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TAXATION OF ENGLISH BONDHOLDERS.

SIR G. GREY’S WILD SCHEME. THE PREMIER DEALS HIM HARD BLOWS. [From Our Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, August 26. Immediately a statement as to the in tentions of the Government with regard to the course of business for the remainder of the session had been made this evening, The Hon. Mr Parlance asked for more explicit information as to what was to be done with reference to the Property Assessment Bill. The question was, ho said, one of importance, particularly in reference to Sir G. Grey’s amendment in favor of the taxation of foreign bonds held in London. The House ought to have an opportunity of expressing an opinion on the subject, for it had fully made up its mind. The Premier : Express it now 7 Mr Ballanoe said that there was not a single member of the Opposition who was not prepared to express disapprobation of the proposal. The Premier thought the proposal quite absurd, and as the Opposition had now expressed their opinion, the matter should not be discussed by the House because mischief might be done even in that way. The proposal was dishonest, and it ought to be hooted out of the House if it came up, for it once we began to tax bondholders we might at last tax away all interest we had honestly undertaken to pay in England. There could be no doubt now as to the view held by the Government. Mr Ballanoe fully agreed with the emphatic opinion expressed by the Premier, Sir George Grey said that both the last two speakers knew little or nothing about the matter, and the hon. gentleman who had spoken of his proposal as dishonest ought himself to be hooted out of the House. After speaking at some length in support of the proposal, he quoted the Premier as having stated that he (Sir G. Grey) ought to be booted out of the House. The Premier : I did not say that; I said that your present proposal ought to be hooted out of the House. Sir G. Grey: Well, where’s the difference ; it amounts to the same thing. The hon. gentleman bad not the manliness to say the other. The Premier (who moved the adjournment of the House in order to reply) said that Sir G. Grey was muddled on the subject. The authority of Parliament was to levy such taxes as it thought fair upon the inhabitants of New Zealand—not on those of other countries—and on property in the colony. If it were fair to levy a small tax upon bondholders, it was fair to levy a large one and absorb all the interest, and that was what would be called repudiation. Immediately the interest was paid it was beyond ' our jurisdiction, and we could not tax it

except by deducting it from the ihterest due, which would be dishonest. Our agreement with the bondholders was clearly to S reduce L 4 per LIOO in London on a certain ay. If it became known that our leading politicians advocated paying only L 3 10s our credit would be destroyed. < Mr W. P. Reeves condemned the taxation of English bondholders. Mr Downie Stewart agreed that Sir G. Grey’s proposal would lead to repudiation and cause disgrace to the colony. He doubted whether the English Government would allow it to be carried out. Sir George Grey denied that his proposal tended to repudiation, and complained that an opportunity had not been given to him for discussing it Sir John Hall thought that such a dishonest proposal could not be too emphatically rejected by the House, and regretted that there was no opportunity for placing their disapproval of it on record, Mjr Seddon advocated the exemption of mining machinery from the Property Tax. Mr Guinness condemned Sir G. Grey’s proposal, but thought a division should be taken on it. The Premier having briefly replied, the motion for the adjournment of the House was negatived on the voices.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890827.2.15

Bibliographic details

TAXATION OF ENGLISH BONDHOLDERS., Evening Star, Issue 7996, 27 August 1889

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663

TAXATION OF ENGLISH BONDHOLDERS. Evening Star, Issue 7996, 27 August 1889

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