The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 1889. TRUST FUNDS.
Tho discussion m the House of Representatives yesterday on tho recomnentlationa of tho Publ'c Accounts Dommittee, was decidedly instructive to ,hose who "read botweon the lines." With the terms of tho recommendations It would have been thought little fault 3ould be found, constituting as they did a simple and distinct guide to the Trußt Funds Board, which it is proposed to set up, as to the future management and investment of the large sums of trust money which are at present under the control of the Government, belong ing to the Post Office fcfavings Banks, unexpended loans and other accounts. The leader of the Opposition, Bir John Hall and other prominent members of the House agreed with the appointment of the proposed Board ; but bir John did not think the further clause, limiting the eoope of investment, was required, and the Premier while saying that he agreed with the report of the Committee otd iavored to show that the Board would be of no service, and would not be required if the second recommendation were adopted. Taranaki evidently was m the Premier's mind, but he declared that not a single bad investment had been made by a Colonial Treasurer under the present syßtem, and it waa only by direct challenge that he admitted that I several difficulties had arisen — these, stranga to say, being m the case of loans to local bodies m or near the present Colonial Treasurer's own constituency. Who the members were who actively opposed the adoption of tho report is worth noting. They were Otago members, whose Otago Central Bailway and Oamaru Harbor are not uninterested m the question ; the Weßt Coast, North Island members, with the New Plymouth, Patea and Waitara Harbor Boards as public debtors — on none too good security ; and other membero here and there ; but all for distriots either presently or prospectively interested m the continuance of the present free and easy distribution of trust money. After a long discussion the Committee's recommendations were adopted by a majority, and it is now the duty of the Premier to bring down a Bill providing for the establishment of a Trust Funds Board. This Bill will no doubt meet the strong opposition of the members for interested districts, but financial morality prevails with a sufficient majority of the Bouse to secure the passing of the measure. Surprise is expressed that the question was not mooted sooner, and the Btrange explanation is given that for years the Public Accounts Committee has not beon set up, and there has therefore been no check upon the financial transactions to which such strong exception is taken. This does not say much for the vigilance exercised by members over the public purse.