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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7953, 8 July 1889
[Prom Our Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, July 6, Procedure Rules. Dr Newman asked the Government whether they intend to propose any cloture rules this session. The Premier said he had not made up his mind on the matter. At the beginning of the session it was bis intention to propose an alteration of the rules of procedure, but members had shown themselves so eager to do business that he had thought it a pity to disturb that frame of mind. He however thought that if the House would agree to meet at two o’clock instead cf 2.30, and take an hour aud a-half instead of two hours for dinner, resuming at seven o’clock and sitting till eleven instead of 10.30, they could very well do without any later sittings at all. Members would certainly do the business much better, and leave Wellington at the end of the session in much better health, Postal Reform.
The adoption of Mr R, Reeves’s proposal to increase the minimum letter weight of the colony from &oz to loz, and to allow newspapers to pass through the post free, would, the Premier estimates, entail a loss of something like L 20.000 a-year to the revenue. He approves of the principles advocated by Mr Reeves, but cannot see his way to act upon them in the present condition of the colony’s finances. Reserving Fishing Lakes and Streams.
An assurance has been given to Mr Bruce by the Premier that he approves of the idea of reserving for public purposes the land abutting upon fishing lakes or streams, and will legislate on the subject this session. The announcement led to a long discussion, but generally met with approval. The Point Resolution Purchase. Sir George Grey declares that the Commissioners who inquired some months ago into tbe Point Resolution (Auckland) land transaction went on an entirety wrong basis, and that in consequence a grievous wrong has been inflicted on tbe orphans of the colony, who have been robbed of between L 12,000 and L 20,000. The bon. gentleman spoke at some length and with great earnestness in moving that the evidence taken be printed, so as to support his view of the matter. The Government objected on the ground that the printing would cost L 77, and was quite needless.—The Premier said the accusations made by Sir George Grey were altogether groundless. They were, however, quite prepared to accept the decision of the House, which was by 43 to 17 that the papers should remain in manuscript form. Oppressive Duties. Tn asking the Premier whether he will reduce the present heavy Customs duties on machinery used by biscuit makers and confectioners, Mr Barron mentioned the case of one man who was about to start a manufactory with something like L 2.000 worth of plant, who bad to pay L 440 to the Customs. The Premier replied that he was not disposed to interfere with the tariff on machinery, especially as in future it would be exempt from the Property Tax. Revenue must be obtained, and machinery could not be exempted from Customs duties. Tbe Otago Central. Passage of the Otago Central Railway Bill through the Lower House by an overwhelming majority is assured. On this subject the ‘Post’ to-night has tbe following: —‘•That the Otago Central Railway Bill should be opposed by Messrs Hodgkin-ion and Moss is strong primafacie, evidence that the measure is a progressive and desirable one. The members for Wallace and Parnell are extreme pessimists, the ‘ dismal Jimmies’ of the House, in fact; and with them the times have been out of joint ever since the abolition of the provinces. They are not able to take a broad, hopeful, or liberal view of anything, and are consistently opposed to all progress. In contemplation of the remote past they find a morbid pleasure; and if they ever venture to look forward, it is with dire foreboding and mournful anticipation. They seem to derive a certain amount of grim enjoyment out of being constantly in the dumps and prophesying evil. That they should oppose the Otago Central Railway is but natural. If they had had their way there would not have been a mile of railway in the colony. The locomotive is an unclean thing and an abomination in their eyes; and it is doubtful whether they are completely reconciled to even metalled roads—the primitive mud tracks afford ample enough means of locomotion for them. Fortunately they have not many sympathisers in the House.”
