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POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 10468, 11 November 1897
[From Our Parliamentary Reporter,] WELLINGTON, November !!. A Horrible Practice* . I Q moving in the Council, that “in the interest of the public health it was necessary that the Minister of Agriculture should issue instiuctioas to all inspectors of atouk ■to immediately biaud animals that, the inspectors are of opinion are infected withtuberculosia or any other disease, the brand to be the word ‘condemned’ in eligible letters, placed in a position that readily • meets the eye,” the Hon. W. Jennings saidhe knew of cases where animals condemned by the inspectors had, afterwards been sold. The Hon. W. C. Walker said that when animals were; condemned by the inspectors they were supposed ,to r be destroyed forthwith,. Mr Jennings said this was not so in ,Stratford. There was a recent case where condemned animals had : been smuggled away and sold. This brought a promise from the Minister of iuqniries-with a view to remedial measurea-df-lt’ was, instated. . ;::S ' J •s Taylor’s Manhood. Mr Taylor: I refused to attend the caucus of the party.—Mr Hogg : You-were not invited.—Mr Taylor; No.—Mr Hogg: And' never will be again.—Mr Taylor ;No y -and I never will be again. At the only canons lattended this session my soul siokened at the ’ slavery they tried to impose upon me. lam not built for slavery. I want to go back ■ to my family and feel that I have keptmy manhood intact.—(Laughter.) ' Upper House Proceedings. The Council yesterday put the Patents, Designs, and; Trade Marks Act Amendment Bill through its final stages. The Mining Companies Acta Amendment Bill was committed, and the amendments proposed by . the Goldfields and Mines Committee were inserted in the Bill, after which it was reported as amended. The Auditor-General. A mysterious query put on the last quarter’s public accounts by the Auditor-General is fully explained by the correspondence laid on the table of the Legislative Council today by the Speaker in compliance with-a request of the Auditor-General, who asks that this course be taken in order to remove any misconception likely to be created by the answer of the Minister of Education to the question put by the Hon. Mr Stevens the other day. The correspondence is remarkable for the strong position taken up by Mr - Warbnrton as to the duty of the Ministry towards the-Audit Office; and no one can read it without feeling that the Government have undertaken a serious responsibility in - practically refusing to enforce compliance with a reasonable request, cour* teously made, and logically proved to be necessary to a complete audit of the public accounts. It appears that Mr Warden Stratford neglected to comply with the instruction contained in a circular issued by the Mines Department to oertity to certain returns of mining revenue, and then refused to remedy his neglect on the ground that he had no statutory obligation placed upon him to do so. The Audit Office made several attempts to get the department to enforce its instruction to the Warden, but without avail. Despairing of • effecting the object in view, the AuditorGeneral intimates his intention of qualifying his approval of the public accounts, and his summing up of the position is of a very comprehensive and remarkably interesting character. Sticking to Work. In consequence of the state of parties and tlm difficulty of getting any progress with legislation the Premier has decided to abandon his intended visit to Christchurch. The Hon. Mr Walker will represent the Ministry at the Metropolitan Show there to-morrow. The Premier’s Expenses. I have*already wired you particulars of the debate on the celebrated Hobart and Jubilee trips, but it is not so easy to describe the scone that occurred yesterday morning, which was probably the most humiliating the Premier was ever called on to pass through. There had been no real"’ stonewalling through the night, bat the Government caucus held on Tuesday forenoon had revealed the fact that Mr Seddon had got his party to agree to push through the Estimates of the Colonial Secretary’s Department (which con tained his expenditure on the two trips) at one sitting, no matter how long it should be, and the Opposition were determined that every item should receive attention in thq ordinary course. The question of Mr Seddon’s expenditure came up on Wednesday forenoon after an all-night’s sitting. Breakfast over, the senior member for Dunedin. asked -where Mr Seddon was, declaring that he did not care to discuss the items in bis absenee. The Minister for Lands replied -that the Premier had been advised that good taste demanded he should not be present at the discussion. The Opposition were not slow to see that the result of this was that they were to have no information as to how money for the Hobart Conference—for that came first—was ex* pended. Constant demands were thereafter made for information, and not a word was given. Later on, the Minister of Lands declared that he would furnish no information. Then the Opposition and the Left Wing together made it plain that the Eatimates would not go through till the information was supplied. The leading members of the Opposition said that lor the colony’s sake they were desirous of sup* parting the vote if only the Premier would give them reasonable justification for it. Ministers showed no signs of giving way. They had evidently received instruotions not to do so. But the determination displayed by the Opposition began to tell on the Government supporters. They evidently saw that when it came to a vote (for at this time Mr Smith’s proposed reduction of the Hobart trip to £3OO was on) they would be placed in a most invidious and indefensible position. Signs of wavering were seen all along the line, and members went in and out consulting the Premier. Finally the Minister of Lands got up and rather clumsily said, amid cries of derision, that as he understood the Opposition did not want details of the expenditure he would advise the Premier to give the general heads of it. There was a pause in the House when the Hon. John retiredone of those stillnesses that always accompany the expectation of a scene. Then the Premier was led into the House with an air I had never before seen on him. He evidently felt his position keenly, and made a not very successful attempt to explain. If he had only known what was wanted he would have supplied the information. He spoke in a very slow and hesitating style, with all signs of extreme discomfort. One strong point he seized hold of was the remark made by Mr Taylor that he had banked a large portion of the money, and the member for Christchurch, who had previously been attacked over the remark, withdrew it. Tne Government party evidently wanted to make out that the Premier’s explanation was satisfactory; but the demonstration was quite evidently forced and unreal. Then came the adjournmeat for lunch. Afterwards precisely the same scene occurred over the Jubilee trip. The Premier, now thoroughly crestfallen, came in in the same style to explain his expenditure. When he gave it at £79Q for fares and passages there was a very audible ejaculation from some quarters of the House. He was more subdued and hesitating than before, but there seemed to be rather a feeling of pity among members of the Opposition. A long pause enq ued after ho had done, lb seemed as if no one was disposed to say anything. Then Mr Scobie Mackenzie rose and said that as he had not spoken on these items in the absence of the Premier ho would now say a word. The scene had been most humiliating, bnfc not to the House, which had only done its duty in demanding the information as to the expenditure. The Premier had been most viciously and unwarrantably extravagant, but he (Mr Mackenzie) had been faimseU desirous of voting it if at all possible, for he felt that the Premier himself was not solely to blame. The colony, which for years past.. had sent to Parliament an overwhelming majority to obey the will of the Premier, mast take a large share of the blame. The Premier had been encouraged to believe that he could do what he chose, and this was the result. The colony had cried out for Liberalism and had got it, and it most |iay
for it. As that remark died away the scene was over and the House proceeded to work. Spell Ob! On the Council rising to-day it adjourned till Wednesday. A large number of members of both branches of the Legislature leave for Christchurch this afternoon.
POLITICAL GOSSIP., Issue 10468, 11 November 1897
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