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[From Ocr Parliamentary Reporter.]

WELLINGTON, October 5. Ministers as Company Directors.

Apropos to the suggested amendment to the Addresa-in-Reply, a large number of members, even on the Government side of the House, are distinctly averse to the members of the Government holding the dual capacity of Ministers of the Crown and directors of foreign companies. They say that if the Ministerial salaries are not sufficiently large they should bo increased. The Budget. So well advanced ia the Financial Statement that the Treasurer will be prepared to submit it to the House almost immediately on the close of the Address-in-Reply debate. Should that debate end with to-morrow’s sitting, the Budget proposals will be disclosed on Friday, but in any case the Statement will not be delivered later than Tuesday. Of course nothing is allowed to transpire meanwhile as to what the financial proposals of the Government are, but the probabilities are that the necessity for a loan ia to be foreshadowed if members seriously require a tithe of the public works which the Government are being pressed td put in hand in various parts of the colony. The Council Speakership. Though to-morrow will be the most eventful day of the session in the Council, no move has yet been made to support any candidate for the Speakership, nor has the slightest indication been given as to the Ministerial wishes in the matter. It is understood that the “call” of tho Council will be made in the afternoon, and that the election will not take place till the evening sitting. °

A third Richmond is in the fitdd for the Speakership in the person of Mr Bonar. Many Councillors incline to the opinion that the office should be a rolling one. The reason why the election of .a Speaker of the Council is to be deferred till tomorrow evening ia to suit the convenience of Mr Shrimski, who will be absent in the day" time owing to the Jewish-fast. •

Private Benefit Societies. As was generally supposed some months ago the intention of those responsible for the appointment of the Royal Commission to inquire into the conduct of the working of the private benefit societies was to condemn these Institutions, it will bo found, when the report is presented to Parliament in the course of a day or two, that the result of their investigations has led to their being sent out to curse and remaining to bless. Should the hint that has reached me from an apparently well-informed source be substantiated the report will go in the direction of recommending the" continuance of rather than undue interference with these societies; that facilities be offered for their registration ; and that compulsory membership be not encouraged. What is most important is that the representation that these private benefit societies are inimical to the registered friendly societies has altogether been proved to be unwarranted. It goes without saying that the Bank of New Zealand provident fund, under its present unsatisfactory basis, will be adversely criticised ; and it will be recollected that when the Commission sat at Dunedin and Auckland Major Steward and Mr Fisher spoke with no uncertain sound on the need existing for its reorganisation, and legislation may be suggested for either ending or mending the existing state of matters connected with that fund. Tlic Debate on the Address will be resumed this afternoon by Mr Mills, who will be followed by Messrs Lang and Montgomery. The main speakers to-night will be the Minister of Lands and Mr G. F. Richardson. The Eight Hours Bill of the Premier provides that, subject to the conditions prescribed by section 55 of the Factories Act, 1891, it shall not be lawful for any employer to employ any worker to work for more than eight working hours in any one day, or for more than forty-five working hours in any one week, or to dismiss any worker refusing so to do. A penalty of not less than £5 and not more than £2O is provided for breaches of the Act. There is it further provision that on an emergency involving danger workers may work longer hours, but in no case shall they receive for such overwork less than half as much again as the ordinary rate of wages. The Bill also enacts that a worker who has been employed in breach of the Act may receive double wages. First Offenders.

The question has been raised whether an offender who applies to be released on probation under the First Offenders’ Probation Act is entitled as a matter of right to see or be made aware of the contents of the probation officer’s report when the same is unfavorable to him. It is contended in some quarters that where such report is unfavorable the Judge should have discretionary power to inform the offender of the grounds upon which the probation officer refuses to report in favor of probation, in order that the offender may have an opportunity of refuting any matters stated in the report which are adverse to him. The object of the First Offenders’ Probation Act Amendment Bill introduced by Mr Pirani is, theiefore, to give the presiding Judge discretionary power in this matter. Mr Joyce’s Panacea. In the House this afternoon,. Mr Joyce, amid laughter, gave notice of his intention to ask the Premier : Will the Government (terminate Worthington’s Sunday pantomimes in Christchurch by promoting legislation giving power to the City Council to cancel or hold in abeyance for at least twelve months the license of any hall of entertainment, upon the petition of a given number °^-u- zBDB ' Reasserted that the platform exhibitions on Sundays of such a character

as Worthington's are distasteful to the citizens, and against the peace and good order of the city.

the ctiemts Case.

Mr Hutchison, on behalf of Mr Jellicoe, solicitor, has presented a petition’praying that a committee be appointed to-inquire into the accuracy of the allegations, and to inquire into the truth of Sir B. Stout’s allegations re the released prisoner .Chemis. —The Speaker said he must inspect the petition to see whether it reflected on the. debates in the House.—Sir R, Stout rose to say that personally he did not object to the - Committee or to a commission. He rather S referred it. Sir M. O’Rorke, however, eoided that the matter must stand oyer.till' to-morrow, so that he could look into the petition. - ■Visiting Justices of Prisons. Mr Taylor is asking whether the Government will, appoint visiting justices- to the principal gaols. Prevention of Sabbath Desecration. The Premier gave notice of the;introduction of the Sunday Labor in Mines Prevention Act. Local Option In Parliament.: - The Premier gave notice to move that, provided the. concurrence of the Council be obtained, the sale of liqUor in the precincts of the' Parliamentary Buildings on Sundays be discontinued, and that a poll be taken of both branches of the Legislature on October 11 to determine whether its sale on week days should be continued during the present Parliament. Workmen's Compensation. . It is understood .that the Government have on the stocks a Workmen’s Compensation for Accidents Bill, on the lines of the measure recently passed by the Imperial Parliament. The Dunedin Savings Dank. As it has been ruled that the Dunedin’ Savings Bank Bill is not a local measure, the Hou, W, H. Reynolds has given notice to move its second reading as a public Bill on Friday week.

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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 10437, 5 October 1897

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POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 10437, 5 October 1897

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