OPENING OF THE NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT, BY. His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR.
[From the New Zealand Advertiser, July 4.] The first session of the fourth Parliament of New Zealand was opened yesterday by his Excellency the Governor in person. The members of the Wellington, Porirua, and Hutt Volunteers mustered, to the number of about eighty, on the reclaimed land, shortly after twelve o'clock, under the command of Captain Taylor, of the Porirua Volunteers, the senior officer present, for the purpose of forming a guard of honour to his Excellency the Governor. Headed by the full band of the Hutt Volunteers, and the drum and fife band of the Wellington corps, they marched to the Government Buildings, and formed in line at either side of the avenue leading to the grand entrance. The day being beautifully fine, a large concourse was assembled in front of the building to see the ceremony, and as the hour approached the gallery of the Legislative Council was crowded. At about a quarter to two o'clock, MajorGeneral Chute and staff, consisting of Colonel Pitt, Military Secretary, Colonel Gamble, Deputy-Commissary-General, and Major Baker, arrived at Government House, and at the same hour the members of the House of Eepresentafcives assembled in their Chamber to await the summons of his Excellency. At two o'clock, the Governor, dressed in the Windsor uniform, accompanied by his own personal staff, and Major- General Chute and staff, proceeded on foot to the Legislative Council Chamber, and, as he arrived in front of the building, the Volunteers presented arms, and the band played the National Anthem. He then entered the Chamber and took his seat in the Speaker's Chair. We noticed the following ladies and gentlemen in the body of the Chamber : — Lady Monro and party, Mrs. Bannatyne, Mr. and Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Puckey, Mr. Eiddeford, Dr. Evans, Mrs. and Miss Eitzherbert,Mrs.Forster,Mrs. Huntley, Mrs. Alland, Mrs. Gray and party, Mrs. Menzies and party, the Misses Martin, Dr. Samuel, Mrs. St. Hill and party, Mrs. E. Smith and party, Mrs, Abraham and party, Mrs. and the Misses Cheeseman, Mrs. Stock, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Johnston and party, Mrs. Domett and party, Mr. Paterson, Mrs. Carterton and party, Mrs. Johnton and party, Mrs. and Miss Campbell, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Wood, Mrs. J. Dransfield, Mrs. Whitmore and party, Mrs. Brandon, Mr. and Mrs. Eraith, Mrs. Stowe, and Mrs. Richmond and party. The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives having been summoned to the Legislative Council Chambers, his Excellency read the following speech : — Honourable Legislative Councillors, Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, I have taken the earliest opportunity of resorting to your advice and assistance after the dissolution of the late Parliament. The increase in the number of the members of the House of Representatives, which has taken place under the Act which came into operation on the occasion of the recent General Election, will, I trust, give additional weight to the deliberations of the Legislature, and afford more ample means than has hitherto existed for the due representation in Parliament of all interests in the colony. It is with great satisfaction that I am enabled to inform you of the all but complete cessation of disturbances in those portions of the Northern Island which had previously been disaffected. By the expedition' of General Chute on the West Coast, important results have been attained. Our prestige has been restored, and the Maoris have been convinced that the British soldier, when properly led, can follow tnem to tfreir fastnesses and is nowhere to be successfully resisted. Recent occurrences have, however, proved that this campaign — so ably conceived, and so gallantly and vigorously conducted — has not sufficed, owing to its abrupt termination, to secure the tranquility of that district ; nevertheless, a valuable service has been rendered by the Major-General to the colony and to the emph'e. The unbroken success which has attended the operations, on the East Coast, of her Majesty's Colonial Forces, largely aided by loyal Natives, has resulted in the surrender or capture of most of the hostile natives. My Government has eagerly watched for, and gladly accepted every indication on the part of any of these natives of a desire to live peacoably with their fellow-subjects ; and, with the view of removing any cause of irritation, the larger portion of those who have been taken in arms have been restored to liberty ; while at the same time, the more prominent ringleaders have been temporarily removed to the Chatham Islands, and those who have been guilty of wanton and unprovoked murders, committed in cold blood, have been dealt with by the ordinary civil tribunals. By perseverance in a policy of kindness and consideration towards the well-disposed, and of firmness towards the turbulent, her Majesty's native subjects will be assured of the advantages to be derived from habits of order, and a respect for law, while they will also recognise that acts of violence cannot be practised with impunity. While congratulating you on this improved condition of a large portion of the country, which had been a cause of much anxiety and embarrassment, it must not be overlooked that there yet remain districts to which it will be necessary that you should provide, for a time, a sufficient force to repress outrage and maintain her Majesty's authority. As her Majesty's regular forces have left, or are leaving the colony as fast as the means of transport can be procured, it is imperative that no delay should take place in making this provision. The commencement of the Mail Service by way of Panama, cannot but be a subject of gratification and legitimate pride to the people of New Zealand, who, in common with the inhabitants of the neighbouring colony of New South Wales, have long recognised the advantages which would result from this addition to their means of postal communication. The extension of Telegraphic Communication within the colony, by means of the electric cable shortly to be laid across Cook Strait, will also conduce to the progress of the country and the development of its resources. Measures will be taken as early as possible for continuing this means of communication throughout the Northern Island. The continued increase in the produce of the goldfields has caused a corresponding increase in the population and revenue of the colony, has largely added to its commerce and wealth, and has tended to maintain that progressive advance for which New Zealand has been remarkable. Gentlemen of the House oe Representatives, You will find that a rigid economy has been exercised in the expenditure of the supplies voted for the public service last session. A careful regard for economy will also regulate the preparation of the Estimates to be submitted to you for the ensuing financial year.
