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NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT.

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. Tuesday, June 14. The Council met at 2.30. Five batches of papers were laid on the table by the Hon. F. Whitaker. A long Address in Reply to the Governor’s Speech was brought up by the Committee, the Hon. Mr Lahmann giving notice of moving its adoption to-day. The Hon. F. Whitaker said the return of all moneys paid to Sir J. VVogel by the colony would be presented immediately. He also gave notice of new Bills _to prevent fraud and improvidence in alienating native land, and to extend the jurisdiction of the Land Courts to the lands of dead natives.

The following Committees were elected : Local Bills (three), Waste Lands, Standing Orders, Private. Bills, Reporting, Selection, Printing, Library and Petitions. The Council adjourned at 3.35 p.m. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Tuesday, June 14. The House met at 2.30. NEW MEMBER. ■ Mr Leveatam, member for Nelson, was formally introducedlWHrtook bis seat. NOTICES OF MOTION. The following notice* of motion were given : Sir George Grey to ask for all correspondence relative to the visit of the Detached Squadron and the Royal Princes. Mr Macandrew to ask if Government intended making any provision for a direct steam service to Great Britain. Mr Hutchison to ask if Government would produce all circulars issued by the Inspector of Prisons. Mr Murray to move—“ That, in the opinion of the House, local Government is conducted under great disadvantages—l. from defects in the system ; 2. from local funds for payment of rates to effect local improvements being absorbed by General Government expenditure’; 3. from the Counties being deprived of 20 per cent of the Land Fund, except in the case of New Plymouth, and that Government be requested to bring in a Bill this session to remedy the above causes of complaint, ; and others which may bo established during the debate on this resolution.” — To ask if Government will give effect to the recommendation of the Committee on Agriculture to impose the same duty on maize as other imported cereals. And—- “ That for the administrative economy andpublic convenience postage stamps should up to a certain limit be substituted for revenue stamps.”

QUESTIONS. Replying to questions the Hon J. Hall said that Government had received an invitation to attend the opening of the Dunedin Industrial Exhibition. They regretted they could not attend. Every facility would, however, be placed at the disposal of private members desirous of attending.—Major Atkinson said Government did not propose to make any amendment of the Shipping and Steamers, Act, or to legislate so as to prohibit small steamers in the coasting trade going to sea insuficiently manned. The Act as it stood was based on the English Act, and unless a strong case was made out, they did not see any necessity for interfering with the regulations at present in force.—The Hon. T. Dick said Government would introduce a Bill to consolidate and amend existing legislation, regulating lunatic asylums. JRe prison labor the Government desired as far as possible, to avoid interfering with free labor by the introduction of prison labor competition, but it was absolutely necessary that employment should he found for prisoners, and it was but right that that employment should be made as far as possible reproductive ; the Government was not yet prepared to say whether an amended JBankruptcy Act would be introduced this session or not.—The Hon. J. Hall said the Government had reported to the Colonial Office regarding native affairs. He hoped shortly to lay the despatch on the table. —The Hon. T. Dick said it would be impossible to put the House in possession of the census returns of the number of children of school age within a few weeks hence, as all these returns would most probably not have been received. BILLS INTRODUCED. The following Bills were introduced and read a first time :—Licensing, Hospital and Charitable Institution and Distribution of Charitable Aid, and Chinese Immigration. COMMITTEES. The following sessional committees were appointed, viz.—Library, Local Bills, Native Affairs, Waste Lands, Goldfields, Reporting Debates, Standing Orders, and Petitions, and Petitions Classifications. DISCHARGED CIVIL SERVANTS.

On the motion of Mr Bunny it was agreed that a return should be made giving the names of members of the Civil service whose services have been dispensed with since Jan. 1, 1880, stating the department they severally belonged to, the salary paid to each ; also the compensation received by each. Also a return giving the names of persons appointed to the public service from the same date, showing the department to which each is appointed, and the salary payable to each, and if the services of any so appointed had previously been dispensed with ; this return to show whether the compensation received was repaid to the Treasury, or in what manner the same was dealt wi' h. PETITIONS COMMITTEE. The motion on the election of this Committee came forward, but no action was taken previous to the rising of the House at 5.30 p. m. * TIJB ADDRESS IN REPLY. Mr Collins ipoyed the Address in Reply. In speaking of the improved state of affairs throughout the colony, he said they might fairly reciprocate all his Excellency’s congratulations. He characterised the Speech as temperate and statesmanlike. The cost of the public service had been reduced, and, in his opinion, its efficiency had in no way been impaired, but increased. Railways were now paying well, and their working had been very much improved. He thought the policy of the Government might be improved, Large reductions were hard upon some, but the colony must h e careful that it did not under-pay its servants. The return of 3| per cent from the railways was bettsr than they could reasonably have expected. Ho had

some doubts about assisting private companies to make lines, as unless very carefully guarded complications might result. At the same time he approved of opening up the country. He congratulated them on the aspect of native affairs, but urged Government to deal justly, and at the same time firmly, with them. He hoped the system of laying out roads through the Crown lands of the colony would be carried out, as many parts had been neglected hitherto. He thought that good would result from Intercolonial Conferences. Ho attributed the success of New Zealand’s position at the Melbourne Exhibition as greatly due to the skill and ability of Dr. Hector. Ho spoke of the way in which New Zealand would be stimulated to further endeavors in industrial as well as scientific pursuits. Mr Fulton seconded the motion. He congratulated the previous speaker on his return to political life. The satisfactory state of the native affairs was due to Mr

