THE LATE SIR ARTHUR GUINNESS
(From "Tho Colonist," Juno 11.) The quite unexpected news of tho death of tho Speaker of tho House of Sir Arthur Guinness, will bo received with sincere regret throughout the Dominion. Tho;illness to which he succumbed yesterday 'afternoon wfiß of bo very brief duration that, the-feet that tho Speaker was seriously indisposed had barely become known outside Grcymouth before- it was follc.v----«d by the report of hiß untimely death.
Until Saturday last Sir Arthur was engaged in his usual .activities,, and his illness appears to have been' precipitated by hiß zeal for public service, which impelled him to undertake engagements in liis electorate during tho recent inclemciit weather, which overtaxed his. strength. Sir Arthur Guinness' whoio career is marked by big generous devotion of his time and ability to tho service of his fellow citizens. From 1867, when he became a member of tho Westlaiid Provincial Council, until tht time of his death, ho occupied' various moro or less exacting public offices, but it was, of course, in Ids Parliamentary capacity that ho was best known to tho people of tho Dominion. Entering the House of Representatives in 1884 as member for Grey, h© had sat continuously fox that scat ever since, tho doath of Sir William Steward last year making him tho "Father of tho House." During a considerable proportion of his Parliamentary career before ho became Speaker, Sir Arthur Guinness was Chairman of Committees of tho House, being first elected to that responsible position in 1903, and the degreo in which ho earned the confidence of tho members was shown by tho fact that ho held tho Chairmanship for ton years, and only relinquished it to assume the highor'office of Speaker in 1903. Tn the latter capacity Sir Arthur, had ho lived to complete his term of office, would have established a record in point of tenure, having boon re-elected by each succeeding Parliament since that time. His immediate predecessors, Sir William Steward and Sir Maurice O'Rourko, each he'd the Speakership for tho space of a single Parliament, but Sir Maurice had previously been Spcakor continuously for a period of eleven years. His legal training and cultured mind, combined with the unvarying courtesy and consideration he displayed in hie relations with members, made Sir Arthur Guinness one of tho most distinguished and successful occupants of an office which in the Parliament of Now Zealand has always been worthily filled. Sir Arthur was on several occasions expected to take Cabinet rank, and had ho done so there is no doubt that the qualifications which' so eminently fitted him for the Speakcrship would have made him equally successful as a Minister. The death of Sir Arthur Guinness «removes from the -Parliamentary arena another of the fast diminishing band of politicians of the older school, and leaves a. gap it will bo by no means easy to fill.