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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7980, 8 August 1889
[From Our Parliamentary Reporter.) WELLINGTON, Avgust 7. The Ward-11 islop Incident. Mention of this matter in the House is enough to raise a storm of indignant protest against the Ministerial action. This was again the case this afternoon. The Premier started the debate by informing Mr Larnacb that the Government could not consent to the appointment of a select committee to deal with the matter, but would give an opportunity for discussing the conduct of Ministers in the House. Mr Larnach, Mr Ballanco, and several others urged that a commi.tce would bo tho proper tribunal, and Mr Fisher said that it was well known that Judge Ward could not expect justice from tho present Government. The Premier urged that if this were so, any member who was of that opinion should table a no-confidence motion. Mr Seddon said that Ministers were only so bold in asking that tho matter should bo fought out in tho House because they had ascertained that a majority Would support their course. Considerably more than an hour was devoted to the discussion, and the Government were candidly told some unpleasant facts. Mr Larnach intiinited ho would consider what course to take. The Representation Bill Passed.
The amendments made in the Representation Bill were adopted by the Hou-e to-day. On the motion for the third reading, Mr Eraser spoke at tome length approving of the abolition of ) lural voting and the n tention of the reduced number of members, but entered into tho hiato yof tho late negotiations to how that neither Auckland, Taranaki, nor Nelson was re presented on the Executive Committee of the country p.rty. He wished to embalm in history the way in which the representatives of the email boroughs had been “ thrown over ” by the purely country members, but though dissatisfied with the “quota” ho would support the third reading. Mr Seymour showed that no unfair advantage had been taken of the absence of Mr Macarthur, representative of the small boroughs, as bad been asserted.
After a long debate, in order that members might Hansardise their speeches, the third reading was agreed to.
Luca! Government. A committee has been appointed, on iho motion of tho Premier, to report as to what form of local gove-nmunt is best adapted to tho requirements of the colony. Sir U. Atkinson rather threw cold water on the hope of getting any improved system, but sail that if such were devised tho Government would assist to pass it into law.
The majjo Central. Tlio trouble about the Otago Central Railway Bill fizzle 1 out harmlessly this afternoon, for, after directing n good deal of chaff at Ministers for their blundering, the House agreed to the reinstatement of tho motion for the second reading as an Order of the Day for to-monow.
Stopping the Exoilum. Mr Moss intends asking the Fretrrcr whether he will appoint a select committee to it quire into the causes of the depression at present existing in the cdony, andtod.vko s, mo means ef staying the exodus of people.
The KahVarrn Murder. 1 Rls case -will be brought under the notice of Barb ament by Mr Hutchison, who wiil tsk the Minister of Justice whether the affidavits and other documents in tho case of Chemis will bo made public, and whether there is any precedent for the c./' parte argument addressed on behalf of Chen.isto the Governor, reviewing the whole case, and whether such a course is to bo followcl in similar cases in future.
Hie Law of Libel Surprise is expressed by tho * Evening Post ’ at the attitude taken up by Mr Samuel and Ur Fifchett on churo 3of the Libel Bill. It points out that the clause is nn exict reproduction of the law as it now cxi-ts in England while in tliis colony tho law of libel is exactly what tho law of England was fortr years ago. It says: —“ We are altogether behind the times iu this matter, and as tho recent liberal statutory reforms in tho law of libel in England do not apply here, our Courts are deprived of the benefits of the modernru'ingsamldecisionscf the English Bench on the subject. To render these available as guides and precedents, it is necessary that the law hero should be absolutely assimilated to that of England. At present our Courts arc bound by precedents and interpretations resting on the authority of cases m arly half a century old, and which have long sines been discarded in tho English Courts of Justice. Dr Fitchett’s amendment is distinctly a retrograde one. and would render the law more illiberal and unjust than it is even now. At tho present time all the proc edinga of a Court of Justice may bo published under the i rotection of privilege, jet tho amendment proposes to take that privilege away from the reports cf counsels’ speeches. To do so would be to prevent a reLilly fair and intelligible acsount of any trial being published. Counsels’ speeches are in a great many cases necessary to enable the public to understand tho points of a case, the arguments used, and tho grounds on which a decision is arrived at. It would utterly mutilate reports if these speeches had t > be cut out iu important cases. In no English-speaking ountry in the world is there such » resttiithm imposed.” And it trusts that New Zealand will not set such an illiberal and barbarous example. Tho House will bo quite safe in following the example of the English Earl'amcnt, and passing the Bill as it was introduced, Tho clausa introduced in tho Council by the Hon. Mr Shepherd is certainly open to soma objection, and, to far as the Press of New Zealand is concerned, there will not bo any cause for regret if it is excised. Without it tho Bill is a necessary and most de irable one, which it will redound to the credit of the Legislature to pass.
