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THE OTAGO CENTRAL RAILWAY., Issue 7996, 27 August 1889
THE OTAGO CENTRAL RAILWAY.
TBE PREMIER’S FINAL APPEAL. THE OPPOSITION LEADER CASTIGATED. [Fbom Oub Paeliamentaey Repokteb.j Sir H. A. Atkinson : Sir, I do not propose at this time of night to make as long a speech as I should have felt it my duty to make had it been earlier in the evening. I shall have a few words to say to the hon, member for Te Aro, Either his ignorance or his want of——well, I will not use the word, but I shall take another opportunity to deal with that hon. gentleman. The House knows as well as I do that the figures that the hon. gentleman quoted were absolutely unreliable, and the hon. gentleman must have known that many of his statements were inaccurate, or else he should have known they were. The hon. gentleman has the one speech for all occasions; but he dishes it up in different ways, time after time. He gave it first of all to his constituents, and every time he has risen in this House this session he has given us a little of it. But I will take a more convenient season to deal with the hon. gentleman, I propose to devote myself more to the Bill itself. The question which runs through the speeches of all hon. gentlemen who have spoken against the Bill is WHY SHOULD THIS RAILWAY BE TBEATED SPECIALLY ? In one sense it may be that it is treated specially. And why ? Because we were directed by the House to treat it differently. We were begged by the Opposition as well as by Government supporters to made special proposals, and the House was delighted last session when we made certain proposals, and, in anticipation of what we were going to do, the House unanimously made a special vote to hurry the railway on as far as Middlemarch. There is no getting over that fact. Vet not one hon. member of the Opposition has had the candor or the generosity to acknowledge the position the Government were in in this matter. We were instructed by the House to do what we have done if the Minister for Public Works and I thought the line ought to proceed. And yet member after member, led by the Leader of the Opposition—not in his first speech upon the second reading, because that was quite different to that of to-night, and I venture to say, though I have seen many extraordinary scenes in this House, I have never seen such an extraordinary peformance as that of the hon. member for Wanganui to-night—l say, led by the Leader of the Opposition, member after member has got up and forgotten to mention the fact to which I have alluded. A BLIND POLLOWEE, We have had an Otago member, whom I do not now see in his place, who pretends to believe in this railway, and knows the view the Government take in this respect, the action they were asked to take, and knows the line the Leader of the Opposition has taken, telling us that he is proud of following the hon. gentleman, and yet he wishes his constituents and us to believe that he wants the Otago Central Railway. Hon. gentlemen say we have treated the line specially; but, as I have already pointed, out, we were directed to treat it specially ; and we might have come down with any special proposal, bad we thought that reasonable in the state of the Colony, and we might have said that we had done that by instructions from this House—and the House could not have denied it, nor could any hon. gentleman have honestly denied it. A DESEEVED CASTIGATION. How the Leader of the Opposition could get up and make the speech he has made tonight I am utterly at a loss to conceive, except upon one hypothesis, which I will not refer to, but which must be apparent to every hon. gentleman. No doubt the hon. gentleman will reap the reward of his speech tonight. As I say, we are asked to bring proposals down. It was part of our scheme to settle the necessities of the country for some years to come without borrowing. The hon. gentleman has already shrunk from the speech he delivered the other night in several respects. He finds it is unpopular, this nonborrowing scheme. So, to win the approval of the West Coast members, he has changed, although the hon, member for Greymouth contradicted an hon, gentleman who had pointed out what the hon. member for Wanganui said the other night. Mr Guinness : I denied the correctness of a quotation made by the hon. member for Dunedin South, because he did not give the explanation of the hon. member, that he would only borrow to complete lines to paying-points. Sir H. A. Atkinson ; I accept the hon. gentleman’s statement at once; but lam going to show directly what the hon. member for Wanganui said. Now, I want to say why this line should be treated specially, I want to show why the Government are not only justified, but were urged by almost every member of the House to bring down some proposal. There is hardly a member among those who have spoken—including the hon. member for Wairarapa—who did not urge the Government to see what could be done, and were not delighted when the Government intimated that it was prepared to deal with the question on reasonable principles. I ask the House to recollect this: that the Manawatu Railway was made by a grant of land. Why? Because the country was not then prepared to make that line by borrowing. It was too great a work. Then we had THE MIDLAND BAILWAY. When] I was in Opposition most of my party, I am sorry to say, were against that line; but, sir, I believed in it in the