Political excitement 1868

South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 – 1889), Saturday 6 June 1868, page 2
[From our Melbourne Correspondent.] Melbourne, June 3.
The first meeting of our newly elected Parliament in which anything like the tug of war was likely to occur took place yesterday evening, when Mr. McCulloch proposed an amendment to the proposed reply to His Excellency’s speech, which was virtually a vote of confidence motion. In submitting it the hon. gentleman spoke at great length, and with considerable force, upholding the policy and conduct of the late Administration, end urging upon His Excellency’s consideration the unalterable determination of the Opposition to carry the Darling Grant throngh with the Appropriation Act. He most emphatically denied any intention of putting down or wish to put down the Legislative Council, but only wished that branch of the Legislature to exercise its own legitimate function without interfering with that of the Lower House. Mr. Fellows replied in good solid argument, generally denying the analogy between our legislative institutions and the Lords and Commons at home. Mr. Langton, the new Treasurer, followed in a very logical. speech, justifying the action of the Governor and the Ministry at present in office. Mr. Higinbotham then gave his views in favor of the McCulloch Administration, and after a debate which occupied about five hours uninterruptedly, the House adjourned till to-day. From the disparity in numbers the Treasury benches numbering only about 18 all told, there is no doubt that the amendment will be carried, and it is impossible to foresee what will then be done; but I think I am correct in anticipating that, coute que coute, the gallant little minority will hold on till they have managed to unlock the Treasury. Great excitement prevails. During the debate the galleries were thronged, and the approaches to the Houses besieged by eager and anxious enquirers, and persons anxious to gain admittance. The Parliament yard was also, up to the hour of adjournment, filled by little parties of politicians holding al fresco parliaments. Order and quietness, however, were well maintained. The next struggle or trial of strength will be as to the election of a Chairman of Committees. The Ministerial side put forth Mr. Peter Lalor (a gentleman who in the Eureka ontbreak at Ballarat, in 1833 [sic], received a wound which cost him his arm), who has held the office for some years. The Opposition nominate Mr. J. J. Casey, a barrister, and representative of Mandurang. However, as the former gentleman has a large number of personal friends on the Opposition side, and his integrity of purpose and impartiality are generally recognised, be will stand a good chance of reelection.


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