(ffßOli OUR OWN COEKEBPONDBNT.J Willinckkw, July 3 Mr Bill&Qoe Informs me that ft b not yet deolded what bourse tha Opposition. will take In connection with moving amendments to tha Property Tax Bill. Probably the matter will ba shelved for ths present, la view of a sabjeot whloh has assured larger Importance; namely, the question of representation. Tha Government had a stormy time last night. The Home was not disposed to diaoius the Bills ready for them, and tha Corrupt; Praotlces Prevention Bill and Registration: of Eleofcors Bill were postponed fat ay week, and the House then went Into consideration of the Estimates. The def«noe> vote was under dlionssion aad a very ba«' time Mr Fergus bad. The appointment of Oaptaln Humfrey to be Colonel was vwy severely erltlolsed, and several smendmeats to reduce that officers salary by ; way of proteat against the appointment : were very nearly onrried. Then a startling statement was made by Mr Hutohltbn to the effect that Major General String© had reported to Government that the., defenoes of the Colony were obsolete, owing to advaooes made la military science m Europe, and that theOolony was praotieally undefended. Mr Fergus denied all knowledge of this report, but tbe Housa was not qaite inolined to believe his statement, and npon Mr ■ Ballance insisting that the House should - know if auoh v report had been made, M» ' Ferguson undertook to ask if euoh were" the aase and inform the House to-day.- ' Then followed a discussion on the^ Te Eooti campaign, the cost of whiob the Minister stated was £2610, and th« Premier made a statement with refereno* to his action. There was, however, notb» ing freeh m the statement. Mr Ballanoo made a sharp attaok on the Government la connection with the matter. Mr Reeves of Inangabn** h moving la the dlreotlon of allowing newspaper* to be posted free of postage as Vn other colonies. Mr Pyke has given aotloe to ask for th« produotlon of all oorreapondenoe In connection with the alleged deportation of discharged prisoners to the colonist by ths>; 3t Giles mleslon, London. ~'" Mr Kelly, member for Tauranga, has given notfoj for the production of all correspondence In oonneotlon with the), arrest of Te Kootl. Mr Kerr oraated a roar of laoghtei toll afternoon by giving notfoe of his Intention to ask Government If it Is true that on the occasion of the reoent visit of the Mlnlstes of Defence to Qaeenßtown, the load volunteers presentad arms and fired a "Feu de Joy." To show what members sometimes ask from the tax payer for their oorioslty thePremler mentioned this afternoon th <t the) retnro asked by Mr Monk wonld oaife £1200. Mr Mo»k, it may ba mentioned, is a prominent member of tbe retrenchment party m the Home.
graceful manner, complimented Mr Ballanoe on his election to the leadership , of the Opposition, and congratulated tho parly on their ejection. Mr Balance briefly thanked the I'remier for hid remarks, and atsured him that the Opposition were ready to meet tb« Government wherever possible, and that Government need fear no factious obstruction on their part. It has been arranged between the leaders of both sides of the Booso that the representation question shall b« disposed of before the financial ddbatejp proceeded witb, acd Government will probably put up the Bcpresintaiion Bill on Friday. West Coast member ■ had a quarter of an hour to themselves this afternoon over the recent dynamite ouiiag« at C.ip. Foulwind . Mr fcetvts (Jmngabua) asked why no enquiry bsd be«u held into tho matter. Mr Fergus replied that the only enquiry which cou'd have been satisfactory would have necessitated the appointm nt of a Royal Corrm tssion, and Government, although they aent down * detective speolally to enquire into the m&tier, found tkai no tatglble evideioe wu forthcoming, and therefore did not feel warwnted iv appointing a hoyal Oonv mlßaion. Mr O'Oonor Indignantly moved the adjournment of ot the Houaetoaay th»c , Government were guilty of gcosa negleot In not holding an equiry, especially as the;e was danger of loss of life on the occasion, »nd a stigma rested on a moil peaoetol body of men. It was a toauaal to tho Colony that suoh a thing should ba allowed to past ty. Nothing m the shape of an enquiry had been held, and Govern ment had bean much to blame. Mr Seddon atked the Mio later to reconsider tho matter, and even though late m the day to hold an enquiry. There was soaroely a man on tbe Uoaet who did not feel that a stigma tested on the dlbtrlot, and »s Union men had been blamed for tbe outrag*, be thought tbe wnole matter should be cleared op. Mr Fergus satd that Goverueut had no ground at present to justify them, but if tbe members - who had spoken oou'd bring anything forward to warrant Government m grant Ing a Royal Commission the mutter would . beconsidered. The matter ihen dropped. In the Ooucoil this afternoon the Attorney-General gave notioe to move for tbe appointment of a Select Committee to enquire into the affairs of all the Harbor Boards iv the Colony. The subject of the prevention of destrnction of forests wa» mised by Dr Newman. The Minister of Lands said that a similar provision exists for protectiog our forests, as when there was a State torests Department, whose rangers have been taken over by tbe Lands Uopartment. All valuable stands of timber, anon as totara, have been careiul.y reserved. ISeaervationa hiva also been made for oUmatio purposes. Sir G. Grt-y introduoed Hills to prohibit the introduction of laborers other than ISoropean, and to provide for limitation ct rotes Tbe Government proposals with respeot to the Otago Central Hallway provide that the line shall be carried to ifiiveburn at a coat of £200,000. Of thia amount £15,000 will be provided out of tbe unallotted balance, £70,000 raised under tbe Loan Aot of last session, and tbe balanoe of the oost of construction will come from the rents of pastoral runs at (fee rate of £15,000 a year, until tho line to kwebnrn is completed. Toe Premier ▼indicate! tbis course on the ground that the colony has expended half a million on the line which is utterly wasted unless aomcthinjr, more be done. The Property Assessment Act Amend aneot Bill piovides that machinery m actual nse thall be exempt from tbe .Property lax ; enables tbe Commissioner to remit the whole or any part of the tax m cases of hardship, and to remit taxation on buildings which have not been occupied for six months, Provision is made for revaluation on the application of the Commissioner or owner.
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