of land, to amend the law relating to the property of married women, to consolidate and amend the law relating to legal practitioners, and the better management of Native reserves. Each of these subjects will require your very careful consideration, and, under the guidance of Providence, I trust that your deliberations will result in just conclusions beneficial to all classes of her Majesty's objects in this Colony. His Excellency and the members of the Lower House then retired, and the Council adjourned till 2.35 p.m. On reassembling, Mr H. Williams, a new member, was sworn. A message was received from the Governor stating that he had administered the oath to Mv Oliver. A Committee was appointed, on the motion of the Hon. Mr Whitaker, to prepare an Address-in-reply. The Hon. Mr Whitaker gave notice to move the reappointment of Captain Baillie as Chairman of Committee. Notice was also given for the appointment of the following Committee: — Standing Orders, Statue Law Revision, Goldfields, Native Affairs, Joint Stock, Bills, Library, Petitions, Waste Lands, Reporting, Printing, House, Selection, and Piivate Bills. In reply to the Hon. Colonel Brett, The Hon. Mr Whitaker said Government had sent no message of condolence re Lord Frederick Cavendish, and did not intend to. The Hon. Mr Pharazyn gave notice for a return of the expenses in connection with the prosecution of himself for personation, The Hon. Mr Whitaker presented papers connected with the following : — > Expression of condolence re President Garfield, the Crystal Palace Wool Exhibition, the dissolution and meeting of Parliament, the Governor's visit to Fiji, copy of rules made under section 14 of the Election Petitions Act, and returns of the votes polled by each candidate at last elections, and of the amount paid to the Koranue Coal Company by the Government for the use of its line. The Hon. Mr Buckley gave notice to ask the Hon. Mr Whitaker on Tuesday if he will bring in a bill to prevent the employment of children in theatres, and the bills recommended by the Judicature Commission for the simplification of procedure in the law courts ; also to ask whether Government have taken any action with reference to a recommendation by a Committee of the Council last year as to some members of the Civil Service; also under what process of law Government allowed Te Whiti'and Tohu to go sight-seeing at Christchurch ; also if they are now in custody, and if so, by what authority. The Council adjourned at 2.50 p,m. In the House of Representatives. — Correspondence was read from the Governor congratulating the Speaker upon his election, and confirming the usual privileges with respect to that. The House was then summoned to attend his Excellency in the Legislative Council. On resuming, the Hon. Major Atkinson drew attention to the error in the endorsement on the writ for €he return of a member for Moeraki. The name < John ' was accordingly substituted for that of * Thomas ' M'Kenzie. The Speaker reported that in terms of the Election Petitions Act of 1880 lie had received certificates and reports from the Judges appointed to try the following petitions : — Stanmore, Wai-
lace, Wakanui, Lyttelton, Gladstone, Franklyn North, and Wanganui. These were read, showing that in the cases of Stanmore, Wakanui, and Franklyn North the elections of Mr Pilliet, Mr Wason, and Major Harris were void, and that in the other cases the sitting members were duly elected. The reports were ordered to be entered on the journals. Mr Turnbull desired to call attention to the peculiar circumstances attending the Stanmore seat. When the Corrupt Practices Bill was before the House last session he had pointed out that results such as had arisen might accrue, causing great injustice and hardship and he would at the proper time ask the House to appoint a Committee to consider whether some relief from the heavy penalties incurred might not, under the peculiar circumstances, be granted to the sitting member for Stanmore. The Hon. Major Atkinson admitted that there were exceptional circumstances in the Stanmore case ; and as it was advisable that the House should have full time to consider these, with the view of giving relief if necessary, he would refrain until Thursday from moving for a new writ for the district. There were no exceptional circumstances in the Wakanui and Franklyn North cases, and he therefore moved for warrants for new writs for those districts. — Agreed to. The Trade Marks Bill (Hon. Major Atkinson) was read a first time. Mr Peacock gave notice of the Address-in-reply for Tuesday. Mr Bracken, without notice, asked the Colonial -Secretary if it was true that a number of prisoners iv Dunediii Gaol were under notice of removal to Wellington to be engaged in the erection of a central gaol there, and, if so, would Government suspend further action until the House had an opportunity to consider the question of a central penal establishment. The Hon. Mr Dick declined to answer the question unless the usual notice was given. Notice of appointment of the usual Sessional Committees, aud of a large number of questions and motions for returns, were given. Notice was also given of leave to introduce the following bills : — By Sir George Grey — A bill to enable