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THE OTAGO CENTRAL RAILWAY BILL.

[From Our Parliamentary Reporter.]

WELLINGTON, August 6. The adjourned debate on the second rerding of the Otago Central Railway Bill waa unexpectedly resumed to-night, Mr Guinness said that the work would Inflict a burden of L 15.000 per annum on the colony, and the line would compote with other lines already in existence. In proof of this latter lie quoted from the evidence of the Railway Commissioners, who also showed that the line would not pay interest on the L 520,000 cost of construction for many years to come. The Government on were sacrificing the colony and the interests of other communities in favor of certain supporters in Otago. It was wrong and an injustice to single out this one lino in the colony and make a departure from the nonborrowing policy upon which the present Government took office. The only legitimate way to construct this and other lines in a similar position was to go on to the London market and borrow specifically for that purpose at a proper time, and thus deal impartially with all parts of the colony. The Bill was one which might be thrown out, and he moved that the Bill be read a second time that day six months. Mr Hutchison seconded the amendment, and pointed out that a portion of the unallotted loan of 1887 (L 70.000) was set apart for purposes other than railways, and should not be used in connection with the construction of this line. The balance required for the work was proposed to be raised out of the Consolidated Fund, which was nothing more nor less than a breach of faith with the public creditor. The short title of the Bill should be “ An Act for the Jobbery of a Railway,” and he hoped it would not go beyond its second reading. The Hon, E. Richardson was soiry that the amendment had been moved, and could not support it. His only objection to the Bill was that it singled out one special line when three or four others should have received similar treatment, as they were likely to yield a better return on their construction.

Mr Grimmond said that the policy enunciated in this Bill marked a new epoch in our Public Works policy, and he therefore moved the adjournment of the debate till the Public Works Statement was delivered, so that the House might know whether the Government intended going on with any other railways in the colony. Mr Walker seconded this amendment, and objected to any special privilege* being given to the Otago Central Railway over other lines. The Government, on assuming office, had promised a cessation of borrowing, and any departure from that policy in the matter of public works was vicious. The Premier said that the proposal to allow the Bill to stand over till after the delivery of the Public Works policy was not unreasonable, and the Government had no desire to force it through. Mr Turnbull would have preferred seeing Mr Guinness’s amendment carried, and objected to the method proposed of taking moneys from the Consolidated Fund. The principle of undertaking to pay L 15.000 a year for fourteen years he strongly objected

to. The motion for the adjournment of the debate was agreed to on the voices, when Mr Speaker asked “ Till when.” Mr Hutchison said “ Doomsday.” The Premier had a moment before been called out of the Chamber, and Mr Walker in bis absence suggested till this day fortnight, and this was assented to on the voices. Some time later

The Premier returned and pointed out that the adjournment of the Bill for a fortnight was made in his absence. The measure wai an important Government one, and he

could not coiißent at this adage of the session to doing any business till the motion was rescinded'.’ lie therefore wished to move, without notice, that the motion be rescinded and the debate ad journed till the following day. Messrs Ballauce, Walker, and others urged that tho IVcmicr should have the leave asked, but Messrs iraser and Guinness raising dissentient voiees, the necessary unanimous leave was refused. The Premier then gave notice of his intention to move for the rescission of the motion on the following day, and intimated thatJie would refuse to do any business till tie motion was rescinded.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890807.2.34

Bibliographic details

THE OTAGO CENTRAL RAILWAY BILL., Issue 7979, 7 August 1889

Word Count
724

THE OTAGO CENTRAL RAILWAY BILL. Issue 7979, 7 August 1889

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