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THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE.

(By Telegraph from our own Correspondent. )

Wellington, August 2,

In the House this afternoon it was agreed to reject an amendment in the Election Petitions Bill, proposed by the Legislative Council, referring the petition to one judge instead of two. It was also decided to insist upon the question being tried either in or adjacent to the electoral district. The rest of the afternoon was spent in talking over native questions. For the last ten days things must have been going on in the Public Accounts Committee greatly to Sir George Grey’s satisfaction. His tormentor George McLean has been away on a trip to the South. Mr. Wood has also been away, and the three Government members have been too busy to atteixd often and long. This has left a Committee entirely after Sir George Grey’s own heart. Sir George Grey, Mr. Ballance, Mr. Gisborne, Mr. Moss, and Mr. Montgomery, with only the slight interference of Mr. Saunders and Mr. Johnston, were called on to pronounce judgment on all the irregular payments of the late Government and no doubt they pronounced them to be all very right and proper, and instructed the Chairman, Mr. Stevens, to report to the House accordingly. The LBOO lawyers’ item ; the L 2,000 spent enhancing girls, champagne, imd gthor lw»wvi* W a fl.f. f,}q 0 .Maori rov«la ; the L3OO paid by Sir George to his worthy friend Mr. Rees ; and the LSOO paid by Mr. Macandrew to his useful friend Mr. Conyers, in addition to his L 1,200 salary, were all likely to pass such a tribunal, not only with censui’e, but absolutely with commendation. But this evening a change came over the scene. Instead of eight members in attendance there were twelve, and to judge from Sir George Grey’s long face as he left the committee, and the very audible denunciations of “Sir George, a packed Committee ” from his faithful attendant Mr. Moss, there is every reason to believe that the satisfactory work of the last fortnight has been revised, and the Chairman instructed to report that public money should not be devoted to such purposes. Why these members of the late Government should sit in judgment on their own actions, and attend the Public Accounts Committees with a punctuality and zeal that less interested members do not gexierally display is certainly a proceeding that a common understanding can hardly comprehend.

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THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 134, 3 August 1880

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