HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
[PEI! I'RHSS ASSOCIATION.]
£ Wellington July 10. The House met at 2.30. TUB TE AROHA MSQUALIFICATION. The Public Petitions Committee reported on the petition of Mr D. S. Allen, who lately contested Te Aroha seat, for removal of disqualification which had been imposed on him. The report was to the effect that, as Mr Allen Avas not liable for any acts doi.e by his agents, it was desirable that the stigma of disqualification be removed from him; and Government was requested to bring m. a Bill to this effect. ADVERTISING. Replying to Dr Newman, Mr Ward said lhab if any bonajide offers were made to Government respecting tenders for the riilit of advertising upon stamps and telegraph forms, they would be favorably entertained. A NEW ZEALAND COSIMANDER-IN-OHIEF. Replying to Mr Palmer, Mr Seddon said Government h.itl written to the Imperial Government on the subject of the appointment of an Imperial officer to command the New Zealand torces, and a sum was now on the estimates to provide a salary for that officer There was no commander of the forces at present, as Lieutenant-Colonel Hume was simply acting as Under-Secretary for Defence. THE FINANCIAL DEBATE. Mr Smith( Waipawa) resumed the debate on the Financial Statement, and strongly supported the Government proposals as being m accordance with the verdict of the country at last general election. Captain Russell merely wished to say that he believed he had a complete answer to every allegation the Defence Minister had made against him last night whpn the Estimates were before the House. He should be prepared to reply to the charges made as to his administration while m the late Government. He denied altogether Mr Seddon's imputation that Ihe had referred some time ago to his ! future colleagues m contemptible terms, ' and he might say he had always con- , sistendy stuck to his party. He appealed to Mr Ballance to wind up the debate, and the Opposition would offer no objection at all tj his doing so. Mr Ballance said he should comply with Captain Russell's suggestion, and rose to reply. Captain Russell further suggested that the Premier should postpone his remarks till 7.30. Th's was agreed to, and thu House rose at 4.30. The House resumed at 7.30 p.m. MR BALLANCE's REPLY. Mr Ballance begtta by referring to the Bills that were to give effect to the Government policy. He would Fay at once that the Bills had not. received their final revision, and that being so, Government were not m a position to, brhi'z them clown. They bad also learned during the debate that certain gentlemen m the colony who would be affected by a graduated scale of taxation were desirous of getting out of contact, and one reason which justified Government m holding buck their measnres was that they might devise some scheme by which those individuals should not escape their fair share i of taxation. It had baen asserted that the present surplus was due to the late Government, and that had been said by freetraders m the House ; but he contended that the productive energies of the people of the c lony were responsible for the surplus and nor. the latu Colonial Tiea urer. It was. not the duty (if a treasurer to provide a large .surplus, although of course he was always applauded for a surplus of any kind. With respect to Mr S'iacartliur's speech, he asserted it was full of hnccmvicies as far as th« figures m the Fnancial Statement were concerned. That lion, gentleman had stated that subsidies to local bodies were paid before they were demanded m order to reduce the surplus. That was not. correct, and Mr M^carthur should know it was not. On tvery point, indeed, on wh'ch he had challenged the Government's liuanco he had broken down, They were told they might not set the sinking fund i but unless the Bank of England broke or repudiated is engagements, they would gefc it. With regard ti> the charge made by Dr Newman about the large amount of deficiency Bills issued by the present Government, he explfdned that that was due to a little trick parformad l.y the lace treasurer— namely, that on March 31, 1890, £200,000 of deficiency bills were pud off. On April 1, 1890 (next day), they were reissued. How could the present Government be blamed for that ? Coming to the postage question, he argued that the whale commurity would benefit by the reduction, including the working'man, whom the OpposHion seemed so anxious abput. As to a reduction on the necessaries of life, he had never heard the hon. gentian)en opposite express any solicitude before on that point His opinion was that the Grey Ministry was the only Government: that had reduced taxation on the necessaries of life, tis they had made no less than £100,000 reduction m the duties on tea and sugar. The Government policy had found favor with their p irty as a whole, and ho was confident they would be able to give effect to it. As to the totalisator tax. he contended itwould tend to kill gambling, ani also to kill racing, and he cited the fact that the increased duty on spirit* a: h me had decreased the consumption of liqunr. With respect to retrenchment, he claimed Government had effected a saving this year of £41,000, and stated they had dispensed with lIS hands m all. It was true some increases ox salary had been made m the Estimates, but that >yas on account of the amalgamation of offices. £fo policy could be carried out m a few months, and ifc therefore unreasonable to expect Government to. stop the exodus m the short time they have been jjt office. The hon gentleman next spoke at some length on the land question and theit3cess!|i,y af holding out spme inducement to people to settle on the land. Ii lion, gentlemen opposite wore sincere m their desire to put small settlers on the land, why did they not advocate that some of the enormous estates m Canterbury, which jjjfeve admirably adapted for small farms, should be acquired by Government for settlement purposes, As to loans, he might jse-1 the House that Government wepe onijr carryjiig put the arrange me nts made by their 'predecessors for the conversion of current loans. Government were of opinion, that borrow-: ing m the English market would be most dangerous and risky for the next few years, and. Ministers believed they were studying the interests of \:ho ijomitry m that direction, They wished to preserve th<? good nixma of the colony, especially after the example they Intel of Queensland and other colonies. It was said Government wanted to burst up the large estates, but what they wanted to do was to make them pay their proper share of taxation &ad $ ; <> aid the revenue of the colony m a legpmato way. TJie effect of their policy might probably be to restrict the flow of capital to large estates, but it would also surely tend m the direction of assisting small estates. Government Wvire convinced they would be able to obtai.n the revenue they required, but they had urne reservation on that, which was that bpfore they were palled upon; to impose a rate they would have data ascertained by the triennial property Hpseissmenfc, so that they would be able to say exactly what amount would be realised. \ It would be for the House to decide what the ra.te should be. As to the absentee
question, he had always held that these people nhouiti be taxed ; but be thought, as they were absentees and non-impro-vers, they T.ight be reached by thegra*. duafed scale. However, the question might veiy well be left m the meantim*. In conclusion, he said it was their duty to legislate for the good of the country, and orovtriiment would keep that object steadily m view. The motion that the Speaker kayo the chair was then agreed to, and the House went into Committee of Supply, but progress .was reported .immediately. [The telegram sent on Thursday morning, that the House wont into committee of Supply after Mr Fish's motion being carried, was erroneous.j Mr Ballanee read a telegram from Ranger Campbell, InvercargilJ, stating 'here was no truth m the report that he had il!t-reat<jd a prisoner m a cell, and no charge of that nature had ever bee.) made against him ; also a t-t bgram from the Inspector of Police at Invercargill stating that no such episode as that alleged had occurred. The Premier suggested that hon. members should place themselves m possession of proofs befi-rj bringing forward charges against people. He challenged enquiry into the matter. After several measures had been adTrtiiced a stage, the House rose at 10.30 p.m.
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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2403, 11 July 1891
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2403, 11 July 1891
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