HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Monday, November 24.
AFTERNOON SITTING. The House met at 2.20 p. in. THE NOTORIOUS WORGAN. In reply to Mr, Hamlin, The Premier said that until all the facts were before the House it was not advisable to introduce and pass a Bill to indemnify Worgan for any evidence he may give before the Native Affairs Committee tending to criminate himself. HIGHER EDUCATION. In reply to Mr. Sheehan, Mr. Oliver said that inquiries would be made as to the necessity for placing a sum upon the Estimates for the Thames High School in the same manner as provision is being made for Auckland Girls’ High School, Wellington College, New Plymouth High School, and other smaller institutions. RAILWAY MATTERS. In reply to Mr. Bowen, Mr. Oliver said that inquiries would be made as to the necessity for a platform to be erected at Rangiora and Oxford Railwa., at the West Town Belt of the Borough of Rangiora. In reply to Mr. J. B. Fisher, Mr. Oliver said Government would make inquiries during the recess as to the desirability of acquiring the Wellington and Westport Colliery Company’s extension of the Westport and Ngakawan rail>vay. A BURNING COAL MINE. In rebly to Mr. Reeves, Mr. Oliver said that inquiries would bo made, and steps taken, if necessary, to have the fire extinguished winch has been burning for some years past in a coal seam near Port Elizabeth on the west coast of the Middle Island. MINING REGISTRATION. In reply to Mr. Bain, The Premier said steps would be taken to introduce a clause into the Mining Company’s registration Bill, enabling mining companies to be registered at Invercargill. NEW BILLS. FIRST WD SECOND READINGS. The following Bills were read a first time : —To amend the Appeals from Justices Act, ISC7, Womens’ Property (Mr Finn); to amend the Inch Clutha
Act, 1878 (Mr. Thomson). The following were read a second time : —The Debtors and Creditors Act, 1876, Amendment Bill, and the members of General Assembly Expenses Bill. RKOOTATTON OF ELECTIONS BILL. The Megnlation of Elections BiU was further considered in Committee. A division took place on clause 28 so as to malm r.he sub-socf ion road—“ Have you already v Cod at tlie present election in more than.” In the division the ayes were 20, and the noes 21. The clause as printed was put and carried. A further amendment to the clause was moved, so as not to give more than two votes, was put, and on a division the ayes were 29 and the noes 31. The clause as printed was put and carried. In clause 33, Mr. Hislup moved an addition, that electors be allowed to vote in more than three electoral districts.
The House divided—Ayes, 26 ; Noes, 27. The clause as printed was put and carried.
The House resumed at 7.30 p.m. THE KNOWSLEY HALL.
The Hon. E. Richardson asked if Government will ask the House to authorise the sending of a search vessel to look for the Knowsley Hall, now long overdue, and will cause a search to be made at the Crozet Islands for the missing vessel.
The Premier said he would attend to the matter.
Mr. Macandrew said he wanted to move a motion to the effect that the financial proposals were unsatisfactory. The expenditure would fall short of the revenue by £BOO,OOO. He was no adept at finance, and lie would leave it to others to supply details. He would only say that when a reckless statement was made, on Cth October last that two millions were pledged, that assertion was radically wrong, and its effects on the Home market was to prejudice the finance of the colony. It might be taken for granted that the proposed expenditure exceeds the revenue. The proposal to equalize the revenue and expenditure had been made by Government, who said all they had got to do was to raise the deficiency by taxation. He would have been bettor pleased if the proposals had been to reduce the expenditure. They would be told the estimates were those of the late Government. That was not the case. They were estimates of the departments. Also the Government proposed to do was to increase the taxation. The present taxation was as much as the country could boar, and under no circumstances would it be right to increase the burden. Nothing but a financial reform would meet the requirements of the colony. They would have to rely more upon the piuning knife, and that was the principal instrument they would have to employ. It was an ungracious tax, hut still it would have to be done. In Otago they had got into a similar position, and good resolutions were made, but, they never came to anything. It fell to the Superintendent of that Province to apply the pruning knife, and he cut down tne expenditure by the sum of £150,000. The salaries have been reduced thirty per cent, and the •‘Sees were amalgamated. It was most unpopular, and he had suffered as a public man in consequence. Some years ago he had proposed a similar reduction, and in walking the Wellington beach the finger of scorn was pointed at him What he would say in the way of financial reform was that thev should find money first, and vote salaries afterwards. A prudent man, when he is getting behind, curtails his establishment. That was what New Zealand was called upon to do, and no financial proposal, that ha 1 not that aim, would do for the colony. They were now called to make a choice, and it had to be faced.
The message was not finished when the telegraph closed.
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