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PROVINCIAL COUNCIL.

Wednesday, September 28, 1864. The Council met at 5 o'clock. The Speaker in the chair. Present—All the members except Messrs. Aikman, Duncan, Hornbrook, Innes, Peacock, Rickman, Rowe, and Templer. Prayers having been read by the Yen. the Chaplain, the minutes of last meeting were read and confirmed. The Speaker announced his Honor's assent to the Sheep Eating Bill. Mr. Clark presented a petition, signed by upwards of 120 inhabitants of the city of Christehureh, calling the attention of the Council* to the desirability of carrying out a road from the western side of Hagley Park to the central part of Christchurch; to commence at the Plough Inn, and run across Hagley Park to Armagh street. Mr. J. 0. Wilson wished to know whether it -was competent at this late stage of the session of the Council to present petitions, as no action could be taken in the matter. The Speaker said it was an inconvenient course, bat one that could not be prevented by the Standing Orders. The petition was read and received. HOSPITAL AND CHARITA3UB AID BILL. On the motion of the Provincial Secbetaey the Blouse went into Committee to consider this Bill for the purpose of making a few verbal alterations. Clauses 9 and 10 were amended, and the Bill was reported to the House, which resumed. PASTUEAGE BENTS. The Secretary fob Pcbt-ic Works moved the first of his resolutions as foliows : — That the Report of the Select Committee, appointed to consider and report upon the practicability of increasiiitr the revenue derived from Pasturage Rents within the Province, be adopted. The Council would feel that the decision which the resolutions involved was an important one, one affecting large and important interests, and having an important bearing on the condition of the province at large. So much had been already said upon this subject that he would not recur to it. Although the existence of a pasturage license offered no impediment to the free selection of land by intending purchasers, it did not enable one stockowner to be displaced by another in 1870, unless the original licensee was unwilling to pay the rent demanded at that time. This being the case, in the last session of the Council, the hon. member for the Eeathcote submitted to the consideration of the Council the desirability of dealing with the subject at the present time, instead of postponing the matter until 1870.- The Council took a favorable view of that gentleman's proposal, and a committee was appointed in the present session to inquire into and report upon the matter, which committee had eat for a considerable time, and had taken the evidence of persons whose opinion was known on the matter; those wh° should be able to tell on the one hand what rent th e farmers could afford to pay, and ontbe other hand a* what increase of rent they would not be unwilling to give up their present licenses and accept new ones ; because the Council must bear in mind that it was optional for the licensee to accept any terms which might be imposed at the present time. It is true that by adopting such a plan as recommended by the hon. member a considerable increase in the revenues of the province would be the result at an early period ; instead of £17,000 as at present, it would very probably be increased to £40,000. But he pointed out greater advantages than these. The disadvantage of the present system was that, although the licenses were not terminable in 1870, still stockowners began, to feel more and more everyday that it was uncertain what steps might be taken at thatjdate to determine their rent and position. For instance, the Council, in IS7O, might take an exorbitant view of the value of the runs, and perhaps might think it right to put them up to auction, a course which would prove very embarrassing to the stockowner at that time. The most embarrassing thing, however, would be the fact that he would not know if he was safe in going on with improvements in hie run, for of course no occupier of land would think it -either wise or prudent j

to expend money in making improvements if lie ceased to occupy it in four or five years time. He would not only b." unwilling to make improvements on those coalitions, but he would be unable to do so. They knew that licensees in the majority of cases had J laid "out the whole ot their capital in the purchase and stocking oftheirrms.and had, therefore, no additional capital to employ. They must raise it from otlier sources ; but the shortness of time until IS7O made capitalists more and more unwilling lo invest money upon the security of such property ; the result bein? that licensees were crippled in such uncertainty. Whatever the opinion of the Council might be as to the amount of rent fixed, he thought it would be conceded that the question should be settled at the present time. They might cay " we will tell you what rent we will fix in IS7O, provided at the present time that you