The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY JUNE 24, 1889. THE GOVERNOR'S SALARY.
The publication, last week, of the correspondence between the JSew Zealand Government, through his Excellency Sir William Jervois, and the reduction of the Colonial office, with reference to the Governor's salary and allowances, did not chime iv nicely with the eong of exultation upon the prosperity of the colony which our new Governor was the same day made by his advisers to give utterance to m the Speech from the Throne, It will be remembered that the Bill giving effect to the reductions was not assented to by Sir William Jervois, bat was reserved for Royal assent. The Bill thus had to pass through the hands of the Secretary of State for the colonies, by whose report Her Majesty would be guided m assenting to or vetoing the measure. It was not until after, con- , siderable delay and correspondence that Lord Knutsford's objections to the reductions were sufficiently overcome to bring him to advise Her Majesty to grant her assent, and it is only now that his objections are made public. In his first despatch on the subject he asks the New Zealand Government to re-consider the matter, and points out that m 1878, the year m which the salary and allowances of the Governor were fixed at their present rate, the population of Netr Zealand was under 300,000 : it is now double that number. The ordinary revenue was then about £1,500,000 : it is now about £3,000,000. . Moreover, there has been a great increase m the number of travellers whom it is desirable that the Governor should be able to entertain ; and the withholding m New Zealand of those hospitalities which are extended to visitors by the Governors of other colonies would not be advantageously accounted for by the explanation that the colony has withdrawn the means .of .mtertftininfp them, anrkit would be concluded that the finances of the colony are seriously impaired. His Lordship states that the reputation of the colony had already suffered by the impression arising that its financial state was so desperate as to render such reductions imperative ; and also that the great and incrsasing difficulty of getting good men for the governorship would be intensified. It would therefore be for the credit and advantage of the colony for Ministers and Parliament to reconsider the provisions of the Bill. To this despatch the Premier replied ; — " Ministers respectfully inform his Excellency that it has appeared to them inadvisable to lay that despatch before Parliament. They feel sure that, under present circumstances, when the salaries of public functionaries, including those of Ministers, and the honorarium of members of the Legislature have been considerably reduced, it would be unwise to raise any question relating to the Act for determining the emoluments of the successor to his Excellency m the office of Governor of New Zealand. Meanwhile they strongly advise that the Aot to amend the Governor's Salary and Allowances Act, 1873, should be as* sen ted to by the Imperial Government." His Excellency, Sir W. Jervois, m forwarding this memorandum to the Secretary of State, said : — " While endorsing the recommendation of the Premier I still have hopes that at no distant date circumstances may enable the Government of New Zealand to submit to Parliament proposals more m accordance with the views expressed by your Lordship." On this the Royal assent was given to the Bill*, but Lord Knutsford by no means let it be imagined that his re* pagnance to the reductions was overcome, for he wrote ; "I can quite understand that m the present state of the finances of the Colony, and bearing m mind the reduction of incomes throughout the service, there should be a desire on the part of the Government that the emoluments of the Governor should be diminished m proportion. At the same time it is expedient that the hospitality of Government House, and the praptice which former Governors have followed of travelling to visit the various towns, should be subject to like modification, as it would not be reasonable to expect that the Governor should travel or exercise hospitality to the same extent as if the allowances now repealed were granted, I trust, however, that, as soon as the circumstances of JSew Zealand will allow, the Government of the Colony will take steps to restore the emoluments of the Governor to their previous footing/ His Lordship's wish will be generally re-echoed. Want of hospitality to visitors and restriction pf the Governor's means of making himself acquainted with the different parts of the Colony might hare effects which would far outweigh the small saving made by the reductions. The Colony is fortunate m that one of (bo fears expressed by Lord Knutsford has for the present not been realised, and a tGovernor so dis- ' tinguished as Lord Onslow was found willing to accept the reduced emoluments.