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j HOUSE OR REPRESENTATIVES. I'T’jdav, Out. 17, IST'd. EVENING SITTING. The Debate on the Native Statement. Mr Sheehan said it was quite true that as a Government they refused coalition. What they wanted was a reconstruction. He admitted the present Government had support. It was just sufficient to give them a docent minority, Mr Bryce had made a fair Statement. They had been told a deal about personal government, but the fact was merely a name. Every Minister in the exercise of the duties of his department exercised to a certain extent personal government. It was true that the ideas of Maoris were more extravagant than they had been years ago. He thought that was simply a natural result of the present condition of affairs. He defended the policy of members of the Government going amongst the native tribes. There was a native gentleman in the House who took part with the late Government in their meetings, and if ho got the opportunity of going amongst them again within the next few months, he would have completed a solution of the present difficulty. The facts of the £2OOO transaction to which the Native Minister alluded were those. A Maori, an officer of the Government, built a house at the Thames to the honor of the Qneou and law, and he had got £2OOO to defray the cost. In this emergency lie (Mr Sheehan) found a promise of the late Sir D. McLean to give this Maori £IOOO for services rendered. He (Mr Sheehan) paid that £IOOO. The other £IOOO was advanced on land belonging to the Maori, and could be realised upon it to-morrow if wanted. A great deal was made of the £ISOO expended in roads, Ac. Three years ago the experience of these Boards was that they invariably favored some particular side or party unduly. That was what he would do, and not as suggested by the Native Minister, increase their powers by allowing them to administer the Native lands. Alluding to the West Coast difficulty, he said that promises had been made which had not been fulfilled. That was a fruitful cause of that difficulty. The Bay of Islands difficulty had been alluded’to. The fact was that that was a survey difficulty with which the Native Department had nothing to do at all. In Great Britain and Ireland outrages similar to those which had taken place in New Zealand were of frequent occurrence, and yet no one ever thought of making the administration of Great Britain responsible. Mr Bryce talked of abolishing the Native Department. His own proposals, however, showed that he did not believe in what he said. He proposed to place the Native schools under the Education Department, and to hand some other Native matters over to the Colonial Secretary. What was that but breaking up a department for the express purpose of creating two or three others. The fact was so long as the .Maoris were a different speaking class, it would be quite impossible to have their affairs administered by a department separate and distinct from that of the Europeans. If the House would pass a law enabling the Maoris to offer their lands either to Government or by public competition to the public, then it would have his support. If they saddled the lands with all the charges of opening up roads, making surveys, Ac., very little would remain for the owner. His idea would be for the cost of survey to he defrayed by the Government. That would insure accuracy of survey, and otherwise tend to promote settlement. The excess of expenditure over appropriation was authorised by the country in order to settle the difficulty connected with the King question. Then again a considerable amount of that vote was fairly chargeable against the land purchase funds. At Cambridge, for example, some hundreds of cases had to be put through the Land Court, and great delay took place in consequence. The Government had either to keep to the applicants there, or else send them away at the Government expense, and bring them back again when their cases could be taken up. He warned Mr Bryce of this : if he attempted to carry out all that he proposed, the result would be incalculable. If the impending struggle resulted in the Government retaining their seats, he would give Mr Bryce every assistance in carrying what might bo fairly esteemed a sacred cause when referred to this matter.

Major Atkinson urged that the moral standard set up by the late Govorrtrawnt, was simply one put in compruKson with that of a previous G'ovenui«cit. They never mot one of the changes brought against them, but always i-wfowed back to what had been done fey their predecessors. He denied that the tiioMvwuuunD of 1875 had spent more money on this Department than the late Government had done. The whole aim of the Native Minister was to show that Parliament should be Wt wholly to the Ministry. Major Wheoro made a few remarks, after which the House rose at 1 a. m.

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Bibliographic details

PARLIAMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 11, 21 October 1879

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PARLIAMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 11, 21 October 1879