General Assembly. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Monday, August 11. The Chair was taken at \% o'clock, by the Ghairman
I Next Meeting of the Assembly. '. Mr. Merrijk an asked the hon. member at the head 1 of the Government "If his Excellency had given any intimation of having made" up his minditi regard to the place of the next meeting of the Assembly." Mr. Stafford replied wthe negative, remarking that the Ministry had not advised, nor were they likely to Revise his Excellency on the subject, being themselves divided in opinion upon the question of removing the session of the Assembly.
Bank of Issue. Mr. BnoniE asked the hon. member at the head of the Government 'If the accounts of the Bank of Issue were closed, and if so, was the salary of the Manager discontinued." The Colonial TRr.AsiiKEit, in reply, said that arrangements weie in process with the Union Bank for transfer! ing the accounts, with the view of winding up the Bank of Issue. When those arrangements were complete, the salary oi the Manager would be discontinued, and of this he had alieady received intimation. Native affairs and Responsible Ministers. Mr. Hall, in the absence, from illness, of Mr. Fitzgerald, moved " That a humble address be presented to her Majesty, praying her to cause instructions to be issued to the Governor of New Zealand, directing his Excellency to advise with his Executive Council upon all matters connected with the aboriginal Natives, in the same manner as upon all other affairs of the Colony." The hon. member, in supporting the motion, rom batted the argument that Imperial interests only we re involved in this question, and that native concerns should therefore be conducted by her Majesty's representative alone. It was a question more than any other in which the colonists were deeply interested — one upon which not only their property— their homes, but their lives depended. The hon. member read from a despatch sent by the Secretary of State, in reply to a memorial from the Provincial Council of New Plymouth, to show that great responsibility in native affairs rested with the Colony, yet the colonists were denied any voice in the management of such affairs. The hon. member also alluded to the difficulty of drawing a line hetween the two interests— showing that, in many respects, they were inseparably connected. He also named another ground for the right of exercising a voice in native affairs, in the fact of the House being required to vote money for native purposes, and of those moneys being expended by persons irresponsible to the country. Mr. Fox, without Temark, seconded the motion, which was at once put and agreed to. - - - -
..Export of Flax Mr. "Wit.liamsox moved a resolution, affirming the necessity of stimulating, by reward, the improved preparation'of flax. Mr. Daldj seconded the motion, ennumerating the advantages that would result from the export of Flax, the last of which, though not the least, was that it would obviate the necessity of such a measure as the Native Offenders Bill. Mr. Fox opposed the motion, on the ground that the fruits of such a discovery would be a sufficient reward to the inventor of an improved system. Major Rkeenwood and Mr. Curtis supported the motion which, af*er several hon. members had taken part in the discussion, was ultimately agreed to in the following amended form : — "That with a view to encourage the preparation of New Zealand Flax, or other tibrous plants indigenous to this colony, as an article of export, a respectful address be presented to the Governor, informing his Excellency that in the opinion of this House it is desirable that some reward should be held out to persons who may prove to the satisfaction of the Government that they have discovered any efficient means whereby flax, or other indigenous fibrous plants, can be prepared in such quantities, and at such cost, as will render it an article of general export, and should the government diem it prudent to pay any such reasonable reward, that this House undertakes to make provision for the same."
Messages from his Excellency. The following Messages were handed the Speaker by his Excellencj''s Private Secretary :—: — No. 4o. — Having been informed of the vote of the House of Representatives relating' to certain' objects of expenditure recommended by the Governor for the benefit of the Natives, he begs again to bring the subject under the consideration of the House. There are some expense sconnected with the management of the Native race which cannot be retienched without inconT«?nience and danger to the peace of the Co'ony. The Governor trusts, therefore, that the House, taking into consideration the difficulties connected with ihe management of the Nathes, will not object to reconsider its vote, and grant a further sum in aid of the above object, for the current year. No 46— In reference to resolution No. 15, of the House of ftepiesentntives, the Governor requests that the House will make provision for the expenses necessarily -attendant on the meeting of the General Assembly dt Wellington. On the motion of the Colonial Trb\surer, both Messages weru ordered to be con&idtred in Committee of Supply.
