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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

[From Ocr Parliamentary Reporter ] WELLINGTON, Atopst 27. The Walpalil-Tapannl Railway. Mr Pyke this afternoon urged on the Government the necessity for placing a sum on the Supplementary Public Works Estimates in order to provide for the construction of the Waipahi-Tapanui Railway from Heriot to Culvert Creek. The district (he said) was only four miles, and the line would pass through settled agi iculturul land. The totil co3t of the work, according to the estimate of the Government engineers, was L 20.400. The Minister for Woiks pointed out that this work did not appear in the railway schedule, and therefore it could not bo provided for. The Claims of Mr Quinton M'Klnnon for compensation as a recognition of his services as an explorer in the wilds of Southwest Otago were to-day pressed on the at!eitiou of the Government by Mr T. Mackenzie, who poiuted out that he (M'Kinnon) had undertaken some heavy exploration work for L3O, and in performing his contract had experienced much greater difficulties than he had anticipated. The Minister for Lunda rep'ied that the Government had taken the matter into consideration, and would make some recommendation to the House when the Supplementary Estimates came dowr. Hie Brewery I'rosecutioiiN at Oaneuln. Mr Fulton to-day asked why the recent prosecutions for fraud against tho Dunedin brewers were not proceeded with until nearly four months after the perpetration of the offences, and why the clerk of the Court requested the Justices to attend and adjudicate upon the said charges at an unusual hr.u--? The Minister of Justice replied that thv. delay was occasioned by a lontj inquiry into the brewers' accounts, and that the sitting hour was changed to suit the convenience of the Crown Prosecutor aud Sir R Stout, who defended. Mi' Ctiniiilierlalii's Salary. While the Customs Estimates were und< r consideration to-night Mr Allen drew attention to the fact that the collector at Duiicdiu was only in receipt of L 475 per annum, while the collectors at Wellington, Lyttelton, and Auckland got L 550. Mr Chambeilain, he said, bad been twentyfive years iu the service, and last year at Dunedin the sum of L 60.000 more was put through than at any other port iu the colony. The Commissioner of Customs admitted that Mr Chamberlain was a very good officer, but for some reason he had Been promoted by the late Government over the heads of other officers, and had been placed ip a position which had Ciuscel a great deal of discontent iu the service. Mr Chamberlain took possession at a very low salary (L 400), and there was no reason for any increase at the present time. Appointments had beon mide by the late Government for which he (Sir Harry Atkinson) ould fee no justification whatever. The Workmen's Lieu BUI. Mr Fish intends atkiug the Premier whether it is his intention to introduce this session the Workmen's Lien Bill, as promised ; if time will not permit of its introduction this session, will the Premier promise to introduce such a Bill early next session ? i he Tariff. Mr Reeves will a*k the Commissioner of Cu.-.toms if he will give instructions to the Customs Depaitnentthat "plush ' or imitation sealskin, used by miners for tho purpose of gold-saving, be admitted free of duty. The Legal Itate of Interest. Mr Valentine is askiog whether the Government think the time has not arrived when the rate of interest allowed to be charged on dishonored bills, judgments, etc., should be reduced to 5 or 6 ptr cent.; and if so, will they take any bteps to have an alteration made accordingly in the law relating thereto ? Keeping Down Expenses. It was 9tated by the Prcm ; ortc-ni«ht that the Customs Department vote had been rrduced by LBC7, notwithstanding that pro vi.ion was made io it this year for three clerks hitherto charged to the Audit Department, and who now cirrie-d out the Customs audit work. Thus there was practically a saving of L 1,500. Mr GokUe observed that the reduction which had been made was brought about by putting cadets to do work for which men had heretofore heen employed. The Commissioner of Customs agreed that that was so, and said that some difficulty had occurred throughout the service because until of late years a number of men had been employed to do work tor which cadets were required. In a Bad Humor. It is not often that any member is seen in such ill temper as was displayed to night by the member for Dunedin South, who harangued the Committee of Supply ut great length in the interest of one of the Customs officers of his district, und snapped right and left at those