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Parliamentary Gossip.

[by telegraph from our oww correspondent.] THE GOVERNMENT IN A FIX. Wellington, July 8. It is the unexpected that always happens. The Cabinet meeting held last night lasted for about two hours, and the decision arrived at would appear to be much different from what was anticipated. I understand that Ministers came to the conclusion that it would be useless to endeavor to propose reductions in the Estimates in each of the several classes, because when details were discussed in Committee local interests would prevail against the reduction or dismissal of particular officers. They decided, however, that if the retrenchment party insisted on a reduction of £50,000, and the House agreed to it, they (The Government) would accept the decision, and carry it out on the clear understanding that they would not accept any responsibility for inconvenience to the public, which they know well would be the result of such reductions. The House will have to bear the responsibility. The procedure will probably be this : The House will be asked to pass the Estimate!) as they are printed, with a resolution that the total appropriation shall be reduced by £50,000, and Government will undertake to effect that reduction where little inconvenience will arise. They will probable also remind the House that they have already effected retrenchments which they consider consistent with the efficiency of the public service. This will mean, of course, that the political crisis which appeared so imminent will be entirely averted. It is said that the retrenchment deputation relied very much on tine speecli made by Sir H. Atkinson on Mr Saunders proposal to reduce by £200,000 in 1880. On that occasion he declared it was impossible for the Committee of Supply to apportion salaries of public servants, and proposed that "The Government's hands should be tied as effectually as Hon gentlemen proposed to tie them " by a direct vote. The Ministerial answer to this is that they (the Government) then saw what they do not see now, —that a reduction could be effected without injury to public services.

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Bibliographic details

Parliamentary Gossip., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2461, 8 July 1890

Word Count

Parliamentary Gossip. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2461, 8 July 1890