Salaries of Rtsidont Magistrates. Mr. Williamson moved, in Committee of Supply, " That the House do address his Excellency the Governor, informing him that, pending the enactment of some measure by the General Assembly to require the Provincial Governments to make provision for the Salaries of Resident Magistrates, his Excellency may continue to pay such salaries, and this House undertakes to make provision for the same." After some discussion, the motion was ultimately withdrawn., ns, from the difference of opinion expressed, a division was likely to ensue, which would end in a count out, and a consequent stoppage to business.
Mode of Dealing with the Native race. The follow ing motion, by Mr. Lee, was- moved pro forma "That an humble address be presented to his Excellency his Governor, assuring him that this House, recognising, as it does, the importance of the Native question as one immediately connected with the present and future prosperity of this Colony, and unless approached with great caution and prudence, is likely to bring about hostilities which may lead to the extermination of the Native race, begs to assure his Excellency of their anxiety to co-operate in carrying out any measure that may be considered by them calculated to remove present difficulties (should «eny exist) or prevent future discontent ; and humbly submits that it is the opinion of this House that "The Native Offenders Bill" was not of that character, or likely to secure the object desired. This House, therefore, requests that his Excellency will, during the recess, fall back on the provisions of the 71st clause of the Constitution Act, and project "some scheme of a safer and less coercive nature, whereby an importance of character 'and status will be given to the Native race, in the shape of municipal corporations, by instituting Native courts in Native districts, with European Magistrates, in which a system of Native juries shall exist, the qualification of such jurors to be chieftainship. The franchise for Native electors to be registration, some such measure being likely to secure the attachment of the Native race to Eurppean. institutions and customs, as well as provide & system to secure a census of the Native population. The Colonial Tueasu,rer expressed the sense entertained by ministers of the importance of this question, but urged the necessity of time being afforded for maturely considerng it in all its bearing*. The following amendment by Mr. Cuff, was at once agreed to. "That this House is deeply sensible of the importance and necessity of organizing some system of Government for the aboriginal natives adapted to their circumstances, and declares its opinion that it will be the duty of the Responsible Ministers during the recess to devise some system for that object."
Purchase of Landjrom Natives. Mr. Dai.dy, pursuant to notice, moved, "That a respectful address be presented to the Governor, informing his Excellency that, in the opinion of this House, it is highly desirable that as early at possible the Law which prohibits direct purchases of land from Native owners thereof, should be so far modified as to admit of direct purchases being made through the agency and with the sanction of the Government. The hon. member supported the motion, not only oft the ground of the impetus such a system would give to the settlement of the country ; but on the effect it would h;ive in advancing the civilization of the natives. The motion was seconded by Mr. Williamson, at whose suggestion the worJ "direct" was struck out; and the principle it affirmed acquiesced m by that hon. member and by the Colonial Treasurer, Messrs. Fox, Hall, Bell, Beckham and others, all of whom'however, agreed that the present session was too far advanced for the question to be entertained. The motion was ultimately agreed to, with the addition of words to the effect that this was one of the subjects to which ministers should'give their attention during the recess.
Management of Native affairs. Mr. Hall moved that the following resolution, recommended by the Committee of Supply, be ad6pted by this House, That the Housa, not seeking at present to disturb the existing relations between the Governor and his Responsible Ministers, as to the management of Native affairs, (pending reference to the Home Government) is nevertheless of opinion, that it would greatly conduce to the peace and good government of the Colony, if all departments of Government were placed under the ordinary control of Responsible Ministers, subject to so much'<sf the rule laid down in thesecond paragraph of the GQvernor's Memorandum of the loth April
185&, establishing the relations between the Governu and his responsible advisers, which declares, "That on matten affecting the Queen's prerogative and Imperial interests generally, the Governor will be Happy to receive their advice, but when he differs from them in opinion, he will (if they desire it) submit their views to the consideration of Her Majesty's Secretary of State, adhering to his own until an answer is received " Agreed to, and ordered to be embodied in an address to his Excellency.
