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From Our Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, September 5. An Official Denial. As an absurd impresiion that New Zealand is really affected with leprosy seems to have been created in official circles in Melbourne and at Home the Premier has undertaken, at Mr Joyce's suggestion, to take the neceisary steps for removing it. The Exhibition. Mr Duncan urged the Government to-day to give special facilities to the public of this colony tovißit the Dunedin Exhibition, pointing out that colonies so distant as Victoria and South Australia were already taking action in the matter. The Minister of Public Works sa'.d that the Railway Ccmmiesioners were in communication with the Union Steam Ship Company for the purpose of making airangements satisfactory to the public. They alsojintended to mn excursion trains at very low rates during the progress of the Exhibition. The Syllabus. The Premier has promised Mr Wilson that the Government will issue a circular to a'l education jboard* and inspectors inviting suggestions for the improvement of the syllabus forprimary education, an i they will also consider the desirableness of holdiDga conference or appointing a commissicn to con ider suggestions and report whether any alteration should be made. Mr Hislop. A largo number of membera assembled on the whaif this afternoon to see Mr Hislop off. As the Rotorua left for the South hearty cheers were given for the late Colonial Secretary. The prevalent opinion in Ministerial circles now is that the vacant portfolio will not be allotted at present, and that if Mr Hislop is re-elected he will again be taken into the Cabinet. Parcel Post Kates. The Postmaster-General cannot see his way to reduce the parcel post rates at present. The system has not been in force long enough to enable any opinion to be formed as to its financial results.

Testing the Efficiency of Our Batteries,

The Defence Minister will make inquiries as to whether Mr Hutchison's proposal can be carried oat for holding a sham attack by po.t of the Australasian fleet on come fortified part of the colony next Easter. The hon. member foi Waitotata had characterised the present system of sham fights as ridiculous and useless. The Minister endorsed that opinion, and said that he held that volunteer reviews should always take place on the ground that the men would have to dfcftnd in case of hostilities. Local Government.

The Local Government Committee brought up their report yesterday afternoon. They conaider it very expedient that soma new system of local government should be established, and that it should be framed with the following objects :—(1) Decentralisation ; (2) reduction iu number oi the local bodies; (8) a definite and fixed relation between the finance of the General Government and that of local bodies; (4) the establishment of local districts with elective governing bodies, the four large citioi with their subutba to be separate and the remainder of the colony not to consist of more than sixteen districts; and (5) the constitution of local committees by election by the borough and county councils within each district, lha Committee recommend that for the further consideration of the subject a committee be set up early next session, Jottings. The suggestion made by Mr Joyce that some special means should he devised for the custody of the exhibits prdduced in the late Kaiwarra murder alleged perjury case did not meet with a very favorable reception on the part of the Government. The Premier said' such articles were ordinarily kept by the clerk of the Court, and he did not suppose the hon. gentleman proposed that the Government should open a museum of the exhibits producod in criminal trials. Mr Joyce said that one of the articles had already been torn and mutilated. The Premier: " That is not so, to my knowledge—and I know all about them." Mr Joyce said his object was that these exhibits shou'd bo specially taken cue of. Tin Premier promised to make inquiries, and if there was any occasion —which he did not think there was—he would take suoh steps as the Government considered necessary. Leave of absence for a fortnight wai granted to Mr Pjke on account of ill-healtb. Dr Newman offered to day, on behalf of himself an<l se-eral other Wellington members, to accompany the Premier and Ministers of Lands and Native Affairs in any visit tfcey may make to'.the route of : the North Island Trunk Railway, and point out to them the grest advantage b of the prosecution of that great work. The Premier said ho would do his best to visit the district, but could not make anabsolute promise. —Mr Turnbull; will you' the Doctor wuh you?— The Premier: Yes. I always like to have a doctor with me when I go on a dangerous expedition.—Mr Goldie asked that Auckland members should also have a chance of going The Premier: I'll be very glad to'let the Auckland members know when I'm going.— (Laughter.) A f onndatlonless Charge.

A statement recently app arcd in tha ' Wai* kato Times' implicating the Hon. Mr Ballanca as Native Minister, together with the UnderSecretary for Native Affairj rnd Mr W. H.Grace, over Fomo alleged shady tranfactions concerning certain Native LaDds in the Vva!bato. A report has now been laid on the table

which e mpletely exonerates those gentlemen

from any such charge, showing that the report of certain evidence given before a Commission by Mr Grace was incorrectly tepoi ted, and this gave rise to the allegations. W hen the report was 'aid on the table Mr Ballance rose and thanked Mr Mitchelaon for his very generous conduct in the matter. Postal and Telegraphic.

The annual report of the Poßt Office and Telegraphic Department shows that the revenue for the ye r has increased by L 8 231, while the expenditure has decreased by L 9,250. Ihe balance of revenue over expenditure was L 58.455; but, taking into account the value of the official correspondence and the Government telegram l , there is a balance of LI 56,707 in favor of the department There were 19,502 704 letters posted, and 20,895,316 delivered ; while 1,765,863 telegrams were transmitted. The business in postal notes increased by L 29.453. A Ministerial Challenge.

In a leading artiole to-day the ' New Zealand Times'says:-" We ho'.d that MrHis'op has done no harm—certainly no harm to drive him out of Parliament. However, ho is before the country now, and is a very prominent figure at that; and we shall be more than surprised if his constituents do not accord him a hcaity welcome and reoommUsion him with a thumping majority that will put to shame the allegations that have, for the time being, made a political martyr of him. There has been a duel all through between Mr Hislop and Judge Ward. Why cot extend the contest into political life pure and simple ? Mr Hislop has resigned, and will be face to face with his constituents to-morrow. Let Mr Ward resign lub seat on the judicial bench and meet bis antagonist in the lists at Oamaru and break a lance fairly with him befcre the people. It would bo a gal'ant spectacle, and the decision of the people would be final. If the Judge were retu'ued to Parliament he might well lead the Opposition,'' " • i Sej."timbeji6. The Oamaru Scat. The writ for the Oamaru seat was telegraphed to the returning officer yesterday, so the nomination will probably take place about a fortnight heace. The Opposition Spring a Mine. Surprise is expressed that an old parliamentaiian like Mr Ballance should have been a party to the amendment proposed on going into Committee of Supply hut evening, aB its effect must be to consideiajily weaken the Opposition, On the occasion of the two previous no-confit dence debates this session the Government majority was only four, but last night's move has hardened their position considerably, and the majority will be at leaßt ten. Caucus of Ministerialists. A meeting of the Miuisteiial party has been convened for 11.-30 by the Premier to consider wl at steps should be taken to secure the

despatch of all business necessary to bring the session to an early close. It is paid that Mr Grimmond's amendment was prepared by Dr Fitcbett. Dinner to the Ex-Premier. f ir R. Stout's old political friends intend entertaining him at dinner at Bellamy's tomorrow eveuing.

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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 8005, 6 September 1889

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POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 8005, 6 September 1889

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