members who had temerity to make interjections. One learned member of the House, who had done no more than make a oasual observa. tion, was caustically adjured tn conduct, himself "as a gen hi a ," thai.h he i t • garded by his fellow-members as the pink of courteby. Later on, because Mr Dodeon happened to be one of the intcnuptep, Mi Fish made an attuck upon the Collector of Customs at Wairau. and unsuccessfully sought to reduce his sa'ary. Mr Dod&on subsequently took the opportunity of observing that the member for Dunedin South's remarks about himself and his local officer were beneath contempt, to which the Premier responded "Hear, hear.'' Mr j?is>h, who had by this time made several separate speeches, said that Mr Dodson's own remarks were beneath oontempt, but he bad not expected anything better from that I gentleman, and he was only surprised to hear the Premier cheering him. He announced that he would challenge every vote which appeared to have been raised in order to show the Premier that it was not always wise to run counter io thosa who were anxious to help him Then, as Mr Kerr i had been another of his tormentors, be rp,Qyed the, reduction gf a N/elson cfljpeJa salary. Mr Kerr, amidst great laughter, chaffed Mr Fish with having tried in suej oeßsion the Government, the QpposjtJßU, and the "washhouae" party, and now he j was winding up by leading the " skinflnts." Mr Taylor advised Mr Fish not to make " a ucka«§ of pirn"'}'" ; fcttt when the member lor jQunedin'youth roae'tVii of order the representative of Sydenham saicj that if I the hon. gentlemen took it to himself |je would withdraw the ipmark. Thin, of courts, tf as tjiau wpv, apef j;he House enjoyed & hs&rty laugh jjt Sir Fijjh'n'discomfiture. Altogether the member for DunediH South received many more hard knocks than he gave, but ho tucoeeded in takkg up more than t^ o hours in discussing and dividing the ponaviittee iu frivolous' amenojments, and is pursuing tile sui.le tactics aa "the telegrurhoffue 'bre? (2 a.m.) Mr Shannon'* Appointment. The question of the appointment of Curtoiflu Sh.napr. ■,}'£? ;-aisca by Mr w r.jbu t'h'e' lis'timajicij" V/cVe 'Under tciiight, The CVnm'issifiner of Customs (Sir Harry Atkinson) said that Mr Shannon was rcc:iv!ng a salary of LBOO * year, besides LI per day travelling a owance I sfjt c jt fmfjijtji w ,rlipJgV'pSmt'pij; T^ lylft j;.,!y ;g? JA\(Ve hut piic u.uwri'ii't thai lu§ services m ] il te pprs! fo f% c yew- By |h ? , im «!? "Hie fen* Bftiilci,-,* i<jjjj ja|s tftnld b« suflivieully in the \t ays of the !rad« , , —-••11...,, f (v( , |,l, ftlT)Bfc lv»o tO de.il WHn an Tlkn* was no nutation a 8 to the very valuable services MrShft-mnn batf ruMrlrfpr". *Jr M'Kellar (Stcrtlary of Guetom-j had e?' pressed hi* deliberate opinion that not lets than L 5.000 had beep savod to fchp revenue by Mr Shannon's means. Mr \Valkcr aug; gested that it would have been better to state Mr Shannon's salary ppen'y op the Estimites iiibtead of including it in the Item forcoutingencie.'. The Commigsioncrof Cus toms pointed out that if that were done it would give Mr Shannon a status a3 a Civil servant, whiph the Government were desirous of avoiding, a3 they did pat tf'Bßt t 0 incroate the number of Civil servants.— Mttj>r Steward l*]i?<] why it was morr necessary to sppofnt m <-KP«'fc for the draperv trado than for any other branches t —The Co umis'kiincri.f Customsnpliid thut there ueie more chances of deception in the aof 1 ; goeds bjj|uesß thsn in the others j but

I Mr Shannon was a.so an expert in other", trades than drapery, and knew the *' ways " of trade.—(Laughter).—Mr T. Mackenzie thought ironmongery was a still more intricate line, and Mr Shannon had shown himself incapable of interpreting the soft goods tariff. Fifty men could oe found fully capable of doing the work, and would undertake it for L4OO a year. He proposed that L2OO be Btrnck off the item for contingencies by way of a direction to the Government to reduce the salary.—Mr Kerr said that Mr Shannon had been imported to the colony as an expert, and had been employed as Bueh by the best houses ever since.—Mr Monk thought it scarcely creditable to the Customs Department that it needed the assistance of an expert. If Lo.ooo had baen saved i; had been at the c )i t of dragging the good names of Ludness men of integrity through the mire.—Mr liruce thought that when dealing with a stringent tariff an expert was necessary, and Mr Shannon teemed to be a man of exceptionable experience and ability. That being so, the salary did not seem excessive.