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The Evening Star FRIDAY, JULY 12, 1889.

There were two or three matters of in-

terest before the City Council The City on Monday evening last. The Council, mostimportani was the Hospitals

and Charitable Aid Bill, which a committee had been appointed to consider. Their report was entirely adverse. The Bill, Indeed, finds little or no favor anywhere; certainly all the local bodies are against it. This, say the Government, is because borough councils and other local bodies do not understand its provisions. It is, however, clear enough that it would throw the burden of charitable aid almost wholly upon these bodies, and materially reduce the Government subsidy to hospitals; it would also entail an amount of work upon some of them which they could not undertake. Of these two things there can be no doubt, and they would alone account for much of the dissatisfaction which the Bill has produced. Another objection is that somedistricts would be heavily taxed, while others, better able to contribute, would practically escape. If the Bill were to pass, Dunedin would have to raise £2,000 a year more than it does at present to carry out its charity on the existing scale —either that or allow its poor to go in great measure unrelieved. All this the City Council found no difficulty in understanding, as we a shown by the report of the Committee and tfie discussion which it occasioned. There are still other objections to the Bill. The contributory bodies, for instance, have no representation in the controlling council nay, the controlling council itself has no voice in the management of the Industrial School, although in our own district it would have to contribute about £1,500 a year to that institution. The Committee also reported against the proposed refuges on the ground that it would be to set up a costly department from whioh no material advantage would be gained. The truth is that, cumbrous and complicated as the measure is, it is not at all difficult to understand. If they have not done so already, the Government will soon find out that the real scope of their measure is only too easily understood. In the face of such objections as those we have mentioned, which are being urged against it all over the country, there could be no chance of the Bill passing ; and it will have beon seen that Mr Fish, who seems to play the part of guide, philosopher, and friend to the Government, has advised them to hold it over till next session. The member for South Dunedin is also of opinion that the purport of the measure is beyond the comprehension of the average borough or county councillor. Another subject before the Council was that of public abattoirs, regarding which a deputation appointed by the recent meeting of butchers was heard. The deputation stated that they had no objections to the Council erecting abattoirs, but they objected strongly to a syndicate erecting them ns a commercial speculation. It was pointed out by members of tlie Council that the Bill before Parliament was simply permissive, and did not bind the Council to any definite line of action. There can be no doubt that public abattoirs are a desideratum in connection with the City. They would tend to promote cleanliness and the general health of tho community, if, as would doubtless be the case, a rigorous inspection of the premises »nd of the animals killed were enforced. The cattle here are, on the whole, much healthier than in the old countries. Still there are frequent cases of disease, and disease of a very dangerous and repulsive character, met with in our cattle yards ; and it is perfectly well known that animals suffering, for example, from cancerous affections are disposed of for human food. The utmost care ought to be taken to prevent such serious abuses, and public abattoirs, properly managed, would conduce greatly to that end. fn this respect it would matter very little whether the abattoirs were owned by the Council or a company, provided they were regulated and inspected in the public interest. The question of supporting the Bill which has raised the suspicions of butchers was, however, held over,, on the .motion Ojf Councillor Carroll, till next

meeting of the Council, That councillor said there might be some project of monopoly behind the Bill, and that the Council should be careful how they proceed in the matter. The only other matter before the Council to which we shall refer is tho condition of the reservoir. The Water Supply Committee recommended that the Council should offer no objection to the Government inspecting the embankment, provided it was done under the supervision of the City Engineer, But to dissipate the fears of those who have been instrumental in inducing Messrs Ross and Allen to move the Government in the matter, the report of their engineer must be a perfectly independent one, and the City should not interfere unsolicited beyond taking reasonable care that no damage to the reservoir shall result from the investigations about to be conducted by Mr U-ssuer. And that is really what the Water Supply Committee intended to do.

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Bibliographic details

The Evening Star FRIDAY, JULY 12, 1889., Issue 7957, 12 July 1889

Word Count

The Evening Star FRIDAY, JULY 12, 1889. Issue 7957, 12 July 1889

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