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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

The House met at 2.30 p.m. THE HUTCHISON CHABOHS. In reply to Mr Fisher, Captain Russell said thatas the HutchiHon charges had been circulated throughout the colony the Government felt it was only reasonable that the reply to those charges should be sent to those public bodies who were likely to interest themselves m the matter. The Government, therefore, were responsible for sending the speeches round the colony, THE HUTCHISON CHARGES. Mr Mitchelson moved the adjournment of the House to enable Mr Hutchison to reply to Mr Hislop's speech of a few days ago. Mr Hutchison said that he intended to refer to the Colonial Treasurer's memorandum and to the speech made by Mr Hislop on the sth Auguwt m reference to (fcho charges he had made against the Government, He was aware he was addressing a hostile majority, but ho had the consolation that; hp Jiact the sympathy of those who while being m a minority m the House represented, he believed, the great mass of the people, and that was more cheering to him than the support of the gentlemen on the Government side of the House. The first charge he had made was m reference to the New Plymouth Harbour Board debentures —a charge which the Government were #nxious to be allowed to let go by default. The pharge he made was that the Colonial Treasurer had adyanced certain public money to that board m such a manner as to deceive the bondholders m London. After strongly condemning the action of the Treasurer m advancing public money to an insolvent board, Mr Hutchison referred to the charge of aiding the Bank of New Zealand with money. He was sorry that the charge was not fairly stated by the Treasurer. In his memorandum the Treasurer stated that the Government had been accused of keeping unusually large balances at the bank, whereas what he (Mr Hutchison) had said was "unnecessarily large balances," which, he contended, made a great difference. He pointed out that the Colonial Treasurer m stating the daily average kept at the bank during his term of office as compared with that of the late Government, calculated that balance on a basis so misleading that a much larger average was really kept there owing to the Treasurer having selected the last day of the financial year previous to which the bank made up its balance, Coming to the raising of the two million loan, he said that his remarks on that head also were not porrectly stated by the Treasurer m his memorandum, Mr Hutchison justified the charge lie had made m stating that the Government had created an abnormal state of finance at that period, and he quoted largely from figures m the memorandum to prove his statement., No one, he asserted, would allege that the present Government were clumsy operatives ;n questions of this kind. They were on theeontrary consummate artists m finance. The balance of deficiency bills outstanding m March, 1888, was £060,0Q0. It was this ■^and having the enormous amount of cash with which to pay them—that created the abnormal finance at the end of the financial year, 1887. He declared that the paragraph from Westgarth'e Circular quoted by the Treasurer was untrue, and probably inspired. The true explanation of the good position of our stocks at that time (March, 1888) was Mr Goschen's Conversion Scheme, which sent colonial sfcoeks up with a bound. That was a period when, had it not been for the Government bungling, a loan might have been floated successfully. Ho referred to the bank as having, at this period, been reeking with corruption, but notwithstanding the condition of the bank it was clecided° to pay a dividend. (Hon member— " How did they do it?") They got it from the colony by the Treasurer allowing money to accumulate m the coffers of the banjc—over a million ; besides the balances on that Saturday afternoon from Government insurance, post-office, and other accounts. In referring to the various advances made to the Bank of Now Zealand he said that every till had been pillaged—the Government Insurance, the public trusts, the savings of small people and servant girls, o tc. —to fill the coffers of the bank. He would not make any reference to the conduct of the three prominent members of the Ministry m their transactions with the bank. He would not be deterred, howeyer, from doing what he thought his duty by the fear of any action with which he might be threatened, Mr Hislop said that it would have been a more graceful act on the part of the leader of the Opposition to have advised Mr Hutchison to withdraw the charges ha hai] made against Government. Mr Ballanoe cuulil have informed him that there was nothing against the Gqyemmtjitt m the New Plymouth Hai-bor- Board (juention. Referring to the agreement with the 15-nik of New Zealand he accused Mr Hutchinson of giving a distorted account of that Agreement., and .said that Mr Hutchiuson possessed s;ueh a peculiar twisfc that lie could not set the truth out. of anything. Mr Hislop mentioned several statements made by Mr Hutchison which he alleged wiu-re absolutely incorrect; and altogether disprove^ fitf Tmioiu-ev'a niemoran4um.

Mr Bnllance said that Mr Hislop, m ac tempting to disprove Mr Hutchison's figures had failed lamentably. The House rose at midnight.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900823.2.21.2

Bibliographic details

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2499, 23 August 1890

Word Count
895

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2499, 23 August 1890

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