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A NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION., Issue 7982, 10 August 1889
A NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION.
THE HISLOP-WARD CORRESPON DENCE.
A NARROW MAJORITY FOR THE GOVERNMENT.
[From Ode Parliamentary Reporter.]
WELLINGTON, August 9,
We had another Hislop-Ward-Christie debate to-day, which occupied the whole of the afternoon sitting. The Colonial Secretary, anticipating the questions which appeared on the Order Paper, moved the adjournment of the House in order to enable him to make a lengthy statement. He denied that he had in any way interfered with the interests of justice, and said that he had only forwarded the original petition of residents at Oamaru to Judge Ward for his comments and for tho information of the Minister of Justice, owing to the assertion that a wrong had been done to Christie. He had not taken any personal part in the Court proceedings beyond casual visits to i the building to see his partner about other matters. He did not instruct the Crown Solicitor at Dunedin to contest the validity of the warrant of commitment, but left the matter entirely to Mr Haggitt’s discretion. Further, he did not use threats to the clerk of the Court at Oamaru, to induce him to refrain from carrying out the instructions of Judge Ward to alter the warrant. Messrs Larnach, Ballance, Seddon, and a number of other members advocated tho appointment of a committee of inquiry, Mr Fulton being the only dissentient and holding that the matter should be dealt with by tho House.
Mr Hislop had only a few minutes to reply before the debate was cut short by the dinner adjournment; but he made it clear that the Government still resisted tho appointment of a committee. On the House resuming at 7-30, the question again cropped up in an unexpected form. The new development was occasioned by The Premier moving that the House, on its rising, do adjourn till Monday evening for the transaction of Government business only. The lion.) Mr Larnach moved as an amendment—“ That the business of the sitting be the consideration of the appointment of a committee to consider the HislopWard correspondence.” The debate that afternoon had been unsatisfactory, and several members wished to speak on the question at issue. The Premier said that he had offered to give the hon. gentleman a day for the discussion of the correspondence, and he took this amendment as a distinct motion traversing the policy of the Government. If Ministers were not fit to deal with such a comparatively trumpery case—(cries of “Oh”)—they should be put off the benches. They intended to deal with the case in tho ordinary course of business, and would not be dictated to by the Opposition. He would do no other business until this question was disposed of, and he would treat the amendment as one of no confidence, for the Government would not have their business interrupted day after day as had latterly been done. He would be degrading the position the House had honored him with if he submitted further to the taunts that had recently been levelled at the Government iu connection with this matter, without accepting it as a distinct vote of no confidence. The Hon. Mr Ballance said that the Opposition had already said that they were not prepared to discuss the question, unless they had before them all the facts, which they could not obtain without inquiry by a committee. He complained of the tone of the Premier’s remarks, and claimed that the House was as much entitled to the committee as was the Legislative Council, where one had already been set up. He denied that the Opposition had concealed their views in connection with the case. They had said that they were not in possession of the whole facts. All they had was a Minister’s ex parte statement, and nothing less than a committee would attain that end. The Colonial Secretary said that the last speaker had taken upon himself several times, with questionable taste, to tell the House that he (Mr Hislop) had not stated the facts. He wanted to know what other facts there were, and offered to supply any deficiency that could be pointed out. If a Committee of the House were more competent to deal with the matter than the Government, then it was time that the Ministry was displaced. The Government were not bound by whatever was done by the other Chamber, even if members of that body were unanimous. All the facts relating to the administration of justice and the acts of Ministers were already before the House. No real ground for the appointment of a committee had been shown, and unless lesponsible Government was to be overturned the amendment should not bo carried.
Mr Walker sa>d that the Premier, whenever he put on his hobnailed boots, tried to throw the onus of the matter under discussion upon the Opposition by compelling members to discuss them on party lines, but the Opposition declined to accept the gage of battle on these terms. At present members were only able to get at the facts by questioning Ministers, and the appointment of a committee was the only way of properly ventilating the matter. Mr Taylor thought that in the interest of the Colonial Secretary himself and his colleagues a committee should be set up. Dr Hodgkinson thought that Judge Ward had placed himself in a false position, and did not see how the Government could treat the question other than as one of no confidence.
Mr Bruce deprecated the display of party feeling in the matter, but supported the position taken up by the Government. M r Fish approved of the appointment of a committee; but was in a false position, because he did not wish to turn out the Government. He did not believe that the result of an inquiry would be any reflection upon the Ministry. Even if it led to the exclusion of the Colonial Secretary, it would not discredit the remainder of the Cabinet. The only consistent course ho could adopt was to refrain from voting altogether on the question. Mr Marciiant spoke in opposition to the amendment. The Premier’s motion was then carried by 40 to 36, the following being the division list:— Aiks (49).—Sir H. A. Atkinson, Messrs Bruoo, Buchanan, Carroll, Cowan, Fergus, Fulton, Goldie, Graham, Hamlin, Harkness, flislop, Hobbs, Hodgkinson, Humphreys, Izard. Jackson, Lawry, Macartbur, T. Mackenzie (Clutbn), Merchant, M’Gregor, Mills, Mitcheleon, Moat, Monk, O’Conor, Ormond, Pyke, Rhodes, G. F. Richardson, Rcss, Russell, Saunders, Seymour, T-upuv R. Thompson (Matsden), T. Thompson, Valentino, Whyte Hors (30).—Messrs Ballancc, Blake, Buxton, Cadman. Feldwlok, Fisher, Fltchett, Fitzherbert, Fraser, Sir G. Grey, Grimmcnd, Guinness, Hutchison, Jones Joyce, Kelly, Kerr, Larnacb, Lougbrey, M. J. S. Mackenzie, J. M'Kcnzie, Moss, Newman, Parata, Perceval. R. H. J. Reeves, W. P. Reeves, E. Richardson, Seddon, Smith, W. J. Steward, Taiwhanga, Taylor, Vorrall, Walker, Ward. Pairs.— For : Sir J. Hall, Tanner, Wilson, Dodson. Against: Turnbull, W. D. Stewart, Lance, and Duncan.
A NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION., Issue 7982, 10 August 1889
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