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GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

Saturday, 27th May, ISS 1. The Officer Administering the Government opened the General Assembly at (lie Council Chamber, at 2 o’clock pan., when delivered the following 1 Address. gentlemen of the Assembly, — 1 On the departure of IXis L-veeUem;}' George Grey, and during his absence the colony, it became my duty as the Military Officer in this country, and 11 obedience to Her Majesty’s command, to assume the powersand dutiesof Governor 'tod Commander-in-Chief, and to administer tlie Government of these Islands in conformity with the regulations prescribed for toy guidance by the Royal Letters Patent jtod Instructions now in force in that bclialf. When I entered upon the duties of office as the head of the Civil Government the country, the crowning act for giving ,ff ect to the measure for granting a r |'Ei>„ -*■ I ill I) I nnn

Representative Constitution to the colony was still to bo performed. Holding office but temporarily ; —feeling myself bound not to embark in any measure which may embarrass the policy or effect the duties of the permanent Governor of the country; and believing that statesman-like qualities of a high order are needful for conducting to a successful issue the experiment in Constitutional government about to be attempted in New Zealand, 1 might well have shrunk from the responsibility of calling together the first and most momentous meeting of the General Assembly. But possessing the necessary legal authority, and seeing that Her Majesty’s subjects’ in New Zealand have a right to the exercise of the powers conferred upon them by the British Parliament, I felt that I ought not to allow considerations personal to myself to disappoint their expectations and to delay them indefinitely in the enjoyment of their constitutional" privileges ; and trusting that under the circumstances under which the Government of the country has devolved upon myself, I may rely upon your friendly co-operation and cordial support, I determined to summon, and I have this day been allowed the memorable privilege of "opening, the First Parliament of New Zealand.

Looking to the physical aspect of these Islands,—to the irregular and isolated manner in which they have been colonized, and to the existence of a numerous and intelligent Native Race, advancing in the static of civilization, but not yet accustomed to the exercise of political power, it must be admitted to be no easy task to devise a constitution for New Zealand which shall be adopted to the condition and circumstances of the country, and which shall confer upon its inhabitants, as one people, and without distinction of race, a liberal measure of representative self-govern-ment.

A minute examination of the Constitution which lias recently been granted to this country will no doubt lead to the discovery of defects, and some of its more important provisions may also be open to objection: but looking to tho spirit in which a constitution has been granted to the people of New Zealand, we have reason to believe that favourable consideration will be given to their suggestions for its amendment ; and that any alteration which after experience, and on deliberate consideration, may be found to be needed for giving free scope to its development, will, so far as may bo consistent with the interests of Her Majesty’s native subjects, be readily conceded by the Crown and Parliament, —seeing, however, that it confers upon the colonists, on a wide electoral basis, almost unfettered powers of self-govern-ment —that it gives to them the power of regulating the sale an I disposal of the Waste Lands of tho Crown —that it empowers the General Ass inbly to secure to the various Provinces, now governed by an Elective Legislature ‘ under an Elective Head tho disposal of their Revenues, and to mould their political institutions to the circumstances of the country, and that it opens both to the General and to the Provincial Legislatures a wide field of practical usefulness, their newly acquired charter of Representative Government may well deserve a fair trial and grateful acceptance from the colonists of New Zealand. Although the broad outline of the Constitution has been prescribed by Parliament, a wide field for modification and adjustment has been wisely left for local legislation. As the power of the General Assembly extends throughout the Islands —as it is almost without limitation or restriction, on certain specific subjects exclusive, and in all cases supreme; while the jurisdiction of the local Councils is. with certain exceptions, co-cxistent with, yet subordinate to. and liable to be controlled and modified by the power of tho General Assembly, it may be desirable that at the outset of your proceedings. some guiding principle should be adopted by which it may be determined on which of tho subjects within their common jurisdiction, tho superior authority should take the initiative in legislation ; and under what circumstances and to what extent it should exercise its controlling and overriding power in respect to laws which may, from time to time, be enacted on those subjects by the local Councils To devise a system of legislative action suited to the requirements of these Islands —to adapt it to the peculiar circumstances of the country and its people ; and to provide for its harmonious operation —is a work which may well deserve the attention, and exercise the wisdom and ability of the statesmen of New Zealand. Seeing that the colony is composed of a number of detached settlements, each from another more than 100 miles apart, with no facilities of inter-communication —