July P, “ We Run ’Em In.” A joke at the expense of Mr J. C. Brown is being told, says the ‘ Evening Press,’ in the lobbies, Mr Brown was about eleven days late in arriving on the scene of his legislative duties. In the meantime the Permanent Artillery sentries on duty inside' the main entrance to the House had carefully studied the faces of hon. members, and could at one glance recognise who were entitled to proceed into the lobbies or stand about tbe precincts, as the case might be. Mr Brown’s face was, therefore, strange to the sentries, and it happened that on tbe day after bis arrival he entered the House iu a thoughtful mood and stood for some time in the entrance passage-way, in blissful ignorance of the fact that he was being eyed with grave suspicion by the sentinel on duty—a man of colossal proportions. Presently this sentinel informed Mr Brown that strangers were not allowed to hang around the precincts of the House, and that bis room would be better than his company. Mr Brown visibly swelled with indignation as be told the sentry be was a member of the House. The sentry regarded this statement as an unworthy subterfuge a regular “ try on” in fact and he privately impressed on Mr Brown that “it wouldn’t wash.” Just as Mr Brown was about to be ejected from the building, still in appealing accents maintaining he was a legislator, a well-known whip appeared on tbe scene, and to him cried Mr Brown for identification. But the whip took the situation in at a glance, and in reply to the “ I say, you know me, don’t you? I’m a member, ain’t I?” the hon. gentleman queried replied : “ I never saw you before in my life.” Mr Brown was then, indeed, in imminent peril of various consequences, but the whip’s heart softened at the sight of his manifest distress, and he let the necessary light on the position. But he said to Mr Brown: “If you don’t attend more regularly to your Parliamentary duties how can you expect to be treated otherwise than as a stranger.” Tlie Leith Valley Road. Mr Stewart has been interviewing the Minister of Works in reference to getting some assistance towards the formation of the Leith Yalley road to Blneshin, and intends to present a petition to the Minister of Lands, in whose department the matter now is. Mr Brown’s Explanation. The member for Tuapeka is very incensed at a paragraph which appeared in the ‘ Evening Press ’ on Friday regarding what took place between an orderly and himself at the entrance to the House, and has asked me to explain that the published statement is a gross exaggeration of the facts. He says that when asked if he wanted to see a
member he replied: “ Yes, several members,” and that when the orderly questioned his right to enter the lobbies, he called on the Hon. R. Campbell to vouch for him, but that gentleman being in a playful mood replied that he had no acquaintance with Mr Brown, One of the officers of the House arrived on the scene at this stage, and explanations of a satisfactory nature followed. A Slight Difference. A few days ago I wired you that the Government would probably ask for a vote of LI,OOO towards the Exhibition rifle meeting. The amount was wrongly printed as LIOO. [We published the wire as we received it.— Ed. E S.] The Charitable Aid Bill. The Charitable Aid Bill is not likely to come on for further consideration for seme days, so that opportunity will be afforded to local bodies of considering the measure and communicating their views to members. The following circular, written by Mr Barron, has been hung up in the lobbies for signature:—“ Members representing suburban boroughs are invited to meet on
Wednesday, at 10.30, to consider the Charitable Aid Bill.” So far, Messrs Larnach, Jones, Fish, Joyce, Moss, Blake, and Barron have attached their sigoatores. The Sergeantcy-at-Arm l *. It is understood that Colonel Trimble has declined to accept the office of Sergeant-at* Arms, and that the appointment is not likely to be filled for several days at any rate. > The name of Mr Bracken is now mentioned in connection with the Sergeahtcyat Arras, and I give the rumor for what it is worth. Jottings. MrSeddon Intends to draw attention to the recent arrest of Salvationists at Hastings for parading the streets, and protests against such a gross infringement of the liberty of the subject. Strong opposition has been declared against the setting up of a committee, to ba moved for by the Premier, to inquire into harbor board affairs, and it is probable that tbe Committee may not be set up. This is, however, of little consequence to the Government, as a similar committee : has already been set up in the Upper Bouse, and will bring cut all the facts required. After a long sitting this morning, the Private Bills Committee declared that the Christchurch Empowering Bill is a private Bill, and that as the Standing Orders had not been complied with it could go no further. Counsel were beard at length on both sides. The Bill originated with the Christchurch City Council, and was brought in by them to enable them to supply that city with gas, and was opposed by the local gas company,
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7953, 8 July 1889
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