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Sir William Harcouet. —The following anecdote is now being diligently circulated : —“ Some time ago six gentlemen agreed to have a dinner party. Each was to invite one guest, and the only condition was that the guest was to be the most disagreeable man known to his host. The day arrived, the six hosts assembled, and shortly Sir William Harcourt was announced. After some time, no other guest appearing, it was resolved,to proceed to dinner. This was done, and during the entertainment it transpired that each of the six hosts had invited, as the most disagreeable man he knew, the present Home Secretary. ”

The Property Tax.— Sir Hercules Robinson held an Executive Council at noon on Saturday, presiding for the last time in New Zealand. Messrs. Hall, Dick and Oliver were present. The new Property Tax schedules were to have been laid before the Council for approval, so that an Order in Council might be granted appointing them, but it was found that some verbal alterations, which were considered necessary in the draft form, have caused some delay in printing.- The result has been that they could not bo laid before the Council that day, consequently, as the schedules cannot be distributed until thus approved by Order in Council, and as another meeting of tho Executive cannot be held betore Thursday ;next, when the Acting-Governor has been sworn in, it is not likely that the new forms will be circulated for nearly a week. It ir" possible, therefore, that it may not be practicable, to make them returnable even by October 15th, and that it may be necessary to grant a further extension of time. As some exception has been taken to all debts due to the taxpayer being included in the schedule of taxable property, without any provision for bad of doubtjful ones, it rrfay be- explained that it is the value of the debts, and not their amount, which is to be returned, and the ‘value of such property is to be the basis of taxation. Consequently, a man will value'his 1 debts, good, doubtful, or bad,-at what he has reason honestly, to believe,he,will get out. of them. He will value good debts to their full amount, doubtful ones at such discount as would represent his probable loss on them, and absolutely bad-debts as nil.

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 149, 7 September 1880

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