Public Breakfast.—Owing to want of room we were not able to .give a full report of the speeches delivered at the Public Breakfast on Thursday lust. The chairman's speech, in proposing Mr. Fitz Gerald's health created considerable amusement. Cap. Simeon saidGentlemen, —-The next toast to which I will draw your attention is the first of those which I may call the toasts of the day, and I think I 'need hardly mention the name of His Honor J. E. Fitz Gerald to ensure that warm reception with which you will greet his health (cheers). Mr. Fitz Gerald, gentlemen, is well known, and lam sure I may justly say dear to us all. One of the first to assist in founding this settlement, one of the first to attend to the interests of the settlers, and one of the first to land in Canterbury,—his whole attention has been ceaselessly devoted to its prosperity and welfare. Of Mr. Fitz Gerald's private character I could say more if he were not present, but I am sure you will bear with me for a few moment? while I enter upon a hasty review of his late political services; the assertion by him, in conjunction with those gentlemen, his colleagues, whom we have met this day to honor, of the principle of Responsible Government; and the victory he has achieved in 'this respect. For, gentlemen, it is as false as it is absurd to say that because he was prevented by base treachery, and dishonest intrigue from carrying on the conduct of the Government, and passing those measures so eminently necessary for the welfare of this province and the whole colony at large, he did not achieve a victory; this is sufficiently proved by the enormous majority of 26 to 8, which resulted on the first trial of strength after the resignation of ministers, and the unanimous vote of confidence in them which immediately ensued. And now, gdntlemen, let us consider the difficulties under which Mr. Fitz Gerald laboured during this session. He left this for Auckland entirely ignorant of what was the state of affairs there, or what was to be the business of. the session. He only knew that his Excellency Sir George Grey was gone to England, having, for reasons best known to himself, declined to meet the General Assembly. On Mr. Fitz Gerald's arrival at Wellington he found nothing which could assist in giving any clue to the future business of the session, and it was only on his arrival in Auckland that he found that absolutely nothing had been prepared. I am informed" that on one occasion soon after he had landed, he met a gentleman in the street, and that on his stating in course of conversation that nothing was ready for the commencement of the session, the other replied, " Oh but you must prepare your own bills." This, gentlemen, was the way in which the Government had prepared for the first meeting.of the General Assembly. It had been stated of his Excellency the Officer administering the Government that, though a good soldier, he was somewhat obtuse in intellect. Gentlemen, I consider thatuhat statement was entirely disproved by the discernment which he evinced in at once summoning Mr. Fitz Gerald to his councils. That gentleman immediately called to his assistance, Messrs. Sewell and Weld ; and now appears another actor on the stage, Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield, a man whose political profligacy, and utter unscrupulousnes«, exceed, I really believe, any thing of the kind which has ever been heard of, comes forward ; he urges, in the first place, upon Mr. Fitz Gerald, the necessity of taking office and then distinctly promises to that gentleman and his colleagues, his cordial support. And how did he give this support? Why they found iv less than a week■ that he was doing every thing in his power to impede their measures, and to upset themselves. Mr. Waliefield got together a tail ; though, gentlemen, I can hardly call it a .tail ; it was not a veritable caudal appendage, it was nothing but a nasty useless stump! (laughter) it had'nt a wag in it; and with this jjiiid useless stump of a taif he used to come llown to the house night alter night and do all in his power to impede business; one of the favourite ways being to talk ngainst time. Gentlemen, you had gthe other night in this room a good specimen of the true Wakefield style ofspfiakinir (hilighter). Yon heard Mr. Edward (i. Wakelield's "relative" for two mortal
hours fatiguing your ears with the most ridicui lons twaddle that ever came from the mouth of I • man j and I particularly mention this because I heafrthat that gentleman has had the audacity to state to every one who would listen to him that he could not obtain a hearing, (laughter and cries of oh ! oh!), why good gracious ! it is one of the most monstrous things I ever heard; it. puts me in mind of the old story of " Fingal's babby," which you all remember. <cries of " No, tell it.') Fingal was a mighty man in the north, but one day he heard'that a giant was coming to fight, and as he was afraid to fight the giant, he determined to dodge him, so he got into bed and told his wife that when the giant came, she was to say that Fingal was out, but that the babby was in the "bed, and he had better not wake it or Fingal would play the mischief