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NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT.

LEGISL ATIVE COUNCIL. ( Wednesday, Jcne 29. , The Council met at 2.30 p.m. I The Hon F. Whitaker promised that Government would, while enquiring as to ■ the practicability of the electric light for steamers, enquire if it would suit for night trains on railways. On the Hon W. T. Ngatata’a motion, a resolution was carried that the speeches of Maori members should be printed in Maori for Native circulation. —The Hon F. Whitaker promised that Government would favor the proposal. 1 The Hon Dr Menzies resumed the de- , bate on the second reading of the'Chinese Immigrants Bill, as did the Hdri H. J. Millar, supporting it. The Hons M. Holmes, Colonel Brett, Williamson, and G. Johnston spoke strongly against the Bill.—The Hon F. Whitaker replied, and the second reading was carried by 13 votes to 10.—The following is the division list: —For the Bill —Hons Baillie, P. Buckley, Dignan, Fraser, Hart,'Lahman,‘ Menzies, Miller, Peacock, Peter, Richmond, Whitaker, Wilson. Against —Hons Brett, Chamberlain, Henderson, Holmes, J. Johnston, Martin, Nurse, Pharazyn, Pollen, Williamson. The Hon P. Whitaker gave notice to bring in a Bankruptcy Bill. The Council adjourned at 4.40. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Wednesday, June ■ 29. : The House met at 2.30 p.m. In reply to questions, Ministers stated— That Government was of opinion that it would be advisable to allow each County Council to impose a dog tax'of not less than ss.—The matter of selecting historical text books for the use of schools lay with the Educational Boards of the respective districts, Government having provided a list of such works, any one of which might be selected. NEW BILLS. ■' The following new Bills were introduced aijd read a first time:—Taranaki County Council Loan Act 1878 Amendment; Waitara Harbor Board Loan (Col. Trimble); Cook County Rivers (Mr McDonald); To Further Enable Affirmations to be Taken in Lieu of Oaths (Sir George Grey). THE RAILWAYS AND RATING. Mr Hursthouse moved—" That in the opinion of this House those districts through which Government railways have been constructed, or are being constructed, should be rated to pay the difference between the working expenses, including inteiest on cost of construction and the receipts from such railways.” Ha said that the proposal was part of the original public works policy as adopted in 1870, and if it had been carried out as proposed it would have been of great advantage to the colony. There were large portions of New Zealand which had derived no real benefit from the (public works expenditure, but on the contrary; they had been kept back if not retrograded. Such being the case, he contended that it was only fair that they should be relieved from contributing to noii-reproduotive works elsewhere. The mode of imposing the taxation advocated [ by him would be by the constitution of 1 public works districts. He hoped that the Government would not regard his motion as intended in a hostile spirit, and if it was adopted he was sanguine that in a I very few years the necessity for acting upon his motion would disappear. Moreover, it would operate as a check upon i unscrupulous demands for railways, inasmuch as districts would know that they ! would be held responsible for all deficien- . cies. In a very short time a new Public , Works Bill would make its appearance, and by the timely adoption of this principle they could save a great deal of unnecessary trouble. Mr George seconded the motion. Sir George Grey considered it a most important question, but* thought that under existing circumstances it was premature. He would move an as amendment that the debate be adjourned until after the delivery of the financial statement, ■ when they would be better able to discuss the question exhaustively. Mr Hall did not think that any good would be gained by the adjournment. He , agreed with the mover that it was a great ( mistake that this principle had not been enforced throughout the development of the public works policy, but to revert to the policy now would be surrounded by very many difficulties almost insurmountable in their character. To apply the principle fairly they wfauld have to- apply it not only to railways, but likewise to other public works expenditure. Now, how were they going to decide what lands had been benefitted by such expenditure. They had water races, telegraphic extensions, erection of lighthouses, and how could they say what benefit all these works had conferred upoq property. If they rated a district for say a branch line, then it was only faic.that they should give the district some control over the rates charged on the line. Again, many lines were made not so much for the benefit of the land through which they passed as for that of the centres of population ' at both ends. In all fairness these centres would have to be charged for any deficiency of this kind. Altogether it was a question surrounded by grave, if not insuperable difficulties. Mr Seymour admitted the soundness Of the principle, and thought that the motion had cornea great deal too late. It would’be manifestly unfair to saddle a district with the cost of construction when the district did not have a voice in the question of constructing the work. He instanced the case of. the Picton-Blenheim line, where most Unnecessary expenditure had been incurred, arid went on to say that Cheviot was partly situated within the Marlborough provincial district ; and yet the member for Cheviot would not be prepared to admit' that his district had benefited in any way by the line. That Was only one of many instances they would encounter if they attempted to carry out the motion as it stood. He thought, however, that the principle might be affirmed as regards works which might be undertaken in the future.

