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FINANCIAL STATEMENT.

On the House resuming last evening at 7.30, in Committee of Supply, bhe-Hon. Mr Mibchelson delivered the Financial, Statement, of which the following is a" summary. • . ' 1 A SURPLUS. _ , The Treasurer referred with satisfaction bo the surplus on the year's operations of £115,000. This surplus had arisen from a sbeady improvement in the condition of the colony, rabher than from economic administration. The Crown Lands were being rapidly taken up for settlement in small- .areas, and^ agricultural, holdings, .were increasing as rapidly^'as during the colony's greatest prosperity ; while there had' been " increased productiveness of' most of our main industries, which had beert very marked, even in the short space of the year jusb closed. Ib is evident that witfy continued prudeiice bur; financial'difficulties are well now under conbrol, and that, if our burden in proportion bo our'numbers may seem great, our strength and resources'are far greater'still? arid capable of indefinite, increase. ,We musb not relax the care and vigilance with which we,have watchediour expenditure,for,.tjke last three years, and have striven to extend settlement and promote industry. We 1 feel sure that prosperous times have again dawned upon us. We.;should Ifrok fairly, at/the' bright'side ,ofi things, and dwell as much upon the blessings arid advantages which we have in this granti country as upon the temporary difficulties and troubles which beseb us from time to time, and upon which some are too fond of dwelling. Parliament can do little, but the people and press might do much to correct false impressions going abroad, as in proportion as these are corrected, and the truth made known, we may expect to see again a steady inflow of the best class of setblers from Home and elsewhere. ) i

expenditure of year 1889-90 (ordinary revenue). ■' The estimate expenditure for the year 1889-90, including charges under special Acbs, and the supplementary estimates, amount to £4,500,703, and actual expei|diture £4,121,842, leaving an unexpended balance of £28,861. v

REVENUE OF YEAR 1889-90 (ORDINARY

revenue). ; ; I estimated (and my estimate-of course included the ■ primage' iduty)' to receivje during the year a total ordinary revenue of £4,186,800.; the actual amount received was £4,200,247. The? total revenue, therefore, exceeded ' the estimate "by £21,447;:; Customs were less than estimate by £49,126 ; stamps exceeded the estimate rby £24,745; and the railways by £63,340. The profit for the year of Public Trust Office, amounting, to; £5812; *has not been brought to credit of land fund. ' ; „_,'" .EXPENDITURE, AND REVENUE. ; The estimated expenditure "of land fund;, including supplementary estimates, was £128,149; the actual, extenditure £121,919. There was' a deficiency of £34,227 for the year 1889-90.'' The signifiteince of this deficit must not be mis■ndersbood. It means only that our anticipations regarding fresh sales of land have not been realised; preference being given to settlers on the system of deferred payment or perpetual lease. . The ordinary revenue surplus with which we bogan the year was £27,768, after paying off £85,000 of'the deficit of 31st March, 1888, and the ordii' ■: y rorcrmc rcvoived was £2,409,047. The :;-i-■■«:!* 'iv.'.ilaMi- to meet expenditure was therefore £4;237,015,'and the total expenditure having been £4,112,840, there was'a, surplus for the year of £115,174. This surplus includes tho primage duty, amounting to £55,826. The primage duty in 22 nibnths had readied ,£101,958. The final result for the year, after paying what was left unpaid of the deficit of £128,605, namely £78,605, is a balance of £36,569, with which to begin the current 'year.'• The outstanding liabilities at the ■ end of 1889-90 were less than those of .the previous year by £15,186, they were also, less than the average liabilities of the last 9 years by £36,783, and less than in 1881, when the present system was begun', by £38,362. LAND FUND. j The deficiency,in the Land Fund this year is £34,227, which,' added to the deficit on this account at the beginning of the year,' amounts to a total of £45,7161 With this debit balance I do not propose to deal this year.. The Minister of Lands 'estimated he would be. able to sell suffix cient land to make this account selff supporting, but he found thab unless he made it compulsory on the part of -purchasers fco take particular blocks for cash it would be impossible to obtain the amount of cash which he had estimated.' It was therefore thought better to leave intending settlers as free as possible to compete on equal terms, selecting for themselves the tenure which would best suit their circumstances—cash purchase, deferred payment, or perpetual lease, ancj nob to make any, attempt to balance accounts by forcing the sale of land for. cash. It is clear, however, if we were to continue this system' of free choice of tenure we must face the fact that it will be impossible to carry on the settlement ofrthe country without large extra means and aid to the land fund. During three years, while the late Government were in office, the receipts from sales of'land fell short of charges fixed by law, arid costs of surveying, administration, etc., by £147,200,, without counting the amount; expended from other'funds in purchase of land- and- roads to open it up for settle--ment or in settlement itself. For the 2i years; to 31st March last, .during which 1 ;tlie present Government have been in office, the receipts proved inadequate to meet the ordinary charges by £90,305. - x THE PUBLIC-.DE8T....i On 31st March, 1890, the gross esfci-, mated public debt of the colony amounted tp J £38,667,950, and accrued sinking funds to £1,383,432. The net public debt was therefore £3.7,284,518. During the year debentures of the .New Zealand loan of 1856, namely, ' £50,000; due on Ist July, 1889, and £5000 due Ist October, 1889,; were redeemed; out of accrued sinking fund debentures of the Consolidated Stock . Act, .1884, £134,400, were redeemed. Debentures were issued for £275,000 under the Consolidated StockAct, 1884. „_A considerable saving in annual charge has been effected by the) reduction of rate in interest in respect of the bonds converbed from 5 to 3£ per cenb. It is gratifying to note, as indicabing a growing confidence in the credit of the colony, that since the new loan was. issued it has risen in price to 99. •' ■ ' < 'PUBLIC WORKS FUNDS. Since 1885-86 the Public Works Fundi has been divided into three parts. Part 1 consists of the balance left of loans existing prior to 31st March, 1886, supple-! mented by one half of loan of one million* authorised in, 1888 for roads, purchase of., Native lands,' Telegraph extension, and Harbor defences; part 2 is the account of the million loan authorised in 1882 for the North Island Main Trunk' Railway; and part 3 is account of j the' loan of £1,325,000, authorised in 1886 fry con«fruc<-inn of certain railways. The ci'li! .•f ;:ir>e accounts ; at' the beginning of' the year made a total'of; £401,188: The expenditure!'during the^ year amounted to £167,513, the principal bems of- whioh were roads £40,831; and public buildings £35,472. The unexpended balance at'the closefbf the year was £233,675. Liabilities were £104,308.; Summarising the transactions of the I.year I find wo began with a balance of £1,445,670, increased to £l-,458,105< by certain receipt's ; that ' Aye expended £400,709, including over £28,000 for purchase of Native lands, and thab we had in hand on 31st March last of £1,047,466; against which there wtre

