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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7946, 29 June 1889
[From Our Parliamentary Reporter.]
WELLINGTON, JraH 28. The Workmen's Wanes Hill whioh Mr Guineas it.tends to introduce will provide that in case any person is discharged from a situation, and iB not paid \m wages within seven days after his service is determined, pueh wages shall continue to run until they are paid.
The Property Tax Bill will be introduced on Tuesday, and its second reading will be taken on tho following day or Thursday, if these days are not fully occupied with private members' business, The Financial Debate. By arrangement with the Hon. Mr Ballancc, Leader of tho Opposition, the Financial Debato will then be taken, The F,»Msiialcs. The Government claim that in drawing up the Estimates they have given most consideration to the lower grades of the Service, as they have increased salaries under LI 50 by L' 2,700 in the aggregate, while only L 875 bin been added to those of a higher amount.
Almost the whole of today's sittiug was devoted to the consideration of tho Ivvlimales of the Justice iMpartment and Postal and Telegraph Department, but though a considerable amount of wrangling was indulged in scarcely any reductions wore made. 'J'ho subsidy of LlfiO towards the publication of the New Zealand law reports was patriotically attacked by Mr Hutchison, himself a lawyer, and was struck out by M to 18 ; buti no other material alteration was made. Several members scented what they considered a little " family job " in reference to the appointment of the a son of tho Under-Secretary for tho colony to the registrarship of tho Wellington Supreme Court, and of another member of the same family as an assistant, but though there was a good deal of discussion, nothing was dono in tho matter. General dissatisfaction was. expressed with the heavy expenditure urio'ri legal assistance by Official Assignees, and with the frequency of the escapes froni gaols. The San Francisco Service. On the San Francisco mail service subsidy vote being reached, the Premier agreed to strike off all but the amount which will be due on the existing contract, which expires in November, leaving the balance for payment for mail matter by weight open for further discussion. The feeling of the House was clearly adverso to any continuance of the subsidy to this service. The .Sale of Otekalke Minis. The matter of the bungle in connection with the leasing of the Otekaike runs is engaging tho attention of Mr Duncan, who intends moving for all correspondence and original telegrams that have passed between tho Land Board or Commissioner uf Lands in the Otago district relative to the leasing of Runs 2S and '2Ba, known as the Otakaike runs, in the Waitaki County, and all telegrams to the auctioneer and Messrs Campbell and Sons' or Messrs Campbell and Sons' agents referring to the said [sale.
Technical Education Is a Bubject which Mr Wilson (member for Foxtou) has deeply at heart, and he has given notice to ask the Minister of Education on Wednesday next (1) if he proposes to take any steps to carry out any of the suggestions re technical education which are made in the report on that subject by Mr A. D. Riley upon tho technical education of the Australian colonies in the appendices to the journals of the House of Representatives last session ; (2) if he will cause a manual of agriculture to bo published for the use of the colonial schools.
The Property Tax. Mr Barron has given notice to move for the gradual abolition of the Property Tax in the following form :—(1) That in the opinion of this House it is desirable that the Property Tax, unless it can be abolished at an earlier dite, should be annually decreased so that it shall not exceed three - farthings in the .€ for the present year, one halfpenny for tho year 1890, one farthing for the year 1801, after which date it shall entirely cease. (2) That any deficiency in the revenue occurring thereby should be made good by further retrenchment in tho public service.
Lund v. Property Tax. The Government measuro dealing with the Properly Tax question anrl making provision fur the exemption of machinery and an annual reassessment of properties in exceptional cases, is likely to be made a peg on which to hang a motion attacking the general principle of the Property Tax. Although no decision haa been come to, it is probable that some prominent member of the Auckland phalanx (possibly Sir Goo. Grey or Mr Withy), will move in the direction of substituting a land and income tax for the Property Tax. Such a resolution would, of course, be treated by the Government as one of no confidence, the question being a vital plank in their policy, aud if it be proprsed a close division will doubtless result. I venture, however, to think that the Government would win, and that thoir majority, when votes arc recorded, would be something like sevon. A Grievance. What i« seemingly a just grievance on the part of the Duncdin telephone operators was brought before the Postmaster-General's notice last night. Mr Fish said that complaints had boon mado to him that tne operators engaged ia the day time were paid for Sunday's work and had holidays, whilst the night operators were not similarly dealt with. Sir H. Atkinson promised to inquire into the matter, and if he found that the statement were correct to put all the hands on the same footing. Married Women as Publicans. On Tuesday next Mr Fish will introduce a Bill to amend the Licensing Ait in the direction of allowing licenses to be held by married women. Provision is sought for the transfer of licenses held by married women (to meet the case of the Gridiron Hotel), and also to enact that married women holding protection orders may be declared femmes w/e and allowed to hold licenses. Government seem favorably disposed to the measure. Jottings. It is stated that Mr George Beetham, member for Masterton, will not return to the colony in time to occupy his seat this session, but that he has given his friends full authority to take what course they deem best in the interests of the constituency. A decision is likely to be arrived at in a few days as to whether his resignation will be tendered or not.
Mr Seddon says that the Poßt and Telegraph Department is the real workhouse o: the Government service.
