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The House met at 2.30 p.m. LIVR STOCK AND RABBIT COMMITTBB3 1 REPORT. Mr Lance brought up the report of the Joint Live Stock and Rabbit Committee. In speaking to the report he said with reference to the rabbit question that the pest was now probably causing an annual loss to the colony equivalent to the amount of interest on the national debt, and he urged that steps should be taken to do a deal more towards its extermination than was done at present. Mr Mackenzie (Waihemo) expressed the opinion that the whole administration of the Rabbit Department was a complete farce. He moved an addition to the report that it be referred to the Government with a request that stronger measures be adopted for the eradication tf the rabbit pesb. After a lengthy discussion, m which a great many members took part, Mr Mackenzie's amendment was carried on the voices, and the report, with the amendment, was ordered to be jlaid on the table. The House rose at 5.30 p.m. The House resumed at 7.30 p.m. THE DISMISSAL OF RAILWAY EMPLOYEES. Mr Mitchelson, said that, m accordance with the promise he had made to the House on the previous evening, he had placed himself m communication with the Railway Commissioners with respect to the dismissal of four railway employees at Christchurch, and had obtained a memorandum on the subject. He moved that the memorandum should lie on the table and be printed. [The memorandum shortly reviewed the circumstances which led up to the dismissal of men at Westport, Lyttelton, and Christchurch, and included a copy' of the several circulars which the Commissioners had addressed to their men during the recent crisis. The report of the meeting held at Christchurch at which the four men, Elvinos, Winter, Owens, and Newton, wore concerned, was also attached to the communication.] Mr Ballance said that this was a very important question, and he should propose that the memorandum be printed at once, and be circulated before the House met to-morrow, so that a discussion might take place on it. The Commissioners were no doubt servants of the House, and members had a perfect right to criticise their actions, Several other members having spoken, Mr Mitchelson said that he regretted that any debate had taken place at this stageHe had no objection to the memorandum being printed at once, but he could not say at present whether the Government would set apart any time for its consideration. He should inform the House definitely of the decision of the Government on the matter at half-past two next day. THE MACQUAMUE ISLANDS. Mr Mitchelson moved that an address be presented to Her Majesty the Queen, praying that the Macquarrie Islands and the adjacent isles may be annexed to New Zealand. Mr Fraser asked whether any liabilities were to be taken over with the islands. Mr Feigus said there were no liabilities. In reply to Mr Marchant, Mr Fergus said it would be utterly impossible at present to do anything m the direction of preserving sea lions, seals, and penguins, at the Macquarrie Islands, as it would be several months before the Government j could obtain possession of the islands. Mr Kerr asked what they wanted to protect sea lions for, as those animals were m the habit of eating men. Mr Smith said that if they ate men, perhaps they could send the gentleman from Invercargill who had caused all the trouble m connection with the seals to that place.—-(Mr Fish : Or the Railway Commissioners.) Sir George Grey hoped that the Government would take some action with respect to seals and penguins, as he understood that prepaivitions were now being made for their destruction. The motion was agreed to. MIDLAND!RAILWAY' CONTRACT BILL. The Midland Railway Contract Bill was read a third time and passed by 51 to 12. instillation bill, The Distillation Amendment Bill was read a third time and passed by 39 to 19. THE ESTIMATES. On the resolution from the Committee of Supply being reported, Mr Mitchelson said that the principal motive of ths Government m replacing the items which had been struck off was that some members considered an injustice had been done by attacking the salaries of some of tim officers whose cases had been first dealt with." It wa.s therefore considered that the House should have the opportunity of reconsidering the matter.. He did not propose to recommit the items upon £k& estimates, bu*" when the Supplementary Estimates were considered the Minister m charge of "each Department would move that the total amount which was set down weuld be redupe.d by the .amount of the reductions previously made! It would, however, be vrise to reconsider the Audit vote, and if the House would allow that item to be restored, he would promise on behalf of the Government that whqn the Royal Commission to enquire, into the Civil Service was appointed, tlje. Audit Department would be the iir/jt qne. dealt with, and if the Commission thought that the Department could be reduced, the Government would do so. Mr G'oMie mid that after the statement made by the Minister, ho jjrquld not movp the motion ho had given nptice of. Mr Ballance desired to congratulate the Government pn the course which they had decided on, and he was glad to perceive they had seen th§ error'of th<ri|r

ways. He was sorry, however, to see 1 thafc the Government were determined to stick to the Audit Department, and he expressed the opinion that the reduction made m that vote was more called for than m any other Department m the service, and it would m no way interfere with the efficiency of the Department. He also wished to give the Government notice that he intended to oppose several items on the Supplementary Estimates strenuously, and he thought that those estimates could be reduced" by £20,000. Mr Fisher said the Government had retreated over this matter, and their action was by no' means dignified: On the contrary it was disgraceful. . „, Mr Fish said that he felt proud of his action this sessiou, and added that if, he had been supported by his party the estimates would have been reduced by £80,000 instead of £40,000. Mr Seddon asserted that the reason for the Government taking the stand they had assumed over the Supplementary Estimates was that they were afraid of suffering a defeat on Mr Goldie's motion of censure. After some discussion the resolutions from the Committee of Supply were read by the clerk. On the vote for the Audit Department being reached, Mr Mitchelson moved that the vote be re-oommitted m order that the £950 which had been struck off should be restored. Mr Moss moved as ah amendment — " That m the opinion of the opinion of the House the Government were not justified m filling the vacant office of Assistant Controller and Auditor, entailing a needless statutory life charge of £809 to the revenues of the colony." The voting resulted as follows :—Ayes —(for recommittal) 28; Noes—(for Mr Moss' amendment) 28. . The Speaker gave his casting vote with the Ayes, and the amendment was lost. On the question being put for the recommittal of the item, Audife Department, the motion was lost by 29 to 28. The remaining resolutions were then reported, and the House rose at 1 a.m. till 11 next day.

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2516, 12 September 1890

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2516, 12 September 1890

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