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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7966, 23 July 1889
♦ [Fbom Oub Parijamentaby Reporter. 1 WELLINGTON, July 20. Members as Press Correspondents. There bas long been a feeling among reporters in the Press Gallery that it is a highly undesirable thing that members of the House should act as special correspondents for any of the newspapers in the oolony, for it must be patent that facilities are placed in their way for getting news which the recognised kabitua of the gallery have not access to. For instance, they can retail lobby gossip or proceedings before select committees which do not come in the way of tho reporter proper. In the courso of the co-called breach-of-privilege discussion to-night the Dcfenco Minister plainly showed that some hon. members were imbued wi'h tho same idea. Ho said that thoss newspaper correspondents who were members of the House were an unmitigated curse. Then, referring to tho member for Dunediii Central, the Hon. Mr Fergus proceeded to s;*y that that gentleman had, in his capacity as " tpeoial" for a Southern paper, made things unpleasant for other Otago members, and had referred in terms of the highest laudation to li's own services, bringing himself, in fact, prominently before the public as an extreme benefactor. He was glad to see that the hon. gentleman's contributions had ceated, because there was now a broader and a fairer tone about the article* in the newspaper in question. Dr Newman subsequently suggested that the information re the convorcijn of 'oans which fir.'t appeared in the columns of the Luuedin Stab ■was inspired by Ministers, but he wa3 very lar indeed wide of the mark. The Otago Central.
The following is a copy of a letter forwarded to the Mayor of Dunedin by the Waihora to-day, and which explains itself : "Wellington, July 21, 1889. "ThoMayor, Dunedin. "Dear Bir,— As it is desirable yoj should be acquainted with the relating to your message in re the Otago Central Railway, I will take tho liberty of detailirg them. On receipt of your telegram I consulted all the Otago members in the House at the timeMessrs Fitchott, Barron, and Scobio Mackenzie. After some confederation it was agreed that I should send you a messago approving of the propessd public meeting, and should convene a meeting of members later on to consider the draft resolutions to be sent to you ; but in the afternoon a meeting of some of the city and subuiban members was held, without any not.flcation to myself—Mr Scobio Mackenzie, Mr James Mills, and Mr Larnach—and a totally different course was agieod to, and wired to you then. Mr Alkn and Mr Fish eame to mo and told me what had been done. Annoyed as I undoubtedly was at the strange sourse pursued, I yet, for the sake of maintaining conoord, sent you a second telegram, therein eoncadbjg the point that 'perhaps' it would be well to postpono the meeting. This explains the apparent contradiction. " Believe ma to be yours very truly, "YiscmT Ftke." The Colonial Organ. The ' New Zealand Times' is the Ministerial •ry*n in We'lingtoD, and, in referring to the im>pi'ed news that it disseminated concerning the intentions of the Government, Mr Moss tonight remarked that, according to rumor, it vai pnrtly owned by members on the Treasmy Benches. The Premier smiled, whereupon the member for Parnell added: "The Premier laughs; but I don't think it is a laughing matter to own shares in that paper." The Murder Case. Ministers had the flist portion of the Judge's notes in Ghemis's case before them this afternoon, and wi'l have the remainder under review to-morrow. After the Oabinet meeting to-day the whole of the Ministers visited the scene of the muider. The petitions for the reprieve will be presented on Satuiday, and tho Cabinet will dectde by Monday what action is to be taken. Monday Sittings. The system of Monday sittings commenced ie-night rather inauspiciously, for instead of taokliog the Representation Bill straight away, as was expected, over two hours were spent in j disoußsion a question of privilege raited as to ■the publication of the Ward-Ohristie correspondence by the ' New Zealand Times.' The debate was entirely fruitless, its principal feature being the free expression of opinion that the 'Times' artie'e gave a garbled version prejudicial to Judge "Ward. At an early btage the Speaker expressed the opinion that no breach of privilege had been committed, and the House evidently held the same view, for itultlmately negatived the motion that the artlclo be read by the •lerk. Comment was made on the impropriety of members of the House acting as newspaper correspondents, and it seemed to bo pretty generally agreed that, as the Issue of tho inquiry into nuin questions, either the Judge •r the member of the Ministry concerned must fo. The Representation Bill. The debate on the second reading of the Representation Bill was