planted by various founders, on different systems, and each independent of the other —with little intercourse between them, cither social or commercial—with no common sympathy—and heretofore without the slightest bond of union; seeing, too, that each of its several Provinces has been invested with large powers of local legislation, it will rest with the General Assembly of these Islands whether New Zealand shall become one great nation, exercising a commanding influence in the Southern Seas, or a collection of insignificant, divided, and powerless petty States. To mould its various Provinces into one united people,—to create amongst them a feeling of common sympathy, and to inspire ( them with the pride of a common nationality, may well become the leading object of the Assembly of New Zealand, and may suggest j the guiding principle on which its legislation j should proceed In order that the New Zetland Islands may ultimately become one erent country; that they may be united by a feeling ol'a common patriotism, be subject to one general authority, and governed by the same law, the power of the central Government will require to be strengthened and extended; while the legislative authority of the Pi evinces will need at the same time to be rather narrowed in its range. To accomplish this important object, maintaining at the same time harmonious relations with the local Councils ; —to exercise the overruling power of the Assembly, without unduly or prematurely interfering with their legislative authority and in matters within their common jurisdiction, so to exercise the authority of the xYsscmbly, that its legislative action may be viewed by the subordinate l egislatures as a welcome interposition, and , not as an act of uncalled-for interference, is the great practical problem to be solved by the General Assembly of New Zealand. Under the existing difficulties of intercommunication, it would be impossible, at present, to govern these Islands efficiently, and in detail, by a single central authority ; and although it would, under any circumstances, be an unwise policy to seek to centre all legislative power in one General Legislature, yet it is essential to ultimate unity, that measures should be taken to render comma- , mention practicable between the inhabitants j of the various Provinces. Looking at their | isolated position, and to the extensive legislative authority conferred upon them, it can scarcely be doubted that if the colonists continue to be cut off from all hj tercourse with one another, they will tend to still further separation, rather than to national union,— that a provincial rather than a national feeling, will prevail amongst them, —that the Provincial, rather than the General Legislature will be the chief object of their interest; and that their views and sympathies, their patriotism and ambition, will rarely extend beyond the Province in which they may reside. To counteract this tendency to Provincial isolation, means should be taken to discover and make practicable for Postal communication, the best lines of road between the several Provinces. Post-houses and femes should be established along the lines of route, and other similar measures should he adopted to facilitate intercourse between their inhabitants. To the same end, also encouragement should be afforded to well-considered undertakings, '' for establishing Steam communication between their several ports. 1 laving the command of the revenues of the colony, it will be within the power of the Assembly to promote the accomplishment of these objects by appropriating towards them an adequate portion of the Public Funds. Nor is it of less importance that by a careful vigilance and timely interposition, the Assembly should endeavour to prevent the growth of an inconvenient diversity of Provincial Legislation, ] and to secure for New Zealand, on subjects I of importance, a general uniformity in the 1 Law. In the meanwhile, however, and in the actual condition of the country, in order to secure efficient Government for the outlying districts of the Colony, to foster in their inhabitants a spirit of self-reliance, and to prepare them for the cxeicise of still higher political privileges —I believe that the Provincial Councils should for the present I continue to exercise the powers conferred i upon them by the charter that, subject to | a general contribution towards the support of the central Government, and in aid of national public works, *+mt the revenues raised within each province should for the pre-cut be left to local mangement, and that in matters of local interests the provincial j authorities should be invested in common by one general act of the Assembly, with such executive powers as may enable them to act promptly and efficiently, without the delay of a reference to the Governor of the colony. Such, I believe, gentlemen, should be the guiding policy of the Government of New Zealand. The present condition and circumstances of New Zealand are happily favorable to the introduction of the representative principle into the government of the country. Peace

prevails—friendly relations continue to subsist between the two races of Her Majesty’s subjects; am) all classes are in the enjoyment of material prosperity. The difficulties experienced by the early founders of the colony, have long ceased to exist, the great demand for every description of farm produce in the Australian colonies has had the effect of demonstrating the agricultural capabilities of the country, and of stimulating the enterprize of the people, and a hopeful anticipation of futuie prosperity has been expressed by the Superintendants of its various provinces. Notwithstanding the attractions of the neighbouring gold fields, the population of New Zealand has continued to increase. During the last three years the revenue has steadily improved, and the exports of the colony for the same period have increased with an unexampled rapidity. For the year 1853 the Population, Customs, Exports, and Shipping, were, for the Provinces of

