Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Wednesday May 24.

The memben assembled at noon, Mr. Carlbtok in the chair. It was proposed that after the members bad been sworn in, they should adjourn until Friday, to afford time for more fully considering who was the most suitable person for the office of Speaker. This matter remained undecided when the Chief Justice entered (the members having expressed a desire to be sworn in their own chamber) and administered the oath. The discussion was then resumed, but the public having been excluded from the meeting, we are not acquainted with the particulars. We understand, however, that the following resolution wat adopted, on the motion of Mr. Rhodes, seconded by Mr. Cuttkn :—: — "That a deputation from this private meeting of the members of the House of Representatives do wait upon his Excellency fixe Officer administering the Government, for the purpose of respectfully representing to his Excellency the hope of the meeting that it may suit the convenience of his Excellency to postpone until Friday next the opening of the General Assembly." The deputation — which consisted of Messrs. Carleton, Cutten, Rhodes, Greenwood, Porter, Bartley, Clifford, and O'Neill — having waited on Ibis Excellency, stated on their return that he had *^been pleased to say, that whenever it should be announced to him that the house had elected its Speaker, he would be prepared to open the Assembly, and deliver his address. Mr. Carlbtok then declared the private, meeting dissolved, and left the chair ; but on the motion of Mr. Revans, seconded by Mr. Lee, and •greed to, the honourable member resumed the chair in what was understood to be a regular 1 meeting of the house. The Chaibman ithen read the Proclamation summoning the General Assembly. Mr. lUvanb proposed that the house do proceed to the election of Speaker. Mr. Rbtodbs seconded the motion. Mr. M*Andbxw moved as an amendment, and Mr. Mxwima* seconded, that the house do adjourn until Friday, at 11 o'clock, then to meet for the election of Speaker. Some discussion ensued, in the course of which Mr. O'H sill urged an immediate election, and Mr. Fomarh argued that by such a course, after having asked hit Excellency to assent to a postponement, the house would stultify itself. Ultimately the amendment was carried, and the bous« accordingly adjourned.

Friday, May 26. The house met at eleven o'clock for the election of a Speaker. On the motion of Mr. O'Neill, Mr. Carleton was called to act as chairman. ELECTION OF SPEAKER. The Chairman read the Bth clause of the Constitution Act, which requires that the house at its first meeting shall proceed to elect a Speaker. Mr. Bartley rose and said, he had much pleasure in proposing for the honourable office of Speaker of that house, a gentleman who was known to each and to all the members ; one who, from his high standing and station, his possessing much property in the colony, and being strongly bound to it by every tie of honour and of interest — who was not unaccustomed to the duties of the office — and possessing also that kindness of manner which, next to impartiality, was the highest qualification for the office, as tending to harmonise and promote proper feeling among the members ; — one who, in all other respects, he was sure the house would consider highly qualified for the responsible and honourable post. He had therefore much pleasure in proposing Charles Clifford, Esquire, to be their Speaker, being confident that, if elected, he would fulfil the duties of the office with impartiality, grace, and dignity.

Mr. Fitzgerald felt that he could with much satisfaction second the motion which had just been proposed to the house. He believed that the office would be honourably and impartially filled by Mr. Clifford. In the absence of precedent to guide gentlemen in the exercise of duties to which few may have turned their attention, it would be an advantage to the house to have one in the chair who had had some experience in conducting, in another Province, business of a similar character to that which Would occupy the house. And besides, he believed that the love which Mr. Clifford entertained for the institutions under which they had met would influence him inconducting the deliberations of that house, so as to reflect credit on the country to which he was so strongly attached.

The motion was put from the chair, and carried unanimously.

Mr. Wakefield said that, in the absence of a more ready means of communicating with the Officer administering the Government so as to know his Excellency's pleasure as to confirming the election which they had just made, he believed it would be proper that a deputation consisting of the mover and seconder, and such other members as the house might think proper, should wait on his Excellency to acquaint him of the choice they had made. From what had come to his knowledge he thought the house would best consult the convenience of his Excellency by appointing the deputation, who would receive his Excellency's decision at twelve o'clock on the next day, which would not look so conspicuously inconsiderate as if it were given immediately — and afterwards, at two o'clock, His Excellency's opening Address would be delivered.