I The public accounts of the colony will be laid before you. The recent disposal of a large portion of the loan authorized to be raised for the service of the colony, is evidenca of an increasing confidence in the value of the colonial securities, which had been temporarily depressed by the operation of a variety of causes, amongst which may especially be instanced the manner in which some of the provincial loans have dcen dealt with. Yon will be invited to consider how this injury to the credit alike of the colony and of tho provinces, may be obviated for the future. Proposals for a revision of the tariff, which has long been demanded, will be submitted for your consideration, as also the question of providing an additional source of revenue by means of Stamp Duties. In connection with this subject, and as a means of improving the financial condition of the country, tho propriety of enabling the several existing debts of New Zealand to be consolidated on certain conditions, should also be considered. To maintain and improve the credit of the country will be at all times an object of solicitude to my Government, in promoting which I look with confii dence to your zealous co-operation. Honourable Gentlemen and Gentlemen, In accordance with an intimation made last session, I have appointed a Commission to inquire into the position of the Civil Service, with a view to establishing a definite system, which would promote the efficiency of the service, and conduce to economy in the public expenditure. Tho report of this Commission will shortly be laid before you. Measures for improving the administration of justice, and on other subjects of importance, will be submitted for your approval. In these and all other matters which may claim your attention, I pray that Divine Providence may guide your labours, so that they may conduce to the happiness and prosperity of the people of New Zealand. I [from our own correspondent.] Wellington, July 4, 1866. About fifty members of the House of Representatives and a small knot of Legislative Councillors have gathered to their duty, and the first Session of the fourth Parliament of New Zealand has formally begun. The increase in the number of Representatives will deprive many members of the luxury of elbow-room and tables, which all have hitherto been able to enjoy. Mr. Rumsey, of Auckland, who has been employed in the arrangement of the House, has done what could be done to utilise every corner and pack all tight, but the arrangements are nevertheless inadequate; and at the first glance it is plain that the proposals of Government for a new Chamber will be adopted, almost without a dissentient voice — unless there be some one who really believes in the separation of the colony as a practicable and an imminent event. A marked advance has taken place in the study of the forms and ceremonies of opening; and we may hope, in the first session of the fifth or sixth Parliament, to obtain whatever advantage may attend an absolute imitation of the great original at Westminter. Every form was gone through on the present occasion with the neatness of a dress rehearsal. Mr. Speaker and the Premier played their parts with perfect aplomb, and Lord Palmerston or Mr. Joseph Newman could not have fingered their white kid gloves with more refinement than did Mr. Stafford before proceeding to the Legislative Council to hear his Excellency's opening speech. It is natural to find some reticence among the members of a new Parliament, many of them new to political life and strangers to the leaders of the Assembly. No broad ines distinguish parties ; or, if the lines do indeed exist, they are as yet apprehended by only a few. The incidents of last session and the strange proposals of candidates and even Ministers on the hustings during the recess, have sown more than the usual distrust and caution, so that it is not easy to obtain even a glimmering of light on the position of Ministers and parties, from the conversation of members. Those who have not been in the secrets of the Government are> for tae most part, disposed to wait till time fully developes the views which are now only to be gleaned from the printed despatches and memoranda, and which are imperfectly sketched for us in his Excellency's speech. From these sources it may be gathered that the points of divergence of Mr. Stafford's policy from that of Mr. Weld, whom he expelled from power, are every day growing less and less. It is plain that no attempt has been made by Ministers to retain any part of the troops, so far as the public is allowed to see. If, as has been rumoured throughout the colony, three regiments are to be retained for some time, this is probably the result of private arrangements, understandings, or orders by higher authorities. Tour readers may be tolerably easy therefore on this head, and may dismiss the fear that tho colony will be further involved to pay for a force which is imperfectly suited to the necessities of the case, and hopelessly beyond the control of the colonial authorities. The imperative tone of Mr. Cardwell's despatches has no doubt led the Ministry to conclude that the colony must do perforce, what Mr. Weld would have had it do with dignity and as a matter of sound policy. Mr. Stafford is certainly not of opinion that the paTceha lamb may yet lie down beside the Maori