The House resumed at 7-30 p.m. THE FEDEKATION RESOLUTIONS. Mr Hobbs resumed the debate on the federation resolutions. He considered they were decidedly non-committal m their character, and he thought they should agree to send delegates to represent this colony at the Convention. Mr Mackenzie (Mount Ida) expressed his strong dissatisfaction with the whole of these resolutions, and he should pro- , pose an amendment as follows:—"(1) That this House, whilst expressing much interest m, and great sympathy with the aspirations of the inhabitants of the Australian continent for a federal constitution, considers that it would be unfair to Australia that New Zealand should send delegates to take part m arranging a constitution for a federation which it has no present intention of joining. (2) That, provided that it would not be inconsistent with the interests of the Australian colonies, this House would view with satisfaction the adoption of a federal constitution such as would provide for the admission of this or any other colony at some future time. (3) That the foregoing resolutions be conveyed to the Premiers , of the various colonies by one delegate from New Zealand." After a lengthy discussion the debate was adjourned till next day. POSTAL AND TELEGRAPH CLASSIFICATION. The Post and Telegraph Classification and Regulation Bill was committed, and passed without amendment. Mr Mitchelson, m reply to Mr Walker, said that the Colonial Treasurer had estimated the total increase m salaries within the next five years at £19,000, but the officers of the Department informed him that the amount w^uld not exceed £15,000 for the same period. Replying to Mr Ward. The Postmaster-General said he considered three weeks' holiday m a year to each officer of the Department was ample. Mr Ward moved new clause as follows: —" Every officer of the Department who shall be required to perform more than eight hours' w»rk within 24 hours sbj'ill be paid overtime for every hour or part of an hour m excess of eight hours, at a rate to be iixed by a scale m proportion to the salary or wages of such officer, and every officer who .shall be required to perform duty on any Sunday or a holiday (saving as regards one Sunday m every four).' The clause was ruled out of order on the ground that it was an appropriation clause. Mr Reeves (St Alb ms) moved a nev clause to reduce the percentage to form a compensation fund, from 5 per cent, to 2i- per cent m the case of salaries of £100 and under. Mr Mitchelson agreed to accept this on the schedule being reached. Mr Ballance moved—"That the maximum salary of the Superintendent, £800, be reduced by £100." Mr Fish said the Secretary w»s a hardworking official, who really did all the work, while the Superintendent was a purely ornamental officer. If justice was done as regards the work done m the department, the salaries of Mr Gray and Dr Lemon should be reversed. Sir John Hall recognised that Mr Gray was a valuable and hardworking officer, who deserved a larger salary than he received, but to say he was of more value that Dr Lemon was an absurdity. He pointed out that Dr Lemon had twenty-five years ago re-organised the whole Department. In reply to some remarks from Mr Fish as to Dr Lemon's travelling expenses, he (Sirf.lohn Hall) resented the imputation, made by the member fjr Dunedin South merely on hearsay, that Dr Lemon had improperly charged for expenses, and he challenged Mr Fish to move for a return showing the amount of expenses charged by that officer. Mr Fish said he was quite willing to do so provided that the Government undertook to furnish the return before the session closed. He did not wish to withdraw a single word he uttered. Mr Mitchelsou defended the vote, and said Dr. Lemon had saved the amount of his salary many times over. Mr Bailance did not wish to underrate Dr. Lemon's abilities, but he considered thnfc £700 was quite sufficient for that officer. Mr Marchaut would support the reduction, but he regretted that Mr Fish's remarks would make it appear that Mr Fish should draw officers before the House m this manner. It was the office they should look at, and not the capability of a man to fill it. Would anyone say that £800 was too much for the organiser of a vast institution like the post and telegraph ? The reduction was carried by 26 to 20. Mr Bailance then moved that the maximum salary of the Secretary, £750, be reduced by £100. Agreed to. The remainder of the schedule passed without alteration. The Bill was reported, read a third time and passed. The House rose at 1.35 a.m.
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EVENING SITTING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2513, 9 September 1890
EVENING SITTING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2513, 9 September 1890
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