OPENING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT WELLINGTON.
(prom the speoial reporter op the daily times.)
Monday, the 30th June, being the day fixed by proclamation for the opening of the General Assembly at Wellington, both Houses met pro forma ; neither the Harrier, with his Excellency, nor the steanoers White Swan and Lord Worsley, with the Northern and Southern members having arrived, and the Airedale, with tlio^e from Nelson, not being due until the 6th July. At 2 o'clock precisely the Hon. Mr. Bartlcy (speaker), took the chair of the Legislative Conncil. There were in attendance the Hons. Messrs. Cutficld, Crawford, and Johnston. After sitting in dignified silence for a quarter of an hour, awaiting the eutrance of his Excellency, the Speaker rose, bowed, and retired, the standing orders requiring him to sit again next day at 2 o'clock. In the House of Representatives, there were present at the same hour, Messrs. Brandon, Carter, Eyes, Featherston, Mantell, and Rhodes, with Mr. Newton Watt in the background, preparatory to taking the oaths and*iis seat for Turanaki. The speaker (Dr. Munroc) having taken the chair, immediately proceeded to prayers. After prayers were concluded, as the House was being declared adjourned to 12 o'clock to-morrow, when Captain Atkinson wished to know whether it was competent for him to address the House. The Speaker said it was not competent to proceed to business because there was not a quorum present, but if the hon. member wished to address the House, relative to the course now about being adopted, he could do so. Captain Atkinson thought it was imcompetent for the House to adjourn. The Governor had called them together by proclamation, and ifc was usual for his Excellency to open the Session by a speech, and until that speech was made he did not think it was .competent to proceed to business, and by admitting the right of the Speaker to count House, he thought they admitted tho right to proceed to business, and might be establishing a bad precedent. lie had consulted " May," and considered that authority as bearing him out in his remarks. Mr. Brandon considered tiiat as they could not proceed to business, the only course open for them to follow was to adjourn. Mr. Mantell fully agreed with the last speaker. He thought Captain Atkinson was assuming as facts, circumstances of which they were, as a House, ignorant. lie (Capt. A.) was assuming that the Legislative Council was not sitting, and that his Excellency had not arrived. He thought, therefore, that the most respectful way was, on finding that they were not summoned to the other House, to adjourn until to-morrow. The Speaker, contemplating the possibility of the circumstances in which they were then placed, had given the course to bo adopted his most' serious consideration, and had consulted such authorities as were available. It was perhaps impossible, looking at all the circumstances, to find aprecelent, and he deemed it the best course to adjourn, as containing no violation of their constitution, aud the safest to follow to prevent the session lapsing through any possible inadvertency or mischance. The House might, or might not be, at that moment unable to meet from having been further prorogued. Not being a quorum present, and to guard against any danger, lie should adjourn the House until tomorrow at 12. The quorum to-day consisted of 23, that of to-morrow would be 18. If there was not a quorum to-morrow, he should inform such members as might be then present that they ■were not competent to proceed to business. ' House according adjourned. On Tuesday, Ist July, the Speakers took the chair m both Houses. No members being present, they adjourned. In the afternoon the news was received of the Assembly having been further prorogued to Monday, 7th July. Monday, 7th July. Both Houses met at two o'clock to-day. In the Legislative Council, Mr. Sewell laid on the table a copy of sundry printed papers, regretting that in consequence of the wreck of the White Swan, he could not place a set in the hands of each member, until the arrival of the next steamer from Auckland. Adjourned till to-morrow. | Li the House of Representatives, the Colonial ] becretary said he sliould take the opportunity of laying is an informal manner on the table of the House, a series of printed papers intended for the information of members, but of which, under present circumstances, he could only supply a single copy, and they would, therefore, remain on the table for such as wished to peruse them, but could not be taken away. He would take the earliest possible opportunity of laying them before the House more formally. The Colonial Treasurer laid on the table of the House sundry papers relative to Finance The Postmaster General laid on the table of the House sundry papers