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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. WEDNESDAY, MAY 24.

The Members assembled at noon, Mr. Caexotoit in the Chair. It -was proposed, that after the members had been sworn in, they should adjourn until Friday, to affoid^ time for more fully considering who was the most suitable person for the office of Speaker. This matter remained undecided when the Chief Justice entered (the members having expressed a dcsiie to be sworn in. their own chamber) and administered the oath. The discussion was thin resumed, but the public having been excluded from the meeting, we are not acquainted Avith the particulars. We understand, however, that the following Resolution was adopted, on the motion of Mr. Rhodes, seconded by Mr. Cutten :— "That a deputation from this private meeting of the members of the House of Representatives do wait upon His Excellency the Officer Administering the Government, for the purposigof respectfully represent-

ing to His Excellency the hope of the Meeting that it may suit the convenience of His Excellency to postpone until Friday next the opening of the General Assembly." The deputation — which cnnsisted of Messrs. Carleton, Cutten, Rhodes, Greenwood, Porter, Bartley, Clifford, and O'Neill— having waited on His Excellency, stated on their return, that he had been pleased to say, that whenever it should be announced to him that the House had elected its Speaker, he would be prepared to open the Assembly, and deliver his address. Mr. Carlbton then declared the private meeting dissolved, and left the Chair: but on the motion of Mr. Revans, seconded by Mr. Lee, and agreed to, the hon. member resumed the Chair in what was understood to be a regular meeting of the House. The Chairman then read the Proclamation, summoning the General Assembly. Mr. Revaxs proposed, that the House do proceed to the election of Speaker. Mr. Rhodes seconded the motion. Mr. M* Andrew moved, as an amendment, and Mr. Merriman seconded, that the House do adjourn until Friday, at 11 o'clock, then to meet for the <&Ltion of Speaker. V Some discussion ensued, in the course of which Mr. O'Neill urged an immediate election, and Mr. Forsaith argued that by such a course, after having asked His Excellency to assent to a postponement, the House would stultify itself. Ultimately, the amendment was carried, and the House accordingly adjourned.

Friday, May 26. The House met at eleven o'clock for the election of a Speaker. On the motion of Mr. O'Neill, Mr. Carleton wa^called to act as Chairman. 1

