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Provincial Council.

NOTICE OF MOTION BY. MR. OLLIVIEK,

To move in the committee on the Pasturage Regulations—" That, in lieu of clause 36, to substitute as follows: Every holder of a pasturage license, during the term of his lease and at the expiration thereof iv the year 1870, shall have a preemptive right of purchase, to be exercised within one month, for all lands north of the river Ashburton, and within two months for lands south of that river, after he shall have received notice from the Board of Commissioners that any portion of his run has been applied for. But at the expiration of said lease in the year 1870, no renewed lease shall be granted, until the run has been inspected and reported upon under the direction of the Board of Commissioner?. If upon such inspection, it shall appear that the occupier has effected improvements thereon, either by planting trees, by laying dosvn artificial grasses, or fencing, he shall be deemed to be entitled to a renewal of his lease for a further term of 7 or 14 years, to be determined by the Commissioners; hut-if no improvements have been'effected, it shall be in the power of the said Commissioners to refuse to grant such renewal." Thursday, May 3. Present—all the members. Capt. Westenka as chairman of the house rose to announce to the house that he had received a portfolio of historical prints which he had been requested to present to the Council in the name of their much respected chaplain, the Rev. 0. Mathias. Mr. Hall said he should to-morrow move that the thanks of the house be given to the Rev. 0. Mathias for his very handsome present. Mr. Tancred's name was added to the committee on the Cattle Trespass Bill. The^House then went into committee, Mr. Fooks in the chair. CAPt. Westehka rose to renew his motion that the price of land be £3 an acre paid down. Mr. Beay supported the amendment. Mr. Dampiek was by no means prepared to throw himself on the tender mercies of the General Assembly. The amendment proposed a price of f£3 per acre, and no mistake. .They seemed nearly all agreed that there should he £3 an acre paid in some way or other, but not as the price of the land. The payment as proposed was that the price of land iii this Province was only worth that price by the roads which they had opened up. But if no public works are to be performed upon these Waste Lands Le would ask what would then be its price ? Was the House to commit itself to the payment of 15s. an acre to the New Zealand Company for the shingle beds and mountains of the Province? lands not worth ss. an acre, which would he the case if we fixed the arbitrary price at £3? The idea was altogether Quixotic. He would give the Company and the General Government all they were fairly and justfy entitled to and no more. He should vote against the amendment, Cap. Simeon called upon the Government to state what course they intended to pursue. Mr. Hall said the hon. gentleman had really no right to ask the question at that stage of the debate, but if it was the desire of the house he had no objection to inform them that they still persisted in thinking their Rate Bill the best and the most'easily worked. If, however, the House came to a different opinion, they did not think the measure of the hon. gentleman impracticable. Capt. Simeon said the house was now called upon to declare what should be the price ofland, and free from all evasions, fictions, or land-rate bills-—that he thought was smothered. He desired to see the price of land fixed at £3 per acre. They had nothing to do with either the New Zealand Company or the General government, but if they were entitled to a share, and the Province could shew no legal objection to it, why let them have what was their due. He was prepared to show that even for working men the price was not too high, nor beyond their reach. During the last four months'land had been sold amounting to about £1800. and 10 out of 12 of the purchasers were labouring men, some of whom had come here with assisted passages ;it was a great feature in their fchtme that these men were so soon enabled to settle themselves down as fieel.olders: it was most satisrtictoiy to find that they could so soon go with their £150 in their hands, and buy their 50 acre sections. It was altogether a fallacy to bay that this class of settlers were not able to