Land Orders and Scrip Act. A deputation from the Legislative Council announced that the above Act had bsen passed with ampndments. At a later period of the day these amendments weie considered and agreed to, Messrs.. Fox and the Colonial Treasurer being deputed to announce the same to iho Legislative Council.
New Government House. Dr. Campbell brought up the report of the Select Committee appointed to enquire on the resolutions submitted by Mr. Fitzgerald, upon the piopriety of erecting a Government House in the Domain, and using the present building for the meetings of the General Assembly and the offices of the General Government. Mr. Fitzgekald gave notice of a series of resolutions in accordance with the tenor of the repoit.
Native Offenders Bill, In moving the House into committee upon this bill» the Colonial Treasurer took occasion to observe that he would not try to press the measure thiough its further stages after the vote of the other day ; but he wished to enable hon. members who opposed that Bill to place on record some distinct or definite amendment ; for he was quite sure the House would not think of treating with even apparent discourtesy a measure which, although introduced by one of the ministry, had been sent down from his Excellency. Messrs. Beckham, Fox, Daldy, Brodie, Henderson, Bell, and Williamson, who had opposed the measure throughout, disclaimed any intention of acting discourteously towaids his Excellency. Their opposition had, no doubt, been prompted in part by a repugnance to the principle involved in the bill, but it had also been dictated by a desire to prevent his Excellency from being placed in a false position thiough a bill which did not emanate from him, but from irresponsible advisers, some of whom were but imperfectly acquainted with the language and customs of the natives. Messrs Merriman, Lee, and the Colonial Treasurer stated their reasons for supporting the bill. The discussion in committee terminated in the adoption of an amendment, moved by Mr. Fox, that the measure be read that day six months. On the House resuming, the following resolution was moved by Mr. Fox, and agreed to :—: — That this House, while guarding itself against any approval of the Native Offenders Bill, is of opinion that the powers proposed to be conferred by it ought not to be exercised except on the advice of the responsible ministers of the colony.
Postal Communication in the Tntaior. Mr. Hall, with leave of the House, moved that there be laid upon the table of the House in its next session : 1. A return, showing the number of letters, Aewspapers, and other printed papers, conveyed month by month, for twelve months, by the Nelson, Wairiu, and Wellington mail, distinguishing those conveyed between Wellington and the Province of Nelson from those conveyed between places in that Province itself. Also the amount of postage collected on each class of correspondence. 2. A similar return, so far as circumstances will permit, with regaid to the coirespondence conveyed by the overland mail between Wellington, New Plymouth, and Auckland. Cotmderation of his Excellency's Messages. The House then went into Committee of Supply for the consideration of his Excellency's Messages, Nos. 46 and 46. On the first Message, the Colonial Secketaky proposed the placing £1000 at^the disposal of the Governor for native purposes alluded to in that Message. Mr. Hall suggested £500, wl ich Mr. Fox concurred in, provided no portion of the money would go towards the erection of a native hostelry at Wellington. Mr. Bbll suggested that the better plan would be that an address be presented to his Excellency, expressing, their deairc to act libexally in the matter, and assuring him that if it should be found necessary to expend a sum of not more that £1000, to preserve the peaceful relations of the two races, the House would guarantee that sum. The Colonial Trtusurtr fully concurred, and withdrew his original motion, that the House might act upon the suggestion of the hon. member for the Hutt. After a shoit discussion the consideration of Message No. 46— in reference to the next meeting of the Assembly—was adjourned until next day. . The House then resumed, and adjourned at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, August 12. The House met at 12 o'clock, at which hour the Chairman of Committees, in the continued absence of the Speaker, was voted into the- chair. The Kawau Powder Case, Mr. Biiodie asked the hon. member at the head of the Government whether any mean-, have been taken, and what those means hare been, for the recovery of the 107 barrels of gunpowder lately stolen from the Island of Kawau. ' This -was the fourth time he had brought this matter before the House. He was aware that, of the quantity stolen, some 15 or 16 of the barrels had been returned, but this did not lessen the fact that the Government of the country was defied by a tribe consisting of 37 men. The powder would have been given up long ago had not Government, instead of adopting a becoming course, employed as negotiator a native chief, oneot the biggest vagabonds in the country. By an expenditure of £25, the powder might have been got back long ago. Mr. Stattoud had not interrupted the hon. member, although he had travelled so wide of the question. He (Mr. Stafford) would decline to give any an&wer, not only on account of the nature of the question, but because he was not prepared to take the responsibility oi the measures that had been adopted with reference to this matter.
