New Zealand Parliament
The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is represented by a governor-general. Before 1951, there was the New Zealand Legislative Council; the Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. The House of Representatives has met in the Parliament Buildings located in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, since 1865, it consists of 120 members of Parliament, though sometimes more due to overhang seats. There are 71 MPs elected directly in electorate seats and the remainder are filled by list MPs based on each party's share of the total party vote. Māori were represented in Parliament from 1867, in 1893 women gained the vote. Although elections can be called early, each three years the House is dissolved and goes up for reelection; the Parliament is linked to the executive. The New Zealand Government comprises other ministers.
In accordance with the principle of responsible government, these individuals are always drawn from the House of Representatives, are held accountable to it. Neither the monarch nor her governor-general participates in the legislative process, save for signifying the Queen's approval to a bill passed by the House, known as the granting of Royal Assent, necessary for a bill to be enacted as law; the New Zealand Parliament is consciously modelled on the Westminster system of parliamentary representation, developed in the United Kingdom. This system can be traced back to the "Model Parliament" of 1295 regarded as the first recognisable parliament. Over the centuries, parliaments progressively limited the power of the monarchy; the Bill of Rights 1688 established Parliament's role in law-making and supply. Among its provisions, the Bill confirmed absolute freedom of speech in Parliament; as early as 1846, the British settlers in New Zealand petitioned for self-government. The New Zealand Parliament was created by the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, an Act of the British Parliament, which established a bicameral legislature called the "General Assembly", but referred to as Parliament.
It had a lower house, called the House of Representatives, an upper house, called the Legislative Council. The members of the House were elected under the first-past-the-post voting system, while those of the Council were appointed by the Governor; the first members were sworn in on 24 May 1854 in Auckland. Legislative Councillors were appointed for life, but their terms were fixed at seven years; this change, coupled with responsible government and party politics, meant that by the 20th century, the government controlled the Council as well as the House, the passage of bills through the Council became a formality. In 1951, the Council was abolished altogether. At the time of its abolition the Council had fifty-four members, including its own Speaker. Under the Constitution Act, legislative power was conferred on New Zealand's provinces, each of which had its own elected provincial council; these provincial councils were able to legislate for their provinces on most subjects. However, New Zealand was never a federation comparable to Australia.
Over a twenty-year period, political power was progressively centralised, the provinces were abolished altogether in 1876. Unlike other countries, New Zealand had representatives of the indigenous population in its parliament from an early date. Reserved Māori seats were created in 1867 during the term of the 4th Parliament; the Māori electorates have lasted far longer than the intended five years. In 2002, the seats increased in number to seven. One historical speciality of the New Zealand Parliament was the country quota, which gave greater representation to rural politics. From 1889 on, districts were weighted according to their urban/rural split; those districts which had large rural proportions received a greater number of nominal votes than they contained voters – as an example, in 1927, Waipawa, a district without any urban population at all, received an additional 4,153 nominal votes to its actual 14,838 – having the maximum factor of 28% extra representation. The country quota was in effect until it was abolished in 1945 by a urban-elected Labour government, which switched to a one-vote-per-person system.
The New Zealand Parliament remained subordinate to the British Parliament, the supreme legislative authority for the entire British Empire—although, in practice, Britain's role was minimal from the 1890s. The New Zealand Parliament received progressively more control over New Zealand affairs through the passage of Imperial laws such as the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865, constitutional amendments, an hands-off approach by the British government. In 1947, the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act gave Parliament full power over New Zealand law, the New Zealand Constitution Amendment Act 1947, an Act of the British
Francis Bell (New Zealand politician)
Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell was a New Zealand lawyer and politician who served as the Prime Minister of New Zealand from 10 to 30 May 1925. He was the first New Zealand-born prime minister, holding office in a caretaker capacity following the death of William Massey. Bell was born in Nelson, his father, Sir Dillon Bell, was a politician. Bell attended Auckland Grammar School and Otago Boys' High School before going on to St John's College, Cambridge, he returned to New Zealand to practise law, settling in Wellington and becoming president of the New Zealand Law Society. Bell served as Mayor of Wellington from 1891 to 1893 and from 1896 to 1897, he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1893, after two previous defeats, but served only a single term before retiring in 1896 to return to the legal profession. In 1912, Bell was appointed to the Legislative Council as a representative of the Reform Party. In the Reform Government under William Massey, he served as Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Immigration, Attorney-General, Minister of Health, Minister of External Affairs.
