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PARLIAMENTARY NOTES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 140, 17 August 1880
* (By Telegraph from our own Correspondent ) Wellington, Aug. 16. The House met at 11 this morning but at once adjourned till 7.30 this evening, in consequence of the death of Mr. Ireland. Mr Rees is already in the field as a candidate for his seal. The report of the Public Accounts Committee will probably come on opportunely this week to show the Waikaia electors what an unselfish representative is now offering them his services. ,It is now quite evident that the Licensing Bill will not get through this session, It is even doubted if the Property Assessment Amendment Bill will be pushed on. Indeed members have made, up their minds to go, and they will. Mr. Wright is now the most abused man in Wellington. The Bishop has come out in the papers against him, arid the leading articles describe him as equally weak and wicked. They, as usual, first misreport and misrepresent everything he said, and then find no difficulty in showing that their own reports are untrue.' A' Royal Commissioner, said to be a favorite mark for angry editors, (Mr. Saunders), has discovered that the iron -work in the defective railway wagons, which Mr. Blair says are “at least four years and a half old ” bear the English ■ manufacturer’s brand for 1878, so that even Mr. Hall has not yet been able to establish Mr. Blair’s veracity. WHO IS THE OPPOSITION LEADER? Wellington, Aug. 14, Last night, after Mr. Macandrew’s wild speech on the Public Works Statement, he received a very public dismissal from the leadership of the Opposition. Mr. Hall referred to “ the leader of th.e Opposition,” when he was met with cries of “ Name, name” ; and on his saying, “ the hon. member for Port Chalmers;” there was a strong opposition, and cries of “No, no.” Mr. Macandrew’s “railway to the. moon,” and his inability to see why we could not keep on borrowing just as we have done, seem to have been a little too much, even for the most enterprising of his party.
, HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES. .Friday, Aug. 13. EVENING SITTING. The House resumed at 7.30. - Mr. Barron quoted from the report of the Select Committee re the Otago Central Railway to show that the report of the Commission was in error. A few weeks ago some of the poorest land in the district, mere hill tops, had been sold at 20s. per acre. Mr. Macandrew said that they had as . much of iheir loans available just now as would enable them to go on with aU the linos undertaken, and, carry... them on to., 1882, He did not consider that theopinion of the Commission was in any respect better thaii that of any other member. His own opinion, as far as Otago was .concerned, ought to be of more importance than that ;of a gentleman, who simply made a hurried run through the district.: The mistake made'by the Commission was i that-they were ■ guided; by' the .existing' population. His :coatenfiyn was! that!'iff the; country .was fit for. settlomont-it was' 1 fit for a' railway, and population was bound :tb cobie. ; Replying to the charges made against-' himself by Mr. Saunders, he understood the ground of -his offending was that he had left a number of railway carriages (exposed to the weather, and that serious charges had been made against himself for having spent money 'needlesly for the purpose of building sheds for railway carriages. The evidence of the Civil Service Commission was, when looked into, of very ■ little worth. f lt was given in many instances by discharged servants ■and others, who had personal or perhaps political bias, and be for one was quite prepared to bear such contumely. He agreed with the resolution, and he could, not well see how any 1 fibril 1 member’ could dissent fpom it.. The invidious comparison that had been made between the working of the Dunedin and Christchurch stations were but very snirill affairs. The reference to the, railway, guards he did not quite understand, but he supposed it must have been a mistake on tho part of the officer who furnished the data. ■ f Mr.: Wright explained that the Govern-, ment had furnished the Commission with particulars of all proposals for railways before commencing-its duties. The Hon. R. Oliver explained the question re Christchurch lines guards. Mr. Saunders said that, despite what had been said to the contrary, he did not place implicit confidence in the investigations made by Select Committees. Royal Commissions were different. They were carefully selected for their special fitness' for iheir work, and .they were., enabled to. go about and see for .themselves that what was stated was correct. He was much struck by the remark made by the member for Coleridge, when ho stated that the recommendations made by the Committees invariably went in the direction of works in which some big man was specially interested. He could not imagine how a Commission-could have been selected with more care than the Railway Commission, and he looked on their report, as more disinterested than the recommendations made by any Select Gommitteee, any Civil Servant, or yet any Minister of the Crown. ■ Mr. Brandon said that the evidence taken by the Commission was at variance ’ with tlfe judgment given by these gentlemen.
. Mr. Johnston spoke in favor of the Wellington-Foxton line. Mr. Lundon would support the report, as from his knowledge of the North he thought the report a - fair and honest one.