lion. His Excellency's speech proposes to provide a force for the internal defence of some districts of the Northern Island. It sketches fairly enough the condition of the native quarrel, alluding generally to the ambuscade at Waingongoro ; but it does not promise the resumption of General Chute's famous campaign, to which it gives no more than just praise, indicating at the same time the regret, as it were, of a spectator, at its abrupt termination. A rumour prevails here indeed that Major M'Donnell has returned to Wanganui, with large powers to raise a mixed force and reduce the Ngatiruanui ; and a paragraph in the Advertiser, supposed to be a well informed paper, promises energetic steps to punish the tribe. The Speech, however, is silent on this movement, and does not raise the delicate question of payment for the defensive force which it proposes. The separation movement finds no notice in the speech, and the papers (A No. 1, page 106) seem to show that the cry is for the present at rest. Mr. Whitaker's petition is disposed of by Mr. Stafford with a courage which almost proves that he has permission, perhaps an invitation, from his backers, the i Superintendents, to rid them of a trouble-
some agitation in which they have little heart, and which they have entered on in deference to external pressure. Nor is reference made anywhere to the reconstitution of the territorial divisions of the colony, favoured, perhaps devised, by the Honourable the Postmaster- General (Mr. Paterson). This monstrous scheme may find supporters, possibly success, in the House of Representatives, but it would be unfair to Mr. Stafford to suspect him of favouring it, even had not Mr. Jollie joined the Government, except for the announcement made by Mr. Paterson on the hustings. Mr. Stafford's economies will not dispense with the Stamp Duties of his predecessors. He has profited at the hustings by his obstruction to the granting of those duties, and by the suggestion of an Income Tax in case greater revenue is needed; but the Income Tax is quietly dropped, and the Stamps are to be asked of the Assembly. Tour readers must not suppose that Mr. Stafford's supporters are likely to refuse him because they refused Mr. Weld. There are probably understandings outside the walls of the Legislature on this point. Mr. Stafford's friends, the Superintendents, need revenue for the provinces, and find the arrangement which makes the House of Representatives their cat's-paw, quite worth, some small sacrifice of appearances. You ought to point out clearly to your readers, that any increase of taxation is wanted for provincial, not general purposes. The present revenues are ample, and beyond the needs of the colony as a whole. But the Surplus Revenues Act, working with an increase of general burdens, leaves at the present time little balance for the Local Governments. The question deserves discussion, whether additional taxationfor provincial uses should not be imposed by the Provincial Legislatures, and subject to the close criticism of those bodies and the local constituencies. Wholesome provincialism will not shrink from such a change ; those who spend should exact ; and the partnership of the Governments has been prolific of jealousy, injurious alike to the colony and the provinces. The Notices of Motion show that, like all weak and discordant Governments, Mr. Stafford's will seek to devolve the duties on committees. The Post Office is to be put in committee, and so are the Confiscated Land questions. Considering who are charged with the administration of those affairs it is best that it should be so. Mr. Campbell, of Oamaru, moves the address, which seems to be composed of thanks for information and promises to consider the measures proposed. It is colourless enough to escape without a division or perhaps even a serious debate. Mr. Joseph Newman, of Auckland, seconds it. The debate comes off to-day. The Parliamentary Chambers. — The Wellington Independent, of the 3rd instant, contains the following :—": — " We observed on Saturday in the House of Representatives, that even in the absence of twenty members the House presented the appearance of being full. A closer investigation, however, revealed the fact that there were still a few seats vacant ; but certainly on special occasions during the ensuing session the House will be inconveniently crowded. Mr. Edward Rumsey, architect, has forwarded to the Government designs for a new House of Representatives ; to be built at the rear of the present buildings, and we understand that they will be submitted to the House during the Session. In case his plans should be adopted, the present Chamber of the House of Representatives would become the Legislative . Council Chamber and the present Council Chamber would be divided into two Btories and form Government Offices. The estimated cost of the whole, including other necessary alterations, is £11,500."
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OPENING OF THE NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT, BY. His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXV, Issue 83, 7 July 1866
OPENING OF THE NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT, BY. His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXV, Issue 83, 7 July 1866
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