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PARLIAMENTARY

WEDNESDAY, JULY 2. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. The House met at 2.30 p.m. THE NO CONFIDENCE DEBATB. Mr Kerr resumed the debate on the Financial Statement, and contended that if the Premier was unable to lead the House lie should not retain the position of head of the Government. It was nothing but sympathy that induced members to support the Government at the present time. Mr Hobbs questioned whether Mr Ballance, if he carried his motion, would be able to carry out its terms. As to the primage duty there was no doubt that several of the Government supporters were averse to the continuance of that duty, and he understood that the Government would not press it, but would leave it to the House. Referring to the Property-tax, his opinion was that any change m the system of taxation at present would be" very injurious, and members who talked about such a change without providing any substitute for it were adopting a very mischievous course. The Opposition did not want to carry the motion, and it was only moved to harden up their supporters—to give them a cry to go to the country with. The motion that the House go into Committee of Supply was then put and carried by 38 to 32, Mr Ballance's amendment being lost. Mr Fish said that it was quite possible that had the debate been continued the result might have been the same. He held that the strong impeachment of the Government made by the member for Wanganui required that the charges made against them should be answered, and the Government had done themselves an injustice m not replying to them. He spoke at great Tength against the adminis tration of the Government. Mr Peacock thought that the fact of the Treasurer being able to pay off some of the liabilities of the colony was a result that he should gain credit for, and should undoubtedly be regarded as a surplus. The House resumed at 7.30. Mr Bryce said he had intended and still intended to criticise the financial policy of the Government, but he thought ifc his duty to oppose any want-of-confidence motion brought forward by Mr Ballance, and supported by his party, let the consequences be what they might. Mr Ballance had made a good deal of the fact that the Premier was outside the House, but he omitted to state that there was a leader of the Opposition also outside the House, and he (Mr Bryce) thought the amendment had been drafted by that leader. As to the Financial Statement, he agreed that it was not so complete and excellent as it might be, still he was not satisfied to look at the policy and the condition of the country m the light that it was set forth m the Statement. It was stated m the Statement that Government did not intend to borrow for opening up Crown Lands, but he thought if borrowing was at all justifiable it was for that very purpose. There was to be no borrowing so far as works went, but the policy of the country was leading I them straight on to another loan or worse, and from that point of view it seemed to him highly unsatisfactory—as they were going to borrow m an indirect way which was much more objectionable, from his point of view. The surplus was not a real one. He was as much against borrowing as any limn, but if he had to take his choice between the issue of deficiency bills and a direct loan, he would accept a loan. The present Government had nevertheless gone further m the direction of good finance than any Government for many years past. Mr Hutchison pointed out that? there were no less than 113 extra officials m Government departments for the last twelve months. He characterised the surplus as a hollow sham from beginning to end, and said it never existed. He spoke at length on the raising of the last loan, by which he asserted the colony had lost £100,000 owing to the manner m which it was raised, and he charged the Government with having instructed the Agent-General to enlarge on the position of the Bank of New Zealand m order that the loan might be floated. He strongly condemned the .action of the Government m having assisted the New Plymouth Harbour Board during the recess to the extent of £4992, notwithstanding that the House had emphatically declared last session against any such assistance being given. During the next two years sums amounting to over five million had to be met, and yet they were told that they were to have no more borrowing. He ventured to assort that the present Ministry, although they had a majority m the House, had not a majority outside, and that they would be condemned at the hustings for their illegal actions m administration. Mr Fergus said that even allowing for Mr Ballance's figures there was a surplus loft m the Treasury of £33,000. Mr Ballance had found fault with the Government for their large defence expenditure, bap he would remind liim that during a tfitae of papic he himself had committed

tho Colony to an expenditure of about £400,000 for defence purposes. The Statement referred siraply to the past year and clearly showed a surplus. Ho regretted that the debate could not be carried on withonfc reference to certain financial institutions. Major Steward compared Mr Fergus' speech to that of an advocate rather than of a Minister of the Crown who had important matter to refer to. He had twitted Mr Ballance with expending £400,000 on defence, but he wished to remind the House that the expenditure was undertaken with its full concurronco. He held that the circumstances of the time fully justified it. Mr Rhodes moved the adjournment of debate. The House rose at midnight.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900703.2.18

Bibliographic details

PARLIAMENTARY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2457, 3 July 1890

Word Count
983

PARLIAMENTARY Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2457, 3 July 1890

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