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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

[From Our Parliamentary Reporter. 1 WELLINGTON, July 11. University Reform. The Bill framed by Dr Fitchett, to enable graduates of the University of New Zealand who have kept terma at the Otago University to elect to the University Council, came up for its second reading to-night. Dr Fitchett pointed out that he only desired to secure for graduates the right which was given to them when the University was established, and was only lost by an oversight when the institution was merged iu the New Zealand University. His object was to enable those who have been through the University to maintain their interest in its management. If this were done, and the elder graduates could bring their influence to bear, ho ventured to e»y that the scenes that had annually scandalised the Otago University functions would not be repeated. Mr Fulton, as a member of the University Council, said most of the graduates were young men, and to put the management entirely into their hands would hardly be wise. On the other hand, the present Council were composed mainly of elderly men, but on their behalf he suggested, by way of a compromise, that the present councillors should be allowed to retain office for life. In that case they would agree, for the purpose of infusing new blood, that from time to time the graduates should have an opportunity of electing one councillor in every three vacancies, starting from the next vacancy. He objected to the clause which provides that no charter shall be applied for without the consent of the Senate expressed at a special meeting, on the ground that it would be likely to lead to a conflict between the old and young members.

Mr Allen agreed with the principle of the Bill, in so far that it was desirable to attach graduates to their alma mater as much as possible, but he did not like to risk the finances of the institution, which had been rehabilitated by the business capacity of the members of tho present Council. Though he would prefer that, as provided in the Bill, their tenure of office should be for five years only, he thought the feelings of the present members of tho Council should be consulted, and that they should be allowed to retain office for life, which he believed Dr Fitchett was willing to concede.

Mr Downie Stewart twitted Mr Fulton and Mr Allen with the apologetic nature of their speeches, which, instead of being in vigorous opposition to the Bill, were merely miserable apologies. The Bill was one of the most shortsighted that he had ever listened to; for he bad no doubt that many members of the Home would be glad of the opportunity to get rid of the Otago University and its endowments. The functions of the Council were merely administrative and not scholastic; and he did not hesitate to say that Dr Fitchett was seting contrary to the interests of the University. Most of tie students, though promising young men, had little knowledge of business, and what the institution needed was shrewd and judicious business men. Whatever the mover might say, the Bill was destined to impair, if not altogether undermine, the University; and he advised him to withdraw it. As a friend of the University and its students he must oppose the Bill. The Hon. Mr Fergus largely agreed with the last speaker, that the introduction of the Bill was unwise, and that it would have to bo amended. The Government did not intend to oppose the Bill, because he hoped that it would be amended, though he would like to see the graduates represented on the Council. Dr Fitchett, in .reply, claimed that the Council of Canterbury College, which was elected by the students, was remarkably well arranged, and he pointed out that all of the present Council, except two, were to retain office for five years. Ho a welt upon the absurdity of supposing that the election of two young members could seriously influence the action of the other ten business men on that body. Mr Stewart challenged a division on the motion, but withdrew it after the bell had been rang, and the second reading was greed to, the Bill being set down for committal on Thursday, tine ftfcla prox. Auctioneers’ License Fees, A Bill baa been prepared by the Government dealing with the question of auctioneers’ license fees; but, as there Is a conflict of interest on the subject between the town and country districts, they decided to hold over their measure and let that prepared by Mr Samuel proceed. This latter Bill came up for second reading to-night. A good deal of opposition was shown by the new representatives of city constituencies to the provision that the proceeds of the license fees shall be divided amongst local bodies of the provincial districts. The second reading was carried on the voices, but the details of the measure will bo subjected to a good deal of criticism when It reaches the committee stage.

Californian Thistle Eradication. Profiting by bis experience of last session, Mr T. Mackenzie has considerably modified his Californian Thistle Eradication Bill, which now provides simply that wherever the weed exists farmers shall be required to out it down, with penalties much smaller than those proposed last session. Its second reading was opposed to-night by several members. Mr Kerr stated that the thistle was now thoroughly established in tho colony and could not be eradicated, nor was # it more harmful than other kinds of thistles, which had oeased to be regarded with alarm. Soma country members Wrought other equally troublesome weeds should be brought within the scope cf the Bill, but the second reading was passtd unchallenged. The Licensing Law. Mr Fish’s Licensing Act Amendment Bill, which proposes to allow married women to hold licenses, passed its second reading without any real opposition. The Teangr New Zealanders gave substantial proof this afternoon of their determination to oppose any increase of local indebtedness by taking a firm stand against Mr BUlop’s Bill authorising the Oamim Harbor Board to borrow L 70,003 more. Their chief objection, however, was understood to be to the arrangement that the Government would allow the Board to take up their loan out of Government securities. As a matter cf courtesy to Mr Hislop, who was absent through illness, the Bill was allowed to pa r -s its second reading. Dr Newman then desired to refer it to the Public Accounts Committee in order to examine the conditions on which public moneys are advanced to local bodies; but on the Premier promising that this question should receive attention irdependently of the Bill, the motion was not pressed. Educational. Two questions relating to educational matters were broached in the House this afternoon. In answer to Mr Perceval, tho Government stated that they had veiy little to do with the fixing of the reading books to be read in the schools. That matter rested with the education boards, but they would have much pleasure in allowing Messrs Whitoorobe and Tombs’s Southern Cross Reader to be put on the list of books which can ba used in the State schools.