pay the sum of £3 down- This was at least evidence against it. But there was a stronger proof still to be derived from the fact that they were paying £5 to £6 an acre for land surrounding the town. There would be many more of this class of purchasers too, if the question was permanently settled, but as long as there wa the prospect of buying at £2 per acre or any less sum, it was idle to suppose roeu would go in and pay the higher one. The payment of the purchase money in one sum whs their surest safeguard 100, against reckless speculation or oppressive litigation. He should support the amendment, because it was a fixed price for the land. Mr. Hamilton proceeded to offer a few remarks, but was called to order upon the point of anticipating a debate upon an amendment yet to be proposed.' Mr. Bbay made a few remarks in reply to Mr. Dampier's observations. He thought that the resources of the country would be more certainly developed under the fixed 'price system than by any other means. Mr. JBrittan said it was really important the house should know what course was open to them to pursue amidst the conflict of amendments before them. It was a sort of Ishmaelitish war, every one's hand was against his neighbour's. It had been said that the Land Rate bill had been withdrawn, but he was not conscious of the fact. The house ought not to he led away by such statements; the principle of instalments was still open to them. The learned gentleman (Mr. Sewell) had told them that they could not adopt the Rate bill, that they were literally running their heads full tilt against the Constitution Act. Upon the strength of his authority he had abandoned it, and given his support to the promise of a scheme to embody the regulations in the face of their bill, and nothing else. That scheme they had yet to see. But he objected toto cce/n to the proposition before them. The hon. gentleman had told them of large sales of laud' (£IBOO worth in 4 months. That was no large amount of sales ; they must go faster than that if they were to realise the revenue ihey looked for. It "was not because some 8 or 10 "labourers had been successful settlers that the house was therefore to affirm this principle. What was the price of land in the other Province? ? 20s. in New Plymouth, and 10s. in the others, and vet Canterbury was to be £3. Tins was really a serious question. There was a class of persons who were vitally interested in this matter, he meant the gentleman of small means—why should he be shut out? After a life of toil and anxiety spent in the effort to bring up his family in respectability, he contrived perchance to save some £400 or £500, and came to this land of promise to settle on the land. How was he to meet a fixed price .of £3? It'was ruinous to him and his future prospects, lut the same amount payable by instalments would enable him to husband his means, and acquire by his industry ;wherewithal to meet the subsequent demands upon him. This was a class they ought pre-eminently t 0 consider, and to that class of purchasers £150 or £25 paid down was a serious consideration. The fixed price of £3 seemed to him a permanent evil. Mr. Thompson- fully concurred in the observations of the hon. gentleman ; he could not vote for the amendment, neither could he support the Government proposition. Mr. Sewell said he had fully understood that the division yesterday bad-decided the land rate bill, at least that ih'e hon. gentleman the Provincial Secretary had abandoned it. He had been very unfairly twitted for not putting his resolutions, but he contended that he had tested them, and only withdrawn them at the instigation of the hon. gentleman. He was of opinion that a fixed price of £2, was better than £3. It was not altogether what people thought here, but they had to look at its effect elsewhere ; in its encouragement to settlers and its prohibition to speculating monopolists. £3 paid by instalments might not keep out that class ; the land rate bill would not. He thought they would all become land jobbers undei it; but a fixed price of £2 would protect the interest of the working settler against he might say themselves. He saw no reasonable objection to the price of £2. They might at the same time provide that on certain conditions, security heiimgiven for the fulfilment of 'a contract, indu£ gence should be afforded to industrious settlers, and the poor gentleman whose case bad been so feelingly pleaded for, might be brought, under the same category. These should be required

to fence and improve, and so make a personal contract.

Considerable discussion ensued upon the mode of taking the several amendments.