interests of the country, and, notwithstanding that my party disapproved of it, 1 stood up and supported it through all its stages. The matter was not settled when I came into power. What did 1 and my colleagues do ? Some of them were strongly and conscientiously opposed to the scheme, but they recognised that the matter had been approved by the House, and they said it was our duty to make the best of things that we could. That was the spirit in which we met that matter. No doubt that company will want yet further assistance and farther help from the Government. An Hon. Membeb : They will not get it. Sir H. A. Atkinson : Yes, they will get the best help I can give them. And in this matter 1 do appeal to members whether they are doing justice to themselves or to the country, or to me, in-voting against this Bill as many of them are doing. Many of the hon, gentlemen who are voting against this line came to me to help them with their line, the Midland line; and 1 helped them, because it was a public duty. Well, sir, I say it is a public duty to pass this Bill, because it will be a public advantage to get rid of this line out of the field of politics. The hon. member for Wanganui told us, in his first speech, that this was an excellent way of getting rid of a serious difficulty. What does the bon. gentleman say tonight ? Mr Ballance : That there is still a bettor way, csir H. A. Atkinson : I have some notes of what the hon. gentleman said, and will read them directly, and I am sure the hon. gentleman’s conscience will prick him when I do so, AN APPEAL TO CANTEEBUEY. To the Canterbury members I say not wish to say anything in a disagreeable way—but I say : Here is a line identically
in the same position as theirs. The country is not in a position to borrow money for it. Twice this House has passed an Act which would have set apart the whole of the land for the purpose of making the lino. Mt i Tt>ree times. Sir H. A. Atkinson ■- Well, I wished to be within the mark. I know that it seems to me as if tho hon. gentleman had been passing Otago Central Bills ever since I have been in tho House, for tho hon. gentleman has been moat persistent, in season and oat of season. I was saying that n Bill had already passed this House more than once which would have given the whole of the land for the purpose of this railway, and even Inst session many hon. gentlemen supported tho Bill of tho hon. member for the Dunstan, who are against this moderate Bill to-night. Mr W, P. Reeves: Canterbury men? Sir H. A. xVtkisson: Yes; Canterbury men. Yet, notwithstanding their public declarations in this House, one of these hon. gentlemen has gone away and paired against tho Bill, although ho had declared that he was in favor of the Bill; and another one, who has always supported the Bill, has done the same. Mr M. J. S. Mackenzie : 53 to 12 was the division last year. SLAPPING THE MINISTERIAL FACE. Sir H. A. Atkinson : And what is the reason for the change ? Have hon. gentlemen advanced one single reason ? Not one. What has the change arisen from ? From a want of sense of responsibility or duty to the country. Anything that will, as they think, give tho Government a slap in the face hon, gentlemen opposite are ready to vote for, and now they have turned a somersault—a double or treble somersault led by the Leader of the Opposition, just to give the Government a slap. Eon. gentlemen are only too delighted to do this sort of thing. Sir, I say it is a bad thing, it is a bad day for New Zealand, when the Leader of tho Opposition will take up such a position as this, There are small hopss of good government in a country as long as a man at the head of the Opposition can accomplish such feats as the hon. member for Wanganui has done. Before the ink was hardly dry upon tho printing of his first speech he has turned completely round on himself. Has he given a reason? Not a word. He has simply contradicted himself from beginning to end. I See that the hon. gentleman has come in who pretends—if it is to say so—or, at any rate, wants ns to believe that ho is sincere in his desire for tho Otago Central, and yet is proud to follow a leader who has turned such a somersault. Dr Fitcuett : Is the Premier in order in imputing to me that I have said in this House what I did not mean—with pretending to support that which I did not wish to support ? Sir H. A. Atkinson : I have no wish to offend the hon. gentleman’s sensitive con-' science. I may say that I withdrew the expression. I said at first that the hon. gentleman “pretended”; but, seeing that was hardly Parliamentary perhaps, I substituted another word for it. I say that the hon. gentleman wishes or wants us to believe that ho was really sincere in supporting the Bill, and yet at the same time expressed his pride in following a gentleman who has turned such a wonderful somersault on this question. Now, sir, under the Bill of last session, in which a large majority of the House was prepared to support not only tho setting aside of a portion of the rente arising from the land, but it was prepared to give away the whole of the land—positively to give it away whether the land was auriferous or not, the Government felt the responsibility of the proposal, and they learned that, if this larffi were given away, difficulty might occur in the mining districts. After inquiry and much consideration last session they said “This Bill must not go on.” It is quite true we said so; but