Friendly societies. Members of fri'nJ’y societies will bo interested to learn that Mr Fish is moving for a return settirg forth (1) the number of members, the present value of benefits, tho present value of contributions, the amount of funds and surplus or deficiency in each district of the affiliated orders, ns at the last valuation, together with a statement of tho date up to which such valuation was made, and the amount of surplus or deficiency per member in such case ; (2) a summary of the actual position of tbo several orders including tho Order of Druids.
The Mali Service. Mr Ward informs me that it is bis intention to move b fore tho session closes a direct motion on the question of the ocean-going mail services. This lion, gentleman, who last session successfully led an attack against tho continuance of tho Pan Francisco service, will return to the charge with a proposal that tho subsidy to it shall bo discontinued, ami that any subsidy for mail services bo paid on tho basis of weight to tho direct steamers. Old Identities v. New Iniquities.
Mr Saunders caused some surprise to-night by delivering himself in an extraordinary fashion as to advantages city representation had over country. Speaking as a country member ho said that his observations of the last thirty years bad allow, d him to form some idea of the influence that the four cities had on the representation cf New Zealand. Commencing with Dunedin, he asserted that when that place was inhabited by Scotchmen only the influence of its public men was good, and nothing but good, and if he could not bo an KngUshman he would be a Scotchman.— (Laughter.) Scotchmen were the easiest governed people in the world, and at the same time they always managed to govern well, while their influence as pure Scotchmen was exceedingly good. But in that House a race had since grown up whose influence went altogether in tho other direction. Tho people, since they had been mixed up with Australian adventurers, seemed to have tho same power without the same prudenc', force, and foresight, and the result was that they had sent up representatives like Sir J. Vogel and the late Mr Macandrew, who had been guilty of raising loan expenditure and extravagance which the pure Scotchman never dreamt of and would never have sanctioned. His observations had led him to the conviction that tho influence of the City of Dunedin—great and good and important a city as it was—had of late years been exceedingly bad in that House. Then ho cimo to his own neighborhood of Christchurch, and ho admitted that they had got a very peculiar race of politicians from that city. They called themselves Üborala, and yet the politics they had adopted were the most illiberal that ho ever heard of in any country in tho world. They had said in that House that minorities should not havea voice, and yet when their turn came of being in a minority they wanted to have all the voice. One great reason why the cities should not have so much representation as tho country districts was that during the whole of this session their representatives had taken up considerably more than half of tho whole time of the House with their speeches. An excellent arrangement would bo that the representation should be regulated by the number of hours’ talk indulged in. In that case the cities would not, so far as the numb r of members went, bo more than adequately represented, —(Laughter.) One of the great evils that the country complained of in connection with the Christchurch representatives was that they were tho advocates of monopolies. '1 he Liberals of Christchurch were Protectionists and monopolists ; they put taxes on tin farmer’s ploughshares, on hia manure and clothes, and on the tools of the miners and farmi rs, with a view to maintaining some paltry indu-.try or manufactory in tho town. But they were nut prepared to protect the firming and agricultural industries of the country. Then tho Auckland members had talked very freely in the House, and bad otten made compacts with the South; and as a
result of those compacts the rest of the country bad shared very badly in the plunder that had been going on. He advocated that the representatives of Wellington should be rooted out root and branch. The principal reason why Wellington should send no members to the House was this: they came there invariably as representatives not of the taxpayers of the country, but of tax receivers, and were, in short, advocates of everything in the shape of extravagance and of robbing the country. No man would have a chance of being elected for Wellington unless it was known that bo stood as a determined advocate in the way of extravagance. Wellington took everything it could out of the poor miserable over-taxed farmers of the country, and as the seat of Government was sufficiently represented.
