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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 8013, 16 September 1889
[From Our PARLU4i£N*AS7 Reporter, j
WELLINGTON, September 16\ A Dissolution.
The amendment ttt going into Supply, of which the Opposition Leader gave notice in the early part of the week, having id? its object an immediate dissolution of Parliament, was debated on Saturday evening. The Hon. Mr Ballance, in moving " That, in the opinion of this House, it is expedient that there should be a dissolution of Parliament aftei due time haa clapped to arrange the districts, and that the now Parliament should meet for the despatch of business as soon as possible after the expiration of the present financial year," explained that he did not bring the proposal forward as one of no confidence, but the present Parliament had had three sessions, and it was evident that no useful work could be done till a change was effected by a fresh election. There had been a complete failure to carry a'ny measure of policy, and the country, in his opinion, had lost confidence in not only the House but ehe Government. Public opiuion had undergone a reaction against the reduction of the number of members, which had been the result of a political combination to place power in the hands of the wealthiest classes. Still they were bound to accept that verdict, and ask the country to say in the next election whether the reduction should or should not be reversed.
The Premier treated Mr Ballance'a amendment in a bantering tone, characterising it as an electioneering move, and remarking that he had felt half inclined to second the amendments being a huge joke. Mr Ballance knew that the Government stood very well witfi the Country, only he would not admit it. There was no doubt at all that it was the Opposition who were out of tosch with the country. Tne Government had been blamed for not passing more legislation ; but the Statute Book was already far too cumbersome, and the Government should get credit for the way their executive functions had been carried out. They had been taunted with having no policy, but no Government had ever come into office with a clearer policy, for they had undertaken to reduce the expenditure, to reduce the number of members, to limit the loan expenditure, and to restrict the borrowing for public works. That the Empire, as well as the colony, recognised their merits was instanced by the present price of our bonds. What the country wanted was not fresh legislation, but careful administration and political rest. No wiser thing could be done by the Parliament than to say " We will not meet for two years."—(Laughter.) He said that in all seriousness. Not a single reason for a dissolution had been advanced. It was certainly not the Government who were answerable for tlie disorganisation of the House. It was the duty of the ©o-rern-tnent to advise His Excellency on a question of dissolution, and if they had thought only of themselves they might have tendered that advice several times this session. But a dissolution would not benefit the country in the slightest degree at the present time, and he hoped that the House would not seriously entertain the proposal. Mr Walker thought that a dissolution should not unnaturally follow an alteration in the adjustment of representation, and therefore heartily supported Mr Ballance's amendment. Colonel Fraaer differed from Mr Ballance as to the reduction of members, as he thought that was the best thing the House could do; in fact he would like to see a much larger reduction. He thoroughly agreed, however, with Mr Ballance's amendment for a dissolution.
Mr Saunders agreed entirely with Mr Ballance's proposal, and he felt that if ic had not been brought forward by the Opposition the Premier would have supported it. He agreed with it also from an economic point of view, as in the ordinary state of things a double session would be held next year, and they know from experience that no good ever resulted from a double cession. Mr Monk opposed the amendment. He had received several telegrams from the North to the effect that uo good would result from a dissolution, and that the people were weary of the subject. Mr O'Conor was surprised that nothing had been said in the debate about taking a census before a general election, and he thought this waß a most necessary step in the interests of thinly populated localities.
The Premier's motion was then put as against Mr Ballance's amendment, and was carried by 35 to 30—the amendment being lost. The following was the division list:—
Ayes : (For tbe Premier's motion) 35 Messrs Anderson, Atkinoon, Bruce, Buchanan, Carroll, Cowau, Dodson, Fisb, Hall, Hamlin, Earknese, Hobbs, Izard, Jackson, Liwry, Moearthur, Mackenzie (Clutha), M'Grejror. Mills, Mitchelfon, Moat, Monk, O'Canor, Rhode?, G. F. Riohatdson, Ross, Russell, W. D. Stewart, Taipua, Tanner, Thompson (Auckland North), Wilson. Noes : (For the amondment) 30—Messrs Ballanee, Barron, Blake, Brown, Cadman, Duncan, Feldwiok, Fisher, FiUherbert, Fraser, Goldie, Orimmond, Hutchison, Joyce, Kelly, Kerr, Larnaob, Louehrey, M'Konzie (Waihemo), Moss, Parata, Perceval, E. Richardson (Kaiapoi), Saunders, Scddon, Smith, Taiwhanga, Taylor, Verrall, Walker. Paihb : For Mr Ballance's amendment Messrs Turnbull, Gr.T, Buxton, Ward, Jones, Guinness, W. P. Reeves, Sunucl, Fitchott, Lanca, R. Reeves. Against the amendment—Messrs Hodgkinson, Fulton, Marchanfc, Valentine, Graham, Allen, Orniond, SeyI mour, Scobie Mackenzie, Whyto, Pykc Tlie Free Conference on the Selectors' Land Revaluation Bill | agreed to retain the amendment made by the House in clause 2, making the measure applicable to village homesteads and special settlements. The Property Tax for the ensuing year has again been fixed at one penny. When the Property Tax Bill was in committee on Saturday afternoon, Mr Barron moved to reduce the tax to three farthings. The Premier pointed out that if the proposal were agreed to there would be a deficiency of MO.OOO at the