| LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Thursday, Dec. 11. I Among the notices of motion was one for the suspension of the Standing Orders . as to the passage of Bills till the end of the session; another that all Bills not , passed this session should be taken up , next year at the stage where left off. Eighteen Bills came up from the Lower House and passed the first readings, and the Land Act Amendment Bill was read a third time after an ineffectual attempt by the Hon. Colonel Whitmore to insert a clause exempting some selectors in Hawkes’ Baj’ from personal residence. There was considerable discussion on the Maori Prisoners’ Trial Bill, in which nine members spoke, but there was little new elicited. Captain Eraser warned the Government that if the prisoners were kept at Dunedin during the winter, many would die of cold. It was asserted by one speaker that a greed for the land by the Government prevented a settlement, which Mr. Whitaker denied, saying the whole of the Plains were nothing compared to the peace of the country. Ho also denied the rumour that Government intended some violent action in regard to re-occupation. The Bill was then read a second time. The Wanganui Bridge Debentures Bill was read a second time, after a short debate. The Council adjourned from 5 to 7.30. On resuming, five more small Bills from the Lower House were read a first time. The Confiscated Land Enquiry and Maori Prisoners’ Trial Bill, and the Wanganui Bridge Debentures Bill passed through Committee and were read a third time. The Public Entertainments Bill was thrown out, and the Council rose at 9.10 p.m. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Thursday, Deo. 11. The House met at 7.30 p.m. REPORT. Mr. Bunny brought up the Waste Lands Committees’ report on the Bill for providing sites for Working Men’s Clubs. The report concurred in the objects of the Bill. teachers’ annuities. Mr. Bowen asked the Minister for Education whether Government will during the recess consider the question of establishing a system of retiring allowances for teachers of public schools, in connection with the Government Annuities department. The Hon. W. Rolleston replied that statistics were being gathered regarding teachers and their families, so as to institute a scheme of pensions and annuities. district railways. Mr. DeLantour asked the Minister for Public Works whether, in order to enable the House to arrive at a decision upon the proposals made in the Public Works statement in certain cases where companies formed under the provisions of the District Railways Act have begun work, and are unable to complete their lines; he will cause the following information and papers to be laid before the House previous to the second reading of the Public Works Bill : —(1) What projected railways are proposed to be treated for, and what companies represent such railways ; (2) who were the original promoters of such railways ; (3) what amounts have been expended by several companies upon works other than surveys, and what are the respective lengths of the lines projected ; (4) to produce copies of the prospectuses published in each case by original promoters. ; (5) maps showing as nearly as possible owners and several areas owned by such owners, ten miles on each side of lines projected ; (6) what area of Crown lands contiguous to such projected lines would be rendered a\ ailable for agricultural settlement by completion of said lines ; (7) all correspondence, of whatever kind, between the companies who have applied for assistance and the Government. Mr. Oliver said it was proposed to ask Parliament to authorise Government to treat with these companies, each one upon their own merits. Government would pledge itself that no arrangement in virtue of the power to be asked for would be entered into, where the bargain was on such terms as would give the companies a profit on their undertakings. The only proposal on the part of Government was that they should get power to deal with each case on its own special merits. The information asked for would be given, so far as it was in the possession of Government. the banking account. Mr. Seddon asked whether Government bad made any arrangements with anv of the Banks for the banking account of the colony ; and if answered in the affirmative, would they for the information of members lay before the House a statement showing particulars of such arrangements; if answered in the negative, would they use such expedition as would enable them to complete the arrangements in time to lay the particulars before the House previous to prorogation. Major *tbinson said the matter had been dealt with by a Banking Arrangements Committee, who had reported on the subject. Government had not yet had time to consider the question, and were afraid it was not likely to be considered before the House rose. If time to do so were found, the information would be given the House. EIRE BRIGADES. Mv. Pitt asked if they would, in future, provide free passes upon Government railways for members of Volunteer Eire Brigades, when proceeding or returning from public Fire Brigade demonstrations. Mr. Oliver replied that arrangements for allowing Volunteers to travel .on railways had been made at reduced rates, and these were charged to a vote passed for defence purposes. The same arrangements could not be made for Fire Brigades, and a Committee had reported against the extension of the system of such Brigades. Government, however, recognised the usefulness of these brigades, and would consider the matter with a view to getting some arrangements made to meet their case.
PUBLIC WORKS BILL. Re ply in % to Mr. Maeandrew, Mr. Oliver said he expected to bring down the Public Works Bill to-morrow.
