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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7959, 15 July 1889
[FItOM OUB PaBLIAJIENTABY EErOBTKB.J
WELLINGTON, July 12. Salvationists' Processions.
A number of Savationists were convicted aft Hastings last weib for walking in procession ii* the public streets, and wete sent to Napier prison in default of paying their fines. In bringing this matter up in the House to-day Mr Seddon characterised the sentence as areflection upon tho colony and a stigma on tka> advancement of tho age. The Salvationists had simply been marchir.g along the streets in the interests of therrjfeilow-beings, and for todoing they had had tho brand of convict* placed on them by being sent to gaol.—(Critsof ■|. v hame.") He further mentioned that some tima r.go icme members of the Army were eonvicted in Napier for parading the strertp, but on appeal the by-law was declared to h&ultra virtu, while tho Supreme Court of New South 'Wales on appeal had declared imprisonment for thn same thing to ba illegal. He expressed tho opiniun that if imprisonment for non-payment of fines for this offence wero legal, Parliament would be justified in 1 passing at one sitting through all its stßge3 ft measure annulling the power of any person t» deprive people of their liberty when acting in the interests of thair fellow subjects. The Mimster of Justice said it was quite true that the Salvationists had been fined by the Magistrate at Hastings, on an information laid by tho borotigh ekrk f.r cbitiucting the public highway, and, in default of paying their fines, had gone to prison for forty-eight hours. So far as regarded the opinions of tho Law Officers of the Grown, the magistrates were not bound thereby, though the Government could inform stipendiary magistrates and justices as to what those opinions were. Tho proper course would be to appeal in cases of thi3 sort where % conviction was obtained. If, however, the by-laws ware found to be perfectly 1, gal, and bore heavily on tho portion of tho community referred to, be promised to take steps to biing in a measure that would modify their grievance to aoonsidei-abl-j extent. Artificial Manures. A deputation, consisting of Messrs Fyke, Cowan, Duncan, and Valentine, waited upon the Minister of Lands to-night, and asked that he would introduce into the Trade Marks Bill » provision that sellers of artificial manures should enclose in every package a certificate of the qiality and chaiacter of its contents, and that Mere fhould be a penally on a false or fraudulest certificate being so inserted. The complaint of the farmers was that they buy manure for a specifio purpose for their lands, and, having gone to great expense to obtain it, find when they bring it into use that it is not adapted for the purpose for which it was purchased It was stated that even the bones crushed for manure wero adulterated, and the farmerstherefore asked tint th6y should know exactly what they were using. The Hon. Mr Richardson replied that with a view to giving effect te the wishes of tha deputation he would it struct Sir James Hector to draft a clause meeting the requirements of the deputation for incorieration in the Bill. An Unpopular Move. A proposal was made to the House by the Prcm cr to niuht namely, that the House should sit on Monday evening for Government bu.inees oaly. The motion was reo ived with cries of " Vo " and counter cries of "Yes." the interruption lasting for nearly half a minute, when it subsided. The Premier said he was entirely in the bands of the Houee. The Government were willing to sit on Monday, it it were desired; but, if not, Ministers would enjoy their holiday as much as anybody.—Mr Balance opposed the motion, and several othe members spoke.—The Premier, in answet to their remark? said that his idea was not to hurry on the butiness, but to get thrcagk the business without sitting late. For his own part he did not wish to sit after 10.20 any night, if cculd help it.—Sir George Grey tried to secure Mir.day evening for private members' business in lieu of Wednesday, which had been take* from them; but this was negatived on the voices.—The Premier's motion wa3 pressedjto a divi-ion by Mr Tanner but it was lost by the decisive majority of 52 to 24.—Sir H. Atkinson, however, intimated that he wou'd renew the motion each week.
Limiting PrivateSMembers' Privilege*. The initiative step, betokening an indication to bring tbe session to a close, was taken this afternoon, when the Premier moved that the Government business take precedence on Wednesdays after next week. Ho stated that he had been induced to place tbe tesolution on the Order Paper rt the instance of members ca both Bides of the House who were desirous of getting through the Government business as scon as possible. He repudiated the idea of being desirous of curtailing members' privileges, but he really thought it was advisable that the Government business fhould have pttcederce for three days per week from tbe beginning of the ses.-ion.—The Hob. Mr Larnach, speaking for Mr Ballance, said that the Opposition would be glad to conform to the Premier's views.—Sir George Grey vigorously oppoped the proposition, and urged that come hon. members hardly reccgnised tbe punishment they were inflicting on their fellowmembcis. He suggested that Wednesdays should be allowed to renuin for private members' business until after August 1, which would enable the following measures te be got rid of: Law Practitioner*, Governoi'ii Elective, Beadicg of the Bible in Schools, Introduction of Colored Labor, and Limitation of Votes Bills. By the. overbearing manner of the Premier be had been fettered and prevented from carrying into law those measures which it had taken him very long consideration to devise. He characterised tho motion as a tyrannical interference wi*h the rights of piivate members.-Mr VorralFe motion to institute "Ist August''for "neatfc week" was negatived on the voices.—Sir George Grey called for a division en tbe Prettier'* proposition, which was carried by 53 to 32. JtJLT 13. The New Representation Bill. A member of tbe Government informs me that tbe new Representation Bill is only an amendment of tho 1837 one, and the only alteration is fixiDg the "quota" for the country at 25 per cent, instead of 18. Ihis, he Bays, the Government will insist on, atd fight it out. They do not propose to make any charige in tbe district", in order to allow of small boroughs being amalgamated with country districts, as wished by the country party. Presuming that the reduced number of members is adhered to, the Government proposal will give the four large counties sixteen memb is between them. Undot the country party's proposal of a quota, 33J per cent., the cities only get twenty-four members against the country's lorty-six. Opening: up tbe Lakes.
