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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

[Feom Our Parliamentary Reporter, | WELLINGTON. August 28,

Civil Service iliitslde Employments. The Civil servants whose practice of the art of outdoor photography for gain was brought under the notice of the Government by Mr Joyce are residents In the North and parts of the West Coast districts. The member for Lyttelton explains 1 that his puipose in introducing the subject was to ascertain whether other public servants were at liberty to supplement thnir incora s by undertaking pr.vatc work. The Premier said he was not aware that the practice was carried on, nor did he think it advisable for the Government to make inquiries. If any hon. gentleman knew of any public servants who were not doing their duty to the Government he should report them, and if it were found that they were transgressing the rules action would be taken, A Dissolution of Partnership.

The members for Marsden and the Bay of Island?, who have hitherto been like Damon and Pythias, have on two or three recent occasions been found on opposite sides. In a discussion this afternoon in a debate on the Auckland village settlements this was the case, and Mr W. 0. Smith chaffed them upon the dissolution of their partnership, saying that the hon. member for Marsden (Mr R. Thompson), instead of moving for returns of the knives and forks and scrubbing brushes, used in the Ministerial residences, as he formerly did - (laughter)—had now turned his attention to the unearthing of village icttlement marcs’ nests. Taiwhanga subsequently likened the two Northern members to two dogs—(cries cf “Oh ”)—fighting over a bone—(laughter)—that really belonged to somebody else, because the village settlement land belonged by right to the Maoris. The Mali Services. A return has been presented to the House, on the motion of Mr Hobs, snowing the estimated cost per lb for carriage of mail matter by the San Francisco service, upon (1) the present subsidy of L 25.990, including bonus; (2) a subsidy of L 15,000, without bonus; and (3) a subsidy of LIO.OOO, without bonus. The cost of letters under the above headings is: (1) 18s 8,87 d per lb, (2) 10a 9,78 d per lb, and (3) 7s 252 d per lb. That of books is': (1) Is 1.31 d per lb, (2) 7s 6 8d p:r lb, and (3) 5Jd per lb ; and that pf newspapers: (1) 4,44 d per Jb, (2) 255 d per lb, and (3) 1.71 d per lb. The cost of carriage by the direct service under the present subsidy and bonus (L 19.661) is 25s 1.17 d per lb for letters,Is 5,83 d per lb for books, and 5 Old pr lb fpr newspapers. The estimates are based on the quantities received by the different routes. A History for the Schools.

The Minister of Education stated ta-day (Shalt be understood that tboro was a want, of a thoroughly good history of New Zealand, and he promised to consider Mr Seddon’s suggestion that a bonus should be offered; as ra tho case of New South Wales, for tho production of a work on Australia and New Zealand, with special prominencs to this colony’s affairs. Railway Employes’ Fines.

About L 1,400 had at the end of the financial year accumulated at the Treasury in fines levied upon railway The money is intended to be used as the nucleus of a fund to make provision for railway employes iu periods of illness or disablement. A Bill was to have been introduced this session in which provision to this effect, wauld have been inserted, but it will now have to stand over till next year. The ministerial Residences. Last session the House passed a Public Reserves Sa'e Act, to provide for'the sale or other disposition of the Ministerial residence in Tinakori road, Wellington. In answer to an inquiry by Mr Goldie as to wbat had been done in this connection, the Premier to day replied that considerable effort was made during the rcccas to get a reasonable price for the house, but the Government could not realise their reserve, and they were not prepared to sacrifice it. They had since received an offer to have it made over as an endowment for a Wellii gton university. This proposal seemed a very reasonable one to the Government, for Parliament would soon have to provide for such a university.- (Cries of “Oh, oh.”) Sir Harry said he had expected to hear cries of “Hear, bear,” and not “Oh, oh.” The Government had made no further effortsto sell the residence, and they felt that they could not have found a purchaser. If it had not been for the extraordinary turn things had taken this Bessie j the Government would have brought in a Bill dealing with this Ministerial residence in the way Ministers thought was the right one. Village Settlements Expenditure.

