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POLITICAL POSITION

LIBERAL LEADER'S VIEW. GOVERNMENT~MX T ST RESIGN OR S'DJW3£ON~PARLIAMBNT. [Pee United Pukss Association.] _ AUCKLAND, Decdmbor 17. Interviewed this morning on the political situation, Sir Joseph Ward remarked: "It has developed in an unexpected way since yesterday. The parties aro now even. This," added tho Loader of the Opposition, "makes the course which the Government should take quite clear. I take it that the constitutional procedure must be followed. The Government are now in an actual minority in the House, as they must necessarily appoint a Speaker. There is, therefore, one of two courses that must be adopted by the Governmont: they, must either resign or they must call .Parliament together without any unnecessary delay, as at present it is quite clear that the Governor is without constitutional Advisors who have tho confidence of the country and the House. That is a position that cannot bo maintained or trilled with. Apart from this, there is considerable doubt ns to the position of the Northern Maori member, who is at present included as a Government supporter in the counting of party votes."

THE PRIME MINISTER SPEAKS.

WILL PLAY THE GAME. [Per Unitbd Pubss association.] * WELLINGTON, December 17. In reply to tlie statement made by the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister, in an interview, said 1 "I cannot fortret the action (or rather inaction) of Sir Joseph .Ward and his party after the lastelection, when the country had definitely declared against them. Parliament was not convened until (I apeak from memory) about the third week in Fcbmiuxy. Ido not propose to follow any such example. Thero may be other chances yet, but you can take it from me that the Government will play the game., and do the right thine, under tb<- circumstances. Cabinet will meet at tho earliest opportunity to consider the new position that has arisen. If we eaiiisot cany on there is certainly no other party in New Zealand at the present moment who can dc go. The Reform party aro united, while tho Opposition consist of two sections, which havo practically nothing in common except perhaps a. desireto punish the Government for doing their duty last session, and as a consequence to occupy the Treasury benches. Ido not cohsiderthat the position is fully decided yiit, and there may be changes when there aro recounts. As for the Northern Maori member, I can only say that- I know Mr Tau Hcnare well, and there is no better typo of Maori member in Parliament today. I have no doubt as to his attitude."

HAPPENINGS IN HAWKE'S BAY.

POSITION OF "IRRITATING UNCERTAINTY." [SraciAt, to thi: Star.] HASTINGS, December 17. The turnover of votes in the Ilawke's Bay electorate, was brought about in this way: The deputy returning officer at one of the main town booths had tho voting papers arranged in bundles of 100 each. One of these bundles, containing votes recorded for Dr M'Nab, was accidentally placed in the heap containing the bundles of Mr Campboll's votes. Mr Campbell was thus given a majority at this booth of about 200 votes, whereas the voting was practically equal. Mr Campbell will now (leniai)cl W recount, Tho members of his committee claim knowledge of several votes recorded by persons who had no right- to vote, and altogether the position i« still one. of irritating uncertainty. [Per United Press Association.] HASTINGS, December 17. Another recount is proceeding. The final ofiiciul declaration will not bo mpdo until this is completed. _ It is rumored that several irregularities have occurred, and the result of tho contest is still very uncertain. DUNEDIN CENTRAL. MAGISTERIAL RECOUNT ASKED FOR, Mr C. E. Stntham, who was defeated by eight votes for Dunedin Central, has applied for a magisterial recount of the votes cast. THE CONSTITUTIONAL ASPECT. [Sfkcial ro THE STAB.] CHRISTCHURCH, December 17. Discussing the political crisis, the ' Press' this morning says : Mr Massey leads by far the largest party in the House, and his following is perfectly homogeneous. He could only be displaced on tho assumption that a Government supporter is elected Speaker, and that the "Wardists and the Labor members voted together to oust the Government, in which case tho Ministry- would be defeated by a majority of one-. It is very questionable whether Sir Joseph Ward could then form a Ministry who would satisfy tho Red Feds and at the same time prove acceptable to tho moderate members of his own party. In the improbable event of him being able to do this-, we have no doubt that he would have to provide a Speaker from his own party, and in that case he in his turn would he defeated bv a majority of one. It is quite oonceivaTble, seeing that nothing is to bo gained by this see-saw process, that some of the more moderate and patriotic members of the Opposition would decline to lend themselves to a proceeding so injurious from a national and Imperial point of view. It is impossible to imagine a moro unsatisfactory condition of affairs. In such a crisis as the present it is very undesirable that the country should be again plunged into the throes of a General Election, and the probability is that the Governor would not grant a dissolution until every means had been exhausted of providing him with responsible Advisers from the present House. It js, of course, possible that, in view of the new development, Mr Massey may now prefer to call Parliament together early in tho new year, with a view to finding, without unnecessary delay, a eolution to what threatens to be a deadlock, although he is not constitutionally bound to do so. That some means will ultimately be found to get out of tho difficulty we have very 'little doubt.

[We are surprised that euch a recognised constitutional authority as our Chrietchurch contemporary should have made the mistake of imagining that onco a Speaker is elected he can be removed on account of nn accidental change of Administration.—Ed. E.S.]

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Bibliographic details

POLITICAL POSITION, Evening Star, Issue 15678, 17 December 1914

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999

POLITICAL POSITION Evening Star, Issue 15678, 17 December 1914

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