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PARLIAMENTARY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 664, 16 June 1882
Thursday, June 15. BILLS.
The Married Women’s Property Pro- I tection Bill was read a third time and I passed. The A liens Act Amendment Bill 1 was read a second time. The Sheriffs I Act, 1858, Amendment Bill was passed! through committee. I The Council adjourned at 3 p.m. I HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES. Thursday, June 15. The House met at 2.30. THE TELECJRAMS BILL. The Speaker announced that the divi- j sion the previous evening on the Protection of Telegrams Bill was ayes, 32 ; noes, 27 ; and not ayes 31 as announced at the time. QUESTIONS. In reply to questions it was stated : It was not intended by the Government to appoint a District Board to hear, investigate, and report upon complaints made by employees in his department in such districts respecting their ill-treamonl by heads of departments or other officers. —The Government had taken the rabbit nuisance in their own hands. Arrangements had been made for introducing 250 polecats from Tasmania, and each ship leaving England would bring fifty ferrets to cope with the nuisance. Parties bringing out these animals would get no subsidy, but they would find a profitable market at their disposal.—lt was not proposed to bring down a measure for the management of hospitals and charitable institutions similar to that of last session, but the Financial Statement would indicate what was proposed to be done in that direction. —The Government did not intend to make it compulsory that persons appointed to the Commission of the Peace should undergo an examination in the various Acts they may be called upon to administer, but if a Bill to that effect was introduced the Government would give it consideration.
FIRST READINGS. The following Bills were introduced and road a hist time :— Canterbury Rivers Act, 1870, Amendment (Mr J. Wilson); to Amend the Fencing Act (Mr Smith) ; Native Committees Empowering (Mr Tomoana ; Oreaki Native Reserve (Mr Tawhai) ; Mining Company Registration Validation ( Hon. Mr Dick) ; to Afford Relief under circumstances to Deferred Payment Settlers : to Provide for the election of Members of Waste Land Boards (Sir George Grey). VISIT TO EXHIBITION. Mr J. E. Brown gave notice that he would move to-morrow that the House adjourn on Thursday, the 29th, to the following Tuesday, to enable members to visit the Christchurch Exhibition. OTAGO HARBOR BOARD BILL. Mr Fish moved the second reading of the Otago Harbor Board Further Empowering Bill. Mr Macandrew said ho would not oppose the second reading, although at the same time he differed entirely with the promoters of the Bill both as to the amount sought to be borrowed and the work towards which, as he understood, the loan was intended to be applied. When the Bill got into committee he would be prepared to move certain amendments. The Bill was read a second time. members’ speeches. Mr Pyke moved that members defray the cost of printing their own speeches in “ Hansard,' 1 and that such costs be deducted from the honorarium, if any, to which they may be entitled. Mr Turnbull moved, as an amendment, that the words read “members who desire to have their speeches reported defray the costs, etc.”
Mr J. W. Thomson characterised this as an important motion, but he thought it was brought forward in the way of a joke. He had years ago opposed a motion to have speeches curtailed to twenty minutes, but ho now believed he had made a mistake. These speeches were now too fully reported. The abolition of “ Hansard ” would bo a saving of about L 5,000 per annum. He would support the motion. Mr Kelly thaught that the debate might be curtailed by an amendment in the forms of the House.
Mr Fish opposed the motion. He could only imagine that the mover had outlived his ability to make anything like a decent speech, and he was envious ot younger and abler members. He defended “Hansard” as a useful record of what had passed. Mr Dodson opposed the motion. Mr Shepherd denied that the cost was so great as had been stated, and hoped they would strictly adhere to the present arrangement. Captain McKenzie admitted that the pecuniary aspect of the question might be a matter of some importance to certain me lube rs.
Mr Bracken moved as a further amendment that members be made to pay the corrections upon their speeches. Mr Feldwick supported Mr Bracken’s amendment. Theso corrections increased the cost of “ Hansard ” one-fourth. Mr Turnbull’s amendment was negatived on the voices. The House divided on the original motion. Ayes, 27 ; noea, 36. The motion was lost. ELECTRICITY. Mr Kelly moved—“ That the House is of opinion that the Government should, during the recess, cause enquiries to be made by competent persons as to whether the Parliamentary buildings could with advantage be lighted with electricity.” The debate was interrupted by the 5.30 adjournment. EIRE BRIGADE BILL. Mr Levestam moved the second reading of the Fire Brigades Bill. The Hun. Mr Dick admitted the principle of the Bill to be good, but took exception to the manner in which it was drawn. These, however, were more technical drawbacks. It contained also one or two more substantial defects, but these were capable of being rectified in committee. Mr Fish moved—“ That the Bill be read that day six months.” Mr Peacock and Mr Feldwick objected to the Bill and Mr Hutchison supported it. Mr Holmes opposed it on the ground that it was an unwarrantable interference with local self-government. The House divided on the amendment that the Bill be read that day six months. Ayes, 36 ; noes, 13. THE PURCHASE OF VOTES. Sir George Grey moved the second reading of the Prevention of the Purchase
of Votes Bill. He explained that the purchase of L 25 of property in an elec* torate purchased also a vote in such elec* torate. That state of things tended Jo political corruption, which ought to be dia* couraged. Great land companies would be formed, and these companies could very easily purchase votes, and in that way promote their own purposes. He denied that this provision was designed to give legitimate power to property. Fifty thousand pounds’ worth of property in one electorate had only one vote, whereas that sum distributed throughout the different districts would secure perfect wealth of political power. Mr Leveatam seconded the motion, and
