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THE REPRESENTATION BILL., Issue 7979, 7 August 1889
THE REPRESENTATION BILL.
[From Our Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, Avgust 6. This Bill, which has been the talk of the mlony for the past three weeks, has at length passed through committee, and will bo considered by tho House in its amended form t i-murrow. Oa the motion of Mr Sf.ddon a new clause was inserted, requiring that authenticated maps of tho proposed electoral districts should bo laid before the Governor, together with the Commissioner’s report Sir John Hall moved the insertion of a now clause providing that in any election in an amalgamated city electorate where three members are to be returned each elector should be allowed to vote for two candidates and no more. Mr Ballaxce strongly opposed this, and Mr Turnbull deprecated the amendment, also that relating to the female franchise, as tending to endanger tho Bill and destioy the effect of the past fortnight’s negotiations. Dr Newman and Mr W. P. Reeves considered that the amendment was a breach of the contract made between the town and country parties as to the “ quota,” and that it tended to destroy the power of the Liberal party, Mr Lance was of a similar opinion. Sir John Hall warmly denied that he had committed any breach of faith, and he denied further that his amendment was likely to kill the Bill. He said that he would not have introduced it had he thought it would have that effect. The clause providing for the abolition of the plural vote was much more foreign to the Bill than half a dozen such amendments as that now under consideration. He was willing to take the sense of the Committee on the voices, but felt that the amendment was in the right direction. The clause was negatived by 55 to 10. Sir John Hall said that objection had been taken to his moving at the present time the clause of which he had given notice extending the franchise to women. The reason that he had done this was that early in the session he had given notice eo move in this direction on tho motion for foing into committee on the Registration ci Hectors Bill. It seemed more than doubtful if that opportunity would bo afforded him to raise this important question during the present session. He attached so much importance to it that he was unwilling to endanger its passage in connection with the present BUI, or of endangering the measure, if the Government would undertake to give him another opportunity of raising the question. .... The Premier said that it was desirable to have the Bill disposed of as soon as possible, and he promised that if the clause were withdrawn the Government would give an opportunity this session pf having the question of the female franchise raised in a* direct manner this session. He had no doubt that there was a majority of the House in favor of extending the franchise to women—(cries of “No”) —and thought that people would be taken by surprise if they found in the morning newspapers that the clause had crept into this Bill. On Sir J. Hall saying that ho did not now intend to move the clause, Mr R. J. Reeves said that as the member for Selwyn had withdrawn the clause,’he would take up the running and move it.— (Laughter.) Members were brimful of eloquence, and their voices on female suffrage ought not to be suppressed. Mr Ballance wanted to know if the member for Inangahua was in favor of the clause ? Mr Reeves: Most decidedly I am.— (Liughter.) At the request of several hon. members, the hon. gentleman refrained from moving the clause. Mr Guinness moved a new clause in tin sc terms : “ Unless a candidate at an election receive an absolute majority of the votes recorded, the returning officer shall not declare such candidate to be elected, but the returning officer shall proceed to take a second poll, after giving the notices in that behalf required by law, at which second poll only the two candidates who have received the largest number of votes at the first poll shall be entitled to be candidates ; and the candidate receiving the largest number of votes at such second poll shall he declared to be elected.” He said that twenty-two members of the present Parliament actually represented a minority of the electors. The clause was negatived by 51 to 18. The Bill was repotted as amended.
THE REPRESENTATION BILL., Issue 7979, 7 August 1889
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