liabilities oubstanding amounting to £314,912. Included in the balance were debentures of Westpbrb Harbor Board for £5600, and of. 1 "the Greymouth Harbor Board for £5000. . It was deemed ex--1 pedienb to -take up tho debentures temporarily out of moneys at credit of the public works funds, and other debentures of the same Board's out of Post Office account,/, to 'enable works urgeubly ! required and in progress bo be earned on. The Government have now under consideration certain proposals with regard to these two Harbor Boards, and an early opportunity .of discussing them fully will be afforded to the House. GOVERNMENT LOANS TO LOCAL BODIES, 31ST MARCH, 1889. , „U nder the Government .Loans to Local Bodies Act, 1886, £250,00 C was borrowed by the Treasury: up ; to 31^ March, 189 Q. Debentures issued for this amount bear interest at the rate of ,Jo-; per,'cent per, annum and mature on the v Ist. March,. 1892. Ab the 31st March,' 1889, the total amounb advanced to local bodies; Was £192,316, andClast yearthe'sums so paid amounted to '£59,763; making a total of £252,079, reducible however by £3880 to £248,099,,-leaying a balance in hand at the end r pf C\the-year of £1800 at the 31sfc Mafc% v iß9o. y ... .•/ '. EXPENDITURE AND, REVENUE 'FOR THE CURRENT.' YEAR. , > The estimated ordinary expenditure; is £4,127,417. ;.\The total proposed increase for the (year in Postal and Telegraphs salaries is £5271,'0f which £4471 gbes.toi officers whose salary is £200 a year or underl In> ■ most of the classes of ex-' penditure little lor r no increase has been made over the estimates of./? last. year; In .education > there is an , increase: of £6000 ; in the Native Department the increase is, £4400; in working railways there is an additional expenditure.proposed of £18,000: -in public buildings there is an increase of £27,400, namely, for, school buildings and a building for deaf mutes; injdefencethere is a small increase, but Government axe of opinion,that the provision made ' is, not sufficient for such a force as our, defence works require. Members will observe that there ie a large reduction ,in the .'.Postal -and; Telegraph Department.' Tliis'arises from no provision being made for the San; Francisco, mail servicej; after the. expiration of the", presentcoritract. I much regret the service is likely to fall throiigh,for a time, as the New South Wales .Government... have refused the subsidy, and there is small hope of the Imperial Government agreeing to pay for the; "conveyance, 5 ' 'of mails to and from London. He could not believe*?'th£ colony~,would be), longwibhoub a good;steam%ervi<jfe between. Auckland and San - Francisco.;'"Referrihg' to Mr Goschen's proposals for reduction; of postage" to 2sd tlie Pbsbmastef-General would explain fully how the proposal could be given effect to without loss of revenue to the colony. The amount of appropriations for current year was £1,983,330, against £1,987,237 lasb year, notwibhstanding £41,000" extra for railways, school buildings, and an institution for deaf mutes. yy-t 'f ;* f ' / hkmv fund. '-' - :■;''■ ■/.