resumed by Mr Tanner, who drew a laughable picture of the difficulties which cuididatos for oountry Mats had to contend with in contesting their •lections, ar.d ta'd it would take an allowance ef 50 per cent, to rut the country and the city M an equality. Dr Newman followed, and said that the Premier had had the effrontery to bring down a Bepresentation Bill advocating the Hara system, and affcrr tho House showed itsr-lf to bo against it to declare that it was only intended as an educational meaßaro. The amalgamation of the city electorates had his entire approval, but ke strongly denounced the monstrous increase •f the quota as a grave wrong to town members. The only other speaker was Mr Thomas Mackenzie, who pointed out that the Bill really did not give any advantage to sountry districts, but would deprive them and the city constituencies of representation for the benefit of large boroughs. He approved of tho amalgamation cf city conalituencies, but thought the measure required some radical amendments in committee. At this stage Mr Humphries moved tho adjournment of the debate till to-morrow. Jult 23. •pposltion to the Representation BUI. The town and suburban members again met this morning to cons'der the Bepresentation Bill, when it was decided that speeches anragoBistio to the measure should be made to-night by Sir George Grey and Messrs Withy, Goldie, lions, and Humphrey, and it is al.-o expected that Mr Ballance will Bpeak dead against the fiofernment measure. A TKo-Confldence Motion Talked Of. There was some desultory conversation over a proposed no confidence motion, and it was stated that eleven membersj] who had hitherto vottd with the Government would support the proposal if tabled. Mr Ballance will be approached, and if he consents to be made a eatspaw of we may shortly Jexpect to be plunged into a no-confidence debate. It may be worth mentioning that when the redaction ef membere waß effected In the first session of the present Parliament an attempt was mr.de by Mr Seddon to have the allowance to country districts raised from 18 per cent, to 25, and this was negatived by an overwhelming majority; every member of tho Government voting against it. The Englneer-ln-Chlef. M' Batkin, Assistant Auditor-General, having expressed a desire to retire on a pension, it is stated that Mr O'Conor, Under-Secretary for Publio Works, will receive the vacant appointment. Tbi» of course means that Mr Blair will Ve made Bngineor-in-Chlef; in fact, his appointment may be considered as virtually settled. The Irish Delegates. The anti-Home Rule members have sent the following letter to the promoters of the public meeting held here last night:—"We beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 18th inst. inviting us to attend a meeting at the Exohange Hall, convened to make arrangements f r the reception of tho Irish Parliamentary delegates, lhe questions which will be raised by the publio reception of Mr Dillon and his colleagues, however important in themselves, have no reference to publio affairs in New Zealand, and appear to us calculated to introduce among us elements of dissension and party strife from whioh New Zealand colonists had better be free. It seems to us undesirable that these should be introduced into the colony. We do not therefore feel justified in accepting your invitation." S'gued by the following members:—Messrs Hall, Monk, M'Gregor, Samuel, Humphries, Saunders, Kerr, Buohanan, Tanner, Hobbs, Duncan, Dr Hodgkinßon, and Lance. Also by the following Legislative Councillors:—Oolonel "Whiimore, Dr Pollen, Messrs Campbell, Peter, Barnicoat, and Pharazyn.
The Exhibition BUI. The Joint Committee report that the Dunedin Exhibition Public Streets Closing and Licensing Bill is a local and a private Bill, but inasmuch as the provision is of a temporary and colonial character, they recommend that it be allowed to proceed as a public Bill. Rumors of Wars. A feeling is growing that the second reading of the Representation Bill will be followed by a proposal to revert to ninety-one members, and that the Premier,' finding the House unmanageable, will ask for a dissolution. That Correspondence. The Public Petitions Committee have decided, before summoning witnesses in Christie's petition,', toob'tain,. Judge %sa,nofe!i and poples of any evidence in possession of the
can give. Mr Fish has given notice of his intention to move for a select committee to ascertain under what circumstances a prfciici the correspondence was published in the 'New Zealand Times' yesterday, with power to call for witnesses. The Medical Practitioners BUI. The Medical Practitioners Bill pinsed its second reading in the Council by 17 to 15. The Hon. G. M'Ltnn presented twenty-seven petitions from medical men in different parts of the colony in its favor.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7966, 23 July 1889
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