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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

[From Oitr Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, July 10, Charitable Aid BIIL It is clear, says the Premier, from the telegrams that he has received from different parts of the colony, that the objeetionß' of local bodies to the Hospitals and Charitable Aid BUI are based upon a misapprehension of the purposes of the Bill. The Government are not desirous of hurrying the progress of the measure, and will give the local bodies reasonable time for its consideration, but they hope it will not become necessary, as suggested by Mr Fish, to defer it to next session. The Property Tax. What appeared likely to prove a critical question was raised this afternoon by Mr Barron, who moved—“ That in the opinion of this House it is desirable that the Property Tax, unless it can be abolished at an early date, should be annually decreased, so that it shall not exceed in the £ for the present year, Jd for the year 1890, jd for the year 1891, after which date it shall entirely cease. That any deficiency in the revenue occurring thereby should be made good by farther retrenchment in the public service.” Much greater retrenchments than those already effected were possible, in the mover’s opinion, if only the requisite pressure were applied by the Government.—The Minister of Justice was the only representative of the Government who spoke, and he treated the motion as being quite unreasonable and inconclusive, seeing that Mr Barron had not shown how the Government of the country was to be carried on if it were adopted.—Mr Ballance expressed surprise that the Government did not treat the motion os one of no-confidence, bat still thought it indefensible, for the reason that if it were prof posed to remove taxation from the shoulders of the propertied classes it should not be pnt on those of the mass of the people,—Mr Scobie Mackenzie supported the principle of a reduction of the tax, though not sangnine that it could be carried out by such stages aa Mr Barron proposed —Mr Moss desired to raise the general question of the desirableness of the Property Tax, and moved as an amendment—“ That, in the opinion of this House, the Property Tax is unfair in its incidence, harassing in its effect, and an obstacle to the progress of the settlement of the colony.” Thus he thought the House could deal with the principle without involving the existence of the Government. —Mr Guinness moved the adjournment of the debate, which was carried by 40 to 84, the date of its resumption being left unsettled.—The motion is not likely to be again reached this session. Distillation of Spirits. A discussion was raised this afternoon by Mr Duncan on a motion affirming “ that tbs Government should legislate to provide for the home distillation of all spirits used in the colony, by introducing a Bill to provide for the early erection of qne or more central distilleries of sufficient capacity, under each excise regulations as shall effectually prevent smuggling or illicit distillatiob, without raising or lowering the price to consumers.” The temperance party were observed to make a distinct stand against the motion, and Mr Monk, with the object of killing it, moved —“That the debate be adjourned for a month.” They managed to whip np sufficient votes to ensure a tie—thirty-three members voting for and the same nqmber against the amendment. The Speaker gave his casting vote in favor of the amendment in so far as to decide that the debate should be adjourned, bat left the House to fix the period, Mr Monk moved for a month, and Mr R. Reeves for a week, and tbe latter motion was adopted by 43 to 31. Tbe Cemeteries Bill, The second reading of the Cemeteries Act Amendment Bill was carried this evening by 36 to 82. In introducing it, Mr Izard explained that the object of the measure was to enable the Qovernor-in-Conncil to acquire lands for cemetery purposes apd to vest them in a local body, when it had been decreed that the existing cemetery ought to be closed and the local liody interested had failed to take action. Mr Downie Stewart and Mr Samael objected to what was really a local Bill being treated as a general measure, and the latter said tbaf this Cemeteries Amendment Bill bad simply been introduced because the Wellington Cemetery was in a disgraceful state owing to the apathy of the City Council. The FlfeofeD's ClaimThe public Petitions Committee report that, as the request of the United Fire Brigades’ Association forrecognition of their services in the protection of public buildings from fire has already been dealt with by the Honse (a vote of L 250 in aid of the brigades' demonstration having been passed under the Estimates), they have no recommendation to make q a to the Association's petition. The Licensing Laws. The same Committee decline to reeom: mend the prayer of the several petitions that tbe powers now exercised by licensing committees may be transferred to lo<4l bodies.

State Aid for Denominational Education.