Addresses to the Quten. Mr. Fox moved an address to her Majesty, on the subject of military officers being amenable to give cvi- : dence to the House, based upon the resolution already passed. ! Major Greenwood opposed the address as an attempt at an infringement of the rights of military men, and as, in a public point of view, fraught with danger to the Colony. Mr. Beckham jsaid that military men were only required to give testimony upon civil matters. Even at present they were compelled 10 attend a civil court on a summons issued by a m: gistrate. He could see no danger, but much benefit, likely to result from the address. After some further discussion, the motion was agreed to. Mr. Fox then moved an address to the Queen, embodying at some length the resolution arrived at by the House, praying her Majesty to instruct the Governor to take the advice of his responsible advisers upon native questions. After some discussion, the sense of the House was in favour of a postponement in order that the terms of the address might be well considered. Postponed accordingly.
Next meeting of Ge?ieral Assembly. The House then went into Committee upon Message No. 46, in whicL his Excellency requested the House to make provision for holding the next session of the Assembly at Wellington. The message having b( en read, ( n the mot' on of Mr. Ta-ylor, and that part of the report having been read, on the motion of Mr. Williamson, which referred to % the expense which would be entailed by holding the next session of the Assembly at Wellington, no hon. member seemed disposed to make any further motion, and a dead silence of some minutes ensued. The Chaikman having expressed himself as undecided on the point of order, no similar case, having, to his recollection occurred beiore ; the Colonial Treasurer having suggested that the Committee proceed to the consideration of message 45 ; and Mr. Stafpord having suggested that some hon. member would move that the consideration of message No. 46 be postponed, — Mr. Merriman thought that it would be scarcely courteous for the House thus to treat a message from the Governor. He would therefore move "That this Committee, recommend the House to address his Excellency informing him in answer to His Excellency's Message, No. 46, that, having regard to the present financial state of the Colony, the House does not feel authorised to grant any sum of money for the service mentioned in the Message, as a Select Committee of the House has reported that a sum of at least £2500 -will be required for the purpose. Major Greenwood seconded the motion. Mr. Bell viewed the motion of the hon. member for the Suburbs with much surprise. The House had already, in a full house and after full consideration, passed a solemn resolution that the next session of the Assembly should be held at Wellington ; and had pledged itself by address to make the necessary arrangements Yet the hon. member would now attempt, in a thin House, to repudiate the solemn vote of a full House. Tke House having come to the dicesion it hnd done, he and his friends conceived if periectly unnecessary now to renew the discussion upon a money vote;
I Mr. Fox said that there was aeally no occasion U r the necessary sum to be placed on the estimates for this year, as it would not be expended duiing the present financial period. When the House was next in Session, the necessary arrangements would doubtless be made ; and his Excellency would be peifectly safe in acting upon a resolution of the House. The hon. member concluded by moving the following amendment ; — " That the House having already, by a solemn and deliberate resolution, expressed its opinion that the next sitting of the General Assembly should be held at Wei- J 1 ngton.aud pledged it-elf to make the necessary arrangements, i> was not necessary to place a sum of money for that specific purpose on this year's Estimates." Mr. Williamson said that his Excellency and the hon. member for Wanganui seemed to hold difleient views on this point. His Excellency evidently felt it to be necessity that the House should authorize the expenditure of this money. (Mr. Fox —He connot expend it.) Did the hon. member member mean to say that expense would net be incurred in going down to the South? (Mr. Fox. — Not paid ) But some one would be liable for it, and his Excellency, in the course he had adopted, had acted a wise and piudent