LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Thursday, Oct. 23. The Council sat to - day for threequarters of an hour, there being little besides formal business. In reply to Sir F. D. Bell, The Attorney-General said that the Government would open no more land for sale on deferred payments till the end of the session. Captain Fraser complained of the insane velocity of the trains between Wellington and the Hutt, where the line was full of sharp curves, but after some discussion the matter dropped. A petition from the New Zealand University to make its reserves in various parts of the colony at once available for the purposes of higher education, was referred to a Select Committee.
During a brief discussion on the subject the Hon. Dr Grace asserted that all Governments had treated the University unfairly, because the Institution had refused to lend its influence to party, but had steadily pursued the course for which it was formed. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Wednesday, October 22. The following is the conclusion of the report:— SECOND READINGS. Considerable discussion took place on the Wanganui Endowment Schools Bill, as to whether it was a public o t a private Bill. Ultimately, Mr Ballancc’s motion for the second reading was carried, and the Bill referred to a select Committee. The following Bills were also read a second time, viz:—The Oamaru Harbor Board, Lyttelton Harbor Board, Imprisonment for Debt Abolition, Minos Act Amendment, Mining Companies Act Amendment, Masterton and Greytown Lands Management, and the Bluff Harbor Foreshore Endowment. The second reading of the Local Option Bill was moved by Mr Saunders, and the House ruse at 12 - 30. Thursday, October 23, 1879. AFTERNOON SITTING. The House met at 2.30. questions. Replying to Mr Pitt, The Hon W. Rolleston said that a Bill to amend the Land Act, 1877, had been prepared, and that an opportunity would be given for amending it so as to give effect to .the recommendation made by the Commisioner of Crown Lands, Nelson, in his last annual report. In reply to Mr Sutton, The Hon J. Hall said that a return would be laid before the House of all sums paid to Ministers of the House as travelling allowances, or any payments in excess of salary since July 1, 1878. In reply to Mr Sutton, The Hon J. Bryce said that Mr John White had been employed in connection with the natives at a salary of £450 per year. Mr J. B. Fisher asked the Premier (1) Whether the Government recognised the necessity and justice of their taking over and maintaining the main lines of road on the west coast of the Middle Island. (2) If the Government are aware that the Buller County Council has not and cannot raise sufficient revenue for maintaining existing roads in the County, and that great loss is continually accruing to the colony from the inability of this County to assist in developing its resources, by making short tracts connecting new and proved goldfields with the centres of trade and population. (3) Whether the Government arc aware that now, rich, and proved gold fields are lying unproductive in the Buller County for the want of a few hundred pounds to make roads to them ?
The Hon J. Hall replied that the question of roads and bridges was part of the County system, and that information on the subject would be given in the Public Works Statement about to be brought down. Sums of money had been placed on the Estimates to meet the particular case referred to.
In reply to Mr J. B. Fisher, The Hon It. Oliver said a report upon the subject of the alleged great and unnecessary injury done to the gold mining industry by the withdrawal of lands upon the Nelson South-West Goldfields -from occupation, notice of which was given in the Gazette of June 18, and December 18, 1878, had been ordered to be made.
. Replying to Mr Dish'p, The Hon Ft. Oliver said it had not yet been decided whether Government. intend to remove from Christchurch to Dunedin the Departments of the Commissioner, the Accountant, and Cashier of tlio Middle island railways, or any of these departments, and if so, when such removal may be expected to take place, in reply to Sir George Grey,
The lion J. Hall said that he would request the Governor to permit correspondence with late Ministers regarding their resignations to be presented to Parliament.
In reply to Mr Shephard, The Hon J. Hall said information would be given on an early day as to the advisability of making such an alteration in the mode of distributing the subsidies to the Counties and road districts, as will apportion them according to the number of miles of road to be maintained instead of as at present, in proportion to the amount of rates collected.
In reply to Mr Bowen, The Hon. R. Oliver said he had been unable to find on the official records that the attention of the Government had been drawn to the mischief done to the north bank of the Wairnakariri river, by the works constructed by order of the Board of Conservators. Government were aware of very considerable dissatisfaction on the subject. Replying to Mr Fisher,
The lion. R. Oliver said Government would give favorable consideration to the proposal for constructing a branch line of railway from Ferrymead to Sumner. In reply to Mr Ormond, The Hon. J. Bryce said Government would arrange a return of amounts paid since Juno 30, 1877, for services rendered by permanent officers or others in connection with the purchase of Native Lauds vote. In reply to Mr Whyte,
The Hon. 11. Oliver said Government thought the Cambridge branch railway a lino worth consideration. THE SITUATION. The Premier said that as was briefly announced yesterday, he would now state the course Government proposed taking with the no-confidence motion tabled by the member for Port Chalmers. To-day being a private members’ business day, they should not interfere with that part of the Work. To-morrow, however, Government would be prepared to afford the House an opportunity for bringing that question to an issue. Mr Macandrew said the Opposition did not think it would be prudent to interfere with the proposal made, although they were not without a feeling that it was their duty to allow no business to go on. Of course they would understand that no Government business was to be taken.