Mr R. Thompson brought under th-e attention of the Minister of Lauds to-day that, among the moneys expended upon the village settlements of Herokino, Motukeraka, and Punakitere, in the Auckland district, was a sum of L 1,783, tho expending of which the Waste Lands Department could not account for. On a personal visit to those settlements, he learned that a system had sprung up of paying settlers for work done with orders, which they had to sell for what they would fetch at the stores in the district. In many instances no cash was paid, and the men seldom got 10s in the £ for the work they had done. Ho wanted a commission to inquire into these irregularities, aud thought he only asked for bare justice to the settlers. There was a long discussion, in the coarse of which some hon. members advocated referring the matter to the Public Accounts Committee, and others regarded it all as a •• mare's nest ” The Minister of Lands expressed the opinion that tho matter would be inquired into, and subsequently gave tho member fur Marsden to understand that inquiry should be immediately made. The Upper House. In urging on tho Government the claims for the south and we>t of Otago to representation in the Logislat ve Oouncil, Mr MKeizlo (Clutha) said that fourteen millions of acres in that provincial district, with7s,Coo people, and thirteen contiguous electorates were unrepresented in the Upper Chamber. The Premier promised that in making fresh appointments ns would take the claims of all parts of the colony into consideration. The Brewery Prosecutions. Mr Fulton is inquiring from the Minister of Justice why the recent prosections for fraud agiiust the Dunedin brewers weie not proceeded with until nearly four months after the perpetration of tho offence, and why the clerk of the Court requested the Justices to attend and adjudicate upon said charges at an unusual hour. A Useless Return. There has been laid before tho House a return supposed to show the amount of revenue which would be derived from _an income and land tax imposed on a sliding scale. The return actually shows nothing. It is not found possible to give an estimate of tho revenue that would bo derived from a land tax as proposed, nor does the Property Tax Department, from whom the return comes, possess information to enable it to give an estimate that would in any degree he reliable as to the revenue that would be derived from an income tax on the sliding fcalo proposed. It is estimated that with an income tax with exemptions of LISO just 16,330 would be paid in respect to income from personal exertions as follows Doctors, L3OO ; lawyers L 400; clergymen, L 250 ; dentists, LSO; bankers, L 80; insurance officers, LSO; engineers, architects, auctioneers, etc., L2OO ; bank clerks, L 60 0; clerks to local bodies, LSO; insurance clerks, L3OO ; mercantile clerks and traders, assistants, etc., L 3.500; managers of companies, LSO; Government officers, teachers, etc,, L1.5C0. In addition to these the tax would be paid by some 5,000, including merchants, drapers, grocers, ironmongers, timber merchants, brewers, bakers, and other trades and manufacturers. Those who derive incomes from land a*e not included. The tax under the proposed land tax scheme would be paid by 15.000 mortga c>, and some who paid income tax would also pay land tax. In conclusion, it is estimated that the total number of taxpayers under tho combined scheme would be 22,000.

Why the Otago Central was Killed. ~ Regret is expressed at the defeat of the Otago Central Railway by the ‘Post,’ which in the source of its remarks, cays “ It ever the measure had a chance of passing Mr Fish killed that chance by voting for the Ministry on the no-confidence question. He gave it as his reason that he did so in order to get the Otago Central Bill passed. The Opposition wore naturally wroth at this desertion, and they resolved to punish him by taking care that he should not obtain the reward he hoped for. That was the plain and simple reason which influenced a very considerable number of votes that were given against the Bill last night. It is a pity that such considerations should determine the fate of a measure of considerable importance to the colony; but there is no use in blinking the fact that such incidents will occur in the course of Parliamentary warfare. Something more than the Otago Central Railway, however, went by the board last night. The Bill providing for that work was understood to be a kind of keystone to the public works proposals of the Government, and its rejection means, we believe, the abandonment of all the new works contemplated by the Public Works Statement. These were certainly not very many or very important, but some of them were desirable. In any case it is to be regretted that there should bo a year of absolute stagnation. The cessation of all public works will bs severely felt in various directions, and by the laboring classes. That the whole of the public works proposals of the Government should thus have been abandoned affords a fresh instance of the impotence and incompetence of the Ministry who ,now hold office, as well as of the poll-

tical demoralisation which exists in thff House. Ministers will throw ovcw and abandon everything except their siats. These they cling to tenaciously) while letting accidental majorities play havoc with their bills and their propasals. rheycßnnothaveavestigoof political self-respect left; or they would find the humiliation of their position absolutely intolerable. The patience the more than Christian humility aud res'gna* tion—with which their rebuffs ere accepted i j , from one point of view, most admirable, and itom another most contemptible. It is abundantly evident that no real work of a useful character is likely to be done this session, nor wtl k® e *pected from the present House What, then, is the use of prolonging either the session or the House ? The best thing to be done now for the credit and benefit of the colony would be to close the session up at once and dissolve the present House early in the coming year. Jottings. The Defence Minister in f ormed Sir G. Grey this afternoon that the Government hope in a day or two to introduce a Bill giving effect to the report of the Naval and Military Settlers Committee. On consideration of the position of f.iendly societies and consul ling with the officers of such societies, the Government have concluded that a commission would bo a more suitable body than a select committee for inquiring into the solvency of those bodies. They are now deliberating as to the desirableness of appointing a commission to investigate the matter in the recess.

