THE Wellington Independent. Tuesday, September 30, 1862. THE DUPLICATE SUPERINTENDENTS
The opposers of Provincial Institutions (and that they are many, the favor with which the Nominated Superintendents' Bill was received in the late Assembly, is proof) have an additional cnuse for rejoicing ; another province having been added to the number of those whose machinery has come to a dead lock. Our neighbor Marlborough is the " warning" this time, aud the spectacle she exhibits to the admiring gaze of the advocates of a Central Government, is the couteution of two superintendents, each defying the other and each laying claim to be the real Simon Pure.
The constitution of Marlborough is somewhat different to our owu, that Province having been created uuder the New Provinces Act. The Superintendent is not chosen by the great body of the electors as with us, but by the members of the Provincial Council. This change was adopted on the plea that the chance of collision between Superintendent and Council would be entirely avoided; that it could not possibly lake place. As this supposition is now shown to be incorrect, those who passed the New Provinces Act will no doubt see an additional argument in favor of taking away the choice altogether, and making Superintendents nominative— as if that would not rather tend to increase than prevent occasional collisions between the Executive and Legis lative. The most perfect machinery will get out of order sometimes, and we may just as well talk of remodelling the Constitution of England because the Lords and Commons show fight about a paper duty, as to be always tinkering the Constitution we enjoy every time some little irregularity oueurs. As the decision on every irregularity becomes a precedent for the future, whatever is doubtful at pie sent will be ascsrtained and laid down in the constitutional chart, so that every fresh navigatoisUvill find the right course to take made more plain before him..
A general election havingbeonjust concluded at Miulborougli, "the principal Returning O/lioet called the Council together. The Council's business is prescribed by law ; first to elect a Speaker, and immediately afterwards a Superintendent. It was generally understood that the then Superintendent, Captain Baillie would not be re-eleoted, (until at least the validity of certain members to hold theii' seats had been determined), whereupon he prorogued the Council sine die before it had an opportunity
of electing any other. The Council, however, treated the prorogation as a nullity, and elected Mr. Eyes Superintendent, who, in consequence of his right not being recognised by Captain Baillie, has issued the following
PROCLAMATION. By His Honor William Henry Eyes, Esquire, Superintendent of the Province of Marlborough, in the Colony of New Zealand. Whereas I have been duly elected to the office of Superintendent ;
And whereas the lato Superintendent persists in arrogating to himself the functions of my office :
Aud whereas the subordinate and other officers of the Provincial Government may be induced to act under the orders of the late Superintendent :
Be it, therefore, made known that I do hereby prohibit all persons whatever from performing any bffioe, function, or work, of whatsoever nature or kind, which requires the sanction or authority of the Superintendent, unless duly authorised by me.
And I hereby warn all persons that if they perform any such acts or works without my express sanction and authority, they do so at their own proper risk and peril."
Given under my hand, at Picton, this Twenty-third day of September, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hnndred and Sixty-two. W. H. Eyes. Superintendent.
Some very nice points are raised for Judge Johnston's decision, under whose notice the dispute will be brought — Mr. Eyes and one of his Executive, Mr. Sinclair, having come up for that purpose. We presume the question will take the form of an action for the possession of the Provincial Seal, as it did in this province after Dr. Featherston's resignation a few years ago. Our sympathies are entirely with Mr. Eyes, but whether his claim is valid is a question on which we do not presume to pronounce. Superintendents of the original provinces have clearly a right, to prorogue whenever they see fit — the Constitution Act gives them that right, and they certainly are entitled to remain in office until a successor is appointed, unless they resign. A Provincial Council under ordinary circumstances can do nothing after it has been prorogued, and it may, therefore, be that Mr. Eyes' election is void ; but as it is doubtful whether the tenth clause of the New Provinces Act, does not qualify the right of Superintendents of New Proviuces to prorogue before the Council ha s proceeded to the business specially indicated by that Act, (election of Speaker and Superintendent) it is just as likely that the prorogation is void and the election of Mr. Eyes valid.
In connexion with the question of the absorption of Provincial Governments into one "strong centv.il Government," it occurs to us to insert the following reply of the Home Government, in reference to the petition of the Auckland Gouccil for separation, which was laid on the Assembly table last month. The feeling is evidently gaining ground with the Colonial Office that one gorernment is to be looked for eventually. When that " eventually " will be, the Colonists will have to determine. The progress of the Islands under provincial institutions is proof of their utility, and the majority of Provinces will strenuously insist tbut the same system of developement be allowed to continue until their whole area is settled, in preference to the charge of that developement being handed over jto a'distant.j and .therefore more or less necessarily uncootrolable, legislature. Bowning-street, June 26th, 1862. Sir, — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 3G, of the Bth of April, 18G2, forwarding a petition addressed to her Majesty, by the Provincial Council of Auckland, praying for a separate government for the province ; together with a memorandum on the subject from your responsible advisers. I request that you will inform the Speaker and the members of the Council that 1 have laid their petition before the Queen, who was pleased to receive it very graciously. I am not insensible to the fact that the constitution given to New Zealand, by the Act of 185-2, has in some respects failed to produce the advantages which were anticipated from it, and in particular I am aware that the co-existence of a central legislature, with a number of other legislative bodies possessing powers so large as those committed to the Provincial Councils, and presided over by elected Superintendents may, as is stated by the memorialists, tend " to produce confusion, and to defeat lather than promote the objects for which government is established." It appears to me, however, that the natural cure for this evil lies in giving strength to the central and paramount government and legislature, in the latter of which all the interests of the colony are represented, and in which (if the constituencies do their duty) its political ability should be concentrated. I have been unable, therefore, to advise Her Majesty to take any step calculated to encourage a project so pregnant with disasters as that ot dividing the Northern Island into separate and independent governments, — a project which, if carried into effect, would render the good government of the European inhabitants unlikely, and the maintenance of peaceful relations with the natives impossible. — 1 have, &c, (Signed) Newcastle. ■ Governor Sir George Grey, X.C.8., &c, &c.