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The long debate which was brought to a close on Tuesday evening, far from being a waste of time, has been, and ■■■will be, of great value to the country. Taken altogether, it has been a most exhaustive discussion, and has been characterised by the ablest speeches that have occurred during the life-time of the present Parliament; and the "Hansard" report will form the' armoury from which the weapons for fighting the next electoral campaign will be largely taken. The debate has ranged over every topic connected either with the legislative or financial proposals of the Government, or with their past administration, or with the aims and objects of the Opposition, and the speeches on both sides—-but more particularly those of Opposition speakers—havebeenincisivein criticism and full of valuable information., The House, too, may be congratulated on j the high tone which has marked a long and sometimes warm discussion. It had, however, been quite sufficiently protracted, and the country, as well as hori. members, must be glad that it has at last come to an end. The long skirmish of the debate was soon succeeded by a trial of strength upon Wo issues, both of which involved the affirmation of the need for a' conj tinuance of the retrenchment policy, and the result showed that almost the entire House, Ministers excepted, is determined that, instead of imposing additional taxation, equilibrium as between revenue and expenditure shall be obtained by curtailingthe latter. The effort of Mr Ballance and his party was to secure this object m the best way, by reducing the estimates m respect of services which can be dispensed with, or votes which may be reduced with the least public inconvenience; but that effort was defeated by the united efforts of the Government party, m alliance with the section of ten or eleren members whp.have been dubbed the ''Skinflints," and of whoii Mr Monk is apparently the = chosen leader. The result is that, while the 1 eduction of the estimates by £50,000 has been affirmed, it has been left to the Government to effect the reduction m such manner as they think fit. Whether the Government will do this m such a way as to command the approval o c the House and the country' remains no be seen. The present position has been brought about by a process of negotiation such as Auckland members seem to be special adepts m, arid; while it represents to some extent a win for the Government, there is room to think that such a victory may prove worse; for them m the long run than defeat, purchased, as it has been, at the cost of Ministers and their party having to vote against their own Estimates. \

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Bibliographic details

THE POLITICAL PROSPECT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2467, 17 July 1890

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THE POLITICAL PROSPECT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2467, 17 July 1890