HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Friday, Aug. 6 EVENING SITTING. The House resumed at 7.30. On the motion for going into Committee of Supply, The Hon. R. Oliver delivered his Public Works Statement. After which Mr. Macandrew, in suggesting that the House do now adjourn, and referring to the statement just made, said he was disappointed, but not greatly surprised. Had the late Government been allowed ' to remain in office he believed that no interruption would have taken place in the prosecution of the the Public Works . policy of 1870. 'The Hoh. J. Hall said he hoped that hon. members would, in the discussion that iriust necessarily ensue, show how it was possible to go on with their Public Works policy as they had been doing years ago. There was this difference between their present position and that of the pre- . ceding two years. They knew the real state of affairs now, whereas two years ago they did not. Mr.. Ireland desired that the Government would state what it proposed to do about the Kelso line. He been told that.the Public Works Statement would inform him, but the line was not mentioned. The Hon. E. Oliver said that the hon. member was not singular in his desire for information of this kind. It was impossible for them to fulfil one half of the promises made regarding the prosecution of a railway. They would just have to wait on and see what the development of events .would bring about. Mr. Barron directed attention to a motion standing in his name, re the withdrawal of the subsidies to local bodies, which had lapsed. He concluded by moving that these subsidies be paid up to the end of 1881.
Mr. Pyke said that he could see no reason whatever why the Government should delay giving the House information on the subject of its intentions regarding subsidies. The present state of matters was exercising a most injurious effect on the colony generally. Local bodies were, in view of the present uncertain state of matters, debarred from prosecuting necessary works. Until the Financial Arrangements Act was repealed, the subsidies would have to be paid. The Hon. G. McLean asked where the money to pay these subsidies was to be got ? There was a deficiency of L 215,000, and if they added L 275,000 for subsidies, . that would make a total deficiency of L 500,000. The country could stand no more taxation.
The Hon. Major Atkinson said it w r as no breach of faith on the part of the Go- ■■ vernment in suspending these subsidies, as fair warning had been given to them. Local bodies were part and parcel of the Government of the country, and it was . quite impossible to meet the demand for , these subsidies unless there were more taxation imposed. Last year they had full notice that these subsidies would he stopped. There was not, as a matter of fact, any subsidy due up to next June, the same having been paid up to 30th June last. He regretted the necessity for stopping these subsidies, but he did not sympathise with those bodies who had entered into large engagements on the faith of these subsidies. There was timely ■ warning of their probable suspension. He advised that the motion should be withdrawn, as the payment of subsidies simply meant additional taxation. Mr. Pyke and Major Harris were of opinion that a direct breach of faith had been committed, as it was understood ~ that the subsidies were to be paid for five years. On the motion of the Hon. J. Hall, the House adjourned at 9.15. Monday, August 9. The House met at 2.30. • ■ Mr. Hall announced that the Governor < had intimated to him his acceptance of ■' the Governorship of the Cape Colony, and r ' that he would leave New Zealand at the end of this or the beginning of next . month. His successor will be Sir Arthur Gordon,, present Governor of Fiji. Mr. Hall, in moving that the House sit on Fridays and Mondays, at 11 a.m., during the remainder of the session, stated /..■that: Government had determined upon > dropping certain measures of less importance, to enable others to be gone on - with. The ones they proposed dropping were the Town Districts Bill, Fisheries Bill, Education Reserves Amendment Bill, Public Entertainments Prohibition Bill, '■ Cemeteries Bill, New Zealand University Reserves Bill, Canterbury River Act Amendment Bill, Auctioneers Bill, Fire and Marine Insurance Companies Bill, Gaming and Lotteries Bill, Peace Preser- ‘ yation Bill, and these, in due course, he would ask to be discharged from the Order Paper. It was proposed to deal with the following at next morning sit ting Counties Act Amendment Bill, High School Reserve Bill, Joint Stock Company’s Act, 1860, Amend- , ment Bill, Dogs Registration Bill, Brands , and Branding Bill, Fencing Bill, Impounding Bill, Thames Water Supply - Transfer Bill, and the Rabbit Nuisance Bill. Tne next class Government called “ desirable ’’ Bills, including some of the Native Bills, the Licensing Bill, Representation Bill, Regulation of Local Elections Bill, and the Corrupt Practices Prevention Bill. The course taken with these would depend upon what was done with the Licensing Bill. He looked upon it as a very useful measure, but he could make no promises reparding it. With regard to the Representations Bill, he had heard many members express an opinion that it was undesirable to proceed with it this session. That, however was not his opinion. For very many reasons he thought it desirable that the Bill should he pushed on this session. The Government were anxious this should be done, but it would depend entirely upon the House whether it passed or not. He would take the earliest opportunity for moving its second reading, and then it would be seen whether it would be necessary to drop it. Upon this would depend the Regulation of Elections and Corrupt Practices Bill, as ■ if the Representation Bill was not passed this session, the other two would have to be postponed until next . session. With regard to the Native Bills, , Government scarcely hoped they would all ; become law this session. The next class / .comprised Bills which were absolutely essential finance measures for placing the finances of the colony on a sound footing. These must be dealt with this session. They were —The Property Assessment Act Amendment Bill, the Boer Duty Bill, the Deceased Persons Estate Duties Bill, the Local Public Works Bill, and the ./; Rating Act, 1876, Amendment Bill. The motion was then put and carried. On the motion for going into Committee of Stipply, Messrs. Shrimski, Ireland, Jones, Hamlin, and Pyke spoke of the injustice proposed to be done to their several districts in the matter of public works, and urged Government to make more liberal provision therefor, a The debate was interrupted by the 6.30 adjournment.
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