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THE MINISTERIAL CAUCUS. [From Our Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, September 6. The meeting of the Government supporters was attended by Messrs AndersoD, Bruce, Buchanan, Carroll, Cowan, Dcdson, Pish, Fulton (presiding), Goldie, Graham, Sir J. Hall, flamlin, Harkness, flobbs, Br Hodgkinson, Humphreys, Izard, Jackson, Lawry, Macarthur, Mackenzie (Clutha), Marchant, M'Gregor, Mills, Moat, O'Conor, Ormond, Rhodes, Ross, Captain Russell, Seymour, Taipua, Tanner, Thompson (Marsden), Valentine, and Whyte; also by the following Ministers—the Premier, Hons. Messrs Fergus, Mitchelson, and Richardson. This makes a total attendance of forty, and ten others were accounted for. The Premier made a statement to the effect that he had called the party together on account of the tactics of obstruction that are being practised by the Opposition. They had tried conclusions, but had failed to oust the Government, and it was very_ evident that they could not do it this pession. He proposed to give his supporters any information they might require on Mr Fergus's action with regard to the Ward-Christie affair, but he would refuse to give any to the Opposition in consequence of the motion tabled by Mr Grimmond. He suggested that his sup. porters should take no part whatever in any debate that might be raised on this qnes. tion, and said that the Government would be prepared to give any information in the House that their party might afterwards ask, He thought the course taken by Mr Hislop was the right one. A mistake had been made, as was shown by the fact that their own supporters felt very strongly that the Government had blundered; but it was a question that the Government, as a whole, could not go out upon. At the time that this matter was initiated Mr Fergus was in the North, and was even beyond reach of telegraphic communication for several days. In his absence the matter was initiated by Mr Hislop, and when Mr Fergus came back he took it up where Mr Hislop had left off. Whilst he (Mr Fergus) did not approve of the action taken by Mr Hislop, his loyalty to his colleague compelled him to carry on the same course. Mr Fergus had offered to resign either along with Mr Hislop or separately, taking the whole onus of the matter upon himself" but this course both Mr Hislop and himself (the Premier) deprecated. He (Sir H. Atkinson) thought that the course taken by Mr Hislop had purged the Government from any blame in the matter ; therefore there was no further need to take action, and if their party thought with him there was no reason why | this session should not be finished early next week.

Sir John Hall agreed with the Premier to some extent, but thought that a number of Native Bills ought to be dropped. He, as a Southern member, looked upon these Bills with very great suspicion, and he did not think it would be wise to press them this session.

Mr Obmonp thought that the Premier should make some statement to the House in the direction of exonerating Mr Fergus from any blame, but it should not be made in connect'on with the present amendment. Mr Carboll also suggested that the Native Bills should be dropped. He thought that (he Native members and Native Minister could very' soon determine what legislation was absolutely necessary for this session.

In the course of further discussion

T'he Premier suggested that the House should meet to-morrow (Saturday), but this did not meet with the approval of the meeting.

The meeting was unanimous in adopting the course suggested by the Premier, and there is now every probability of a vote being taken on Mr Grimmond's amendment without much discussion. Later. There is a very full House, no less than eighty' members being in their places. Supply is at the top of the Order Paper. The Government mean to divide the House on Mr Grimmond's amendment, but of course \v"i 1 not debate it. They expect a majority of ten. MINISTERIAL EXPLANATION. On the amendment being called on, The Premier said: I would like to make a statement in answer to the gentleman opposite as to the position the Government intend to assume with regar J to this notice of motion. The Government have carefully considered the matter, and, looking at the fact that the motion came from an hon. member in the lower ranks of the Opposisitton (Cries of "Ob,"and laughter.) Mr Turnbull: He is one of the most respected members, sir. The Premier : One of the most respected members of the Opposition, although in the lower rank. The Speaker remarked that all members stood on the same footing, were sent here for the same purpose, and should, all be treated alike.

The Premier said he accepted the rebuke, but Mr Grimmond, though highly respected by the Opposition, did fco'i sit in their front benches. He disclaimed any intention of casting a slur on that hon. gentlemau, but he wished to make it plain to the country that he was not a prominent member of the party.—(Ministerial cheers.) Mr Seddon : The amendment was fathered by the Leader of the Opp isition last night. He told you so. The Premier : The Leader of the Opposition ' did tell me so, and I felt ashamed of his avowal, because he allowed one of his followers to move such an important resolution as this without his knowledge.' How is it possible for the business of the country to be conducted if the Leader of the Opposition will adopt such a resolution from a follower who does not sit upon the front benches ? Mr Kerr : How could he help it if he did not know ?• '

The Premier : As Leader of the Opposition he ought to know. As to the mode in which the Government propose to treat it, we do not intend to treat it as a noconfidence matter. We do not intend even to.'debate it.— (<'Ob.") If the Opposition wish to test the strength of the Government I invite the hon. member (the Leader of the Opposition) to give notice at once, and 1 will fight him. lam ready to meet him when and where he likes, but I am not going any more to treat as motional of no-confidence motions emanafng from gentlemen who are not looked on as leaders of the Opposition. Mr Ballakce said that the Premier used to fling about challenges, but he had now discovered that wholesale challenges were not sound tactics, and declined to accept one from amember id the subordinate ranks of the Opposition. He had learnt bis duty; and if he would look at the debates in the Home Parliament he would find it a common thing for the administration of the Government to be assailed from the rank and file of the Opposition. Bis policy had all been thrown to the windß; yet he charged the Opposition with wasting the time of the House, He (the Premier) had yet to learn that scolding was not statesmanlike conduct, and after be had learnt that lesson he would be a model statesman.a model and a leader of his'party, *" : ' *' t•■ ■■" *» ; « I Later, disposed op. Mr Grimmond's amendment was negatived on the voices. ■ The House then went into Supply.

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THE NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION., Issue 8005, 6 September 1889

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THE NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION. Issue 8005, 6 September 1889

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