ELECTION OF SPEAKER. The Chairman read the Bth clause of the Constitution Act, which requires that the House at its first meeting shall proceed to elect a Speaker. Mr. Bartley rose and said, he had much pleasure in proposing for the honourable office of Speaker of that House a gentleman who was known to each and to all the members ; one who, from his high standing and station, his possessing much property in the colony, and being strongly bound to it by every tie of honour and of interest— who was not unaccustomed to the duties of the office— and possessing also that kindness of manner which— next to impartiality — was the highest qualication for the office, as tending to harmonize and promote proper feeling among the members ; — one who, in all other respects, he was sure the House would consider highly qualified for the responsible and honourable post, lie had therefore much pleasure in proposing Charles Clifford, Esquire, to be their Speaker, being confident that, if elected, he would fulfil the duties of the office with impartiality, grace, and dignity. Mr. Fitzgerald felt that he could with much satisfaction second the motion which had just been proposed to the house Ho believed that the office would be honourably and impartially filled by Mr. Clifford. In the absence of a precedent to guide gentlemen in the exer-ci<-e of duties to which few may have turned their attention, it would be an advantage to the house to have one in til- 1 chd ; r w'i>> had hid some experience in conducting, I in imothci Provnte, business of a similar character to that which would occupy the house. And besides, he bdieved that thu love which Mr. Clifford entertained for the institutions und?r which they had met would influence him in conducting the deliberations of that house, ' so as to reflect credit on the country to which he was so strongly attached. Motion was put, -and carried unanimously. ' Mr. Waketield said that, in the absence of a more ready means of communicating with the Officer Administering the Government so as to know his Excellency's pleasure as to confirming the election which they had just made, he believed it would be proper that a dsputation consisting of the mover and seconder, and such other members as the house might think proper, should wait on his Excellency to acquaint him of the choice they have made. From what had come to his knowledge, he thought the house would best consult the convenience of his Excellency by appointing the deputation, who would receive his Excellency's decision at 12 o'clock on the next day, which would not look so conspicuously inconsiderate as if it were given immediately; and afterwards, at 2 o'clock, his Excellency's opening Address would be delivered. Mr. Lee thought that, as the Speaker had been duly elected by the house, it became now the duty of the proposer and seconder to conduct the Speaker to the Chair. Mr. Cuttex thought that until coafirmed by the Governor, as provided by the Act under which they were assembled, the election of the Speaker was not complete, and therefore it would be out of order to proceed as suggested by the hon. member who spoke last. Dr. Moxko tho ight it dasirable that as little time as possible should bo lost before commun:ca:ing with his Excellency, as there had occurred two vacancies in. the representation of Nelson, which required to be reported to the Officer Administering the Government, but must in the first instance be reported to the Speaker after his being duly appointed. It was desirable that the Writs should be issued in time to be sent down by the steamer, so that Nelson might have its full representation in that house as soon as practicable. Mr. WAXEriELD said he made the suggestion after a chance conversation with the Attorney- General, who had stated that the course pointed out by him (Mr. Wakefield) was that which would best accord with the arrangements of his Excellency. He would r.egret that any delay should take place with respect to the Nelson elections, and might say that he understood the Writs were quite ready to be signed, as soon as the house had reported the vacancies. Mr. Lee maintained that enough had been done to entitle the Speaker to take the Chair, and quoted precedents taken from the proceedings of the Legislative Council of New South Wales and the House of Commons in support of his views. Mr. McAndrew and Mr. Fitzgerald thought that according to the Constitution Act, Mr. Clifford could not be properly considered the Speaker of that house, until his appointment had been approved by the Governor. Mr. Merriuak concurred in this view, and observed that there was no real difficulty, inasmuch as they had a Chairman. Mr. Clifford said that, whatever might be the order in which the house might carry out its decision, he could no longer refrain from expressing his thanks for the very courteous manner in which he had been proposed, and for the unanimity with which the house had chosen him. lie could assure the house that he felt deeply gratified in placing his services at the disposal of the house. Mr. Lee reiterated the expression of his views, and declared that the Governor had no theoretical right to reject anything that had passed that house. Major Greenwood said be was aware that his Excellency would be at his office at 12 o'clock, to receive any deputation that might be appointed to wait on him. Mr. Revans could see no reason why Mr. Clifford should not take the Chair, for if he was not Speaker, he was at least Speaker elect. He would therefore move that the present Chairman do leave the Chair, and that Mr. Clifford be conducted to the Chair. Motion carried. Whereupon — Mr. Cauleton rose and said, — Mr. Clifford, I have much pleasure in leaving the Chair, and in congrattil*ting you, as well as this house, on your appointment. The Speaker then took the Chair. 7-* It was then proposed and agreed that Messrs ./BaMey and Fitzgerald should be the Deputation to wait onhis Excellency to inform him that the choice of the house in the election of a Speaker had fallen on Mr. Clifford. Mr. Forsaith said that if they desired to follow-out the analogy of the House of Commons^in-thfii»»p_roceed--ings, the next step would be the appointment of a Ser-geant-at-Arms. After some remarks by several members who considered the house not yet properly constituted, this subject was allowed to drop. On the motion of Dr. Revans, seconded by Mr. Forsaith, a vote of thanks to Mr. Carleton for his manner of conducting the business as preliminary Chairman, wsa passed unanimously. The house then adjourned until one o'clock. - - The House ie-assembled at one o'clock. The Clerk announced a Message from His Excellency the Officer Administering the Government, whereupon Major Cockcraft, His .Excellency's Private Secretary, was introduced, and presented to the Speaker Messages. No. 1 and 2 as under : — Government House, Auckland, May 26th, 1854. The Officer administering the| Government has had \ much pleasure in confiiming the choice made by the House of Representatives of Charles Clifford, Esquire, to be first Speaker of the said House. R. H. Wyxyard. After reading this message, the Spe vker said he could not refrain from again thanking the house for the high honour conferred on him. He was sure he might rely on receiving their full support in conducting the business of the houoe, as well as in maintaining its rights and privileges. Government House, Auckland, May 26th, 1854. The Officer administering the Governmant proposes to address the Members of the Assembly ontheoccad.n.

of the opening of the Session, at the Council Chamber on Saturday, the 27th instant, at 2 o'clock, p.m. R H. Wystabd. The Speaker announced that he had received notice of the resignation of Mr. Cautley, as member for the Waimea District.

