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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

[From Our Parliamentary Repoutkr.| [ WELLINGTON, Acgust 16. Jottings. ; A considerable portion of Mr Duncan's speech to-night had reference to the leasing of the Otekaike runs, and the Minister of Lands's bungle in connection therewith. The hon. member referred to the preset co in the Legislative Ccuncil gallery of the Hon. Robert Campbell, who, he said, was "looking down upon him;" Mr Campbell says that this reference to bis presence was impertinent; and he iuttnds to bring the matter up in " another place " as a breach of privilege. In connection with the no-canfidence debate, Mr Tanner says that when it is remembered that in the Lame of Parnill (the constituency whioh Mr Moss represents) there is something suggestive of bombs and dynamite, it is not eu.|/riaing that the hon. gentleman haa thrown a bombshell among the Ministerial benoheß with a view to blowing them up. The Government are recommended by the Public Petitions (A to L) Committee to institute an inquiry into the administration of the charitable aid endowments throughout the colony. The miners of certain West Coast goldfields petitioned the House some weeks ago for an extension of time for enabling candidates to pas 3 the examination for manageis' certificates for not less than one year, and also asked that tho examination be confined to matters relating to underground workings It is recommended by the Goldfields Committee that the p tition he referred to the Govcnm.-nt, with a recommendation to amend the law so as to comply with the prayer of the petitioners. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand lately petitioned the House praying for immediate legislation to suppress gambling, pugilhtic entertainments, and the publication of evidence in certain police ca'-es, The Public Petitions (A to 1) Committee, who have gone into tho matter, report that they have no recommendation to make on the subject, To-day's Proceedings in the Houso have not been of much interest, though tho excitement in the lobbies has been at builing point. EBtiraatts of the situation varied almost hourly throughout the day. The Government have been wavering in their belief that when the division was taken the result would be to give them a renewed lease of office, but in the forenoon leading Oppositionists woro remarkably sanguino, and lobby lumor went so far as to Bay that it was the work of Cabinet - making that was engrossing their attention, all doubts cf the favorable result of the division, so far as they were concerned, having been dispelled. Before noon it became known that Dr Newman had withdrawn his support from the Government, and thereupon the Opposition felt so satisfied that tho reius of power would so soon be within their grasp that they felt justified in approaching Taipua with all kinds of promises as tho prico of bis support; but this representative of the Maoris was not to hi caught, and before Le would even listen to the proposal he demanded that Mr Eallance should put his offer in waling, and this brought the negotiations to a close. In the course of tho evening's debate the Opposition received two shocks, which finally blasttd their hopes and dreams. First Mr O'Consr, and then Mr Menteath, both of whom had been classed by the Opposition whips rs "doubtful," made it clear that they intended to support the Pi operty Tax, and Mr Moss's friends then threw up the sponge, the few remaining speeohes beirjg made by hon. members who are anxious to explain their votes. "Political Highwaymen." In the course of his speech this afternoon Mr Hobbs said that some members were like the horse-leech, who cried to the Government "Give, give, give." They were political highwaymen, who demanded the money or the life of tho Government. With so miny clamoring representatives it was impossible to effectually carry out a system of retrenchment. The Wharves and Quays Hererves tenants. The Public Petitions Committee had before them this forenoon a petition from W. G. Jenkins, a tenant of the Otago Harbor Board, and fifteen others, complaining of an alleged grievance, and praying that the Board may be prevented from collecting further rents in respect to section 44, block 1, wharves and qu>ys reserves. Mr Ross was he.ird on behalf ot the Harbor Board, and showed that the petitioners had been most liberally dealt with. It was reBolved that " the matter was one between the petitioners and the Harbor Board, and that the Committee had no power to ioterfere." The flimsy character of the case of the petitioner is apparent from the fact that tho petition was presented by an Auckland member (:>ir George Grey). Surely, if they had had a valid grievance, a Duuedin member might have been found who would have brought it before Parliament. The Freetrade Caucus. The Freetra le (or, as they are now called, the Middle) party mustered twenty strong in the course of tho afternoon, at tho invitation of Mr Scobie Mackenzie, to consider the position. After a short discussion on tho position of affairs, tho following motion, proposed by Mr Macartbur, was carried wich only one dissentient:—"That inasmuch as the abolition of the Property TjX might, in the present financial condition of the colony, entail a further increase of Customs duties, it is not desirable that the Freetrado party should support the amendment of the member for Parnell." Mr Barron was the dissentient, and he expressed himself in favor of a gradual reduction of the Properly Tax. believing that further retrenchment could be effected with a view to recouping the money so remitted. Mining' Legislation. The Goldfields Committee reported to the House to-day recommending that Mr Seddon s Mining Act Amendment Bill should be taken up by the Minister of Mines as a Government measure, as it contains many valuable and necessary amendments of the existing law, and it is very desirable that it should be passed. Calls to the Council. Rumor with her busy tongue having, during the present crisi?, mentioned the names' of various gentlemen as being likely to be elevated to the Legislative Council, Mr Mackenzie (Glutba) turned the occasion to account by pointing out that there is no representative of Otago or Southland beyond Dunedin in that august Chamber. Thus a population of over 70,000 people, and an immense electoral area, is unrepresented in the Council. In the ordinary oourse of events a change of Government will take effeot after the next general election, if not before; and the supporters of the present Ministry say that if Sir H. A. Atkinson does not make some calls to the Upper Chamber, his successor, on assuming office, assuredly will. It is thought that if any appointments are made by the present Cabinet, Mr James Ful.on (member tor the Taieri) and Mr J. W. Thomson (ex-member for Clutha) will not be overlooked. Criminal Procedure Reform. An important measure affecting our criminal procedure is about to be introduced by Mr Downie Stewart. The object of the Bill, whioh will be known as the Criminal Procedure Bill, will be to prevent private persons from laying criminal information against any individual, and to provide that all proceedings of a criminal character must be initiated with the sanction of the Crown Prosecutor of thedistrict, or (where he is interested) by the Resident Magistrate. Mr Stewart tells me that the measure is founded on an experience extending over twenty yesrs in this colony of the abuses existing through private poisons being allowed indiscriminately to lay criminal informations, and that the reform is based on the law in Scotland. He states that many oriminal proceedings are commenced out of malice, and simply in order to injure the character of private persons. August 17. The opposition Furious. The Opposition are wroth with certain members who voted against them last night, particularly Messrs Harkness, Dr Newman, and O'Oonor, and they threaten to mangle the Property Aseeisment Bill when it gets into committee. Though the Government majority was only four, it must bo borne in mind that the Opposition gave a block vote, while several pronounced Government men hailing from Auckland had to support Mr Moss's amendment, though they would have been prepared to rend any Ministry formed from the other side of the House. This was particularly the case in