relative to the Postal and Vvaste Lands Departments. The Colonial Secretary then moved the adjournment of the House. Adjourned to 12 o'clock on Tuesday. Tuesday, Btii July. Both Houses met pro forma and adjourned, the Harrier not yet being signalled. FaiDAY, 11th July. The pro forma character of the meetings of the last few days, was slightly varied this morning. On the House of Representatives meeting at 12 o'clock, b The COLONIAL SECRETARY moved the adjournment until 12 o'clock on Monday. Mr. O'NEEL had heard that there was a question as to the legality of the present Session, and he should like to learn from the Ministry their views of the position in which the House was placed. The SPEAKER liad carefully considered 1 the course to be pursued, and was acting in accordance with the authorities, as well as of the best advice he could obtain. He was anxious to put the House in the best position for conducting business but the Governor not having arrived, it was incompetent to proceed to business. The only formal motion he could put, was one for adjournment, and while some doubted whether he could put even that, he thought it would be stretching the construction of what was meant by "proceeding to business," too far, to adopt such a view. The Speakers of the two Houses agreed as to tJie course now pursued The principal, though not the only authority on which they rehed was "May," who declared that on the Queen summoning her Parliament, it is not competent for the Parliament to proceed to business until a speech has been delivered from the throne stating what the cause of the summons is The analogy clearly indicated that it would be irregular in that House proceeding to any business until the Governor had informed them for what purpose he had summoned it. It was conpetent, however, for lion, members to express their opinions on the present position. N6 one doing so, the question of adjournment to Monday, at 12, was put and carried. Monday, 14th July, 1862. ntTS 0 S°T* of -foP^entatives met by adjournment, at 12 o'clock to-day, and on being informed that the Governor proposed addressing the Legislature at 2 p.m., the House adjourned accordingly Precisely at 2 o'clock the Governor "arrived in the Leg^slapve Council Chamber, and on scanning fie Members of the House of Representatives, read his speech as follows :—: — SPEECH OP THE GOVERNOR. HOJfOKABLE GENTiEMBN OP THE LeCIS Z.ATIVF Council, and Gentlemen op the House o* RbprbseitTATIYBS, — 1. Since &c last Session of the General Assembly a greatcalamity, in the death of her illustrious Consort, Prince Albert, lias befallen Her Most Gracious Majesty. 1 ■ This sad event lias touched the heart of Her people in every part pi Her dominions. I take this the earliest public opportunity of expressing that deep and respectful sympathy for Her Majesty which I am well, aware is shared by tbe inhabitants of New Zealand, afld wuicft.haff been fully shown by the numerous addresses of condolence which have already been transmitted Jta Her Majesty. 2. I have great satisfaction in meeting for the , "regime since my return to this Colony, the Gene- ™ Assembly, which' is so important 'a branch of those institutions of self-government which have been bestowed upon it by the Imperial Parliament. During nvy absence from the Colony I have watched with deep interest the working of those institutions, and on my return have been much gratified by wit.nessmg.the.rgsult. . The progress of the Colony, as a whole/appears to haya bean' steady and xapid ; the settiementp .which, at the period' of my leaving, Were Safe^S? '.iPfrj'Sfc hjive-growh foto -populous, wealthy, Md 'fiiUrfehin^ ■-Provinces,- 'exhMing a Sl^ ty^ w^ eh a W eara attributable in mo. !SS wSShV® large amount oflocal self-govern-
3. But while there is so much room for congrat illation to be found in the general progress of the colony, the unsatisfactory relations which have grown up between a portion of the Maori race and the Govern^ mentare a source of deep regret. Tn the attempt which it is my duty to make to restore the friendly relations which formerly existed, my hope of success rests mainly (under Divinc.ProrMence) on the eo-opc-ration and support which I may receive from the colonists, and the resource 5 ! you may place at my disposal. It is an arduous task, only to be effected by earnest and persevering exertion ma-le in the spirit which becomes a great and civilized nation in its dealing with a people but partially reclaimed from barbarism, aud very imperfectly enlightened. At the same time I am not unmindful of what is due to the Kuropean population, which, relying on well known treaties and guarantees, has made this country its adopted home, and is entitled to expect that the progress of colonization shall not be unnecessarily or improperly obstructed. 