Opening Prayers. Mr. M'Andrew, having first suggested the obvious propriety of opening the proceedings of the house with prayer, put his views in the shape of a formal motion as follows :—: — "That it is fit and proper that the first act of the House of Representatives shall be a public acknowledgement of the Divine Being, and a public supplication for His favour on its future labours." Mr, Mackay seconded the motion. Mr. Lee moved as an amendment, that this house be not converted into a conventicle, and that prayers be not offered up. Mr. Revans seconded the amendment, which was afterwards withdrawn, Mr. "Weld moved the following amendment, which Ims seconded by the Hon. J. S. Wortley :— T^That this house, whilst fully recognizing the importance of religious observances, will not commit itself to any act which may tend to subvert that perfect religious equality that is recognized by our constitution, and therefore cannot consistently open this house with public prayer." The House divided on the amendment, with the following result : — Ayes : Kocs : Messrs. Wortley Messrs. Gray Weld Mackay u - Ludlam E. G. Wakefield Gladhill Cutten King Rhodes Fitzgerald Taylor O'Neill Greenwood Crompton Forsaith Lee Hart Revans Monro Bartley Picard Carleton OBrien Merriman Kelhain Cargill E. J. Wakefield Sewell M'Andrew. The amendment having thus been lost, the original motion was put and carried. Mr. Forsaith then moved, " That, in proceeding to carry out the resolution of the House, to open its proceedings by prayer, this House distinctly asserts the privilege of a perfect political equality in all religious denominations, and that whoever may be called upon to perform this duty for the House, it is not thereby intended to confer or admit any pre-eminence to the church or religious body to which he may belong " Mi-. CuTTEif seconded the motion. Mr. Fitzgerald moved, and Mr. O'Neill seconded that this House adjourn till two o'clock to-morrow. This amendment was lost, and the original motion carried. The Speaker then forwarded a request for the attendance of the Rev. J. F. Lloyd, Minister of St. Paul's. Mr. Lloyd was shortly after introduced by the Clerk, and proceeded to offer up prayers. The Speaker in the name of the House thanked Mr. Lloyd, and the reverend gentleman withdrew . Mr. Merriman moved the following Resolution, which was seconded by Mr. E. J. Wakefield :— •'That a Committee be appointed for the Session, to be called " the Standing Orders Committee." That it be the duty of that Committee to prepare such Standing Orders as they may from time to time deem advisable to be adopted by the House. That the Committee do report on Friday next, the second day of June, and from time to time afterwards as they see occasion or be reqxiired by the House. That the Committee be authorized to communicate with any Committee appointed by the Legislative Council, with a view to the adoption of standing orders to regulate the mode in which this House and the Legislative Council shall confer, correspond, and communicate with each other. That the Standing Orders Committee consist of— The Speaker, Mr. Bartley, Mr. Sewell, Mr. Carleton, Dr. Monro, Mr. E. G. Wakefield, Mr. McAndrew. Mr. King, and Mr. Merriman." Mr. Fitzgerald suggested the following amendment which was adopted by Mr. Merriman :— "That until the Report of the said Committee be received, it shall be a Standing Order that Mr. Speaker do regulate the proceedings of the House." The motion as thus amended was carried. Resignation of Heats. A letter was read by the Speaker from Mi. W. T. L. Travers, resigning his seat for the Town of Nelson. Dr. Moxro, seconded by Mr. Mackay, moved— "That this House address His Excellency the Officer Administering tke Government stating the existence of two vacancies in consequence of the resignation of William Oldfield Cautley, Esq., late Member for the Waimea districts, and of William Thomas Locke Trayers, Esq., late member of the town of Nelson. " That the House of Representatives of New Zealand begs respectfully to address His Excellency the Officer administering the Government and to acquaint him of the existence of two vacancies in the House in consequence of the resignations of William Oldfield Cautley Esq., late Member for the Waimea districts, and William Thomas Locke Travers, Esq., late Member for the town ot Nelson." "That the Honourable the Speaker be requested to present the address just adopted by the House to His Excellency the Officer Administering the Government." Mr. E. G. WAKEnrxD to move, on Monday — •• That the honourable member for the Bay of Islands be Chairman of Committees of the whole House." Major Greenwood to move, as an amendment on the foregoing — "That