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PARLIAMENTARY NOTES

{FROM OUB OWN COKRSSPONDBHT.J

WixiiNGTOif, June 26. The opponents to the property tax have been counting noses and have almost determined to brlrg do»n an anen ment wben tbe Property Tax Aefessment Bill Is brought down, the amendment taking a form In fnvor of tbe abolition of the tax altogether without specifying what form of taxation is desirable. The party opposed to the tax claim to hays a mi j >rity,

There Is disorganisation amongst the opposition. The southern members are In favor of the election of Mr Walker to tho leadership and the northern member! are m favor of Mr Beltanes. As previously stated the Utter is disinclined to acoopt the position. The appointment of Ralway Commissioners will probably be reviewed by the Houße, If a notico of motion given by Ms Fi zherbart for the production of : ' ill 0 irrespondence with the Agent Geneva m reference to scouring an Engflsh Ball way expert be agreed to. A return of tha coat of the cablegrams sent In attempting to negotiate the matter bas also been arkad for. If the motion be opposed by Government there Is likely to be a very warm debate, as soon as it ia benohed. The anticipated storm over the fiaanoaa of the New Plymouth Harbor Board, and the advances made by Government to the Board, has passed over again, M» Hutohlsou's question being very clearly answered by the Premier who said, no doubt to the surprise of a good man?, that tbe advance made to th .Board waslnaojord with the common practice of-Govemment, that Government was well secured by the land fnnd aaornlng and rates and 'that . Government had aofced under the advloa lof the Grown L*w officers. There seems au inclination on the part of Government to help other looal bodies out of tbetf difficulties m the same manner, as It is proposed to appc lot a Joint Committee of bith Houses to enquire into the position nf ko-1 bodies throughout the oolony. There Is, however, a strong opposition on the part of many members to the praotloe Initiated In the oase of the New Plymouth Harbor Board, and there is bound to be a warm discussion on the subjeotatthe first opportunity on the ground that a bad precedent has been established and that It ,l« a wrong principle for the oolony to assist looal bodies which may be In difficulties.

If there was any anticipation of a discussion over tbe desire of Mr Fisher to ventilate his grievance lp connection with the part he Is alleged to have played m the escape of the oonviot Gasparlnt that anticipation was disappointed, for after ft brief spe?oh from Mr Fisher explanatory of his aothn ln the master the House agreed to a motion for the production of the correspondence m referenoe to that matter wlhout further discussion.

Contrary to the usual praotloe the Colonial Seoretary made a statement explaining the provisions of the Hospitals and Oharltable Ad Bill. On the motion for the first reading there waa a general complaint amongst members at tha adoption of this course. The Bill "not having been circulated they were unable to follow tbe Minister into all the Intricacies of the proposals, Further considered tion of the proposals was postponed untl the Minister's speeah be printed end circulated with the Bill.

Upon the - disposal of business Government proposed to take the Estimates m the evening, a most unusual though rather oommendable course. There wia considerable oppo eition to the proposal on the ground that. the Estimates should not be brought oa before the finanoial debate had been cono'uded. However tho House went into Committee of Supp'y. It has been practioally derided that tho finanoial debate is to be taken next week on the motion for the second reading of the Property Assessment Bill.

The movement m the direction of - bringing pressure to bear on Government; to drop the provision for the adoption of the Hare system from the Eleotoral Bill,to whioh I referred yesterday, has been successful to a certain extent. At anyrate the Electoral Bill has disappeared as such, and m lieu thereof three Bills. dealing with the question of representation have been introduced. The Kepresentailon .'.) Bill deals almost entirely with the Hare' system, and is almost oertain to be rejacted. Should this happen, however, % the rejeotion of the proposal will not . affect the other electoral proposals aa might have been the case had it remained ' part of the Eleotoral Bill as at first, proposed.

There is a movement afoot In the • direction of urging Government to Introduce legislation , providing for the retrospective operation of the Fjrst Oflfen* , J dars Aot so that it should be made to apply to first offenders now undergoing - imprisonment. A. deputation will wait on the Minister for Justice In the course of a few days on the subjeot. A Joint Oommittee has deolded that ' members must pay their aeo.es at* Bellamy's weekly. It Is stated that there have been some heavy losses of late yean m consequence of some suoh rule as thli not having been m foroe In the past. In the Committee of Supply the whole of the Legislative estimates were passsd. When the Colonial Secretary's department waa reaohed, the question of the Houee allowance paid to the Attorney General was raised by Sir George . Grey, whi by way of protest moved for the reduotlon of the amount set down ■> for the Minister's secretaries. There Waa a very lengthy discussion on this point, ' arising from the refusal of Government to afford any information on the aubjaot, they oontendlng that if auy abuse existed . It should ba attaoked In the House* Here the matter ended, Sir G. Grey promising, however, that it shou.d not escape his at* tentlon. Things went merrily along, and a vote or two moro passed, until Mr Saunders assailed the vote set down for the Audit offioe, urging that that Department was useless and should be swept away. Mr Hlslop was not prepared to entar upon a discussion ot the kind piomlsed and therefore moved to report progiess. The total amount voted to-night was £22 OU.

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PARLIAMENTARY NOTES Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2159, 27 June 1889

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