Mr. Lee thought that, as the Speaker had been duly elected by the house, it became now the duty of the proposer and seconder to conduct the Speaker to the chair.

Mr. CtJTTBN thought that until confirmed by the Governor, as provided by the Act under which they were assembled, the election of the Speaker was not complete, and therefore it would be out of order to proceed as suggested by the honourable member who spoke last. Dr. Monro thought it desirable that as little time as possible should be lo3t before communicating with his Excellency, as there had occurred two vacancies in the representation of Nelson, which required to be reported to the Officer administering the Government, but must in the first instance be reported to the Speaker after his being duly appointed. It was desirable that the writs should be issued in time to be sent down by the steamer, so as that Nelson might have its full representation in that house as soon as practicable.

Mr. Wakbfield said he made the suggestion after a chance conversation with the AttorneyGeneral, who had stated that the course pointed out by him (Mr. Wakefield) was that which would best accord with the arrangements of his Excellency. He would regret that any delay should take place with respect to the Nelson elections, and might say that he understood the writs were quite ready to be signed as soon as the house had reported the vacancies. Mr. Lee maintained that enough had been done to entitle the Speaker to take the chair, and quoted precedents taken from the proceedings of the Legislative Council of New South Wales and the House of Commons, in support of his views.

Mr. M'Andrew and Mr. Fitzgerald thought that, according to the Constitution Act, Mr. Clifford could not be properly considered the Speaker of that house until his appointment had been approved by the Governor. Mr. Merriman concurred in his view, and observed that there was no real difficulty, inasmuch as they had a Chairman.

Mr. Clifford said that whatever might be the order to which the house might carry out its decision he could no longer refrain from expressing his thanks for the very courteous manner in which he had been proposed, and for the unanimity with which the house had chosen him. He could assure the house that he felt deeply gratified in placing his services al the disposal of the house. Mr. Lee reiterated the expression of his views, and declared that the Governor had no theoretical right to reject anything that had passed that house.

Major Greenwood said he was aware that his Excellency would be at his office at 12 o'clock to receive any deputation that might be appointed to wait upon him. Mr. Revans could see no reason why Mr. Clifford should not take the chair, for if he was not indeed Speaker, he was at least Speaker elect. He would therefore move that the present Chairman do leave the chair, and that Mr. Clifford be conducted to the chair.

The motion was carried. Whereupon Mr. Caslleton rose and said — Mr. Clifford, I have much pleasure in leaving the chair, and in congratulating you, as well as this house, on your appointment. The Speaker then took the chair.