regard to Mr Monk and Mr La wry, whorccorde their votes with marked bad grace. At the last moment Dr Newman paired in favor of the Bill, although he had told the Native Minister in the morning and also the Government whips that he had made up his mind to support the amendment. After the division was taken Mr Fisher made an attempt to traverse Mr Harkness's action, but waß ruled out of order several times, and eventually he said that he would sp:ak on the Bubject at the proper time. Mr Keddon wished to move that a change should be made in the incidence of taxation by the substitution of a land and income tax, bnt was likewise ruled out of order. Mr Tarnbull intimated that if Mr Harkneei moved his amendment the Opposition would walk out of the House in order to show their opinion of him; if, on the other hand, Mr Seddon moved it they would support it. The OtfßO Central to be mocked. The Government have promised to make every effort to put the Otßgo Central Railway Bill through this session, but the Opposition, in revenge for the attitude of Messrs Fish, Pyke; and Allen on tho no-confidence motion, will join with the Auckland phalanx and endeavor to prevent its passage. The Division List Analysed. The following" tuble Bhows the disposition of members according to provincial districts on the ? no-confidence q lestion:

Taxing Foreign Bondholders. A sharp fight is expected on Monday over Sir G. Grey's proposal for taxing bondholders. It is said that in foreign and harbor board bonds forty millions are invested without any taxes being derived therefrom. Mr Seddon'* Amendment. The amendment which Mr Seddon intends to move on the Property Tax Bill is to exempt all improvements on land together with land held for mining purposes, ]f this is defeated, he informs me he will propose a clause binding the Committee not to increase the Property Tax over tbe present rate of a penny for five years. He thinks that a provision to that effect on the Statute Book would not deter capitalists from investing in the colony.

Miuwterial. Opposition Auckland ., - 8 10 Titannki . 3 0 Hawltt's Bay . .. 3 1 Wellington 7 t Noleoa 2 2 Marlborough .. 0 Canterbury .. '.'. G 14 Westland .. 0 3 Otago .. 16 8 Mioris 2 2 Totals .. 48 44

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890817.2.13

Bibliographic details

POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7988, 17 August 1889

Word Count
1,769

POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 7988, 17 August 1889

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