MISCELLANEOUS. Amendments made by the Legislative Council on the Registration of Electors Bill were adopted. The-Counties Act Amendment Bill was further considered in Committee, and reported with amendments. UROCEEDINO WITH BUSINESS. The Hon. J. Hall moved ■ “That the Standing Orders be suspended, in order that fresh business might bo gone on with after 12.30 a.m. ” Mr. Turnbull opposed the motion, and during a short speech in opposition, members left the House, and sufficient numbers were not left to adjnit of the motion being put. The Hon J. Hall said in that case members would have themselves to blame, if business was not far enough advanced to admit of the House being prorogued. He then moved that they go into Committee of Supply. Mr. De Lautour opposed, stating it was unfair to bring up the Estimates at that time of night, seeing that members had been at work all last night to 4.30 this morning. Mr. Turnbull spoke in the same strain, when he was interrupted by Mr. Macandrew, who pointed out that they had arrived within five minutes of the time when no other business could be taken up. He suggested that Government should withdraw the motion for going into Committee of Supply, and allow other business to be gone on with. Mr. Turnbull replied that he disclaimed all intention of attempting to k waste time unnecessarily. Meantime 12.30 a.in. arrived, and as no further business could be taken up, the proceedings closed. After a great deal of talk the House went into Supply early in the momiug, when the Immigration Estimates were passed, all proposed increases being struck out. The House rose at 2.10.
Per Our Special Wire.
LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Friday, Dec. 12. Captain Baillie’s motion that Bills not passed one session should be taken up next year at the place where left met with an unfavorable reception, and was withdrawn. On the motion of the Attorney-General, it was agreed to sit on Saturday, Government Bills to be taken first. . The Standing Orders as to the passage of public Bills were suspended for the rest of the session. The Registration of Dogs Act was thrown out. SECOND READING. Slaughterhouse Act Amendment Bill and Forest Trees Planting Encouragement Amendment Bill. THIRD READING. Wellington Harbor Board Bill, Ashburton County Council Water-works Bill, and electoral Acts Repeal Bill. The Council adjourned at 4.20 till 2.30 next day. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. . ' . Friday, Dec. 12. AFTERNOON SITTING. The House resumes! at 2.30. ANTICIPATING. Mr. Stevens brought up the report of the Public Accounts Committee. Mr. Shrimski asked how it was the report in question had already been printed in the “Timaru Herald.” He had just read it in that paper. Mr. Stevens replied that the report had been drawn up within the last half hour, and it was quite impossible it could nave been published as stated. ROONEY ORDERS. Mr. Andrews asked if Government would take the necessary steps to extend the money order system to L2O, instead of LlO as at present. Mr. Hall replied in the negative. The postal statistics did not warrant the depart ment in believing that the concession would be required for the public convenience. Moreover, it would be impossible to get foreign post offices to recognise the innovation proposed. Mr. Andrews asked if they will make provision for persons to make deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank without being compelled to produce the pass-book. Mr Hall replied the proposed change would expose deposits to malversation and create a very great deal of trouble to the department. Further consideration would be given to the’question in so far as it related to friendly societies’ deposits. WORKING men’s CLUB SITES - BILL. The House went into Committee on the' Working Men’s Club Sites Bill. Dr. Wallis said there was no reason why this privilege showed be conceded to working men’s clubs. There were other equally deserving institutions, such as Mechanics’ Institutes, Temperance Societies, Christian Associations, &c., which ought to be included. Colonel Trimble wished the tom “ working men ” defined. They were all working men, and he wished to know if they were all equally aimed at by the Bill. Mr., Andrews suggested that these clubs were in many instances simply devices for getting licenses for houses to sell liquor, which would not otherwise be licensed. He was opposed to the Bill in toto. It would be far better to assist these clubs as the occasion was, so that each case might be judged of on its own merits. Mr. Hutchison insisted that clubs of this kind were not mere drinking shops, as had been inferred by the last speaker. , Sir George Grey said the objects of these institutions were very easily defined. They were all formed upon the principle of affording instruction.' He was a mem-i her of one of these clubs himself, and testified to the efficient manner in which they were conducted. Mr. Gisborne also testified to the good conduct maintained in connection with these clubs, and expressed an opinion that it would be well to encourage their establishment. Mr. Andrews suggested that Government should reserve to itself the power to prevent these clubs degenerating into mere drinking shops and places of resort for other vicious purposes. Mr. Murray spoke in similar terms, and suggested ,that a proviso should be added to the effect‘ that “no spiritrma liquors should be sold on the premises. Ho- 1 Concluded by moving that a clause to that effect be added to the Bill. The additional