Prompted by the touching letter ho has received from “a broken-hearted mother 1 ' on the subject, Mr Lawiy urged the Government today to legislate next session for legalising marriages with a deceased husband’s brother. Tho Minister of Justice said he did not know that the Government could promise to introduce a measure, but they would consider the matter. — (Cries of “ Oh ! ” and laughter.) A batch of Bills were advanced a stage in the Legis’ative Council to-day. The Ngarara and Waipora Further Investigation Bill was committed and reported with amendments, the third reading being fixed for Tuesday uext. The Land Transfer and Oximakatea Title Emp'jvlering Bills were also committed and reposed. The Savings Bank Amendment Bill and Auckland and Onehunga Native Hostelries Bill were repotted without amendment, read a third time and passed. The amendments made by the House in the Shipping and Seamen’s Amendment Bill were agreed to, Complaint was made to-day by Mr Duncan that the time at which telegrams are despatched and received are often marked on the messages only in letters which are unintelligible to the public. The Postmaster-General explained that letters were used by the department because they were more easily transmitted than figures, but the time was also supposed to be indicated by figures, though ho knew that operators were cureless in this matter. However, he would have attention called to this negligence, and the best way of checking it would be for those who received telegrams not properly marked to complain to the officers in charge. Both branches of tho Legislature have received frorn the Governor communications conveying his sincere thanks for their congratulations on Lord Cranley’a recovery, and for tho consideration and sympathy manifested towards hitnse f and Lady Onslow throughout the course of their eon’s dangerous illness. If it tarns out when the Ohristie-AVatd action baa been finally disposed of that that action has been frivolous and without cause, the Premier says that the Government will be bound to recommend the House to provide for the payment of Judge Ward’s expenses. Tho Defence Minister told Mr Valentine this afternoon that he understood it was true that a confidential communication had been addressed by the Defence Department to offioirs commanding districts, but he was not aware of its contents. He was, however, informed that there was nothing in it that reflected on tho volunteers. Our Parliamentary rifle team, to compete against tho other colonial legislators, will be constituted as follows: Ble.srs. Anderson (Bruce), Carroll (Eastern Maori), Duncan (Waitaki), Hamlin (Franklin South), Rhodes (Gladstone), Yirrall (Ashley), and Ward (Awarua). The match takes place on Thursday next. Protection of Girls. There was some discussion in the Council to-day over the proposal made by the Government to raise the age of female con eat to fourteen years, The Hon, Mr M’Lean contended thatthe age should beraised to sixteen years, and Mr Oliver moved that the ago be fifteen. This amendment was lost, and eventually progress was reported, leave being given to sit again. Cable Charges.

It was stated by Mr Ward this afternoon that an offer is in the hands of the Government for rale of tho Now Zealand-Australian cablo for L 150.000, besides an indepe. dent offer to lay another cable for less than that sum. The lion, gentleman quoted figures to show that the profits of the Eastern Extension Comp my from the cablo will represent ten or twelve per cent, interest on L 150.000. Ho nrged that an offer shou'd be made to obtain a reduction of the present cable rate?, and that in the event of the proprietary declining to adopt a reasonable tariff tho Government should negotiate with the sister colonics for the laying of a second cable. The Postmaster-General undertook to give the matter his attention in tho recess, and to renew tho efforts that were made a couple of years ago when tho Government di’.conti ucd the subsidies. Inquiries will also be made as to tlx© ©siroAileness o( a tig - * c»\)le t but be was afraid that there was not much likelihood that assistance will be given by the sister colonies. Native Grievances, There are now in Wellington about naif a dozen Native chiefs from Taranaki, who have been delegated by their people to consider the Bills relating to the Maori race. They have petitioned for leave to attend at the Bar and address the House, giving their reasons why the Bills should be delayed till the Natives have had time to became thoroughly acquainted with their provisions. The Native Meetings Bill, they say, fills their hearts with fear and alarm, as it wouli inflict irreparable injury upon them, while it is contrary to the Treaty of Waitangi, under which Natives were given all the rights and prlvil- ges of British subjects; and also is in opposition to the Constitution Act. The Kumara Sludge Channel. Several hours were occupied to-day with the consideration of the report from the Goldfields Committee on the Kumara Sludge Channel, in which the Minister of Mines is censured for committing the colony to a large expendituresaid in the lobbies to bo L 6 OOd—in connection with the channel, without first consulting Parliament, which was in sossi nat the time. It appeared from the discussion that the report was hurriedly arrived at, and at Mr ScddonV instigation. On the motion of ihe Minister of Mines it was referred back to tho Committee for further consideration. A Peculiar Move.