After a few words from Dr. Donald, Mr. Aylmer, Mr. Rhodes, and Mr. J. Bealey,

Mr. Hall said afterwards in reply to Mr. Sewell, he cautioned the house against his £2 measure, it was nothing less than Mr. Gibbon VVakeiield's working settlers' amendments; he hoped the hon. gentleman would allow him time to refresh his memory with the speech he (Mr. Sewell) had delivered at Auckland on that occasion. It would be an answer probably to his own proposition. A division was then called for upon Capt. Westenra's amendment, the nos. 9 for, and 12 against it. Clause 17 having been again put by the Chairman, Mr. Bowen rose to propose an amendment "that the price of land should be £3 an acre, — £l to be paid down, £1 to be paid the second year, and £\ to be paid the third year,—unless evidence was afforded that the land had been fenced in acoidance with the ordinance. He contended that the adoption of his amendment was virtually placing the land at the price of £2 an acre to the actual purchaser, it would encourage industry and the diffusion of capital in fencing which was most essential for drainage and good cultivation ; it would moreover effectually keep out the land speculator. Mr. Tancred seconded the amendment. After a few words from Mr. Olivier and Mr. Bray, a division was called for, the amendment was lost their being 9 for it, and 13 against it. Clause 17 was again read and put by the Chairman, when Mr. Sewell rose to propose that in lieu of 10s., there be substituted £2 to be paid at once. After a desultory discussion a division was called for, when the amendment was carried by a considerable majority. The land rate bill as proposed by the Government was consequently lost. The chairman then rose to put the question that clause 17 as amended do stand as part of the bill. Mr. Olmviee rose and s-dd he would make one more appeal for the working settler. He regretted the fate of the Government bill, but as he still adhered to its principles he would propose as an amendment il that[in the place of 40s. to be paid at once, there be substituted the words,'at an upset price of £3 per acre, 20s. of which shall be paid down, 10s- at the end of the Ist year, 10s. at the end of the 2nd, and 10s. at the end of the 3rd and 4th years.'" Hon. members were wearied with amendments, he should therefore leave it to be disposed of by the house. Mr, Hall briefly seconded it: he thought that the proposition was so nearly allied to their scheme, that he could with sacrifice of principle give it his support. The house had rejected the rate bill, and therefore he should desire to see that principle adopted which would be most conducive to the interest of the working settlers. A very animated discussion ensued, in which Mr. Packer, Dr. Donald, Mr. Sewell, Mr. Tailored and others took part. Mr. Brittan said before he gave his vote upon the amendment under consideration', he should like to know what position they were in. So much had been said about the land rale bill, and its fate, he desired to ask the Provincial Secretary, whether that fond offspring of his had been quietly interred, (Mr. Hall, the last division defeated the Government proposition and of course decided against the rate.) Mr. 8., Well be it so. He deeply regretted to hear the house had its funeral obsequies to perform, but he thought that the parents of this measure seemed the least concerned for its fate. He would for the moment pass to the amendment. That proposed to fix the price at £3 payable by instalments, and of which the New Zealand Company was to claim its fourth. He would ask the house what had been the language v;ed in reference to this debt. It had been stigmatised as the grossest injustice, and they heard on all sides, in and out of that house, that the only point which really robbed men in the settlement of a price for the land was this wretched incubus of the New Zealand Company, and now the Provincial Secretary who had shaved in. this opinion, came forward to second the proposition which virtually gave that Company 15s. out of every acre sold. Tt was in his opinion the most monstrous thing conceivable. The Government proposition was the right and pro-