When Massey died in office in 1925, Bell – aged 74 – was commissioned as his replacement for 16 days while the party elected a new leader. Bell retired from politics the following year. Only Henry Sewell served a shorter term as prime minister, only Walter Nash served as prime minister at a greater age. Bell was born in the eldest son of Sir Dillon Bell, his mother was Margaret Hort. Arthur Bell was a younger brother, he attended Otago Boys' High School. At Otago Boys he was the Dux. After finishing high school, he travelled to England where he attended St John's College, receiving a BA in 1873. On returning to New Zealand, he began practising law in Wellington, being involved in Bell, MacKenzie and Evans; as a youth in the 1870s, he played two first-class cricket matches for Wellington. Bell served as Crown Solicitor in Wellington from 1878 to 1890, from 1902 to 1910, he was a prominent member of both the national law societies. He served as the latter's president from 1901 to 1918, he married Caroline Robinson on 24 April 1878 at St John's Church in Christchurch.
She was the third daughter of William Robinson. They had four sons, his son William Henry Dillon Bell was a Member of Parliament, but resigned and volunteered for service in World War I. He was killed in 1917. Another son Cheviot Wellington Dillon Bell was appointed to the Legislative Council as a member of the suicide squad by the First National Government on 27 July 1950 to vote for the abolition of the Council, so served to 31 December 1950; the two children of his brother Alfred and Frank Bell, became notable radio pioneers. His political career began with being elected Mayor of Wellington in 1891, 1892 and 1896. In his first general election in 1890, he was defeated running as an independent for the City of Wellington electorate, he was narrowly defeated by William McLean in an 1892 by-election by 3388 votes to 3245. He entered Parliament in the 1893 election, serving for one term. In 1912, the Reform Party came to power, on 10 July 1912 Bell was appointed to the Legislative Council, he became Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister of Immigration.
He was Attorney-General. He was the first Commissioner of State Forests, from 1923 he would serve as the Minister of External Affairs, he represented New Zealand at the League of Nations in 1922. He would attend the allied conferences at Genoa and the Hague. Having been appointed Knight Commander on 3 June 1915, on 1 January 1923 he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George and was appointed to the Privy Council on 1 February 1926. On returning to New Zealand, Bell became Acting Prime Minister. Massey's health began to fail, Bell took over most of his roles, he became prime minister on 14 May 1925 after Massey's death on 10 May. He served as prime minister for the next 16 days. Bell was replaced by Gordon Coates. After giving up his portfolios in 1926, he returned to the League of Nations with Coates. In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal, his wife, died in Wellington on 8 September 1935. Bell died in Wellington on 13 March 1936. Gardner, William James, "Bell, Sir Francis Henry Dillon, P.
C. G. C. M. C. K. C.", in McLintock, A. H. An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, retrieved 28 April 2008 Stewart, William Downie, The Right Honourable Sir Francis H. D. Bell, P. C. G. C. M. G. K. C.: his life and times, Wellington,: Butterworth Wilson, James Oakley. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984. Wellington: V. R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. Biography of his father, Sir Francis Dillon Bell
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
The position of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs was a British cabinet-level position created in 1925 responsible for British relations with the Dominions — Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the Irish Free State — and the self-governing Crown colony of Southern Rhodesia. When created, the office was held in tandem with that of Secretary of State for the Colonies. On two subsequent occasions the offices were held by the same person; the Secretary was supported by an Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs. In 1947, the name of the office was changed to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations; the Viscount Addison took up the new post of Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations on 7 July 1947
The Anglo-Irish Treaty known as The Treaty and the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland, was an agreement between the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the Irish Republic that concluded the Irish War of Independence. It provided for the establishment of the Irish Free State within a year as a self-governing dominion within the "community of nations known as the British Empire", a status "the same as that of the Dominion of Canada", it provided Northern Ireland, created by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, an option to opt out of the Irish Free State, which it exercised. The agreement was signed in London on 6 December 1921, by representatives of the British government and by representatives of the Irish Republic including Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith; the Irish representatives had plenipotentiary status acting on behalf of the Irish Republic, though the British government declined to recognise that status.
