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THE REPRESENTATION DIFFICULTY., Issue 7970, 27 July 1889
THE REPRESENTATION DIFFICULTY.
TJE STONEWALL CONTINUES. "NO SURRENDER.' [From Oor Parliamentary Reporter. 1 WELLINGTON, July 26. Tho oppDnents of the Representation Rill have now nailed their colors to the mast, and are Hying the signal "No surrender." 'Jhey gave tho House a taste of their quality to-day, when two of their number (Messrs Joyce and Taylor) kupt possession of the floor for nearly the entire day ; and these, to use a sporting phrase, art not the'strongest pair of their team "in staying power." Mr Joyce spoke for eight hours, and gave way at a-quarter past twelve to tho member for Sydenham, who occupied the tl )or ti 1 a quarter - past five. Members report that he was in gocd form, and applied to the various members of the Ministry and their supporters the names of the characters in 'Pilgrim's Progress,' such as "Mr Facing both-ways," "Mr Pliable," "Mr Turncoat," and bo on. Those hnbiluvnof the Houso who remember Mr Richard Reeves's dissertat ons on " Dees and their habits and products," in the Native Bills stonewall of last , session, are disappointed that they were excluded from hearing him on this occasion. He followed Mr Taylor, and with his ready flow of language is likely to keep the House going for several hours. Indeed Mr Joyce's eight hours shift this morning has put the elect of Inangalun on his mettle, and he is desirous of not only eclipsing this but also his own previous performances.
A Happy Hit. On resuming in the evening ha spe ta good deal of time in ch.fling tho Government and their chief adherents. One shot that tickled his audence immensely was a suggestion that an adjournment might be made in order to enable the Prem'er and Defence Minister to attend the meeting which wa3 being held iu another part of the city, and for once got into touch with public opinion. Sir J. Hall came in for his i-hare of banter on the subject of "gridironing," and altogether Mr Reeves succeeded in making merry before he finally settled down to the "dreary drip of dilatory declamation." A Sunday Sitting.
With reference to the oontemplattd Sunday sitting, over which tho minds of membeis are at nreaent considerably exercised, the following extract from 'Hansard ' of September 14,1876, when the Disqualification Act was under consideration, may bo taken as an indication of the stand the Speaker will adopt:—"At 10 p.m. on Saturday Sir W. Fitzherbert announced that the usual adjournment fur half an hour would tiko place, and that at midnight (the next day beinir Sunday) the chair would bo vacated until 10 am. on Monday. In making this announcement to the House, the Speaker desired to state that, whilst, on the one hand, the House was naturally anxious tc proceed without any unnecessary delay with the prosent debate, yet, on the other hand, it would not, he waßSure, f. rget that Sunday was regarded aIL tho world over by British people as a day of rest. He relied on the Housa supporting the announcement he had made for resuming the sittiug without tho question being pu*„ There was no oppjtitiou to this course." If tie stonewall extends ti midnight tomorrow SirM. O'fior'rfC willdoubtless follow the precedent set by his predecessor. Sympathy from Constituencies. That feeling has been thoroughly aroused in the chief cities is evident from the encouraging telegrams which were poured in upon members this afternoon. Mr Withy received a message from the Mayor of Newton (Auckland) as follows: "General dissatisfaction Representation Bill, Public meeting will be called in Newton if debate adjourned t'i give opportunity." To enable tho meaning of Mr Withy's leply to be appreciated it U necessary to state that that gentleman was fiist opposed to stonewalling on principle, and n fused to sign the mani'esto drawn up by the t)wn members. Ho refused to j-in in any obstruction until he saw how determined were tho country party to the Bill through. His present earnestness may be gathered from the text of his reply to the mayor, which read as follows:—"I am heartily with the stonewallers. Old members siy it is the best fight ever conducted. Hold your meeting Saturday or Monday. Are fighting for fair discu sion. Lecislation prearranged by compact and brought in by Government." An influential Chns'church citizen wired to Mr Humphreys in the following laconic terms: Mr Fish received the following telegram from the Mayor of Dunedin : —"Great excitement in town over Representation Bil. Public meeting to beheld to-morrow to support cty members in opposition to the proposed quota." The Mayor of Ohristchurch telegraphed to Mr Jones that a public mePting is to be held there to-morrow night to consider the position of the Representation Bill; and another telegram from Mr 0. W. Fisher, an influential Ohristchurch resident, is to the following effect:—" In the interests of your electors stick to the fight. You have our sympathy. Show this to city members. Other Tries for a Compromise.