It was then proposed and agreed that Messrs. Bartley and Fitzgerald should be the deputation to wait on his Excellency, to inform him that the choice of the house had fallen on Mr. "Clifford. Mr. Forsaith said that if they desired to follow out the analogy of the House of Commons in their proceedings, the next step would be the appointment of a sergeant-at-arms. After some remarks by members who considered the house was not yet properly constituted, this subject was allowed to drop. On the motion of Mr. Revans, seconded by Mr. FoasAiTH, a vote of thanks to Mr. Carleton, for his manner of conducting the business as preliminary chairman, was passed unanimously. The house then adjourned until one o'clock. The house re-assembled at one o'clock. MESSAGES. The Clerk announced a message from his Excellency the Officer administering the Government,whereupon Major Cockcraft, his Excellency's Private Secretary, was introduced, and presented to the Speaker Messages 1 and 2, as under : Message, No. 1. Government House, Auckland, May 26, 1854. The Officer administering the Government has much pleasure in confirming the choice made by the House of Representatives, of Charles Clifford, Esq., to be the first Speaker of the said house. R. H. Wynyard. After reading this message, the Speaker said he could not refrain from again thanking the house for the honour conferred upon him. He was sure he might rely upon receiving their full support in conducting the business of the house, as well as in maintaining its rights and privileges. Message, No. 2. Government House, Auckland, May 26, 1854. The Officer administering the Government proposes to address the Members of the Assembly on the occftsion of the opening of the session, at the Council Chamber, on Saturday, the 27th instant, at two o'clock, p.m. R. H. Wynyard. The Speaker announced that he had received notice of the resignation of Mr. Cautley, the member for the Waimea districts. OPENING PRAYERS. Mr. M'Andrew, having first suggested the propriety of opening the proceedings of the house with prayer, put his views in the shape of a formal motion, as follows :—: — " That it is fit and proper that the first act of the House of Representatives shall be a public acknowledgment of the Divine Being, and a public supplication for his favour on its future labours. Mr. Mackay seconded the motion. Mr. Lee moved as an amendment, that the house be not converted into a conventicle, and that prayers be not offered up. Mr. Revans seconded the amendment, but it was afterwards withdrawn. Mr. Weld moved the following amendment, which was seconded by the Honourable J. S. Wortley :—: — " That this house, whilst fully recognising the importance of religious observances, will not commit itself to any act which may tend to subvert that perfect religious equality that is recognised by our constitution, and therefore cannot consistently open this house with prayer." The house divided on the amendment, with the following result : — Ayes. Noes. Messrs. Wortley Messrs. Gray Weld Mackay Ludlam E. G. Wakefield Gladhill Cutten King Rhodes Fitzgerald Taylor O'Neill Greenwood Crompton Forsa th Lee Hart Revans Monro Bartley Picard Carleton O'Brien j Merriman Kelham Cargill E. J. Wakefield Sewell M'Andrew. The original motion was then put and carried. Mr. Forsaith then moved — " That in proceeding to carry out the resolution of tbe house, to open its proceedings by prayer, this house distinctly asserts the privilege of a perfect political equality in all religious denominations, and that whoever may be called upon to perform this duty for the house, it is not thereby intended to confer or admit any preeminence to that church or religious body to which he may belong." Mr. Cutten seconded the motion. Mr. Fitzgerald moved, and Mr. O'Neill seconded, that this house adjourn till two o'clock to-morrow. This amendment was lost, and the original motion carried. The Speaker then forwarded a request for the attendance of the Rev. J. F. Lloyd, minister of St. Paul's, who was shortly after introduced by the Clerk, and proceeded to offer up prayers. The Speaker, in the name of the house, thanked Mr. Mr. Lloyd, and the reverend gentleman withdrew. Mr. Merriman moved the following resolution, which was seconded by Mr. E. J. Wakefield : — " That a committee be appointed for the session, to be called the Standing Orders Committee. That it be the duty of that committee to prepare such Standing Orders as they may from time to time deem advisable to be adopted by the house. That the committee do report on Friday next, the 2d day of June, and from time to time afterwards, as they may see occasion or be required by the house. That the committee be authorized to communicate with any committee appointed by the Legislative Council with a view to the adoption of Standing Orders to regulate the mode in which this house and tbe Legislative Council shall confer, correspond, and communicate with each other. That the Standing Orders Committee consist of the Speaker, Mr. Bartley, Mr. Sewell, ■Mr. Carleton, Dr. Monro, Mr. E. G. Wakefield, Mr. M'Andrew, Mr. King, and Mr. Merriman."

Mr. Fitzgerald suggested the following amendment, which was adopted by Mr. Mbrriman :—: —