Bryce. He also paid a similar compliment to the Native Commissioners. He congratulated them on the release of the Maori prisoners, as he thought they were excoptionably treated under the circumstances. He believed much larger reductions remained to be made in the Civil Service expenditure. He referred in terms of satisfaction to the expressions contained in the Speech, acknowleding that it was the duty o! members to promote success in their nndertakings. Sir George Grey said he was disappointed with the Governor’s Address. Was the policy set forth adequate to the circumstances of the colony 1 The Address was hot so, and he would tell them what the Address ought to have contained. The steady progress of the colony was not duo to the measures of the Government, but they tended to retard national progress. Public confidence had not been restored, although it had been revived, owing the people having obtained such liberal measures as a Triennial Parliament. He denounced the imprisonment of the natives as most unjust. Great injustice had been done for the purpose of enriching the Colonial Treasurer and his Taranaki friends. No attempt was made to relieve the more distant settlers of the New Plymouth

Harbor burden. It was an insult to rejoice under such circumstances. What had the Intercolonial Conference done for thorn ? Surely they could frame a Chinese Bill without the intervention of an Australian Conference. It was the fault of the Government that the leases of certain runs had not fallen in long ago. Such being the case, how could ho have any sincerity in the promises now given 1 The Government had, as individuals, received the landed estate of Canterbury, and he could not trust those who had so abused thepublic trust to do what was right in the future. He scouted the talk of renewed confidence, as the statement# of the Colonial Treasurer had caused wide-spread alarm. He referred to Sir Julius Vogel’s letter, in support of which he had said ho did not believe that large reductions in the expenditure had been made, as the deficiency in the public accounts for the past year was L 259,000. He spoke of the tendency there was to tax the'poor and struggling, and relieve the rich. They had to revert to a system of land taxation, such as his Government had imposed, and so cut up the large estates which had been given away.. One large estate at Paterori had been given away since last they met. If these estates were properly dealt with they would have ample funds to defray cost of hospitals, charitable aid, etc. The ten per cent, reduction on the income of the Civil servants was most unfair, and was no-

thing more than taking away from those who could not resist. Was it right to be asked to rejoice under such circumstances 1 Ho said no. They ought rather to mourn. The Governor was made to say that he trusted God in all His goodness would maintain the stability of these institutions. He would say that hs trusted God in His goodness would overthrow such abominable and detestable institutions. He believed the wish was from both north and south of New Zealand to have these institutions overthrown. He considered that the great omission in the speech was that there was no allusion made to the question of local self-govern-ment. and if no such measure introduced he would do it himself. His idea was that two or three counties should be grouped together and made as one, with similar power to that of the old provinces. He alluded to the benefit each province would have by possessing control over their own revenues, and in proportion to population endowment from the general revenue. One Chamber was all that is necessary for the good Government of New Zealand, and in that opinion he was more than ever fortified by recent authorities elsewhere. He was determined that the opinion of New Zealand as a whole should bo taken on his proposals for local self-government, and he would lose no time in bringing in his Bill.

Mr Wakefield made a lengthy reply to Sir George Grey’s remarks, condemning the same as wanting in good taste, that gentleman having, instead of throwing light on the subjects of the day, raked up old sores, and otherwise gave a most improper tone to their debate at this early period of the session. He felt sure the speech had not expressed the opinion of one single individual. It had been inspired, not from above, but from below. They had been told that such measures would be passed, and such other things would be done. Such language should have come from one enjoying the confidence of the House and the country, whereas Sir George Grey stood amongst them solitary and alone, after having been ejected from an office which he had abused. Indeed, he questioned very much if ho enjoyed the confidence of a single member even of that select circle over which he once reigned. They were congratulated in the Governor’s Speech upon what they, one and all, knew were facts—not congratulated upon something that might possibly occur. He was not in favor of approving of the measures alluded to in the Governor’s Speech until he saw them ; at the same time, he deprecated the idea of condemning them until they saw what they really contained. He was disappointed that the Speech contained no reference to the question of local self-government. What they wanted was local government. Dr. Wallis considered the Speech dull, vague and unsatisfactory. It neither guided, instructed, nor diverted them. It dealt a fatal blow to party Government, and that was what they had all along been aiming at. The framers of the Speech appeared to have been destitute of political principles. They were neither Liberals nor Conservatives, but just a bit of each by turns, but neither long. Colonel Trimble having replied to the imputations cast on him by Sir George Grey regarding the Now Plymouth Harbor scheme, and denying same, the House was adjourned at 11.55 p.m.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810615.2.12

Bibliographic details

NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 371, 15 June 1881

Word Count
2,126

NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 371, 15 June 1881

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