The Premier approached the stonewallers this afternoon with an offer that if thpy would agree to allow the moiion for committal of the Bill to pats he would report progress and consent to an adjournment till Monday out of respect to the mem ry of the late JudgoGilliep, a former membu' of tho House and an ex-Minister. The overture was made to Mr Robs, who summoned an informal meeting of tho town party, at which the feeling was unanimously resolved "that as the stonewall had so far scored all round the line and had excellent prospects of success, besides powerful force in reset ve, while tho rank and file (f tho country party were weakening, anything like 'backing down' would be very unwise. They, however, decided that if tho Government would consent to adjourn at once until Tuesday, the stonewallers would pledge themselves then to allow the Bill to go into committee without further debate."
A second meeting of the city members took placo at seven o'clock, and with the exception of those who had to speak at the public meeting, and Mr Taylor, who was enjoying a wellearned repose, tho whole of the party were present. Agam the opinion was unanimous that t-> yield in an 7 way would entail serious loss of prestige, and to throw away aU advantage gained by the last two days' fighting. It was therefore resolved to acquiesce in any proposition that might emanate from the Government for an adjournment of the House, but to steadfastly insist that the motion for committal be not put till Tuesday. This alternative was rejected by the Government and the country party, and the debate was accordingly continued with renewed vigor. In tho course of the afternoon's interview the Premier directed Mr Ross to intimate to the town party that if the fight is to proceed he will propose the adjournment of the House at 1 p.m. on Saturday till ten o'clock on Mon'ay mornieg. _ , , Press Opinions. The 'Post'says: "The city member* are making an excellent stand against the tyranny of the country majority and the disgraceful conduct of the Ministry. They are fighting valiantly to preserve the political rights of their constituents, and they deserve all credit for the way they are doing it." A Mvely Incident. Tho proceedings to-day have for most part been dull and uninteresting, and a dim" mlty has been experienced in keeping a House. But there was a lively break in the course of the forenoon sitting. Mr Taylor, in talking all round the subject, proceeded to make some personal remarks in his own peculiar style, when Mr O Conor rose for the purpose of calling attention to the irrelevancy of h ; s observations. Tbe Deputy Speaker mildly rebuked the member for Sjdenham for traveling wide of tbo mark, and Mr Taylor, turn'ng fiercely towards Mr O'Conor, pointedly remarked that in speaking at length in tho manner he was doing he was acting without any hope of favor or reward. Mr O'Conor persisted that such personal remarks ought not to be made, and Mr Hamlin for a secoml time pounced upon Mr Taylor. Then up jumped Mr Oownie Stewart apparently pnragnd, and while supporting the ( , ha - 'rman , H ruling questioned the right of tho member for the Buller to assume tho functions of censor to the House. Mr Hamlin ruled that there was no ground for this remark, and said it was clewly light of any hon. gentleman to call another to order; and as Mr Taylor was clearly transgressing tbe fair rules of debate, he (the Deputy Speaker) had thought it his duty to administer a rebuke to him. This drew from Mr O'Conor tbe remark that he was alwayß ready to acknowledge tbe ruling of the chair, but he protested aarainst submitting to the dictation of any "insignificant " member. Mr Stewart objected to this remark, saying that the term "insignificant, "In the manner in which it had been used, could only apply to him ; and Mr O'Conor sarcastically replied that as the hon. gentleman chose to think so he could scarcely contradict him without being rude towards him. Soon afterwards the " scene " terminated, and the member for Sydenham continued his address. Drawing the Lour BowMr Fish this evening received the following further telegram frem the Mayor of Dunedin : —" Dunedin to a man approves of your action. Never soen cuch excitement betore. Nothing else talked of.—-H. Ootjmet." Wellington Support. The meeting at the Princess's Theatre tonight was a pronounced suocsbs, the enthusiasm being unbounded. Sir G. Grey, Mr Fisher, Mr Izard, and Mr Fißh on rising to address the meeting each received an ovation, Allusions to Sir H, Atkinson and Mr Fergus, in speaking of
the Wellington electorj as "a mob led by a demagogue," were signals for uproarious dissent and hisses, which were frequently leptakd duiing the course of the meeting, The building was crowded to excess. The Stonewall goes.on Merrily.