The total estimated expenditure chargeable against land; fund , ( is t £116,557, a reduction of over £11,000 as agaipsb jlast year. . , ORDINARY REVENUE FOR THE YEAR 1890-91. School buildings hav ( e'been charged bb: bhe consolidabed fund for tlie last two years, and asylum buildings, against balance of the loan money originally set apart for the purpose. . We do nob. see our way at the present time'to charge tho consolidated fund wibh the school buildings vobe as a. permanent thing. We think the .whole matter, wants .further consideration,' and are of' opinion, that it would' •be wise for the . House to make extr'4 provision foii. school buildings, and 'early, 1 equal ! • Iliopvo-oni-'rVroiiirfrinents. This extra prcviii-i .1; mM I).> uv.-h- for a limited'term- only. - The ' Government therefore propose to continue the primage' duty-fog ano.thor, two 'years if or' the pur!-', pose nf provi-lir^ furies for jschpoljbuiltlr ings an-.l l:s!!i:'.r .i .yhiii buildings. The Government think that the time has Arrived : when the Minister of Education should have more direct control over the vote for school buildings than has hitherto been the case, and we shall'ask' Parliamentybo.araend.the as bo enable the' Minister to have an effective voice in determining what buildings ar,e unneces-' sary. We think also wherever possible future buildings should be of stone or brick, in preference to wood. The Minister of Education will shortly go fully into this matber for the information of the House.

The Government have had under careful consideration during the recess the question of incidence of the Property-tax. We regret to say we cannot see our way to reduce, much less to abandon, the tax in the present state of finance. Our pre°?r.t nefte'ssiHes make it impossible .for ii.- (•» f')ic;."i,uiy ,-i|>|H'<'<iibli!.part; qf v the ■.smi! ii-1w l -i;-,-l. Tlh! .-■■! in, it must be remembered, Is estimated at no less than £355,000 for the present year. The~great diversity of opinion.among the members of the present- Parliament renders it unlikely that it can be satisfactorily dealt with during the present session. " ''

OTAGO CENTRAL RAILWAY, AND PUHIPUHJ

FOREST TRAMWAY.' 1 ''= " >"' "' > Government have had these works again under consideration, but while thinking the works should be executed, cannot make;any;propbsarthM Jsession!, ] { 11 REDUCTION OP TAXATION./' ,//,, ,-, Governmenc would be pleased 'if' they could see their way to reduce, taxation." We are, however] convinced thab it is im'--possible to make any further appreciable reduction in the public expenditure unless' we are prepared'to largely curtail the public conveniencies which are now enjoyed, mid the absence of which would be felt as hardships. If the country • people \ fire deprived of their conveniencies it*will "be another obstacle to the settlement of the obuntry iarids. ■ It must also' be •'remembered in reference. to, the reduction of taxation there are services, sbill chargeable; on the balance.of the'oldloans- for which provision must be made on the consolidated;' yt-evenue 1 ;in < the, near j future, if we are to sound finance. The Government will make proposals to give effect to the recommendation of the Mining Conference for abolition Of the gold duty and substitution of another revenue tax in its place. For short-dated debentures of £400,000 issued for a deficit on 31st March, 1888, we do not see our way to set aside portion of the revenue this year. The principle has been acted on in charging to revenue, services of a necessary character formerly paid from loairj and in paying out of surplus of the lasttwo years'the £128,600 deficit left unpro- . videdfor- at the. end »6f 1887-88.' I '!esti-' mate that the total ordinary revenue of • the, year will be £4,159,000 upon the prosent basis of taxation. From customs I, expect to obtain-£-1,480,000; from stamps £612,(K)0,' aricVfrom'railways £1j480,'000. LAND FUND. \ > - '■ Vi The estimated revenue of the land fund is £96,600. ESTIMATED RESULTS OF THE YEAR 1891. .The estimated 1 total ordinary expendi-* ture? for ithe current year.: amounfcs: ■to £4,127,417, the estimated revenue to £4,159,000, to which I add the surplus of I £36,500; We. shall, therefore, if .our estimates are realised, have a surplus- of £68,092. -. i '-(, '. : , - : • ' SETTLEMENT OF CROWN LANDS. The late and present Government have found it quite impossible to do the neces- i saryroading to render Crown lands possible : for settlement. We have therefore to : considered how sufficient funds are to be obtained. It is estimated that, even ! with only the present amount spent on i roads, in the next two years a million acres will be taken up on settlement I <

