Following the 1890 election, the governor, Lord Onslow, made a number of conservative appointments to the Legislative Council (Parliament's upper house), but then refused Liberal Premier John Ballance’s request for counter-appointments. This electoral petition supported the governor's stand. Petitioners were anxious about the prospect of ‘special class legislation’ (designed to improve workers’ lives) being enacted by the Liberals. They hoped that if conservative bias on the council was maintained then it would vote down such measures and prevent them passing into law. In the end, Onslow’s successor, Lord Glasgow, was instructed to follow ministerial advice and grant Ballance’s request.
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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: IA 9 15 27
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