accede to an increase of rental." That would not impose an unfair rental burden upon the licensee, for it was optional for him to accept the arrangement or not. If he did not accept it, this legislation would not place him in a worse position than he was at present. The advantages of a settlement of the question were great. Stock owners would bo enabled, and in most cases disposed, to improve their runs. With regard to the amount of rent which it might be right to ask, of course a very great variety of opinions existed. It was not an easy question to settle on the one hand what was a fair equivalent to the province for the concession it made, and on the other hand what the stockowncrs could afford and would be willing to pay for the new license. The Committee endeavored to elicit the opinions of practical men on the subject, which had been more within a reasonable compass than might have been expected. The Committee suggested what they believed to be a fair compromise of the question. They did not think it likely that any higher amount of rental would induce any body of stockowners to come in; on the contrary, they were aware that the amount now proposed was complained of by a considerable number of stockowners. Still they did not think it was the amount of rent which they could not afford to pay after IS(>6, and they were persuaded if on the other hand any lower amount was proposed, such a proposal would not be acceptable to the public generally. The amount originally intended to be proposed was somewhat less than the present amount, but it was found that in consequence of the length of time legislation of the question would take, any alteration of the law could not come into force until 1566, as it would have to be sanctioned by the General Assembly, and then go home to England. For that reason it had not been thought unfair to make a small increase in the rate originally proposed. He had no doubt he should be met by some hon. member stating that it was very diflicult to legislate on the subject, because it had been proposed in the present session to tax pastoral property in other ways, which therefore rendered it difficult to say what were the fair profits of a license, and what was a fair charge for it. There was a fallacy at the bottom of that argument. They did not propose to impose any special taxes upon runs, they merely proposed to place runs in the same position as all other landed property, therefore it was necessary to keep this question of rates entirely distinct from that of rent. The result of the proposition of the Committee would be an increase of from £17,000 to £18,000 in the revenue of the country ; it would, moreover, promote the investment of foreign capital, and have a favorable effect upon the general finances of the province. One branch of the subject was this —-whether it would not be practicable and fair to rent runs according to their capacities and qualities. There was a certain amount of truth in the statement that some runs were richer than others, and could carry more stock than others, aud so on ; but when they considered the subject narrowly, they would find that there would be a very great practical difficulty in carrying out this classification fairly and and honestly, because the value of a run did not -depend upon the amount of grass grown upon a given acre —that was a comparatively trifling consideration they should have to take into consideration such questions as the existence of boundaries, the absence of rich land, which would be a temptation to the purchaser, the proximity of wood and water —these were considerations more than outweighing any richness in the carrying capacity of the run. The very poverty of the land was in itself of value to the runholder. Upon the whole they were assured that the disadvantages of runs were" very fairly balanced by their advantages, and the Committeo therefore did not think it practicable to propose any varying amount of rent. lie should move the first resolution. Mr. Cox had no intention of opposing the resolution before the House. He should like to say that there was a difficulty standing in the way of the general acceptance of the terms proposed in the report by runholders. There was an uncertainty in the minds of those holding property of this description as to the amount of taxes likely to be imposed by successive Provincial Councils. The Secretary for Public Works said it would be desirable to preserve a distinction between rates and rents, but there was notwithstanding an uncertainty resulting from the fact of no admitted principle upon which it was proposed to put charges of this nature upon Crown lands being indicated by those in authority. He should like to know whether it would not be possible to add to those resolutions something to meet that difiic'ilty. So far as regards pastoral rents. With regard to the improvements, of course that part of the subject would be dealt with as in the case of other property —that each individual