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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. Wellington, Dec. 9. The Native Prisoners Bill was opposed by Sir G. Grey and his most obsequious followers until two o’clock this morning, after which the House went into Committee on the Property Assessment Bill, andsorne hard fighting took place over clause 21. Mr. Saunders ''carried hio exemption of agricultural machinery. from taxation against the Government, but the beneficial effect of his amendment was .much better by an addition of the words “in actual use,” which the Government carried against him by a narrow majority. This leaves the tax on agricultural machinery in the hands of salesmen and will of course reduce the price to the farmer. The land owner is required to pay a tax on a sum equal to fourtimestherental insteadof twenty times the rental as proposed in the Bill. Mr. Saunders could not carry the exemption of draught and breeding horses, and was fighting against odds for the exemption of steam engines, and all machinery, when the Colonial Treasurer retired with his Bill at daylight this morning, No. 21 clause being still under discussion. Wellington, Dec. 10. Yesterday evening, after the Statement, the House went to business in earnest, and got through the Property Assessment Bill in Committee about 3 o’clock this morning. Several hours were spent in further fighting clause 21, which, after all, received no further alteration. Mr. Saunders’ motion to exempt agricultural implements from taxation was the only amendment carried. His motion to exempt steam engines was only lost by a majority of one in a full House —38 to 37. His motion to exempt grain, roots, and growing crops, was lost by a majority of 5. A great number of divisions were taken, and attempts were made to exempt household furniture, farmers’ dairy cows, gold and coal mining property, but all failed. The Colonial Treasurer resisted every amendment, and with the exception of agricultural implements, had everything his own way.

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POLITICAL GOSSIP. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 33, 11 December 1879

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