Thus it will appear that, in addition to their native inhabitants, (estimated to amount to 100,000 souls,) these islands have now a European population of upwards of 30,000, —that their Customs Revenue amounted for the past year to nearly £"10,000 ; and that the exports for the same period, arising, too in no small proportion from the proceeds of productive industry applied to the cultivation of the soil, amounted in value to upwards of a quarter of a million ster'ing. The description which has already been given of a single Province, may also be applied to tire Colony at large; and of New Zealand it may with equal truth be said, that “ actively engaged as are its inhabitants in productive industry—raising already a large excess of food —with a ready maiket close at hand for all their surplus produce—with no rivalry between the races, but the pursuit oi peaceful industry—with an improving revenue and rapidly increasing trade ; it may be doubted whether any portion of Her Majesty’s subjects, enjoy in more abundant measure the blessings of peace and plenty, or have before them a more certain prospect of a prosperous career.” No recent measure of the Imperial Parliament has probably given more general satisfaction to 11 er Majesty’s colonial subjects, or has tended more powerfully to cement the bond of union between Great Britain and her colonics, than ihat provision of the Constitution which enacts that it shall be lawful for the General Assembly of the colony to make laws for regulating the sale, letting, disposal, and occupation of the Waste Lands of the Crown. With a single exception almost every method of administering this national property has within the last few years been made the subject of experiment; - and the experiment is now to be tried of Entrusting the Waste Lands of New Zealand to the disposal and management of those who possess local knowledge and experience, and -who have a permanent interest in the country itself; —and the problem of the most advantageous disposal of the Demesne Lands of thcCrown will never probably receive a more satisfactory solution, in the judgment of the British colonist, than that which, like the Constitution Act of New Zealand, shall leave them to be dealt with by the colonists themselves. The system of disposing of the waste lands of the colony, already established under the authority of the Act, has now been upwards of twelve months in operation. Seeing that the reduction in their upset price called forth, from a large body of the colonists, the expression of their approval—and that after having been subjected to the test of experiment, the opinion of the public in favour of the altered system appears to remain unchanged ; it would be difHcult to devise any general uniform mode of disposing of the Demesne Lands of the Crown, better suited in its main features to this country, or which should be more satisfactory to the colonists themselves, than the system established under the Proclamation of the 4th March, 1353. Rut no general system can be equally well adapted, or can long remain suited to the changing circumstances, and to tiie various and varying conditions of a country like New Zealand. As the maintenance of uniformity in the mode of disposing of the Waste Lands of the colony would not seem to he of essential importance, it may be a question for the consideration of the Assembly whether it would be a wise delegation of their power to authorise the Provincial Councils to make Jaws for regulating the sale, letting, disposal, and occupation of the Waste Lands ol their respective Provinces. Such a measure, however, altering as it would do, the powers of the Provincial

