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THE PREMIER'S ADDRESS.

The address to the country delivered by the Premier at Hawera oa Monday evening is the most satisfactory utter ance it has over had from his lips, and is generally so excellent that after reading it we feel inclined to exclaim — parodying the words of Pestus to St. p an l — « Almost thou perauadest us to be Atkinsonians." It is pleasing to learn that there is fair prospect of the next colonial balance-sheet showing ' equilibrium between revenue »nd expenditure, if not something better, and if this be the case the Government may fairly be congratulated, as well by opponents as supporters, upon the result of their policy and administration. The references to the Land Question, we are glad to [see, indicate that the Premier favors the cause of settlement, and we go all the way with him m his expression of opinion that it would be "wise to expend a little money m assisting the small farmers who go to Canada and other places to come here." It is also satisfactory to find that the visit of the members of the Government to different parts of the colony have brought them to regard the Village Settlement scheme with favor, and we hope we may take the Premier's reference to the subject to mean that the proposal made last session to allocate a sum for the establishment of Labor Settlements will be renewed, and albo that the Village Homestead Settlement scheme, initiated by Mr Ballance, will be continued and extended. The necessity for acquiring private lands to enable this to be done m some parts of the colony is admitted m distinct terms, the Premier stating that he " had little very doubt that it would be wise to make purchases of such land for such purposes m certain cases. There were, as he had seen m his recent travels, many places m the colony where it would be advisable to acquire land m order that working men might be enabled to get a .little place of their own on which they could be profitably employed when work was not plentiful, and he believed they would have to extend Village Settlement m that direc tion m such places. Most people would take up land without any advance, but he thought m gome oases it might be still necessary to give such advances under very careful restrictions." The country will also be very glad to see that Ministers fully appreciate the necessity of making provision for the purchase of Native Lands, with a view to the extension of settlement m the North Island. The full and apparently ingenuous statement made with reference to the Railway Board will do much towards dispelling the uncomfortable impression which had become general that the Government never honestly desired to obtain a really qualified expert from Home to fi,li th,e pffice of Chief Commissioner, and though the experiment of the appointment of Mr McKerrow is admitted to be an experiment, fairness re.-, quires that we should say that the Premier advances not unsatisfactory reasons for the Government's belief that it will prove to be a success. We hope that the result may justify th»t belief. We agree with Sir Harry that, whatever view be taken as to the policy or impolicy of the reduction of the number of members, the country has resolved upon the experiment, and that the House is not at all likely to repeal the Bill which has been passed to give effect to the change j and, we also agree* with, him, that alterations aYe needed m the Rules of Procedure, though not to the full extent of those indicated by the Government last session — particularly as regards cloture, which should not be capable of being applied by the Speaker or by the Chairman of Committees of his own sole motion, though the power should certainly be given to the House by a sufficiently pronounced majority to terminate unprofitable discussion. The proposal to establish a Superannuajfaa Fund to be oompulsorily contributed to by Civil Servants is • wise and necessary, and will we believe be readily sanctioned by the Legislature. As to Hospitals ans Charitable Aid, the lines fetched aqt as t^ose of $c new BjU which is to be submitted* next session appear to be a marked improvement upon those of the existing Act and indicate that those members who have endeavored during the past two or three sessions to effect reform have not labored m vain. We hope that the Government will be successful m carrying their proposals, which are the throwing upon the consolidated revenue of the cost of maintenance of persons permanently unable to support themselves, leaving casual cases to be dealt with locally by the counties and boroughs, aided by OeTSnrawnfc subsidy, "uu to provide "that hospitals shall either be conducted at the coßt of the localities m which they exjst qr he created separate institutions, with the provision that persons sent to such hospitals from without the districts to which they belong shall be paid for at a fixed rate — we presume by the districts from which such patients come. Altogether, as we have already said, the utterances of the Premier are sound and sensible and constitute the most satisfactory Ministerial deliverance ' we have had Binge the present Minify took office.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890131.2.26

Bibliographic details

THE PREMIER'S ADDRESS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2051, 31 January 1889

Word Count
885

THE PREMIER'S ADDRESS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2051, 31 January 1889

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