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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

Resolution passed by the Council of the New Zealand Institute of Journalists

Resolution passed by the Council of the New Zealand Institute of Journalists.

That this Council is of opinion that the Libel Limitation Bill introduced by the Hon. Minister of Lands is a most mischievous measure which, if passed into law, would effectually destroy the legitimate freedom of the Press in New Zealand, lessen its influence for good, and dangerously curtail the facilities for the expression of public opinion upon public questions; that this Council has observed with much surprise the introduction in a modern Parliament of so unparalleled and illiberal a measure, the object of which evidently is to suppress the expression of public opinion, and render impossible that free and open discussion in the press of public matters which is essential to the preservation of the national freedom of thought and speech. That this Council is especially surprised that such a measure should have apparently been substituted for the Bill to assimilate the law of libel in New Zealand to that in force in England, which was drafted by the Hon. the Attorney-General, and has thrice been passed by the Legislative Council, and the principle of which had been endorsed by the House of Representatives by a second reading, and which Bill the Hon. the Premier, in response to the request of this Council in June last, promised to reintroduce this session, so as to enable it to become law.