HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. EVENING SITTING.; The House resumed at 7.30.‘ On the motion of Mr. Swanson, the petition of Michael Hoyle was referred back to the Waste Lands Committee. An Imprest Supply Bill for L 250,000 was introduced and passed through all its stages. On the motion for going into Committee of Supply, Sir G. Grey moved the appointment of the following as a committee to inquire into the Patetere block transaction— Messrs Bryce, Jones, Kenny, Shephard, Thompson, Wood, and the mover. The Hon. J. Bryce demurred to the proposal, and suggested that the first committee should lie named with Messrs Pitt and Sutton in place of the two gentlemen who declined to act —Sir W. Fox and Mr. Stevens. After some discussion, the motion as amended by the suggestion of the Hon. J. Bryce, was put and carried. On the motion to go into Committee of Supply, f?gMr, Moss said he wished to move the following resolution : —“ That a Royal Commission should be appointed to consider the most suitable form of local Government for this colony, such Commission to consist of nine members, to be elected by the registered electors of the several provincial districts.” He felt strongly the importance of this question. If they could, separate local from general finance, a very great work would be achieved. They would get rid of much of the log roiling and other difficulties they had at present.to contend with. He would say let those local bodies be so constituted that they would not be responsible to the House, but to the people amongst whom they resided. It was one of the most' important questions to which their attention could possibly be directed. He hoped the House would view it as such. The Hon. J. Hall said that Government should have had intimation that a question of so much importance was to be introduced, so that they could have come down prepared to say what they thought of the proposal. Speaking on the spur of the moment, he would say that if such an: inquiry was to be made the House of Representatives was the best body that could be got to make it, therefore the proposal of a Royal Commission was not one that recommended itself at first sight. They had been taunted with Government by Commission, and this was a proposal to perpetuate that system. Mr. Macandrew said he was favorably impressed with the general idea, but was not prepared to discuss the question at present. He would suggest its postponement. The motion was withdrawn, on the understanding that it would be brought on again. The House then went into Committee of Supply. Government ' Insurance Department, L 26,925. On the motion of Major Atkinson, the vote was reduced by L 5,000, and the House rose at 12.45, Monday, August 2. The House met at 2.30 o’clock. Mr. Reid presented a petition-from the brewers and publicans of Westland against the imposition of the Beer Tax. Mr. Wood gave notice that he would on going into Committee, on the Native Land Sale Bill, move a resolution affirming that native owners should be enabled to dispose of their lands without Government interference, after receiving a certificate from the Lands Committee., It was agreed, on the motion of the Hon. John Hall, that the House to-mor-row resolve itself into a Committee to consider the following resolution : “ That the House approves of the arrangement made (telegram dated May 31st, 1879), for Government joining in the scheme for a duplicate telegraph cable from Port Darwin, upon the conditions set forth in the memo of agreement between the Governments of New South Wales and Yictoria, and Colonel Glover on behalf of the Eastern Extension and Australasian and China Telegraph Company, 4th December, 1879.”
The Bill to amend the Property Assessment Act, .1879, was introduced, and read a first time. . The House considered the amendments made by the Legislative Council on the Elections Petitions Bill, and after debate disagreed with them, and a Committee was appointed to draw up and sustain the reasons for dissent.
Mr. Bryce moved the second reading of the Native Land Bill. It proposed to render the proceedings less costly and cumbersome than under the existing Act. The object was to return as much as possible to the proceedings of the Act in force prior to the Act of 1873. Tamoana, Tawhia, and Te Wheoro supported the Bill, expressing, at the same time, an opinion that it should in Committee bo amended so as to provide that, natives should have more to do in conducting the business of these Courts. Sir William Fox supported the Bill, but suggested it did not go far enough in the way of making provision for taxing the costs of agents and lawyers employed by the natives. . •. ; Mr. Reader Wood also supported the Bill, but would oppose the Native Lands Sale Bill.
Sir George Grey and Mr. De Lautour opposed the Bill Mr. Thomson objected to the Bill, and charged one of the members of the Government with having been mixed up in these land transactions.
Mr. Rolleston denied the imputation, and on its being repeated by Mr, Thomson, he (Mr. Rolleston) rose to a point of order, -which the Speaker disallowed. Mr. Thomson concluded by repeating the objections to the bill.
Mr. Bryce replied, after which the Bill was read a second time.
The Houe adjourned at 5.30 p.m,
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