Parliament as I Knew It.
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Three episodes of a series in which T. E. Y. Seddon, Member of Parliament and son of the Prime Minister Richard Seddon, recalls Parliament in the early years of the 20th century. He entered Parliament in 1906.
This recording contains Episodes Four to Six of the series.
In Episode Four he recalls the bitter parliamentary battle which followed the general election of 1911 which was inconclusive. Parliament was summoned in February 1912, and ladies were asked not to interrupt the proceedings. Sir Joseph Ward's government survived when the Speaker cast his vote of Noes.
In Episode Five he describes the 'great stonewall' of 1913 on the Legislative Amendment Bill. In 1914 war loomed and the Proclamation of War was read from the steps of the Parliamentary Library in August to a vast concourse of people. A coalition of the two political parties was created in June 1915 to better aid Britain during a time of war.
In Episode Six he describes the months of July and August 1914. In August 1914 Hansard notes the members rose and sang the National Anthem. He recalls how this unusual event came about.
He recalls the reactions of the Dominions when World War I was declared. On August 5 1914 Governor General Lord Liverpool made the announcement of war to a vast crowd and read the message from the King. Prime Minister Massey promised expeditionary forces from New Zealand. Sir Joseph Ward on behalf of the Opposition, said his party would cooperate with the Government.
A crowd marched on Parliament and sang God Save the King and For He's a Jolly Good Fellow. Mr Massey addressed the crowd and the crowd then went to the Royal Oak Hotel to serenade Sir Joseph Ward. Donations for the war effort poured in of horses, arms and cheques of 500 pounds and more.
An advanced force was formed but no one knew where they were headed. The presence of mosquito nets prompted speculation they were headed to Africa.
Mr Massey could not give details about the destination of the Moeraki and the Monowai. New Zealand mothers were worried and the soldiers had had little training and knew little of censored messages. When the ships arrived at Fiji no leave ashore was granted, but an ingenious soldier, a Wellington College Old Boy, threw a bundle onto the wharf at Suva with a brief note inside it, with sufficient funds for a cable and a tip for a Fijian announcing their destination was Samoa.