F. W. Merriman, Esq., member for the suburbs of Auckland, be appointed Chairman of Committees." Mr. Merrimaj? to move, on Monday — " For certain returns from the Resident Magistrate's Court at Auckland." Mr. Lee to move, on Monday — " That this House stands pledged to support every constitutional means calculated to augment the powers of Provincial Councils, and to enunciate the principle of non-interference with local legislature." Mr. O'Neill to move, on Wednesday — " That an address be presented to his Excellency the Officer Administering the Government praying that as soon as practicable there be laid on this table a Bill, embodying the principles of certain Resolutions, relatting to waste lands, and to the harmonious working of the new Constitution, as agreed to by the Provincial Council of Auckland, on the 2nd February last, and forwarded through his honour the Superintendent to the General Government. And, at the same time, move for a copy of the Resolutions in question." Mr. Forsaith to move, on Monday — ■ " For a copy of the correspondence between the Colonial Government and Her Majesty's Secretary of State, relative to the disallowance of the Marriage Amendment Ordinance." Mr, Hart to move, on Monday — u For a return of the despatch of the Secretary of State for the colonies, which authorised the Govern, ment of New Zealand to make regulations for the sale of land in the colony." Mr. Mackay to move, on Saturday — " That a Committee be appointed to see to the com|letion of the present building, and what improvements Kj^be necessary for the comfort of the members." Fitzgerald to move, on Wednesday — ask the Colonial Secretary or other the recog£ied organ of the Government in this House, whether it be the intention of the Government to introduce a Bill into this House for the purpose of constituting some person to be the locum tenens of the Superintendent of a Province, in the event of his death or absence from his Province." Mr. Picard to move, on Saturday — " For a return of all monies received as rents of the lands comprised in the Native Reserves in the Province of Nelson, by the person managing such lands, from the month of January, 1852, till the present date, and of the expenditure of such monies." Mr. Fitzgerald to move, on Wednesday — " For copies of the correspondence between the Colonial Secretary and the Provincial Government of Wellington, on the subject of the Superintendent's AbBence Act ; and between the Colonial Secretary and the Provincial Government of Canterbury, on the subject of the Empowering Ordinance." Mr. Hart to move, on Wednesday — " For a return of the names of persons who have, since the Ist of June, 1850, been appointed to officer in the department of the Customs of New Zealand, distinguishing the offices to which they have been appointed, the respective amounts of the present salaries of such officers, the amounts of such salaries prior to the appointment of the present holders, and the periods of previous service of such officers in the same department jf the public sendee. <• Also, a return of the names of persons who have

received appointments in the department of the Post Office within the period of four years last past having salaries exceeding £200 per annum, and the respective precise periods of service of such officars in the same department of the public service." M. Ckomi'ton to move, on Saturday— " For a return of the value of goods imported into New Plymouth, from the other Provinces, on which duties have been paid, and estimated amount of such duties, during the past year." Mr. Revans to move, on Saturday — " That Mr. Coates be elected Clerk to the House of Representatives for New Zealand." Mr. Picard to move, on Saturday — "For a return of the names of all persons who have purchased land in the Province of Nelson, since the date of the land proclamation of his Excellency Sir George Grey ; the number of acres purchased by each such person, and the amount paid for the same, and whether such payment was made in land or scrip. Also, of all monies paid as deposits for the purchases of land in the said Province which are not yet completed. Also, of the names of all persons holding depasturing licenses in the said Province, the number of stock depastured under each such license, and the amount paid for depasturing the same." The House then adjourned until two o'clock on Saturday.

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. WEDNESDAY, MAY 24., Daily Southern Cross, Volume XI, Issue 722, 30 May 1854

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. WEDNESDAY, MAY 24. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XI, Issue 722, 30 May 1854

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