end of the year. It was not fair to bring foiward such a motion so late in the session, especially as a similar proposal had been rejected in the House by a large majority. Sir George Grey supported the reduction of the tax, but Mr Ballanee said he could not agree to the amendment, as a deficiency of L 90.000 was too serious a question to face. Still, he thought that the tax should be reduced, as should also the taxation on the necessaries of life, as, for instance, the tea duty. The motion for the reduction of the tax was negatived by 36 to 18—just two to one. Mr Macandrew's Family. On Saturday afternoon I advised you that the Hon. Mr Larnach intended intercepting | Supply by proposing a gratuity to the daughters of the late member for Port Chalmers. His motion—" That in the opinion of this House L 2.000 should be granted to the daughters of the late Mr J. Macandrew (LSOO for the benefit of each daughter), by way of recognition of his long, faithful, and valuable public services to the colony " was assented to on the voices. A One-man Government. It has often been asserted that Sir Harry Atkinson constitutes the whole of the Government, but such statements have generally come from the mouths of the enemy, and few people would have expected to hear it from that gentleman's own lips. On Saturday night the Premier was speaking of the disorganisation of the House, to which Mr Ballanee had alluded, and he plaintively added that no one could feel that disorganisation more than he did, for the whole weight of it fell on him. "On the Government," interrupted Mr Hutchison. " Upon me," said the Premier, in correction, " and when I speak of myself I speak not of an individual member of the Government." To say that the whole House exploded with laughter is to mildly describe what followed. Sir Harry got out of the difficulty by stating that he was pleased to see his hon. friends amused, but anybody who knew anything about constitutional law must be aware that whenever the Premier spoke he spoke for the Government. Mr Hamltn'H Little Joke.
An attempt was made by Mr Hamlin on Saturday to intercept Supply with an amendment declaring " That in the opinion of this House the next meeting of Parliament should be held in Dunedin. It should be held early enough in the year to admit of members having ample opportunity of visiting the Exhibition." Failing to catch the Speaker's eye, and having to give way to Mr Ballance, the member for Franklin South subsequently gave notice of his motion amidst loud laughter.
The MacandreW ©rant In Cabinet. Some time ago 1 informed you that sr "round robin" had been sigasd ty over fifty iii.-mbers of the House in favor of some grant being made to the late James Maeandrew's daughters, in consequence of public; services rendered to the colony by their father. The matter was considered byCabinet, when it was proposed that a sum should be placed on the Supplementary x'stfmates to give effect to memfwrs' wishesThe pibpbwf only met with the approval of the Premier »ad Mr Fergus, and wa» consequently lost. Thrown &n%. The Rating Acts Amendment Bill was killed by progress being repeated 177 29 to 20. EnterCtrlnlng during Exhibition Tfoies, Some opposition was shown on Saturday night to the passing of LI.OCO to defray ths* expenses of His Excelleney entertaining: during the Exhibition in Itenedin. Mr Monk led off the attack by moving that the item be struck out. The Premier explained that His Excellency tras expected to enter-
tain the Governors of the other colonies and also the Admiral and staff, and mentioned that the Victorian Government granted Sir H. B. Loch L3.ooofor entertainingduring the Melbourne Exhibition period. The vote. was strongly supported by Mr Bruce and Mr Buchanan, the latter expressing tbe> opinion that the Exhibition would redouad to the credit of the colony. Mr Monk thought it unfortunate that a the Supplementary Estimates there were always votes that could be defended as esceptiowd.. Public entertaining should be done afe the expense of tbs working rata of Otago, and not out of the pockets 01 the general taxpayer, m The Premier explaietd that Lord Onslow had not asked for thf* vote, but it had been placed on the Supplementary Estimates entirely at the suggestion of the Government, who did not think it right that His Excellency should go down as a single man and stop at a club. They did no* think that the proper position for a Governor t» be in. They found thafc 1 the Exhibition Commissioners were willißg to find him a residence saitably furnished, and on ascertaining the coat the Government put the present vote on the Supplementary Estimates. Mr Moss thought it was undesirable to discuss the item, though he was going to vote against it. In his opinion it was wrong thus to vote money _ for the purposes of entertainment. The item wa» retained by 43 to 15, all the Otago- members except Mr Larnach voting for it. After thevote was taken, Mr Reeves (Inangahua>
expressed me opinion mat me vow wa» »« indication that the Governor's salary ought not to have been reduced. The Exhibition Mfie Meeting. The' s»m of LI.OOO for the Exhibition; rifle meeting #as carried by 'AS to 13. A Cleat Shave. Though Mr Ballance's amendment for an immediate dissolution was negatived by five votes, there are many members who still think that the Premier will ask for a dissolution daring the recess, and that the general elections will be held about April or May. Mr Goldie and Mr Saunders, who have voted consistently with the Government during the session on policy questions, supported the amendment, and it is understood that had Dr Newman and Messrs Withy and Menteath been present tb*y also would have voted for a dissolution. The Closing Hours. There was only a moderate attendance of members to witness the closing scene of the session. Supply was intercepted by Mr Parata moving encourage the settlement of Native lands by lease or otherwise, this House is of opinionthat the duty payable on Native lands under clause 17 of the Stamp Act Amendment?