Mr R. J. Reeves only sj oko for a couple of bouw, and at 9. SO Mr W. I'. Reeves took up the running, making a humorous speech, At 10.30 tho usual supper adjournment was taken, and on resuming the member for St. Albans spoke till twenty-five minutes past eleven, when Sir G. Grey took a turn. If Mr Reeves had only had the physique to carry it through, he introduced a plan char, from its simplicity and its completeness, would, havo enabled him to talk for. an indefinite period. An Alliterative Indictment. He opened by declaring that the Bill was absurd, arbitrary, anti-domocratic, arrogant, artful, aim Dilating, bewildering, bunglii g, baneful, burdensom?, baffling, cru u l, clumsy, conservat've captious, dictatorial, distutbtng, dnnnging. dilatory, destructive, extreme, exasperating, exacting, evasive, flimsy, feeble, factious, foolish, greedy, grasping, harsh, hateful, hasty, humiliating, improper, illiberal, ill-timed, illtempered, injudicious, involved, intimidating, intolerant, irrational, iniquitous, irritating, in tolerable, inconsiderable, inequitable, immoral, intrusive, meddling, muddling, nauseou', nonsensical, oppressive, outrageous, quibbling, reactionary, revolutionary, rasping, ridiculous, traitorous, Tory, unjust, untimely, useless, unsettling, ungenerous, unkind, unfair, unrighteous, unprincipled, ungrateful, unstatesmanlike, unexpected, vexatious, vacillatory, f al wrong. Having read this list through, the hon. gentleman proceeded to take each word as the text of a sepwate speech. By this means he kept to the question, and spent two hours n reaching the "dictatorial" portion of his speech, when he subsided. The idea was considered a splendid one by all who heard it, and will probab'y bo taken up by other stonewallers. Sir G. Grey held tho floor ot the House until a quarter-past twelve, and was followed by Mr Humphreys, who did not speak for more than twenty minutes, giving way to Mr Downie Stewart. Another Compromise.
On dit that another compromise will be attempted if the effort to obtain a repeal of the Bill reducing the number of members u not successful-viz., that the present Eill (1887) be retained, 18 per cent, quota and all, but that the number of European members be raised to e'ghty-one, making a House of eighty-five with Maoris. From all accounts the Government will refuse to entertain any such proposal. The Deadlock Continues, and there Is seemingly no prospect of any compromise being effected. Mr Pyke followed Mr Downie Stewart, and in a speech of twenty minutes attempted to prove the shallowness of the town members' objections. He pointed out that the present Bill was on all fours with the measure introduced by Sir G. Grey in 1879. At 12,30 a.m. Sydney Taiwbanga got up to epsak. A Novel Difficulty. There were no interpreters in the House, and as Taiwbanga persisted in speaking in the Maori tongue several members raised a point of order whether he could not speak in English. The town members of course backed Taiwhanga up, and Mr Can oil, iaonswertoa question from Mr Pyke, said he would interpret if nccesfary. Mr Bruce urged the acceptance of this offer, but Taiwhanjra's friends advised him not to accept it. Considerable confusion ensued, points of order being raised promiscuously. Eventually Mr Verrall offered to speak for five minutes, which he did, and the chairman then left the chair for fifteen minutes. When the House resumed the Speaker was in the chair. Mr Goldie then rose and spoke for an hour. Taiwhanga followed, ard delivercl hi* oration in Maori. It was expected that he would orate at great length, but to the general surprise he only occupied the floor for little over an hour. By this time the town pari y had almost exhausted their resource', and with a view to allow thrir speakers one more chance, Mr Larnach moved the adjournment of tho H u;e. Tho member f.ir the Peninsula made tho briefest speech of the stonewall poc. O'iings, not being on his feet for more than three minutes. The motion was seconded by Mr T. Thompson, who spoke for half an hour. Dr Fitehett