THE REPRESENTATION DEADLOCK.
[Fbom Oub Paei.ia mkntahy Reporter.!
WELLINGTON, Jdly 27.
No change has tain n place during the last forty-eight hours in tho difficulty which has arisen ' Consequent on tho introduction of tho present Representation Pill. Speeches were made this afternoon by Messrs Jones (Heathcote), ■ Newman (Thorndon), and Fisher (Wellington south). The latter is now (8 p.in.) continuing his discourse, The Heal Issue. The matter of tho speeches by the town represematives, and the indications given by country members iu the lobbies, tend very clearly to show that (he question of the quota is really a sub-idiary matter, and that tho belligerents have two distinct aims iu view - viz., a return to the status quo ante at the time of the last general election, i.e., restoring the number of members to ninety-five, and a stand against the proposed amalgamation of the city electorates. When the Bill gets into committee a determined attempt will be made to have Invercargill, Nelson, Napier, and other large boroughs subjected to tho same reduction as the four centres and th-ir environs. The Government will, I am authoritatively assured, refuse ito go back to ninety-five members, and if a majority of the House decide to repeal the Act of 1887 the Premier will at once Ask for a Dissolution. The progress of events during the coming week should be keenly watched. Mr Fisher made an tffort to-nignt to have the reporters readmitted into the gal.ery, but the .Speaker firmly ruled that ho could not put the proposition seeing that the question under consideration Wts the adjournment of the House. Sir Maurice kept the lion, member clore to that issue, and pulled him up no lees than three cirrus within ten minutes for travelling beyond the record. No Surrender'. Overtures were made to tiro Premier during che afternoon to allow the House on its ruing to bo adjourned till 7 30 on Monday, but the Premier firmly declined to entertain tho idea, saying that he wou’d insist on the House reassembling at 10 a m. Excluding the Press. In ihe course of Saturday night’s proceedings Mr Fisher complained of the galleries being closed, and said that when the, history of Now Zealand came to bo written in the future it would bo found that tho proceedings during a most momentous crisis were conducted in secret. He taunted Mr Scobio Mackenzie with bring a student of the Standing Orders, and a candidate for the Speakership. Sir George Grey Uses Strong Language.
Sir G. Grey also referred to the iniquity of excluding the Pi ess, pointing out that in the case of any difference arisirg between members there would be no record in the present circumstances. It was simply impossible to even get sustenance, or the benefit of the open air Such a thing had never been done in Parliament before. On former occasions when stonewalling was resorted to the usual periods for rest and refreshment had been allowed, but this new ruling had now been imposed—a ruling which was disgraceful to the Uou-e, seeing that under it members were left at the mercy of a single man. 11 We Lave to obey any decree of this man,” he said, “ in a manner I have never seen equalled before. He has imposed these tyrannical rules upon the House, and we are bound unreasoniogly to submit. If I could test the question whether such a state of things should bo allowed to continue or not, I would do it in order that the country should know what is being done. But I regret that there are no means of bringing under review this pernicious, tyrannical, and cruel proceeding.” An Ovation. The veteran knight was followed by Mr Buxton, whose rising was the signal f< t u iroaricus cheering on the part of the town members, for he w-s the first country ' epresentativo who had spoken during the day. The member for Raugitata caused endless tnerri-m-nt by proclaiming himself at borough Bibo: a), snd while repudiating the idea of doing anything illibe'al insisting on pot coot. He avowed himself in favor of returning to ninety-one uon hers, but wou’d not do anything to turn out the present Ministers. A Recourse to tlic Scriptures. Mr Withy then took no the running, and quoted exhaustively from the Acts of the Apostles, probably with the idea of reminding Lon. members of the early approach of the Sabbath day, A Respite. At eleven the Speaker interrupted the f-crip ural discourse of the member for Newton by stating that it had been arranged that the House should rise till 2.30 on Monday, Sir Maurice said that he had gone through a trying week, a week which had been trying to himself and Mr Hamlin, the acting Speaker, as well as to members. A great strain had been put upon all of them, and he was proud to say that up to the present time not one word had been said whicli any hon. member need recall.—(Cheers.) ’1 he greatest good feeling had been shown, and the be»t taste exhibited throughout the arduous straggle in which members had been engage d. He himself had done his best to maintain the dignity of the chair without pressing unduly upon members—(cheers) - and he had now to thank both sides of iho House for the manner in which his au'ho ity had been supper ed, and bis position made as easy as circumstances would allow. It wou d give him the greatest satisfaction if, before the House met on Monday, some means were discovered of extricating the House from the position in which it was now placed. A Record Set Up. Thus terminated a sitting which lasted 75J hours, and which is the best on record so far as the New Zealand Parliament is concerned. Showing their Hanilß at Last. It is stated that the card having been pricked shows on absolute majority in favor of the repeal of the Reduction of Members Bill of 1887. Mr Lance and Mr Seymour waited on the Premier yesterday urging him to support such a measure as a satisfactory solution of the representation difficulty. Firmness of the Premier.