the people of New Zealand peaceably to make changes in their Constitution whenever they shall think fit so to do ; also to amend the Law Practitioners Act Amendment Bill, and an Affirmation in Lieu of Oaths Bill. By the Hon. Mr Bryce— lndemnity - Bill and West Coast Peace Preservation Bill. By Mr Shrimski — Pensions Bill. By Mr M. W. Green — Eight Hours' Labour Bill and Employers' Liability for Accidents Bill. By Mr Peacock — Auckland Grammar School and College Endowment Bill, and a bill to give certain lands in Auckland as an educational endowment. Sir George Grey also gave notico of a bill to give relief in certain cases to purchasers of land under deferred payments. At 3.35 the House adjourned till Tuesday* TUESDAY, MAY 2\. In the Legislative Council, — • In reply to the Hon. P. Buckley, The Hon. Mr Whitaker said he would inquire what legislation there is in other countries regarding the employment of children in theatres, and if necessary "would then introduce a bill on the subject. The Hon. Captain Baillie was reappointed Chairman of Committees. In reply to the Hon. P. Buckley, The Hon. Mr Whitaker said the bills recommended by the Judicature Commission to simplify the procedure of the law courts were now being printed, and would be introduced as early as possible. The following Committees were appointed : — Standing Orders, Statute Law Revision (joint), Goldfields (joint), Native Affairs, Bills (joint), Library, Petitions, Waste Lauds (joint), Reporting, Printing, House, Selection, and Standing Orders on Private Bills. The Hon. P. Buckley asked by what authority Te Whiti and Tohu had been allowed to go sightseeing ; also, by what authority they were now detained. The Hon. Mr Whitaker said there was no law either allowing or prohibiting them from going sightseeing, and that they were now imprisoned under the authority of the warrant of the Bench who committed them. The Hon. Mr Buckley said he would recur to and speak on the question at the first opportunity. The Hon. Mr Whitaker gave notice to introduce a bill to allow affirmations and declarations in lieu of oaths. ADDRESS-IN-REPLY. The Address-in-reply was brought up by the Committee appointed, and the Hon. Mr Lahmann gave notice to move the Address on Thursday. Tlie Hon. Colonel Brett gave notice of a bill to amend the Vagrant Act. The Hon. Colonel Brett also gave notice to move the reading of an address to the Secretary for the Colonies re the Phoenix Park murders. The Hon, Colonel Whitmore drew attention to the fact that the Hon. Mr Oliver had been sworn in before the Governor instead of in the Council, which -was a departure from tlie usual custom.
The Hon. Mr Whitaker replied that section 47 of the Constitution Act. gave the power so to do. The Hon Mr Pharazyn moved for a return of the cost of prosecuting himself for personation at the late election ; but, On the Hon. Mr Whitaker saying the motion would in some degree interfere with the privileges of the House, it was withdrawn ; Mr Whitaker adding he would supply the information to Mr Pharazyn. The Hon. Mr Pharazyn said he had petitioned the Minister of Justice for a free pardon from the disabilities he had incurred, but it could not be granted, and therefore he intended to move with the same object in Parliament. The Council adjourned till 3.30 p.m. on Thursday. In the House of Representatives, — The following bills were given notice of : — Mr Levestam : For the further Protection of Life and Property from Accident by Fire. Mr Holmes : To Amend the Debtors and Creditors Act, and to Amend the Resident Magistrates Act. The following motions were given notice of : — Mr Macandrew : ' That the Speaker leave the chair without the question being put at 2.30 a.m. during jthe session, so that the House may adjourn not later than that hour." The Hon. Major Atkinson gave notice that on Thursday he would move that Mr W. J. Hurst be elected Chairman of Committees of the whole House. The following questions were given notice of. Mr Tawhai : If Government will cause a certain pamphlet on the culture of tobacco to be printed in Maori and circulated among the Native race. Mr Bracken : To ask if the attention of Government has been directed to the report of an inquest on the body of Joseph Russell at Dunedin, and the remarks made by tlie coroner at said inquest, and if they consider the coronership is in proper hands there. Mr Hutchison : To ask if Government will be prepared to amend ' The Seamen Act, 1877,' as recommended by the House in August last. Mr Hutchison : To ask if the attention of Government has been called to an article published in the Auckland Evening Star of 4th February last, entitled ** Taranaki Land Jobbery.' The Hon. Major Atkinson moved without notice — ' That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into and report as to whether or not the penalties provided for by sections 17 and 18 of the Corrupt Practices Act are unreasonably severe, and whether or not it is advisable that the law should be altered and amended, and in that respect to report on Friday ; the said Committee to consist of Messrs Montgomery, Turnbull, Williams, Rutherford, Connolly, Trimble, and tlie mover.' He said he intended to defer moving for the new Stanmore writ till the