Technical Education. Mr Fisher (ex-Minister of Education) is introducing a Bill for the promotion of technical instruction in the State schools. It is entitled the Manual and Technical Elementary Instruction Act, and in it manual instruction is defined as meaning instruction in the use of tools and in mode'ling in clay, wood, or other materials Technical instruction is to mean instruction in the principles of science and art applicable to industries, and in the application of special branches of science and a t to specific industries or employmentg It is not to include teaching the practice of any trade, industry, or employment. Mr Hther propcses that manual instruction may bo given only to the pupils following the standard course of instruction at a public school, aud to such pupils it must be given at extra hours, /e , beyond the ordinary school time. For manual instruction so given a payment may be made by the Minister of Education to the education boards, and by the education tion boards to the teachers, at the rate of 2s per quarter for every unit of average attendance at tho class. For manual instruction it is provided that the manual instruction of each pupil shall occupy at least two hours a week for ten weeks within the quarter. Technical iostruction may bo given only to such scholars as have passed tho Fourth Standard, or such scholars es have obtained from an inspector of schools a certificate of having passed the requisite examination. For such technical instruction, occupying at least twelve hours a week for tea weeks during every quarter, a grant shall bo nude by the Minister of Education to the education boards at tho rate of ten shillings for every unit of average attendance at such instruction. Every board propos ing to establish a course of technical instruction under this Act is to prepare a schema showing a copy of the propo.ed instruction, and submit such tchemo to the Minister for his approval, and no payment shall be made by tho Minister of Education to any educati n he rd for any technical instruction under tho Act until tho scheme of such instruction has received the Minister’s approval. Any such scheme may include tho payment of fees as a condition of attendance.
ArccßT 8, The Representation nil). Although a mojority of tho Legislative Council do not like the abolition of the plural vote, no violent opposition is likely to be shown to its incorporation in the Representation Bill, and the clause will probably be retained. Mr Oliver tells me that he thinks of moving in the direction of prohibiting paupers and those iu receipt of charitable aid from voting. At the last general election it is notorious that Jock Graham put fifty inmates of the Otago Bonovolent Institution on tVie O&vetabfeßV toll* 3.11(1 convoyed them to the polling booth.
Tlic Knight of Hawaii In a New Light
Sir G. Grey has «f late years proved himself to be tho greatest mlschief-mi ker, politically speaking, ii the House, and his friends and foes alike hive got to regard him as the political Machiavelli, One of his aims f r several years has been the abolition of plural voting, and it was thought that his successful carrying of that meamie would be regarded as the crowning point of his ambition. Strange, however, as it may seem, Sir George last evening appioached a prominent member o f the Legislative Council and besought him to act with others in throwing out the Representation Bill. The hon. gentleman in question expressed unfeigned surprise at such a request being made to him, and plainly hintei his doubt of Sir George Grey’s earnestness in the matter of the abolition of the plural vote which is provided for in that Bill. The Ocean Mall Services.
Mr Ross is moving for a return showing the estimated cost per lb for the carriage of mail matter by the San Francisco steamers, based on (1) the present subsidy, including bonur ; (2) a subsidy of L 15,000, without bonus ; (3) a subsidy of LIO.OOO, without bonus. Also the cost per lb of mail matter by the direct mail service, ieclud ng bonuses.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7980, 8 August 1889
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