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RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT

• AND PARTY POLITICS. TARANAKI MEMBER RENEGES. {From Our Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON. October 24. The first business before the House yes♦euiay afternoon war; the Railways Im- { movement Authorisation Bill, whi4b pracicaliy proposes to give effect to the report ef the new General Manager of Railways, When the Bill came down by Governor's Message some days ago it .was made the ftnbjecl of a "onciderable amount of criticism, and it was the second-reading stage fidy that was reached yesterday afternoon. The Minister of Railways sa-id the report *f the General Manager was entirely uninfluenced by the Government, and it was •etonibhing to find, how completely Mr Jliley had come to appieciate the requirements of tho Dominion. General .Man- ; ftgers had for years been agreed that big works were neoessaiy at the ditfeieul ter- j mini, and in this respect he expiessed re- , frat that the parochial spirit had crept | anto the considei-atir-n *.t the subject by | members that was on dictated by Minis- I tens. There was no sagged ion that one j fart of the country should have- more fpeut on it than another. The North Is- | Jiaiid. however, had gone a heml in the i wav of traffic, and its station requirements find not kept pact- with the increase of traffic. He object's! to the suggesi ion that there was a Hill ior expenditure in the titles and not in the country. Il he hud liked he could have provided for a- large j «xpenditure in country districts, hut if he |ud done that he would have twit accused of electioneering, besides which it must be borne in mind that, it was no having feohr lines nnie».> they provided facilities •t the terminal ports. He was satisfied that it the money required to cany out the jnopo-als in the Bill could lie borrowed §nd the scheme put into effect there would be a considerable diminution in the mtio between expenditure and revenue. The requirements of the country memheis would lie looked after, lie added, under the heading of ‘‘additions to open lines," The Government, wanted to put as mmh money possible into goods sheds and yards and (ccomrnodation for the -ettlers’ produce. | but expert* generally agreed that unless 1 additional accommodation was provided at. | Hie terminal ports the fanners' produce j would suffer and the traffic he i.ingested. : The Minister went on lo ,-ay that he he- j Sieved tho Government would lose mote j woes by this policy than they icon Id 1 train: hut. supposing the money was not hill rowed, the need would go on increasing. Jr was suggested that the Bill could he held over, but his view wa- that it would he criminal on the part of the Government if they failed to put before Parliament the scheme that was evolved by tie- Go- i Yeimncnt from Mr Hiley's report. He ■pc in tod out also that one value of the General Manager's leport. was that it Would save a considerable amount by entiling out proponed expenditure, which had S'lt been dii fated by full consideration of the possibilities. It wa.- no good tinkering with the cichene'. It should be placed fcetote the conntiy it; its entirety, and the country should he told that if it was not j canted into effect non it would cost. | double the amount five, years hence. As to j making locomotives in the Dominion, he j was assured that sufficient ton'd not he j made in the Dominion with the present j plant, but the present plant was to he in- J 4 reused. There was not room at Petone. j hut there was room at Newmarket, and 1 1 hat was where the work would be done. The need for new engines was a “ ctyiug" one. and if the workshops were equipped a great deal of time would be saved. But that equipment could only be carried out in something like eighteen months, and the proposal was to import engines from abroad so as to till in the interval. He added that next session the Government proposed to bring in a Bill In u-orgauisc the general staff'. Sir Joseph Ward said he accepted the Minister's as.mrame that the General Manager's report was not influenced by the Government. But that was no reason why Ihe Government should have brought in a, "Bill practically adopting the whole of the report. He went on to point out that already tho country’ was being commit ted to * huge amount of borrowing, including Railway .Improvements, £5,200.000; Public Works, £S.COO.CCO: War Loan. £2.000,000; State Advances to Settlers, j £I.SCO.CCO; Advances to Workers. | £750.000: Local Authorities, £1.000,000; | Lauds fur Settlement, £500.000. The : total, he added, was £12,425,000. and yet i the Minister of Finance had been forced to j confess to the House that he could not | complete the conversion of a- loan of some- 1 tiling over thiee millions. He. deprecated the idea that any- member's return to the 1 House should depend on the slightest degree on the fact of whether or not lie obtained a new railway station in his district. Surely the loaves and fishes were not to be tho incentive to men debauching their political positions. If he was in power at the present moment be would no more dream of doing what the Government proposed than he would of trying to jump t;ver the moon. What he wanted to know from the Government members was this ; What would they think if they were in Opposition and tho Government proposed to increase the amount of the country's leans in one jumping over £12.000,000? Mr Myers said he was heartily in accord with Mr Hiley's recommendations, mid it was gratifying to find that ho had vindicated his importation. It was also, lie added (and he spoke ns an ex-Ministcr «>f Railways;, gratifying to read what Mr Hiley had to say about the work that had been done by past Administrations. He went, on to contend that the proper way to have dealt with Mi' Hiley's report was hy resolution, and not in the form of a Hill, of which it could be said that it was brought iii foe electioneering purposes. He agreed that until up-to-date railway buildings were established at Auckland. Wellington, and Christchurch they could not handle tho traffic with due regard to ♦rticicncy and economy: hut his contention was that the Bill had been brought in merely for electioneering purposes, and not with any desire to carry out a distinct policy of raihvav development. He went tut to say that his idea ot railway development was tho first means of communication foe those who do not enjoy it at present. As to the Bill itself, the Government had out-hcnxled Herod in regard to its plunging policy and its increase, of expenditure. He went on to contend that. In the light of correspondence, he had received. Messrs Price Brothers could have expedited ihe construction of engines if they had been offered sufficient inducement. and that thece would then have been no necessity to go outside, the Dominion for engines. The placing of an wider for 20 locomotive.-, would have been very acceptable at the present moment. He repeated that he could only regard the introduction of a Bill authorising tho Government to borrow £5.200X00 as a measure designed solely for political purposes. “Before the present Government came into office," said Mr Payne, “we heard a lot about the requirements of the backUncks settlers. Since the Government go; into office I have listened for any reference to the ba-ckblocks settler, and 1 have listened in vain." At the end of his remarks he characterised the proposals in the Bill as “ a splash of political borrowing unparalleled in the histurv of the Dominion." " 1 would vote, against the £3,200,000 Joan like a shot.’ 1 .said Sir Joseph Ward, Interrupting some remarks by Mr Wilkinson.

