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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7977, 5 August 1889
[From Ors I'.aruam&.vt.iky KErop.Trß.]
WELLINGTON, Aroint '1
It iobl.y report is to be credited, the evidence taken by the Committer? now inquiring into the att'airn ' of tlio Went Coast conl fields will icveal some startling facts when it cornea t • be laid before the Hou s e. It is alleged to have been proved that all the seams from which our main supply of coal is procured are practically ia the hands of a single company, and the holders have already been able to regulate the market in any way they please. Further it is asserted that all the properties have been let by the Government on very long leases—ranging up to sixty-six and eighty-eight yearn; bo that the only hope of obtaining an independent supply, which would tend to keep the monopolists within reasonable bound*, lies in the discovery of new and extensive coal minos and the'development of a few large ones yet untouched. The Committee are still examining witnesses, and are likely to continue doing so for somo time to come. Their report should be one of unusual iaterest. Evidence is still being taker, and will doubtless be published. The Policy of the Government. The situation iu the House on Friday afternoon (says the ' Post') was unique. We doubt if any body of politicians calling themselves a Government over occupied a position bo utterly despicable and humiliating as that which Ministers accepted with such complacency. They sat in their places moving adjournment after adjournment, while a couple of selfappointed and irresponsible committees of private members were engaged upstairs hacking a ministerial policy Bill about until it was deprived of all traces of pjlicy. It was supposed to embody tho representation of the peoplo, which is a subject on which a Government should direct and lead the House, and upon which it should entertain a distirctly definite policy. The present Government have enthely abrogated their functions, and have shown themselves willing to become the passive tools of any majority which will allow them to retain their seats on the Treasury benches. Their policy begins and ends with a deter mination to stick there as long as they possibly oon, no matter what they have to do in order to keep their places. August ■>. Not Satisfactory to All.
The representatives of the smaller boroughs object to their exclusion from the allowance made to the country districts, and will make an effort to get the present allowance of 18 per to apply to all boroughs with a population tf from two to five thousand. Tbe Exhibition Licensing BUI. The amendments made by the Council in the Dunodin Exhibition Licensing Bill will be considered by tbe House on Thursday. Opposition to the excision of the local option cause will be raised by Messrs Goldie, Fulton, and others. What Was Expected. All the city members but Mr Fish are in favor of the amalgamation of the city electorates. The Auckland men will try to get the provision for amalgamation made optional with the towns themselves. An Adjournment Needed. As the new clause in the Representation Bill dealing with the " quota " is not yet printed, an adjournment of the House till 7.30 to-night will bo made after the disposal of formal business. I lie Town Members Score One. Tho town membors have secured insertion of a clause whioh absolutely protects tho margin ef 750 being used against them. They aie now flghtiug to have the adjoining suburbs similarly protected. _______ i _ m^^_t
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7977, 5 August 1889
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