conditions, and that probably consider ably more would be occupied if greater facilities in the way of roads vwere given-' It seems to me that for a/time at }east,\> the cost of roads must be' borne by,; .the consolidated revenue. I shall therefore ask authority for £20,000 as a erant-in-aid for thisyear, that being the estimated amount required 'for assistance^ mi this way. The Government <lo not propose.to resort to ordinary, borrowing for, this sum,' but to make the roading a first charge on the land in such a way as not only not to retard but really to promote settlement. .The Minister of Lands will, give-detailed, particulars of this proposal later on. I submit that if we are to dispose of b\}T t land upon perpetual lease or deferred payment it is clear -we must * make«provi^ sion for "roads,;. and it seems to the Government tHafc^thig proposal is by far the simplest and safest way of raising the necessary:fundß. No fresh strain willtbe put upon.'the Colonial revenue, the settlement of land willies made self-supporting, ■ and. if, -Parlia'njent'thinks it better ,to render dir,ect,atoistancse, charging a lower rate of interest than jflfill h£ve to be paid;by. the colony for the ,oione'y^rthaj!piiblic will know definitely what?thfe' \ jf^B^kt is. |I. want the Committee t^cl^fjiirlptinderstand thatit.vrillibiß impossible^after this year; to coptfnueJ the present arrangement, is 1 to find money out of the loan; in aid of settlement. ,We have the; last five years found no Jess thin£262,600 forAthisppurpose,] andHhe% lotty balance whiph is yet" avaijible^will' H| completely, exhausted by the end of the" year. We.. think an amendment desirable, increasing the power of Boards and the.Minister to, preventVdunVmyism,,.altht*uglr,cas far as can-be ascertained,* ijWpreJß in fact little, now prodiibed ; but however little it must, be stopped.V,, 'j'S* . \ -PURCHASE OF NATIVE, lAXDS. i „., If thesettlement of the North Island is, to be pushed forward, provision'must be made for considerable sums from time,to time as oppqrttmity offeres'fpr) acquiring Native lands. Authority has been granted by Parliament. "toft,temporarily apply: a portion'of tHe.loan';for the Noith Island Main Trunk 7 Bailwayvto this purpose, and about 769,431 a^re^of^land have already been acquired, and much -larger areas are now under negotiation. |Th6,Government propose r.to MkiforM^l^OOO^more this' year,' for,/ the"'same r purpose from the same!Vßource.-'"^TKe sale of the land-so* purchased will recoup the loan/ It will be- Ti&essary for three or four' years to have cash available at the rate of abWt, £30,000. ayear for buying native lands. This moneyuwill of course have to ;be raised! Thei Government will aik Parliajn^nt to autSoflse the Treasurer to advance it^fromHfte Tuhd authorised to be raised under iuthbrity gi^M*jby "Government Loans to Local Bdaies Act," the limit set .by that-Act being sufficient to cover all our requirements. I think thjit we shall find no difficulty in disposing of locally such an amount as may be rpquired from time to time at 4 per cent at par, if Parliament will, as we propose, allow an issue not subject to the Property-ti£<-'rp , ! ' i * 1 .' THE EXODUS. ', In the year 1889 there was an excess of emigratibh rdvet4mn\igrfttion of 9175. Ex-. aggerated 1, importance has been attached to this fact, and serious misrepre-, Mentations have been made. ' It has in particular been frequently re? presented. thatf this loss has been, going on indefinitely, but this is .quite untrue. Taking the last three quinquennial periods from 1875 to 1889, in one y.ear^«?nly,\ 1888, did our loss by emigration from NeVZealand exceed our gain,-by immigration, and if we take Mio 'quinque'n'riial period 1 in which \ that loss occurs," that is the period from.'lßßs to 1889,'iour net loss by emigration amounts t0,'2416,; this number curiously ; enough being composed of- women and, children — butjchildren. mostly,, in the. proportion, of 18 to 'I; while''in. "bone and/sinew " , there was a net irauV to us of 43&." During the past 'three i<Tfinanciar year^f • 1887-90, our expenditure on Public' Works was »£1,640,300, while 1 duting'th'e! rprebeding; three years 1884-87, it was £3,47.7*500^ while in - neighboring;; colonies . there has' been, ancl^'stillz/is; a'.yeryj layge; ,ii^bl^c expenditotre going 'on';' and,tKe" surprise is 7,' not 'that' we should* ha^.e, lds^ .those we" ;did"•lose, V!'bilt'; that" we* should not have 'lost-1 imore. ' 'We'i 'want : "< the men and women of the Old Country .and elsewhere,-; looking for a new home fqr themselves and children after them, tip know truly what this country is. It w on the other side of the account —the arrivals —that the unfavorable difference appears.- We could well afford -to let so many of our population go to New South Wales or Victoria if we could only attract as many as they do. In other words, we are again facing the great problem which has so often engaged the attention of the Committee and of Parliament—how to get .those who^wpuld be^glad.-jenough, iniake,* ;'homej here; andisettlW uptA jout iUndJlljToj ftefmffi&tiPM* Spt&snt year the number of adult males in the colony was 115,883, and the numjber of agricultural holdings was 17.150, In 1876 when the colony- was considered riiost s prosperous*' there were only 1488 men cultivating land, whereas in 1890 there were 2314 bo employed. Our agrir cultural productions show steady ad vane? with^otoly^ such fluctuation as can be accounted for by the variation in market price, excepting during the last two yearsj when the increased value of our exported 1 agricultural $r<?Au9,e' shoi^s an extraordinary 'increase,' from £588,022 in 1887,! 'to £1,424,297 in 1889. For the last five years we find that in 1885 the total value of* ''bur-manufactures 'exported waaj £104,223, excluding flax, and including flax^l^'SSg.V^By^iwhat may be called steady advances year by year we find they! ihave risen in 1889 to £208,698, and, in-; eluding flax, from £120,539 to £569,880.! ■In other, words pur exported manufactures, excludih|"nax, 'more'than doubled themselves. The,.tatal.expqrt«* 4 of, JSTew Zea- ( ;land produce 'J in' 1875 i amounted« £>; £5,475,844, and to £669,919 excluding; .wpolandlgold. This gives £49 9s perl heatl of male adults on whole export, and| exclusire of wool and gold £6 Is. In 1889, i the total exports were £9,042,008 amount J ingto £5611s6dperheadof maleadults, and! exclusive of wool and gold, £4,280,143, or j £26 6s Id per head of male adults. This, ] it will be admitted,,, shows most.,satisfac-j tory progress. A large part of this; progress is no doubt fairly attributable to', the Public Works policy in facilitating; communication and transport. It is one; of the great blessings of this country that, notwithstanding the large amount which has to be remitted to England for interest on public and private debts, there is no sign speaking generally of our people having to stint themselves o| any of the riecessaries of life, °or even J> of a fair pr6p'ortion.,of its luxuries., .There t is,aiot, I think, in jny, ..country ih'Jhdtjrorldfja more hard working or more successful population of our race, or one which, upon the whole is enabled to, and does take life more pleasantly. From the year 1881 j inclusive, there has been a steady growth in the number of small flock owners. - It wiU'beV'seen. ateb^thafc, notwithstanding ilie ravages- of' the rabbits, those owriingc. over/20,000 "•' sheeiviftave increased .inimmber from a 139:t0'152,-or -\bout 10 per cent; the intermediate, those holding between 10,OQO;andk20,000, r have^increased^om^Ol to 239^6tfn»afly 191 per cent"; .while small owners, those holding under 10,000 sheep, have increased from 6517 to 10,146, or 55 per ceiit. The frozen meat trade has grown in value from £19,339 in 1882 to £783,374 in. 1889, and is undoubtedly capable of practically unlimited expansion. It is gratifying to find from the returns a continued increase in the number of depositors, and in the total amout deposited, in our Savings Banks, On Pec, 31 last

