Friday, July 23. The House resumed at 7.30. COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY. Item—L3so, clerk’s assistant. Reduced to L3OO. Item—L2oo, second clerk assistant. Reduced to LIBO. The items—Llso, extra clerical assistance, and interpreter, L2OO, were passed ; also, th; items, messengers and contingencies, L 570. Vote—House of Representatives, Hon. Mr. Speaker (addition to permanent salary, Lfiso), L2OO. Struck out. Item—Chairman of Committee (addition to permanent salary, L 400), L2OO. Struck, out. Item—Chairman of Public Petitions Committee, LIOO. Struck out. A motion that the item be struck out was discussed. The items, Chairman Native Afl’airs Committee, LIOO, and Chairman of Waste Lands Committee, LIOO, were struck out. Item—Clerk of Parliament (addition to permanent salary, L 600), LIOO. Carried. Item—Clerk’s assistant ’ (addition to permanent salary, L 400), LIOO. Passed. Item—Second clerk assistant, L4OO. Passed. Item—Sergeant-at-Arms, L 250. Mr. George moved that the item be reduced to L2OO. They could get a member of the Armed Constabulary to do the work well for that amount. Sir G. M. O’Rorke spoke in favor of the item being retained, and reprobated the statement by the previous speaker about employing one of the Armed Constabulary. Mr. Andrews supported the reduction, stating that LSO was sufficient. Mr. Shrimski said that the Sergeant had to attend upon the House, and LSO would be little for the work. Mr. Turnbull said there was no need for a Sergeant to attend at all. A message was read from the Upper House, stating that the Maori Prisoners Bill had passed. The Premier Said that the present Bill under which the Maori prisoners were detained, expired to-night, and the Bill would be assented to that night, so as to legalise their detention. The House resumed in Committee, when the item before the Committee was further considered.
Mr. Swanson spoke of the absurdity of the office. If it was necessary to take any one into custody, they ought to have a policeman in attendance. If they gave L2O to one of the messengers, the thing would be done well. The Chief Messenger had done the work previously, and that was evidence that what he advocated was tenable.
Mr. Seddon suggested that they should vote the item this session on the understanding that it would not be repeated next year.
Replying to Mr. Speight, The Premier said that the Sergeant had charge of all messengers connected with the House.
Mr. Turnbull proposed to omit the item altogether. The House divided on the question that the item be omitted. Ayes, 22 ; noes, 43. Mr. George’s motion that it be reduced L 240 was then put and lost on the voices. On a motion to reduce it by LIOO the House divided. Ayes, 36 ; hoes, 24. The item as reduced was passed. The item, Reader, L 175, , after an attempt at reduction, was passed. Vote general expenses. Item, passages of members, LI, 150. Reduced by L 250. Item—Expenses of members of both Houses, L 21,575.
The Hon. John Hall moved a reduction of twenty per cent amounting to L 4,315. Mr. Murray moved that the reduction be LIOjOOO,
Mr. M'Caughan moved a reduction of members of the House of Representatives twenty per cent., and Legislative Councillors fifty per cent. ' . Mr. Macandrew suggested the propriety of postponing the vote, so as to separate the members of one House from that of the other. It was anything but creditable that last session members of the Legislature should be paid two honorariums. Sir G. Grey moved that the item be withdrawn in order that the whole question might be considered, and the vote brought down on some future occasion in the supplementary estimates. He agreed in the opinion that the Legislative Council honorarium should not be fixed at the same rate as tile amount for the other branch.
Mr. Saunders said that by carrying the motion of the member for Bruce they would be deducting 20 per cent, from their own honorarium, and allowing nothing for the Legislative Council. He would support that proposition. Mr. Bowen said that by cutting off the honorarium altogether from the Upper House the effect would be to .close its doors against everyone but men of property.
Replying to Mr. Swanson, The Hon. J. Hall said that members residing in the city were paid some Ll4O. Mr. Moss said it was to be regretted that the question was not fixed by Act. He did not believe that the amount fixed was a farthing too much, but if it was once reduced he would certainly object to allow it, as it was last year, to be again restored to its former rate. He knew of no Legislature so badly paid as they were.' Mr. Murray said that this proposal would bring the honorarium back again to the rate paid in 1871-2-3-4, and he did he did not think ■ that the state of the colony was any better to-day than it was in 1874.
The motion for postponement was negatived on the voices.
The motion for a reduction by LIO,OOO was then put—Ayes, 15 ; noes, 58. The motion for the reduction of 20 per cent, was then put-ayes, 35 ; noes, 39. Mr. J. T. Fisher moved that the amount be reduced 10 percent.
Mr. Allwright said he was astonished: the members of the so-called Liberal party: should vote for the reduction of the civil! servants down to day laborers, and then 1 vote against any reduction in their honorarium. He moved'that it be reduced 15 percent.
Mr. Sheehan said that unless the honorarium voted was a reasonable amount many true liberal minded men could not afford to go into the House. The basis of the liberal policy was the payment of members. The proposal made by the last speaker had been actuated by a desire for a little cheap popularity. The Hon. J. Hall supported the pro-, posal for the 15 per cent, reduction, and defended the last speaker from the imputation of being actuated by improper motives.
The House divided on the proposal to reduce the vote by fifteen per cent Ayes, 33 ; noes, 37.
Mr. Fisher moved that the amount be reduced by ten per cent.—Ayes, 49 ; noes, 20.
Mr. Moss asked whether Government would now bring down a Bill fixing the amount at what the Committee had voted, so as to avoid such a discussion in future.
The Chairman ruled the question out of order.
Examiner of Standing Orders.—ltem passed as printed. Progress was then reported, and the House rose at 1.15 a.m.
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