—The Hon. Mr Ballance supported the appointment, and said he thought the revenue was suffering in many directions from smuggling, especially in items of tobacco. It would be advisable to organise a kind of detective service in the Customs Department. TVatlve Legislation. Considerable opposition was shown tonight to the Native Land Act Amendment Hiil, which had already passed the Legislative Counci', but as tie Minister p orniaed to refer it to the Native AlTnirs Committee, the second reading was allowed to pass without a division. The principal objectors were Messrs Ballance, Samuel, Taipua, Sir G. Grey, and Mr Mcntsath, and they expressed the opinion that the proposed validations of past transactions were too sweeping, and that there were already enough (.ffijials without tho appointment of an administrative officer. Mr Carroll svishe.d the measure referred to a select committee; but he did not preßs the point after the Native Minister had stated that the Native Affairs Cimmittee were the most competent body to deal with the Bill, aiul txprcssed the hope that they would make it a useful meusure. Ths second reading of the Native Land Frauds Act Amendment Bill was also agreed to without debate A State Bank. The discussion on Mr Verrail's proposal in favor of establishing a State bauk was continued to-night ou the motion for going into Committee of Supply, the speakers beiug Messrs Ferceval, Ballance, and Duncan, who advised Mr Verrall to withdraw his amendment and endeavor to get a com mittee set up to report fully upon the whole subject next session. This advice Mr Verrall declined to act on, and on a division the amendment was lost by 32 to 18. The following are the names of the eighteen members who supported the : — Messrs Anderson, Buxton, Carroll, Duiican, Fcldwick, Fish, Joyce, Kf-lly, Liwry, J. M'Kenzie, Parata, Perceval, R. fl. R eves, Stddon, Taiwhanga, Taylor, Turnbull, and Verrall. Jottings. A new clause has been added to the Triennial Licensing Bill, enabling the Governor to fill up any extraordiuary vacancies which may occur. The Premier has promised Mr Larnach that when the question of altering present banking arrangements comes before the Cabinet the claims of ull incorporated banks shall reci ive consideration. The Government recotrnko the necessity of making provision for the assisted immigration of young people the brothers and sisters of persons resident in the colony, and they have in contemplation the placing of some further sum on the Supplementary Estimates to deal with the matte'-. By the Offences Against the Person Act Amendment Bill, as it has passed through c mmittee in the Council, the of conseut has been raised to fourti eu years, but on the Hon. Goorgo M'Lean's motion a clause has been added : "That it shall bcsi.flioimt defence to a charge if it appears that the accused had reasonable cau.c to believe that the girl was of or above fourteen years of ;>gr ;" and it is also provided that no prosecution shall be commenced more than one month after the commissi'in of the offence, Mr W. C. Smith being of opinion that the Waikopero block, situated in the Twentymile flush, is urgently required for settlement, purposes pressing on the Government the necessity of purchasing the same. The Native Minister says that the Government recognise the necessity of acquiring this block, but unfortunately there hive been one or two applications for rehearing since the block passed through the Native Land Court. As soon as these are disposed of they wid endeavor to have the purchase of the block completed. Messrs Kempthorne, Proaser, and Co. having petitioned for relief on account of loss sustained through the imposition of a prohibitive duty on saccharine, the Public Petitions Committee (A to L) recommend that their grievances be referred to the Government for consideration. The petition of Sir Wil an Fox, »% president of the New Zealand Alliance, praying that in any amendment of the Licensing Act the local option sys'em shall not be in any way interfered with, has been referred to the Government for consideration on the recommendation of the ''ublic Petitions (M to Z) Committee. The. Legislative Council tc-.la.y considered the amendments made by the House of Representatives in the Fire and Murine In--B'irance Companies Bii'. The Hod. Mr Stevens (who was in charge of the measure on behalf of the Government) moved that the amendments be disagreed with, and in so doing characterised cl use $ in the Amended Bill, whitfh referred to a local compauy being registered for the purpose of insuring the property of its own shareholders, as decidedly objeotionable, With regard to the new clause 10 (Mr Downie Stewart's), the hon. gontleman remirked that he could scarcely believe his eyes when he saw the clause referred to pitchforked into the Bill. No more extraordinary proposition than to eav that the ponditippa of lire insurance receipts and policies should only be issued subject to sugh conditions as i the Governorrin-Council may agree to could be made. The amending clauees were also objected to by Dr Pollen, Mess-s Oliver, M'Ltan, and other*. Both clauses were | disagreed fi'OW, and the Ho as. Messrs Oliver, Peacock, and Stevens appointed | managers to draw up reasous for disagreeing. Trust Funds. The following report "i'rorn the Public Accounts Committee was re.ee jved this afternoop, and its consideration deferred till to-raqrrow : " Tho A_opounts Comj.'dttpa hfr/e toe \\npc.