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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

[From Oca Pabliamentart Reporter. WELLINGTON, Jdlt 18. The Representation liebate. Though no reply has been received to the request ot the deputation of city members asking that the Representation Bill bo deferred till next week, it is understood that tho application was unfavorably entertained, and that the debate will be continued tomorrow evening. A meeting of tho country members has been convened for tomorrow to decide what action shall be taken to break down the stonewall which the elty members intend offering. At It Again. The Agnews, who were released from gaol this morning after serving a month, immediately set to work by waylajing Ministers with their land grievance. At the instance of Mr Speaker, they were removed from the Parliamentary precincts by a stalwart member of the constabulary. Important to Gas Consumers. Grumblers at the amount of the gas companies' monthly demands—and their name is legion—will bo interested to learn that the subject of their grievance was broached in the House to-day by Mr Perceval, who suggested that the Government should bring in a Bill (1) for the fixing of a maximum dividend to be paid by gas companies, and providing (2) for the annual inspection by anindependeatauditor of the balance-sheets and books of gve companies, (3) the abolition of meter rents, and (4) the testing of the quality of the gas. Tho Premier said that there could be no doubt that the present legislation on the subject was very unsatisfactory. The Government bad the matter under consideration, but it would be impossible to deal with it this session. Probably some proposal would be made to Parliament next session. Insufficient Lighting. The wretchedly insufficient light used In moßt of the Government railway carriages of tie colony was brought under the notice of the Government to-day by Mr Scddon, who described the carriages as the most wretchediylighted in the world, and suggested that competitive designs should be iuvited for an improved system, and a bonus of LIOO offered for the person whose designs were accepted. —The Minister of Public Woiks said that numerous complaints had been made, but the question was one of great difficulty. Mr Maxwell had made special investigations on the subject when in England, and when he came back reported that the lighting of the American carriages, such as were in use on the Wellington section, was equal if not superior to that of any carriages in the world. The lighting of the old carriages by means of oil lampa was undoubtedly bad. ' Within the last week the Railway ] Commissioners had received from the Agent-

General a dozen Schanschieff lights, which were to be experimented with in a short time on the Wellington section.—Mr seddon suggested that the Government should consider the desirableness of supplying small candlesticks with indiarubber suction rings, such as were often utei by travellers, to the guards for hire or sale, so as to i aise revenue. Oamaru Harftor Loan. The Colonial Secretary's " pet lamb" of the session, the Oanaru Harbor Boa>d Loan Bill, which proposes to enable the Board to borrow L 70.000 at 5 p3r chiefly for the purpose of reinstating their finances, came up for committal this afternoon, and had a really mild time. Such keen opposition was C'fferod by Dr Wewman and Mr Hutchison that the greater part of the sitting was spent without any real progress being made, and the .Bill was thua shelved for at least a week. Old Soldier*' Claims. Acting upon the suggestions which were made this afternoon by Messrs T. Thompson, Hutchison, and other member?, the Defence Minister has agreed to hand over all the records of the department relating to the paid claims of old soldiers to the Commission who avo now investigating the matter. Power is given to the Court to inquire into all claims that may be brought under their notice, whether by petitions to the House or other- ' wise. The Hare System. An attempt is yet to be made by Mr O'Conor to secure the adoption of a modified Hare system, even with the small electorates proposed in the present Representation Bill. The membe for Buller has given notice that when in committee he will move three additional clauses providing for the application of the system to all elections in which more than one member is to be returned, and to all single electorates where there are more than two candidates. Drlllsheds and Taxation.

It was urged by Mr Anderson this afternoon that the Government should legislate in the direction of relieving volunteer halls and boat sheds from local and municipal taxes and rates. The defence Minister said that he could not see his way to comply with the request, because in several parts of the colony it was complained that the volunteer halls were let for entertainments, thus yielding considerable monetary benefit, and competiug with ratepayicg buildings. Legislative Council Reform. The speeches made in the Upper Chamber on Tuesday and yesterday left little room for doubt that the measure would receive the " happy despatch," and uo surprite was therefore expressed that the Attorney-General's appeal to hon. members to allow the Bill to be read a second time did not meet with a sympathetic response from the hon, gentlemen pr. sent. The debate was continued this afternoon by The Hon. Mr Robinson, who expressed surprise that such a Bill could have been introduced without giving some cogent reason for so doing. Personally he saw no reason whatever for there being any alteration in the present Constitution, and would therefore vote against the Bill. Mr M'Lean asked Dr Pollen to withdraw his amendment, because ho was of opinion that there was sufficient good in the Bill to permit of its being read a second time and improved in committee. It was nonsense to suppoto that any Government would swamp the Council to carry out their ends. There would be such a revolutionary feeling in resenting such interference that would at once stay any Government from adding moie members.

