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The Evening Star MONDAY, JUNE 24, 1889., Issue 7941, 24 June 1889
The Evening Star MONDAY, JUNE 24, 1889.
Whether of design or through stress of circumstances, the Co Fnd«>\ vernor's Speech and the irrtmif. Address-in-Reply are becoming meaningless inanities. What used to be one of the most important events of the session is crowded into a back page by the Wellington morning paper, and just casually alluded to in a sub-leader as having "happily been disposed of''— disposed of* by two speeches, if they deserve the name, in which the mover and seconder of the Address-in-Reply took particular care to inform the House and the Ministry that they were altogether in antagonism to the Government on many important points. Certainly Mr Walker, as the Leader of the Opposition, made a speech, but he was mild in comparison with the supporters of the Government, as the mover and seconder of the Address are at any rate supposed to be, Last year, it will be thero was a dull silence afVr th(i ™OVer and seconder of the Reply had coilfluder'. The members of the so-called Opposition have since assumed their then silence as a virtue. What have they to say about it, now / Mr Walker, i\w nominal head and front of the Opposition, tried hard, it would seem, to rise to the occasion; but Messrs Harkness and Lawiiv, the chosen spokesmen of the Government, had so balanced the occupants of the Treasury benches that, like Othello, he found his occupation gone. "After a calm comes a storm; says the old proverb; and although there is not any particular storm brewing at the, present juncture, there is much latent danger in the apparent apathy of members. The elements of a very dangerous tornado are lying dormant, and it is on electoral reform that the hurricane is most likely to burst. But the Government are in no danger if they are wise ; that is to say, there is no earthly reason for making any single point a Ministerial question. Surelv the House should be free as auto regulate the future, and w? can scarcely conceive the possibility os; Ministers staking their existence w, uwtters which affect the future representative* of the people. If there be any one ration which more than another should net be hampered by party considerations it is this one, and £jr IT. Atkinson and his eoUe&gues will Bjake a sad mess of it if they get on stilts said threaten resignation or dissolution, or wiything of_ the sort, .about this popular The people's representatives mazt be allowed to speak out and vote.witji-i out coercion in this respect. If Mr Harkness and Mr Lawry pn the aw side, and Mr Walicbs on the other, expressed the mind of. the House, tjhe Properly Tax is doomed, and a land and jyuQWVJ tax will take; its place. Undoubtedly ther,c is a very strong feeling in this .djrqctjonjj, and as it is the duty oi any a»d emyt •Government to give expression to the] popui&i' wish, the change may bei expected era Jong. But into the merits Of this question we prefer not to enter till the proposals of rhaae who would effect the change have" been mw distinctly formulated. , I One of the strangest things' tt»a* escaped from M> JValkkr, who has assumed the role of Leader of the Opposition, was his objection to the reform .of the Legislative Council,, "It was unnecessary and uncalled for," he said. W? Walker is surely in error in his assumption. There is scarcely anything in .reg&rd to whiei* ,all classes ,of .the community ma more thoroughly in accord than in demanding such .reform, though they mcty not be agreed as to the .manner in which it js to be brought pbout. There is no denying the foot t&ftt many members of the'' Council Jiaye fl>«» appointed .not because of their aTpUty, their legislative wfedow, m' <$W tfljfless m any
possible way for the position, hut because and in eonsequenee of occult influences that will not bear the light; yet the Leader of the Opposition wishes to maintain a system which is not exactly corrupt, but is very pronouncedly ambiguous. Of course, the Opposition assumed the credit of having brought about the improvement of the financial position of the Colony by assisting to increase taxation. What a simple u-).. ~f ; -o,.iiiv- <>nt depression!
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Ming 'Jmjii; i.r.'speciiy i-. 10 double, luxation. E\eu tile iiiosi hardened Protectionist must laugh in his sleeve at such a patent absurdity. But then Mr Walker had to say something. The mover and seconder of the Address had poured out vials of wrath on the Government, whose henchmen for the time they were, and Mr Walker, as Leader of the Opposition, had to "go one better." He did so at the cost of the loss of his reputation for talking sense; in fact, he, talked a good deal of nonsense, which probably he, will be sorry for later on in the session. However, his speech served to keep up the pretence of the. existence of a live Opposition. Mr Hutchison strove to rally to the attack, but, judging from the report, he seems to have fizzled like a damp rocket : and when Mr Vol? ALL, Mr Tavloi!, and Sydney Taiwhanca ventured on the scene the curtain very properly fell. The simple fact was that there -was nothing to be said, because, as we have already pointed out, the Speech supplied no pegs to hang an argument on.
The Evening Star MONDAY, JUNE 24, 1889., Issue 7941, 24 June 1889
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