part. Stress had been laid on the motion being passed by a majority, but that House did not constitute the General Assembly— the fact being that a majority of the General Assembly declared against the proposed removal. The resolution referred to had been passed first, and Us practicability or impracticability examined afterwards. Expeiience had since show its impuu-tieability. He belie\ ed that the expense to be incurred would not be less than £3000, and he did consider that, as guaidians of the public purse, they > had no right to authorize his Excellency to expend so large a sum of money, merely for the convenience of a f w Wellington gentlemen, and as a preliminaiy to the final removal of the Government. (The Coionial Treasurer, No, no.) The Wellington members could not say no ; for this they h.jd been smuggling since the establishment of the colony ; and they were now trying t>get it piecemeal. But why did they not meet the whole question, and grant the North entire separation from the So,nth? The hon. member then alluded to the jealousy displayed. in the House, on money votes for Auckland, although that Province actually contributed one half the whole re\enue. Major Greenwood and Mr. Brodie also supported the motion, amidst impatient and repeated tix.-s of question. The amendment was then put and negatived on the following division :—: — Ayes, 12— Messrs. Fox, Richmond, Sewell, Domett, East, Smith, Fitzgeiald, Cuff, Bell, Brown. Hall, Ward. Noes, 13— Messrs. Campbell, Stafford, Curtis, Williamson, Greenwood, Biodie, Graham, Henderson, Taylor, Merriman, Beckham, Lee, Daldy. On the original motion being put, the Ayes were declared to have it Another division was called for with the same result as before. Mr. Merriman moved that the Chairman do report the resoluti n to the House. Mr. Foxn-iteiated his opinion that the resolution arrived at by the Committee did not in the slightest degree affect the question. The House had pledged itself to make the necessary arrangements, and he was quite satisfied thatjhis Excellency would feel justified in acting upon that pledge. For his own part he would rather not see the amount on the Estimates for this year. On the question of reporting progress, theCHAiRMAN decided that the Ayes kad it. Mi. Fox called fora division ; and then, with the other Wellington representathes, excepting Mr. Bell, who remained as teller, the Colonial Treasurer and Secretary, Messrs. East, Brown, Hal', and Cuff, left the House. The consequence wat that the House was left without a quorum, as apparent in the division lists, and it was adjourned accordingly.
"VVedxbsday, August 13. The Chairman of Committees, in the absence of the Speaker, took the Chair at sp. m. ; but, atter prayers wire lead, the Ilouse was counted out, there not being a sufficient number of members present.
Thursday, August \i. The Chairman of Committees was again voted into the ( 'hair, in the absence of the Speaker, from continued indispusitiun.
Native Expenditure. The House went into Committee upon his Excellence's mi s-iiige, No. 45, recommending an increased vote for Nati\e purposes. An addiess to his Excellency, moved by Mr. Bell, was agreed to, authorizing his Excellency to expend, if necessary, a further sum not exceeding £1000. The address and a summary of the pioceedin<;s in Committee will be found in the leading c 1-iniiiS of our ldsi issue.
Me isage from the Legislative Council. A deputation from the Legislative Council stated that they had agreed to the amendments in the Pinrincial Criminal Laws Bill. On the motion of Mr Hall, the Bill was recommitted, to supply a slight omission, after which it was adopted and transmitted to the Legislative Council. A second Message from the latter signified their assent to the amendments. Another do putaion presented the Scotch Law Practitioneis' Bill, as passed by the Council, which was considered in its various stages and passed. Another deputation presented the Land Cl.iims Settlement Bill, with amendments. These were considered in Committee, and Messrs Sewell, Williamson, Daldy, and Bell were appointed to confer with a deputation from the Legislative Council, on the amendments. During the course otthp d-iy the confeience agreed upon the amendments, and the Bill was adopted by both Houses. Another deputation announced that the Council h.ul agreed to the amendments m the Provincial Council Powers Bill.