Councils would need, under the provisions of the Constitution Act, to be reserved for the signification of Her Majesty’s pleasure. It will be competent, however, for the Assembly by an Act, which will not require to be reserved for the Royal assent, and which might come into immediate operation, to vest in the Executive Government of each Province, the administration of its Waste Lands and of the proceeds arising therefrom, subject to the charges imposed on the Land Fund by the t 'onstitutiou Act, and on the terms and conditions now in force for their sale, letting, disposal and occupation. Under the existing state of the Law, the Governor or the Officer administering the Government of the colony can alone execute valid conveyances of the Waste Lands ot the Crown —the delay which must necessarily take place between the sale of Land in the distant Provinces, and the execution ol the Deed of Grant by the Governor, cannot fail to be productive of great public inconvenience. I believe that no measure would I)-* of more immediate and general utility than an Act of the Assembly enabling the Superintendent or some other authority in each Province, to execute a deed of conveyance of its Waste Lands which should operate as effectually as if such conveyance were a valid grant of the Demense Lands of the Crown. I feel assured, however, that whatever legislative action may be taken by the Assembly upon so important a subject as the disposal and management of the Public Demesne, will be the result of mature deliberation, and of a comprehensive consideration of the questions, in its various beatings, on the future progress and the permanent interest of the colony at large. Although the control of the public lands lias been given to the Colonial Legislature, yet it has at the same time been enacted that in respect of all sales of any waste lands of the Crown of New Zealand, one-fourth part of the sum paid by the purchaser, shall be paid to the New Zealand Company, towards the discharge ot the sum of £268,370 Ins. Apart from the question of the justness of the debt, the policy of attempting to raise so large an amount from the settlers ot a young colony, not to be expended on public works tending to enrich the country, to benefit the settler, and to give value to his land ; but for the purpose of being abstracted from the colony, has been questioned. Looking to the principle on which a debt was admitted to be due to that company —to the amount of the debt —and to the circumstances under which its repayment was secured to them ; the agreement to impose a charge of upwards of a quarter of a million sterling upon the public lands of New Zealand has been commonly regarded as an arrangement more favourable to the distant members of an Association who «' have found themselves unable to continue their proceedings with profit to themselves and benefit to the colony” than to the settlers in the country itself, who in their own persons, and by their own labour, have been doing the work of its colonization. The circumstances under which the Legislature was induced to give its sanction to an Act providing that in case the New Zealand Company should fail in their colonizing experiments in the Province of New Munster, that-the loss incurred by them in their unprofitable undertaking should be charged upon the Waste Lands and upon the Colonists of New Zealand at large, have never been explained. It cannot be a matter of surprise that the extension of this charge to the Northern District of New Zealand, widely separated as iis from the field of the New Zealand Com t pany’s operations, and which lias not a any time acknowledged any benefit from tha body, or any advantage from any of their pro" ceedings,should have been made the subject of repeated remonstrance s by the colonists of the North.

Ifthe facts had been known to the Legislalature, that the Crown has acquired little or no waste Lands in New Zealand by virtue of its Sovereignty; that nearly the whole of its present Demesne has been purchased from the native owners of the soil, with moneys raised within the Colony ; that the land which may in future be needed for the use and occupation of British immigrants, must in like manner be acquired by purchase from the natives. That the charge of £268,000 must tend to lessen the price to be paid to, and thereby to depreciate the property of the native seller, and must at the same time operate in the nature of a tax upon the English buyer ; an enactment for making good the losses of an English Joint Stock Company at the expense of the aboriginal owners of the soil, and of the present and future colonists ol New Zealand, would not have received the sanction of the British Parliament.

In addition to the repeated remonstrances of the colonists themselves, strong representations against the imposition of this charge upon the resources of the colony have been made to Her Majesty's Government by Governor Sir George Grey and a remonstrance was also made by the Executive Government of the Province of New Ulster against the extension of its operation to the Northern District of New Zealand. The subject has now to receive the consideration of the Constitutional Representatives of the country, and I am not without hope that the measures to be taken by the Assembly in reference to this debt may yet be influential in effecting its satisfactory adjustment. No provision lias been made by the ConTStitution Act, for regulating the appropriation