" That, until the report of said committee be received, it shall be a Standing Order that Mr. I Speaker do regulate the proceedings of the house." . The motion as thus amended was carried. RESIGNATION OF SEATS. A letter was read by the Speaker from Mr. W. T. L. Travers, resigning his seat for the town of Nelson. Dr. Monro, seconded by Mr. Mackay, moved — " That this house address his Excellency the Officer administering the Government, stating the existence of two vacancies, in consequence of the resignation of William Oldfield Cautley, Esq., late member for the Waimea districts, and of William Thomas Locke Travers, Esq., late member for the town of Nelson. " That the House of Representatives of New Zealand begs respectfully to address his Excellency the Officer administering the Government, and to acquaint him of the existence of two vacancies in the house, in consequence of the resignations of William Oldfield Cautley, Esq., late member of the Waimea districts, and William Thomas Locke Travers, Esq., Jate member for the town of Nelson. " That the honourable the Speaker be requested to present the address just adopted by the house to his Excellency the Officer administering the Government." NOTICES OF MOTION. Mr. E. G. Wakefield to move on Monday — That the honourable member for the Bay of Islands be Chairman of Committees of the whole house. Major Greenwood to move as an amendment on the foregoing — That F. W. Merriman, Esquire, member for the suburbs of Auckland, be appointed Chairman of Committees. Mr. Merriman to move on Monday for certain returns from the Resident Magistrate's Court at Auckland. Mr. Lee to move on Monday — That this bouse stands pledged to support every constitutional means calculated to augment the powers of Provincial Councils, and do enunciate the principle of non-interference with local legislation. Mr. O'Neill to move on Wednesday— That an address be presented to his Excellency the Officer administering the Government, praying that, as soon as practicable, there be laid on this table a Bill embodying the principles of certain resolutions relating to the Waste Lands, and to the harmonious working of the new Constitution, as agreed to by the Provincial Council of Auckland on the 2d of February last, and forwarded through his honour the Superintendent to the General Government. And at the same time move for a copy of the resolutions in question. Mr. Forsaith to move, on Monday — For a copy of the correspondence between the Colonial Government and her Majesty's Secretary of State, relative to the disallowance of the Marriage Amendment Ordinance. Mr. Hart to move on Monday — For a return of the despatch of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, which authorized the Governor of New Zealand to make regulations for the sale of land in the colony. Mr. Mackay to move on Saturday — That a committee be appointed to see to the completion of the present building, and what improvements may be necessary for the accommodation of the members. Mr. Fitzgerald to move on Wednesday — To ask the Colonial Secretary or other the recognised organ of the Government in this house, whether it be the intention of the Government to introduce any bill into this house for the purpose of constituting some person to be the locum tenens of the Superintendent of a Province in the event of his death or absence from his province, Mr. Picard to move on Saturday — For a return of all moneys received as rents of the lands comprised in the Native Reserves in the Province of Nelson, by the persons managing such lands, from the month of January, 1852, till the present date, and of the expenditure of such moneys. Mr. Fitzgerald to move on Wednesday — For copies of the correspondence between the Colonial Secretary and the Provincial Government of Wellington, on the subject of the Superintendent's Absence Act ; and between the Colonial Secretary and the Provincial Government of Canterbury, on the subject of the Empowering Ordinance. Mr. Hart to move on Wednesday — For a return of the names of persons who have, since the Ist of June, 1850, been appointed to offices in the department of the Customs of New Zealand, distinguishing the offices to which they have been appointed, the respective amounts of the present salaries of such officers, the amounts of such salaries prior to the appointments of the present holders, and the periods of previous service of such officers in the same department of the public service. Also, a return of the names of persons who have received appointments in the department of the Post Office, within the period of four years last past, having salaries exceeding £200 per annum, and the respective precise periods of service of such officers in the same department of the public service. Mr. Ckomfton to move on Saturday— For a return of the value of all goods imported into New Plymouth from the other provinces, on which duties have been paid, and the estimated amount of such duties, during the past year. Mr. Revans to move on Saturday — That Mr. Coates be elected Clerk to the House of Representatives for New Zealand. Mr. Picard to move on Saturday — For a return of tht names of all persons who have purchased land in the province of Nelson since the date of the land proclamation of his Excellency Sir George Grey; the number of acres purchased by each such person, and the amounts paid for the same, and whether such payment was made in land or scrip. Also, of all moneys paid as deposits for the purchases of land in the said province which are not yet completed. Also, of the names of all persons holding depasturing licenses in the said province, the number of stock depastured under each such license, and the amount paid for depasturing the same. The house then adjourned until two o'clock on the following day.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NENZC18540610.2.18

Bibliographic details

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Wednesday May 24., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XIII, Issue 640, 10 June 1854

Word Count
3,258

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Wednesday May 24. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XIII, Issue 640, 10 June 1854

Working