there was in all the Savings Banks in the Colony £'2,868,644 at credit of 110,480 persons, as against £2,691,692 at credit of 103,036 on Dec. 31, 1888, being an increase of £166,952 in amount, and of 7434 in. the number of depositors. Of the total amount deposited £2,191,45 J was in the Post Office Savings Bank, and £667,193 in the banks established under the Act of 1858. Since 1886, when the total amount was £2,133,780, the deposits have increased thus: £273,995 in 1887, £283,917 in 1888, and £166,952, as already stated, in 1889. In the total number of depositors, the increasevfrom^&lj2Bft in 1886 has been as follows :—6200 in 1887, . ,5550 jnHBBB, |jWd 7ss|yh 1889. The total numfier of depositors has increased- from 84,488 4nMßßß>?^Jatf*grear the increase: was* 6181ii;iBp;t>at since 1886 the total number has increased-by45,798 .'depositors. 1 sThe number 6fJdepo(»torß. having sums-"not exceeding £20 »t-Aheir ,-/ credit Isjras- nearly;as may be 1, three- '■< fourths of the .'whole number; and thery has been throughout the last four years' a, ■ steady <pereeiit&e [6l iiwreaae relatively in tHenumber: of. depositors tin }Wb%)ftr the. eight divisions in which they have been \ claßsed;inthetable; 'Theaverage-amount at credit of depositors in all the dSSitfings ;Banks>in;the;!Cotony / .pn Dae; 31/I^* was ' £25 17s sd, as agauwjb:£26 2s sd,on. Dec. 31, 1888. The Government Insurance iJRPEH*™6O*I'..^O to &°? T.ll$ 1P" LY~j I1?//.maintain;;] its popularity amongst the people, a large .percentage;,.s.,whom; have, beejt^edu£atod,j .sf)> v to^ BpeaVr,i^r>^K'?r.iProfwioll. for the future welfarOj ,pfcthen^yj«^and .|those,.dependingph!/them;^,\^^l|Bpai^ .me^in^ithe, last year a tojal, am^un^^f .^iu^ce;.pf,;;j^BJ^Bss, whicp juinost\ equals ; the^mou^ol^ew business done in [lß^.^^to^ income . of th^jDe^artment' last yearfwjw.ll2^B,7lo being X 16,509 in excess of the. income of ( the preyioufl'.year. The amount of "the .accumulated fund at the credit of, the office at the end of the year 'was L 1,582,447, showing an increase, of L129;969. r The i miihber: _of policies in force-at; £he lend ofihe year was 27,218, including 100 annuity policies insuring • L7,326|129.^ Tlie mo^tyli&slsen considerably below the expectation, and.the . interest accrued from investments of funds' : Exceeded by nearly (LlO*OjX)ftiie ?«motant paidfforr r deathf claims;durijig the year: After referring to the low rate of mortality * in{New 1 Zealand as compared witii> the rest, Trf'the World;the Treaaurer>wwnton t<r4ay ''. that the assets of Friendly.. &me£es nhaid increased L3O/000. dating the year, the total being L 440,000 at the end of 1889. Other aimukrlsbci^tieiß Shad assets approximated at L 75,000. Notwithstanding these signs of substantial progress which are of a most satisfactory nature, trade, in its-mbre limited sense, 'haslfor/allwShsi<lerable'tahieb^nßnnerinl^gre*fc;dalneßß. This fact was most* suggestive. He had noi dotibt as to tKe iqain cauße:aßd t l>eHeved it to be the practical abandonment of our .'' long!c6ntiniie3.practice Bf'borrowfiuf 1 very large sumVwdf Jmbney'irirlhe London . market, by Government and by private individuals/That-was at the bqttom"of our trade difficulty. The cessation of private : 'borrowing in the various, forms of. jpiepdit ; given in London to oilr settlerp hqA. as much..tjb.4o^with the^present, tradefdiffi- . culty. as the cessation of our^puWicloanß. .The subject is a /diffici^t on&ahdrecix^res /close, attentiph},t(O masterjt.' J jDo .. , w^rns of^prtgage,^ ( before.lß7B. lttax^retunis of Unit ybVirthftt British, moftgaces tluiiiainountod tit L]oJ23,pOo;;'jtn;f4|B2' wo see by the property tax returns that „ tlioy had increased to_ 1.15,018,01^)];^^ that- in lmi tlicy hikl .reached the^.maximum>Jil6,^B2,oop, bemuse, in 18j3f^;' ,the year of the last'return made,j they'rjiad fallen to L16,205,0Ci6: He' tKoughV; ifc" ..very doubtful if in 1870 thp r Britishjnort'gage's ' reached ) more ihari? ll$0($fflto, • assujning; thafc; they reached thafcfapra. If thatwas so "British" capital' wjis pouring' into the colony during fifteen years, from 1871 to' l18^5; ; at %te 'rate' of nearly one million a year td assist private enterprise; ' butag^TOa^/had'to/'be^ :^et'Ei«(o|Wo; ; 'interest I'paid- upon 'thati'r amount during. the* rsame period i' Towards' the' latter'etid of the'peridd the am6unt of increased debt was' le§s 'than the' interest which 1 had*to ]be paid in iLbndon. Debts' on ;m6rfe^age:incurred between 1882 and 1885: were*only LI, 800.000, and' thY interestjjaid-iras probablyslightly overL3dl,ooo: JSineelßßs our outside, mortgages have decreiased'by L 627,000, wlule the interest on them, paid outside <'4ihe-'obl6hy"ssihc4 1885 to the end of last year, was abbu¥li4oo,ooo. This striking 'change 1 indoor monetary relations with^ London must, of itself, be still producingja large 'disturbance in our trade. Our'other private"butside r'debte'.Tini6unfc : to LBOO,OOO, but they are also being contracted; 'rTh"e T Government' has- received and expenHetf the total interest! andl'sinking-fund paid^has been Ii20;6W,000/Theex[wnclifcureby'Government from loan-during' the last three calendar/years has been gre*tlyi reduced, and only amounted to L 257,000, so that ' at. .the 1 ternririHtion- of - the> three!' years ending 31at Dec, 1889,'.i-Govermißii^iild arrived at ca-!ve rry;' similar^ in its financial history to that reached by outside private borrowers! 'The Government have remitted to pay interest for the last' three yeatk!Mfcßo,oo©>ofat? the.rate, of -say L 560,000 annually. The borrowings - jot (*$£ 1 pbrjou^h's t 7«nd' i9arSbE_' B^|s; ' amounted to Li, 500,000. These bodies have paid iifin^efesV fcbout L 2,200,00 Summarising Ve J find thatthe total amount ; borrow,ed nnder. three- heads fromylß7l'^o 1889 may .Be'.teken vL45,3PQ,pdp; thfle^ Jii.'f.in-' I his. alnmi has been ' |».ii«l »Hay in int-oicst and' tuiiking' fond, ■ l(-.ivin^ nlritut L12.]()0,000 free jnoaoy. ' W(> ]i;ive now; niat'lioil tho KfAgeiwhon (iitvoriuiioni" and pri\a'.<! borrowing; in L-)ii(l<>ii has ivaMxl, aiul'wi! niid'ourHolvoH : in ill's position, fliiil instead of haviiigthe ' (Whole r pf f |;he -,proceeds, of..our^expotted '''■'' produce and, s^y; Ii!^ ? )0w^to/^ape^w^■|fl , we pleased a'year, 'we have no' loose, coming in, but-we to <have t<j find ' .from!our jexported prddiice L3j250,0p0§0 pay^dur .^interest. ; Jlt stems'to me that we haVe how 1 practically borne, the , crucial test, the_ heaviest strain that can * be put onJ us'^if 'we 'refrain' friim further l borrowing, aiul, that we ha^e.sljLOwn our strength/is. ample to|cfti?ry^Uߣttirough. After fefefrihg'to'the disinclinaticm. of . capitalists to embark in enterprises, to the relations between capit^ and; ? ?labor, to the Banks contracting^their tr|we, and to : the towns having growh^too.large for the country, the Treasurer said aßound condition may spo^vbe'; expected, j» return with the^Tsettleihent ,of < the Hand. Our difficulty iirsellirig the fends not from our laws, • but from theHniature of ''•' our country, which,\ in mauy { requires','so !muoji | expenditure jon roads beforehand can berbrbught i'rfto'prMtable ' ■ us.c. Although,w.e, have.in.^he cpuntry ' niir.y <TnillioriS fof acre4/r»f unoccupied llnd, <mii<(l by t:u« C.'ViiniiiuMi't and^Natwes, an;l much cf i: >■' fir>t class' lquah'^ ft priicMc.-illy all. ».f it rcijuins'a Ij^bjejpfe^dit^te'in'roadß/.'^nd clearingiiewrfcir (JatiTJe itia'd'e available.'; £o give" aV»y our* / lan^ds would not produce settlement of ' kind • that We country * desires', '- untesa w* , first make passable roadj^,, and .thia, as 's hon. members>Jkiipir» meanßlajlkrge expenditure^ Where, is Jthat,.oome r frpm? system of disposing; of" 1 our Crown lands , unless we are prepared to assist settle-. .; ment by a large expenditure of funds from the cons6lidated|revenue^>^which| means ; extra taxationl VNo doubt 'Settlement may be stimulated to a certain extent, if . PaVUamen^islpret^ed-^^e%ateria assistance in facilities for settlement by persons of the: small farmer class, possessed.^of.limited means, bu^asiara^ I'can;jij'dge,Lthls cl»s«v could not b«Job^ tamed in large numberp, Special settJp- . merits in some iort, 'ac originwf