Mr Mine said h-.- proposed. when in committee', to move to reduce the amount to be boTro'.vpd. Hjs election pledges were dearer to iiirn than the fate of the Coverninent,

Sir Joseph Ward : That's the sort of man 1 like to hear. Mr Bine went on to say that he con{idered the proposals in the Bill were far n excess of the requirements of the country. There had been no congestion of traffic at the termini, which, with a little expenditure, could keep the business of the country going for many years to come. Hla proposal was to reduce tho loan to £1,270,000. As the Reform party had been returned on a policy which included reduction of borrowing, he thought he was perfectly justified in waking such a •reposal. The Government would have •MB. better.advised if t,hcy had This

proposal over for another year or two.. He was sorry to say that lie could not support the Government in their present proposals. Mr Russell said he did not think that the average member of the House would attach much significance to the remarks made by Mr Mine, 'those who knew the hon. member were only smiling, and they could only imagine what would happen when the" lion, member turned up at the next Caucns. He went on to frankly inform Mr flme that ho could not face both ways —he had either to support tho Government or go against them, but he could not tk> both.' Thu speaker proceeded to point, out now the Government's borrowing proposals were distinctly at variance with their professions before into office, and he declared that, tniifus a war Joan of £2.000,000, the Government proposed to commit the country to a borrowing policy of £11,425.000. Mas that the policy on which, the Government hud I secured their support? It was evident in this respect lint the present Prime Minister was going a. long way further than any of liis predecessors. He alleged that the proposals m the Bill, went far beyond the necessities of the country. The Prime Minister contended that the. development polii-v of the railways was tar belter carried out by a Bill than by regulations. There were many places in which development was required. '1 ho Wellington station was a disgrace not only to the eitv, hut to the Dominion. Auckland was very little beticv. The proposal was to expend £45.000 on the new railway station ai Auckland. £45,000 on Ihe ne-w raiJway station at Wellington, and £30.000 on tin* new railway station at Christchurch. • and he contended that it was necessary for the Government Lo go on with the scheme as soon as they could raise the money. He. was greatly in favor of increasing the rolling stock, but he was of opinion that in the past the rolling stock had not been kept up in proportion to the business of the country. If the workshops had been kept up to date they would not now have been short ot rolling stock. 31 r .Massey went at length into the reason for sending orders for locomotives outside lire country, and he argued, that the. reason fur such a course was because sufficient foresight had not been shown five rears ago. The Government had not the slightest intention of borrowing the whole of "the money under the Bill in any one vear. This year the amount- to be bur jnned would probably not be more than £IOO 000, ami the remainder of tho exTicmlitnre would bo at the rate of about £640X00 a vear.

Mr Wilford contended that the policy of the Government, was to spend money on land ooupied by wealthy people, and in make the people, pay for the work when the land was occupied by small holders. He said that the deadlock in regard to the supplv of locomotives was due to tho ineptitude of the Government during the past, two rears. The business had been allowed to drift, and it was absurd to sng‘Tcst that reform could he brought about bv a few clauses ol a Bill which was purely an electioneering measure. The Minister, in reply, said that whatever programme Mr Myers, when .Minister cf Railways, laid down, more engines had been built in tho Dominion during tlm past two rears than during the reign of the continuous Ministry. The most urgent matter faring him when he took office was that of staff wages and conditions. In that important matter the department was not allowed to drift, and in regard to roiiiue stork a great deal had been done. TluT second reading was carried by 30 votes to 17. Following is the division list: _.\ves. Mcs.-rs R. F. Bollard. Bradney, Ganipbtll. Davey. Dickson, Escott, Fisher, Fraser, Glover. 'Guthrie, Harris. Herdman, Herrics, Hunter. .Malcolm. Massey, .Myers, Dr Newman, Nosworthy. Okey, Pearce, R. jl. Rhodes. T. W. Rhodes, Scott. F. H. Smith. Statharn, Sykes. Wilkinson, Wil-

Noe?.- Messrs Carroll, Coates. Ell. Him?. MX'allum. .Mac Donald, Ngata, Payne, To Rangiliinuu Robertson. Russell, Scddon, J, C. Thomson, Ward. Mehh, Milford, Wilt v.

Pairs. —Axes; Messrs Allen. Newman, Buick. G. 'M. Thomson, Uraigie, Lee, Hinclmarsh. Mamler. Buchanan. Noes; Messrs M'Kenzie. R. W. Smith. Yeitch, ■Sidey. Atrnore, Colvin, Forbes, Parata, Buxton.

The Bill was put through enmmittee without amendment, and read a- third time without discussion.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141024.2.82

Bibliographic details

RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT, Issue 15632, 24 October 1914

Word Count
2,198

RAILWAY DEVELOPMENT Issue 15632, 24 October 1914

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