Committee reported. The motion was put and carried. In reply to Mr Bracken, The Hon. Mr Dick stated that four prisoners had been removed to Wellington from Dunedin, to assist at the erection of a prison there, but it was incorrect to call it a central prison, as it was simply intended for the detention of long-sentenced prisoners. In reply to Mr George, The Hon. Major Atkinson stated that Government recognised the importance of a lighthouse being erected at Kaipara Heads. It would be an expensive undertaking, but the necessary provision would be made for it out of loan. In reply to Mr Holmes, The Hon. Mr Johnston said tliat the wages of mechanics and labourers employed in the Railway Department at Christchurch had not been reduced in accordance with tlie 10 per cent, reduction, but in pursuance of a uniform scale adopted all over the Colony. That was the reason that their wages had not since been increased, while those of clerks and accountants in the same department who had been subject to the 10 per cent, reduction were increased or reinstated according to their former amount. In reply to Mr Hutchison, The Hon. Mr Dick said Dr Buller's Manual of the Birds of New Zealand had been published by the Museum and Geological Institute. It was the second edition of a book published years ago under the same auspices. If otiier authors provided books of a similar class, no doubt the Geological Department would be prepared to assist in the publication thereof. In reply to Mr Hutchison, The Hon. Mr Rolleston said that no cases under the West Coast Settlement Act had been validated. The West Coast Commission had a number of these cases under consideration, and a progress report thereon would be produced in a few days. The following bills were . introduced and read a first time :— To Define and Regulate the Hours of Labour in New Zealand (Mr M. W. Green) ;■ Indemnity Bill (Mr Bryce) ; To Extend and Regulate the Liability of Employers to make Compensation for Personal Injuries suffered by workmen in their service (Mr M. W. Green) ; West Coast Peace Preservation Bill , (Mr Bryce) ; to Amend the Law relating to Distress" (Mr ' Holmes ); to Regulate the .Admission of Persons to practise *- iii the Courts of Law; to. .Further
Enable Affirmations to be taken in lieu, of oaths ; to Enable the People of New: Zealand peaceably to, make Changes in their Constitution whenever they may think it necessary so to do ; to Afford Relief under certain circumstances toy Deferred-payment Settlers (Sir George Grey) ; to Regulate the Liability of Consumers of Gas in «New Zealand, and to Amend the Law of Evidence (Mr Hutchison) ; The Auckland Harbour Board Empowering Bill (Mr Swanson).
Mr Peacock moved that a respectful address be presented to the Governor in reply to the Speech that his Excellency was pleased to make to both Houses. While feeling honoured, he said, by the position he occupied, he reserved to himself the full right to deal with the measure alluded to in the Speech as he might deem lit. He was sure the House would share in the feeling of thankfulness; at the preservation of her Majesty. The experience of last year's legislation in the way of electoral reform had, he believed, been fairly satisfactory, but he hoped Parliament would yet see fit to restore the householders' franchise. He trusted that the new local-government proposals would be of a nature to add dignity and importance to the local bodies as constituted rather than increase the number of these bodies, but he hoped it would not be carried in the direction of giving other than administrative functions to any body outside Parliament. In giving faculties for an influx of population, he hoped they would keep in view the necessity of affording faculties for settling the population already located on the goldfields. The proposal to lease Crown lands did not strike him favourably. He was more in favour of facilities being afforded for acquiring homes of a more permanent character. He viewed with alarm any addition to the already too large Colonial debt, but admitted the railway system required that something should be done for the completion of arterial lines. He hoped the House would do ample justice to all parts of the Colony in the event of a new loan being raised, and that the omissions and deficiencies of the past would be remedied in providing for the future. Mr Rutherford seconded the motion. He referred to the attempt made on the life of the Queen. It had excited an expression of fervent loyalty all over the world. The revival of the Colony from commercial depression had been slow but sure. The opening out of the country by railways and roads was most important. The agricultural leasehold proposals, with fair and moderate rents, fixity of tenure, and a purchasing clause would, he thought, be the means of introducing a most desirable class of colonists. He deprecated as being far from an unmixed good the deferred-payment system, and looked upon the leasehold proposals as calculated to cure many of its defects. He apprehended an easy passage for the measure proposed re Te Whiti. The railway returns fully justified the loan proposals indicated by the Address. He acknowledged the compliment paid him in being selected to second the motion, and