Messrs Mantell, Hart, and Acland hiving spoken in opposition to the Bill, its second reading was negatived by the Urge majority of 21 to 10. The following is the division list for the second reading:—-Captains Bai'lio and Kenny, Messrs Bainicoat, Lahmann, M'Lean, Morris, Pbarazyn. Scotland, Stevens, Sir F. Whitaker, Noes: Messrs Acland, Campbell, Digaan, Captain Fraser, Hart, Mantell, Martin, Oliver, Peacock, refer, Dr PolleD, Beeve/», Robinson, Shephard, Shrimski, Swanson, Taiaroa, Walker, Wabawaha, Sir G. Whitmore, and Wilson,

Educational Franchise BUI. This measure, which has been persistently introduced for some sessions by Major Steward, and having for its object the abolition of the cumulative vote and the better definition of the term "householder," passed through its remaining stages in the Lower House to-night. The only amendment made was that in mining districts " householder " shall be interpreted to include the holdei sof miners' rights. I have every reason to believe that the Bill will on the present occasion successfully run the gauntlet of the Upper House. Eight Hours llill. This measure got into committee this evening, and at its outset Mr Taylor, who was in charge of it, said he would accept no amendments. He would have "the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill," or nothing at all. Members who had supported the second reading pointed out that the hon. gentleman was taking up a most unreasonable position, for it was im possible to apply the principle of eight hours to farm and agricultural laborers; but the member for Sydenham was not to be moved, and after hehadheen subjected to a deal of badiuige a rt solution by Mr Samuel that the chairman do leave the chaii was carried by 39 to 36, and the Bill was consequently shelved. The Midland Railway. Some months ago it was announced that the Agent-General had accepted a Trusteeship for the Midland Railway Company in connection, with the sale of land.—The Premier was questioned on tbe subject by Mr Samuel yesterday, and stated in reply that the Agent-General had written offering to reaig* the Trusteeship if the Government saw fit. The trust deed had not yet arrived, but as soon a? it did the Government would can fully look into it; and tf It seemed likely that any question would arise they would not allow the Agent-General to retain the office.—Mr Brace and several other members thought that the connection of the Agent-General's name with the company's affairs would bo misleading to investors.— Mr Samuel thought that what mischief was likely to arise had already been done, and the withdrawal at the present stage would not remedy it. He hoped that the Government would lay down the principle that the Agent-General should not accept any offico without the previous approval of the Government.—The Tremlor explained that it had appeared to him that there was no special responsibility incurred, seeing that the land concerned in the Trusteeship was practically Government land.—As the ressult of a long discussion (Sir George Grey having moved the adjournment of the House), the Premier undertook that when the trust deed came to hand he would again place the matter before the House and agree to its being submitted to the Public Accounts Committee. Female Franchise.

The Bill introduced by Major Steward for the purpose of holding the election of licensing com mittees once in three years instead of annually as is the case at present, led to the question of the fomale franchise being opened and debated. The matter was introduced by Mr Monk moving " That the franchise at the election of licensing committees be extended to females." Sir John Hall explained that he was strongly in favor of extending the franohise to women at licencing elections, and would vote in that direotion on every suitable occasion; but he recognised that, if the clause were introduced at the present t'mo, it would kill a useful Bill, as it did last session. —Dr Fitchett said the position taken up by Mr Monk was atrocious in its inconsistency. Be was content with extending the franchise at licensing elections to all women, but would only j allow men who were ratepayers to have a voice. i All women who were ratepayers already had the right to vote at these elections.—Mr Tanner, while admitting that this was so, point d out that the head of the household was nearly always registered on the ratepayers' roll, so that the proportion of femalei who had the franchise was infinitesimal. He did not understand how any hon. member could refuse the franchise to women.—(Laughter.)—Mr Hobba hoped that the member for Waitemata would not press his amendment. He must see that the House had no sympathy with him. for the hon, members present were terrified at the effect of granting women the right to vote at licensing elections.—The clause was negatived by 35 to 33 —Mr faunders explained that others like himself, who were most anxious to see the right given to women to vote, had voted against the proposal on the present occasion because they thought the question was not properly raised.—The Premier also said that he was as thoroughly in favor of the female franchise as any hon. member, but he had voted againßt the olause because it seemed to him very undesirable to take steps which would have the effect of endangering a'mefuf measure.— Mr Fish asked: Did he understand the Premier to fay that he would, when a favorable opportunity arose, propose to give the franchise to women without distinction iu regard to licensing election?, but would only extend it to men who were ratepayers ?—The Premier replied that he would give equal rights to both sexes, ah expression that was received with applause from all sides of the House.—Mr Goldie, taking his cue from the Premier's remarks moved: "ibat the right of franchise is hereby given to all males and females over t*cnty-one years of age on this question." Exception was taken to this clause, and Mr Ha<rlm (Chaiiman of Committees) ruled that it was not in order, as the Committee had just affirmed that the franchise should not be extended to females.—The Bill was read a third time and passed without amendment. The Bill is sure to pass the Council, <ind we may take it for granted that in future licensing elections will be held triennially, contemporaneously with the local option polls. Jottings. The Bank of New Zealand Bill, which provides that the headquarters of the bank msy be

moved from Auckland, passed its third reading in the Home to-day. Acting on the suggestion of the Dunedin and suburban members, the Mayor of Dunedin has decided to abandon the idea of holding a meeticg there in connection with the Otago Central Railway Bill. JutT 19. The Representation Bill. Having consulted the country members the Premier haß informed the city and tubuiban party that he cannot agree to any postponement of the Representation Bill, which will accordingly beset down for further consideration to-day. The country members openly assert their intention of sitting all night iu order to press the Bill through, and they now claim that sixty-four votes will be cast in favor of the second reading. The feeling on the part of the city rtptesentatives is that it is not desirable to obstruct the Bill at the second reading stage, but some of them will express thdr views at considerable length as to the unfair treatment of the large increase. 'When, however, the measure gets into committee, there will be greater chances of stonewalling, and then "we shall see what we shall see."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890719.2.19

Bibliographic details

POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7963, 19 July 1889

Word Count
2,261

POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 7963, 19 July 1889

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