But, fccordirg to rumor, they received a warm reception, Sir H. Atkinson refuting to entertain the proposal, and saying that he would go to the country before he would revert to an increase of more than seventy members. The Town Party Gaining Ground.
The town members are in great heart over continued defections from the other side. Mr Ormond has “gone over,”and Mr Lawry has viitually given in his adhesion. His idea is that the outlying districts only are entitled to any increased allowance beyond that already existing. The Next move.
The Bill will probably be committed tomorrow, as brief speeches will be made in speaking to the adjournment of the debate, which has yet to be moved. All town members are primed with legitimate amendments, to be moved when the Bill is in committee, but the speakers will be confined to speeches of fifteen minutes’ duration, so that no opportunity wib be afforded of charging them with factious opposition. “Backing; Down.” Some days ago only a small number of mem* bers objected to the Representation Bril, nut a free lobby and House discussion lias raised thiir strength to one-third of the whole House, while there are a number of half hearted supporters among the country members. Many of the latter are bitterly annoyed at thoir own weakness in having pledged themselves to the 33J pec cent., and say that if they were free agents nothing would them to sign tuch a compact again. They also declare that they had no idea how disastrous’y to the cities the proposed concession would work out. It is said that the country party will try to agree not to move the substitution of 33J for the 25 per cent. On the other hand it is not unlikely that the town members may diivo the country representatives into tho lobby on this question. It is known that if the 33J percentage! cannot be carried, several members will hold themselves free then to do as they please, and will secede from the country army. The town pirty feel sanguine of being able to accomplish dissension in the ranks of the country party when the Bill gets into committee, “ The Mob.” Why will Ministers write? The following letter from Mr George Fisher is published in tonight’s ‘ Post’:—“Referring to Mr Fergus’s letter on Saturday, allow me to say that be and the Premier distinctly called the electors of Wellington a ‘mob.’ It will assi-t ycu, sir, and the public to understand how wc happen to have the words recorded in a manner which admits of no dispute, when I explain that in consequence of the exclusion of the newspaper reporters from the House throughout the debate four membois of the House—Mr Moss, Dr Fitchett, Mr W. P. Reeves, and myself—have taken summarised notes of every speech delivered, in order that the public in distant pa*ts of the country should have some knowledge of tho order of debate and of the character of the proceedings. In the middle of Mr Withy’s very able speech Ministers rushed into the House in a body, and, as Mr Withy himself admits, their subsequent interruptions and interjections flunied him very much. I took his speech in shorthand, and from my shorthand notes I send you a transcription of this particular part of his speech. It is as follows;—‘Mr Withy: It was only this morning that I myself became aware of what the real meaning of this Bill is, and it is only reasonable that the people of the