spoke in favor of the Bill. The Hon. W, Rolleston said that in 1872 Sir G. Grey disclaimed the idea that he was against a dual vote. In 1880 he was in favor of the leasehold franchise. It appeared to him that they had arrived at principles with respect to the franchise which should not be disturbed. He did not think the opinion of the country was that every man should have an equal voice in the government. The property qualification was a fair guage of the intelligence and thrift of the country. There may be some pleas in favor of the leasehold franchise, but he contended that there was no such call for taking away the franchise already existing. If there had j been any real call for a change he would
have been prepared to consider the question, but he did not believe that any such call existed, and would oppose the Bill. Mr Turnbull supported the Bill, stating that, despite the arrangements made for holding the elections on the one day, special trains were run on the Christchurch line, and men got' out and voted in all the districts at which they bad qualifications. To give any one an excessive vote in making the laws was simply an act of oppression. It was a great temptation to the dominant class to make laws to suit, their own purposes. Mr Hursthouse moved that the Bill be read that day six months. So long as the franchise freehold and residential — existed, they must allow the electors to exercise their electoral rights without hindrance. He deplored the political apathy of the day. They found at the late elections that not more than half the electors exercised the franchise. Under these circumstances the more they could interest the masses in the government of the country the better. He regretted the extension of the franchise on the liberal principle on which it had been placed. He did not. think that the property vote as it stood could be to any great extent abused, since the elections were held on the one day. In a country like this property should have its fair proportion of I power. Mr Pyke supported the amendment. Property must be represented. It was a fallacy to say that men only were to ba represented. It would be a bad time for the colony when property, either leasehold or freehold, was not fairly represented. The mover of the Bill was a man born before him time, and he reduced Parliament to a debating class when he brought up a Bill like this. He ob. iected to be governed by popular opinion, 1 unless in so far as that opinion was in ao cord with justice and equity. He hac never heard of the purchase of votes Whit was cilled the purchase o votei ho called the free exercise o the public mind. Why not bring in i Bill to make it criminal for a man to hob property. That was the natural outcome of this Bill. Sir George Grey was pledgee to bring in a Bill providing for the lease hold qualification, and now he said h would do nothing of the kind. Neve was there a more faithful repn s entation of the of the fallacy « the residential qualification given tha at the late election. He knew of th names of six persons on one of thes supplementary rolls who had not been i the colony six hours. Property the knew was there, but what was residentii qualification ? A man with a swag on bi back by the roadside. All their legisli tion for the past years had been mental to the poor man. Mr Moss supported the Bill. It w* not the proper man, but the man of pr< perty who could realise his property, an was in a position to leave the countr under these circumstances. He contende that the reflections cast upon the residei tial qualifications were wholly ansaf ported. He thought the debate _tbs evening had been instrumental in arrivih at a clear division of parties- : It was th want of a policy on the part of Qoven ment that rendered the Opposition disa] pointed. _ j Mr Hirst opposed the Bill, contendio that there was no evidence of a deman for the proposed change. Mr Joyce spoke in favor of the Bil contending that in municipal matters th plural voting system had been a retrograd step. Property must always exercise p« ponderence, and in that way the propert classes need not fear the proposal of th Bill.
Captain M'Kenzie contended that th Bill was evidently intended to centre al political power in the hands of men work ing for wages, who were here to-day am gone to-morrow. He strongly objected ti this.
Mr Hobson supported the Bill. Th district he represented had for to session been disfranchised by imported votes He could not understand why one clause properly should have a vote and no another. It was only land which conic secure a vote. That, to his miud, was class legislation. Mr Seddon spoke in favor of the Bill. Mr Weston said he would be in favoi of a limited power being given to pro perty. He meant by that he would allow the residential qualification, anc say one more qualification for property. As the Bill stood he would oppose it. Mr Smith contended that apart from this qualification property had its prepon derence. Employers of labor, if they treated their workmen, or landlords, il they treated their tenants right, were bound to influence them. ' , :
Mr Fish opposed the Bill. Messrs W. M. Green, Feldwick, Munro, and Holmes supported it. The latter stated that in committee he would move that the number of votes be limited ta two. Sir George Grey replied. He denied that the title of the Bill was a jest It was an actual fact. Mr Swanson spoke at considerable length in reply to certain remarks made by Sir George Grey and Mr George, and Mr Do Lautour replied to Mr Swanson. After which the House divided as follows:—Ayes, 19 : Bracken, Cadman, De Lautour, Dodson, Feldwick, George, Green, Grey, Holmes, Hutchison, Joyce, Montgomery, Moss, Munro, Seddon, Sheppard, Sutter, Tole, W. Whyte. Noes,37: Beetliam, Dick, Hall.Hursthouse, M'Kenzie, Postlethwaite, W. Buchanan, Fergus, Hamlin, 0. Johnston, M'Millan, Rolleston, W. C. Buchanan, Fish, Hobbs, W. Johnston, Rutherford, Connolly, Fulton, Hurst, Kelly, Fenwick, Sheehan, Stevens, Taiaroa, Tomoana, Weston, Sutton, Tawhai, Trimble, Whitaker, Swanson, H. Thomson, Watt, J. Wilson, J. G. Wilson. The Bill was ordered to be read a second time that day six months. The House rose at 2.25 a. m.
PARLIAMENTARY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 664, 16 June 1882
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