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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7978, 6 August 1889
[From Our Pabliamentart Reporter. I WELLINGTON, August 6. Tbe Christie Correspondence. The ‘ Evening Press ’ is informed that Mr Hislop (ColonUl Secretary) has taken the somewhat extraordinary course of directing the Government printer to send at the Government expense a copy of the AVaid-Christie-Uislop correspondence to every solicitor in the colony. It adds; “No doubt Judge Ward’s friends will have no cause of complaint, as no lawyer cou.cl read that correspondence without regret that a member of their profession should have taken the part Mr Hislop did. Whatever diversity of opinion there may he as to Judge Ward, there will be none as to the impropriety of the course adopted by tbe Colonial Secretary and the Minister of Justice.” A Remarkable Petition. It will be recollected that at the last annual meeting of the Licensing Bench for Auckland four hotels were closed. Borne of the ratepayers thinking that this action on the Committee’s part was an arbitrary exercise of power, appealed by mandamus, but the Supreme Court confirmed the Committee’s finding. As a final protest a petition to Parliament was initiated, and this will ba presented by Mr Thompson, member for Auckland North, to-morrow. It pr«ys for the repeal of sections fid and 75 of the Licensing Act, 1881, so that licensing committees may not have the power to close hotels, as was done in Auckland North. Some of the temperance people, having examined the signatures to tho petition, say that it is a perfect study. In all there are upwards of 1 500 signatures, male and female. On the side of the latter they range from one who claims to be an heiress worth L 40,000 (but whether this is an annuity or her entire fortune the deponent sayeth not) down to a farmer’s daughter. On the male side the occupations are very much mixed. We have sweeps, boxers, stragglers, J P.s, down to one who describes himself as “nobody,” which may bo accounted for from the fact that tho signatures have been gathered from New South Wales, Samoa, and some thirty-eight Auckland districts, finishing up with one like the bird sent out from the ark which could find no resting place for the sole of its feet, for he describes his residence as “on the sea.” A Lively Exchange of Compliments. Members derived sorao entertainment tonight from a lively passage-at-arms between the members for Waitunnta and Dunedin South, While Mr Monk was speaking something was done by Mr Fish to exasperate him, whereupon he launched forth a torrent of tbe telling invective for which he is justly celebrated. In concluding- his remarks he said that Mr Fish had often spoken of another g mtltmau wearing hobnailed boots, and asked him to forego on his own pait the clegs that he so frequently used.—(Laughter.) Mr Fish, on rising to reply, caustically asked the lion, member for the Duller to kindly be quiet, and abstain from continually inteijecting offensive remarks. Proceeding amidst much laughter he accused Mr Monk of having in “an oleaginous way” taken his fling at Sir George Grey, by implying that he was an agitator; and he hoped that the reporters from Auckland would put on record Mr Monk’s avowal that ho was supporting the abolition of tbe plural vote agamst his convictions. _ These taunts brought Mr Monk to his feet again. He was not, he said, anxious as to how the reporters treated him ; he had not studied, as some hou. members had, to be careful to repeat only tuch things as were pleasing and calculated to tickle the ears of their constituents.— (Laughter.) If he (Mr Monk) was oily, ho asked who had exhibited himself with most unctuous material—he or the member for Dunedin South ?—(Cheers anl laughter.) Which of them showed the moat adipose character ? (Loud laughter.) He hoptd the Press of the whole, colony would record what he had said about the plural vote : that he only wished to take it away in order to deprive the agitators of a theme. He disavowed any intention of sneering at Sir George Grey. As to Mr Fish, he had some cause to be irritable, for that night the House had decided in favor of tho amalgamation of tho city constituencies. Now the member for Dunedin Houth would not be able to shape his speeches to suit one section—perhaps an illiterate section of the electors -but would have to depend upon principles to win his election in future. Here Mr Monk threw himself triumphantly into his seat, amidst roars of laughter. August C. The Public Works Statement. It is probable that tho Public Works Statement will be delivered to-morrow night. In place of a departure being made, as was intended, by its being simply laid on the table, tho Minister will read it as usual. Technical Education. In the House to-day Mr Fisher gave notice that he would introduce a Bill to provide for technical education. Personal. Leave of absence for ten days was asked for Mr Duncan on account of illness in his family. The Cljrlatle-Ward Case. Tbe Public Petitions Committee have furnished an interim report on the petition of Christie, who made charges of favoritism end pressure against Judge Ward. The Committee report that, as civil proceedings have been instituted by Christie against Judge Ward, they are of opinion that they should not proceed any further with tbe consideration of the petition while the case is subjudicc. Mr Seddon moved that tho interim report bo referred back to the Committee for further consideration, and, in doing so, expressed bis opinion that if no report were made Ministers would immediately the session was •ver remove Mr Ward from the Bench. Mr Turnbull thought that the Committee had signally failed in their duty by shelving the question. Mr Seymour explained that the Committee were perfectly unanimous in their finding, and were not likely to return another conclusion, Mr Christie naving sought a fresh mode of redress —viz , through the channels of the law Courts. Precedents justified the Committee in refusing to deal with the case while it was sub indicts. ... Tno Premier said that Mr Sedaon had humtaken the position of the Government, who were responsible for tho conduct of the Civil servants; and Parliament should not interfere as between the Government and District Judge Ward, unless there was a desire to bring the Government to book, He challenged the Opposition to move for a committee to inquire into tho conduct of the Government. Mr Ballanco said he would accept the challenge, if facilities were given, in moving for a stolech committee. The correspondence showed on its face the improper exercise of functions on the part of Ministers with the District Judge. Tho action of the Colonial Secretary wanted some explanation which Lad not yet been given. Mr Samuel thought it a pity that party feeling was being imported into the discussion, and expressed the conviction that the Colonial Secretary had exceeded his duty. He also thought that tho Petitions Committee had mistaken their position. _ . Mr Scobie Mackenzie said it was impossible for the Government to escape inquiry pn this matter. In place of attempting to burke inquiry they should court it. No Minister would have dared to interfere with a Supreme Court Judge in the way the Minister of Justice had with Mr District Judge Ward. The action of the Colonial Secretary was most improper, and demanded a full and free discussion. Mr Fish, as a member of tho Public Petitions Committee, said the Committee had had under consideration the idea of recommending to the House whether the correspondence should not be referred to a joint committee of both Houses, In Ids opinion that course should have been followed. Mr Fisher was not surprised to hear that Mr Christie was dissatisfied at tho administration of justice in Oatnaru, seeing that he had been convicted under the general clauses of the Bankruptcy Act. He strongly urged the appointment of a sp chd committee, in tue interests of justice and those charged with its administration. Air Fergus charged Mr Fisher with discussing the matter with political venom, and said that the other hon. members had prejudged the matter. ... . , , Mr Larnach gave notice for the appointment of a joint committee of both Houses to consider the whole matter.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7978, 6 August 1889
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