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ADDRESS-IN-REPLY DEBATE.

[From Our Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, October 7. - Yesterday afternoon MrL.VWP.Y resumed thedebate on the Addreas-m-Reply. Referring to the Left Wing as an insignificant minority, lie said that instead of giving the spoils to the victors there never was a Government that had given to many spoils to the vanquished, and, referring to the member for Marsdeu, ho said that he didn’t know whether Mr Thompson ranked himself as a victor or among tire vanquished, some men being everything by turns and nothing long. But it was significant that since the member for Marsden had been in the House he had got £60,000 for his district. The member for Parnell proceeded, in a humorous speech, to twit the Premier with neglecting his friends. Speaking of the Justice Department, he was glad that Parnell required no lock-up or gaol. As to education, it was practically the same whether parents paid directly for the schools or were taxed for the same object. While an opponent of bmuses, he would support State aid to the beet sugar industry. He regretted the absence from the Speech of any reference to an amending liquor Bill, but he condemned tle existing licensing system as iniquitous, aid it made his English heart swell with indignation. (Laughter.) As to the charges of immorality in the King Country, he hurled back the slander with contempt and denounced the rev. slanderer, who had made sweeping charges of things which only existed in his own perverted imagination. The only real check upon sly grog-selling would be to open a licensed house in the King Country. He defended tho police as men of fine intelligence and integrity, and said that many of them were men whose boots the hon. member for Christchurch (Mr Taylor) was unlit to clean. He strongly supported an alternative telegraph line to Auckland and the completion of railway communication between Auckland and Wellington. As to the national debt, he declared that it would be a comparative trifle in the future development of the country. He would be prepared to support the Minister of Lands in treating Native lands as Crown lands if they were divided into three classes and limited to moderate areas, but he would resist any revival of the old land monopolies. The present Government were the strongest that had ever occupied the Ministerial benches, because the party behind them was compact, while the Opposition were strong and intelligent. Mr Moore congratulated the Premier on his creditable representation of the colony in England. He strongly deprecated the wearisome leneth of the remarks made by preceding speakers, though speaking himself at some length. The hon. member's criticism of the Government administration and policy was characterised by moderation, though it lacked force. Mr Meredith, who followed, declared that the Government was a very good one. He eulogised the Premier for the services he had rendered to the colony during his visit to England, especially in advertising it and making its resources known in the principal centres of population. He declared himself strongly in favor of Imperial federation, and quoted figures to show the enormous extension of the Empire and population and of the resources of the colonies. He proceeded to vindicate the police as a body against Mr Taylor’s charges, but thought an inquiry necessary. He defended the Bushy - Park sale and the Cheviot Estate purchase, and said that tho settlement of the latter had been a great success. He declared himself in favor of an Elective Upper House. When the House resumed at half-past seven last night, Mr Monk rose to address a comparatively thin House, speaking from hia place behind the door leading into the nets’ lobby. He began by declaring his hostility to party government, and referring to the Ministerial policy he went on to frightfully mangle a quotation from Burns amidst great laughter. CriticisingMrMarsdenThompson’s strictures on the member for Wanganui, he said that Mr Carson, being a journalist, could not bo expected to occupy a high role ; but if school manners were established at Whangarei Mr Thompson ought to be the first professor. In a speech marked by a light play of humor be said that, having been a toiler from hia youth, he claimed to be qualified to discuss labor questions, and expressed approval of courts of conciliation based on the lines of the Swiss system. Speaking of the timber industry, he said that he had never seen i f in a more flourishing condition. As to advances to settlers, he contended that it was impossible for the Government to carryon that business without loss. He knew a case in which a man was unable to pay interest on a mortgage of £1,700, and it was reduced to £800; but even then, being unable to pay interest, ho went to the Advances to Settlers Department and obtained £1,200, thus putting £-150 into hia own pocket. Ho denied that the Government had brought down the rates of interest, because ho knew of cases whore lawyers and others had transferred loans to the Government, and obtained interest where none had been previously paid. He denied that the Government deserved any credit for the prosperous state of the finances, which was the natural result of the expansion of trade and increase of population. He advocated more encouragement being given to volunteering, aud thought that the money expended ou guus would bs more beneficially expended in that way. As to developing markets for the products of the colony, he thought it could be best done by lowering the railway rates nn wool, butter, timber, and wheat. He ridiculed the idea that the Minister of Lands could pick people off the streets, plant them in special settlements, and convert them into full-blown farmers. He knew settlements which were only kept alive by Government expenditure, and whicti would be deserted whenever these aids were withdrawn. The member for Waitemata delivered a travesty of the Governor’s Speech full of sarcastic bombast and exaggeration, which convulsed the House with laughter. The humor of his speech was heightened by his intensely comical facial expression, which would have done no discredit to a professional burlesque actor. The sound of the Speaker’s warning bell staggered the hon. gentleman for a moment, but quickly recovering himself he was proceeding with renewed energy with his burlesque of the ViceSegal Speech when the Speaker put on the extinguisher with “ Time’s up,” which had to be repeated before he collapsed. The Minister or Lands, who next spoke, said he was at a loss to understand what the last speaker had been talking about. His performance almost eclipsed that of the member for Patea. Deprecating Mr Monk’s bad taste in burlesquing the Governor’s Speech, the Minister declared that if the member for Waitemata had delivered such a as he had just inflicted on along suffering House they would recommend him to re cuperaie his mental health at Soacliff. Ho went on to repel the charges preferred against the Government, which, he said, were almost all a revival of ancient history. The

