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[From Or/B Parliamentary Reporter.}


The Colonial Secretary (Mr fiislop) ia moving this afternoon for leave to introduce this measure, _ reminded the House of the difficulties which had surrounded the treatment of this question in the past, and said that he had found it necessary to make a fundamental alteration in the system. There must first be an intelligent consideration of the classes that were to be dealt with. A proper equilibrium must be maintained between charity and cold neglect, but at any rate no person roust be suffered t die of starvation. In the past we had b one mu:h further than providing thU, and dietributed a large amount of indiscriminate out-door relief without control from the Government centre. The Government scheme dealt first with the sick, who were provided for in hospitals; then with the aged and infirm, who were to be placed in homes; again, with drunkards and idlers, who were to be committed to State refuges; and lastly, with the deserving poor. Power would be given to local bodies to supplement the moneys spent upon charitable institutions. The great fault in the past had been that the distributing bodies were not identical ia interest with those which raised the moneys, while with separate institutions a small number of subscribers were able to work their own sweet wills. The Government had tried to evolve a distributing body which would represent all contributors, but they had had to give it up as a bad job. We must, therefore, put up with a makeshift until we were in a position to adopt asettled system such as that of America. Instead of the Government paying their subsidies at the rate of £ for £, as heretofore, they intended to pay so much per day for each hospital patient, and so much per week for the inmates of homes. The districts wera much the same as those under the old Act. In each the Government nominated a controlling council. The contributing authorities were, ho we ver, to have the right of appeal to the Colonial Secretary against the controlling body, subject to this provision: the controlling council were to direct all hospital and charitable aid expenditure in their own district. There must be a majority of the contributing authorities for any expenditure on buildings beyond L2OO. It was intended to give local authorities power to establish homes for destitute children, but the maintenance of orphans would be undertaken by ths colony. The Government found that there was a great difference in the cost of maintaining hospitals in the several parts of the colony. The expenditure on hospitals at present was about LSO.OOO per annum, but the expenditure under this Bill would be within LI,OOO of the same amount Another portion of the Bill dealt with State refugee. They had taken power under the Bill to establish one or more refuges for drunkards, loafers, and tramps, who and whose families were likely to be a burden on the State, It had been found that such refuges had worked well in other parts of the world. He submitted that the Bill was simple in its construction, and he hpped that it would recommend; itself to the House. Considerable care and thought had been bestowed on it, so as to, make it a thoroughly useful and workable measure.

After some discussion, the debate on the motion f«r the second reading was fixed for Friday week, the Government undertaking that the explanatory speech of the Colonial Secretary should be printed and circulated meanwhile.

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