THE RAILWAY COMMISSIONER
_ , la J* a dfrb » t8 °» the Addreas-lh-Repb* ~ Mr W. 0. Walker mide the following remarks on the appointment of the Ballwar Commissioners :--Now we come to a matter whioh is quite different. Thla 1» > one of those matters on irhiob» like injf two p:edeoeaaorq, I oaonQt Qor,di»lQr agne with the Government.' I refer to the appointment of the Railway 'Oommteaionera, X venture ta *%y t reference to the names of those gentlemen* itlvat If It had been Inserted In the Bltt when It wai passed Into hw that we/ were not going to get an expert fr«a England, this house would nerer hay» passed that Into law. I state that most unreservedly. Therefote I say the .Go*§ ernment, m m&klng that appointment, nave gone deid agalaat the Intectiatm of this Hoaee, and haVe made that Aot, noft of oqne efteat, bat a oaase of Btumbllng In this fioase for the duration of the appointment. Not that I wish foe one- ' mooaent to prejadge the aotion^ of thoser, gentlemen, beoanae I reo'ogCi'jse that fair* play is due to them as, gentlemen who hwe undertaken a^ ' c ask at the bidding of the Governm^t . but a t the same time, I tell the Government that m this matter* r hey QikVa g Onia q a ite oontcary to tho v^ «flahes of the House, and, by destroying' iho intentions of the Aot, have not given, it a fair trial. Of coarse we hava had V little light thrown on the matter. We have had a joonhr aooount of the' matter given to us by the Minister of Defence, , who stated that tbls was raally a '"tip" he had broaght back from Melbourne ; and I have no doabt he thought it was a good, "ttp" too. Bat lam sorry to say that «o» ( far aa the ooautry oan see h hit, [been a "tip" In the wrong direction* £lf the Government had unreservedly
mean to appotat an expect at tha head of this Commission, — at>d I believe ibe Ministry could bare told the House l«et session the position they were m, taking their own statement of the caie — that they could not get an expert to uke the position at the salary, — we are fairly entitled to ask, How could other oolontf a not > whit better than we are, get experts to manage their railways? It has bee a pnblloly stated In the colony since the appointment that there were experts available, and that a grievous wrong had been done to those experts by the rejection of their applications. A wroDg has been done to the colony, a wrong hai been done to this House, and a wrong hat been done to private Individuals In tb*. matter of these appointments. Meanwhile, the difficulty Is that we have bound ourselves hand and foot for five years to the Oommlieion.
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