4. Documents will be laid before you which will show you the character of some of the Institutions by which I hope to conriim the attachment to the Government of those Native tribes which have hitherto continued friendly, to restore the confidence of those which have unhappily been alienated, and gradually to elevate the race to a higher level of civilization. Some progress, necessarily limited by circumstances, and by the extent of the resources at my disposal, has alreidy been made in the introduction'of those institutions. How far this has beea done, and what success has hitherto attended it, you will learn from the reports of the Civil Commissioners and Resident ?iLigistrates, who have been engaged in the work, aud which will be laid before you. 5. In framing the Institutions referred to, you will observe, that I have endeavoured to avail myself, as far as possible, of the machinery provided by certain Acts passed by you in your Session of 1853, and other existing laws of the Colony. It is desirable, however, that the powers conferred by those Acts should be in some respects enlarged, and Bills will be laid before you for that purpose. I have found also, that great impaliments exist in the way of enabling the Natives to deal v ith their Lands ; and particularly in the administration of Native Reserves, the individualisatioa of Native title and thefts'sue of Crown Grants to Natives. Bills will be laid before you which have for their object the removal of the impediments referred to, aud the amendment, in several particulars, of the existing law on those subjects. 6. I have hitherto had no occasion, and hope that I shall have none hereafter, to employ the Military forces in any active field operations. " Shortly after my arrival in this colony however, I became aware that the Southern frontier of the settled portion of the Province of Auckland was entirely unprovided with a line of defence against the quarter trom which, in case of further insurrection, on attack was most likely to be made, and that the absence of roads would render it impossible to move troops further inland than 1-5 or 20 miles from the town of Auckland, so that insurgents might have approached within tiiat distance of the Seat of Government, and the population of a large part of the Province been involved in destruction and ruin. I therefore lost no time in requesting tho Officer Commanding Her Majesty's Forces to employ a portion of the troops under his command in completing, to the banks of the Waikato River, the great houthern Trunk Road. That Officer responded to my request with the greatest promptitude. The works were commenced in January, and a metalled road is all but completed to the banks of the Waikato where a Military Post is established commanding that River, and presenting a barrier to any hostile attempt against Auckland from that quarter. 1 gladly avail myself of this opportunity of expressing my thanks to the officers and men who have been so employed, and who have continued their operations to a far advanced period of an unusually severe and rainy season. At Tarauaki, works of a similar class have been commenced by the Militia, and I hope shortly to undertake operations of tho same character .in other districts. These works, while greatly contributing to the security of the settlements, will largely and permanently benefit them iv other respects. Their construction will necessarily involve a considerable outlay, and v Bill will be laid before the House of Representatives, by which it will be proposed to authorise the Government to raise a Loan not exceeding £100,000 tor the purpose of meeting the necessary outlay. It is proposed to _ charge thi3 Loau on the Northern Island, and ultimately to allocate it proportionably to the several Provinces in which it may be expended. 7. Her Majesty's Government has repeat<nlly expressed its anxious desire to learn that the colony has taken effective steps towards local self-defence by the creation of a militia force. It is extremely desirable that greater preparations should be made in that particnlar. To enable this to be done, a Bill will be laid before you for the better organisation of Militia and Volunteer forces, and it is hoped that the encouragement which it is proposed to give to the latter, may result in the increased strength aud efficiency of such corps. I cannot conclude this subject without expressing my thanks to the Auckland Volunteer Corps which lately took the garrison duty of that Province, thus enabling a considerably larger number of troops to be employed in the construction of the Military Road than, could have otherwise been detached for tiiat duty. 8. The rapid growth of the settlements in the Middle Island, and the sudden development of tliL-ir resources, arising in a great degree from the discovery