OPENING OF PAELIAMENT.
THE GOVERNOR'S SPEECH. The second session of the seventh Parlia r ment of New Zealand, was opened this afternoon, when his Excellency delivered the following speech : — Honorable Legislative Councillors and Gentlemen of the House of Uepkesentativ.es : In accordance with what was understood to be the wish of both branches of the Legislature, I have called you together at an earlier period of the year than usual, after au interval of a little more than five months since tbe last session of Parliament. When I last met you the country was suffering from severe monetary pressure and a general depression in various branches of industry and trade. It is satisfactory to be able, on tbe present occasion, to congratulate you upon the partial relief which has been experienced, and upon the degree of coufidence which has been revived by an abundant harvest, and by the increased value of most of the staple products of the country. At the same time, the condition of the colony demands your careful consideration. I regret that there should be such a considerable amount pf distress among the working classes. I trust, and beljeve, tbjs may be only of a temporary character. It is engaging the serious attention of my Government, who have taken steps for inquiring into the means best calculated to encourage such local industries as will afford steady and remunerative employment to the people. In accordance with the decision of the Legislature I appointed a JRoyal Commission to enquire into the alleged grievances of a portion of tbe native race in respect to their lands on the West Coast of the North Island. The report apd recommendations of tljaj; Commission will be laid before you. 1 triisf;
that the measures, at once firm and conciliatory, which have been adopted by my Government will issue in a permanent and satisfactory settlement of the' difficul ties which have arisen in that part of the colony. The determination which has been shown to redress grievances when they may be proved to exist, and at the same time to insist upon the supremacy of the Crown cannot but favorably affect our relations with the whole Maori race. The steps which should ba taken for the defence of the harbors of the colony hare been carefully considered and ably reported on by Colonel Scratchley an experienced officer of the Royal Engineers. You will be asked to consider the extent to which it will be advisable to give effect to his suggestions. Gentlemen of the House of Representatives : Carefully prepared estimates of the revenue and expenditure for the ensuing twelve months will be laid before you. Tbe facts elicited by the Commissioners who have been appointed to inquire into the present position of the Civil S.-rvice will, I have no doubt, assist my responsible advisers in effecting substantial reductions in the cost of that service. I regret to have to announce to you that a falliDg off has taken place during the past financial period in almost all the principal items of revenue. While this may in some measure be attributed to temporary causes, it would be unwise to ignore the fact that, prior to the existing depression, there had been a time of extraordinary inflation consequent upon the expenditure of large sums of borrowed money. With the lessening of the abnormal influx of foreign capital the country must look for a diminution in the rate of progress it has recently been accustomed to, both in respect to its ordinary and territorial revenue. In these circumstances my advisers entertain no doubt as to the course to be pursued. Expenditure must be decreased, luxuries must be curtailed, and the public works which have already been constructed must be made more reproductive. It is to industry and economy that the colony has to look for a development of its resources, and the maintenance of a healthy progress. You will be asked to consider a plan which it is believed will place the finances of the local bodies on a satisfactory basis, and will enable those bodies to carry on their works in a selfreliant and independent manner. Honorable Legislative Councillors and Gentlemen of the House or REPRES ENTATI VEB — At a time when it is indispensable that the closest attention should be bestowed upon the state of our finances, upon the solution of native questions of grave importance, upon the settlement of the waste lands, ;'and upon the general economy of administration, it is not the intention of my Government to ask you to devote a longer time to the work of legislation than will be required to complete the constitutional measures already initiated to deal with pressing questions of social and administrative reform. Bills will be presented ' to you for consolidating and amending the licensing lawß of the colony; for placing the administration of the hospitals and charitable aid on a sound and intelligible basis; for completing the changes in the electoral law which were commenced in the last session of Parliament; for readjusting the repre^ sention of the people, and for amending the laws affecting the dealing with native lands and the conßtitution^of the Native Lands Court. The work of consolidating the statutes as authorised by you has made considerable progress, and a number of bills, the result of the labors of the Commission, will also be placed before you . The necessity for revising the whole system of legal procedure now in force in the Supreme Court and in other courts of the colony has forced itself upon the attention of my Government. The subject is too large to enter upon during the present session, but it is proposed to institute an ecquiry with the view of preparing such measures of reform as will render the administration of ' justice speedy and efficacious, as well as less costly thg,n at present. The work of opening up the waste lands of the Crown for settlement has been vigorously prosecuted, and blocks of land for occupatiou upon the deferred payment and village settlement systems have been set aside over a large portion of the Colony. The desire which exists for the occupation of land in Bmall holdings exhibits a determination on the part of the people of the colony to devote themselves steadily to, the development of its resources. It is to ba regretted that in some parts of the colony land of this class has beeu bought ou terms with which the purchasers have found it impossible to comply. The subject ia under the careful consideration of uiy Government. In now leaving you to the labors of the session, I have to assure you of my earnest desire to cooperate with your efforts to promote the welfare of the country, and to express my hope that God's blessing may resfc upon your deliberations.
good can they possibly expect, as public men to do for the country so long as they dis play such an utter want of harmony or even mutual respect ? " This is how different people think on the same subject. Percy Incipient, languidly conversing with Paterfamilias at a largely and brilliantly attended evening party not long since : •' Haw— l don't agwee with you at all. I think the pwesent style of dress for young ladies is splendid. Haw— you know exactly —haw— now what sort of a girl you are looking at— no sham or makeup ; but— ha ! ha ! — almost the naked truth itself, yon know ; ba !ha ! " Paterfamilias, indicating three or four particularly, and prominently decolletee but extremely charming young ladies, whose well exposed figures seemed to be in danger of escaping entirely from the fragile bonds and bands of millinery which enclosed them : " And do you mean to say, sir, that you would like your sisters, or your wife, if you had one, to appear in such dresses as those?" "Hawl well — haw! That's a different thing, you know ; but I weally think it's vewy nice for other people's wires and sisters to do so— ha Iha j " Mr James B. Keene's thirteen racehorses are on their way to England on board the same Transatlantic steamer. The two old horses, American Spendthrift and Lord Murphy, have each of them cost about £3,000. Lord Murphy's career on the British Turf will be watched with interest, as he is a purely American-bred horse. Spendthrift ia the son of an imported Australian, who is himself the son of West Australian. All the other horses are two-year-olds, bred in Kentucky. When Mr Keene's horses arrive at Newmarket there will be about one hundred and fifty foreign horses in training there. — Truth. The able war correspondent of a London daily paper, at the fancy dress ball at the Mansion House the other evening, went as an Afghan chief, in a real bona fide dress that he had picked up on a battle field; and, being very short-sighted, he created quite an impression by wearing an eyeglass. The idea of an Afghan chief with an eye-glass is delicious. A correspondent of the Sydney Daily Telegraph states that on the night of Sunday, March 7, a prize-fight between two women took place near the Roman Catholic Chapel, Balmain West. Each woman had a man as a second. The fight lasted an hour, and the police did not put in an appearance.