of the revenues arising in the several Provinces from duties of Customs, Ac,, levied under existing colonial Ordinances. But it has been provided, as you are aw are, by the Constitution, that subject to certain charges imposed upon them, tint the revenues which may be raised by the Supreme Legislature, I shall be subject, in the first instance to be , appropriated by that body, but that, so far as the Assembly shall not appropriate them, such revenues shall be divided amongst the several Provinces in the proportion in which they shall have been contributed by them. A careful consideration of the provisions of the Act, will probably lead to the conclusion that it was the intention of its framers, that the existing revenues of the colony should be subject to the like appropriation, but although such may have been the intention of the authors ot the Constitution, the object has not, in fact, been accomplished; the provisions of the Act having been made to apply, not to the revenues already arising under Ordinances of the Legislative Council, but to future revenues, or in the words of the enactment in question, to “ the revenues arising from taxes, duties, rates, and imposts, levied in virtue of any act of the General Assembly unless some more convenient method should be suggested for effecting the object, I would recommend for your consideration the expediency of passing an Act which shall provide that the revenue now arising from duties of Customs levied in virtue of any colonial ordinance, shall, for the purpose of the C onstitution Act, be deemed to be duties Ac , levied in virtue of an Act of the General Assembly. As it may be desirable, however for the adequate support of the Provincial Establishments, and for the prosecution of local improvements and public works of a Provincial character, that the local Legislatures should have some certain funds at their disposal for these purposes not liable to be suddenly withdrawn, it may probably be deemed expedient to provide by an Act of the Assembly, that either a fixed amount or a certain proportion of tin. general revenue, arising within each Province shall be periodically paid over to the Provincial Treasury, and be subject to the appropriation of the Legislature ot the Province. The adoption of this course will remove any doubt which might otherwise be entertained, as to the power of the General and Provincial Legislatures over the appropriation of the Colonial Revenues ; and will give that stability to the financial arrangements and to the public undertakings of the several Provinces, essential to the efficient administration of their affairs. It may be assumed that the general revenue for the current year will amount to £95,6*00, and that the territorial revenue w ill amount to £104,681, making a total of £200,281. For the support of the Provincial Establishments and for local Public A\ orks, the Legislative Councils of the various Provinces have appropriated for the period of twelve months, as follows, that is to say, Auckland .. .. £32,*262 New Plymouth.. .. £4,016 Wellington .. .. £18,002 Nelson .. £ 10,958 Canterbury .. .. £18,999 Otago .. * • £ I 995 Total £86,227 It may be estimated, therefore, that a sum of about £ 114,054 will remain to be disposed of. The expense of the Supreme Court, banking, marriage registration, Post-office, and other departments under the exclusive jurisdiction of the General Assembly, ought, I think, to be regulated and provided for by the General Assembly ; the aggregate ammo t required for the support of these establishments may be estimated at about *£80.437 ; the expenses connected with the General Assembly, salaries of officers, travelling, Ac., expenses of the members, printing and other incidental expense*, may be estimated to amount to £3,000 ; and on account of the New Zealand Company’s debt £26,000. Of the balance of £54 617, remaining after these deductions, I would recommend the sum of £IO,OOO should be immediately expended equally between all the Provinces, in permanent works for facilitating communication overland between their respective chief towns, and that a sum of £*B,oo 0 should be voted I towards the encouragement, as opportunity ! may occur, of steam communication between their principal ports. In the appropriation of the remaining £36,617 for immigration and public works, I shall be glad to be guided by the recommendation of the Assembly. The exercise of a vigilant supei vision over the legislative proceedings of the Provincial Councils will be one of the most important duties of the General Assembly, and will require their immediate attention. The whole of the local Councils have already met for the despatch of business, and have passed a variety of useful and necessary laws, copies of which will be laid before you. Having regard to ultimate uniformity, certain of these enactments will require your especial attention. It will probably be found that the Ordinances enacted by some of the local councils for transferring the powers heretofore exercised by the Governor of the colony to the Superintendent of the Province, vest In that officer a wider extent of executive jurisdiction than is consistent with the establish-