Mr Russell recognised the difficulties by which the question was beset. It was the towns that mainly benefited by the railway, and not the land through which they ran. In that case the towns ought fairly to be taxed. Dr Wallis urged that it was a. fact that many parts of the colony had not only not benefited by the* railway policy, but had actually been damaged by it. He asked why a district so situated should be asked to pay for a deficiency in the working expenses of the railways. He recognised, however, that while injustice had been done, it was quite impossible to undo that injustice. The large towns had benefited far more than the lands through which the lines passed. Why, then, should the people in the towns not be rated ? Dunedin Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland, had had their properties doubled in value ; why, then, should they not contribute ? Again, the railways had increased wages 20 or 30 per cent. The wages class, then, should be made to contribute through the Customs duty. All things considered, the motion as it stood was impracticable. He would therefore oppose it. Major Harris also opposed the motion. Mr Saunders said that this motion: could hot be carried without trenching on the important question of local govern-: ment promised to bo placed before them next week. He looked upon this. as an argument which pointed to the conclusion that they would have to. return to something like the old provincial system.

—ga—■qpnwwn—i ' '.(ffie House divided on the question of the adjournment:—Ayes,'2s ; noes,* 35. . Ayes —>■ Meisrs Andrews, Barron, Brown, De Lautour* Finn,' J. B. Fisher (Buller), George, Gisborne, Sir G. Grey, Messrs Harris, Hutchison, Jones, Lun-.. don, Macandrew, McDonald, Montgomery, Moss, Reeves, Reid, Shrimski, Speight, Taiaroa, Tawhia, Tole, Wallis. Noes Messrs Allwright, Bain, Beet ham, Bowen, Bunny, Golbeck, Collins, Dick, J. T. Fisher (Heathcote), Sir W. Fox, Messrs Gibbs, Hall, Hamlin, H. Hirst (Wallace), Hursthouse-/ Johnston, Kelly, Mason, McLean, Murray*. Oliver, Ormond, Richardson, Rolleston, Saunders, Seymour, Shanks, Shephard, Stevens, Studholme, Swanson, Trimble, Weston, Whitaker, Wright. ' 5 ' ; Mr Shephard then moved the previous question. ", ’ r ' The Hon. J. Hall appealed to the mover of the motion to accept the amendment ! They fully admitted the principle, but they could not possibly act on the motion.

Mr Hursthouse said he was willing, to act on the suggestion, and withdraw the motion, professing himself satisfied with the tone of the discussion which had take n place. S ; r G. Grey complained that- it; writ most unfair to the country to shelvo matters of importance like, this in this way. The Government touched everything with a trembling hand, and acted in no case with boldness. Let them either move off those benches, or let them act boldly. He hoped that those who had the interests ■ of the country at heart would not allow; such an important matter to be shelved in this way. The thing was wrong, and he hoped it would not be tolerated.. He trusted that the question would be adjourned, and time and opportunity for considering the whole matter afforded. Mr Moss supported the proposal'lot adjournment, complaining - that the Premier should have lent himself, as a party to the shelving of the question. . The House divided on the motion that the question he now put—Ayes, 40; noes, 25. Ayes—Messrs Andrews, Bain, Salience, Barron, Bastings, Brown, B.unny, DeLautour, Finn, Fisher, J. B. (Buller), Fisher, J. T. (Heathcote), George, Gisborne, Sir George Grey, Messrs Hamlin, Harris, Hursthouse, Hutchison, Jones, Kelly, Lundon, Macandrew, MaScJh, McDonald, Montgomery; Moss; 'Murray, Reeves, Reid, Saunders, Shrimski, Shanks, Speight, Stewart,... Swanson, Taiaroa, Tawhai, Te Wheoro, Wallis, Wood.