As required by its terms, the agreement was approved by "a meeting" of the members elected to sit in the House of Commons of Southern Ireland and by the British Parliament. In reality, Dáil Éireann first debated approved the treaty. Though the treaty was narrowly approved, the split led to the Irish Civil War, won by the pro-treaty side; the Irish Free State as contemplated by the treaty came into existence when its constitution became law on 6 December 1922 by a royal proclamation. Among the treaty's main clauses were that: Crown forces would withdraw from most of Ireland. Ireland was to become a self-governing dominion of the British Empire, a status shared by Australia, Newfoundland, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa; as with the other dominions, the King would be the Head of State of the Irish Free State and would be represented by a Governor General. Members of the new free state's parliament would be required to take an Oath of Allegiance to the Irish Free State. A secondary part of the oath was to "be faithful to His Majesty King George V, His heirs and successors by law, in virtue of the common citizenship".
Northern Ireland would have the option of withdrawing from the Irish Free State within one month of the Treaty coming into effect. If Northern Ireland chose to withdraw, a Boundary Commission would be constituted to draw the boundary between the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland. Britain, for its own security, would continue to control a limited number of ports, known as the Treaty Ports, for the Royal Navy; the Irish Free State would assume responsibility for a proportionate part of the United Kingdom's debt, as it stood on the date of signature. The treaty would have superior status in Irish law, i.e. in the event of a conflict between it and the new 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State, the treaty would take precedence. The negotiators included: Providing Secretarial AssistanceRobert Barton was the last surviving signatory, he died on 10 August 1975 at the age of 94. Notably, the President of the Irish Republic Éamon de Valera did not attend. Winston Churchill held two different roles in the British cabinet during the process of Irish independence: until February 1921 he had been Secretary of State for War hoping to end the Irish War of Independence.
Erskine Childers, the author of the Riddle of the Sands and former Clerk of the British House of Commons, served as one of the secretaries of the Irish delegation. Tom Jones was one of Lloyd George's principal assistants, described the negotiations in his book Whitehall Diary. Éamon de Valera sent the Irish plenipotentiaries to the 1921 negotiations in London with several draft treaties and secret instructions from his cabinet. Pointedly the British side never asked to see their formal accreditation with the full status of plenipotentiaries, but considered that it had invited them as elected MPs: "...to ascertain how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire can best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations". This invitation in August had been delayed for over a month by a correspondence in which de Valera argued that Britain was now negotiating with a sovereign state, a position Lloyd George continually denied. In the meantime, de Valera had been elevated to President of the Republic on 26 August to be able to accredit plenipotentiaries for the negotiations, as is usual between sovereign states.
On 14 September all the Dáil speakers unanimously commented that the plenipotentiaries were being sent to represent the sovereign Irish Republic, accepted de Valera's nominations without dissent, although some argued that de Valera himself should attend the conference. On 18 September Lloyd George recalled that: From the outset of our conversations I told you that we looked to Ireland to own allegiance to the Throne, to make her future as a member of the British Commonwealth; that was the basis of our proposals, we cannot alter it. The status which you now claim in advance for your delegates is, in effect, a repudiation of that basis. I am prepared to meet your delegates as I met you in July, in the capacity of'chosen spokesmen' for yo
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
New Zealand Constitution Act 1852
The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that granted self-government to the Colony of New Zealand. It was the second such Act, the previous 1846 Act not having been implemented; the Act remained in force as part of New Zealand's constitution until it was repealed by the Constitution Act 1986. The long title of the Act was "An Act to Grant a Representative Constitution to the Colony of New Zealand"; the Act received the Royal Assent on 30 June 1852. The New Zealand Company, established in 1839, proposed that New Zealand should have representative institutions, this was consistent with the findings of the Durham Report, commissioned during 1838 following minor rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada; the first settlement of the company, Wellington had its own elected council during 1840, which dissolved itself on the instruction of Lieutenant Governor William Hobson. The first New Zealand Constitution Act was passed in 1846, though Governor George Grey was opposed to its proposed division of the country into European and Māori districts.