clauso was put and negatived on the voice?. The Bill as printed was passed. OTAOO HARBOR. The Otago Harbor. Board Empowering Bill was committed. Mr. Macandrew said that if the House agreed to allow borrowing powers to the extent of J .250,000, the House would be committing an egregious blunder. The money already spent had been spent in a reckless way. Had they given only L 20,000 at first, ho believed they would hare had much more efficient work, L>50,000 was sufficient for securing a dredge, and that was all that was required. The great mistake had been by giving the Board too much money, and it had gone to work in a hop, skip, and jump way. The Committee would be doing wrong to commit the district to the large expenditure. The result of Sir John. Goode’s report, he believed, would be tq show that the whole of the money had been thrown into the sea. Goode had told him that, if the works went on as they were going, he believed they would rise some morning and find the bar wholly blocked up. Mr. Dick said Mr. Macandrew, who represents Port Chalmers, was simply actuated by jealousy, so as to prevent ships going past the port to Dunedin. The channel was ' partly out to Dunedin and unless they got the money asked for that work would be rendered useless. AIE the works carried on by the Board had to be approved of by the Governor in Council. Mr. Macandrew denied he was acting -n the interest of Port Chalmers in this matter. Were he to do otherwise than ho liad done, he would be wanting in his. duty to Otago as a whole. Mr. Shrimski said Dunedin was simply attempting to' take away the trade from Port Chalmers, and to centre it in Dunedin. Mr. Murray supported the Bill, and stated that property in Dunedin would bo seriously endangered if the interests of the harbor were not properly conserved. Mr. Barron moved that the amount be* restricted to LIOO,OOO. He thought that, would prevent the Board from dealing extravagantly with its funds. Mr. M‘Lean defended the Board and its works against the imputations made. He thought, however, it might, undertime circumstances, be judicious to accept khe amendment of Mr Barron. Mr. Thompson said that 15 years ago evidence was given before a Committee of the late Provincial Council to the effect, that certain harbor works then proposed would injure the mouth of the harbor.. Recent events had borne out that evidence, and he desired to see the Board restricted in its operations so as to prevent; the mouth of the Harbor being further damaged. He moved that the amount be* L 50,000; • On the question that the amount be restricted to L 50,000 a division took place —Ayes, 18 ; noes, 28. The question as for LIOO,OOO was then put and carried. Mr Macandrew moved the insertion of a new clause, to the effect that a portiom of the money should bo spent on the entrance to the harbor. House divided—Ayes, 25 ; noes, 27. The Working Men’s Club Sites Bill wfcs. reported ; read a third time, and peiaed, also the Otago Harbor Board Empowering Bill as amended. Major Atkinson moved the second reading of the Customs Duties Bill. The debate was interrupted by the 5.30> adjournment. EVENING SITTING, CUSTOMS DUTIES BILL. The House resumed at 7 SO. The, debate on the Customs Duty fill was resumed by Mr. Moss. Looking at the new tariff, there were one or two xtaris demanding explanation. Green fruit, lor example, was a meat perishable commodity, and preserved milk again, was not. They had Holloway’aPills, on which 25 per cent, waste bo paid. Tobacco and wine were: other articles do which the speaker referred as unjustifiable in the circumstances All this meant that they were* imposing taxes on the masses which ought; properly to have been borne by property.. He hoped the Treasurer would see his-, way to strike out a great many of the* items proposed. Unless that were- done.the outside public would feel dissatisfied', and that while they were very chary about touching property, they were perfectly reckless in dealing, with that which affected the masses. Sir George 1 Grey considered some of theduties proposed to .be of a most objectionable nature,.certain articles, necessaries' of existence, were to bo taxed 60 percent. These burdens would be felt, specially by the poor. At that very moment the taxes were being taken off.' large landed properties. Government-had', notified' its. proposals, and he hoped, atilU . further notifications would be given effect to. He hoped they would not insist upon the ad valorem duties until further'taxa- . tion on land had-been provided for.
■ Dr. Wallis spoke strongly against the taxation of necessaries, and held that the taxation of wines and tobacco, though: right in itself, was a temptation to illicit. distillation, adulteration, and smuggling. ■ It was useless to oppose the Bill, still 1 . he felt it his duty to protest against, the vexatious nature of the proposals put forward.
Major Atkinson said that some o£ the' members who had just spoken were very prtriotic. They had shown lu«r they would reduce taxation, but tliey hod failed, to show how they would pay the colonial burdens. The House divided —Ayes, 41 ; noes,. 21. The Bill was accordingly read a second 1 time.'' The Loan Pleated.. After another 1 attempt to take up fresh') business after which was unsuccessful, — The Hon. John* Hall read the folVw--ing cablegram „ just received from London : —“Premier, NewZealand—Loan subscribed more than twice over. Listclosed. We congratulate you. Uadil wo found it imperatively necessary,. «e delayed giving guarantee not to luting any loans on the market for three-years.— Loan Agents, London 11th.” THK (TOBACCO BILL., The Tobacco Manufacture Bifl was read a second time.. Ashburton Waterworks Bill. ' The House wpnt Into Gotnniittee on the • Ashburton Waterworks Bill, which passed,. and was reported in committee. The House Was in Committee on then Custom’s Duty Bill when the wire closed.
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