the House was prepared to give awav tho laud, and there is no question at all but that the commission with which they invested the Government was this : If we could make the line by the aid of the land without the inconvenience following which they saw would follow on the giving away of the land, the Government were to come down this session with a proposal to do so. There is no getting over it. MK BALLANCES ACROBATISM. Yet tho Leader of the Opposition, of whom the hon. member for Dunedin Central is so proud, not only agreed with it last session, but also” this session. When I brought in the Bill he accepted it with approval, and said it ought to be passed—that it was a very satisfactory way of getting rid of a great difficulty—yet in the course of a few hours that hon. gentleman turns completely round and calls it a bad and extravagant way of doing it. What are we to understand when we have men at the head of affairs who are capable of such ?—what is the right word ? An Hon. Member : Tergiversation. Sir H. A. Atkinson ; Yes, sir, I know that word, but a word descriptive of the performances of an acrobat would be more suitable, because that word implies the possession of some solid qualities. But there is no sense of responsibility on that side of the House at all. I will call it the performance of an acrobat; I should like to use another term. Well, sir, we were directed to prepare a measure and get over a difficulty. We brought it down, and it was received with open arms by three of the leaders of the Opposition—the member for Wanganui, the member for the Peninsula (his chief lieutenant), and the member for Kaiapoi. An Hon. Member : And M'Kenzie. Sir H. A. Atkinson : And by lots of others. But those three, at any rate, received it with open arms. And to night every one of them is against it. A DEMORALISED HOUSE. Can the House believe it ? What can the country think? The House, indeed, is falling into disrepute in the country, and certainly not without reason. If there were any reasons given one could accept them willingly. Ido not mind a man changing his opinion ; I think he must if he finds he has gone on a falso basis, or if he has fresh evidence. But is there fresh evidence here? Tho hon. gentleman told us tho other day that If the evidence bad only been before the House a year or two ago which ought to have been there—and it was conclusive to his mind—the difficulty would never have arisen, and the line would have been made long ago. Where has this evidence gone ? Has a single hon. member, who is opposing this Bill, produced a single tittle of evidence against it? Not one word. But what do they care about evidence ? What is evidence to them, so long as the Government gets a slap in the face ? An Hon. Member ; That is it, is it ? Sir. H. A. Atkinson : Yes, sir, that is it. They reach the acme of pleasure when they succeed in doing that. But lam glad to say that the Government can take a slap in the face—they can take something much harder; and lam thankful to say they can return it with interest. Now, I have shown conclusively that there were exceptional reasons. The Bill passed the House, and the Bouse was willing to give away tho land, and the Government were commissioned by the House—directed, 1 may say—to prepare a scheme for its consideration. We bad this prepared and brought down, and it met with tho lively approbation of the leaders of the Opposition a short time ogo. This is an answer to the hon. gentlemen who say “ Why treat this line differently ? ” Now, before I go to this part of the scheme 1 will answer two or three other objections, USING trust funds. The chief objection raised to-night by the Leader of the Opposition was that it was an uneconomical way of doing it, The hon. gentleman asked what was the justification for taking the the trust funds. “Take a poll of the depositors in the savings banks throughout the colony,” says he to-night. The other night, when referring to my speech, the bon. gentleman said: “The Premier said the security is good; I consider it ample.” But now he wants a poll of the ratepayers. Why this change ? We know why. I say this at once; If this will affect the votes I am perfectly willing to take tho trust funds out of this altogether. They were put into the Bill in the interests of the trust funds—not in those of the railway. There will not be tho least difficulty in making the railway at a cheaper rate than if we borrow from the trust funds. I shall jtot these bon. gentlemen to the test,
and I say I will take this portion out of the Bill if they are prepared to vote for it; and I will have tho railway built in a less time than with those fundi l . Yet that was the great sledge-hammer that was to knock the Bill to pieces. Mr Guinness : Where will you get tho money ? Sir H. A. Atkinson : Never mind where, Mr Guinness : You must borrow it. Sir H. A. Atkinson : No; I will not borrow it either. I wish to see the Bill pass. The Leader of the Opposition said he wished to see this great difficulty out cf tho way. I do not know whether he does now. His great excuse was that ho found tho trust funds were concerned. Well, we will take them out. But I tell tho hon. gentleman it will bo foolish to do so. lam interested in the investment of these trust funds, although t'-'ey arc not trust funds in the correct sense of the term at all. I will prepare a clause to exclude them, and render it impossible for the Government to borrow from