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SEAMEN AND THEIR VOTES

{From Our Parliamentary Refoktkis.) WELLINGTON*, October 25. The Hon. J. A. â– Millar, who has nmcii improved in health since his return I rum Auckland, made a serviceable conlribu tion to last night's debate on the Legislature Bill. As now dialled, the clause dealing with the votes of nomadic sailor* (who are. a class quite distinct from ordinary" A.8., who has a settled domicile) is perfectly innocuous, and can have im possible effect in determining the issue in Wellington Central. Under it., siiimrii obtain tha same rights ns every other class of the community., but nothing more. The main purpose of the clause is in [invent seamen from plumping in favor of a particular candidate The member !'".i Duncdin West, who spoke with a full knowledge of the facts, declared that sea men in the past had abused their privilege. Whan special rights were conferred on seamen the privilege was intended In be restricted to sailors belonging to NewZealand, but it had been exercised In ocean-trading sailors, who never lived here a single day beyond while their ships happened to bo in port. The Bill, as now presented, was fair, but it was a patent defect that there were s< nie seamen who might lie disfranchised because they were serving on vessels under 25 tons, which did not. use articles.- -The Minister explained that this diihVuiiv liui been anticipated by the issue oi absent voters' permits to all seamon so ciieu;.> stanced. It was demonstrated bv the member for Auckland West, who nippli-'d proof, that seamen hailing from the Australian ports were in the habit of cnsimu their votes in Auckland electorates, though absolutely ignorant, of the issues involved. and without any personal inlere-t i.i tie' candidates. Now that it is delinitoly settled that there is to be n .straight run between the chairman of the Wellington Harbor Board (Mr R. Fletcher) and the. Minister ;!' Marine for Wellington Centra!, it is ouiv fair to the latter to say in relation to the present Bill that his motives have bt-.-u unfairly criticised, because votes thai may be exercisable against him will not atlVet the ultimate decision, which will turn oe. 1 national ijue^tions.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141023.2.21

Bibliographic details

SEAMEN AND THEIR VOTES, Evening Star, Issue 15631, 23 October 1914

Word Count
365

SEAMEN AND THEIR VOTES Evening Star, Issue 15631, 23 October 1914

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