The claims of Roman Catholics to State aid were strongly sppported by Mr Pyke in moving the second readipg of his Privatp Schools fijll. The hon. gentlepian explained that he had altered the title of the measure to conform with the view; of those hon. members who thought that all denominations should be equally entitled tq assistance from the State if they sent their children to private schools. In bis earnest: ness for aid to Catholics, howevpr, Mr Pyke injured bis cause by somewhat foolishly assailing the State system. Be carefully explained that under his BUI aid was only to oe given to those schools which complied with the Education 4-ot. Mf Dodson seconded the motion, and the Bill was also supported by Messrs Turnbull, Sir John Hall, Marehapt, Sir Harry Atkinson, Duncan, fyrxton, Perceval, Smith, Hutchison, Fiteherbert, Ballance, Tanner, Major Steward, while Messrs Goldie, Seymour. Verrall, Moss; Hodgkinson, founders, Hobbs, Fergus, Harkness, Menteath, Taylor, and Ross announced their intention of opposing its second reading. The supporters of tfie Bill characterised our education system as a godless one, and the opponents of the measure retorted that carrying the Bill meant introducing the thin edge of denominationalism and jeopardising our fpee, compulsory, and secular system ol education. Many of those'who supported the second reading sajd that unless the Bill were altered in committee so as to apply to Roman Catholics only they would be compelled to oppose it. After a discussion extending over nearly four hours a division was taken at 12 3Q a.m., with the result that 25 voted for and 87 against the second reading, so that the Bill was thrown out. The following was tho division list Atm (25). Messrs Ballsnoe, Brawn, Buxton, Covan. Dodson, Fitsherbert, Hall, Hutchison. Jacicson, Kelly, Laroach, Merchant; O'Conor, Psrctt, Perceval. Pyke, Reeves, Russell. Samuel, Seymour; Smith, Steward, fanner, Tutnbull, ‘JVard. Noxs (87).—Messrs Allen, Barron, Blake, Bruce, Buchanan; Oadman, Feldwiok, Fergus, Fisher; Pitchett, Fulton, Qoldid, Guinness, Hamlin, Hodg. klnson, Hit knees, Humphreys, Jones, Joyce.- Lawry, Mackenzie, Mitchelson, Moar,'Monk, Moss, Hewman, Rhodes,' Richardson, Ross, Saunders, Stuatt, Menteath, Taylor, Thompson, Verrall, Walker, Withy. Paras—For: Atkinson, Valentine, Fish, Graham, Cancan, Carroll, M'Oregor; Wilson, Talpu. Against: J. M‘Kentie, Hislop, white; Anderson,'- M'Arthnr, Downie Stewart, Ormond, Soobis Maokende, W. P, geeves. ' ■ • 4 n Authentic Record. Mr Moss is anxious to institute a new departure in colonial records by publishing in book form the detailed returns of each year’s expenditure, as is done by' the Doited

States Government, who annually issue a bulky volume showing every item, He moved a resolution to effect to-day, The Premier displayed a big book of 600 pages, which, he said, would have to be printed, if the resolution were agreed to, at a cost of some L 3.000 and some months’ delay. He thought the publication of the proposed book would be useless, because nobody would read it; and ho offered to place the departmental records conveniently at the disposal of members to enable them to ferret out any misdeeds on the part of the Government. After some discussion the Speaker discovered that ho bad inadvertently given the matter precedence over unopposed motions. He interrupted the debate, which was not afterwards resumed.