property would have to pay the annual value of the improvements upon it. He should be inclined to say that in respect to some property he held, he should be willing to accept the terms proposed ; but with regard to other, he thought he should not; he should be quite willing to take his chance for the future. Mr. (Jlahk. expressed his dissent from the motion, and he wa3 sure that when this question should be discussed in 1569 or 1870, the public would di sent from the report brought before the Council. He heard much of the evidence, and read it over very carefully, and yet ho was bound to say it was \madvisfible to e'*ter into this question. The last hon. member who spoke said he should be willing to accept the terms with respect to some of the property he held, and in 1870 they should find that the increase in the rent would be nothing like what was anticipated, and the i increase to our revenues would be small. The face I of the country would be changed by that time, and the public would find that runs had been secured at much below their real value, and great dissatisfaction would be the result. If in 18(59 the squatter was still an important element in the province, he might reckon upon being fairly dealt with. For those reasons he should oppose the motion. Mr. Tosswnx said if it were a matter of rent to be got out of the squatter he should be inclined to agree with the hon. gentleman. But they must look at it from a broader point of view. The increase to the material wealth of the colony would be great. If this question were settled at or»ce there would be many other advantages. They should come to the subject calmly and quietly, and they \vere more likely to arrive at a proper conclusion than they should be if the question were put oil' till 1869. He should support the resolutions, and he was quite sure the House would adopt them. Mr. Fvfe should support the resolution, but he thought that the House should go into committee to consider the report in detail. The Secretary for Public Works explained that if any hon. member proposed an amendment it could be done by adding the words " with the exception of." lie took the present course for the sake of brevity. Mr. Laxce thought it was not possible to divide rans into two olasees. The terms proposed might tempt runholders to accept them; but there were mani who would not be inclined to do so. It was very weL to say it was optional, but if it was sufficient to induce the greater number of them to accept the terms, he was afraid that the few left would stand a bad chance in 1870. They would be obliged to come in on account of the terms put upon them. He should not oppose the resolution. Mr. Beswick could not agree with the hon. member for Lincoln that the question should be delayed until 1870. By adopting that course, property would

have no value wliatever ; and therefore, though the terms were rather high, lie for one would be inclined to azrce to then. At present the Provincial Council had "the power of dealing with the cui,\<rion, but in IS7O the vrhole power might bo taken into the binds of tlie General Assembly, and might hnve no control or >r it, lie thought some principle ought to be laid do.vn as to the net annual value of runt-. Mr. Ollivikb wasat a loss to know why the Provincial Council should not at once proceed to legislate ou the matter. The hon. gentleman might say there was a difficulty in the way. The 43th clause of the Waste Lands" Act of 1858, he thought, was overlooked. He thought there was no departure from the intentions of this Act if the Council proceeded to legislate on the matter, so that in that case there would bo no necessity to go to the General Assembly to amend tho Act. If they did do so, there wae this danger, that interference with one clause might, lead to interference with the others. He would far rather that the hon. gentleman would withdraw his resolution for the present session, and come to the Council next session with a Bill carefully drawn up and fully considered. DrTuESßULLsaidasamatterof expediency he should be inclined to support tho resolution, but he agreed with the hon. member for Lincoln that tins was not the time to legislate in the matter, ne agreed with the hon. member for Christchurch that they ought to delay legislating on the question, but not until 1870. [No, no.] They ought to legislate next session. This Council, as now elected, was not the proper one to legislate on the point ; that was the view token out of doors. The members elected at the general election of 1866 were the proper men to legislate on the matter. Mr. Bntcn asked whether the Provincial Council had power to deal with the Waste Lands Regulations, or whether it waa necessary to apply to the General Assembly. Mr. Taxcued said that as to tho waste lands the Council had no power whatever. The General Assembly had endeavored to evndo this, but always unsuccessfully. Tho Act of ISo-t was disallowed ; then followed the Act of 1856, which carried