Chamber, which had been very thin, filled up, and the House and galleries, which were now crowded all round, seemed galvanised into life. Who, he asked, were the people who really benefited by the four millions advanced to the Bank’of New Zealand? Was it the people or the Liberal party ? No. The Conservatives, some of whom now sat on the Opposition benches. The member for Dunedin City (Mr Seobie Mackenzie) had Pomahaka on the brain, and was,-an enemy to its He"declared with some heat that the member for Bruce was the last man in the House who should reflect on his (Mr M'.Kenzie’s) family affairs. Referring to the purchase of the Bushy Park Estate, he said that it could only be done upon the recommendation of

the Land Purchase Board, and therefore the Government were not responsible for the transaction. In the course of his speech the irrepressible Horowhenua block was again in evidence. To tbe’statement of the member for Patea that it was a black job, he said he would furnish him with an example of a blacker one, in which that hon. member had attempted to acquire a block of Native land at. half its land tax value, in proof of which he could produce official documents. Replying to Mr M‘Lean, he said if the member for Napier desired that place to progress he should advocate the cutting up the lar<*e estates in Hawke’s Bay, which impeded its prosperity, Mr Richardson, who sit immediately!

behind the Leader of the Opposition, 1 denounced the Government’s land administration as a complete failure, as shown by- the number of forfeitures and dummies acknowledged in the Sur-veyor-General’s report. He was opposed to co-operative settlement, as returning much less than the real value of the laud. He prophesied that in twenty years the Pomahaka blook would be a wilderness. He accused the Government of keeping a confused method of accounts, and transferring loan money to ordinary revenue. He did not think that the Bushy Park Estate was sold below its value, but the transaction itself was objectionable. As to finance, he declared that he would prefer a small deficiency without borrowing than surpluses accompanied every year with a million loan. Tho speech of the member for Mataura was temperate in tone, and his facts well marshalled. Mr Duncan said that the Government had not given sufficient encouragement to the goldfields, and referred to the necessity for a further Public Works loan—(Mr Meredith : We want a million for Canterbury)—and a 'million is wanted for tho Auckland-Gisborne light railway and another million for Marlborough. In the course of his speech the member for Oamaru accused Mr Richardson, when a member of the Atkinson Ministry, of acting in collusion with the Hon. Robert Campbell to sell the lease of the Otekaike runs at a lower upset price than its real value.—(Mr Richardson frequently interrupted the speaker, interjecting ; “ The hon. gentleman is making statements which are false within his own knowledge.”) MrDuacanwasproceediog when the member for Mataura rose for the second time to a point of order, hut was overruled by the Speaker. At a further stage of Mr Duncan’s speech {he interjected repeatedly “That is untrue,” and was called upon to withdraw the remark.—At the conclusion of Mr Duncan’s speech Mr Richardson and Mr Scobie Mackenzie mads a personal explanation. Mr Houston hoped that the Government would continue the San Francisco mail service, which had been most successful. The Government had. never given adequate encouragement to the kauri gum industry, which employed a large number of men who would otherwise be idle. The local boards in the North would soon have to levy a special rate for charitable aid instead of for making roads.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971007.2.45

Bibliographic details

ADDRESS-IN-REPLY DEBATE., Evening Star, Issue 10439, 7 October 1897

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1,791

ADDRESS-IN-REPLY DEBATE. Evening Star, Issue 10439, 7 October 1897

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