followed and held forth for an hour and a-half, and then Mr Fish, who hid been hastily summoned from his hotel took up the parable at 7.30, and was in possession of tbe floor when the Speaker left the chair for an hour'at eight o'clock. Mr Speaker Cautions Members. After Mr Thompson had seconded the adjournment this morniDg, the Speaker addressed the House. He said tbe debate had been a very exhaustive one, and had been conducted with due adherence to the rules of debate, and that no necessity for the interference of the cbair had arisen. The question was the adjournment of the House, which involved the existence of tha Bill. They must, therefore, deal only with the Bill and reasons for adjournment. This would involve a repetition of the arguments already advanced; "and be therefore trusted that hon. members would endeavor to contie: Be their remarks, as, after all that had been said on the matter, there was no necessity for individual speeches of a protracted nature extending over an hour. If this were not done he would feel it to bo his duty to take such steps as he thought necessary to deal with it. The Government, he said, were in a sense on their trial. Ho, therefore, trusted hon. members would try to confine themselves to the point and not needlessly protract the debate. It must be recognised, he added, that the ma jority must rule. Mr Moss said he did not wish to speak to the adjournment, but he would like to point out that, according to the Standing Orders, ib required a two-thirds majority to suspend tbe Standing Orders, and so in any way interfere with the fullest rights of speech. The Colonial Secretary rose to a point of order, and wanted to know what question Mr Mof s was dealing with. This w*B upheld by the Speaker, and Mr Moss was ruled out of order. Pulled Up Short.
Dr Fitchett then took up the running, and in the course of his speech referred to the Speaker's declaration about majorities ruling. _ The Speakor said he did not wish to be misunderstood. He did not intt nd to argue that it was right for the House to carry anything a majority would desire, but the will of the majority must be protected from resistance by sheer obstruction. When there was a fuller House at ten o'clock the Speaker repeated his remarks of the early morning. The Premier Throws Out a Hint. The Premier then said he hoped that the warning of Mr Speaker would weigh with hon. members. The Government had taken a reasonable view of things, and he detailed the efforts at compromise that had been made, adding that as that had been refused things must now take their course. Mr TurnWU felt mire that the Speaker would pay due regard to the rights of free speech.
1 he Voice of the Cities to be Heard. Mr Fish said ifc was true a compromise had been attempted, but the position of the town party was that they could not allow the Bill to make any progress until after public meetings in the four chief centres had been held. They were prepared to allow the Bill to be committed on Taesday; hut if the electors saw that the committal had been carried they would think that the stonewallerß bad given way, not recognising the reasons that might move them, and this would have a bad effect. Dr Fitchett said that the stonewallers did not take Mr Speaker'd words as warning in the way Sir H. Atkinson wished. They felt that it was just a kind of suggestion on Sir Maurice's part. July 27. Mr Fergus Libelled. The Defence Minister denies that he called the "Wellington electors "a mob," as was imputed to him in the courte of Thursday eight's proceedings. I have been a>ked to publish the following letter addressed by Mr FerguJ to tonight's • Evening Pi ess': — Referring to Mr Fisher's 9Deech at the meetine last nifrht. ft low me to s»y that I never called the electors of Wellington a "mob." During a number of Interruptions when Mr Withy waß speaking I interjected "We oould not hive mob rule." My reference had nothing to do with tho eleotors. As for Mr Fisher's allusions, I will doal with him at my leisure. I showed this letter to Mr Withy.