Messages from his Excellency. The following were handed to the Speaker by his Ex . cellency's Private Secretaiy,— No. 47— Transmitting an Appropriation Bill. On the motion of the Colonial Tueasuiwk, this bill was read a first and second time, considered in committee, two new clauses added as quoted m the leading columns of our last, reported, passed, and sent to the Legislative Council by the hands of .vlessrs. Stafford and Campbell. A deputation from the Council Announced, at a later period of the day, that the bill had passed. jj Oi 43 — The Governor begs to inform the House of Represmtatives, that, on behalf of her Majesty, he has assented to the following Acts passed during the present Session :—: — The Pensions' Act, 1856. Tie Law Amendment Act, 1856. The Naturalization Act, 1856. The Bank Paper Currency Act, 1856. The Nelson Trust Fund Atrend.nent Act, 1856. The English Acts Act, 1856. The New Zealand Debenture Act, 1856. The New Zealand Colonial Bank of Is&ue Winding up Act, 1856. The Marriage Act Amendment Act, 1856. The Magistrates' Indemnity Act, 1856. The Building Societies Amendment Act, 1856. The Bills of Sale "Registration Act, 1856. The Nelson Wesleyan Chapel Sale Act, 1856. The Religious, Charitable, and Educational Trusts Act, 1856. The Savings' Bank Ordinance Amendment Act, 1856. The Superintendents' Deputy Act, 1856. The New Zealand Native Reserves Act, 1856. The Resident Magistrates' Court Ordinance Amendment Act, 1856. The Counties Act. 1856. The New Zealand Loan Act, 1856. The Supreme Court Procedure Act, 1856. The Public Offices Act, 1856. The Privileges Act, 1856. The Customs Duties Act, 1856. The Auckland Hospital and Grammar School Reserves Act, 1856. Government House, Auckland, 14th August, 1856.
Hesifffiation. The Chairman announced having received the resignation of Charles Brown, Esq., as mamber of the House of Representatives for the Grey and Bell Districts (Tar an aid). On the motion of the Colonial Treasurer, it was resolved that an address be presented to his Excellency, praying that a Writ be issued for the election of another member in place of Mr. Brown.
Claim of Edward Catchpool. Mr. Staitord said that, in pursuance of a promise made. Mr. Tancred had been appointed a commissioner to inquire into the allegations contained in the petition of the above claimant.
Amounts omitted in Appropriation Bill. The following resolution was passed in committee, and affirmed by the House : That an address be presented to his Excellency, praying him to cause to be paid the following amounts omitted from the Appropriation Act, viz :—: — Pension to Alex. Brown, £36 10s. And also to cause to be defrayed the charges of maintaining local posts in the Provinces for six months, from this date. And that, in such address, the House do respectfully assuie his Excellency that they will make good such expenditure in the votes of the next session.
Government House. Mr. Fitzgerald moved, " that the following resolutions, adopted by the Select Committee on the New U-overiunent House, be adopted :—: —
I " Th.il in the opinion of this llousc, the building in I question is suitable for the Houses of Assembly, and ] for the offices of the General Government, and that.it i% I -\erv desirable that it should be occupied for such puri poses. " That in. order to repay the Province of Auckland for the cost of the building ; the present Government offices, and the buildings of the present Houses of Assembly, together with the land on which those buildi ings are situated, and any other public reseives in the town of Auckland which may be available for that purpose, be given up to the Province, if the Province will accept such proposal. • That as a part o' the arrangement, it will be proprr that a suitable building for the residence of the Governor should be erected on the Auckland Government Domain, and that provision be made during the present session for that purpose." " Mr. Bell opposed going into committee. The resolutions opened the whole question of the Meetings of Assembly and the Seat of Government. It was most unfair in the Go\ eminent, at this late stage of the session, to introduce such a measure, involving so large an expenditure, after the departure of many of the Southern members, who, if they were present, would enable the House to negitive the resolutions. Mr. Pox fully concurred with the hon. member, and urgently opposed going into committee. He moved an amendment that the House go into Committee on the resolutions that day six months. The amendment was put and lost on the following division : — Ayes 3— Messrs. Fox. Bell, and Hall. Noes 16— Messrs. Stafford, Richmond, Sewell, Campbell, Domett, Williamson, Beckham, Graham, Fitzgerald, Cuff, Curtis, East, Taylor, Daldy, Brodie, Lee. The House then went into Committee upon the resolutions, and a long discussion ensued. An amendment, by Mr. Bell, that all the words after " General Government," in the first resolution, be omitted, was negatived, on a division, by 17 to 4. On the motion of Mr. SrAiroitD, the words "and that a sum not exceeding £8000 be appropriated for that purpose out of the Debenture Loan of £100,000," were substituted for the following words in the last clause,—*' for, which it will be necessary to make provision during the present session." The resolutions, as thus amended, were then reported, and affirmed by vote of the House The House adjourned at \ to 7, p.m.
