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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7943, 26 June 1889
[Fnmi Opb Parliamentary Reporter.]
WELLINGTON, J inf. 25. The Representation Bill. In place of bringing in one comprehensive measure, as was originally intended, the Colonial Secretary has decided to introduce three separate Bills—namely, the Corrupt Practices Bill, Registration of Electors Bill, and Representation Bill. In the Corrupt Practices Bill the same declaration will be provided for as at Home, and the time be limited within which claims can be sent in against a candidate's return. The second measure will simply provide for the registration of electors; and the Representation Bill will deal almost exclusively with the Hare system, an opportunity being thus afforded to members to cast their votes on the proposed radical change in the mode of election, irrespective of other important questions under the electoral lawj. Reception of The Budget.
The Financial Statement this evening was not nearly so heartily received as might have been expected, looking to the cheerful tone that pervaded the Treasurer's deliver ance. There was a large attendance of members, about seventy-five being the total number of the people's representatives who have yet reached Wellington, and who put in an appearance and patiently listened to a somewhat tedious review of the various divisions of public accounts. Less than a dozen of the Upper House (including the two Ministers) felt so much interest in the finances of the colony they assist to legislate for as to feel it their duty to listen to the delivery of the Budget. The ladies' gallery was thinly attended, Dut those appropriated to the sterner sex were uncomfortably full. Members listened with a generally languid air to Sir Harry Atkinson's really lucid exposition of his management of the funds, and even the announcement that there was a surplus could not evoke more than a solitary "Hear, hear"; while the subsequent and detailed explanation of this point was received with a shuffling of feet by some half dozen members. There was, indeed, a
greater show of enthusiasm at the Treasurer's allusion to the necessity for guarding against a relapse into extravagance than at any other stage of the merely financial part of the Statement. The popularity of the Otago Central Railway was evidenced by a chorus of cheers being accorded to the Treasursr's reference to that work. For the rest it may be briefly stated that applause was given to the proposed exemption of machinery from the Property Tax, the congratulation upon the various extensions of the Midland Railway, and the figures showing the increased consumption of wool in the colonial factories. The conclusion of the speech waa the signal for a hearty round of applause that redeemed the previous rigidity. The delivery of the Statement occupied an hour and five minutes only, which makes it the briefest that has been made for many sessions.
The Chattels Transfer Bill, which will shortly be introduced by the Colonial Secretary, has an important bearing on the law relating to different classes of securities. The measure has not been circulated, but an advance copy has been kindly supplied to me. Attached to the measure is a memo., which states i "As the law now stands, we still have one law relating to securities on ordinary chattels, another law relating to securities on stock, another law relating to securities on wool, and another law relating to securities on crops. There is no just reason why the law relating to these various classes of security should not be the same, and to make it so is one of the principal objects of this Bill. The other main object of the Rill is to diminish the cost of preparing and registerinc securities. It is provided, inter alia, thatan instrument dealing with fixtures need not be registered under this Rill, if the same instrument also deals with a freehold or leasehold interest in the land on which the fixtures are situate, thus making the law much the same as in England. In the Chattels Securities Act, 1880, marriage settlements are exempted from the definition of a bill of sale, and this has been held to mean only settlements made upon or prior to marriage. It has therefore always been considered necessary to register post-nuptial settlements, but there is no reason why ante-nuptial settlements relating to chattels should not also be registered. Marriage settlements are therefore not exempted from the definition of instrument in this Bill. In the definition of 'crops,' the only novelty is that fruit has been added, thus rendering it possible to give a security over a crop of fruit. The time within which an instrument may be registered is altered, and in place of the periods varying, according to the nature of the security, the time for registration is fixed according to the distance of the plaoe where the instrument is executed from the place where it has to be registered!' The expense at present entailed in proving instruments and iheir registration when questions arise in litigation concerning them is diminished, as is' also the cost of filing of affidavits of satisfaction. By clause 25 instruments are made absolutely void as regards the title to the chattels comprised therein, unless duly registered. With a view to diminishing the facilities for fraud registration is made compulsory in all cases. In future all securities can apply to either past, present, or future advances, but tbey will not be good as regards past advances if bankruptcy ensues within six months. Section of the Chattel Securities Act 1880 * Amendment Act, 1883, applying only to bills of sale, and rendering essential a most minute and accurate statement of the consideration, has not been repeated, it having proved simply a trap by which with'the least carelessness a security may be rendered invalid. It is of very little value, as it! is very easily and very constantly evaded. As registration under this Bill is rendered compulsory, the mercantile community will always have notice of the fact that any person has given a security on his chattels, and it will be easy for anyone dealing with such a person to satisfy himself as to the amount owing on such security. Of course, in the case of every instrument to secure past or present advances, the amount secured -vill naturally be shown on the face of the instrument; and, as regards future advances, it wouH be practically impossible to state on the face of the instrument what they will amount to." These are the main provisions of this important measure, save that Clause 52 provides for two yean' exemption for frauds on the part of a mortgagor. Fraud by a bailee is already provided for by the existing law. '
Our Credit at Home. The Hon. R. Campbell says that when lately in England he found a great want of confidence among financial men as to sfew Zealand credit, but he was pleased to say that matters are in a much better state now, and he congratulates the present Government for havinsc brought the country's finances into such a satisfactory condition. He hopes that we have now heard the last of loans, as they are the cause of detriment to the colony. Such, in brief, were the hon. gentleman's grounds for seconding the Address-ia-Reply in the Council.
