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POLITICAL GOSSIP.

[From Odr ParLiamen*aby Reporter.]

WELLINGTON, October 30. A Big Difference. The Minister of Lands, referring to the Premier's connection with the Anglo-Conti-nental Company, charged Mr James Allen and Mr Buchanan with being contractors to the State, and the member for Hawke's Bay with being a director of a land company. He declared that if" the Government were to ferret out the private business affaiiß of Opposition members some strange revelations would be the result. Present ana Past land Administration. The Hon. J. M'Kenzie defended his land administration at some length, and dontreated the large purchases of the Government, with those of their predecessors. Mr Richardson, in explanation, said that when he retired from office he left a large number of small areas the purchase of which was not completed,: but the present Minister of Lands held them over for some time in order to show large results. :

Party Before Principle.

Mr Massey followed the Minister of Lands. Referring to the vote of the Left Wing, he said that they had to choose between their party and their principles, and it must be admitted that they had acted wifely. He said that the connection of the Government with private syndicates differed from that of members, because the Government had power to allow their departments to be misused, which power members did not possess. He said that the Government were ho longer Liberals, but. a despotism. The handwriting on the wall was visible, and soon the government of the country.would be taken from them and given to those who have the confidence of the country.

Mr Seddon replies. The Premier, in his reply, expressed regret that it should for a moment have been insinuated that hj« would for paltry pelf sell the people of this Country, who had honored him eo long with their confidence. When they heard his explanation regarding his connection with the Anglo-Continental Syndicate the Opposition would go down on their knees and ask forgiveness. The company, was not a foreign syndicate, and there was not the slightest proof that he reoeived any fee or salary from the company, or even that he belonged to it. His position in the company was merely that of a member of the local Advisory Board, appointed to act in case of any dispute between the , local management and ; the Board in London. Concerning the charge made by Mr A. G. Begg, that Ministers had caused him to lose his position as representative of the English company in the colony, this he absolutely denied, stating that he hoped to God that so long as his party represented the country they would never descend to injuring their opponents in private life merely because they were their opponents. He would leave that to the other side. Referring to the expenses of hjs trip to London, he said that he had not charged one penny more than was necessary, and.he would rather pay the money out of his own pocket than have the House haggle over the matter. The Estimates. The House then went into Supply on the Estimates. Thrown Overboard.

As I anticipated yesterday, the Left Wing have been thrown overboard by the Government, and the Minister of Lands, who performed the task, did it in his customairy vigorous style. It was during his speech on the Financial Debate last evening that the Hon. Mr M'Kenzie carried out his. evidently congenial task. He said that they (the Left Wing) had gone over to the Opposition on the previous evening, and he wished the Opposition joy of them. If ever the Leader of ihe Opposition got on to the Ministerial benches, if he had to depend for it upon such votes as were given by the Lett Wing, he (the Minister) .would" not envy him. Nothing had given the Government greater pleasure than that these gentlemen had left the Ministerial party arid gone over to the other side of the House. For his own part he had not been at all disappointed in otner y leaving the Liberal party.. Hewa3a born Tory, and was bound to_go to the other side as soon as he could. He (Mr Montgomery) was there now, and he (the Minister) hopel that he would remain there, for certainly he was not much good to the Government. What was the position of the Liberal party since the division on the previous evening? It had left the Liberal party with a good fighting majority, cleansed of all impurities, and he felt confident that the party, during the rest of the'session, would record better work than would have been done if the Lsft Wing had still remained with them.

Snubbed. The members of the Left Wing are evidently to receive curt treatment at the hands of Ministers. On_ Mr G. J. Smith asking yesterday, without notice, whether legislation to amend the Disqualification Act was to be introduced, as suggested by the Privileges Committee, the Premier said that if the hon. gentleman would put hisquestion on the Order Paper it would be answered. Recovery or Small Debts. As mentioned yesterday, the report of the Statutes Revisions Committee on the Debts Recovery Limitation Bill, which just scraped through its second reading on the casting vote of the Speaker, recommended that the Bill should not be proceeded with. When the report was presented to the Legislative Council yesterday the Minister of Education moved—" That the Bill be committed next', sitting day." The Hon. W. C. Walker; urged that if the Statutes Revision Committee had power to kill a Bill, the Counoil should consider whether the powers of that; body should not be altered. On a division the motion was carried by 14 to 10. The measure will thus probably die a lingering death in committee, or will emerge with its chief limbs amputated. A Jokelef. Mr G. J. Smith raised a laugh in the House yesterday afternoon by giving notice of his intention to ask—" Whether, in view of the unreasonable haste with which, the business of the House is being conducted, the Premier will move the adjournment of the House for one week to enable members to recover their energies and study the Bills: now on the Order Paper ?" . The Yi'nnt.of.Conndence Motion. It is generally admitted that the proposition coutained in the Hon. Mr Rolleston's amendment was largely in accord with the known views of many- members of the Government party, so that had they been true to their principles they must have accepted it. There wlis considerable grumbling among the Premier's followers at his accepting the gaer e of battle and making it one of no-oonfidence, but with the exception of the four members of the Left Wing all the remainder were obedient to the party whip. Had members been free to vote according to their feelings the amendment would undoubtedly have been carried. The Premier seemed to feel keenly the whole business, and after Mr T. E.Taylor's attack on Thursday night it is said that Mr Seddon hotly declared in the lobbies that had he known what he would have to put up with he would never have : brought his family back to the colony. Out of the Way at Last. After occupying the House for a fortnight the Financial Debate has at last "run its course. It was resumed yesterday afternoon by Mr Roddy M'Kenzie, who de-> scribed the Budget as the best and ablest that had been presented to the House for many years. He denied that the Opposition had proved a single charge of bribery' and corruption on the part of the Government, and defended the position of Minis ters on foreign syndicates.—Referring to the purchase of theOtahu Estate, Mr J. W. Kelly said that on making fuller inquiry his previous statement had been borne out. He made a strong appeal to the Government to give favorable consideration to the case of Mr J. J. Meikle, and to award him a free pardon in addition to paying the compensation recommended by the Petitions Committee.— Mr Heke, who followed, urged that there should be a reservation of all Native lands still in the possession of the Native race, and critioised at length the Native lands policy and administration of the Government.—Mr Meredith was the fourth speaker during the afternoon. Ha.claimed that the colony was never more at the prwo*J

M me " ? e did n °t give the' Government all the credit for this; it was largely due to the energy, the tact, the perseverance, and the self-reliance of the people of New Zealand. He expressed bia approval of the Government policy.—The Minister of Lands arid the Premier were the principal speakers at the evening sitting. -':

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971030.2.40.13

Bibliographic details

POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 10458, 30 October 1897, Supplement

Word Count
1,445

POLITICAL GOSSIP. Issue 10458, 30 October 1897, Supplement

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