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WANT OF CONFIDENCE.

In the debate on the second Want of Confidence motion of the session, which will it is expected be brought to a close to-day, the issue before the House isun- i fortunately a complicated one. The '• p.)iut raised by Mr Moss' amendment is ( that of an Income and Land Tax versus a Property Tax, while beneath this is tho question of the general administration of the Government. The result of the complication is likely to be somewhat unsatisfactory, as some of the opponents of the Property Tax w'll voto for its continuance by voting for the Government, while some of tho opponents of the Government will decline to vote against them on this occasion because they prefer a Property Tax to an income and Land Tax . It would have been infinitely more satisfactory had the . two questions been separated, tho form of direct taxation being decided upon as: one issue, and that of confidence in the general administration of the Government decided per se. What will be the outcome of the present confused issue it is impossible to predict with certainty, bat it is safe to say that it will be to the advantnge *6f the Government, who stand to win on the division by one to five of a majority. As regards the form of taxation we think that a considerable preponderance of public opinion is in favor of a Land and Income Tax in preference to a Properly Tax, bur it is at the same time true that the substitution of one for the other cannot be effected in a moment, and even if the House should decide in favor of a Land and Incomo Tax arrangements could not be made to bring it into operation before next sergion, and ia the meantime the Property Tax must continue to be levied. As regards the question of confidence in the Government, whatever be the result of the division it remains the fact that very few members indeed believe that the present Ministry are thoroughly deserving of support, but a great many hesitate to vote for their displacement because they do not see very clearly who are to take their place. The feeling of a majority of Government supporters is indeed simply, " It is better to put up with the deil they know than the deil they don't know." The debate has shown this, and the Government has only the doubtful honor of being supported as the lesser of the two evils. It will probably weather the storm on this occasion, hat its days are numbered, and the new Parliament will certainly see a new administration.

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WANT OF CONFIDENCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2200, 15 August 1889

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