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THE ESTIMATES.

ANOTHER ALL-NIGHT SITTING,

[Fbom Odb Parliamentary RbportbrT - WELLINGTON, November 13' The Estimates having been reached shortly before midnight, Mr Kelly respectfully asked the Premier how far .he intended to go with them. Mr Seddon said he intended to be reason* able.

Aa members frequently differ with the Premier as to what is reasonable or not, the member for Inyercargill pressed for an answer as to the number of classes it was intended to pass. The.Premier thereupon rose.and angrily said that he was not going to be diotated to as to what business he should do, to which Mr Kelly retorted that he *was not going to be intimidated, and that-the Premier would do well to answer a civil question civilly. ,-,..-■ ..f. Mr Seddon took this as a threat,. and resented it with hot words.

The member for Inyercargill, nothing daunted, returned to the attack, and told 1 the Premier that if he tried browbeating with him he would find that he had " struck a snag." ~ After two or three other members bad rebuked Mr Seddon for not replying civilly to Mr Kelly'a question, business was proceeded with.

The class under consideration was the Post and Telegraph Department. At the vote for the San Francisco mail service, the Premier staved off discussion by stating that the House would have a full opportunity of discussing the question of the mail services next week, when a distinct resolution would be submitted to the House.

At this stage it was whispered that the Premier had considered it advisable to give way, and that he had consented to postpone the debatable classes—viz , the Police, the Defence, .and the Valuation Departments, and it was noticeable that the progress noW being made was much more rapid'than previously. The Post and Telegraph Department was finished after a brief discussion. The next class was that of Marine and Customs, in connection with which Mr G. Hutchison entered a protest against our new Governor having been charged duty on the wine that he had brought to the colony for Government House.

Mr J. Hutcheson brought up the question of appointing competent master mariners to superintend the shipping and discharge of seamen at the four chief ports of the colony; At the present' time, he said, work 'was being done by inexperienced and incompetent men.—The Premier said the matter would receive his attention when the Supplementary Estimates were under consideration.

Several members asked for particulars of the proposal of the Government with regard to the assistance .to be given to deepsea trawlers; The Minister said that the policy of the Government in this matter would be laid before the House in the form of a Bill later in the session.

Mr Allen thought that the vote of £BOO on the Estimates for grants to assist deepsea trawlers Bhould be struck out and placed in the Bill. He' moved to strike it out.— Mr Tanner suggested that it should be struck off and placed on the Supplementary Estimates.—The Premier said that the fishing grounds off the coasts of the colony were getting depleted, and it was necessary, in order to keep up the supply, to go in for deep-sea trawling, which had been success-; fully experimented with. He urged that the vote should be retained.

After the telegraph office closed the vote for trawlers was very strongly opposed. The Leader of the Opposition said it was : . currently stated in the lobbies that the vote was to benefit the member for Awarua.— Tne Premier denied the rumor.—Mr nach, Mr Meredith, and other supporters of the Government said they would have to oppose the vote at the present stage.—The Premier said ho wished to do the fair thing, and he moved to reduce the vote by £4OO, this to be conditional on the Bill passing. He appealed to Mr Allen to "withdraw his amendment, but Mr Allen did not see his way to do this. It was not the right thing to ask members to vote this money in the Premier at this stage said that, the opposition shown to the vote would justify him in departing from his agreementnot to touch certain classes that evening.—' Mr Waaon and-otherr said 'that the Premier could break hi 3 word if he chose, but he must accept the responsibility. At 4 55 a.m. a division was taken on Mr Allen's motion, which was negatived bv 23 to 18. ■

The Premier then moved to redecs the vote by one.half, as an indication that before the money could be spent the Bill on the subjeot should be passed. This was agreed to, Customs and Marine Department* were passed at 5 40 a.m., and the Stamp and Deeds Department after a very brief debate. Oa the Education Department being reached, Mr Gilfedder moved to reduce the item "£6OO salary of the InspectorGeneral" by £l.—This was lost on the voices. There was a brief debate upon the Native schools' vote and another upon the technical education vote.

At the item "Inspector of Asylums, £I,OOO (also £2OO for oharitable aid)," Mr -Millar expressed the opinion that this salary was too high, and he moved to reduce it by £2OO. He would like to see Dr MacGregor's powers as head of the charitable aid department extended.—The amendment was negatived by 23 to 9. At item " department of labor," Mr Millar suggested an increase of salaries to the inspectors of factories.—The Premier promised to bring the matter before his colleagues.

Coming to the next department, that of mines, exception was taken to the publication by the department of' the 'Mining Journal,' and Mr Allen moved toreduce one of the items by £1 as an indication that the publication should be ceased, but the amendment was not pressed, and the vote passed. It was now 7.30 a.m., and Mr Wason urged Ministers to adjourn. This request was refused and the Department of Agriculture taken.

The vote for a new poultry expert evoked a debate* during which the Minister explained that the appointment was only a temporary one—it was an experiment. .. At eight o'clock.Mr Massey, who was in charge of the; threatened to leave the Premier without a quorum if he persisted in prolonging the sitting. The Department of Agriculture then passed.

The Railways Department was next taken, In answer, to * question the Minister stated that our railway-officers were The worst paid of any in the whole of the colonies.

Mr Morrison moved to reduce the salary of the general manager (£800) by. £lO- as an indication that his salary should be increased by £2OO. t ■ ■ .. Members were now in a most demoralised the majority Of the Government supporters being in recumbent positions, and many fast asleep, and the only object of their presence was the necessity for keeping a quorum. The small clump of Opposition members presented a jaded appearance, but were as wide awake as possible under the circumstances, and active in their scrutiny of the votes under consideration. Again and again members demanded a respite, but the Premier refused.

Mr Sligo protested against protracted sittings. Mr Wason, in desperation, moved to report progress. Stragglers were called in from the lobbies, and the Government majority prevailed by 23 to 11. At 850 a.m. the House adjourned for breakfast. ""'.-.' : ..

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971113.2.35.26

Bibliographic details

THE ESTIMATES., Issue 10470, 13 November 1897, Supplement

Word Count
1,207

THE ESTIMATES. Issue 10470, 13 November 1897, Supplement

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