colony should have time to understand what its effect would bo if it became law. I see that meetings are to be IHd in. tho large centres of population throughout the colony, and to-morrow night a meeting of the electors is to be held heie iu this city of Wellington— . Sir H. Atkinson: They are not electors.—Mr . Fergus: They are not elector".—Mr Withy: What are they, then?— Sir H. Atkinson; A mob.—Mr Fergus: Amob, led by a demagogue.' —When Mr Withy sat down, Mr Fish at once resented the manner in which these two Ministers bad insulted the elcctois of Wellington; whereupon Mr Fergus gave further evidence of his vulgarity by making some unwarrantable personal allusions to myself. This vulgarity Mr Fish again resented iu terms which, I think, Mr Fergus will remember for the remainder of his life. I observe that Mr Feigns in his letter of Saturday, instead of apilogisit g to tho electors of Wellington, says that he only raid ‘ We o mid not have mob rule.’ Why refer to any meeting of citizens in Wellington as ‘mob rule?’ Surely the deliberate use of these words in i printed letter is a serious aggravation cf the original offence. , I hope it will yet be my pleasure to give Mr Fergus many further useful lessons,” Sir Speaker Compliments Both Sides, Mr Speaker has supplied mo with the actual words he used ia adjourning the House on Saturday night. As members were leaving the Chamber Sir Maurice said that hewould like ta make a few remarks before they dispersed. The House had been sitting uninterruptedly for over seventy hours, at great personal inconvenience no doubt to m-iny members, but notwithstanding the lengthened sitting that Ird taken place it was a source of extreme gratification to him to be able to observe that not a single scene of disorder had occurred within the Chamber during the long hour? they had spent in it; and he had not even heard an angry woi d pass between the members who had been engaged in a protracted political struggle. As Speaker ho could notify that no member by word or d;ed had done anything unbecoming i im as a gentleman, or unworthy of his position as a representative of the people of New Zeaand. As regarded himself (and he spoke fur the Chairman of Committees—Mr Hamlin—also), be had endeavored to mete out the utmost consideration to the members on both sides of the House, and that consideration was amply repaid by the demeanor of hon. members towards the chair from the beginning of the debate to the present moment. He had had a long experience of the dnties"of his offic , and never had ho less reason t) interpose than during these three days’ debate. There had not been the slightest attempt made to disrespect or disregard the authority of the chair, and be thought he could safely say that this debate of unexampled length had in no way lowered the reputation that the New Zealand House of Representatives bad long bo ne. He thought he mightSf farther say, from what passed before his eyes during what must have been to many wearisome d scussions, that no animosities had been engendered amongst members on opposite sides ; and bo believed that tho debate, when it was closed, would' leave no heartburnirgs behind. Finally, he rn’ght be a lowed to express the hope that by the time the House met on Monday some means m ! ght be devised to extricate parties from the difficulties with which they were beset; and ho thought if the same moderation and courtesy which had characterised the debate were carried into the deliberations about mutual concessions a compromise might he arrived at that would not wound tho selfrespect of either party or inflict humiliation upon the one side or the other.—(Cheers.) A Nice Point of Order. Mr Barren drew attention to the fact that Monday, according to the Standing Orders, rot being one of the prescribed sitting days, there might be a difficulty in resuming business on that day. Mr Speaker said that it might bo Monday by , tho calendar, but for Parliamentary proceedings be must regard that day as a continuation of that Wednesday which had already been extended up to Saturday. Members then separated in the utmost good humor. The Opinion of Auckland.