them for tho purpose. Now I have cleared away the great objection the hon. gentleman had, and also the member for Kumara, because it was shown by the member for Mount Ida that he was quite willing that land should be given, as were most of the hon. gentlemen on that side of the House, Is there any other objection besides this ? THE FLEDGE NOT TO BORROW. Mr Hutchison : The undertaking by the loan agent in London, Sir H. A. Atkinson: What nonsense that is. Well, sir, we need not borrow one halfpenny under the Bill unless we like. Before a halfpenny is spent wo shall have L 30,000 to the credit of tho fund, and we shall have L 45.000 before the end of the year, and the House will very likely choose next year to make sonic further provision for the hue, There is no such pledge as the hon. gentleman would imply; therefore tlie second difficulty raised by the hon. member for Wanganui is removed. Mr Hutchison: How about the representation that the security for the, last loan was to include the revenue derived from the sale or lease of Crown lands? Sir H. A. Atkinson : So they are tho security. But are we, sir, to shut up ad our land boards throughout the country because we are every clay selling lands, and thus getting rid of portions of our security ? The thing is absurd ; we all know what that means. But wo take a statesmanlike view of the position, not a narrow view like tho hon. gentleman. It means that the works of the country are to be carried on to the best advantage of the country; and I say that the sale and lease of the public lands, and the making of roads and railways, mean the future probable occupation of the country—there is no getting over that. CLAIMS OF NORTHERN LINES. Then wo are told by the member for Wanganui and the member for Woodville that we ought to make tho WoodvilleEketahuna line if we make this one. And the member for Wanganui could not understand the position I take up with regard to the Manawatu Railway, nor could some other hon. members. Their theory is that tha public interest must bo paramount. I venture to say, sir, that during my term of office the public interest of the colony has been paramount, particularly in comparison with some other Governments that have been in cilice. And the public interest is paramount with us now ; but that docs uot mean that wo arc to do gross injustice to a particular company. If it is in tho interest of the country' and of settlement that the Woo'.lvilk-Eketahuna lino should be made we ought to rnaka it ; but it is uot necessary in the interests of settlement or of the country. I say if hon. members would think for a moment they would see that there are no settlers on that lino ; and if there were any settlers they would see that there can he no one who would be further off than thirteen miles from the nearest railway station ; and will they tell me that that is to ho compared with fifty or sixty miles that the settlers are distant from a railway in the centre of Otogo? “NO PEOPLE IN CENTRAL OTAGO.” Mr Feldwiok : There are no men there —only sheep. Sir H. A. Atkinson : It appears now, sir, that there arc no people in the centre of Otago at all. Naseby, Cromwell, etc,, are deserted towns, I presume. Mr Feldwiok : Does the railway pass through them ? Sir 11. A. Atkinson : No; but it will come within nine or ten miles of Naseby, and within reasonable distance of tho other towns. I only wish we were in a position to take it nearer. The bon, gentleman is one of those who supported the Bill last year, but now follows his great chief, and will vote against it, although I hope I am doing the hon. gentleman an injustice. Mr Fyke: Tho interior of Otago is 14() miles away from any railway. “comparisons are odious.” Sir H. A. Atkinson : 1 am asked why I do not put the Woodville lice in the same position as this one. Because it is in no way whatever to be compared to it in any respect. It may be advisable to make it when we have plenty of money ; and when the Government are determined to go through with the Gorge lino to connect the East and West Coasts, they may, I think, very well save the making of this twenty-seven miles until a more convenient season. Anybody who would be served by it is very well served by tho railway as it is. I maintain that we have a right to consider the citizens of Wellington, who put their hands in their pockets at a difficult time to got us out of a difficulty and made this line. 1 ask hon. gentlemen to consider what would be tho duty of the Railway Commissioners, supposing the Woodvillo-Eketahuna Hoe was completed. The business would be, without doubt, to attract the traffic from both the East and West Coasts, That would be clearly their duty; and they would have this enormous advantage : that the last piece of tho line, both from the East and West Coasts, would be in a long distance, and so they would be able to run at a much cheaper rate than a short line like the Palmerston line. In the interests of the colony it is not desirable to complete this lino and institute such competition, and it should remain uncompleted till the time has arrived when it is necessary in tho interests of the colony. There has been no argument whatever adduced to show that this railway is at all to bo compared to the Otago Central. Then we are asked What about tho Hokitika Railway ? I confess that I am utterly astonished at tho position taken up by those hon. gentlemen, We have already made arrangements to connect