LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Thursday, July 22. In the Legislative Council, On the motion of the Hon. Captain Fraser all papers re the Ratere Block were ordered to be laid on the table. On the motion of the Hon. D. Menzies a return was ordered of the number of petitions presented, with the total number of signatures, during last two years, asking that tho Bible may be read in schools. The Hon. Colonel Whitmore gave notice to ask what the Government intend to do re the native disturbance at Napier.
The Hon. Colonel Brett rose to make an apology with reference to some remarks he had made when speaking on the Wellington Racing Club Bill. He made a statement reflecting on a member of the Council, and now' stated that he made a misstatement under a wrong impression, for which he made the fullest apology.
The Maori Prisoners Bill was read a second time after a short debate, in which the Hons. Whitaker, Waterhouse, .and Whitmoi'e spoke, but advanced no new r arguments. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Wednesday, July 21, EVENING SITTING. Tho House resumed at 7.30. THIRD BEADING. The Dentists Bill was read a third time and passed. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS BILL. In committee the Municipal Corporations Act Amendment Bill was further considered, and the following addition mado to clause 21, subsection B, for regulating and making provision for the construction of chimnies to carry away smoke from engines, and protection from sparks therefrom, and for the prevention of nuisances from smoke. Clause 24 was struck out.
Clause 29, burgesses to have only one vote, was struck out on a division by. 37 to 8.
Clause 30, gasworks, was struck out. Mr. Aloss proposed as a new clause that instead of printing the proposed by-laws in extenso in a newspaper it shall be sufficient if an abstract be published together with a notice that the by-laws or laws in extenso are posted ina conspicuous place within the' borough. The House divided on the motion— Ayes, 14 ; Noes, 19.
A number of new clauses were added to tho Bill, which vas then reported with amendments, and the report ordered to be considered a month hence, so as to give the municipalities opportunity to consider the measure as amended, The House adjourned at 1.45 a.m. Thursday, July 22. The House met at 2.30 p. m. PETITIONS. The Hon E. Richardson presented a petition, signed by 627 employes of the JSfew Zealand Railways, praying that the proposed reduction of wages may be reconsidered. QUESTIONS. Replying to the Hon E. Richardson, The Hon. R. Oliver said that the Railway Commissioners of the North and 'South Island had communicated their views on the proposal for reducing the wages of the railway employees. They recommended than the reductions should he made in certain directions, and the Government would use their best endeavors to have these reductions made so as not to cause the wages to be lower than those paid for similar labor outside the Government service. Replying to Mr. Pitt, The Hon. T. Dick said that Government proposed taking steps to equalise .he salaries of the attendants in lunatic asylums by making reductions in those which are overpaid.
Mr. M'Donald asked if the Government were aware that the natives have erected a fence across the main road to Foxton, and what steps they intend taking, also if it was true that Government have agreed to pay the coach proprietor the various sums paid to the natives by him, for allowing the coach and passengers to pass along the main road between Foxton and W ellington. The Hon. J. Bryce said that the road in question was not a main line of road, but passed over sandhills claimed to be the property of tho Maoris. Government had undertaken to refund to the coach driver the amounts levied by the Maoris, and in the meantime steps were being taken to lay off a permanent line of road in another direction.
FRIENDLY SOCIETIES BILL. Mr. Stewart asked leave to introduce the Friendly Societies Amendment Bill. Exception was taken to the application on the ground that the order paper was already overburdened with private Bills, and that this was a Bill which there was not the remotest probability of getting passed. The Hon. Major Atkinson while agree ing that there was little probability of the Bill passing this session, thought that it would be unfair to prevent the Bill being introduced.
Sir George Grey said that the member for Dunedin was most careful in these matters, and was not at all likely to introduce a measure needlessly. The Bill, moreover, was very short, and lie thought it should be allowed to see the light of day. The Bill was introduced and read a first time. FIRST READINGS. The following were introduced, and read a first time :—St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church (Christchurch) Trustees Incorporation Bill (Mr. Stevens), Public Entertainments Prohibition Hill, Town Districts Bill (Hon. T. Dick.) The Hon. T. Dick said that the object of the latter was to give certain simple powers of local government to towns if of not sufficient populotion to become municipalities. BILLS PASSED. In Committee, the Port Molyneux Reserves Leasing Act, 1876, Amendment, and the Public Health Act, 1876, Amendment Bill were passed, with amendments. EVENING SITTING. The House resumed at 7.30. FIRE BRIGADES BILL. The House went into Committee on the Eire Brigades Bill. Mr. Speight said he would object to the Bill if it gave power to corporations to strike a separate rate without being empowered to do so hy the ratepayers. Fartoo much rating power was proposed to be given to local. bodies in the Bills before the House,- anil on danse 16 he moved an amendment in accordance with these remarks.