Vending Frozen Meat. The Government will very gladly acquiesce in Mr W. P. Reeves's proposal that the colonies should jointly approach the Imperial Government iwith the view of getting an English Act passed compelling all vendors of frozen (imported) meat in the United Kingdom to mark and selluu meat as " frozen imported meat," and imposing a sufficient penalty for any breaoh of such regulation. The Premier considers the matter one of considerable importance, and is aware that a very considerable section of the people at Home would be glad to see such an Act in force.
[ Gaolers as Probation Officers. ( It was suggested to the Government this afternoon by Mr Reeves (St. Albans) that they should consider the desirableness of ceasing to appoint gaolers as probation officers, and substitute for all now acting in that capacity some persons whose occupation enables them to have a fuller knowledge and to form a better judgment of the charaoter of the applicants for probation. The Minister of Justice, in reply, admitted that gaolers were not the most suitable persons for the office, but said that his predecessor (Mr Tole), to whom the colony owed its Probation Act, thought it
inadvisable that the duties should be placed in the hands of magistrates or police inspectors If, however, the hon. gentleman con id suggest a more suitable class of porous lie (Mr Fergus) would be glad to conuilt with him on the subject. About 2;>o ~ll'eiiders had been dealt with under the Act up to the present time, and he was not aware of any complaints having been made from any quarter until now. Jottings. Bills relating to postal cards, to amend the law of marriage, and relating to the law uf libel are being introduced in tho Council by the Attorney-General. The sittings of both Houßes this afternoon only extended over three quarters of an hour. Seventy-six out of the ninety-five members of the Lower House are now in Wellington. The Legislative Councillors view with disfavor the proposed reform of that Cham-
ber. Members say that the time has not arrived for any constitutional changes in the Council The Hon. Mr Wilson is moving for the production of papers in connection with Judge Denniston's appointment. The appointment of a librarian for the General Assembly library is likely to be deferred for a time, as Dr M'Gregor is of opinion that Mr Collier (the late librarian) will bo able to resume his duties in six weeks' time. Indisposition prevented the Colonial Secretary from attending the House this afternoon, and members were thus deprived of his promised exposition of the details of the Hospitals and Charitable Aid Bill which is to be given on moving for leave to bring it in. It was ut present thought that Mr Hislop was suffering from Bciatica, but Biicb proves not to be the 2ase. JIiNE 2G. Town v. Country. The meeting of the town members to consider the claims of the country districts to an increased shure of representation was attended by eighteen members. It was decided to wait on the Premiar and ascertain the views of the Government in reference to the country members' agitation, and also to resist to the utmost the efforts cf thecountry party to increase the " quota " in their favor.
The following were present at this morning's caucus -.—Messrs Allen, Barron, Blake, Pish, Dr Fitchett, Sir G. Grey, Jones, Joyce, Loughrey, Moss, Dr Newman, Perceval, Taylor, Turnbull, Ross, ami T. Thompson (chairman). First Offenders. Messrs Lawry, Reeves, Monk, and Bruce, believing that the First Offenders' Probation Act should be retrospective in its operations, so that it should apply to first offenders now under sentence, intend to wa ; t upon the Minister of Justice and urge that legislation be effected in that direction. Mr Reeves took tho first step ' in the matter by |hls questions in the House yesterday. The Railway Keveuue. In the lobbies the Financial Statement appears to be viewed approvingly by members. The main cause of disapproval is that the railway revenue does not compare with tho expenditure as favorably as might
have been hoped for. However, the returns so far this year are most satisfactory, and these for the first three months will show an increase of about L 20.000 over the corresponding period of the last financial year. Tbe Otago Central. The Ministerial organ to-day says :—" It is rumored that the Government will propose to extend the Otago Central Railway to Kyoburn, and to provide the funds partly out of the district land fund, and partly out of the unexpended balance of the Otago Central vote." This I believe to be mere speculation, and shall be prepared to find the Government asking authority to let contracts as far as Hyde forthwith, and to curry on tlio work to the Kwehurn next year. Clinlrinan of Sessional Committees. The following appointments as Chairman of Sessional Committees weie nude to-day : Waste Lands, Mr Fulton ; Joint Library, lion. R. l'liarazyn; Goldfields, Mr Cadman. " Fie ! Fie ! Honorable penllenien." It would seem that some lion, members are in disrepute at Bellamy's, owing to their not having satisfied outstanding accounts ; and at a meeting of the Joint House Committee this foronoon it was resolved that all accounts for refreshments must be paid weekly, or '* luxuries " will be Btopped.
Tbe Sweating lluslnesn The Premier is of opinion that a Royal Commission will have to be appointed to inquire into tlio sweating system, and in that event the Government will have no objection to extending its functions so as to include females employed under the Factories Act.
Mr Taylor's motion for the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the sweating system was agreed to on the
voices. Position of Harder Beards. It is the intention of the Premier to ask both Homes, to appoint a joint committee to inquire into the position of all harbor boards throughout the colony. When this motion ia proposed an opportunity will be ali'orded to members of discussing tb.e action of the Government in making a grant of L 2.000 to the New Plymouth Harbor Board.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7943, 26 June 1889
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