Noes.—Messrs Allwright, Beethain, Bowen, Bryce, Oolbeck, Collins, Dick, Sir W. Fox, Messrs Fulton, Gibbs, Hall, Hirst, H. (Wallace), Johnston, Levestam, McLean, Oliver, Pitt, Richardson, Rolleston, Seymour; Shephard, Studholme, Trimble, Whitaker, Wright. The original motion was then put—

Ayes, 35 ; noes, 31. Ayes.—Messrs Allwright, Andrews, Ballance, Barron, Bastings, Cblbeofe, DeLautorir, Finn, Fisher, J. B. (Bailey), Fisher, J. T. (Heathcote), George, Gibbs, Gisborne, Sir G. Grey, Messrs Hursthouse, Hutchison, Jones, Levestam, Lundon, Macandrew, McDonald, Montgomery, Moss, Pitt, Reeves, Reid, Saunders, Shrimski, Speight,-- Stewart, Swanson, Taiaroa, Tawhai, ,Te_Wheoro, Weston. ' ' Noes.—Messrs Bain, feeetham, Hsbweri, Brown, Bryce,- Bunny, Collins/ W. Fox, Messrs-Fulton, Hall, HsonJin, Harris, Hirst, H. (Wallace), Johnston, Kelly, Mason, McLean, Murray, Oliver, Richardson, Rolleston, Seymour,. Shanks, Studholme, Sutton, ; Trimble,. Wallis, Whitaker, Wood, Wright., ■ ■. The motion was accordingly declared carried, and the House adjourned at 5.30, resuming at 7.30. SECOND READINGS.

On. the motion of Mr Fulton, the Hawke’s-Bay and Marlborough Rivera Act Amendment Bill was read a second time.... r, . -£ j? Mr Tole moved the second reading of the Surveyors’ Institute/ Bill, briefly explaining. I ; The Hon. W. Rolleston said that he recognised that a; great deal. of injustice might be done if this measure paasedinto law. There was a greatdeal of-work .done which did not entail much responsibility, and payment , for which could not; be enforced, as the men elding the work could not join the association. , The Bill was not one that would recommend itself to the public generally. -At'the same time, Government recognised the fact that there should be a proper Board of JSxamjners of Surveyors, instead of its being left entirely to the chief surveyors; not because bethought any injustice had been done, but because a suspicion of it was possible.

At the same time, as Government was responsible for surveys under the Land Transfer Act, it must retain control over the admission of surveyors to perform work under the Act. The motion; for the second reading was put and carried. HARBOR ACT AMENDMENT. ' The House went into committee on the Harbor Act Amendment Bilh The following was moved" as a new clause by Mr Allwright:—“ Notwithstanding anything contained in any Act of the General Assembly, all buildings used as offices by any Harbor Board, and the land whereon such building may be erected, may be liable to be rated. to the City Council or other local body of the district within which it is situated.” The clause was adopted. Mr Wright moved the following new clause ; “ The Board shall .consist of twelve- members, of. whom the person for the time being holding the office of Mayor of the borough shall ex officio he one, and eleven others, who shall be elected as follow :—Two persons by the: ratepayers of Christchurch, two persons-by the Selwyn Courity Council, two peraonsby the Ashburton County Council, two persons by the Ashley County Council, one person by the ratepayers of the borough of Lyttelton, one person by the ratepayers of the borough of Sydenham, and one person by the members of the Chamber of Commerce from amongst their own number.” Mr Allwright moved—“ That the Board consist of eleven members.” Lost on the voices.

The clause was then put and passed, and the House adjourned at 1.25 a. m.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810630.2.12

Bibliographic details

NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 383, 30 June 1881

Word Count
2,106

NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 383, 30 June 1881

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