Oreymouth with tho rest of tho colony by rail; we have entered into arrangements to connect the West with the East Coast, and Nelson with both, and yot to hear those hon. gentlemen you would think that nothing had ever been done for them—that they were a neglected part of the j colony instead of being the most favored par# Then, they say, why not treat the Hokitika Railway in the same way as wc arc treating this. Why,_ we are doing the same as nearly as possible, G. he truth is that, in order to make their large business line, we have given away oil the land on that coast that we possibly could. The hon. member for Kumara tells us that ho has some mysterious sendee down on the coast which will produce all the revenue. It is a pity that he did not tell tho House what it was. It is a pity that lie did not tell the Government, for tho Government would have met the hon. gentleman in the most liberal spirit. Those hon. gentlemen have told us many times that the line should be made to this place or to that, and that if wc will not do it ourselves they ask ua will we encourage a local company. I have told those hon. gentlemen, and tell them now, that if they will get up a local company and complete the line —of course, always subject to tho approval of this House—the Government will recommend that the offer of the local company shall bo taken in preference to that of any other company, and the hon, gentleman can get a percentage to make tho line as large as that given to other companies. Our proposal is to complete that line at as early a date as is consistent with tho state of our finances, but they say it should be completed much quicker. There was a contractor there who was kind enough to offer to make tho line at 5 or 6 per cent. Mr Guinness ; 2!j per cent. Sir H. A. Atkinson : It was more than that. Mr Guinness : 2£ per cent, on L 120,000. Sir H. A. Atkinson : per cent, on L 120.000 J What do you mean by that
Mr Guinness : He would give you that as rent if you allowed him to make it. Sir 11, A. Atkinson: Oh, yes; and we are to borrow the money for him ! The proposal 1 had by telegram was that the contractor was prepared to make the line and not ask ua for any money so long as it paid r, or 0 per cent. : but that was more than wo could borrow the money for, and so I could not accept that proposal. If tho linn, gentleman will make a reasonable proposal we will accept it, and be will see in our Public Works Statement that wo make that offer. Then, what is all thisoutciy about not being treated fairly ? They have been treated fairly ; and I say that I myself, when I visited that district and saw the railway, was sorry that it was not completed. Ido not know whether it will pay, but I confess to having a considerable feeling of shame that so much public money should have been spent on the work without it being brought to completion. Still, I think it is a lino which should never have been made. Hon, members know the circumstances under which it was begun. It was begun very foolishly ; but, being in the state in which it is, I say we should use every endeavor we can to get it completed ; and In every way that I can assist to complete the line, short of borrowing money for the purpose, I will help to do it at tho earliest possible date. OTAGO INFLUENCE. I have answered the question about Otago influence ; but I find I have a note here that the hon. member for Hokitika said it was the Otago influence which caused the introduction of this Bill. Mr Gbimmond : No ; what I said was that you told us that Otago influence would compel a loan if the line were not constructed in this way. Sir H. A. Atkinson : My note is that the hon. gentleman said Otago influence got the railway. lam glad of an opportunity of correcting the hon. gentleman ; and, perhaps, when the ‘ Hansard ’ proof comes out, ho will put that little paragraph straight, MOKE BORROWING DESIRED. Now, sir, I come to the question of this amendment. It is a very curious amendment. It refers back to the Government the duty of considering all the other lines, I understand that by this amendment_ those hon. gentlemen who vote for it wish to refer hack that question to the Government, because it is quite clear to me that tho Opposition mean that the Government are to propound another scheme of borrowing ; and they are to do that at once. That is what it means. Is it that the Leader of tho Opposition wishes us to give effect to his proposed scheme of borrowing, and that all these other lines are to be pat into the Bill ? What other meaning can there be! Because, so far as we know, we have provided for all the other necessary lines in our proposals. I say that if the proposals of the Government arc accepted, wo have no need to make further works for many years to come. That is the proposal of the Government. The Government desire, and honestly desire, to bring to an end this system of borrowing. We say that what the country wants is rest for some time to come ; and tho more our scheme of public works is looked into the more will the hon. gentleman see that if it is given effect to, the more will tho country be content to rest with the works completed under our proposals. I say they bring to a reasonable position all the works necessary to go on with fox - a very considerable time. I repeat that tho amendment, if carried, refers back to the Government tho consideration of all the lines, and I want to know what that moans. Docs it mean a new system of borrowing ? Docs it mean that some of the Hues which the Government have left out ought to be put in ? We should have some indication of that. Tho Government are of opinion that they have omitted none that are required. Our proposal is that the whole scheme shall conic to a reasonable resting point, and the majority who are going to vote for the amendment—if there is a majority—arc directing that further works are to bo undertaken than those proposed by the Government. But the Government are not prepared to undertake other works. 