[From putt Parliamentary Reporter. ]
V ' ■’ .‘;:iWELLTNGTOISf,' November 1.": s> " The Estimates.-■ ■ -- ■ Leading Oppositionists say ;tbey re-.-. sist a large number ol items in the Estimates, consideration of which is likely' to. .occupy several days, and it is becoming increasingly apparent' that not much beneficial legislation will be passed this session. - r : ; ; i-. , Jfext Week’s' Business. '•‘; T ■ -The^Pretnier,. goes",,to' Christchurch oh Thursday week to attend the People’s Day at "the show, and to speak there. I under- ' stand that '■next week is to be taken up * mainly with answerfngquestibnsj which now' '" 1 loom large on the Order Paper, and with the consideration of minor, measures! ■ This wiU ' , enable a number of members; to payafiying ; ; visit to Christchurch. Considerable indig- ; nation is expressed in the lobbies over, the .proposal to sit on the Prince of Wales’s Birthday. : •' . Education Boards’ Elections. , ' For some considerable time dissatisfaction' - has been expressed in connection with, the , . ; mode of election of boards of education, and particularly with respect to the fact that , ■ , elections are not held simultaneously, many committees waiting to see how the cat jumps before casting their voces. The Edu-; cation -Boards’ Election Bill-of the Minister-: - - of Education provides for the elections being ;■ held annually thereafter on the fourth Mon-, day in May,. and in the; case of an extra- V s ordinary vacancy on the date fixed by the , Board, being not sooner then November 20 ■ -„/ or later than the thirty-fifth day afterthe vacancy occurs. Candidates must be nominated. by two-members of school committees ... at least fourteen days before the date , of-the, election. The poll is to close at ■5. p.m., and voting papers are to be immediately delivered at the office ’ of the Education Board, where they will be ; ‘. opened and examined five days after, the election, and the result announced. In the event of a tie the returning officer is to have . - a casting vote, and all disputed elections are ' r to be decided by the stipendiary magistrate. The members elected at the ordinary annual elections take office on the second Monday of June, and those who would retire-under ■■■■j the main Act on March 31 next are 1 to continue in office till the second Monday in . June. ’ Teachers’ Engagsments. ■ Provision is made by the Public School ’ ‘ Teachers’ Incorporation and Court of : Appeal Act Amendment Bill for the registration of the New Zealand Educational Insti- : tute. Clause 2 provides that a ■ teacher ": shall be deemed to be dismissed in any case where his-engagement is determined by notice from the Board, provided that such dismissal shall not be deemed to be wrongful if the Board satisfy the Court of Appeal under the Act of 1895 that the determination of the engagement was reasonable, having regard to any of the following circumstances : administration of the Board’s affairs; (2) the fitness of the teacher ; (3) his conduct; ,(4)__ any other special circumstances, irrespective of the Board’s mere legal right to determine the engagement by notice. The 'Opposition Growing. Thursday night’s division shows that the mana of the Government has largely departed, and that a process of disintegration has. set in. In the last Parliament the Opposition could not count more than some eighteen votes in a division, while on Thursday thirty-two members voted with them on a question which involved the fate of the Ministry. Great bitterness is felt by the Government party at the defection of the Left Wing, who are now stigmatised as “ rats.” That Ministers will outlive the present Parliament seems pretty well assured. The Liberal party will then have had nine years’ continuous office, and the country will probably .be ripe for a thorough change.
Sir Scddon’s Intentions. : The idea seems to be j>retty. generally.' entertained in Opposition circles that Mr Seddon will succeed Mr Beeves as Agent*. General: at the end of next year, and that failing health will be the pretext assigned for his going to England.' It is significant that on more than one occasion of late the Premier has said that it would have been in the true interest of hla family had he not come back to New Zea*' land, and he has made no secret of the fact that he could have obtained a much larger ■salary than he at present enjoys by joining the Ziman syndicate. Another Breach of Privilege. The : House is threatened with another breach of privilege on Tuesday. It seems that orders were given to withdraw the last number of ‘Hansard,’ in order that a portion of Mr Lewis’s speech on the financial debate might be excised, which accordingly hak been done. This had reference to an imaginary application from Mr Seddon to a certain shipping company for the position of adviser, and referring the company to the Anglo-Continental Syndicate for references as to his (Mr Seddou’s) fitness for the office. The Premier asked the senior member for Christchurch for permission to have the letter withdrawn from * Hansard,’ and as the whole thing was a pure joke Mr Lewis raised no objection to its erasion. The point is whether the Premier is justified in interferfering with ‘Hansard’ without the authority of the Reporting, Debates, and Printing Committee, and Mr Pirani threatens to raise a question of privilege over it.
The Premier’s Expenses. An angry debate over Mr Seddon’a expenses in London and Hobart is expected, but the probabilities are that the vote of £1,750 for the Jubilee trip will be passed. Captain Russell, Mr Rolleston, and other members of the Opposition, while holding that the amount asked is out of all proportion to the expenses of other Premiers, will not vote against the item, because, as Mr Seddon was sent Home to represent the colony, they consider it would be unseemly to refuse his personal expenses. The vote of £5lB for, the Premier’s trip to Hobart will, however, be more strongly resisted, members considering that the amount is Outrageously high for a month’s work. In connection with this, however, it must not be forgotten that, besides two private secretaries, the Premier was accompanied by the Collector of Customs. ■ Mr. Montgomery. It is said that Mr Montgomery so resents his treatment at the. hands of the Premier and the Minister of Lands that he is likely .to go permanent opposition. Both jeered at him on Friday night as the Tory member for Ellesmere, and in response to a good-humored interjection from Mr Montgomery the Premier angrily retorted : “Oh, you will have to wait till you are in opposition.” Mr Montgomery has always consistentlv supported the Government, except on Mr Ward’/S banking legislation and the seizure of the local bodies’ sinking fund, on both, of which questions he has .maintained that Ministers were decidedly wrong. The Post Office Deposits. Mr Kelly intended to move an amendment to the Budget expressing disapproval of the Government’s action in reducing the rdte of interest on deposits in the Post Office Savings Bank, but it was found that acoording to the rules of the House Supply could not . be intercepted by a second amendment after one had already been moved and rejected. The matter is, however, likely to be brought,up again later on. The Bogus letter. The privilege matter to which I made reference early to-day appears to be somewhat more serious than was at first anticipated. It is said that the Premier-went 'to Mr Lewis and told him that the Speaker had stated that it was most improper that a bogus letter should be published in ‘ Hansard,’ and had expressed a wish for its withdrawal. The member for Chriatdhuroh consented, but, on speaking to Sir Maurice O'Rotke later in the day, was assured that all the Speaker had said was that he had no objection to Mr Lewis being consulted as to whether he was agreeable to the bogus letter being excised. Meanwhile all ‘Hansards’ had Been called in, and the last page (containing the letter, in question) torn ont by Mr Seddon’s orders. : Mr Firani intepdstp bring Che Premier’s high-handed.action pp, as a matter of privilege.
Jottings. Members of school committees are to be electors in education board elections, and to exercise their individual votes instead of the committees’ vote as a whole counting.
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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Evening Star, Issue 10459, 1 November 1897