foundediirthis colony,"niightbeintroduced !*"* "ati certain placesj but the work would be one of some difficulty, and would require . «eat car©;, There are blocks in> private [ hands suitable for any subdivision re- • quired to make settlement closer, and ( Governmentthink the provisions of the '. Land Act, >1885, for the .acquisition of lands for village settlements ought to be extended so as to cover cases of providing *"" small holdings suitable as well for agricultural 1 purposes in its ordinary'sense as for ' .fruitgrowing arid spade industry. The "',, Governmentintend, bringing in a Bill to '.]] make the necessary, alteration,,;but the \ principle of the Act, that no land shall be -It ..acquired,^without the owner's consent, . and, no purchase valid until approved i > by Parliament, > will : be- kept intact. c. It seems probable that we might do some- ■ \< thing towards inducing arid developing an inclination for country life and pursuits '' 'by following.the'example of other counjl ''triW '/-■/'' . "' , ■ ; ly';'"\ ,- ' S/OMMARY. , ' Expenditure in 1886 chargeable onconBolidated fund^ "including t land fund, was £2,523,656, but in-order to ' make the comparißo^biwith, expenditure for 1889-90 s ; fair, therejSast; be added to this £113,912, /jU^which :i in 1886^87 was charged against . j -loan,; and/spent upon school buildings, vM subsidies to local > bodies, and a contribu-