'I hat will he for the hon. gentleman opposite when he comes into power. That is Ids new scheme of borrowing, if he ever does come on to these benches. STOFFAGE OF PUBLIC WORKS. Now, how do the Government take this proposal ? They will look at it as a direction to proceed with no new works at all. That is how they will take it, They decline to come down and propose a fresh lot of works. They look upon this line as a part of their whole scheme, and they will not be prepared to go on with other works in other parts of the country until the Otago Central Railway is included in tho list. I have a great many more notes, but I think I have gone through the principal points now. MR II.VLLANCE’S CHANGE OF FRONT. I have just a word or two to say with regard to the member for Wanganui. I want just to put on record (so that it may follow the speech he delivered this afternoon) some of the sentences he used the other evening, and of which I have a note. He said to-day, and all hon. members heard him, that the Bill was a most imprudent one ; it took money out of the trust funds, and that was a great fault; and in fact there was not a decent clause in the Bill, and the whole of it should be swept away, root and branch. Mr Ballanck : I said the Bill was a part of a general scheme of borrowing from the trust funds. Sir 11. A. Atkinson ; And was therefore to bo condemned ? Mr Ballince ; Yes, tho whole scheme. Sir 11. A. Atkinson : Very well; that will do for me. Now, what did tho hon. gentleman say the other day ? “If the finance can bear it, that is the best way and the moat convenient way cf making the line ” tho heat “ and most economical,” I find, of making the line. That is what he told us the other day ; but now this is a most improper scheme of dealing with the trust funds, and must be condemned. But I do not want the trust funds at all, and the whole of the hon. gentleman’s contention is ridiculous At that time it was tho most economical way of constructing the lino, and ho says “it is ft reasonable way of getting nut of great difficulty,” and “ tho money is to bo taken out of tho trust funds.” And so the hon. gentleman knew all about it. it is quite clear that to his mind it was a reasonable idea that money should be taken from tho trust funds. The hon, gentleman said ‘ ‘ the security is good I said that- ~“ and I quite agree that it is ample.” That is what the hon. gentleman opposite said. Mr Ballance : Hoar, hear. Sir H. A. Atkinson : Hear, hear! But now, sir, tho whole thing is changed. The Bill is unreasonable, and ought to he relegated to the Government. Well, sir, if that docs not hear out tho assertion which I have had (o make several times, that the hon. gentleman has no c-eusc of the responsibility of his 'position, I do not know what docs. \et there is the hon. member for Dunedin Central who is proud to follow him, and who believes in the Otago Central Railway. WINDING UP THE PUBLIC WORKS POT.ICV. I have only to say, in conclusion, that the Government gave great consideration to the public works that they proposed. \Ve felt that it was our duty, now that things were taking a small turn for the bettor, to sec whether it would not be possible to, as it were, finally wind up our big works, We submitted a scheme which seemed to us fair to all parts of tho colony. Ido not say that there might not be small alterations. We might put a bit of a railway here or a bit of a road there ; but it was a scheme to finally dispose of the funds in hand, and to bring our works to a reasonable point. I thought that that was what was proposed, and that after what the Leader of the Opposition said he would look at it in that light, but I suppose it is not so. Ho found that it was possible that the Government could be dealt a blow, and the blow is to be dealt. But I say that it is the people of the country, and not the members of the Government, that will suffer from it. I say the House will be wise to go on with a reasonable amount of expenditure during tho current year on unfinished works, so as to bring them to a reasonable point with the money that tho House has already provided. The House, apparently led by the member for Wanganui, is going to say “ We will not have any expenditure this year.” Well, if the House does that, of course I might, as Colonial Treasurer, iu one way benefit by it ; but, if the country feels the necessity of
these works going on, I eay the responsibility rests with those lion, gentlemen if they drop them. If the House chooses to take that responsibility I have no more to say beyond this : That we shall take the vote as a direction from the House that no new works are to be gone on with during the current year, and I will ultimately defer any further expenditure until the question is relegated to the people.
THE OTAGO CENTRAL RAILWAY., Issue 7996, 27 August 1889
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