Mr Devore (mayor of Auckland) has wired to Mr Goldie as follows “ Meelirg on fratmdty night practically unanimous—three dissentients only. Public opinion unanimous that the number of mt rubers ought not to be increased, and that the country settlers do n">t want ard have not asked for additional representation.” Mr G, Aiken (chairman of the Auckland Charitable Aid Board) telegraphs to the same gentleman :—“ Wired Mitchelaon that seveneighths of public hrre indignant at Representation Bill.” Caucuklug. Both parties held caucus roeetirgs to-day. Tho country members numbered forty-four and Mr Seymour, who presided.- having made a statement that the Premier refused to entertain a proposal for reverting to the status quo anta in 1887, Mr Seddon proposed—“ That this party do adhere to their previous understanding in reference to the Bill ” Mr Tonne r moved as an amendment—’“l hat the electoral rolls, initead of population, be taken as the basis of representation,” but this was negatived Mr Cad man then moved that the meeting he adjourned till the Bill gets into committee In speaking in support of this amendment, Mr Scoble Mackenzie pointed out that there were a great many anomalies in the Bill that could be dealt with when it reached committee, and be thought that the best course to pursue would be to adjourn. R< cognl-ing the great necessity for unanimiity, he sugg sted that the meeting be d ssolved without passing any resolution. Mr O’Conor remarked that poetically only one side of tho question had been pieced before tho country. It was due to themselves and the country that a commi'teeshould be appointed todraw upthereasons why they supported the Bill, and for which they were contending. This suggestion was sub cqaently adopted, the Executive Committee of the party being appointed to give effect to it. When this is done, the “ reasons ” will probably be submitted to another meeting of the patty before being supplied to the Press. Mr Whyte thought it would be better to make an addition in the quota to the country, rather than get it by subtracting it, as proposed in the Bill, from the large towns; but he believed that any proposal for a compromise of such a character should emanate from those who were in a minority. Mr Saunders said that tho question at issue was whether they were to allow the minority to overrule the majority, which view was endow d by Sir John Hall, who alsooonsidered that they should affi’m the princ ple on which they set out. Mr John M‘Kenzie said they were contending for a 33J per o;nt, advantage, and anything short of this was no earlhly use. If they could not get it they might as well surrender the whole position at once. Mt Lawiy said his solo reason for attending the meeting of the country party, and Iris reason for being with them, was to obtain relief for the extreme outlying country d‘strots, as he had pointed out at the fbst meeting. He feared that it was an organised attempt to repeal the Act for the reduction of member?, and ho should at once take his own course—viz., an entire severance from the party. Mr Verrall explained that as bis sole object in attending the meeting was to obtain a return to ninety-one members, and as the Premier had emphatically declared against that, he felt that he had no further business there. He would withdraw, and very probably join the stonewallers, Finally Mr Beddon’s motion was carried by a substantial majority.
were represented at the c'ty membOTfl’ caucus, and Mr Moss occupied the chair. The following resolutions were carried .unanimously : - “(1) That the constituencies irho have Broken having endorsed our action hitherto and requested us to continue it, we pursue the same course in order to give time to the rest of the country to express its opinion on the Bill.(2) T hat all those present accept this position. (3) That every person present agrees to place himself at the disposal of the committee of management, which shall consist of Dr Fitchett, Mr Perceval, and Mr Allen, _ A suh-committee of seven members, including three legal gentlemen (Messrs Stewart, Izard, and Menteath), were appointed to draft amend' ments for committee. What is to be Dreaded. Mr Kerr and others were lobbying yesterday in favor of the repeal of the Act of 1837, and a return to ninety-one European members. Mr Kerr declares with great satisfaction that he has a majority pledged to repeal that measure. No Hope ofa Compromise. On resuming this afternoon, the ga’leiies were still closed. Mr Withy raised a laugh by beginning!: “Sir. w on this debate was int-r rupted on Wednesday night.” Efforts to ( ff <ot a reconciliation are now abandoned, and it looks like a case of the survival of the finest. The Prenror informs me that he is determined that the House shall meet at ten daily and rise at half-past ten during the present crisis.
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THE REPRESENTATION DEADLOCK., Evening Star, Issue 7971, 29 July 1889
THE REPRESENTATION DEADLOCK. Evening Star, Issue 7971, 29 July 1889
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