As a result all of the Act was suspended for six years pending the new Act of 1852, the only operative part of the 1846 Act being the creation of New Zealand's first provinces, New Ulster Province and New Munster Province. In the meantime, Grey drafted his own Act which established both provincial and central representative assemblies, allowed for Māori districts and an elected Governor. Only the latter proposal was rejected by the Parliament of the United Kingdom when it adopted Grey's constitution; the Constitution established: The bicameral General Assembly, consisting of the governor, a legislative council and a House of Representatives. This issue was to dominate the first session of Parliament in 1854. By the Act, the provinces had the authority to pass provincial legislation, although the Governor had a reserve power of veto such legislation, the right of the Crown to disallow provincial Acts within two years of their passage was preserved. Parliament was granted the power to make laws for the "peace and good government of New Zealand" provided such legislation was not inconsistent with the laws of England.
The Constitution Act consisted of a preamble and one schedule. The Constitution Act's preamble recounts the previous enactments and letters patent passed and issued in the creation of the Colony of New Zealand, although the preamble does not mention the Treaty of Waitangi; the Constitution Act repealed all enactments that were repugnant to the Constitution Act but preserved all ordinances of the established provinces of New Zealand. Sections 2 to 28 dealt with the Provinces of New Zealand, setting out their establishment, elections and procedures; each province was to have a Provincial Council. Each Provincial Council consisted of no less than nine members, elected by men over the age of 21 years, owning freehold estate, living in the district and with a £50 or above income per annum. Superintendents were elected annually from the members of each Provincial Council. Provinces were able to make laws in all areas, except for: setting Customs duties Creating courts except where allowed under New Zealand law The issuing of bills, coins or paper currency Weights and measures Post-offices and postal services Bankruptcy or insolvency: Beacons and Lighthouses on the coast Charges on shipping at any port Marriage Lands of the Crown, or lands to which the "title of the aboriginal native owners" has not been "extinguished" "Inflicting any disabilities or restrictions" on Māori to which "persons of European birth or descent" would not be subject to Criminal law, except trial and punishment Wills and inheritance The Constitution allowed for the creation of Municipal corporations, or local governments.
Municipal corporations could create their own regulations and by-laws but could be overruled by the provincial council in the province the corporation was established in. The Constitution did not define how the municipal corporations would be elected, but left it to the General Assembly to determine. "Māori districts" were allowed for under the Constitution Act, where Māori law and custom were to be preserved, but this section was never implemented by the Crown. It was, used by the Kingitanga to justify claims of Māori self-governance during the 1870s and 1880s. A General Assembly was constituted, consisting of the Governor, the Legislative Council, the House of Representatives; the Legislative Council was an appointed body of no less than ten councillors, who were at least 21 years old and British subjects. Legislative Councillors held their seats for life, unless they resigned, or were bankrupted or swore allegiace to a foreign power; the Constitution stated the Governor was empowered to grant, refuse and "reserve" assent to Bills passed by the General Assembly.
The Constitution provided for the Crown to control the sale of "wastelands", land, purchased by the New Zealand Company from Māori for the Company's colonisation schemes. The British government had lent £236,000 to the Company in 1846 to keep the company solvent; as a result, the Constitution provided for a quarter of the proceeds of land sales would go to the New Zealand Company until the debt was paid off. The Constitution did not affect the legis