Saturday, August 16. The House met at 12 o'clock. Besignation. The Speaker read a letter from Alfred Ludlam, Esq., resigning his scat, as a member for the Hutt. Mr. Bell moved an address to his Excellency, requesting him to issue a new writ for the election of a member to supply the vacancy. — Agreed to.
Native Question. Mr. Fox moved that the House proceed to the adjourned debate upon the address to her Majesty requesting her to instruct his Excellency to act in concert with his responsible advisers upon native questions. The Colonial Treasurer did not see the necessity of sending an address of so elaborate a character. Mr. Fitzgerald supported the address, pointing out the fact that at present there were two governments in the country — one for Europeans and one tor Natives. It was a state of things which might place the country in a position of great danger. Several hon. members took part in the discussion, which resulted in the adoption of a motion by Mr. H^ll, that the resolution parsed by the House should be embodied, in the usual manner, in an address to the Crown.
Messages from hit Excellency. The following were handed the Speaker by his Excellency's Private Secretary : — N0.49--Inreferencetothe place wherethe nextmeeting of the Assembly shou'd be held, the Governor observes that the Resolution of the House, dated 26th May, expresses an opinion, that the "next meeting of the General Assembly should be held in such more central place as his Excellency may deem most convenient." In reply to this Resolution, the Governor in a Message, No". 26, alluded to certain difficulties, and requested a more definite opinion. This Message was answered in a Resolution by the House, dated 3rd July, stating " that this House concurs in his Excellency's opinion, that in adopting the Resolution ot this Eouse, that the next Session should be held in a more central place, Wellington is the preferable place for the purpose, and it recommends his Excellency to summon it to meet at that place ; and this House pledges itself to make the necessary arrangements in the interval to enable the Set.sion to be held theie without detriment to the public service." The question would then have been settled, but that on the next day, the Governor received a Resolution from the Legislative Council, declaring " that, in the opinion of this Council, great inconvenience and mischief to the public service will result from any change being made in the place of meeting of the General Assembly." It thus bee an c the Governor's duty to inquire what was the state of opinion in the two Houses, and he is informed that in the House of Representatives the Resolution of the 3rd July was carried by a majority of two, thirty-five members being present ; and that, in the Legislative Council, the vote was unanimous— seven members being present. Feeling, however, great anxiety that his decision should meet with general approval, and hoping that some compromise might be made with the Legislative Council, the Governor brought the subject more distinctly under the consideration of the House of Representatives in his Message No. 46; but having failed in his object, he appealed to his Executive Council— in which the members were equally divided in opinion. It remains for him, therefore, again to consider the subject, and he will not shrink from expressing his own opinion, as it has now become a matter of duty. He sees difficulties and advantages on both sides of the question, and he is aware that it will hp impossible to reconcile conflicting interests. Earnestly desiiingthe welfare of the Colony, and entirely free from prejudice in favour of any particular pai t of it, he considers that in the absence of any provision for a Lieutenant Governor at Auckland, the balance rests in favour of Auckland being the place at which the Assembly should hold its next session. In coming to this conclusion, the Governor desires to add that, concurring with his Advisers, and the House of Representatives, in its opinion relative to the Seat of Government, he will solicit her Majesty's Government to enable him to appoint a Lieutenant Governor during his absence at a future time, should the House consider it ad%isable to provide for the necessary expenditure, j The Governor has no hesitation m saying that, unless advised otherwise, he will, if then honored with the Commission he now holds, summon the Assembly to meet at Wellington at its sixth session, and continue to summon it alternately at that place and Auckland. He trusts the Assembly will consider the subject in all its relations during the next session, and will then arrive at a decision admitting ot no dispute. Government House, Auckland, loth August, 1856. No. 50— Conveying the Governor's assent to certain measures passed during the present session of the Assembly ; and stating that he had reserved the Provincial Powers Act and the Governor's Salary j Act for the signification of her Majesty's pleasure, i
