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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Thursday, June 16. The House met at 2.30. notice of motion. Mr Barron gave notice that he would ask if the Government intended to take (' \y steps for the suppression or otherwise <«sc\)uraging of gambling, more especially tyit form known as race consultations. LEAVE OF ABSENCE. Leave of absence was granted for one week to Mr A. McDonald. Mr Whitaker gave notice to ask for fourteen days’ leave of absence for Mr Sheehan. questions. In reply to questions the following was elicited :—Government did not intend to introduce a Bill to amend the Harbors Act, 1878, but it the Harbor Boards thought any alterations necessary the Government would assist in getting them made. —The marine engineers and nautical adviser had been instructed to report upon the necessity or otherwise of erecting a lighthouse on Waipapa Point, and the Land Department as to a site ; and if the report, as was probable, warranted it, provision would be made on the Estimates

for the building.—Government fully recognised the services rendered by the police at the wreck of the Tararua, but they did not consider any bonus or other consideration for their services necessary beyond what had been paid as compensationfor clothing destroyed.—An important document was required to be printed in the Government office by an early hour on Monday morning, and the printers were given permission either to do it late on Saturday night or on Sunday. They elected to complete it on the Sunday.— Although no exhaustive step had been taken for conserving the native forests or establishing Crown land plantations, yet certain efforts had been made in that direction. Plans were being prepared showing the extent of and furnishing other information relative to these forests, with the view of a more complete conservation being made.—Government had under consideration the question of amending the Tobacco Act, 1879, in the direction of inducing growers, by means of a minimum duty, to successfully establish the industry in this colony.—Government did not intend to propose any amendments or changes in the Education Act, 1877, or the regulations made thereunder. — Government had come to the conclusion that their responsibilities in reference to railway accidents and damages wore equivalent to those of a private railway company, and that a Bill defining their responsibilities on that basis would be brought forward. —A circular had been issued by the Inspector of Prisons to Justices of the Peace. Two circulars had been issued to prison officials, one forbidding them giving any information to the press. That was done in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Regulations, 1873. These circulars were issued by the direction of the Government.

NEW BILLS. The following Bills were introduced and read a first time ;—A Bill to amend the Harbor : Board Ordinance Amendment Act, 1876 (Mr Shnmski) ; Wellington Queen’s Wharf and Store Sale Bill (Mr Levin); Port Chalmers Cemetery Bill (Mr Macandrew) ; Drainage Bill (Mr Murray). MISCELLANEOUS. The following motions were passed : That a plan be prepared showing (1) the boundaries of the Maorewhenua goldfields within.the said county as .from time to time proclaimed ; (2), land sold within the said goldfield from its first being proclaimed to May 30th, 1881 ; (3) nam^a, of purchasers and acreage.—That a Standing Orders and Private Bills Committee be appointed, to consist of Messrs Brandon, Montgomery, and the mover ; that a joint committee on Bills be appointed, to consist of Messrs Brandon,' Pitt, and Mr Seymour.—For a return showing the amounts received yearly by the Government for tolls in the County of Eden from 1876't0 31st March last, together with a return of the expenditure on the main roads in the County of Eden, main roads leading from Auckland City to the said County, the road through the Borough of Parnell included.—That a return be laid before the House showing (1) what real property has been dealt with under section 8 of the High School Reserve Act, 1880, the nature of any such dealings, the amount received in money by the trustees of any property so dealt with, and the manner in which such money had been applied ; (2) what mortgages, if any, have been given by the trustees of any of the reserves, or of the profits of any investments made out of any moneys accruing from the, sale of any reserves subject to the said Act, under clause 12 of the said Act.—For a return

of the amount paid during the year 1880 by the various Borough and County Councils, Road Boards and other local bodies upon the valuation rolls in their respective districts. CHARITARLE AID Bill,. The Hon. J. Hall moved the second reading of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Bill. The principle of the Bill was similar to that of last session. The speaker then detailed the provisions of the Bill at length, and pointed out that in deference to the opinion of the goldfields members, a provision had been inserted whereby funds might be raised by means of a poll tax. Replying to an objection that it would encourage pauperism, the hon member said he did not see the force of that argument. The present state of things was more likely to lead to that effect than the system proposed by the Bill. The endeavor had been made to make the Bill as general and comprehensive as possible, and he therefore hoped that members would not object to it solely because its provisions did not happen to fit in with the scheme in force within their own particular districts. Dr Wallis complained that in introducing a measure of this kind more full and

