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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7938, 20 June 1889
[Pbom Our Pabliamentab7 Rbpobtbb.]
WELLINGTON, Jt'ss 20. Hurrying On.
The Government seem in earnest La their desire to get the session over as early as possible, and with that object in view they propose debating the Address in-Reply tomorrow, should no objection be taken owing to the fact that so few members have yet arrived. Mrflarkness (Nelson) wifl move the Address, and if the House sits tomorrow the Financial Statement will be delivered on Tuesday. This will show, I understand, A Surplus of about £72,000 after meeting all liabilities. The surplus will be devoted mainly to expenditure on necessary works, this course, after consideration, being deemed preferable to reducing taxation this year. Electoral Deform. The Colonial Secretary will have chare* of the Electoral Bill and Charitable Aid Act, while the Minister ol Defence will introduce Tbe Bankruptcy BUI, a comprehensive measure, w.iioh provides inter alia that where the liabilities of a bankrupt do not exceed, say L2OO, the Official Assignee may apply to the Resident Magistrate to deal with the case in place of invoking the present costly paraphernalia* which necessitates every case being taken before the Supreme Court. Giving More Light to the Lords. The Legislative Council is to be lighted by eleotricity for the first time this session. The Chamber has also been re-decorated, making its appearance very cheerful. TheLawofLlbeL Newspaper proprietors will rejoice to learn that the Government have had nnder consideration the law of libel, and that a Bill dealing with the question will be introduced into the Council by the Attorney-General. The proposed measure is very closely assimilated to the law now in force in England, both as regards criminal and civil libels. It provides that criminal prosecutions can only be instituted by tho consent of a Judge, and legalises fair and accurate reports without malice of all lawful public meetings of public bodies constituted under any Act. Where actions are brought against several papers for practically the same libel, a Judge may order all the actions to be consolidated, and a verdict in regard to each, and costs to be divided between the various defendants. Mr Gillon, editor of the ' Evening Post,' who has been in communication with the Premier on the subject, thinks that the measure will prove generally satisfactory to newspaper proprietors, provided that a clause be inserted making it discretionary with the Judge to order any plaintiff in a civil action for libel to lodge security for costs in order to guard against the prosecution of vexatious or frivolous actions. First Comers. The following members of the Council were present at the opening:—Captain Fraser, Hons. R. Campbell, G. M'Lean, Rv Oliver. Mr Ross was the only Otago member of the House outside of tbe Ministry, while. Mr Feldwick represented Southland. The Opening Ceremony. The weather proved favorable for the opening of Parliament, and so great was the crush of ladies that admission had to be refused fully half an hour before the appointed time. A few minutes before two Sir F. Fitzherbert entered the Chamber, attended by Lady Onslow, Lady Delamere, Miss Cholmondely. The Governor was attended by the following consuls: —M. De Bachene (France), Messrs Pearce (Sweden and Norway), Castendyk (Germany), Toxword (Denmark), who were followed by the Legislative Councillors. Forty-one members of the House were present. Items. Mr Lawry seconds the Address-in-Reply in the House and the Hon. Mr Campbell moves it in the Council.
Leavo of absence for the session has bees granted to the Bonn. G. Randall Johnston and Dt Grace.
In the House the appointment of the usual sessional committees was given notice of.
Mr Joyce gave notice for the production of all papers relating to the escape of Jonathan Roberts and the removal of Gaoler O'Brien to Hokitika.
Mr Taylor moved for the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the. sweating system.
Mr Joyce reintroduces his Shop Hours Bill, and asks when the Premier will afford him an opportunity for discussing a series of proposals relating to the CanadianPacific mail service.
In reply to Mr Reeves it was stated that the Colonial Secretary had undertaken the portfolio of Education, and that his appointment will be gazetted immediately. Mr Harkness gave notice to move the Address-in-Reply to-morrow.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7938, 20 June 1889
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