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NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT.

HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES, ’ < ■ Thursday, July 7. ■" The House met at 2.30 p.m. HOTICAS OF MOTION. " 1 Mr Stewart gave notice of motion to the effect that the House disapproved of the conduct of the Government in forwarding ' tbe names of certain telegraphists to the 1 colonies who while in New Zealand struck work. -Mr *Fulton gave* notice' of motion in ■ favor of allowing school committees to Bible-reading in schools, subject to the time table and a conscience clause. - - - - Mr Pyke gare notice of a Bill to amend n the Education Act 'rib.-. QUESTIONS. . In'reply to questions it was slated:— i Government was not responsible for the t'J at'Kensington railway crossing, or for any compensation to the sufferers. ' Proper precautions had been taken to : ■ prevent any recurrence.—The promised statement as to local government would ~be’ made on Tuesday evening.—lt de- { .pended upon the progress of other busit.neas whether: or. not Government would introduce a: Fencing Bill. If unable to . ; .do so, a short measure validating .provin- ’ efal Ordinances would be. passed. -r-It was found on enquiry that all the papers con- ■, . neoted with: Dr* Pollen’s pension, with the ' I exception; of an outside sheet, upon which ji v ante a formal telegram 1 advising payment 'of a voucher, him appeared.. Qovem:.::’ment oouhPO&iy imagine that the officer, in preparing copies for the printer, had ’voreclookedjtbis.sheet or considered it unimportant. , „ ... ,-7' NEW BILLS. ' The following Bills were introduced and ,;*j read a firtLtime: —The. Borough of Hamilton Boundaries (Hon. T. Pick) ; the I County Act, 1876, Amendment} the Land - Act;'lß77, Amendment (Mr Ji B. Fisher); to ! amend, the . Wellington - College Besekvei: .Confirmation Act, 1878 (Mr /' fiotutri 1 ... KBW.-rLTMOUXH HAKBOB. BOARD,

Mr Wright moved—“ That a Select i *. Committee be i appointed to inquire into i the' financial position of the New Ply- < • month Board in respect of its * present and future relations to the public « ctoditbrt, and 1 to report generally in the < matter, toe Committee to consist of Messrs i .Barton,. 'Pulton, Moss, Montgomery, ■ 11 Mbrtay, Ormond; Pitt, ‘ Richardson, ] Weston, and the mover.” In reviewing ■ "thehistory of the harbor works proposals, he said thatih 1870 it was agreed that ] land representing a sum of L 45,000 should , M dWbtedfor this purpose, which at the time represented LlOper head of the < . district population. That proposal was J f (>j not'carried out. Subsequently in 1873 a . Bill was .passed authorising the Provincial , ;■ Council of tho district to borrow L 48,000 for Ihe. w'Ork. That proposal also fell , through. ' In 1877 a furti ier appeal was I . , loader to 'the House, which, resulted in , authority being given to raise L 200.000 on / '....'six'pet cent.' 'debentures. Under that ' amßMemfiit fhe Board went to work. The of that loan was L 186,854. Cdode'a estimate of the work was • 3 ' £928,700/ A portion of the land fund had>pJso been allocated to the use of the ' Haffimr Board. , Such', being the state of he thought it was of importance the ’position ofaffairs should be in* into! with the view of ascertaining "there,was a j probability of the " earned orit. said that the mover of the Y*' ' inmOD 'might have found out something < S^^Sffldl ! imporfance nearer hisown home, jf district of. Canterbury. f,n “ the Timxru harbor as a xwtwlb'CTae in point The Harbor Board po. the railway, and as such it ~P * injury to the colony. Then * the £Jantfetbtlry runs and land laws might tfiylutamutfMUonftbly engaged his atthid inquiriesover and it with ify. . should allbw the ijign their powers, and ■S-, Theßoard had: done iheway of - preliminary roost of be ►rk could possibly have i but merely ‘hoped if rtee would confine its

investigations to the financial position, and not interrupt the operation itself. L The motion was put and carried. . MISCELLANEOUS. ; The following were also put and carried: k —That a committee of ten members be appointed to consider how, by the arrangement of the tariff or otherwise, manufactures and.industries may be encouraged. —That every member b£ the Assembly, by virtue of his membership, be ex officio a visiting justice to the gaols, lunatic asylums, and industrialschoolsofthe colony.— That, with a view to administrative economy and public convenience, tho Stamp Act should be so amended, that up to a certain amount postage stamps shall be, substituted for revenue stamps.—A return showing (1) the amount each provincial district contributed under the Land Tax, as alio under the Property Tax ; (2) setting forth the amount each borough or municipality contributed under the above two heads in provincial districts; (3) the amount each county contributed in the same form. The House adjourned at 5.50 p.m., and resumed at 7.30 p.m. pa pollen’s pension. The consideration of the report of the public accounts committee on Dr Pollen’s pension, was an Order of the Day for consideration last evening. Mr Speight moved—“ That the House agree with the report, and is of opinion that no further payment should be made to Dr Pollen until by special Act of the House it be determined what amount, if any, be payable in lieu of pension.” The hon. gentleman spoke at length in support of the motion. Mr Saunders regretted that the motion did not go farther than it did. He looked upon this pension as having been improperly obtained. He considered this to be only one of many pensions that ought to be similarly dealt with. If pensions were to be granted they ought to hare been paid out of a fund they themselves subscribed to. It seemed to him that the practice was for one Civil servant to grant the pension to another, and the taxpayer had no say in the matter. He would move an amendment—” That it is undesirable that any decision should be come to on this pension until the circumstances under which pensions were granted to Sir W. Fitzherbert and Mr Gisborne have also been considered and reported

