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PARLIAMENTARY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2466, 16 July 1890
TUESDAY, JULY 15. HOUSE OF REPRESENTTIVES. The House met at 2.30 p.m. SECOND READINGS. The Church Property Trustees (Canterbury) Indemnity Bill, and the Roman Catholic Lands Act Extension Bill were read a second time. THE FINANCIAL DEBATE. Mr McArthnr resumed the debate on the Financial Statement. He said that he did not agree with those who considered the present debate a waste of time, as this was the first Financial Statement that had been discussed for three years. He combatted Mr Hutchison's statement that £8,000,000 would require to be borrowed within the next two years to restore the financial equilibrium of the colony. He quoted from figures, to show that Mr Hutchison had fallen into a serious errror in making that statement. Mr Ballance had stated that the normal condition of the revenue was to show a surplus, but that surplus did not apply at any rate to either of the Ministries of which Mr Ballance was a member, as their normal condition was a large deficiency. With respect to a dissolution he thought that the argument that this was a dead Parliament was the most absurd he had ever heard, and ha said he saw no reason why some valuable work should not be done this session. Although he disagreed with, the Government on some material points, especially on the tariff question, he thought that on the whole they deserved well of the country. Mr J. C. Brown held that the administration of the land by the present Ministry had not been as successful as could be wished, and if more land were put into the market it would fall into the hands of the industrial classes. The present depression was caused by the high: price of land, the high rate of interest, and the vexatious working of the Rabbit Act, which in his district was oppressive to many settlers. He trusted that the Minister for Mines would adopt more vigorous .action for the benefit of the miners. They should also force on this Government or their successors the necessity of appointing a Minister for Agriculture. He was a believer in party government but a supporter of the Opposition, as he believed that they would administer the affairs of the country well. He looked forward to the time when, with a smaller House, they would have better legislation. Mr'Kelly said that the Government had not in any way carried out the proposals they made in 1887. The estimates were now rapidly increasing, the increase this year being enormous. He wished to defend Mr Ballance from the charge of extravagance, and pointed out that the Stout-Vogel Government in 1887 promised to reduce expenditure considerably. He defended the Rotorua purchase by the Government, and asserted that the Bank of New Zealand had nothing whatever to do with Rotorua. Mr Ross had listened to many Financial Statements, but the present one was the clearest and most able he had heard in the House. As to the Edwards appointment, he thought that when an addition was required to be made to the Supreme Court Bench, involving a large expenditure, the Hoi; :••.'> should have been consulted upon it. I.'o contended that there was not the slightest necessity for a second session. Mr Taiwhanga considered that the remedy for the present state of things was to abolish all land laws, and to have a new set of members altogether in the House. MrMitchelson in closing the debate, complimented Mr Ballance on the conciliatory tone of his remarks, and only wished that other members on that side of the House had followed that lead. As to the cry by the Opposition for a dissolution, he would say that he had lately travelled all over the country and he hid ■elicited the information on all sides that a dissolution was not required either now or last year. The Government now possessed the largest majority of any Government for years past, and they intended to ask for full supplies with the intention of calling Parliament together again in the first or second week in April next. They were also prepared to go on with the business of the country this session, and if the Opposition met them by dbStructioli the responsibility would resfwith them and not with the Government. ,; ,Th,e debate was interrupted by the 5.30 p.m. adjournment. The ijouse resumed at 7.30 p.m.
Mr Mifcchelson (continuing) said that he was not going to discuss the question as to whether or not there was a surplus, but he was satisfied, and he felt snre the country was satisfied, that the Government had been able to make both ends meet. With regard to the primage duty the Government had received letters from some of the largest importers in the Colony to the effect that it was the tax that could be imposed. The Government had made every possible effort to economise in the public service, but they would, if possible, effect further reductions ; not by cutting down salaries, but by amalgamation of offices and doing away with certain services. He might say that when the advance was made to the New Plymouth Board, the Premier was under the impression that the Public Accounts Committee had sanctioned it. It had been stated with respect to the Rotorua purchase that the Government had done it in the interests of the Bank of New Zealand. He had been ten years a member of the House, and had never during that time been approached by the Bank of New Zealand one way or the other. The Government were quite prepared to go to the country and ask for a continuance of its confidence. The question that the House go into Committee _ of Supply waa then carried without a division. COMMITTEE OF SUPPEY. On the vote of £1755 for the Colonial Secretary's Office being put. Mr Monk moved that the first item be reduced by £1, as an instruction to the Government that the Committee is of opinion. that a further reduction in the Estimates, of at least £50,000, can be made without being injurious to the interests of the colony. He said that he. moved the resolution in no hostile spirit, but he was convinced that a further reduction of the .estimates was possible. He had no idea of cutting down the wages, but the general impression was that the cost of government could be reduced. Mr Mitchelson said that the Government had determined not to make the amendment one of no confidence. They could not agree to the amendment, but if the House saw fit to carry it, the Government would do their best to give effect to the reduction. Mr Ballance asked whether the Government proposed to reduce tlie Estimates at once. Mr Mitch elson replied that the Government would ask the House to pass the Estimates as they iioav stood, but they would undertake to make the reductions, if carried, which would have to come off the services. Mt Ballance said that the position taken up by the Government was a most unsatisfactory and unconstitutional one. Further retrenchment was absolutely necessary, but if the Government intended to make a reduction the House had a right to know what those services were that were to be reduced. He moved that the first item be reduced by £5 as an instruction to the Government to reduce the Estimates by the amount of the primage duty. Mr Mitchelson asked whether the amendment meant that the Government should take back their estimates. Mr Ballance replied in the affirmative. Mr Mitchelson said in that case the Government would accept Mr Ballance's amendment as one of no-confidence, as no Government could consent to a proposition of that kind. Alengthy debate followed, during which a large number of members spoke, but the ground covered was very similar to that traversed during the financial debate. Mr Ballance's amendment was lost by 34 to 23. The following is the division list: —Against Mr Ballance's amendment (34), Allen, Anderson, Arthur, Beetham, Bruce, Cowan, Fergus, Goldie, Harkness, Hislop, .Hobbs, Humphreys, Izard, Lawry, Mac Arthur, M. J. S. Makenzie, Marehant, McGregor, Mitchelson, Moat, Monk, Newman, Peacock, G. F. Richardson, Russell, Samuel, Saunders, Seymour,. Stuart Menteath, Tanner, Thompson, R. Thompson, and T. Withy. For Mr Ballance's amendment—Ballance, Blake, Buxt6n, Cadman, Duncan, Feldwick, Fisher, Fish, Grimmond, Hutchison, Joyce, Kelly, Mackenzie J., Moss, Perceval, Reeves R. J. H. (Inangahua), Reeves E. P. (St Albans), Seddon. Steward W. J. (Waimate), Taylor, Verall, Walker. Pairs—For Mr Ballance's amendment: Taiwhanga, Guinness, Turnbull, Fitzherbert, Jones, Ward, Grey, Larnach, Loughrey, E. Richardson, Lance, Brown, Kerr, Parata, Smith, Fitchett. For the Government—Fulton, Dodson, Atkinson, O'Connor, Pyke, Downie Stewart, Rhodes, Ross, Bryce, Hodgkinson, Wilson, White, Buchanan, Taipua, Ormond, Carroll, T. McKenzie.
PARLIAMENTARY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2466, 16 July 1890
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