complete information had not been furnished. In his opinion a sepai-ate Bill should have been brought down, one for curing disease and the other for relieving the poor. The Bill in its present shape meant nothing more than fresh taxation. What he suggested was that out of the 25,000,000 acres of waste lands they had still in hand sufficient areas should be set apart so as to provide endowments for the support of these institutions. By that means they might avoid further taxation. Mr Moss looked upon the Bill as a measure which would saddle them with a class of permanent paupers. It would bring them to regard this pauperism as a permanent institution in their midst. It was a matter whiph any local body, if properly organised, could deal with much better than they could do. If the House took up their time with this and other such matters, the result would be that the time would bo wasted away, and then towards the end of the session the really

important business of the country local administration, for example—would come down after they were tired out and ready to break up. He would advise the Government to withdraw this Bill until the more comprehensive system of local administration was before them and had been dealt with; and to test the point he would move that the second reading be deferred until the Government had had an opportunity of bringing down a general scheme for local administration. Mr Murray seconded the amendment. He concurred in the view expressed by the previous speaker. Mr Shephard could not concur in the adverse criticism passed upon the Bill. Mr Shrimski spoke in opposition to the

Bill. He charged the Government with' being responsible, by its land administration, and in other ways, for the poverty the Bill proposed to relieve, and advised that it should be withdrawn, and a Local Government Bill be brought down. Mr Ballance spoke in condemnatory terms of the Bill, but his remarks were interrupted by the 5.30 adjournment. The House resumed at 7.30, when Mr Ballance continued the debate. He com plained that the Bill proposed a poll-tax to be imposed by bodies upon which the persons so taxed had no representative. Little dependence could be placed on the subsidies. The local bodies were not in funds, and could not possibly contribute the share falling on them, for they had not funds to defray the cost of works already devolving upon them. An amendment of the constitution of the local bodies as they at present existed would obviate the necessity for the creation of this body proposed in the Bill. They had too many local administrative bodies already. He objected to the principle of the Bill, because it was the thin end of the wedge of State pauperism. He would suggest that the Bill should be remodelled in the direction he had indicated. He also suggested the withdrawal of the amendment, and that the Bill, after its second reading, should be remodelled in Committee. The Hon. W. Johnston said he saw no reason why the Boards proposed to be constituted by the Bill should not be formed solely by representation from amongst those who were asked to contribute the cost. In committee he thought an alteration of that nature might very well be made.

Sir George Grey wished to explain that he was in no degree responsible for the amendment. The member for Parnell had moved it on his own responsibility. He did not concur in the opinion that it should not be considered a political question. It dealt with a subject of the highest political importance ; but it ought not to be deemed a party question. He thought it was quite possible to deal with this question under a scheme of local self-government. Under a proper sytem there should be no poor persons in New Zealand. If a fair share of the public money was fairly distributed there would be no want of employment, and consequently no poverty. Let the wealthy absentees residing in

England and elsewhere give back what they were entitled to ; and there would be no poor. Let the Government tear up this Bill, and say that charitable institutions should be supported out of. the* legitimate source of taxation—the unearned increment. He hoped that the Government would withdraw the measure, and say that until local self-government was established they would allow this question to remain in abeyance, and that the member for Parnell would also withdraw his amendment. He would be prepared to follow any leader who would take up the whole question of local government in a right spirit. Mr Wakefield congratulated the last speaker on his conversion to the idea of local self-government. He supported the second reading of the Bill. Mr'Turnbull advocated at great length tliei delaying of the Bill till Government had disclesed its intentions on the matter of local administration.

Other hon, members spoke on the Bill, and, following-thp Hon. John Hall’s reply, the adjournment'of the debate was moved by Mr Barron, but, negatived. Mr asked- leave to withdraw his amendment, but .this,, was, ref used, and, on the. motion for tile second reading of the Bill being put, it was agreed to, and the Bill ordered to he committed a week from date. The House adjourned at 1.10 a.m.

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NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 373, 17 June 1881

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NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 373, 17 June 1881

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