upon by the Public Accounts Committee.” Mr Weston admitted that the civil servants did look after themselves, but he did not think they would play into each others hands, as had been represented by the previous speaker. With regard to Dr. Pollen’s pension, he contended that Dr Pollen was merely a member of the Executive and not a Minister, consequently that position was not incompatible with his character of a civil servant. Under these circumstances it did not appear to him that the Attorney-General was far out when he gave it as his opinion that the time in dispute counted in the calculation of a pension. Then as regarded the L3OO paid in connection with the Imperial pension it must be borne in mind that it was paid to Dr, Pollen direct from this treasury, and not from the Imperial Government. In that case it was a matter between the colony and Dr. Pollen, and not between Dr. Pollen and the Imperial authorities. He should support the amendment.

Mr De Lautour would be sorry to find matters of this - kind, as had been suggested, referred to a legal tribunal. In civil Courts it could not be doubted that “ Justice followed the strong.” One danger of the amendment was that the claim before them would not come up again until too late to be dealt with this session. He waa in favor of dealing with the case one by one on their merits. The pension before the House was an act for which the present Government was responsible, whjreas the other pensions referred to were acts of a Government no longer responsible to the House. He trusted that an expression of opinion would be given of the conduct of the Government in adopting such means to forward the purposes of an old colleague. Mr M'Lean was in favor of reviewing the whole of these pensions, and it was nonsence to say that they could not do so in plenty of time to have the whole matter dealt with this session.

Mr Montgomery spoke in favor of tho case now before the House being dealt with on its own merits. He agreed in the desirability of having the others inquired into, and would support a proposal in that direction.

Mr Wood combatted the opinion that the claim was out of their hands. Waa it not most monstrous to .think that when they could not find a few pounds to make roads and bridges they could find money to roll into the Taps of civil servants who had been all along well paid fur their work.

Mr Moss hoped tho House would not allow the remarkable report of the committee to be shelved by carrying tho amendment.

Mr Stewvrt did not desire to cast any any reflection on Dr. Pollen, but he thought this question sqould be dealt with separately and on its own merits. Sir W. Fox said that from the speeches made it was clear that the motion, if carried, would imply a rote of censure on the Government. That determined him in favor of the amendment rather than the motion. If carried he would vote for the motion on the distinct understanding understanding that it conveyed no censure upon the Government. Mr Speight replied that if the motion were carried he would be prepared to support a movement for investigating the other pensions brought into question. The Hon. W. Johnston said that whatever they may say about the right of civil servants to take office, it had been tacitly acquiesced.in by the House. He was not prepared to say that Sir W. Fitzherbert’s and Mr Gisborne’s pensions were altogether legal, but Dr Pollen’s was a stronger case than theirs. He would like, however, to see these two pensions sifted. Mr Levistam would vote for the amendment.

Mr Ballance considered that Dr Pollen had strong equity claims which the House should proceed to validate. Mr Kelly suggested that as it was a legal question it should be left for the decision of the Appeal Court. The House divided on the question that the original motion be adopted. Ayes, 31; noes, 88. Mr Saunders amendment then became the substantive motion, to which Mr J. B. Fisher moved the following addition ;—“ Provided that until the re-

port of the public accounts committee has been brought down to the House on the additional pensions no payment shall be made on account of the pensions already reported on.” He thought what had been _ said that night showed the insufficiency of our audit system. Mr Swanson thought that the payment of .all the pensions should be stopped until the whole of the items had been inquired into. Mr Fisher’s amendment was then, by consent, .altered so as to direct that no further payment of pensions bo made to Dr Pollen, Sir W. Fitzherbert, Mr Gisborne, or Mr Domett until the committee had reported on their cases; the committee to report in three weeks. The Hon. 3. Hall accepted this, and Mr Saunders’ motion as amended was agreed to. The House rose at 12.40 a.m.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810708.2.16

Bibliographic details

NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 390, 8 July 1881

Word Count
1,828

NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 390, 8 July 1881

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