(Fbom ona ovra Uokresposdevt.)
WELntraxoisr, Aagast 9. Wben the corrected Ordor Paper was circulated at 2.30 to-da? it wia men thit the Otago Central BaiUvay Hill, adjourned debate on second reading, which h=»d bean tho first order of the day on the proof order, hai for some reason been put lower down, and the s?cond reading of the Property Ass-usment Act Annndmant Bill had'beon m-dathe fir.- 1 ordor.
Tha Petitions Committee recommend that £4500 be paid to the Ota?o Harbor Boa»d in satisfaction of ihe cairn which for eeveral yenrs past tb/y bavo b ought before ihe House.
Somewhat fo the surprise oE met people a Select Committee waß this af rernoon appoint d in the Legislative Ooancil to enquire into tha facts connooied w'i'h the Watd-Hle'opoorrejpotidaDOP, although the Pfeanier deallnod to allow nuoh a Oommlttee to be moved for in the Lowe? House tha othpr d&y. Thla pecullw poa - tion may be explained in thla way : The question is not qnlte a Parliamentary one, and Government having a m--j irlty in tie Home can defy those who want a Commltteß, whilst in the Counoil It has been notorious far several sessions paet that Government are In a minority, and not therefore In a position to defy the wish of the Council for a Committee of enquiry, It Is, however, an anomolons position to find the representative Chamber dabirrod from inquiring into a matter affecting the administration of justice whilst auoh an Inquiry may be set afloat by -the nominee branch of the legislature and pursued to a conclusion. Such an anomaly la mthlng Bhort of an affront to the elector* <f the colony. A long dlsousslon on the subject again cropped op to-day, when Mr Hislop moved the adjournment of the Hou3o in order to make a statement as to his connection with the Christie affair. Tho eenoral opinion appears to be that the Ooloal-1 Seore'aty has not grea'ly Improved hla position.
Mr PeWwiok la agitating for a very nißOßsa'y reform. It appaara that a communication from any prisoner in gaol to eny person ontalde ia placed in an offiolal onvo'ope franked^ by the gaoler, and thus great nnnoyarxn ia caused to people receiving Buoh lettora, from >ha pnblio»tlon to the world of the faot that tbey hwe friends in gaol. Me Feldwlok will ask the MlnlBter for Jaatlce~(l) If he will give lustruot'ons that letters forwarded by gaolera (aftpr Inip^o^ion) to the relatives and f-'e da of prisoners confined In Her Mnjes y's gaols, ahall be enclosed In oqofficial enve'ope?, so that no persons other than the addreaseea shall be able to know that auoh letters have (iiceeded from penal cßtablisbmenta ; (2) If he will direct that snoh letters bear ordinary postage atamps, in place of befog franked by gaolers. Tha member for InveroarglU also proro^e* to aek the M'nister of Justice if the Government will next session introduce a B : ll providing for the establishment of a Criminal Ooort of Appeal.
The following la the full text of Mr Ward's proposed question re cable sharges: — To ask the Postmaster-General whether the Government will take steps to have fcbe hl«h Intercolonial rates at present in operation redaoed, and, failing the cable proprietary docllnlng to adopt a reasonable tariff, will Government make over-tu-es to the Governments of slater oolonlea with a view to lay a second cable to be worked to the mutual Interest of the subsarlblng oolonlos.
The shortest nO-oon£danoe debate on reoord oocurred to-night. At 7.30 the Premier moved that the House sifc on Monday, for Government bnsfnesa only, and thereupon Mr L»rnacb moved as an Bmondmsnt thf»t the Houao sU on Monday and consider tbo d(Btrablonoeß of appointing a aekot ootnmlttee to enquire into the Wfttd-Hlslop correspondence. Sir H. Atklnaon|at once deo'ared that he had had enough of this kind of thing, and if >be Honae thonght Government were unfit to traosnot the bns'neHß of the country they hsd better turn them out at once. He Bald he wonld only accept the amend' mont ah expressive of no-confidence In the Government, and the wrangle proceeded. The only point d'ecußaod was whether or not a committee should be appointed, and at about nine o'olook a dlvlßlon was taken which resulted In the amendment being lost by the narrow majority of 4, the figures belrg 40 to 36. When tbe result was announced there ' were load cJiesra from the Opposition side of the House. The division was a very dear expression of the opinion of a large seotton of the House, and Government will no doubt profit by It, and refrain from Interfering with the ndmlnlotratlon of justice In future. It Is certain that if the question of tbe appoint mont of a committee hndbeen oonaldersd opart from that of ooDfidenoa in the Government it would have been carried, and the refusal of Government to consider anon a matter on Its merits la very severely condemned, even by some of their anpportera.
The debate on the Property Assessment Aota Amendment Bil, en which was to be taken the financial dlsonssion, was adjourned till next fitting <Uy. The House then proceeded to the consideration of several email Bills.
Tt is understood that the only Government Bllla to be proceeded with this session are the Otago Central and Acts dealing with electoral machinery. The Hospitals and Charitable Aid 8111 will be dropp9d. Under these olroamstanoeß It
Is expected the session will not last longer three or four weeks from now.
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