Replying to Mr Humphreys, it was stated that the enforcement of the compulsory attendance clauses of the Education Act was a matter for the education boards, but if they moved in the matter simultaneously tho Government would be glad to assist them.

Jottlnprs. Most of this afternoon’s sitting was taken up with local Bills.

The Premier intends moving that Wednesdays be devoted to the consideration of Government business, leaving only Thursdays for private members’ Bills. LllO was subscribed by the members of both Houses for the family of the late Mr Levestam. The Government do not consider it necessary to extend the scope of the Sweating System Commission to the Government workshops.

© The Colonial Secretary has been absent from the House this week owing to indisposition. The Law of Libel Bill was passed through committee in the Council this afternoon, the new clause in the direction of casting on pla'ntiffs in certain cases the providing of security for costs being assented to. The voices of the Young New Zealand party are likely to In prominently heard this session, especially on subjects relating to harbor indebtedness. Several matters of importance were discussed at a meeting of the party held this week, and while it was recognised that common action was not possible on all questions engaging the attention of the House, it was agreed that it was desirable to continue to work together wherever possible, and wherever the welfare of the colony was concerned. One of the chief aims of the party will be to create and stimulate a healthy national feeling. It was decided that the members of the party should especially interest themselves in the following subjects:—(l) Opposition to any attempt (directly or indirectly) to make the colony responsible for the loans of any local bodies; (2) careful watching of all harbor Bills coming before Parliament, and opposition to any further borrowing by such bodies in oases where heavy expenditure does not appear to be warranted; (3) opposition to auy borrowing on the part of the colony for a considerable period, as well as opposition to any proposals which may land the colony in a position such as may render borrowingjnecessaty ; and (4) the establishment of a more thorough system of local government. It was decided to biing under the notice of Government the advisableness of adopting the Maori nomenclature in districts where it might be used, to supersede such illsounding names, for example, as Drybread, Tinkers, Hogburn, and Sowburn, in the South Island, and also in the North fsland, where the pbysicalfeatures of the country are as yet unnamed, as well as in the case of new discoveries.

An Extraordinary Claim.

An interesting document, prepared in the early days of the colonisation of New Zealand, has been brought under my notice in the shape of a deed drawn up between a couple of Europeans and members of a North Auckland Native tribe on February 15,1840. Tbs deed transfers to the Europeans the fee simple of 600 acres of land near to Kawhia Harbor for the following consideration, endorsed on the back of the document -

£l6 6 0 The relatives of one of the Europeans concerned in the deed intend making a claim on Government for the land in question, and the deed will probably be put in evidence when the matter is referred to the Petitions Committee. Jolt 12. The Berßreantsblp.at.Arme. A round robin in favor of Mr Bracken’s appointment to the Sorgeant-at-Armship is being numerously signed by members. Bill Passed. The Libel Amendment Bill was read a third time in the Council this afternoon. The Chinese and the Property Tax. Mr Joyce asks on Wednesday whether any Chinese subjects resident iu the colony ever paid the Property Tax, and, if so, how many? The Representation Dill. Ministers in Cabinet this afternoon decided that no division should be taken on the second reading of the Representation Bill; but that, in conformity with the promise by the Premier, made last week to a deputation representing the country members, the second reading of the measure should be negatived oa the voices. It is understood that some of the Cabinet were averse to this course, and wished the namei recorded of those in favor of proportional representation, but Sir H. A. Atkinson feared a division, and hie colleagues at his instance cried " a go.” The debate will assuredly be brought to a close to-night. The Premier, in withdrawing the Bill, will undertake to bring in a new measure fixing 25 per cent, as the “ quota ” to bo allowed to country districts.

& 8. «J. Four pai’8 blankets, at 20s .. 4 0 0 Five axes, at 6s .. .. 1 6 0 Seven spades, at Ce .. 115 0 Four Iron pots, at 6J per lb 2 4 0 three pieces print, at ttSs .. .. 5 5 0 Six pounds tobacco, at 6s .. „ 1 10 0 One shirt, at 6* .. .. 0 & 0 Twenty tobacco pipes 0 2 0

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

POLITICAL GOSSIP., Evening Star, Issue 7957, 12 July 1889

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POLITICAL GOSSIP. Evening Star, Issue 7957, 12 July 1889

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