out the object of that of 1854 by directly giving to the provinces the power of administering the waste lands, and that too was disallowed. In conaequena , , the Act of ISSS was passed. One reason for the jealousy with which the Imperial Government viewed any legislation on the subject of the waste knds was that the half million loan was secured on the waste lands of the Crown, and it was not likely therefore that the Home Government would allow any body not immediately answerable to it to legislate respecting those lands. The Provincial Council had no such power, and the Imperial Government would disallow any Bill that gave them the power. The Act alluded to by the hon. member for Christchurch was un exceptional one, and was assented to by the Imperial Government on the ground that it did not affect the security of the loan. The Council must remember that they were not dealing with the General Assembly but with the Imperial Government, and an Act which on other poirts might be allowed to pass, would, if it dealt at all with the waste lands, be scrutinised most narrowly. So strictly had it been decided that no variation could be allowed from the letter of the law, that in the case of Otago, which had raised the price of its waste lands, and subsequently wi-jhed to raise it higher, the Attorney s General declared that they had exhausted their power as the law only gave the power of raising the price a single time. Mr. Bihch said that after the information he had received from the President of the Execntive he should support the resolutions. Mr. Maude thought it most desirable that the question should be settled, as such large interest were at stake, and so seriously affecting the welfare nf the country. He shared in the alarm with which the Council generally looked upon the interference of the General Assembly in provincial legislation when not absolutely called for, but after what had fallen from the Government bench, he could not say that the Provincial Council vv-ere in a position to legislate satisfactorily on the question. The Secbetart fob Public Wobks briefly replied, deprecating a delay to the next session of the j Council, which would result in no new law coming into force till 1869, by which every advantage would be lost which it was hoped to gain by an early settlement of the question. He thought the public had had a full and lair notice of the course proposed, and that the general opinion was in its favor. The resolutions were put to the House and carried APPROPRIATION OF "WASTE LAITD3. The Sjscbetabt fob Public Wobks movedj—. That his Honor the Superintendent be authorised to appropriate during the present financial year 2000 acres ot waste lands for the execution of drainage works. The motion was carried. RATEPAYERS ROLLS. The Secretary tor Public "Works moved— That in the opinion of this Council it is desirable that the payment of auy contribution from the Public Treasury for tno services ot any Uoad District should be withheld if, in the opinion of the Executive Government, the preparation of the .Ratepayers' Roll for the district is unreasonably delayed. The motion was carried. RESERVES FOR GRAVBX PITS. The Secretary for Public Works tnoved that the Council should recommend his Honor the Superintendent to make the following reserves :— Ten acres, more or less, situate in the Mandeville district ; bounded on the S.W. by the continuation of the road forming the south-western boundary of Section 2117, on the westward by the YVaiinakariri, on the southeastward by the road on the north-west side of Sections 472 aud ofi-t, and on the north-cast by a line parallel to the south-western bouudary, bo as to include the above quantity, and numbered 366 iv red, for a gravel pit. Six acres two roods, more or less, situate in the Mandeville district; bouuded on the X.E. by the continuation ot the road forming: the south-western boundary I of Sections 2117, on the westward and southward by' the Waimakariri, and on the eastward by the road on the west side ot° Sections -172 and 306 a, aud numbered 367 in red, for a gravel pit. * The motion was carried. THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. ' \ The Secretary for Public Wobks moved the' following resolutions — • 1. That while this Council has made provision lor the payment of the expenses of the ufeological survey of the province during the present financial year, it disdains any liability to provide for any further payments ou this account after the expiration of that period. 2. That in the opinion of thia Council it is hnadvisable, in the event of the Geological Department being , continued after the expiration of the present financial year, that the payment of the expenses ;of the department should be placed on the same footing as hitherto. .-..