\: fp report shat they have passed the following resolutions: j —"(1) That the power of investing the moneys belonging to the Post Office Savings Bank shall be placed in the hands of o. board, p.«d f!",e C-o«etuii,eut be rectiest*?*} to bring |S l ji I tb,ls' ee'ssi'on to giv"e tirect'fo nii<T resolution. (2) That in the opiniooo f tbfa S no loan should be out of trust fuuels, the Post Office Savings Bank funds, or the Public JVyt Sjrjkifljj fy,ne}« «,u/ oj.jiji; ties, brby'way the'jjoaua to Local' Bodies' Act, or upon bank diipaslt securities ; arc! that '.here gllftlialw*" o *- ' least one.fchw .- amount - t ./° the l credit of the Post OfjG™ S* v iugn Hank iiM^. ( |Mt j n r ,,!wt V'll l* J *MV Goverr, Ifljiifc securities, the interest on which is payable iu London, and that such |),9 denoaitfid i" i, p H sp(l in case $ W *rt°« B »*V9 tyr.P,E V Vjrt fnrrgency in the uolony.' Advanced a Stage. In the House this afternoon the second ?e?.diPg Of the Pub'.io Amendment Bijl >yaa nareed to without division, but Mr John M'Kerj?!e, Mr Guiunc-.a, Mr Allen, and others intimated that when in committee they should try to gtt the c'.iuscp deftlii'g with compensation claims amended, ns in their present form they unduly benefited tjie. Public Woilv* P-;partmout, On ths motion of the Minister of Works, the second reading of the North Island Main Trunk Railway Loan Application Amendment Biil was always absented to. It provides for the allocation of an additionai LIOQ,S2;") for land purchases; 2J per cent, of sujh lauds to be set apart us ai. O'tdowmtnt for the iiaintenance of p imary odnpation within the (duration district in lyhich such land Is actuated, An E^plttiiatHuM' Complaints were made by Mr R Tnomp.

sod to-day that he had been represented in that morning's 'ftew Zealand Times' as having stated at yesterday's caucus of tho Otago Central Railway supporters that he offered to support the Otago Central if the Otago members would support the Construction of the Fuhipuhi Tramway Bill, otherwise his support would cease. _ This was a deliberate untruth, and he did not know that Parliamentary language would e ititle him to denounce the statement in [ sufficiently strong terms. During the time that he was at the meeting the Puhipuhi tramway was never once referred to. He | had merely made a statement to the effect that he had supported the second reading of the Otago Central Railway Bill simply as one of the policy measures of the Government, with the understanding that the whole of tho public works proposals were to be carried through or none at all, and that if at.y attempt were to be made toseparatetheOtago Central Railway Bill from the other proposals those present must not depend on his support. After making that statement he withdrew from the and took no further interest in the proceedings. Several of those who were present at the meeting completely corroborated Mr Thompson's version, and denied that the Puhipuhi Forest Tramw ay had been mentioned by the member for Marsdea. Mr Kerr, however, was of opinion that though Mr Thompson had not distinctly referred to the Puhipuhi Tramway, his explanation that afternoon bhowed that by implication he had referred to it. Aogcst 28. "Ounedln South" in Ells Element. Mr Fish continued his obstruction far into the small hours. There were a number of Dunedin Customs officers bracketed together with a salary of L 1,335, and it appeared that last year only L 1,030 was paid under that head. Mr Blake thereupon moved to reduce the amount by L 25, and Mr Fish, with some little bravado, expressed bis intention of " going one better," and moved to reduce tho item to the same as last year, saying it was probable that a new officer had been appointed, but he had no doubt that there was no occasion for more officials than last year.—Sir 11. Atkinson hoped the Committee would not listen to the proposal. The only real increase in the vote was LlO, the remainder being accounted for by tho removal of an officer from the next heading.