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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 10461, 3 November 1897
•.;''......;.,. . <.;'";, . . .. [From Odr Parmajwentarx Reporter.] ;.-.: WELLINGTON,-November 3. ' Xniid'aiiU-liicoiric.Thx'i -'-' ;The;cbusolidaUng.. and amending Bill brought In "by., the Government under the title of the Land and Income Assessment Bill proposes ; to repeal the.five measures passed under the Bame titles since 1891. It consists of ninety clauses* most'-of which are reproductions from existing Acts. Among the new provisions is one declaring that payments made by a husband to a wife or by a wife to a husband shall not be deducted from the amount of income. Power is given to the Governor-in-Council to make provision for the assessment and taxation of taxpayers absent from or not permanently resident in New Zealand, whether or not they are represented by agents here. The Public-Accounts. Probably for the first time in the history pt the colony a qualified approval only of the public accounts has been given by the' Auditor-General. The certificate published in last week's 'Gazette' is as follows : " The foregoing accounts have been examined and found correct, except as regards •the Customs,' 'railways,' and 'territorial revenue' receipts, which are not now examined by the Audit Office; but as regards the receipts of gold revenue, the Audit Office is unable to .satisfactorily verify them through.the failure of the Mineß Department to comply with a requisition for a certified statement of the amounts collectable as such revenue.—J. K. Wakburton, Controller and Auditor-General." Vancouver v. 'Frisco. A leading Auckland member yesterday received a cable message from a London shipping firm (presumably Huddart-Parkor), asking if the Auckland members as a body would support the Vancouver mail service on condition that Auckland is made the port of call instead of Wellington. A reply has been sent that the Auckland members are in favor of the San Francisco service, which has served the colony well. The Auckland members apparently fear that if thev gave united support to the Hnddart-Parker service the port of call mighfc be changed to Wellington again in a year or two. Pushing on the Estimates. Following the precedent set by Sir H. Atkinson in 1887, there will be a sitting of the House on the Prince of Wales's Birthday. As the Standing Orders permit of Supply being gone into on Tuesday without debate Mr Seddon is averse to losing that opportunity, especially as with a thin House, owing to the absence of several members at Christchurch, he hopes to nuke satisfactory progress with the Eitimatcs. ItntlgorfiiK Ministers. Throughout last night's long sitting Mr Seddon was badly badgered, and the tactics he was so fond of adopting when in Opposition, himself were used with effect against him. It is safe to say the Hons. Hall Jones and T. Thompson will have a really bad time when their departmental Estimates come under review. Cknritnble Al<l. The Premier, in answer to a question by Mr Taylor, told the House yesterday that the present system of charitable aid was most defective,'and that some ohange must take place. He was also of opinion tha,t if the management of charitable aid were left more in the hands of the people and not in the hands of a few and those who represent the few, as was the case now, they would have it managed more satisfactorily. In the Lpsal Government measure he was tnkrging the franchise, and if this- measure did not get through this session he thought the House, before proroguing, ought to pass legislation enlarging the franchise. Protecting the Voter. The abuses proved in connection with the General Election here were used in the House by MrTaylor yesterday to point to the necessity for amending the Eleotoral Act so as to providefor the better conduct of future eleotiouF. He (Mr Taylor) said that there had been complaints in the Press throughout the .whole colony about irregularities which took place about the entrance of various polling booths. His object wa3 to see whether the Government were inclined to regulate or to say that the distribution of printed matter near polling booths should beprevented. The law should be amended so that people should not be interfered with in any way on their way to the polling booth.—The Premier said it was the intention of the Government, if not this session, at all events next session, to deal with the whole electoral question. In the first place, it was necessary to make some alteration in the law regarding striking off the-rolls. In Dunedin, for instance, there were about Bix thousand people whose names had been struck off since the General Election and who werediEfranchi: e'. The registrars, apparently, did not read the Act correctly, and great injustice was done. Regarding the question raised by MrTaylor, they .ought to make the law very Btrict, and the distribution of papers containing candidates' names, etc., at booths should be stopped. It waa confusing to the electors. Now that they had woman electors, crowding round the polling booths should not be allowed to continue. That the women could not vote without being huatled was most reprehensible. Savings Banks' Kntc of Interest. The intention of the Government regarding the reduction of interest on post office savings bank depoeits was ascertained in the House yesterday by Mr Crowther, who asked if <it were true that from the present month interest to be paid on sums ranging from £2OO to £SOO will be at the rate of only 2J per cent.