—» He would not go at length into the question of the contract; the line he took was this, that, the Council had neverauthorized any contract, andwae certainly under no equitable obligation to provide payment beyond the end of the financial year. The late Superintendent said the engagement was a yearly one ; the Geolosist maintained that it was to be continued till the completion of the surrey, and that no time was specified. The * Council had never committed il self so far as that. Ho had no hesitation in saying that the arrangement made by Mr. Moorhousc was irregular, unbusinesslike, and one that could not fail to entail trouble and embarrassment. The late Provincial Secretary eaid, whan bringing down the estimates of last year, that the payment* were made under a contract which would be in force for three years; to that extent the Council had committed itself, and so far the engagement should be carried out in the letter and the spirit. Technically, those three years ended with the last financial year 5 but Dr. Haast had represented that he had not been allowed to work uninterruptedly, and therefore it was perhaps but fair to add another fear. Further th:m that the Council was under no legal or equitable obligation to make any provision. As a member of the Council ho should never feel it right to make provision for a contract entered into without the knowledge and approval of the Connrdl. He protested against the assumption of any power on the part of members of the Government to pledge the province without tho sanction of the rcpre-

sentatives of the people of the province. Hβ did not say that it was the intention of the Government to put tin end to the geological survey. If i t W[ m be continued with advantage to the province it would bo continued ; but the present arrangement was m> sati>f»'.etory and unfair. He was entirely in favor of allowing the high salary which a man of science and education was entitled to claim, but it would be more satisfactory to the province, and the work would be more efficiently done, if the mutter was put on a different footing. He wished to stvy that he waa far from undervaluing the services of for. Haast, wbosa reports he regretted had not been placed more prominently before the public. They -were about to printed, and the public would then see what a great amount of labor Dr. Haast had gone through. Mr. W. Wilsox seconded the resolutions, and took that opportunity to set right a point in wEich he had done Mr. Haast a little injustice. He had stated that Mr. Holmes had not seen Dr. Haast's plan of the Port Hills till six months after taking the contract for the tunnel. Mr. Holmes had since informed him that he had seen Dr. Haast's report before he took the contract, though he still declared that he was not in the slightest degree influenced by it- * ' Dr. Turjjotll at some length contended that the Council was under a moral obligation to continue the " services of the Provincial Geologist till the survey was completed. The Council were aware that the engagement was indefinite in point of time, and no notice had ever been given to Dr. Haast that it wmotherwise regarded by tho Government. He' complained of there being no mention made of Dr. Haost'i name in the resolutions. Tho Secretary for Public Works had no objection to introduco the words " tho services of Dr. Htuist," in the second resolution, in place-of the words " the Geological Department." With that amendment the resolutions were agreed to. noXOBABimi POB MB. SBLFB. Tho Provincial Secretary moved— That this Council, considering the {rreat exertions which have been made by Mr. Svlfe on behalf of the province ia the absence of Mr. Marshmau, respectfully request his Honor the Supcriutendent to place '.'" the sum of £200 on the Estimates as a honorarium Iα recognition ot his services. Mr. Selfe's services to the province had been Terr ", great. No one who had read his letters could doubt that ho always had the interests of Canterbury at heart, and he was sure that the vote would be unanimously passed. Air. W. Wilsox seconded the motion. The sum " proposed was certainly a small one, but Mr. SeUe ~ would value it as a token that hie services were appreciated in the province. Tho Secretary fob Public Wobks eujjported. the motion. Mr. Selfe waa deserving of the thanks of the province. The knowledge he had always shown in matters relating to Canterbury and the colony in general evinced the interest he took ia the subject, and his usefulness in bringing thil ' knowledge to bear on different matters, especially ia that of the Panama contract, was deserving of the highest culogium. After some remarks from a few other members, the motion was carried unanimously, and it wu agreed that the resolution should be forwarded to Mr. Selfe. SHEEP BILL. On the motion of tho Provincial Secbetaet th« House went into Committee to effect an amendment in one of the clauses. On the motion of Captain WESTEiTBA the wordi " washing for shearing" were left out. The House then resumed, and on the motion-of Uul the Provincial Secretary, the BUI was read ti» ~ third time. PROVINCIAL COUNCIL LIBRARIAN. The Provincial Secbetabt moved that- tie