— Mr Seddon denounced Mr Fish's action, and expressed the hope that his proposal would be hooted out of the House.—Mr Fish said he had only desired to apply to his own district the principle he had advocated for others, but after the Premier's explanation he had concluded that he had been mistaken, and would now ask to withdraw his amendment, which he had inadvertently m wed. —Mr Seddon challenged Mr Fish with having acted with " malice aforethought," which the chairman, on being appealed to by Mr Fish, held not to be an unparliamentary term.—Even Mr Withy, arch-econo-mist as he is, protested against Mr Fieb't action, and walked out of the Chamber rather than vote for it. On the amendment being put, the chairman declared it to bo lost, but several members were determined to force Mr Fish into the lobby upon it, and called for a division. Mr Fish, with a mocking laugh, joined at last in the call, but \ oted against his own amendment, to the intense amusement of all parties. Tht amendment was lost by 33 to 2—only the gentlemen who had agreed to tell for the ayes recording their votes in its favor. Mr Fish did not cease his obstruction until he ha'l wasted four solid hours, and more than exhausted the patience of other hon. members, besides rendering himself ridiculous. Mr Shannon's salary was not reduced, Mi M'Kenzie's amendment being lo3t by 23 to 12. Mr R. H. Reeves claimed Mr Ken'r vo l e in favor of the amendment, and M Kerr, amidst roars of laughter, explained that he had given his voice with the ayes, but, seeing Mr Fish voting that way, he had walked into the opposite lobby, because he never voted in the same lobby with that gentleman. The Estimates. The House sat till after three o'clock passing the Customs, Government Insur ance, and Public Trust estimates. A proposal to reduce Mr Shannon's salary waf nc-galived by 23 to 12, The Railway and Education votes have yet to be considered. Tho salary of LSOO paid to Captain Fairchild, of the Government steamer Hinemoa, waß the suoject of a discussion in Committee of Supply at2 30 this morning. MrKerrcomplained that the Government had not carrieu out the instructions given by the Committee last year for the reduction of the salary. Mr Mills, he reminded members, had stated that the best captains in the Union Company's service only received L 350 a year. He therefore moved to reduce the vote for marine service by Ll5O. Several members spoke to a similar effect, but on the other hand it was urged that Captain Fairchild had much more responsibility than most, inasmuch as the vessel was uninsured, and that in bis long career not a single accident had occurred. The Prelnier, in answer to Mr Seddon, gave a distinct pledge that if the amendment was carried he would regard it as a direction to reduce tho salary. He said he could not tell why last year's resolution was not given i fF.-ct to; but for his own part he had eutiiely overlooked it. Mr Hutchison urged the Premier to make tho reduction in accordance with last year's instruction, bu: the Premier declined to go so far, but consented (as the Opposition desired to avoid a vote on account of the absence of some members) to the reduction of Captain Fairchild's salary by LSO, which was accordingly agreed to. A motion by Mr Saunders that the departmental vote be reduced by LIO.OOO, as a direction that the Hinemoa he solj}, wa* negatived on the voices. Christie's Case-Judge Ward Vindicated. The Public Petitions Committee had 1 the petition of William Christie, of Oamaru, under their consideration this morning. Their report, which will be brought up this afternoon, is as follows: —" Your Committee are of opinion that justice has been properly administered in the petitiqner'g oase by Judge Ward." Jt will be remembered that Christie, in his petition, oomplained of Judge Ward's administration of justice, and asked to have him removed from the district. I understand that the members of the Committee were desirous of rnakiog the report strongpr—tfl the effeat that they regretted that owing to a technical error Christie had not met with his deserts. Thif refers, of course, to the fact that politic waß sentenced to four iwprisonmeut under 4ct, but owing $o a technical error in the warrant' was released on appeal \o, the Supreme Courfy The Ifumara SJutfffe Channel. I The matter of the Kumara sludge channel was again before the Goldfields Committee j yesterday, when the Minister for Minei moved a resolution to the effect that the proposals of the Minjgtcr \yeye in the in>qft«ty of th,tjuo.»ouy aud or the district, and \ f given efteot to would cause a lane « ving to tho colony. Thf« wa3 : ejected by 8 votes to 3, and Messrs Cadmar, Pjke, Gr'mmond, and Guinness ap,ppintecf i fo Mp' ft report. Tfco ' report from the Sub.