MR FERGUS ATTACKED.
A NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION. THE HOUSE ADJOURNS. |Fbom Oor Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, September 5. On the motion to go into Committee of Supply this evening, Mr Grtmmond (Hokitika) moved as an amendment—" Tnat this House regrets that the Minister of Justice should not have recognised that in fairness to his late colleagues an explanation by himself of his own conduct in connection with the Christie case was due to the Honse and the country." He said that he failed to see how Mr Fergus could escape from censure in this matter, as he had taken all the responsibility for Mr Hislop's action. He held that in justice he ought to share the latter's punishment. Mr Hutchison seconded the motion. The announcement burst on the House like a bombshell, and was greeted with ominous silence. The Premier was evidently much surprised, and hardly knew how to take it. However, he soon rose, and aßked whether the Leader cf the Opposition was aware of thin motion. An Hon. Member: Why? The Premier: Because upon that will depend what course I shall pursue. The Hon. Mr Ballance said he felt bound to say that he approved of the motion. The Premier immediately moved the adjournment of the House, declaring that he would do no more business, but would the next day tell the hon. gentleman what the Government thought of the matter. It was nonsense to think that they could go on in this way, and it was unconstitutional for the Leader of the Opposition to accept a motion of this kind without giving notice of it to the Government.
Mr Ballance complained that every motion from the Opposition was accepted by the Government as one of "no confidence."
The Premier said he did not so accept it. Mr Ballance went on to Bay that the Opposition would insist on expressing their views on public questions, whatever the consequences might be. Ho was not a party to the resolution—(cries of " Oh !'')— but he approved of it now. The Premier could take from that what he pleased. Mr Walker attacked the action of the Government.
The Premier twitted the Opposition with being regardless of the business of the country, and only anxious (as Mr Grimmond had said) of " pulling the Government down one by one," while their Leader was not ashamed to acknowledge himself a partisan of it. It was a disgrace to the country, aud hon. gentlemen ought to be ashamed of such tactics.
Mr Ballance objected that the Premier was speaking to the main question, not to tho motion for adjournment. The Speaker ruled that that was so.
The Premier said he would say what he had to say next day. He waa determined to put a stop to such tactics. The Opposition were evidently not anxious to divide on the question for adjournment, and did not challenge the "ayes" having it. When the Speaker declared it so on the voices, however, a Ministerial supporter disputed the Speaker's declaration, no doubt with a view of forcing a division. The division bill was rung, and on the doors being locked the question was put. The "ayes" rang out clear and strocg, but when it came to their turn not a "no" responded. Tho Government party were taken by surprise, and the Speaker declared that the adjournment was carried, amidst uproarious applause and laughter fiom the Opposition, The House then adjourned, and members were soon busy in groups discussing the latest and most unexpected political development.
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MR FERGUS ATTACKED., Evening Star, Issue 8005, 6 September 1889
MR FERGUS ATTACKED. Evening Star, Issue 8005, 6 September 1889
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