with him : well the giant came and was told by Mrs. Fingal as her husband had directed!: the giant looked into the bed and said, "if that is Fingal's babby what must Fingal himself be like? I had better mizzle" (laughter); and so gentlemen, I say of Mr. E. Jerningham Wakefield, if what we heard the other night was not his speech, what in the name of wonder would his speech have been, had he spoken it all ? Well, Gentlemen, to return to our subject. Mr. E. Gibbon Wakefield finding that'fair means (that is, means fair for a Wakefield) would not prosper, determined to employ foul, and then came all that dirty game which has been so well explained to us, then \ came the base intrigue, and the baser back's stairs influence; then came the attempt to make I am honest man do dishonest things, for, and I ! rejoice to have this opportunity of saying so, I 1 have had the honor of knowing his ExcelVlency Colonel Wynyard for upwards of eighteen lyears in a slight degree personally but extremely \ well publicly, and Xhave never heard one word utItered but in praise of. him as a straightforward jhonorable man, a thorough soldier, and a gentleman. Well, gentlemen, by means of this back [stairs influence, what I may call the prorogation jdodge, was attempted, which ended in that jlittle amusing episode in the house which has been, and still is, made so useful a matter of ■trade by the Wakefield party, but winch was ■only disgraceful to that very party itself—that • jparty with whom it originated, I mean the !'■ Maclray- -R<"v_".. L_h«>li£.vj»_fcliat, after all we 'jliave heard, we can only come to one conclusion, that instead of Mr. Mackay being hardly 'iised, he only got what he deserved : in fact, I : tjiink all that can be said is that Mr. Mackay ■ ; got his gruel. Thus ended the session. Gentlemen, I have already detained you too long, lam sure that you will agree with me that Mr. Fitz Gerald lias succeeded in asserting the great principle of responsible government, and that his victory lias earned for him those laurels jvhich we all trust he may live long to wear. it give you in nine times nine the health of Mr. j-James Edward Fitz Gerald, the successful ; champion of responsible governineut in New ! Zealand (loud cheering).
/ Christchurch.—A meeting of the Electors ;of Christchurch was held at the Golden Fleece on Monday evening last, for the purpose of affording Mr. Sewell an opportunity of expressing to his constituency the course he hud taken during the late Sessions of the General Assembly. There was a large attendance ; the meeting was addressed at great length by Mr. Sewell and by Mr. E. J. Wakefield in reply—also by Mr. Fitz Gerald, who made a short" but very ■effective reply to the statement made by Mr. Wakefield. Mr. Hall proposed a vote of confidence in Mr. Sewell,which was carried with only two dissentients. The proceedings occupied six hours; we regret we have not space this week for the lengthened report we have received from our •correspondent—we hope to give it in extenso in our next Wednesday's impression.
To the Editor of the Lyttelton limes. Sir, —In today's paper a very imperfect account.is given of the reasons I advanced in the Provy^c-ia] Council on Thursday when opposing, as the only Government .member present, the suspension of Standing Orders, and the further progress of Mr. Packer's bill for enkrging the •Council. I regret also that the explanation I gave of the grounds upon which I conceived it my duty to resign my seat in the Executive has not found its way into your report of yesterday's proceedings. I-regret it, because, on an occasion like the present, I wished, and it was light that my constituents should he in full possession of my views
and opinions. Although unreservedly assenting to the statement of my friend and colleague Mr. Tancred, there were besides considerations more personally affecting myself, which I mentioned, and by which my conduct was influenced. Unfortunately, I cannot command leisure to afford any exposition of the real principle which is involved in the questions upon which I and my late colleagues were at issue with the majority of a Council, who, I am bound to say, had all along afforded us a most indulgent and generous support. I trust, however, that the ' Canterbury Standard,' whose reporter was present throughout, will supply the omission, and that, till its next issue, any judgment upon myself will be suspended by those electors who honored me formerly with their support. I am, Sir, very obediently yours, J. W. Hamilton. Lyttelton, October. 14. [We have before stated the reason that our Reporter was not present at the meeting of the Provincial Council last week. Other arrangements had been made under the impression that the meeting was merely pro formS. We made, every effort to rectify the omission. Mr. Hamilton was requested to furnish notes of what he said himself, which he declined to do.]
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LOCAL INTELLIGENCE., Lyttelton Times, Volume IV, Issue 205, 18 October 1854
LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. Lyttelton Times, Volume IV, Issue 205, 18 October 1854
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