House proceed to elect .a Librarian, and proposed that Mr. Holmes, the meteorological officer, be ■£• pointed as such, with a salary of £25 per annum. Mr. Mauds eecondod the proposal, which mil - coined. THE LOAN OF 1862. - . fV The Provincial Seobetaby moved— That in the opinion, of this Council the sinkiflg And of the loan of 1802 should be invested ia Anatralattu securities. ■ The resolution having been seconded by the SIOKI* : ~ tart 7on> Public Wokks, was carried after a ahttt discussion. ' AKABOA JBTTT. ' t *11 Mr. Ollttier moved— ■> That his Honor the Superintendent be respectfully^"" requested to place upon. the Estimates the »urn *** of £100 as a grant in aid for the construction of a Jetty at the head of the Bar of Akaroa. _ The sum asked for was a very small one, and if WiTfor a most useful purpose. The owners of the nulls at the head of the Bay at Akaroa were ready to giii»_ £150 towards the construction of a jetty JjW&T which would tend towarde the opening up wjjkf large timber districts in the neighborhood.' r TaH: sum of £100 would be sufficient to build the Ti**F of the jetty, and the owners of the mills would eti%. , plete it, and it would be of great service to the inhajji* tants generally. ' •''•f'" The Secretary *<ra "Pubxic "Wonwa oppOMftti» r -C grant, and said the Government had considered tt#4 matter. It would no doubt be of great service to Jkf owners of the mills, but the position __ the lion, gentleman did not seem likely to render li" very useful to others, and the cost, according to ttof estimate of the District Engineer, would M £BQSJL instead of £280, , ; ■.. , . i i!( > ! After some discussion, the House divided* on* TO I question, which was negatived by a majority of 3* Noes, 11; ayes, 8. ' < '? > t i^o CHBISTCHURCH COLLEGE LOAN- BUS. -, } Mr. Maude moved the re-committal of the Carilt'i College Loan BilL - The House then wenfc into committee. There were certain alterations in the wordifigw" the Bill to be effected, which, however, did not affix* - the principle of it. - Tho Secretary *ob Public WQBUltptmbAthat the objections that he had had on a former occa* siouto thoßill having been removed bythoatta*>T tions, ho would now support it. ' v* Tho alterations haying been effected, the How*. resumed. _ - VICTORIA - BRIDGE. Mr. Ollivxkb moved— *~ v That his Honor the' Superintendent be *?*£!'%&* ' to direct that the sum of £350 be pUeed VP&*?~Ksti mates to meet tho extra payments "VJxL . defray the cost oi constructing Uiel^|*B»l«M , g e ' The sum of £350 was required by the City CcaaA - for the repairs to the bridge, and for other P ar P**' *" over the £3000 which they,had b«enaflo»ed ?£.. - Government, when the completion'or the DruJge.J|f|£ r s' transferred into their hands, . He considered »w,tbeiduty of the Council 4q relieve the City Cei»e»^| voting this purpose. '* , ; .*%: vi&f' Mr. Hayfkes seconded' the* motion. 'tssffi " The SECiiErABY fob Ppblio Womb °PP°*°* < -- tho motion oc the ground . thai *L>^i--time the transfer of the bridge to the Wtt f W&§S*r~ wa3 effected, it was agreed tliat the cost of altogether should not exceed £3,000. **• "jSJSar"" an amendment: " That the cum of £50 Oβ fflHW* instead of £350." After a considerable discussion, «j* The Secbei*aby job Public Woiuce *]*»£& leave to withdraw his first poposal that the sum of £300 should W**\the Estimates for the expense* of the bndgey carried. ...--...-. , -:^i FIBB BBI&ApIS BILK. - , - On the motion of Mr. Oxlivtkb, thif Biß oto* read a third time and passed. _.. HACXSIY CAB«IA<JBS BOX. jjggl On the motjton of Mr. Oijjvxbb, this a second tfme, and the House went into cwjjpßjMSgSjjJ consider it. The various causes passed " - mittee, and theßiU was reported to the resumed. * cnßjSTcrarecH buiidiso act. . , rt »» - On the motion of Mr. that <^ { flpt " into committee on thia Bill,

f.~ -j. jj j. TjUfCBED confessed he bed ** MmtMJnction in being a party to passhe did not understand, and which ton- member himself did not. He " toknow whether it would not be better to '**the Bill as it now stood until next session, k** ?T n members would have an opportunity of *SLrAemeelves acquainted with it. ■SWm should regret very much giving up β-frtf bo important a nature,- but at the same * i-Twas aot deeirous of pressing on a Bill which s"««,b«e of the Council were not prepared fully fg*J?S Hβ should ask leave of the Council theregSSwth&awit. ■uggn •«■ P- Ten- ' . mMxrnoD ssttisd biix. #w the nwtion of Mr. Matjdb the House went • toßseoOMOa this Bill, the various clauses of committee, and the Bill was I I rSedtoAe House, which resumed. "Cfalfclaof motion having been given, the House the following day at the usual hour. - syw*" ~~ > _

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PROVINCIAL COUNCIL., Press, Volume V, Issue 598, 29 September 1864

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PROVINCIAL COUNCIL. Press, Volume V, Issue 598, 29 September 1864

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