—The Premier, replying, said that there was a large sum of money in the post office for which they had no investment. The Australian banks doing business in New Zealand had some months ago brought the rate of interest down to the sum proposed. If he raisedthe rates of interest above that given by the banks it prevented monevs from being invested in industries and encouraging settlement, and would otherwise militate against the colony. The real reason for the reduction, however, was that such a large sum of money was on hand in the post office that tbey'.co'uld only get for their investments fully 1 per cent, less than they received before. He was watching the matter very carefully, and if he found that there was any indication of money rising in price ho 'would act accordingly. He Would like to give the poor of the country the highest rates of interest possible.—Mr Buchanan: Could riot the hon. gentleman have used some other word than "poor"?—Mr Seddon: Very well; say the thrifty; . V A Naturalised Chinaman j Fook On, having gone to China and married a Chinese woman,- is petitioning the House for relief, as, notwithstanding the *fact ; that his 'solicitor's had advised him that his wife would be entitled to the statuß of a'British subject, the Commissioner of Customs' has inflicted the poll tax of £IOO on her under the 1896 statute on the subject. >■ The legislative Officers. In 1893 the Houße, by a bare majority, decided to remove from the hands of Mr Speaker the control of the parliamentary officers and to place them in the hands of the Government of the day. That a mistake was then committed has been made patent session after session since when the Eslimates have been under consideration, but no opportunity could be found for reviewing the decision then come to. Last evening, however, the Premier promised to give the House another chance before the session
closed of . expressing its 'opinion oil the matter. The-resulb is ~s- foregone Conclusion. ;_■ : : .".'-~'. •;: " ; Measures Not Jlcn. . Answering the repeated "insinuation that he had deserted the party'which he had been returned pledged to support, Mr T. E. Taylor last night declared that he was returned pledged ' to support legislative measures and hot men. There was not one of his constituents who did not know his true opinions about the men. who occupied" the Treasury benches. " - - ■."-.. • Jottings. ;'■•■"•'..■■" ; " A clergyman of a certain church boasted a short time ago that he; hacj .received: thirty-two for members of'hiß church from the Government during the past four years," remarked Mr T. Taylor last evening. "Wilt you give ; me the jname of that clergyman?'' asked the.Premier.; while an hon. member interjected : " Was it -MrIsitt ?" ■■" It was not Mr Isitt,"- replied Mr. Taylor, but he would not give the- name of clergyman to "whom he referred. :; " That hollow, empty laugh of the member for Wellington."— The Premier. "It puts you out," retorted Sir R. Stout, "The sins of the 'son (the Rev. Father Lynch) are being visited oh the parent."— Thus the Premier oa the objection to the appointment of the chief messenger. "I am sorry the question of creed has been dragged into this discussion concerning the chief messenger," said Mr Crowther. " The J creed I heard that the officer in question professed, was a real good West Coast publican's and a real good Liberal, who always obeys orders without the slightest doubt." "■■ ~ Rating on unimproved values is, in the opinion of the Premier, likely to be ..unanimously adopted by the different local bodies. The £SOO fine inflicted on the president tf the Bank of New Zealand in the session of 1895i8 in the Consolidated Fund, and the Premier siys it will go to swell next year's surplus. Mr Taylor wants Sunday'trading by shopkeepers punished in the same manner as a breach of the Half - holiday Act. The Premier is favorable to this.; Free Inw.'. . ■ ..'■ The Premier, in answer* to Mr Fisher, who asked whether the Government wouldbe prepared to introduce legislation on the lines of the French system, providing for a free law department for the assistance, of the poor, said that the matter would be considered by the Cabinet. He was, however, of opinion that in all large centres Grown solicitor should be appointed, who would do nothing but Government business. The j amount paid last year by the Government for legal services waß startlihgly large. Colonel Penton's Keport. The Minister of Defence promised that the defenca and volunteer report would be in the hands of members in the course of a day or two.' The Tasmania's Mails. The Postmaster - General informed Mr Pirani that no further attempt will be made to recover the mails lost in tho Tasmania wreck. The postal authorities did not consider the use of waterproof mail bags practicable.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 10461, 3 November 1897
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