ji'tion to the permanent defence force, •'■i'whereas in 1889-90 the same 1 services were ': wholly charged.tipon ordinary revenue. :i The addition of this sum makes a total '"''expenditure- 0t;.£2,637i&58 for' "1886-87. 'vThe Jeipendifcure,fqr, 1889-9Q, exclusive of * and sinking-fund, was £2,346,158, showing a reduction .;in favor of 1889-90 of £291,410.. The estimated reductions which met with the approval! of*, the fHouse were £255,000. Government, however, pledged themselves to make "further reductions as far as was possible, and that they.have succeeded *" Ron members will see "by tables attached, which, as. I have just said, shows a total reduction of £201,410. But some lion. • members may say, how is it, if such large reductions have been made in the expenditure of 1889-90, as compared with that of 1886-87, that the total expenditure for last year was £4,243,761, while the total expenditure for the year 1886-87 was £4,280, 444; a difference of only! t £36,683 in favor of last year ? The increase of interest and sinking fund from £1,642,876, paid in .1886-87 to £1,897,603 paid in 1889-90 is the main reason, but the comparison is not quite fair, as the amount paid in 1886-87 would have been \ £1,676,320 imteail'of £1,642,876 had not £33,444 been thrown forward k into th^ next year by the conversion operations: The increased amount for -interest and sinking fund is £254,727, full particulars of which; arid or the £33,444 thrown forj •WfisAy constituting.a portion of it, will be found in table No. 26.. In respect of this increase,' however, the present Govern^ ment are only directly responsible for, £40,000, being theinterest on the loan of ,£1,000,000 authorised by this Parliament) in : 1888. i--The 'balance of increased,: charge arises from the issue of the whole of the loan for the North Island main trunk: railway, from further, debentures issued for the increase of..the sink-; 'ing "■ funds, of which there are now qut-j ■standing £939,084; from further deben-,. tures, issued to. pioyide loans .. to local; bodies, and from \ debentures for the amountl, ..of deficit outstanding on March:

1888, ' which was funded, and; Sundry -. other ■ * small • : amounts. The' increase, •in taxation, notwithstanding , the large' reductions in our public ex-'. pdnditure, was rendered necessary, in the"; first place because the recurrent revenue - of 1886-87 (that is the ordinary revenue,; excluding certain items which would mot. recur), was insufficient to cover the' expenditure of that year by £405,119, leaving - put of the computation the in'ierest, , £33,444, thrown forward, to which I have referred. The non-recurrent items in revenue, 1886-87, were, first, the aid received from loan, £113,912, then the released sinking funds, £104,767, the difference, viz. £17,475, between £37,859, the surplus in the ordinary revenue" acoounfc, with .which the year 1886-87 began, £20j3J84 ;: ' the deficit' in the land fund account, in certain recoveries in the land fund, £22,509 ; and to this had to be added the deficiencies with which the year^ 1886-87 ended, £92,293, in the ordinary revenue account, £54,263, and in the land fund account; These sums amount to £405,219,' arid excising the transactions of the years 1887-88 and 1888-89,' that is the ■mount which in 1889-90 we | should have found .deficit had the revenue and expenditure of 1886-87, as above revised, been continued without alteration in 1889-90, thftt'is to'say the expenditure of the year, exclusive of the deficit at the beginning would hava exceeded the revenue by £405,219. Next year we have to take into • account .£254,927, the increased amount for interest and kinking fund paid in= 1889-90,' over that' paid in ' 1886-87, which I have already explained. Further ■we paid off £50,000 of "the deficit of £128,60fr at March 31, 1888, unprovided for, • so /'.that 'the total amount which •Would .Hay been made up in'last year was j £709,946. But allowing for the growth . of .certain branches of the revenue; which' is--now■ found to have been about £103,000, the amount required bo balance thd account was £606,946, and the neces-sary-equilibrium has been established, in the, first place, as I have shown,' by a reduction of expenditure to the extent of £291,410 : while, had the House approved of some;other proposals the Government made, i the. reduction would have been increased by £45,000 more;. and, secondly,

by. additional taxation estimated to yield £336,0Q0, r but actually yielding, a little less, or about £315,000 ■; and, thirdly, by the, Ordinary growth of certain branches of revenue. >. By these means, that is, by economy, and additional taxation to about an equal amount, and by the ordinary growfih- of Certain branches of our revenue; we ; hay,e be4u eriabled to turn what I have shown wpuld have been a deficit on March 31, 1890, of £606,946, supposing the land fund -was •balanced by cash sales, into a surplus of: £115,114, after.providing for all, services,chargeable against the ordinary revenue account, and paying £50,000 of the deficit,, outstanding on > March 31, 1888. T?biß is a.result of which I think the country/ the Parliament, and, I hope I may be allowed to say, the Government,, have reason to be proud. In my Financial Statement .of 1888 I said tha]b we had, firstly, to see that, our ordinary expenditure is reduced to the lowest practical point, and this being done, secondly, to devise means to raise sufficient revenue, to prevent the recurrence of a deficit,; and doing this we must, as far as can be done without loss to the community at large,-* assist our local industries and manufactures ;. and, lastly, we have to reduce the expenditure of, borrowed money on our public works to a much greater extent than was-proposed last session. ■ With reference to the first point I need say no more. With' regard to the second point, we have, it will be admitted, in the tariff devised a means of raising a' sufficient revenue to meet our requirements, and I think it must also be admitted,' .at any rate I am bound .to admit, th.it the estimate made by , the permanent officers of departmentsaato the probable results was exceedingly accurate. I venture .further to assert that ■ the tariff haa certainly not in any respect injured our local industries. It has, on the contrary,' I' believe, assisted them considerably. I,claim, therefore, that our second undertaking has so far been satisfactorily fulfilled. sWifch regard to the third proposition, I '"have already shown, that we have ..reduce^ the public works, expendi-. tore from £966,159 in; 188 7 :88 to £410,729 in the year just closed. We .have, therefore^ accomplished what we said was necessary tinder the third' beading., also. And lastly, I wjJLs-peak of' what ja'cejrtanily

not least in importance—the settlement of our lands. What has been done on this vi^al subject during the last two years and a Half,' 'as compared with the previous three years? The acreage per annum of all lands, not pastoral, disposed of has been practically doubled; that of lands disposed of on settlement conditions more than doubled; while the total cost of administration has been diminished by 27 per cent, so that this cost now stands at 4s per acre for each acre disposed of, instead of 10s per acre, as formerly. I may add that the total settlement land disposed of during the previous three years was 700,000 acres. During the last two years and, a:,half-it was 1,150,000 acres. There are now about 1,000,000 acres in the market, and more is being rapidly brought in. Even at the very satisfactory rate at which it is at present being taken up, about 45,000 acres a year, we have fully two years' supply on hand. We increased the number of agricultural holdings for the past year, as is shown in the returns of the Registrar-General, 1000' in excess of the annual average increase of such holdings for the past six years. Let me say that it behoves us on all ac counts to- see, to the utmost of our ability that settlement is not anywhere stopped or starved for the want of roads. It concerns the Colony, no less than the settlers themselves, that settlement should.be.hot | only possible, but prosperous. All we require is a steady pursuit of pur present policy, or careful economy in the administration of our affairs, a steady refusal to again resort to"- borrowing, to make matters more pleasant, and determination to get our waste land settled as speedily and as well as possible ; by offering every facility to those now among us. who are dissatisfied with the prospects, in theirpresent employments, are capable and desirous of settling on the land, and by inducing the immigration of a desirable class of persons to supplement those already here. But in a few last words I would say, sober finance, extended settlement, increased. industries—these, Avith never-failing confidence in our future, will carry us. prosperously on, and leave this land as a 'noble "inheritance for our children. ■ • • ' : ,' „ , ■-

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Bibliographic details

FINANCIAL STATEMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2451, 26 June 1890

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6,504

FINANCIAL STATEMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2451, 26 June 1890

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