Bill, 1885, should be reduced from LIC per ceni to L 5; and (2) that d»ty should be paid annually in advance instead of in one sura as at present." The amendment was supported by the other Native members and by the Leader of the Opposition. The Premier regretted that he could not accept the amendment, because the IC* per cent, upon the proceeds of sale* did not cover the cost to the colony of ensuring good and effective titles. There was something; to be said in favor of reducing the d»ty on leases, and he would consider that matter during the recess. The amendment was lost by 28 to 22. Railage of Exhibition Goods. The Premier informed the House this morning that the Railway Commissioners had written to the Government to the effect that in their opinion they were not absolutely justified by law in conveying exhibits' to Dunedin Exhibition practically for nothing, as had been done in all other exhibitions, and they had asked the Government to mention the matter to Parliament. TheGovernment did not think it was worth while to move a but he (Sir £r. Atkinson) had thought it right to mention; the matter, as he believed that Parliamentwas anxious that good 3 should be carried free over the railways. No adverse opinion being expressed, the Premier said that he would convey to the Commissioners the desire of the House that the idea should be carried out. The Otago Harbor Board's Claim.
The whole of the Supplementary Estimates have been passed as printed, though some of the items were unsuccessfully attacked. The long-standing claim by the Otago Harbor Board against the Government for land taken some years ag» for railway purposes has at length been settled, the vote having to-day passed for L 4,50(? f»» the purpose. Railway Employes' Insurance Fund. In answer to the Hon. E. Richardson, the' Premier stated this morning that it was clearly intended by the Railway Employes' Insurance Bill to make deductions from employeY salary for the purpose of creating an insurance fund. The scheme had been deviser), by the Railway Commissioners, but the Government were in no way bound by it.—Mr Kerr said that the railway employes .strongly objected to the proposal.— The Premier said that the Bill had been circulated in order to ascertain what the employe's and the public thought of it, and, as he had already stated, the Government were in no way committed to it. The House on rising this afternoon formally adjournß for a fortnight, and in the meantime Parliament will be proiogued by proclamation in the ' Gazette.' Railway Surfacemen's Wage*. Mr Mitchelson, in replying to Mr Hutchison, said he did not think the Railway Commissioners had any present intention of reducing the wages of surfacemen. If they wished to carry the Bill providing for an insurance fund he did not see how the Commissioners could propose any reduction. A Euloßium of Sir Macandrew. On additional Supplementary Estimates being brought down, providing for L 2,000 for tlie daughters of the late James Macandrew, in accordance with the vote of the House given on Saturday night, Mr Monk, in a temperate speech, moved that the vote be struck out. Sir G. M. O'Rorke warmly defended the vote, stating that as Mr Macandrew had rendered great service to the colony, to his own detriment, the House ought to agree to it with cordiality. Although the deceased's services were first given to Otago—which was only natural, seeing that he was Superintendent of that province—he never took a selfish view with regard to other portions of the colony, and assisted as a Minister as far as he could to expend for the benefit of the public the money of the colony in the Province of Auckland just as much as he did in Otago. He invited the
House to reflect for a moment on some of Mr Macandrew's services. He had accelerated by many years steam communication between this colony and Australia, and was the first to bring about higher education in the colony, for by his exertions Otago came to the front with its Donedin High School and University. Credit was also due to him mainly for direct steam communication with England, and also by America. Colonel Praser also bore testimony to the great benefit the colony had derived from Mr Macandrew's services. He regretted that the people of Otago had not provided for the deceased's daughters, but a3 they had come to Parliament for aid he should certainly support the vote. Mr Buxton felt most heartily glad to listen to what had fallen from the lips of the Speaker with respect to Mr Macandrew's good qualities. One beautiful trait in human nature was that we looked most favorably to members of Parliament after they lay silent in
the grave.—(Laughter.) Tlvo vote was retained by 29 to 7. The minority included five of the Auckland skinflints—viz., Messrs T. Thompson, Lawry, Goldie, R. Thompson, and Monk. The Final Act. Discussion on the Appropriation Bill, which is the final Act of the session, will be taken on the House reassembling at three o'clock. All the Southern members leave by the Wairarapa at five o'clock.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 8013, 16 September 1889
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