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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THURSDAY, JUI^ 3. Wellington, July 3. The House met at 2.30 p.m. THB FINANCIAL DEBATE. Mr Rhodes" Resumed the debate on the motion that the House go into Committee of Supply. He Baid that he had given his vote last evening to the Government, not because he had been an ardent supporter of the Government, but because he preferred to see them m office to any Government that could be formed by the Opposition. Referring to the land question he said that he had always opposed the acquisition of private lands by the Government, and had held that it would be too great a strain on the revenue to buy up land m any considerable quantity. But if he should be re-elected to the House he would be favorable to this being done to a moderate extent. Mr Blake, speaking m opposition to the Government policy, said that if the Government wanted to impose taxation they should begin at the top of the tree. The people who should be compelled to pay taxes were those who owned large properties and paid very little on them. He quoted the statistics of several counties m the colony to show that taxation pressed vary unfairly m some places, as much as 80 per cent, m particular districts, whilst others escaped altogether. The sooner they got through the necessary business and got the ejections over with an early meeting next year the better. Mr Allen asked how much sincerity was there m regard to retrenchment m members of the Opposition ? The late Government asserted that the expenditure could be reduced by only £100,000, whereas the present Government had actually reduced it to the extent of nearly £300,000. With respect to the remarks or the member for St Albans, as to the exodus of people from the Colony it seemed to him that the exodus was a natural consequence of their own incapacity. To his mind the reason why people left the colony was because the expenditure of loan money had come to an end, and not because of the incidence of taxation. Mr Walker maintained that all the arguments advanced by members on the Ministerial side of the House went m the direction of condemning the Financial Statement. Now that Mr Bryce was again m the House the Ministerial party, which was almost m the same moribund condition as Parliament itself, evidently were looking forward to the probability of his taking the leadership at no distant date. As to the statement that the leader of the Opposition had not shown where further retrenchment could be effected, he asked whether that was the duty of any private member or of anybody except a Minister. The Financial Statement was not an honest one, and according to Mr Bryce's opinion last night, it meant nothing but borrowing. He hoped that it was the last time they would be compelled to listen to a written Statement. If the Premier was not able to be m his place, he should be relieved of the position. The House resumed at 7.30 p.m. Mr Walker continued his remarks. He said that Ministers had now been three years m office, and he ventured to assert that there was never more dissatisfaction at the administration of the land laws than at the present time. Mr Marchant followed on the Government side. Mr Ward strongly opposed the continuance of the primage duty, and said that if it was taken off it would be a great relief to the manufacturers of the country. As to the Railway Commissioners he expressed the opinion that the general manager was simply a buffer between the Government and the Department, and bad to raise a certain amount of revenue at the dictation of the Treasurer. Coming to land administration he quoted from the speech of the member for St. Albans as to the existence of dummyism to a large extent m Canterbury, and expressed the opinion that if the Minister for Lands was an honorable man, as he knew him to be, he would not rest till he had sheeted home the charges of dummyism mentioned by the member for St. Albans. One statement m the Budget pleased him, namely, that the San Francisco service would cease. Mr McKenzie (Clutha) contended that the present Government had raised the credit of the colony m the London market after the mismanagement of the previous Ministry had destroyed it. If he were asked who was depreciating the credit of the colony he should say it waa Mr Walker and other Opposition members who were constantly acting m that manner. As to the land administration he said that m no country m the world could the people take np land on more favorable terms than m this colony. He admitted that it was a grave reflection on the Government that land m the South Island could not be obtained more freely. He supported the Government because he did notsee any justification for a second session, and because the Opposition had not definitely any policy of retrenchment. Mr Verral move! the adjournment of the debate. The House rose at 11.20 p.m.

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Bibliographic details

PARLIAMENTARY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2458, 4 July 1890

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PARLIAMENTARY Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2458, 4 July 1890