Bills during Sesi>io7i. The Speaker read the following : — Summary of Proceedings on Bills introduced during the Session :—: — Passed and assented to 33 Reserved for her Majesty's assent 2 Negatived in Legislative Council .... 2 Lapsed do. do. .... 1 Negatived on committal 3 Lapsed in select committee 6 Lapsed in House of Representatives . . 2 Discharged from paper 3 Under consideration of his Excellency 1 53
Resignation. The Speaker read a letter from Henry Sewell, Esq., resigning his seat in the House as member for Christchurch. ' The Colonial 'Secret aky moved an address to his Excellency, praying him to issue a new writ for the election of a member to fill the vacant seat. Mr. Fox wished an explanation respecting the resignation of the Yon. member for Christchurch. That hon. member held a responsible office— responsible through its holder being a member of the House. He (Mr. Fox) would much like to know whether that hon. member intended to resign his office, or to continue a responsible minister when he was no longer responsible to any one. What, in short, were the ministerial arrangements ? Mr. Carleton, speaking on a point of order, thought it would be quite corripetent for the hon. member for Wanganui to move the late hon. member for Christchurch to the bar of the House. (Laughter.) The Colonial Secretary said that arrangements had been made for duly fulfilling all the conditions of responsible government He thought the House should be satisfied (No, no). He was not prepared to give a more satisfactory answer. When the constitution w< s infringed, the House could then interfere. Mr. Dildt was surprised that any gentleman holding office should reply in such a manner to the representatives of the people. How could the-House interfere when
a period of 15 months might elapse before it was *gain in Session ? The House had a right to a definite answer at once, and he could not conceive that it was beneath the dignity of the Ministry to give one. Mr. Fox said the aniwer was by no meant satisfactory. They were at that moment absolutely without * responsible Treasurer. Would not the Ministry exercise a little candour and say nt once whether they were to revert to the old system of Government clerks, or what state of things was to ensue. Mr. Hall, while bearing testimony to the value of ? r. Sewell's services, expressed his opinion that the very spirit of responsible government had been violated. The hon. member was proceeding, when,-— The Colonial Secretary said that he might be able to save fnrther debate. There was no intention to change the personnel of the ministry. No new distribution of offices was involved in the resignation of Mr. Sevvell. It was the intention of Mr. Stafford to take one of the Executive offices, which, was not yet determined. In the meantime, Mr. Sewell would temporarily perform the duties of Colonial Tieasurer. There would, therefore, be no accession to the Ministry ; no one else would be charged with the Government of the country. Mr. Fox. The hon. member, the Colonial Secretary, has not informed the House whether the hon. member for Christchurch will remain a member of the Executive. The Colonial Secretary. Mr. Sewell will reivain a member of the Executive Council, but will not hold an Executive office. During his stay in England, he will, de facto, be doing the work of the country. Mr. Fox said that the proposed arrangements constituted a mockery of responsible government. A member of the Executive Council was expected t- be responsible to the country, and how could he be so if residing 16,000 miles off ? The Ministry was not at liberty to make ar-rangem-nts that would infringe the fundamental principle of the system of responsible government, under which they held their seats. The hon. member concluded by moving that the reply was unsatisfactory, which was seconded by Capt. Daldy, and was about to be put, when A Message from his Excellency Was announced, desiring the members to attend in the Legislative Council Chamber, to hear his Excellency's speech on proroguing the Assembly. Prorogation. His Excellency, in the Chamber of the Legislative Council, then prorogued the General Assembly, till the Ist day of July, 1857.
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General Assembly. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES., Daily Southern Cross, Volume XIII, Issue 954, 19 August 1856
General Assembly. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XIII, Issue 954, 19 August 1856
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