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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

[From Our Parliamentary Reporter.]

WELLINGTON, June 27. The Estimates.

Inspector of Hospitals. About four hours were spent by the Houses’ this afternoon and evening in discussing the salary of Dr Macgregor, Inspector of Hospitals and Lunatic Asylums. This gentleman’s engagement lately expired, and the Government arranged, subject to the approval of Parliament, for its renewal for a further period of five years at same salary, viz , L 1,200 a-ycar,—Mr Turnbull’s motion to reduce the amount by L2OO was lost by 43 to 25 —Mr Perceval then moved to reduce the vote of LI ,200 by L 5. He did not do so out of any hostility to Dr Macgregor, but to allow the House to express an opinion, as so undesirable a precedent as this was about to bo established.—The Colonial Secretary said the feeling of tho Committee was evidently against a five years’ engagement, and he should advise Dr Macgregor to accept a three years’ engagement. —Mr Fish said the samo principle applied to a three years' engagement as to one for five years. There was no reason whatever for treating Dr Macgregor differently from any other Civil servant, and as long as he (Dr Macgregor) performed his duties properly, he should be content with the assurance that he would be allowed to retain his position.—Mr Perceval’s amendment was lost by 43 to 31,—Mr Monk said that a serious principle was involved in this question, and he should therefore move that the vote be reduced by LI, which he afterwards withdrew. The vote for lunatic asylums (L 39,664) was then passed without alteration.

Printing and stationery, L 20.097, was carried.

On the miscellaneous services, L 26,304, Sir G. Grey moved to strike out L2OO. He did so in order to raise the question of the house allowance to the Attorney-General for a house in Wellington while that gentleman resided in Auckland. Sir H. Atkinson said it was quite impossible to deal with house allowances to the Attorney-General in this manner. If the House wished to prevent a Minister from having any house allowances a specific motion should be tabled on the subject. Ho was quite prepared to meet such a motion if brought forward in a legitimate manner, and not (as in this case) to strike a certain sum off the vote. Sir G. Grey then withdrew his amendment, on the understanding that he would bring forward a motion on the subject.

Mr Goldie next asked, with respect to the LIO,OOO set down in this vote for the Dunedin Exhibition, whether the Government would put a similar sum on the Estimates for exhibitions, if held in other cities. The Colonial Secretary said that the Government would consider such application when it was made. After further discussion the vote was passed.

June 23 The Inspectorship of Asylums.

In the face of last night’s vote and discussion over Dr Macgregor’s reappointment, the Government have approached that gentleman, who has consented to accept an engagement for three years in place of five, as proposed, Christie’s Case and Judge Ward. The petition presented by Mr Christie, of Oamaru, is the talk of the lobbies to-day, and members incline to the opiuion that if Judge Ward were indebted to the presenting company, as alleged, he is unfitted to continue to hold his present position, Ross Creek Reservoir. The matter of the alleged leak in the Ross Creek Reservoir having been brought by Mr Ross under the notice of the Minister of Works, with a view to immediate action being taken, Mr Mitcheleon has given instructions that the resident engineer shall make a survey forthwith, and if necessary Mr Lowe or some other engineer from Wellington shall also be sent down. The matter is to be considered by the Cabinet to-day. Civil Service Reform.

During last session the Premier promised the “Skinflint” Committe that he would undertake to complete the reorganisation of the Civil Service during the recess. With a view to seeing whether this promise has been given effect to, Mr Goldie this afternoon gives notice to ask whether the Government will submit a Bill to the House this session providing for the complete reorganisation of the Civil Service, in order to materially reduce the present cost, while fixing the position of each servant on an equitable basis, so that promotion will follow as a natural sequence to the faithful discharge of public duty ; and whether in such Bill provision will be made for the abolition of retiring allowance s to all Civil Servants appointed after the coming into operation of such Bill. Town v. Country. Another meeting of the country members in reference to the representation question was held this morning ; Mr Seymour in the

chair. The Committee which was appointed at the previous meeting reported that they had laid the views of the meeting before the Premier, who promised that the matter should be considered in Cabinet, and a reply be forwarded at a later date. A resolution was passed insisting that rural districts should bo given an advantage of 33.j per cent, over the towns in population that is required to make up the constituency. The country members are confident that they will be able to carry their view of the matter, for after carefully counting noses they reckon upon the support of fifty-one members out of the full strength of the House being in favor of their claims.

The Northern Trunk Line. An interview took place this morning between the Minister of Works and the Committee of the Wellington members, who are looking to the interests of their constituencies in the matter of the North Island Trunk Railway. Dr Newman, Messrs Bruce, Wilson, Macarthnr, Izard, Taipua attended. The deputation asked the Minister to place upoo the Public Works Estimates a sum of money for the extension of the railway from Hunterville as far as the Porewa Stream, a distance of five or six miles, and then to complete the main road northward, which is already half formed, so as to connect with the existing northern section of the line. The Minister merely promised to consider the request in Cabinet. The Opposition Choose a Leader. The Opposition held a meeting this morning, when thirty-two were present, and apologies were received from seven more. Mr Lance was in the chair. After considerable discussion, on the motion of Mr J. M'Kenzie, seconded by Colonel Fraser, it was resolved that the Hon. Mr Ballance bo asked to accept the Leadership of the Opposition. Mr Ballance, who was present, took time for consideration, and will give a reply on Monday, The meeting lasted close on two hours.

The following arc the names of those who were present: Messrs Ballance, Blake, Buxton, Cadman, Duncan, Feldwick, Fitchett, Fitzherbert, Fraser, Grey, Grimmond, Guinness, Hutchison, Jones, Joyce, Kelly, Lance, Loughrey, M'Kcnzie, J. Moss, Parata, Perceval, Reeves R., Richardson E., Samuel, Smith, Steward, Taiwanga, Taylor, Turnbull, Verra’l, Walker. Upper House Reform. Serious exception is taken by a number of the members of the Lower Chamber to the proposed reform of the Legislative Council in that power to tack anything on to the Appropriation Bill is prohibited, and that, as the Council now consists of about fortythree members, some half-dozen would require to die or vacate their scats before the House would have au opportunity of filling up any vacancies.

Jotting?, The Speaker does not favor the appointment of a messenger as Sergeant-at-Anns, The present favorites for the post are Lieu-tenant-Colonel M‘ Donnell and Mr Ameliua Smith.

In the House to-day the Premier gave notice of the introduction of the Otago Central Railway Bill for Tuesday, and Sir 6. Grey of his Elective Governors Bill. Tlie Memoranduinlnil. Mr rioher wanted to know when the cor-

respondeHce between him and the Premier would be laid on tho table, intimating that be intended to move for a Commission of of Inquiry into the whole matter; or, if the Government preferred, would leave the initiative to them. The Premier replied that he hoped to be able to lay the correspondence on the table on Tuesday. While he was preparing bis Financial Statement he had received a letter of sixtyeight pages from Mr Fisher, and had hardly time to reply to it, much Jess to read it. He hoped the hon, gentleman would have an answer to his communication in a day or two.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890628.2.16

Bibliographic details

POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7945, 28 June 1889

Word Count
1,391

POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 7945, 28 June 1889

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