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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7983, 12 August 1889
[From Opb Parjjamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, August 12. Mr Fitzgerald's Leave. Some doubt has arisen whether, the Auditor - General being a permanent officer, it was within the powers of the Government to grant him six months' leave of absence on full pay. It is said that their action in so doing is likely to destroy his ndependence of Ministers. A Miners' Guide. The Inspector of Mines has issued a ' Miners' Guide,' which is brimful of useful information. The goldfields members all say that Mr Gordon's pamphlet is of a very practioal kind. The \fard-Hlslqp Affair. It is understood that the Legislative Council will summon Judge Ward, the olerk of the Court at Oamaru, and probably one or two Ministers, to give evidence concerning the Ward-Hislop controversy. The Ross Creek Reservoir. A preliminary report has been received from Mr TJssher on the Ross Creek reservoir, enclosing the reports previously mado by other engineers. Mr Ussher has already visited the place ; but he intends to' make further and exhaustive examination, and report at the earliest possible opportunity. A Parliamentary Shooting Team. The intercolonial Parliamentary rifle match, to which I made reference some weeks ago, has been fixed for Thursday, the 29th inst. The conditions are : Seven men a-side; Martini rifles; seven shots at 400, 500, and 600 yards ; Wimbledon targets and Bcoring. The following Legislatures have entered: —South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Now Zealand. Intimation has been received that Tasmania and Western Australia will not enter. The New Zealand men have been practising assiduously, but the team is not yet definitely fixed. Messrs Hamlin, J. C. Anderson,' Rhodes, and Can oil are almost certain to be included. Breakers Ahead.
Unquestionably we are on the eve of the greatest political crisis that has been witnessed during the term of the present Parliament. The Property Tax Assessment Act comes on for consideration immediately. The House meets at 7-SO to-night, and it is almost certain that Mr Moss's amendment condemnatory of the Property Tax will be met by tho Government as a vote of want of confidence, despite the fact that they successfully ran the gauntlet of the party challenge on Friday night. Expectation is rife as to what the result 1 will be in that event. The Aucktanders are almost to a man pledged to vote for the repeal of the Property Tax, and such consistent Governrrient supporters as Messrs Monk, Goldie, Lawry, and T. Thompson will be found voting against them on the present occasion. The Government claim a majority of' three votes, but on the other hand the opponents of the tax are sanguine of success, and say that they have a majority of four on their side. Qf course such a reverse on one of their chief policy measures wpuld almost onsure to Ministers a dissolution,'so thai;, with the redtfetibn of their number's imminent, and an election on the present quota, members will hesitate before casting their votes. It is rumored that Mr W. C. Smith will move in the direction of substituting a land and income tax for the Property Tax, and a lengthy debate (probably extending over a week) is promised. Ministers have been in Cabinet since ten o'clock this morning, presumably in connection with this question, and have not yet (12.30) dispersed.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7983, 12 August 1889
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