Some members insinuate that some bankruptcy officers aro in league with the lawyers to heap up bills of costs. The Minister of Justice assured the House that whenever coroners recommend an allowance for exceptional expenses to witnesses the amount is always paid. The New Plymouth Harbor Board pay nothing for convict labor allowed to them for the construction of their breakwater works.
The Hon. Mr Fergus denies that there has been an unusual number of escapes from gaol lately. Mr Goldie considers that the Government have broken tho pledge given last year by raising some salaries not already down at or abovo LlfSO, and expressed his determination to divide the House on every such item.
The Public Petitions Committee decline to recomiucad the vesting of the powers of licensing commissioners in local bodies, as petitioned for from different parts of the colony. Sir John Hall, Messrs Larnaoh and Ward took their 3eats for the first time this session to-day. Mr Ward says that the Canterbury aud Otago farmers lost 200,000 socks wheat on one contract lately through the continuance of the 'Frisco service. The 'Post' denies that the Ministerial measure is in the direction of reform of the Legislative Council; on the contrary, it is not only entirely unnecessary and inopportune, but of a decidedly mischievous tendency, and the very reverse of a Liberal measure.
No legislation will be proposed thi'i Hussion in reference to the Tariff, evtn fcr the purpose of removing anomalies. A simultaneous rifle match between our
legislators and those of the South Australian Parliament (now also in session) is on the tapis. The Government do not propose to bring in a Ratepayers' Mutual Insurance Bill this session, as suggested by Mr Taylor to-day. The Premier says ho has not yet reod the Right Hon. W. 11. Smith's article on the subject, but he undertakes to do so in the rectsa.
It was suggested by Mr Joyce to-day that steps should be taken to limit by legislation the hours of labor of porters and other railway employed on ordinary days, and pay thtm for overtime and work done on Sundays. The Minister of Public Works thought there was no occasion for an amendment of the Act, the existing regulations being sufficient for the purpose. The employes were occasionally allowed a day off as compensation for overtime, while each was only required to work on alternate Sundays.
Last year M r Pykc called attention to the operations of the St. Giles Mission, London, which he had been informed was bent on the charitable work of exporting criminals to tho colonics. The Agent-General has since inquired into the matter, and reports that there can be little doubt of the mission now and then sending out a released convict, but they will not acknowledge that they aro engaged in such work. All his inquiries were met with evasive answers, but the society will not deny that the mission assisted ex criminals to get away. The Agent Genera!, however, thinks that the number is very small in proportion to the aggregate emigration, and it will be dillicult to devise any means of preventing the work being carried out, if it were worth while,
Inquiries will bo made by the Government during tho recess with a view to ascertaining the uses to which New Zealand flax is put at Home, Millers, it appears, are quite unable to ascertain which of various theories that have been put forward accounts for the recent brisk demand for their products, A Bill has been drafted by the Government to enable wine-growers to distil spirits from the juice of the grape. Sir G. Grey has accordingly withdrawn his Bill for the same purpose, which was to have been introduced to-dav.
The Patent, Designs, and Trade Marks Bill, which passed its second reading in the Council to-day, consolidates the existing patent laws and at the same time assimilates them, and also the trade mark laws, with those of Great Britain. An important fcaturs of the Bill is a provision for hearing all appeals on patent rights at Wellington, where the records are always accessible. Communications are still being carried on between our Government and the Imperial and Canadian Governments on the subject of the proposed Canadian-Pacific mail service with tins colouy. The Premier informed the House yesterday that lie expects to receive an oiler for the renewal of tho Sau Francisco service before Parliament rises. Some measure for the relief of Crown tenants is to bo brought in this session, but whether it will partake of the nature of the Fair. Rent Bills of previous years has not yet been decided on by the Government. Two measures relating to the marriage laws of the colony passed their second reading in the Legislative Council to-day, and will be referred to select committees for consideration. The object of the Marriage Act Amendment Bill is to give relief to persons, who are unable to obtain proof of their marriage having been consummated owing to the proof of marriage having been lost through the carelessness of the officiating minister (the Rev. Mr Gascoyne, of Collingwood, Nelson), who had carried away or mislaid the registration book. The Otago Marriage Bill is designed to give relief to certain persons, who had been married in Oamaru by the Rev. Dr Macgregor at a time when his name, through the inadvertency of Moderator ,Clark, was not registered as a minister empowered to perform a marriage ceremony. The Premier thinks it would be useless to attempt to negotiate with New Bouth Wales just now for a reciprocal Customs tariff suoh as Mr Joyce has for some time been agitating for. The fiuances of that colony are, he considered, in such a condition that they would not bo able to deal liberally with other countries as yet. Ho would, however, be glad to see a Treaty of the kind arranged, and Mr Joyce has accordingly given notico of motion on the subject. Jink 20.
An JiniieuuiiiK Battle
A trial of strength next week on the subject of taxation is certain, Tho Aucklanders to a man aro opposed to the Property Tax, and it was understood last night that Mr Withy or Sir George Grey would move for its repeal; but it now appears probable that if Mr Ballance takes the proferred leadership of the Opposition ho will accept tho responsibility of moving a resolution traversing the Property Tax proposals. This would immediately be accepted as a direct hostile vote by the Government, and a no confidence debate would result. The Opposition claim to have a small majority, but the Government having counted heads arc sanguine that the motion will be defeated by six or eight votes.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7946, 29 June 1889
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