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POLITICAL PRIMINGS

lit AND OUT OF SESSION

The House In Being

A MEDLEY MUDDLE

It is now announced that the Labor Party will vote with the LiberalLabor Party on Mr. Wilford's noconfidence amendment to the Speech-From-the-Throne. .-»■'■* * The preliminary political caucuses held prior to the opening of Parliament would have made interesting "listening m" for the dictaphone. When the question of Mr. Massey's visit to the Imperial Conferences was raised at the Reform Ciucus there was an indication that some 'members of the Party were desirous of discussing the advisability of their chief accepting the invitation proferred to him. Thereupon the Big Chief lost his temper, and thumped the table hard, a passage at arms m which the table easily held its own against Bill's' plump , "dook." When one member casually reminded him that thumping the table was "not an argument" he went off like a packet of crackers, and for a time the Caucus developed into a veritable Society upon the Stanislaus. * * • Mr. Priminifiter at the Reform Caucus put ln a strong plea for loyalty at the hands of his party.- Th* to* sponae was not as spontaneous as he desired, whereupon he put his big boots on and threatened a dissolution. He quoted Premier E, G. Theodore, of Queensland, as having stated that he could always have a dissolution if his party was not strong enough, but m view of Bill's plea for loyalty and his "invitation to the dance" he 'could not have been contemplating a dissolution now. » » * '• . No new Minister was appointed at the Reform Caucus, but it is an open secret that no fewer than six members of the' party were applicants for the position, one even having his gall with him sufficiently strongly to introduce a deputation m favor of hia can<dldqture. Messrs. Nash, J. McC. Dickson (Chalmers), Field and Young, who were all acceptors' m the field, were promptly "outed." Mn R. F. . Bollard (Raglan), son of a worthy political parent, has since been 'appointed to fill the vacancy. * ■ .* ' . ■ • With reference to Gordon Coates's willingness to resign the Native Minister's portfolio, he has not been permitted to do so, as the ohly available successor is Mr. J. A. Young (Waikato), who having been "put m the corner" with his face to the wall, is no longer eligible, so Jimmy will, have to shoulder the Natives, along with the heavy list of other departments which have been packed m his old kit bag. • * *_•••■ In his flrst appearance m his capacity of Minister of Railways/Gordon Coa tea made an admittedly bad break. He is a popular Minister m his capacity as Public Works, m which he can descend upon an electorate with thousands of P.W. money to burn jingling m his pockets; but as Railways he has the money to get. Asked as to whether he would initlatfe a policy of safety at railway crossings he gazed vacantly around the House for "a prompt" from somewhere, and failing an inspiration, faltered: "I'll consult my colleagues." What's the matter with, consulting your departmental . officers, . James? However, probably being all at sea you are desirous of conferring with the Minister of Marine. •.• » . - The Reform Government has always sneered at Premier E. G. Theodore's Queensland suggestion of advancing money to workers for housing purposes at the rate of 5 per cent, from the worker and 95 per cent, from the Government. Bill has improved on this by proposing that the Government shall advance 95 per cent. (Instead of. the original 7f per cent.) and the worker 5 per cent. Sounds a whole lot more generous on the part of the Government when transposed this way. • • • C. J. Parr (of Eden) Is a very dismantled person because Downle Stewart has been moved up to a Reform front seat bench, m order to watch that Bill Massey doesn't fracture the Standing Orders. Jimmy Coates, by the way. has been given all the big portfolios to keep Parr out of j the way. • • • By. the way, the speeches — the welldeserved speeches — m eulogy of the late Sir William Herrles, seemed to have had an almost Machiavellian In- ] splration to discomfort Mr. Massey. Parr described him as "the greatest statesman New Zealand had" 'ever seen," Tom Wilford was equally enthusiastic on behalf of the Liberal j Party, and even Harry Holland threw ' a big bouquet from the Labor benches, Thero was no Intention to belittle the Prime Minister, but he was obviously thankful when the obsequies were over. * * • Harry Holland has a great and oftexpressed objection to anybody pinching the other fellow's policy. But what about his notice asking the Government to appoint an -advisory bo y ard on railway matters. This is taken direct frbm tfre official manifesto upon which the Liberal Party faced the electors. The clause reads: Appoint a Board to advise on railway, matters, Including salaries, wages and services, consisting of re- - PSpsouJatiwß .-of,- the Ministry, .the department, the public and the em- " ployees'. Apparently you can still learn some--thing from, the Liberal Parts'. Harry. _■ •' { * » ' Hitherto unpublished unanimous resolution from the Liberal Caucus when discussing their attitude towards the Government during the current session: "Let's tell 'em nothing, and treat 'em rough." Good comprehensive motto for active service. *•„ * - Labor Caucus was as close as a clam. But what's happened to Jimmy McCombs? Hitherto ho has occupied all sorts of executive positions with tho party. Has ho dropped out, been | pushed out or fallen out? And why? • * • Teddy Howard, when 20st lOlb Tauranga Macmillan and the loan and lathy Jack Macpherron, who la nt tin*bottom of the handicap, were being sworn ln: "Why. Mncmlllan's quite a tall man when you see him sideways." * •> • Tom Wilford's comment at the Bame function: "Macmillan looks as if he'd had someone to work for him In the Tauranga electorate, whilst Macpherson looks as if he'd boen working for himself." ". - Apropos of the tabling of Mr. Wilford's Agricultural Banks Bill, that places Mr. Massey on tho horns of a dilemma. His erstwhile Grand Booster, Big Bill Poison, Dom. Pros, of th*> Farmers' Union, knocked off work attending his farm nt Fordell to stump the country districts m favor of ?'*>•*" creation of agricultural banks by the Siute— am* hore comes the Leader of the Opposition with n Bill concreting tho Idea. Whoae bubble I« pricked? Bill Poison's or Bill Massey's? AnO which is going to do what about k? By the way. what a record of ro»-' fldoneo Tom Wilford holds-- 2? 3'eu>« MP. for the «ime electorate: Hflro'a hearty congrats. and all that.