The action of Mr Ballanco in connection with the Otago Central Railway has naturally incensed Mr Pyke, who intends on Monday night giving notice of his intention to move—- —“ That this Hou e has no confidence in the Leader of the Opposition.” It is said that Mr S'cobio Mackenzie hj .s expressed his intention of seconding the motion, should an opportunity be afforded of discussing the question. Hon. members will bo handicapped in being prevented, in accordance with the rules of the House, from quoting from speeches made by Mr Ballanco this session in support of their assertion that ho has turned a complete political somersault.

On the motion for going into Committee of Supply to-night, Mr Seddou rose to move his resolution rc responsible government for Western Australis, but withdrew it on the Premier undertaking to move for a committee to deal with the question. Native v. Imported Coals.

Mr Guinness next moved an amendment to the effect that in the opinion of this House tho time has arrived when the Government should give encouragement to the development of the mineral resources of the colony, aud with that object in view they be requested to instruct all departments under their_ control to use native coal insteal of imported coal, and also request the Railway Commissioners to give a preference to native coal on our railways. The Minister of Works ►aid that the amendment was one which could well be accepted by the Government, as in every instance they had instructed the officers of the various departments throughout the colony to Eurchase local coal. Nothing but native coal, e added, was now used on our railways. The amendment was unanimously adopted. The Ward-Hislop Committee. Evidence was given before tho Ward-Hislop Committee to-day by the Hon. Mr Larnach, who was examined as to tho value of the land which was mortgaged by Judge Ward to the Colonial Investment Company; and by Mr Filleul, clerk of the Oamaru Magistrate’s Court, who generally substantiated the Colonial Secretary’s statement as to what took place between them in the street of Oamaru. I understand that Mr M Donald, tho gaoler at Oamaru, will be the next witness. The Colonial Secretary will tender himself for examination in a day or two. Ho was never averse to giving the Committee any information they might desire (an intimation to that effect having been made to the Committee on the opening day of their deliberations), but mere’y objected to being present throughout their sitting, or to appear in tho Wile of a prosecutor. August 24, The Estimates. Consideration of the Estimates was resumed at midnight, aud the House sat till three this morning, when progress nas reported, The

Defence Estimates were first taken, and on tho item volunteers L 28,912 Mr Seddon spoke for half an hour in criticism of the action of tho> Government as to the To Kooti campaign. The Native Minister complained that he had been misrepresented in the House and by a section of the Press. He emphatically denied that he had feted To Kcoti in Auckland. After a long discussion the vote was agreed to, as were the other votes cf the d partment. On Class 12, Public and School Buildings and Domains Department. LD6.276 Dr Fitihett moved to reduce the item of L9OO for Governmentgardenersat Auckland and Wellington by LIOO, but this was lost by 2G to fr, and the whole vole parsed. Stamps and Deeds Department, L 22.777, was al o agreed to. It was plainly intimated when considering the Estimates this morning that there will be a good deal of discussion on the appointments of Customs Inspector Shannon and of the Bailway Commissioners when the votes for their respective departments come under review. Captain Russell urged the Defence Minister this morning to increase the salaries of the officers commanding volunteer districts to such amount as would enable those officers to give all their time to the work, and thus bring their corps up to the fullest state cf efficiency. Mr Fergus said that the Government would take the matter into their favorable consideration when preparing the Supplementary Estimates

Mr Walker found fault with the breaking up of battalions. Mr Fergus said that after tbo Estimates were last ueder discussion the captains of all the Wellington corps waited upon him and thanked him for dissolving the battalions, and be had received letters to the same effect from the officers of other city corps, the opinion being expressed that battalions al they existed under the old regulations were a farce. Mr Walker still insisted that tho Government had made a mistake, and moved to reduce the volunteer vote by LK to mark his disapproval of the dissolution of battalions, but the motion was lost on the voices.

Attention was called by Mr Guinness early this morning to the new regulations, which required any constable who desired promotion to the rank of sergeant to pass an examination in the statute law of the colony. The Minister of Defence said that the examination only called for elementary knowledge of the statutes, Mr Guinness pointed out that most policemen had a difficulty in getting the statutes to study, and the Minister undertook to see that they should be provided with the requisite facilities. Closing the Session. After the Premier’s statement on Monday night as to the order of business during tho remainder of the session, consideration of tho Eitimates will be resumed. Ministers are confident of closing the session within a fortnight. Harbor Works. A deputation from Tauranga and Taranaki, re New Plymouth harbor works, will wait on the Premier next week. I understand that they wish to have the loan of a big dredge for a few weeks.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890824.2.21

Bibliographic details

POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7994, 24 August 1889

Word Count
3,795

POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 7994, 24 August 1889

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