The following are Mr Withy's observations: the 'Press,' and agree that you wera not guilty of alludinj? to the electors of Wellington as a 'mob.' You asked me what would be the nature of the meeting to whioh I alluded, and I replied that I knew nothing of its origin, but thought that time should be given for the electors of Wellington and other cities to meet and express their opinions. To this you made no disparaging allusion." I wish ODly to add that if hon. gentlemen have been misreported during the stonewalling proceedings they have only themselves to blame for it. As Press reporters are excluded from the Chamber, they have naturally to roly on garbled accounts of the proceedings supplied to them by hon. members. More Encouragement. Cheering telegrams continue to be received by the city members. Thix morning Mr Goldie Cot this message from Mr Leys, editor of the 'AucklandStar':—"Bravo! Auckland. Stone wallers question arousicg stronger political feeling than known for years." Latest. Mr Fish kept possession of the floor till 12.15, having spoken upwards of four hours, when Mr Jonea replaced him. The latter oontinued his remarks on resuming after the luncheon
adjournment, and will occupy mrstof the afttrnoon,
Mr Hutchison, one of the stonewell contingent, has had to return home with a threatened attack of quinsy. Dr Newman has followed Mr Jones in the debate, and was speaking at 3 p.m.
THE FEELING IN AUCKLAND,
I From Our Own Correspondent. I
AUCKLAND, July 27. A very strong and angry feelir.fr. exists here over the Repretcntatkn hill. The requisition askiDg.them«yorio convene a public meeting was Mgned by the leading merchants and citizens, and a separate requisition was sent by the chief political societies. Strong resolutions will certainly be carried to-night. Both the papers violently attack the conduct of the majority and the Government. The ' Star' Bays: -'' We do not hesitate to Bay that a more scandalous conspiracy against the -igtits and privileges of tho great towns was never attempted in the history of representative institutions in this or any other country. But for the success which attended the former effort in the same direction, the supporters of this meaßur would never have dared to carry it to the extreme now being attempted. As to the conduct of tho Government in the matter it is beneath contempt." After showing that there is no [ conflict between the interests of citizens and th bona fide settlers, and that the responsibilities o„ both to the State are alike, it says it does not believe that tho action of the country members will meet with the approval of intelligent electors in the country, and calls upon the inhabitants of Otahuhu and Onehung*, who have always been a Irumpet voice in the cause of liberalism, and the electors of IVaitemata to speak out." It goes o» to say. "'W'e confidently rely on them making themselves beard in uoraistak'cable tones, telling their members that if they suppose that a measure eo selfish, short-sighted, and unjust will please their constituents they are grossly mistaken, and that there will be a very severe reckoning for those members who a'low themselves in this matter to become the tools of a class." It declares that the professed Liberal 3 amorg country members will politically damn themselves by their conduct, and points out that the Liberal party in England have now placed principles of eqaalityof the franchise one man, one vote—at the veiy head of thtif programme.
The 'Herald' says: -"So careless hare tbe people of Auckland been on the subject that it bas been difficult to get an; body to pay any heed to what the country members were demanding. But the gross indecency of their assumption has at length aroused attention and yesterday a very strong feeling was manifested throughout Auokland." The article scathingly attacks the principle of the Bill, and ridicules the idea that the country settlers desire unfair advantage?. It says: "We are quite sure that such men as Messrs Monk, Lawry, Whyte, Hobbs, and others of our Auckland country representatives n.ust see the utter stupidity of the movement of which they are now a part. What have the city districts or the city immb.us done that they should be to despoiled ? The lyranny <-i the m>j,,rity in the House has been woibe than that otany autocrat." The '.New Zealand Farmer' repudiites the idea that the demand mide by the country merabeiß is supported by the bona fide settlers or ia conceived in their interest.
THE REPRESENTATION DIFFICULTY., Issue 7970, 27 July 1889
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