ment of ultimate unity, and of an efficient central authority. Instead of exercising the power of disallowance vested in the Govertfor by the Constitution, I have preferred to leave j for the present these local Acts to their ope- ; rations, in the anticipation that the Assembly 1 will substitute one general enactment for all the Provinces, giving to the head ot each Province such executive power and authority as, after careful deliberation, may be deemed necessary for securing the prompt and efficient conduct of Provincial Government. It will probably be found thatonothersubjectsalso,as the, appropriation of fees, fines, and penalties several of the Provinces have simultaneously passed an enactment with the same object, and on the same subject, but each differing from another ; it may in some instances be within the power of the Assembly by adopting and consolidating the provisions of the several local laws, at once to substitute one general law on the subject, and thus to secure uniformity without any undue interference with tnejtreedom of Provincial legislation. will appear also, from an examination of their legislative proceedings, that by some of the Provinces, the salaries of officers (Registrars of the Supreme Court, &c.) whose appointment is vested exclusively in the Governor of the colony, have been provided for by a vote of the Provincial Council, that the power of appointing officers belonging to the establishments under the exclusive legislative authority of the General Assembly, has also, by some of the local Councils, been given to the Superintendent of the Province; ami that the salaries of these officers also, have been borne on the Provincial Estimates. It can scarcely be either sound Tn principle, or convenient in practice, that the Resident Magistrates, or any other public officers, should be thus dependent on two distinct authorities. The Registrars of the Supreme Court can be appointed only by the Crown or by the Governor, provisionally in the name ot the Crown ; the Court of Judicature to which these officers belong is expressly excepted from the jurisdiction of Provincial Legislation ; and it cannot be fitting that the due maintenance of an institution, established for the benefit of the colony at large, should be left to depend upon the annual vote of the council of a province. I would suggest, therefore, for the considerate n of the As- | semhly, whether the power of appointing a public officer, of determining the amount of his salary, and of providing for its payment, should not be exercised by the same I authority ; whether the power of appointing the officers connected with the establish- | ments, excepted from the jurisdiction of the j Provincial Councils, should not, as a general rule, be exercised by the Governor alone, and whether the salaries of these officers should not be paid out of the general revenue of the colony, and that too, not by an annual I vote, but under the authority of an act of the General Assembly. Oncertianof the subjects within the common jurisdiction of the General and Provincial Legislatures, the initiative in Legislation w ill : from time to time, be taken by a single Provincial Legis’aturc. In that case also, the i Assembly, by a timely interposition, adopting as far as may be, the provisions of the Provincial Ordinance, and passing a general law on the subject, may prevent a useless muli tiplicity and diversity of laws. Amongst other recent local acts, a law has been enacted by the Legislature of the Province of Auckland on the subject of Foreign Seamen ; and by the Province of Wellington, an Act has been passed for authorizing the formation of “ Mixed Partnerships it would, no doubt, be competent for each of the other Provincial Councils to pass a law to prevent the desertion, and to punish the misconduct of Foreign Seamen, and also to regulate the law' of Partnership, yet it would be more convenient that, instead of six different laws, there should, on such subjects, be one general law, known to he in force for the Islands of : New Zealand. The enactment by 'the Assembly of a general law, based upon the suggestion and experience of the Province, which has already legislated on the subject, would secure future uniformity, and might, j I think, be justly regarded by the colonists at large, as a salutary and timely exercise by j j the Supreme Legislature of its controlling j Legislative power. The same observation applies, but with i greater force, to an Act passed by the Council of this Province, providing for the execution : of Deeds, and for other purposes relating to ! real property. There is scarcely any subject ; on which diveisity or uncertainly is more carefully' to be guarded against than in the law relating to real property. It would by no means i tend to facilitate the transfer of lands if, in lime ! to con e, the title to such property shall be found to depend upon what was the particular law at a certain time in a particular district of New Zealand, as to the execution of a particular description of legal instrument. Seeing the expens--, uncertainty, and de’ay which has been experienced in England in the transfer of real property, arising from the existence in different parts of the country of a variety of laws, customs, and usages relating to this subject, it may be doubted whether the Provincial Councils of New Zealand ought not, not only to have been prohibited from making any law for “ regulating the course of Inheritance,” but also from making any alteration whatever in the law of real property, or in the transfer thereof; and it is matter for consideration whether such a pio-

hibitory measure should not be enacted?] law of the General Assembly. The sa 1 also contains a provision which may probably suggest to the Assembly the J diency of making a still more exl ?H alteration in the law. The object enactment to which 1 refer is to simplify mode of releasing a title to dower fcy^mLSj women. I believe it will be found thatu right to dower, which by law attaches’/ lands and tenements, of which the hmk? may at any time have been seiied dal' marriage, has ceased to be of practical to the wife or widow of the owners; whiioccasions considerable expence and del in the alienation of real estate, j tjj lieve that a considerable modification*! this ancient right may be effected, injury to individual interests, and iha 't enactment of a Law that a widow shall-! be entitled to dower except of lands j ; tenements of which her husband was acta a . ® seized at the time of his decease, would matt’ rially facilitate the transferor real pre-t----in New Zealand, and simplify the Law V£ ting thereto.

