THE END AT LAST.
Thb third session of the tenth Parliament of New Zealand is over, the last aot of the drama, the formal prorogation by proclamation being expected to be published to-morrow m a special " Gazette." It is well that it is over, for it has "been one continuous record of disappointments and blunders. Ofall the large measures announced m the Speech from the Throne not one haß been passed ; and tor reform m the administration of Hospitals and Charitable Aid, m the Bankruptcy law, m the Electoral laws, and m the iacidenceof taxation the country must perforce wait for at least another year. The " slaughter of the innocents," as it is termed, has indeed this session been almost unprecedented, and not only have the Government policy measures — Bave only perhaps those relating to Native administration — been wrecked, but a large number of measures, some of them of a very useful sort, introduced by private members, been ruthlessly destroyed m the general holocaust. Among these latter are the Employment of Females and Others Bill — whioh was designed to enable Saturday to be appointed the half holiday m factories m places where tho Wednesday or Thursday is the general half holiday ; the Shop Hours Bill — intended to secure early closing ; the Workmen's Wages Act Amendment Bill—giving better protection to the earnings of working men ; the Dog .Registration Act Amendment fcßill — which proposed to reduce the fee for registering shepherds' dogs ; the Land for Settlements Bill ; the Educational Franchise Bill, aud several others which it is very desirable should be passed ; but all these, like the Government measures, have met with an untimely fate, and there ia littlo indeed to show as the result of an arduous if disappointing session. StiU a few good things have been done, Some relief has been provided for deserving settlers under the Selectors' Lands Revaluation Bill, and at last the Naval and Military Settlers and Volunteers are m a fair way of getting justice. Tho Criminal Evidence Bill (Mr Hutchison) enables an accused person or the wife or husband of the accused to give evidence for the defence ; and Mr Fish's and Major Steward's amendments of the Licensing Act remove the disabilities of married women and relieve the community of the worry and expense of too frequent elections. Young girls have been better protected by the raising of " the age of consent," and the Patent laws, Land Transfer Act, and Chattels Transfer Act have been consolidated and materially improved. It is to be hoped that tbo game may be said of the laws affecting Native Land Administration, but of this we do not write confidently, as the Bills , as originally introduoed were full of j dangerous provisions, and experience alone can decide it the representative House has been successful m the attempt which it certainly honestly made to eliminate all their mischievous features. There is undoubtedly a residuum of good accomplished, but as compared with the volumes of talk and amount of labor expended the general resnlt is much like the proverbial few grains of corn m the bushel of chaff. j
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