The House divided—ayes 32, noes 23, and the clause as printed was passed. Mr. Reid proposed a new clause, exempting members of volunteer fire brigades from serving on juries. The Speaker ruled that the proposal could not be entertained in connection with the Bill. It was strictly a question to be dealt with in the Juries Act.
The Bill was reported with amendments. CHARITABLE AID BILL. The House went into Committee on the Hospital and Charitable Aid Endowment Bill. A motion that the words “million acres ” be struck out as the endowment was lost on a division of 24 to 23, and words as printed were carried. Mr. Murray moved that the word “ pastoral ” be inserted to describe the character of the endowment.
The House divided —Ayes, 8 ; noes, 37. The Bill was reported with amendments, and at 1.10 the House rose.
Friday, July 23,
The House met at 2.30
Mr. Richardson presented a petition against the retention of the bottle license system. Mr. J. B. Fisher gave notice that he would ask, If the Alexander McDonald appointed a native land purchase agent, had been convicted of shooting two mailcoach horses at Palmerston. Mr. Lundon gave notice that he would ask, If Government had considered the policy of imposing a tax on coals. Replying to ■. questions, it was stated that the case of M'Minn and Kirkbride, tried in the Court at Marton, had not been taken notice of by Government, as no formal report had been received on the subject. Government recognised the sacrifice made by miners employed in recovering the bodies of the miners accidentally killed in the Government sludge channel at Kumara, but thought it would be an insult to offer them payment for their services.—Government was not disposed to reduce the fee charged for the naturalisation of foreigners.—Government would oppose any proposal to print a supplementary Hansard of speeches delivered by the native members in the Maori language. Mr. Moorhouse gave notice that he would bring on, at the earliest possible date, a motion for the second reading of the Deceased Wife’s Sister Marriage Bill, transmitted from the Upper House. The'treasury Bills Bill was read a second time.
On the motion for going into Committee of Supply, Mr. Seymour said the proposal to add L2OO to the salary of the Chairman of Committees had been made without his consent, and, not only was he prepared to forego it, but also to have the regular salary reduced, in accordance with the general policy of reduction. In Committee of Supply, the debate was resumed on the item, L 450, miscellaneous vote for compilation of Maori history. After discussion, Government agreed to the vote being reduced to L3OO, on the understanding that a bonus would bo granted at the discretion of the House for the early completion of the work. Class 1, Legislative Department, was considered.
The Hon. John Hall said that, in view of the 20 per cent, reductions to be made in Ministerial salaries, Government proposed a similar reduction in members’ honorarium,
Mr. O’Rorke said he would justify the proposed increase to the Chairman of Committees. The two sessions held last year gave members, in the shape of honorarium, considerably more than had been paid to the Chairman of Committees. His salary this year was not a fair consideration for tho work he had to do, and the increase was proposed to recoup, him for that loss. He dissented from the Premier’s proposal to reduce the amount of the honararium, stating that he believed in their case and that of the Civil Service there was no comparison.
Mr. Sutton said it would be establishing a bad precedent for the House to'reduce the civil servants' salaries and not reduce the honorarium. At the proper time, he would move that the amount bo reduced to LI4O. Vote—Legislative Council LIC2O. Item—Chairman of Committes (addition to permanent salary, L 300), LIOO. Struck out on the understanding that the amount would be placed on the Supplementary Estimates as a bonus to make last year’s salary equal to the honorarium. Item —L3SO, Chairman of Public Petitions Committee.—Struck out.
Item—Lloo, Clerk (addition to permanent salary, L 400) was ‘debated at length, and struck out, on a division of 39 to 30.
The House adjourned 5‘30.
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