The Hon. Major Atkinson said he had listened with pleasure to the speech of the member for Coleridge. He did seem to impute to the Government blame for entering into a contract for the Kawakawa line and reducing the freights on the Waikato line. That statement marred the effect of an otherwise good speech. The Kawakawa was an agreement with the provincial: Government, and the present Government had to take up the engagement. Thehon. member was not justified in imputing wrong doing in the matter simply because the Attorney-General had had some: connection with the company years ago. He had no doubt but that the. recommendation was wise, and that neither directly nor indirectly had the Attorney-General anything to do with it. Generally speaking the report was a valu able one. Like others, he was disappointed that the line between Stratford and Waverley had not been recommended. Still he was not one who would say that the Commission had not given the matter that careful consideration which would ‘Warrant them in setting the report aside. He hoped they would i see i their *way id reject .the‘motion of the member for the Dunstan by a large majority.; The Commission -was appointed with the full approval of the House. There was not a single objection to the Comthission, and yet this, resolution .was condemnatory of the Commission. In that case the House would simply be condemning itself.. The Commission had only done the duty they were appointed to do. If any one was to blame it was the Government, by whom they were appointed, and the resolutions ought properly speaking to. be directed against the Government, and not against the Commission.
Mr. Montgomery said that the meinbers of the Commission were, most respectable gentlemen Of experience, who worked hard in the works devolving upon them. The member for Coleridge was an expert, and from him, above all other men, a reliable report was to be looked for. He could not. understand 'how' the' House should think of passing a vote of censure upon such men. If there was anything wrong it was not the Commission that was to blame but the Government' by whom they were appointed. He expected a different Public Works ’Statement from’ the one they had got. They knew that money was scarce, but still they expected something more than a mere string of memoranda. Regarding the sum oh hand
for native land purchases he ventured to say that there was no such intention on the part of the part of the Government to spend that money on native lands. What was intended was to keep it over, and next session, when they were about to go to the country; that money would be a very neat sum to have at their backs. The Hon. J. Hall moved that the debate be adjourned. The motion for the adjournment of the debate was carried on a division by 34 to 21. ' '
After some snarling on a motion to adjourn, the House went into Committee on the Hospitals and Charitable Institutions Bill. , i
After reading the first two clauses, the Hon. J. Hall moved that, progress be reported, and at 12.20 the House adjourned.
Monday, August 16. The House met’this morning at 11 a.m. After prayers, the Hon. J. Hall sajd honorable gentlemen were no doubt aware that since they met on the last occasion, death had removed from their midst one of their number, in the person of tho honorable member for Waikari, Mr. Ireland. • Of the deceased, he felt himself in many respects incompetent to do' his many virtues justice on that occasion ; they all knew the quiet, unassuming, conscientious manner in which he discharged his duty. Government understood it was the desire of his friends that his remains should be interred amongst them. Under the peculiar circumstances of the case, Government thought it would be giving effect to the
wishes of the House, as well as the wishes of the country at large, by facilitating that desire to the best of their ability.; They had therefore made arrangements for the remains to be forwarded; by a Government steamer direct to, Lyttelton,' from whence they would be conyeyed'by rail to the part of the country to which the deceased belonged. The remains would leave the lodging occupied by deceased at 2 o’clock, so that after embarkation, the steamer might take its departure at 2.30, to enable horn gentlemen to pay, the last tribute to the memory of the deceased gentlemen. He would move the adjournment of the House till 7.30 p.m. Mr. Macandrew- secon de d ~ the f motion l for adjournment in a fejv f . remarks,- complimenting the character and’ conduct of the deceased.
' Sir ,George Grey said members on his side of the House felt very grateful to the Government for the prompt arrangements made for giving effect to the wishes of defriends, and he quite agreed in what had fallen from the Hon. the Premier’with regard to the deceased.* The circumstances of his death were such as to inspire them with feelings of the utmost .respect for his memory. His career had been brought to a close while he was engaged in the public duty of his country, and in! the Legislature of his country his name would be held in, remembrance as that ®f a-good man—a man who had done his duty : conscientiously and well. Mr. J.! C. Brown also made a few re--1 marks in:praise of the deceosed member. * * Mr. aPultpu said,,.he ..was. an intimate friend of the deceased, and spoke of .the high estimat'o ri'iri which ‘he was "h’eid' amongst ithe constituents he' ‘represented. They had elected him mot for his, peculiar talents or ability, but because ho .was an, honest upright -man*/-who- riever' did' 'anything against his . convictions. : They had taken him from.his claim as a.; working, man, and paid the 1 ' 1 expenses' cf hisyelec--5 tipri. He ■ was.a irian ' who -was 'conscientious to a fault, ; and..in ; that House, he had■gained the respect of everyone with whom he was brought into contact; " He was an honor to thprcpnstituericy bjn whom liefwstss elected, he.was an honor to, the; House j and an honor to all ’ those who cpuld call him their friend. 1 . -He’felt v he’ Should ribt say less, land. it ;was.not;forrhim.ito Spy more. ' . ( , . .J. , • The motion was theii - put, and' carried without dissent, and the House adjourned.:
PARLIAMENTARY NOTES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 140, 17 August 1880
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