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The Evening Star FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1889.

Thekk is a certain merit of ;i cheap Order in being first in anything; and to Mr Lawhy, linn. wno represents Franklin

North—an Auckland constituency—in tho House of Representatives, belongs the credit of making the first post-sessional speech. Mr LaavrV obtained some prominence thrttugh being selected to second the Address-in-Keply last session; which he did after tho fashion of Canning's " candid friend." This, however, seems to have been the prevalent fashion since the Atkinson Ministry assumed office, and Mr Lawby rather plumed himself on having supported Ministers whilst opposing their policy on every important question. Thus he opposed their Electoral Bills and voted against the Property Tax, but lauded their land policy, and gave them great credit for having effected substantial retrenchment. In his own words he " voted against the Govern- *' ment as many times as ho voted with "them." Mr Lawry is, in fact, an average specimen of the majority of members who retain the Ministry in office, but take full license to criticise their measures. Party, in the original acceptation of the term, there is none ; and herein consists both the strength and the weakness of the Government.

On the railway question Mr Lawry strongly reprehended Ministers for appointing Mr Maxwell one of the Commissioners whether rightly or wrongly will never perhaps be made known ; hut it is certain that all the sins of past mismanagement in the Railway Department are laid at the door of Mr Maxwell, and his appointment was of the nature of a disagreeable surprise. It was repeatedly asserted by members during the session that, had it been deemed possible for sucli an appointment to be made, the House would have refused to sanction the creation of a Bonrd of Commissioners at all. But Mr Lawry and those who think with him in this matter must now be content to await further development, and should in fairness refrain from hampering the Commissioners and Mr Maxwell by injurious and ill-judged deprecation. The member for Franklin North does not approve of further borrowing, but desires that taxation should be reduced —points upon which many will agree with him. It is difficult, however, to follow him when he says that he will vote "against incurring debts for railways or other unprofitable works." Does lie regard railways as unprofitable? Apparently he docs, for lie boasts that, although " very little good "had been done during the past " session, the Auckland members pro- " vented much harm being done;" and in proof he instances their refusal to allow trust moneys to be invested in the construction of "artificial harbors." So far they are entitled to equal credit with the representatives of other districts, but it can hardly be expected that tho people of Otago will favorably regard the rejection of their Central Railway Bill, with which also he rightly debits the Aucklanders. To do him justice, however, he avows his astonishment at the strange conduct of Mr Ballance, who " advocated the scheme and then voted against it." Mr Lawry told his audience that " he "could not understand such incon- " sistency." Perhaps when he hashad a little more Parliamentary experience, he will learn to distinguish between politicians and statesmen; and then he will understand that consistency forms no part of a mere politician's programme. Mr Ballance's action explains itself. His approval of the Otago Central Railway Bill was a bid for votes, and his final vote against it was designed to punish those friends of the measure who declined to assist him in turning the Government out. It must now be apparent even to himself that he neither added to his reputation nor increased the number of his supporters by his tergiversation. But Mr Lawry will probably have plenty of opportunity for learning this and other useful lessons, for he seems to be very popular with his constituents at present.

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Bibliographic details

The Evening Star FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1889., Issue 8041, 18 October 1889

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The Evening Star FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1889. Issue 8041, 18 October 1889

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