Wednesday, Nov. 12.
In the Council to-day the greater part of the sitting was occupied by the discussion in Committee on the procedure relative to local Buis, and some alterations were made in the Standing Orders relative thereto.
Among the notices of motion was the one by the Hon Mr Acland, that the new County of Timaru should not be declared. Mr Reynolds asked if Government would bring in a Bill to suppress indecent performances. Mr Whitaker replied Government wished to take action in the matter, but there w r as hardly likely to be time this session, as there were nearly 100 Bills yet to deal wi'h.
The Council adjourned at 5.10 till 7.30,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Tuesday, Nov. 11,
The House met at 2.30.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT. The Hon. J. Hall announced that in the event of the business before the House progressing satisfactorily, the Treasurer would be prepared to bring down his Financial Statement on Monday. QUESTIONS. Replying to questions it was stated that Government would consider the propriety of rendering the services of the Public Analyst more practically useful than at present. The Pullman railway cars lately imported from America, could not pass through the tunnel on the Christchurchluvercargill line. The cars could be altered -but tlia- mnM -+»•— great. The Government agent at New i'ork was responsible for the blunder. He had had sections of the tunnels sent, but had disregarded them. Government were not prepared to say whether he would be held personally responsible. A sum of money would be proposed in the Estimates for the construction of roads through and opening up Crown lands in districts in which the Counties have not sufficient funds. The report forwarded to the Commissioner of Railways re Bay of Islands and other native coal had been given effect to. The coal was largely used, and with a view to encouraging its use, Government had offered a bonus to firemen for its efficient employment. Government would bring down a Bill dealing with the establishment of small farm settlements on the deferred payment system by settlers to whom erm ployment will for a term be afforded upon public works. A report had been received from an engineer employed by the Rangitikei County Council, recommending a good practicable route for a railway from Marton or Rangitikei by the Murimotu plains to Taupo and Auckland. NEW BILLS. Bills were introduced and read a first time—To amend the Otago University Site Exchange Act, 1875 (Mr Macandrew), Land Tax Collection (Major Atkinson), Kumar a Educational Reserve (Hon R. Oliver;. QUALIFICATION OF ELECTORS BILL. This Bill was further considered in Committee. An amendment to give the residential franchise to females was negatived by 37 to 29. The debate was interrupted by the 5 ’3O pan adjournment.
EVENING SITTING. The Qualification of Electors Bill was further considered in Committee. Amendments were moved by Mr Seddon and Mr Murray re the Maori qualification. Mr Moss moved as a further amendment on the same clause, “ That aboriginals, including half-castes, and the male descendants of half-castes shall not acquire any new rights under this Act, nor shall they be deprived of any rights they had at the beginning of the present session of Parliament. ” Government had said that they did not intend to deprive the native race of any rights they enjoyed at present, and he thought this the simplest way of expressing their meaning. The House sat till 12.30 discussing the Qualification of Electors Bill, which was then reported with amendments, and notice given for recommittal on Friday. The Maori franchise caused great discussion, and innumerable amendments were proposed. Ultimately Government accepted Mr Murray’s amendment, in lieu of sub section 4, the general effect being to allow Maoris who pay rates to have votes in European electorates, Wednesday, Nov. 12. AFTERNOON SITTING. The House met at 2.30. Mr Richardson presented a petition from Christchurch electors praying that the duty on jewellery be not increased. Replying to Mr George, Mr Hall said Government would prepare and bring down this session a Bill for the purpose of settling the amount of
honorarium to be paid to members of the legislature ; a resolution to this effect having been carried by the House. Replying to Mr Bain, Mr Hall said that while Government recognised the importance of the question, he was afraid they would not be able to bring down this session a Bill to suppress indecent peformances in theatres and other places of public amusement. to Mr M‘Lean,
Mr Hall laid before the House a return showing the amount paid to each newspaper in the colony for advertising and printing (separately) for the two years previous to 30th September last. Mr Wakefield moved that the proposed new county of Timarn be not constituted. Mr Gisborne argued that the Proclamation provided for by the Act was not properly before Parliament.
Mr Hall contended that it was not wise to give effect to a resolution at this time hastily. The facts appeared to be that this portion of the count}' was not satisfied with the expenditure allocated for its requirements. They had no evidence before them that this opinion was the result of mature deliberation. With the view of allowing the matter to lie over until next session, he moved as an amendment, that the proclamation, not being properly before the House, it be allowed to remain over until next session. That would afford time for more mature deliberation, and if the petitioners were then of the same mind, and still desired to be divorced from the county, then they could take all the facts into consideration.
Mr Shriniski moved the adjournment of the debate till this day week, which was put and carried.
A long discussion took place over the celebrated Tapanui job, arising from a petition of residents to have the line completed and opened for traffic. Eventually the motion to give effect to the prayer of the petition was withdrawn.
After some further business the House adjourned at 5.30.
The House resumed at 7.30. The Auckland Loans Consolidation Bill and the Dramatic Works Copyright Bill were read a third time and passed. The Licensing Act Further Amendment Bill (No. 2) was withdrawn. Ihe second reading of the Rating Act, 1876, Amendment Bill was agreed to. Mr Hall regarded the Bill as a good one with a few trifling amendments, which he named.
Mr Sheehan resumed the debate on the second reading of the Natives Reserves Vesting Bill.
Te Wheoro moved as an amendment that it be read that day six months. The amendment was carried. In Committee on the Land Transfer Act Amendment Bill, on a motion to leave the chair, the House divided—Ayes, 32 ; noes, 27. The District Courts Act, 1858, Amendment Bill was read a second time.
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