"Truth's" -Palmerston correspondent writes interestingly: I went over to Feilding, the hub of the Oroua electorate, on Friday. That is stock sale day over there, and cocky foregathers from all the ends of the electorate. Over the sheep pens and the cattle yards Dave" Guthrie's condition was the topic of the day. Where is he? For there seems to be an idea that the member for Oroua is so very seriously ill— that he is under observation at a private institution, although all messages are said to come from his seaside home at Paekakariki. OC course, we newspaper chaps know that all those diplomatic replies to the many (and sincere) motions of Bympathy come from private secretary Mulligan. The :■ letters do not reach Mr. Guthrie, who has not been fit to be troubled with private or public business ever since his breakdown. Clever fellow, Mull I Then I found about the yards a general feeling of mystery concerning their member. His most intimate friends had been unable to see him, and even tha Premier would not leak m the slightest. . Why this mystery about a Minister who is not a Minister? And why Is Oroua to be disfranchised? So that Mr. Massey.. might go angling for that. Pair that the Lib-Labs, so readily granted, like the sports they are acknowledged to be by everybody but the Refs, who seem to think that they alone should be considered. But the real reason why Mr Guthrie is being kept under coyer wa3 freely exploited at the Feilding saleyards: Oroua is Dick Cobbe's and the Lib-Labs_. at tho next asking. Whilst there were many tokens of sympathy for Mr, Guthrie there was also a general expression of feeling, as one cockie put it: "Dave should have taken his wife's advice. He should not have stood again. He was not fit for the? campaign. He should have stood down for a younger man. And he got m against Dick Cobbe, who has the youth and the energy and the talent to do Oroua justice, only because ot his Ministerial mana. No other Ref. candidate will have a hope against the Lib-Labs, now." "Are there younger Refs. offering?'' I asked. "What about young Fry?" was the reply. A bystander exclaimed: "Oh, blow Fly!" at which there waa such a shout of laughter that I thought it a joke, and did hot pursue the matter. But I did hear a whisper that there is a likely candidate, who is older even than David, and said candidate has gono to the Islands (instead of Mr. Guthrie!) to recuperate. He will be back m a month. Does that contain a hint that Mr. Guthrie, who has already had to resign his portfolios, will resign hia seat as soon as his rejuvenated protege returns from the Islands? Wtoat ia lt Asquith says? Well, let's. • * * A North Island paper states that Mr. Bollard will be given the portfolio of Native Affairs. No chance. . _■ * * ♦ Some years ago when Sir Joseph Ward was rushing business along at top m the' House m order to get nway to a Conference of the heads at Home the Wellington Reform journal expostulated bitterly, and it is said, even went so far as to engineer an agitation by the waterslders against Sir Joe's unseemly haste. What a difference m its attitude now that Bill is asking, "Please, Sir, can I go out?" A Reform journal smacks Tom Wilford fair on the point when it says without any polite, reservation: "As a political leader and a member of the House Mr. Wilford counts for very little with people of intelligence." Now, this same journal, when the Speakership was vacant and It was boosting Tom for all it was worth for the office, with a view to getting him out of tho road, remarked that he would make an Ideal Speaker, by virtue of his political experience, his, judgment and his capacity. Thus does another naughty chicken come home to roost with a bad penny m its mouth. • • • The appointment to Cabinet rank of R. F. Bollard, now tlie Hon. Dlek. closes for ever the door of Ministerial oflice to Messrs. Young, Harris and Sykes. Northern representation m the Cabinet is now over 76 per cent, and It is as well for Messrs. Young, Harris and Sykes to realise that "it's a long way to Tipperary," and that the South ißland must receive the next appointment. Hard luck, but there's the poai* tion. c

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZTR19230623.2.19

Bibliographic details

POLITICAL PRIMINGS, NZ Truth, Issue 917, 23 June 1923

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1,834

POLITICAL PRIMINGS NZ Truth, Issue 917, 23 June 1923

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