per one, and he grieved to see it thrown away. The price they were discussing then, last night, was twofold, it was the price of the land, and it was the price of the ministry (No, no); he main* tiiined it was so. They had staked their seats upon the issue and they were saved, both are set aside, their price and the minister; they are beaten and yet they consent to hold their position. He thought that the course they had adopted was a desertion of principle, and was a clinging to office under circumstances most painful to witness. Was the house to believe that these threats to resign were clap-traps, to catch unwary voters, to strengthen the waverers, who feared that inconvenience might arise to the public service ? He would be no party to such a course. Mr. Hall said it would be unnecessary to follow the honourable gentleman through all his arguments. They were based upon wrong premises. No one could regret more than he did the untimely fate of their little bill. But the fault rested not with the government, the responsibility was with the house. The honourable gentleman could surely not be so ignorant of the rules of the house not to know that the division which had just been taken on Mr. Sewell's amendment, defeated the rate bill. Would he have 40s. for the fee simple of the land, and the rate bill beside ? Would he create a charge of 90s. contingent on the sale of an acre of laud ? j If he had seen this point more clearly, he might have spared himself from casting upon them those vituperations which he had so unjustly done ? Was it their fault that by any arrangements the New Zealand Company should now claim so much larger a share of their land sales? There was an honourable gentleman present who would be enabled to give them some information as to the feeling in the other colonies in reference to the price of land here: he meant Mr. Moorhouse. Mr. Moorhouse said he had not intended to take part in the debate, he was unwell; but as lie had been so pointedly alluded to, he would urge the house to deal with the price of land here as a purely commercial question. It seemed to him there was one of two courses : a high price by instalments, or a low price paid at once. His experience had taught him that the instalment principle was an evil ; it occasioned great embarrasraent. As for speculation, it was, so far as the other colonies were concerned, a mere bugbear. The capitalists in the other colonies had their work before them, and enough to do with their money. He did not think £2 an acre would impede the progress of the colony; but whatever the price, finish it at once, by prompt payment. He thought a serious crisis threatened the colonies generally, and therefore, there might come a time when the postponed payment would not be realised. But he was disposed to think that we should find greater advantage in the adoption of a price even less than £2. Mr. Sewell congratulated the Provincial Secretary upon the accession of his friend, the honourable member for Akaroa. (Laughter.) The information he had given the house was really most satisfactory. After a few words from Mr. Bray and Mr. S, Bealey, Mr. Ollivier replied, and a division was called for. The amendment was lost; the numbers beiug 8 for and 13 against. Friday, May 4th. Present—the Speaker, Messrs. J. and S. Bea. ley, Hall, Barker, Brittan, Moorhouse, Rhodes, Bray, Blakiston, Ward, Simeon, Donald, Ollivier, Westenra, Thomson, Tancred, Sewell, Hamilton, Dampier, Packer, and Aylmer, On the motion of Mr. Hall the thanks of the House were given to the Rev. O. Mathias for a present of a portfolio of historical engravings. The house then went into committee on the Waste Lands regulations, Mr. Fooks in the c,hair. | On the motion that clause 17 do stand part *f the bill, Mr. Dampier rose to move a series of regulations which he thought would deal with the complicated question before them. He proposed a fixed price, and then to deal with the subsequent price in more general terms. His regulations proposed that during a period of five years, all lands which the Province had reserved, shall he open for sale as rural lands at 10s. an acre, subject to certain conditions and restrictions during such period. All sales shall be restricted to such persons as shall engage to pay to the Provincial Treasurer a sum equal to 50s. per acre 'upon the lands purchased, by 5

instalments, and the whole charged upon the lands in form of schedule, or such other form as may be required; and upon full payment of such amount in advance, the purchaser shall be allowed 8 per cent, discount, and shall be entitled to a release of the land. The plan would be simple, the deeds needed no complicated technicalities, and they might even be printed documents. The money has to be paid, the deed endorsed, and the matter was ended. He proposed to limit the period to 5 years for this reason : the Council was not now called upon to enact an ordinance for the appropriation of the Waste Lands, but to make regulations for their disposal, and these have to be sanctioned by the Governor. In the course of that time the whole aspect of affairs may be changed, the claims of the General Government may and he hoped would be finally fixed. The N. Z. Company's debt investigated and paid off. The Provinces would then be in a position to legislate without fetters. He would move the regulations as an amendment to the clause under consideration of the Committee.