of gold and other mineral waclth, will probably have suggested to you the expediency of 'making some further provision for the administration of the General Government in that Island. I trust also that the arrangements which have lately been made for the increase of tbe Steam Postal Service between the Northern and Middle Islands, wili be found greatly to lessen the inconvenience which has hitherto, no doubt, existed. ■ The late unfortunate loss of the White Swan will, I tru3t, not involve more than a very temporary and partial derangement to this ser\ ice/ 1 cannot, however, allude to that event without expressing the gratitude which is dueto Almighty God for the preserva tion of so many valuable lives as were in peril on that occasion ; and also the deep sense which is entertained by my Government of the very great kindness and hospitality which were exercised towards the shipwrecked persons by Mr. John Moore, the resident proprietor of the station near to which the wreck occurred. Gentlemen op the House op RepeesentaTrvKa, — 9. The Estimates for the financial year will be laid before you without delay. They hnve been fraimed in the same spirit of econony as I trust you will find ha 3 directed the expenditure of the funds placed at the disposal of the Government by your last Appropriation Act. It is my duty to call your attention to the correspondence which has taken place between her Majesty's Government and the Colonial Government j relative to the cost of the Military operations which i hare taken place since the outbreak at Taranaki ; and I have to request that you will enable me to state to her Majesty's Government what proportion of the cost the colony will be prepared to take upon itself. Honorable Gentlemen op Tnn Legislative Council, and Gentlemen op the House of Representatives, — 10. The Census which was taken on the 16th day of December, in the year 1861, is in the course of compilation, and will very shortly be published. In the meantime a full abstract of all the most important returns will be laid before you. A comparison of this Census with that of 1858 will be fouud to exhibit a most satisfactory result. j 11. In conclusion I earnestly hope that the Supreme Ruler of the World, who controls and directs all human events, may so inspire your counsels with wisdom, and so support me in the execution of my | duty, that our joint efforts to secure the peace and advancement of tlm country may be crowned with success. The Representatives having returned to their chamber, the following members were sworn in, viz., Messrs. Gillies, Richardson, Watt, Moorhouse, Fitzgerald, and Jas. Williamson. The Colonial Secretary moved the first reading of a Naturalization Bill. The Speaker having read the Governor's Speech, the Colonial Secretary moved that it be printed. Mr. Fitzherbert gave notice that on the 16th inst. he should move a reply to His Excellency's speech. The Chairman of Committees and other gentlemen moved appointment of usual House, &c, committees. The Colonial Secretary gave notice of motion for an address of condolence to Her Majesty. Colonel Nixon cave notice for certain returns relative to Volunteer Corps. Mr. Gillies : Notice to ask Ministers if it is their intention to increase or re-distribute the representation, and also as to amendment of the law relative to Miners' Rights, The Colonial Secretary laid on the table the papers formerly laid on the table informally, and some additional papers. The Private Secretary was introduced, with a message from His Excellency, conveying Jhe copy of His Excellency's commission . The Colonial Treasurer and Postmaster General also laid before the House the papers previously informally laid upon the table. Mr. John Williamson asked if it was the intention of Government to place a sum of money on the Estimates for buoying the entrance to the South Channel. The House adjourned to Wednesday.
The Caroline gun-boat arrived here on Tuesday evening, in charge of Mr. Young, after a fruitless search for the missing Pole Star. On Sunday, the 15th, a party landed on White Island, but saw nothing to indicate that any survivors had made that inhospitable refuse from the fury of the ocean. Stood into Hick's Bay in the evening of the same day, and on Wednesday ■'week put out to sea thirty or forty miles, r but'COuldseeno_traeeof a wreck drifting. Finding her mission without'success, the Caroline waa run for Auckland, where she arrived iv uafety.— Daily Southern, Cr<jS3, June %%
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OPENING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT WELLINGTON., Otago Witness, Issue 555, 19 July 1862
OPENING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT WELLINGTON. Otago Witness, Issue 555, 19 July 1862
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