Gold Miners’ Grievances. There is now under the consideration of the Goldfields Committee a petition from the Miners’ Association of Central Otago, which was forwarded to the Government, and by them transmitted to the Committee, The petitioners ask for the abolition of the export duty on gold, and recommend that for the purpose of making up the loss of revenue to the county councils, caused by the loss of the gold duty, all parcels of land held for mining purposes shall be subjected to county or other local government rates; also that the rents from occupation licenses on the goldfields shall be made eounty revenue, and that the Government be recommended to assign a portion of the rents from pastoral leases to county funds. In the next place they wish the gold miners of this colony to be placed in a better position for forwarding gold in quantities to the Australian mints; and, with a view to preventing tail-race robberies being so common, they ask that the punishment for this offence be made more deterrent. Finally, they wish the rents from licensed holdings fixed at the uniform annual rate of 10s an acre, with a deduction ot one-third for holdings coming under section 1.3 of the Mining Act, 1883. Jottlnffs. The scope of the inquiry by the proposed Sweating Commission will be extended by the Government so as to include the case of shop-girls. A reduction of the fees for the registration of letters destined for delivery both within and beyond the colony has been decided upon by the Government, and will shortly be proposed in the Houae. Mr Barron says that in his ten years’ experience in the House he has never known a member’s speech to alter a vote. The Minister of Justice gives Mr Barron the credit of being one of the foremost economists of the House.

Mr Joyce has given notice of a Bill to provide for tho representation of seamen. The Government are haring prepared comparative tables showing what amount of revenue would be derived from a land and income tax and the present return from the Property Taxi Mr Pyke says that the Roman Catholics regard the present State schools as atheistical, communistic, and altogether infidel. Seeing that the Government have promised to aid the iron industry, Mr Cad man wants them to offer some reward for improvements in flax dressing machines. After the Premier had s-ioken in favor of the Private Schools Bill, the Defence Minister, who opposed it, said that be regretted having to oppose his colleague, who was in favor of denominational education, and those who were so were clearly opposed to a maintenance of the present free, secular, and compulsory education. Amid cheers the hon. gentleman proudly declared that the bulk of the Government would allow no interference with tho existing education ■ystem. Inquiries are being made on behalf of the Government into the circumstances under which females and youths are employed in the colony. The Premier promised Mr Joyce to day that if the state of affairs turned out to be os bad as the hon. gentleman had represented, he would be prepared to legislate on the subject next session.

Jolt 11, The Bank of New Zealand. The Private Bills Committee this morning decided that the Bank of New Zealand Bill should be considered by a select committee on Monday, Great care has been exercised in appointing this committee. At first only shareholders were excluded from sitting on it, but before the committee was finally appointed any member having dealings with the bank was challenged, so it will be understood that some difficulty was experienced in appointing the committee. Representation of Seamen, At the instance of the Federated Seamen’s Union of New Zealand, Mr Joyce has con sented to introduce a Seamen’s Representation Bill, a copy of which has been sent to the Government j but owing to the block •f private members’ business, which will occupy the House lor a month, it is doubtful whether the measure will be passed this session. - Its object is to provide a special member for seamen, in addition to the seventy members of the reduced House. All sailors who have been two years at sea and six months in a vessel owned or registered in New Zealand are to be entitled to the franchise. The poll Is to be kept open for twenty-five days, the several Customshouses in the colony being polling booths, and the returning officers being their collectors and their assistants. Mr Bruce, who has previously moved in this direction, gives the measure his hearty support. Hr Fisfi and the Charitable Aid BUI. This morning Mr Fish received the following telegram from the town clerk, Dunedin:—“City Council strongly object to Hospitals and Charitable Aid Bil}, and request yonr opposition to its becoming law.” The member for Dunedin South replied thns : “ The Council have, I think, some to a wrong conclusion with regard to the Charitable Aid Bill. Subject to alteration with regard to outdoor relief, I regard it a; a good Bill, and a great improvement upon the present Act. 1 shall endeavor to get the Bill postponed till next session, but if the povernment determine to proceed with it I shall support it, subject to the above reservation. ! >

The Ypnns New Zealand Party. At a meeting of the Sbung New Zealand party (Mr Mills presiding) it was resolved to create and stimulate a healthy national feeling; also to oppose any attempt to make the colony liable for loans for tpiy local bodies. All Harbor Bills are to he carefully watched and opposition offered to any further borrowing by such bodies incases where the heavy expenditure does not appear to bp warranted. The party wjll oppose any borrowing on the part of the colony for a considerable period, and Will endeavor to bring about the establishment of a more thorough system of focal government.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890711.2.22

Bibliographic details

POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7956, 11 July 1889

Word Count
2,356

POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 7956, 11 July 1889

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