-orv~ mUtee was. presented «t ** * , * tog. auduiMnl- , . ,V ua ?l 8 n „,•*>..- oiy adopted by the Com ...ce:—"(I) Your Committee regret that sujh a serious loss should have occurred to •he minors of Kumara in the settlement of t!iidispute. (2) That the propisals contained in paragraph 5, to hand over a portion <■) the ( han-iel to the miners, is illegal, seeing that the title to the channel is veßted in th* Q'lecn under the Public Works Act, 1882 at d oan only be dealt with and disposed of under the Local Bodies' Finance and Powers Act, (3) That the subject matter contained in paragraph 5 of the agreement is between the Minister and minors, and should b* referred to the Public Accoun's Committeo, owing to it being more a matter of finance than of mining. (4) That the chairman be instructed to move in the House that tht papers and correspondence, together with the agreement, bo referred to the Public Accounts Committee. That paragraphs Nos. 1 and 2 of the report be referred to the Government for consideration." The amended report, which will be presented to Urn Hongs this afternoon, practically endorses the Committee's previous finding with the exception that tho reference to All Gow, the engineer, has been exci-:ed, os the Minister undertook all responsibility in the matter. Leprosy. Mr Joyce, this afternoon, gave notic that

he would ask on Friday whether the Premier noticed in the public prints of Victoria that at a meeting of the Central Board of Health, held at the Treasury, Melbourne, on the 2nd inst., some reports on leprosy were leceivcd from the Victorian Agent-General, and that one of these reports contained a colored map purporting to show the distribution of leprosy, and indicating New Zealand as jne of the worst afflicted countries in the world. He wants to know whether the Premier will immediately communicate with the AgentGeneral for New Zealand and the Melbourne Central Board of Health, and point out that there is tot the slightest truth in the repcit that leprosy exists in thie colony. Our Land Laws. Another question Mr Joyce is putting deals with the land law*. He intends the Minister of Lands if he will give some explanation as to the state of the lottery system at present in use in the disposal of the Crown lands of the colony, and whether there is any foundation for the statement that Mr Reeca, late a member of the Wellington Land Board, denounced dummyism and the other tricks carried on under the present land laws on the tender sys'e n ; and is it true that Mr Anderson, a Victorian farmer, came to this colony prepared to bny, improve, and stock with his own money 6,000 acres of land, but after waiting in New Zealand two months was unable to purchaee land from the Crown, and declared that our land laws are made for the speculators and not for bona fide settlers ? The New Hating Bill. The Rating Act Amendment Bill now before the House exempts from rates lands and buildings for the purposes of schools not carried on for pecuinary gain or profit, and also exempts lands and buildings the freehold property of any registered friendly society if used exclusively for lodge purposes. New Plymouth Harbor. A deputation representing the New Plymouth Harbor Board, and consisting of Messrs Thomas King (chairman), Rhind (engineer), Roe (mayor), and M. King (chairman of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce), were introduced to the Premier last evening by Mr Samuel, member for the district. They wished to know if it were possible to obtain from the colony some assistance in preventing the entrance to the harbor being silted up by the sand. It was represented that it the loan of the Westport dredge could be obtained for a month or two, and assistance to the extent of about L 2.000 obtain d, a clear channel could be dredged which could afterwards be kept open by the Board with their own small dredge. It was stated that no further accumulations were likely to take place. It is understood that the result of the interview was not at all satUfaetory to the d< putation. Entertaining the Governor. The Legislative Council intend entertaining the Governor and suite at dinner in the Council Chamber on Saturday evening. The members of the Ministry, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives have also been invited.

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Bibliographic details

POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 7997, 28 August 1889

Word Count
4,710

POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 7997, 28 August 1889

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