accepted it as an earnest that the district from which he hailed, in common with every other part of the Colony, would receive fair consideration at the hands of tlie Government. Mr Montgomery fully concurred in the congratulation on the Queen's escape. He admitted that prosperous times had again come to the Colony, in common with its Australian sisters, but the improvement was due to larger causes than any mere act on the part of the Government. He]referred to the experiences of the other Colonies in proof of the fact that had prosperity not now come to our shores the position of New Zealand must be very dark indeed. He predicted that in the natural course the time would again come when a depressing reaction would come round, and when that time, came he hoped Government would not be the first to adopt' the gloomy -view which had been, taken in.the past. With regard to the leasing of the public lands a great question* was raised. He quoted from the late Premier's speech at Leeston a few months ago to show that he was then opposed to such a proposal. The proposal re Te Whiti and Tohu was, in his opinion, a departure from the spirit of British law and British justice. These men were to have no trial after being committed for trial. An overwhelming necessity would have to be shown to justify such a course. If a Loan Bill was to be brought in, he hoped Government would let them know where the money was to be spent, and that the amount on each work, or part of work, would also be distinctly specified. He should have thought that members, having come fresh from their constituents, were able to discuss - the- question of local government, and. that they were best qualified to deal with the question. Government, however, did not seem disposed to take advantage of their experience, but passed over them and sent a circular to the local bodies themselves on the subject, thereby ignoring '. them as members of Parliament altogether. That was in effect reducing' them to the position of mere delegates, and not representatives at- all. He objected to the circular as holding out .bribes while asking advice. The ad- ' dress was remarkable for omissions. Nothing- was, said, about reforming the
.other branch of Legislature. Mr Hall,. .in r . his speedi-at-Leestoiv-indicated something of the ..land'./ .-'and he was. curious to learn why it was that nothing was projected in that direction. He (Mr' Montgomery) urged; tlie necessity of getting the Financial Statement,, Public Works Statement, &d, brought, down together at' an early date. By that means members "would be enabled to ascertain what really was. the policyof the: Government. He would-pro-mise that while criticising their measures fairly, and fully, he would,guarantee tliat there should be no factious opposition. These statements, -together* . with the Local ,. Government- Bills and Loan Bill, he hoped would Be brought, down not latter than next week. \' The Hon. Major Atkinson congrati*j lated the mover' and seconder on the *-• creditable exhibition they 1 had made.. He also congratulated the House on the existence of an Opposition with a. recognised- leader. The -late Government was also -to be congratulated in view of the attack made by the last, speaker as recognised leader of the Opposition. He had signally failed tosheeting home anything like a tenable charge against their administration.. There were members of ithe Government who had for many years thought it advisable to lease the lands of the Colony. Beyond that he did not feel called upon to give any further explanation on the point. No doubt wheat Mr Hall was* present he would defend his opinion. He denied that the Government had gone over -the heads of representatives in issuing its circular* to the local bodies. He contended that valuable information might be -got from, the bodies, and it was quite reasonable they should ask for advice from these bodies. He deprecated the idea of any member feeling jealous because they had gone direct tp the. local , bodies for* advice. Local government had been a vexed subject for along time, and they were quite justified in making every possible endeavour to set "that* vexed question at rest. It would require the--whole wisdom of the Colony to. deviseeven a reasonably satisfactory scheme of local ge vernment. . Government would bring down its measures with, sufficient speed to satisfy the House,, and he only hoped that, when brought down the House would address itself" to these measures with earnestness. It was never heard of before to ask Go-, vernment to bring down the whole of its policy the first week of the session.. Moreover, if the lion, gentlemen had a. majority, then it would not be the Go--vernment but himself (Mr Montgomery) who would have the policy to. bring down. So long as they remained in office, however, he would undertaketo keep them well supplied with work for their deliberations, and he was, quite prepared to try conclusions with the lion, gentleman as to which of them-; possessed the confidence of the Houset
Permanent link to this item
FRIDAY, MAY 19., Clutha Leader, Volume VIII, Issue 450, 26 May 1882
FRIDAY, MAY 19. Clutha Leader, Volume VIII, Issue 450, 26 May 1882
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.