Mr. Bhutan seconded the amendment. A.fter some discussion, in which Dr. Donald, Messrs. Bray, Hall, and Sewell, took part, and to which Mr. Dampier briefly replied, the Chairman put the amendment which was negatived by the committee. Mr. Sewell rose to propose that the price of 40s. should be paid by 4 yearly instalments, and that the Grown Grant should not issue until the whole sum had been paid. The purchaser to give security by bond for the fulfilment of the contract, and also to undertake to enclose his land in accordance with the provisions of the Cattle Trespass Ordinance. No purchaser to be entitled to the privilege of payment by instalments for a larger portion than 100 acres. Mr. Thomson seconded the amendment. Mr. Hall briefly objected to the proposition, which was negatived when put from the chair. Mr. Tancßed then proposed that the price should be £3 per acre, payable in one sum. Rev. W. Atlmeu seconded the amendment. Mr. Brittan, Cap. Westenra, and Mr. J. Bealey having1 spoken for, and Mr. Packer, against the amendment, the Chairman put the question, when a division was called for, and the amendment was lost, 9 voting for, and 13 against.^ The Committee then adjourned till 4 o'clock. The Speaker on its re-assembling, moved that the price be £3 payable in three annual instalments. Mr. Hall seconded the amendment. Dr. Donald {thought the time of the house was wasted with these amendments, and should vote against it. Mr. OtLrviEßsaid he had supported the Government proposition as long as he could reasonably do so. The Committee had already emphatically declared against the principle of this amendment. It was useless to persevere in an attempt so distasteful to the Committee. The price of 40s. had been affirmed, and he should respect the opinion of the Committee by voting against the proposition before it. Mr. Hamilton considered the question settled. He should support to the utmost the fixed price of £2 per acre, as he was satisfied that was a fair price. This amendment was also negatived. The Chairman then put clause 17 as amended, viz. ; —that all rural lands shall be sold at the uniform price of £2 an acre, —to the cotnittee, which was affirmed. Mr. SBWELii proposed to insert a clause betweeu 17 and 18, setting apart 6000 ;ieres of land in the vicinity of all townships which the Government might lay out, to be sold by -auction at the fixed upset price of 40s. per acre, as suburban lands. The proposition occasioned a lengthened discussion, which was, joined in by Messrs. Hall, Tancred, Rhodes, Bray, and S. Bealey, but was ultimately negatived. On the motion that clause IS stand part of the bill (in this clause the words £10 were altered to £40). Mr. Sewei-l proposed that small blocks of land should be put up to auction at the upset price of £2 per acre, instead of at the fixed price of£lo. Mr. S. Bealey objected to the alteration. Many of the small blocks were already covered with pre-emptive rights, and probably a difficulty would arise. Mr. Ollivier said this was a serious question. If legislation was impeded at the threshold it would at once prove the necessity for the abolition ofpre-emptive rights.

After a lengthened discussion upon the size of the blocks—Mr. Sewell proposing that the blocks should be 50 acres instead of 20, the clause as amended was put, viz.:—no section of rural land shall be sold containing less than 20 acres, provided that any section so limited by frontage lines or private lands, as to contain less than 20 acres may be sold by auction at the upset price of £2 per acre. A division was called for, and the clause adopted. Clauses 19—21 after some discussion were withdrawn for further consideration. Clauses 22 and 23 were agreed to. The House then went into committee to consider the distribution of the land fund by the General Government. Mr. Sewkll said his object was to review the proceedings of the General Government, which affected the transactions of the province for the current year, if not for a considerable time to come. It was an object of vital importance to them, and involved a large question of finance. It entered into every subject the house had to deal with ; it stood in their way at every point, and yet was only introductory to the whole subject which had to be opened up. It related to a sum of not less than £10,800, a sum as large as the whole of their established revenue, and which was at this moment seriously impeding every operation in the province. He had been a little disappointed that the honourable gentleman, the Provincial Secretary, had not brought the subject forward ; and yet, perhaps, on reflection, the reason he had assigned was probably the best. They thought the subject would carrygreater weight if dealt with by private members of that house, rather than those connected with the government. He would proceed then with the case. In October last, there was the large sum of £30,000 in the hands of the government, when his Honor entered into correspondence with the head of the General Government, in reference to its appropriation. The Commissioner of Crown Lands was in consequence instructed to tiansfer the sum of £21,824 to the Provincial Treasury, and which sum the council had appropriated to the purposes of Immigration and Public Works ; they had, in fact, dealt with it as its own. The arrangement with the General Government was clear and explicit, and he should have thought that it would never have entered into ihe mind of the Executive to attempt to alter a decision so clearly understood. But the sum was large, and so was the temptation. The Auditor General, standing in need of funds, possibly thought that a portion of this large sum could be brought back to their funds. The Commissioner of Crown Lands had treated this large sum as an unavailable deposit, at the same time stating that it had occurred 'prior to July. The Auditor General, however, wrote down to the Commissioner, stating that they had changed their minus on the subject, instructing him to refund this£lO,SOO. The Commissioner's answer was brief, —the money was gone. Instructions have since been sent down that the whole funds is t:> oe absorbed until the amount is made up. He declared this to be a violent and uuheard-of seizure. The provinces do not acquire any absolute right, until the apportionment has been made by the General Government. From time to time, however, arrangements have been made, by which the entirety of the land, and one-third of the ordinary revenue, was paid to the province. As regards the oidi-ir-iry revenue, that continued in force until the end of last year; then a new arrangement took place, by which one half \>as ordered to be placed to the General Revenue, aiul one half to the Provincial Revenue. As regards unappropriated revenue, there was no legal ground of objection ; until the apportionment lias been made the General Assembly has the only power to make the division, He wished to show where the legal right did, and where it did not go. The province bad a right to demand that this £10,800 should be replaced to its proper account. £1,330 had already gone up—hud already been seized and applied to the General Government to meet this alleged, this monstrous claim. Was it theirs or not ? He said it was, and lie looked upon this act of the General Government as one of force and violence, and the question they had now to answer was, bad they a remedy ?—though perhaps remedies did not always apply in colonies, (laughter.) Not mereiv did they make this icliauge from v third to a half, but they made it retrospective. They have instructed the Collector of Customs and the Commissioner of Crown Lands to date back to the Ist of July. They have taken this money iv