The Hon. J. Hall replied that cf course if the hon. member objected, all such business would be postponed. Ho then moved the adjournment of the Government measures on the Order Paper. FIRST READING. A Bill to grant an endowment to the Harbor Board at Wairoa, Hawkes Bay, was introduced by Mr Sutton and read a first time. PUBLIC WORKS ON THE WEST COAST. On the motion of Mr Hursthouse, a return showing the amount of money spent on public works on the West Coast of the Middle Island from June 3', 1872, to October 1, 1877, was agreed to. GOLD DUTY. Mr Gibbs moved opinion of this House, the gold duty should be reduced by Is per oz.” Mr Seddon moved as an amendment — “ That the duty be reduced at the rate of Is per oz. until the whole duty is abolished, the first reduction to be made on Jan. 1 next.” Major Atkinson suggested the adjournment of the debate until Wednesday, pending further information as to the question of what revenue should he substituted for that proposed to be abolished. Mr Gibbs seconded, and spoke in favor of the adjournment, which was put and carried. The House then adjourned, EVENING SITTING. The House resumed at 7.30 p.m. MISCELLANEOUS. The Waikuku Reserve Bill was considered in Committee, and reported with amendments. The Land Transfer Act Amendment Bill was read a second time. The Oamaru Waterworks Act, 1875, Amendment Bill was considered in Committee, and reported without amendment, read a third time, and passed. The Hawkes’ Bay and Marlborough Rivera Act, 1868, Amendment Bill was read a second time. LICENSING BILL. Mr Acton Adams moved the second reading of the Licensing Further Amendment Bill (New Zealand). The effect was to make a uniform license throughout the colony In Otago the licensing fee was £25, whereas in Nelson it was £4O. That was only one of the many examples that could be cited to show the unfairness of the present system. The proposals contained in the Bill had been approved of by a large section of the licensed victuallers of the colony, and before it passed through all its stages he hoped to be in a position tr> submit it to the approval of all the others. So far as the general conduct of the trade was concerned, the Bill did not propose to interfere except as regards a trifling alteration in clause 6, which he would not insist upon if objected to. lie ban stated a schedule of fees, but he would be quite prepared to make them £5 one way or other if thought advisable. The Hon. John Hall said it was high time this matter was taken in hand. It was to he regretted that the matter was not taken up before. They would not be able to deal with the whole question this session, still, that was no reason why they should not deal with the question in a partial manner. He agreed with the spirit of the Bill, although one or two details would have to be attended to in Committee.
Captain Bussell objected to the Bill, as a general measure would have to be provided for dealing with the whole question. He thought the matter might be left in the bonds of Government to prepare such a measure during the recess. Mr Hutchison objected to the proposal to lessen the license fee. In. Wellington alone it would reduce the Municipal revenue very considerably, and he was not
aware of any complaint bavin" boon mafic about the fees charged being too high. Mr Stewart moved—“ That the Bill bo real that day six. months,’’ and reviewed various clauses in it to wlnVh Ik* objected. Mr Murray moved,- as a further amendment the adjournment of t.!ic debate. j 'l'lie motion for the adjournment, having j been withdrawn, the motion for read ng that day six months was put, and, on division was lost. Ayes, 32 ; noes, 2'i. Tiie Hill was then read a second time. SECOXn READINGS. The following Bills wore read a second time New River Pilot Station Reserve ; Auckland Free Public Library ; Ashburton County Council Waterworks ; Resident Magistrates’ Act, 18(37, Amendment ; and District Courts Act, 1858, Amendment.
PRIVILEGE. Mr Reeves spoke to a breach of privilege. He had received a letter from an ex-member of the House, Mr Woolcock, recommending him to turn over and support Government, fo which he replied lie had never seen so much moral turpitude in so few words. He moved that the letter he laid on the table. The motion was discussed, and then withdrawn. The second reading of the Wellington Harbor Bill was under discussion at 12.80, when this message was despatched.
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