The Hon. Mr Fergus promised some time back that the Government would have an electric boat conveyed to Mossburn of charge for the convenience of visitors to the Otago lakes. Since then the railways have passed iato the bands of the Railway Commissioners, and the promise has not been fulfilled. TMj morning Messrs Ward, Cowan, Feldwick, and Vt Hodgkinson waited en the Minister of Publio Works respecting tho matter, atd he promised to see Mr Fergus and consult the Commissioners about the matter. Cblef Surveyor Adams.
A report lias reached here from Dunedin that Mr C. W. Adams, chief surveyor for Otago, was to be transferred to Westland. On making inqu'ries of the Minister in charge of the department I was informed that no alterations would bo proposed in the Survey Department till the office* of Chief Land Commissioner and Chief Surveyor at Dunedin and Kelson were amalgamated, and that, he added, would not ba for another year at all events. The Rating Act. The selling; of property under the Rating Act of 1882 has aroused considerable attention in Auckland, and the matter was ventilated in the House on Friday afternoon by Mr Thompson, who asked Ministers if it waß intended to introduce a Bill this session to amend the Act with a v'ew to limiting the powers at present held by local bodies. It was stated that Bome local bodies abused their power?, and ordered property to be Bold for rates without giving notice tbit the rates were due; this exercise of summary procedure being due to the fact that the cxpeußo of a colleotor of ratfs wss saved. Tfce lion, gentleman said he was aware of wellknown men in Auckland who had had their property sold in this way. The Colonial Secretary leplied that he had no desire to give gratuitous advice, but he thought that if any local bodies bad acted in the maßner indicated the property-owneis had good cause of action. There was no doubt that when powers such as were exercised under this Act were granted to local bodies Bomebody must be inconvenienced. It was for the property-owners to see that their rates were paid, and not for the local bodies to hunt them up. The section which was complaiucd of was, in his opinion, very fairly worded, and he saw no reason to effect any change in the law, Jult 15. The New Electoral Bill. Ministers were in Cabinet most of yesterday dealing principally with the tows and country difficulty, and virtually decided, as I wired you on Friday afternoon, that tho new Representation Bill should provide for increasing allow»nce to the country districts from 18 to 25 per cent.
No formal decision has yet been come to with reßpeot to the amalgamation of the city electorates, but this will be considered in Cabinet to-day, and probably a clause will be added to give effect thereto. The feeling of the Hops* E'c'ems certainly to Be ia fawr of thb amalgSStta*
tion of tbo city constituencies, and even should the Govornmont measure not provide for n> desirable a step, some private member will move in that direction when the Bill is in committee.
The cor.ntiy members refuao to accept an allowance if less than 33J p:r cent., and troublesome times are looming, particularly as tho maintenance of the "quota" will not be made a Ministerial question, tho Cabinet having come to the detcuiunation to leave the decision unreservedly to hon. members. It is expect.d that the town members will use every form of tho HoU'ofor tho puipcso of stonewalling the demands of the country representatives, in tho hope that tho latter will finally be compelled to surrender by accepting the compromise now offered by the Government. No Chance of a Short Session. Though when Parliament mot appearances betokened a very short cession, there is now little prospect of tho prorogation taking place before tho end of August. Strong opposition will bo offered to the Otago Central Railway B'H, aud the Property Assessment Bill i 3 furo to provoke a lan; debate, in th.3 course of which the desirability of ducting a change in the inci fence of taxation will be raised. We luvo yet to have a discus .ion on tho financial proposals of the Government!, and the Estimates tuo only partly passed. Then there are tho Corrupt Practices Bill aud the Representation of Electors Bil', and several minor measures; to that even should tLo Charitable Aid Bill be dropped, thoro is mifficicat Government business to keep the House going for several weeks to come.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7959, 15 July 1889
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