fact to pay an old score, created by their own miscalculations. From the time of the passing of the Constitution Act, a complete change had taken place in the appropriation of the Land Fund. Formerly, it was the property of the crown, now it is made over to the Genera* Assembly. The proceeds were given np, providing, first, that the Civil List was to be paid, and such other sums as the Governor might require for extinguishing the native title, and for providing for the New Zealand Company's debt. The balance was to go to the General Assembly, and any surplus was to be divided amongst the other provinces, in their fair proportion. The Constitution Act was proclaimed in this colony in January, 1553, and from that time the Land Fund was their own, and the General Assembly alone has the right to apportion it. But Sir George Grey ordered the mode in which the lands should be sold ; admitting he had the power, he went further thau any one pretended he had the right to go. He appropriated the revenue also, and that was a clear invasion of the rights of the General Assembly and of the provinces. From March 1853 to July 1854, the Land Fund then was received by the General Government, and has been acted upon according to the Governor's regulations. Since that time the Geneneral Assembly has applied the Land Fund according to law. No accounts were ever put before the public until very recently, when, in compliance with a resolutiou of the General Assembly, they made up their accounts from the Ist July, 1854. The General Assembly required a statement up to that time, and that account was made up, a copy of which he held in his hand. These accounts purport being a statement of the whole of the Land Fund. It was necessary that the provisions of the Constitution Act should be adhered to, bin no such thing. Auckland is made to appear to have received under this fund £83,000, whereas she received but £66,000. Then the whole Civil List is crammed into this account, and what has Auckland to do with it? The New Zealand Company's debt, payable from all alike, is all charged to Auckland and Nelson, and yet the crown has received more than it is entitled to from the whole colony. The post office, during nine months, provided £10 6s. 3d.!! On the other side, its cost was £99 Is. sd. The harbour dues realised £19 10s. od. The Supreme Court, £120. Then there comes an item of £19,580 for the purchase of native lands. The Civil List, limited by the Constitution Act, which should have been *£ 12,000, is put down at £15..000.

In the accounts of miscellaneous items there is put down the stipend to the Bishop of New Zealand: a payment which the General Assembly would not have sanciioned. They were doubtless all of them aware that the withdrawal of this stipend had been the occasion for a considerable discussion in the Parliament of England. The New Zealand fencibles have cost 8 or £900. A more unbusiuess-like document he never saw, framed without the slightest regard to the inteiest of the Provinces as to their share. Then there was another fact in the accounts of the receipts up to July 1854, there was not a 6d of over-payment, neither a balance due, nor a balance in hand. They bad cleared it all out (laughter). But it might have been only a few 1000's (laughter). Nor in any financial statement they had at Auckland had there been any balances. They had all vanished like smoke on a frosty day (laughter). They Would hardly believe, but there had never been an audit of the public accounts for 5 years. In order to secure a just regard to the interests of the provinces, it would be essential therefore to secure a proper audit of accounts. He was disposed now to take a somewhat different view to what lie did when in Auckland. There is the fact in evidence of very considerable expenditure, and there has disappeared a balance in hand of £5,000 in reference to that account. In order to meet this it has been nece.ssarv to bring in the ■whole land fund. It has met "its liabilities by laying violent hands on all the revenue they could (cheers): the motive is evident on the face of the account. Sir G. Grey's approval was against law, but the General Assembly has by its act made legal and valid all the regulations in force, and although Sir George Grey had no power the General Assembly had. f lie General Assembly never said they sanctioned the expenditure, yet the act confirms every thing contained in the regulations. It has made a legal and valid arrangement, and it will never think of dealing with that land fund. It would be monstrous to revise the accounts. The General