The unsatisfactory state nt the Law forre?lating Marriages in New Zealand, will prol Jt bly be brought under your notice with aw I to its amendment. The Ordinance passed ' < the Colonial Legislature in the Session ■ 1851, may not have been sufficiently stringerin its provisions for securing due publidtr It will be fonunate however for the co!oc t if the Assembly shall succeed in devising measure with that object, which shall turb the good feeling which has hitherto st;. sisted in this#country between the van,.! religious denominations, —which shall be la open to objection as creating invidious &• tinctions between them—which sh liiaterff. less with existing usages, and which at tit same time, shall be more efficient in its visions then the disallowed Ordinance jj 1851. The difficulty which has recently arisen i; carrying into effect tho punishment of transport ition owing to the want of some cotvenient Penal Settlement, to which couvicfe felons may now be sent, will render it necessar. that some other system of secondary punistments should be devised in the place of Importation. If the Assembly should not b able, during the present Session, to maturti measure of a permanent character for the amendment of the criminal code, I wool! recommend that a temporary Act should i* passed, providing that the convicts, who doi are, and who hereafter may be under sentenced transportation, shall be kept in penal servitude and employed at hard labour on ‘ ’ roads, or other useful public works, « the limits of the colony itself. Other subjects may not unprobably is brought under your consideration in thecoane of the ensuing Session. To decide, however upon the most advantageous apportionment ot Legislative power between the Supreme Legislature and the subordinate local Councils, and to mature the necessary subsidiary securing its practical adjustment may be expected to occupy a large portion uf the Firs Session of the General Assembly'. I have far that reason occupied myself for the most pa;: in endeavouring to demonstrate the necessity for the adoption by the Assembly of some well considered course of policy; and in suggesting a general outline of what I believe that poky should be ; and I have directed your attention only to those special measures of immedate importance which appear to be needed Sot effecting that object. It will be competes’, however for any member of the Assembly to! originate and introduce any Legislative measure of a practical ch racier which may appear to him to be required for the alterations amendment of the Law, and I shall be prepar ed cordially to co-operate with the Assembly it any measure for that object, which the interest of the Public may be found to require. A great work then, gentleman now lies before you. To confirm by your prudence asc moderation, the fitness of our countrymen fc Representative Self-government and Free Institutions, —to preserve and to advance in thf scale of civilization the Native Inhabitants*;; these Islands ; to develope the resources of J county rich in all the elements of future national gieatness; to be the pioneers for is colonization by the Anglo-Saxon Race; w lay the foundation of its religious, political, ai» social institutions ; to give laws to the presea* and to influence the character of a future gene-i ration, will be the rare privilege, and noble duty of the new formed ParliamentNew Zealand. Entering then, as we are to do, on the discharge of important and rtf ponsible duties, believing that our example aD * that the character of our proceedings will t* influential in after times, and on those vU» shall succeed us ; —and seeing in tin’s Assemblage tire germ of what will one day be tk Great Council of a Great Nation, I cann° £ conclude my address on opening the first sessi® of the General Assembly of these islands, with" out the expression of an earnest prayer, that the Divine Blessing may direct and prosper aour consultations, —that all things may be s° ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundation—that peace and happiness, trut and justice, religion and piety, may be esta* Wished amongst us for all generations. (Signed) R. H. Wynyabo. «-a= Sfc .Officer Administering the GovernmentCouncil Chambers, 27th May, 1854.

jSlni.pli.g, Population. Customs. Exports, including coasters. £ £ 1 A tick land 11,000 80,811 125,902 777 New Plymouth .. 2.000 3,311 8,613 41 Wellington 7,-100 20,740 95,389 287 Nelson .5,1-18 5,551 45,779) 69 Canterbury 3,895 5,837 11,395 57 Dingo 1,800 2,276 6 3141 20

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY., New Zealander, Volume 10, Issue 847, 27 May 1854, Supplement

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY. New Zealander, Volume 10, Issue 847, 27 May 1854, Supplement

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