Assembly he believed would never think of doing so. The land fund became for ever subject to these provisions. The Governor immediately after the passing of the act, desired the Commissioner of Crown Lands to deduct first, the cost of collection, then to reserve any sums which he might be required to do for the purchase of the "native titles, and after deducting these sums to pay over the entire surplus to the Provincial Chest. The funds for the purchase of Native lands, hitherto, have come out of-their respective Provincial chests. There has never been any such instructions here, and in October, '54, the instructions were given to pay over the entire surplus to our Provincial Treasury. The deductions had all been made and no charge remained behind that could be made up to July 1854. Well to the point raised upon the question, the funds arose from a purchase made by Mr. Moore: he paid the money in April, 1854, it became the property of the province, subject to the completion of the purchase, from the time the purchase was made. The rights of the party changed, the land became the property of the purchaser, and the money the property of the vendor. The Commissioner of Crown Lands was justified in holding the money, as a matter of law he had no hesitation in saying so ; he entirely agreed in all that had been said in his Honor's letter of remonstrance, it was a very clear statement of the case. The money became ours, and he hardly knew how to characterise such an act, in order to make good the deficiency which appears in the accounts. If the house agreed with him in this view of the case, he would ask them to consider the case well, not to come to any hasty conclusion, and then he would submit a series of resolutions based upon this statement. If the house agreed to his proposal the Council would then consent to support his Honor in the steps he might be advised to adopt, consequent upon these resolutions. His object was to place the matter before the General Assembly, he had n • hope of a successful issue to appeals ad misericordiam. It was a question of vital importance to them; a question whether their land fund was to be absorbed for the next two years. If the matter was thus brought before the General Assembly, and if the Council would agree in shewing to the other Provinces that it was ready to do justice to them, they would in their turn aid in the effort to shew to the General Government that they were not to be trifled with (loud cheers). Mr. Hall said the committee was greatly indebted to the learned gentleman for the able statement he had laid before them. The views of the Government had been fully expressed in the correspondence on the table of the house, and by the last steamer a strong remonstrance bad gone up to the Genera! Government upon the subject. The action of the provinces would have far greater force if emanating from the Council, rather than from the Provincial Government. The chairman then reported progress. The Speaker resumed, and after notices of motion, the House adjourned. Tuesday evening. There was a very full meeting of the Council this evening. Mr. Hall rose to announce to the house, that since its rising on Friday evening last, the Government bad resigned ; he proceeded to explain the causes which had led to this result, and read a letter which he had received from his Honor the Superintendent. The letter stated that his Honor had seen the inability of the Government to carry out the measures it had proposed, and that they appeared to have ceased to enjoy the confidence of the Council ; he thought that unless they were prepared to propose a scheme which should ensure support, that it would be prudent their resignations should be tendered. Mr. Hal) stated, that himself and his colleagues had replied to that letter by a statement of what had been the expressed wish of the Council in reference to the offices they held, but that his Honor's letter had at once relieved them of the obligation they had by implication entered into with the Council, and their resignations were therefore placed in his hands. His Honor acknowledged the receipt of this letter by informing him that he had accepted their resignations.

Mr. Bhutan rose to inform the Council that he had been called upon by his Honor tlie Superintendent to form an Administration, but the period had been too short to enable him to communicate will) gentlemen who were likely to form part in the Executive Council. He moved tliehuuse adjourn till Friday next, vi 11 o'clock.

A few remarks were made upon the subject by Messrs. Sewell, Hamilton, Bealey, and Donald, when the adjournment was agreed to. In our next we propose to publish the debate in full, as well as the letters which have passed between his Honor the Superintendent and Mr. Hall.

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Bibliographic details

Provincial Council., Lyttelton Times, Volume V, Issue 263, 9 May 1855

Word Count
6,357

Provincial Council. Lyttelton Times, Volume V, Issue 263, 9 May 1855

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