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INTRODUCTION OF THE BIBLE INTO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVI, 30 May 1857
INTRODUCTION OF THE BIBLE INTO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.
Mr. Butler, on rising to move the notice standing in his name, said, a sense of duty to his fellow men, and to the author of the Scriptures, had induced him to occupy for a few moments the attention of that Council. A few evenings ago, it was stated by an honourable member that for certain reasons the Bible had been withheld from the Government Schools of the Province ; and he (Mr. Butler) thought that an unwarrantable interference had taken place, if not a violation of principle. But as it took him so long to think before he could decide, he had to think from that chamber to his bed-chamber, and from thence to the top of one of the high hills overlooking the town of Nelson, and there he sat clown and decided — decided that he would ask that Council to express an opinion on the subject. But he had not yet done thinking ; indeed, he had thought so much on the matter that he had almost forgotten in what shape the Waste Land Bill was when the runholders threw it overboard, and he had been thinking how long he had been sitting at the end of the table, to be seen and not heard ; nevertheless, he thought that there had been no want of talking from the benches, that a great deal had been said about civil and religious liberty, about political equality and economy; and although it had been discussed By doctors and lawyers and millers, By printers and graziers and tillers, he (Mr. Butler) was of opinion, notwithstanding, however honourable members might be inclined to boast, that in carrying them out, in carrying them into practice, they would experience sad havoc with their previously-cherished opinions. He could easily perceive how a man may be justified, through circumstances of expediency, in altering his course of action in matters of political economy or equality ; but he was unable to perceive, unable to imagine any circumstance or expediency, to justify any man, or any body of men, in violating the principle of civil or religious liberty. He had already alluded to the statement made the other evening, and would now attempt to show the fallacy of the same. In the first place, it was given as a reason by the honourable gentleman why the Bible was withheld from the Government Schools of this Province, that it was 'a concession made to the Catholics ; but he (Mr. Butler) doubted if they, as a body, or the gentlemen representing their interest in that Council, had ever made such a request. Besides, they professed to be staunch advocates for the rights and privileges of man, and if they were to make such a request, he should be inclined to suspect their sincerity. And, in the second place, they do not protest against any one part of the system of the Government Schools, but against the whole, and he was sorry to say that the use of the Bible in those schools formed no part of that system. If he .(Mr. Butler) understood the Catholics aright, their claim was very similar to that of the Wairau gentlemen, who tell us, when they cannot get everything their own way, that they claim division. The two cases are very much alike, differing only in one particular — the one claiming the right to lock up the land and the other the mind. A school to suit the Catholics, he thought, must be one directly opposite to their name, as they cannot, or will not, perhaps dare not, have a catholic, universal, common school, bat a local, selfish, sectarian one of their own. But the question, the grand question was, whether any reasonable objection could be urged against the law, the constitutional law of the universe, being used in the Government Schools of this Province ? He thought that the question might be answered by proposing another — whether any such objection could be raised against the use of the New Zealand Constitution Act in those schools ? He (Mr. Butler) thought that many reasons might be assigned, that not only in every public school, but also in every public library in the colony, such a book would be very useful; for he thought that in the majority of cases where the law had been broken it had been broken in ignorance, and he thought that if the rising generation had these laws at their fingers' ends, that they would be able to become better legislators and better members of society than the present ones were, and he thought if it were good in one case it would be good in the other. He would try to remove one or two of the most prominent objections brought against the use of the Bible in such schools. First, that it iutroduces controversy into the school. May not the same objection be brought against any other book ? Take the New Zealand Constitution Act, and it will be found that all the lawyers do not agree about the meaning of certain words in that act : and is that any reason why the act should be set aside ? Would it not be more reasonable to reject the lawyers and retain the act? And if certain priests and clergy differ about the meaning of some words and phrases in the Bible, is that any reason against the use of the Bible ? Would it not be more in accordance with reason and common sense to keep out the priest and clergy and have the book ? Another objection to the Bible was that it was a religious book. He (Mr. Butler) was of opinion that that objection had arisen from a want of knowledge of the book itself. lie then contrasted it with the before-mentioned act to show that the one was as much a religious book as the other, and that neither could be justly excluded .on such grounds. He therefore moved: — "That, in the opinion of this Council, the English authorized version of the Holy Scriptures is a fit and proper volume to introduce into the Government Schools of this Province, and that all religious catechisms, doctrines, and creeds are objectionable." Mr. Hough seconded the motion, and said that if the Bible was to be excluded from the schools established under the Education Act, he should oppose the measure with all his might.. Dr. Monro rose to a point of order, and questioned whether it was a fit subject for discussion by the Council. Mr. Saxton, although regretting that the matter had been brought before the Council, affirmed the principle that the Bible was a fit and proper book to be used in the Government schools. Mr. Joseph Ward contended that it was j a most improper subject to be introduced into the Council, and observed, in reference to what bad fallen from Mr. Butler, that he was uot in
that Council as the representative of the ! Roman Catholics, but as one of the representatives of the Wairau district. The Speaker informed the Council that although it was quite competent to discuss the matter contained in the resolution of Mr. Butler, it was very impolitic to introduce such discussions. Mr. Barnicoat moved the following amendment: — "That the authority of the Holy Scriptures is not a fit and proper subject to introduce for discussion in this Council, and that all religious doctrines and creeds are already excluded from the Government schools by the loth clause of the Education Act." Mr. Saunders seconded the amendment. The amendment was put and agreed to. EDUCATION. Mr. Joseph Ward, on being called on to move the resolution of which he had given notice relative to the unsuccessful working of the Education Act, said he had been advised to postpone his motion until the result of some public meetings on the same subject had been made known ; and, with the permission of the Council he would do so. A numerously attended meeting of the public of Nelson had already taken place, and declared its opinion upon this subject. Another meeting had assembled with the same view, but had been postponed in consequence of the supporters of the Education Act declaring that sufficient notice had not been given. lie thought that sufficient time should be allowed to enable that Council to be made aware of the real sentiments entertained by the majority of the electors. Dr. Monro opposed the postponement. He did so with regret, because, as had been ob served, the indulgence was almost invariably shown to members asking for it ; but he did so upon the ground of principle. The reason assigned by Mr. Ward was, that he wished the results of some further public meetings which were shortly expected to be known before he proposed his motion for adoption. Now he (Dr. Monro) did not think that it was becoming or dignified in the Council to stay its proceedings until it was in possession of the resolutions arrived at by public meetings; more particularly on the question of education, which was not a question about to be introduced, but a question upon which it had already legislated, and upon which its decision had been repeatedly and consistently pronounced. He had not the least doubt that it would always be possible for certain gentlemen to get up a clamour against the measure, taking advantage of the opposition of one religious sect to it, and at the same time of the very natural aversion which most people had towards direct taxation in any shape. By operating upon these two sources of discontent, which had nothing whatever in common between them except the feeling of dissatisfaction, he thought it would always be possible to get up public meetings to a Certain extent, and pass resolutions, against the Education Act. But although these meetings might represent the more noisy of the community, he might be allowed to doubt how far they represent the more reflecting or those most deeply interested in the success of the measure. He held the Provincial Council to be the only genuine and authoritatively convened representation of the people ; and he believed that the members of the Council arrived at their conclusions under a much deeper sense of responsibility, and with much greater securities for deliberate and mature judgment, than could be expected from a promiscuous meeting, which would always contain many persons who had given but little consideration to the subjects presented to them, and who might be influenced in their judgments by temporary and erroneous impressions, oiled away by the imposing sophistry of some fellow with a well-oiled tongue. Holding these views, he thought that if the Council adopted the course proposed by the honourable mover of the resolution, and for the grounds assigned by him, that they would be establishing a very dangerous precedent ; that they would in fact sap the independence of the Council, lower it in the estimation of the public, and exhibit it as a body devoid of self-respect or authority, swayed in its councils and overborne by the decisions of hastily-convened and irregular out-of-door meetings. There was a time when public opinion, as gleaned from public meetings, might be expressed with advantage, and when the representatives of the people would be glad to know what it was. That time was before measures were passed, or even while they were still under consideration. But to expect a legislative body, which had so frequently affirmed its vote as this had done on the subject of education, to recant everything it had said, and to swallow its own words backwards, at tbe suggestion of public meetings, was to expect from it an amount of weakness and servility which could not fail to ruin it in the estimation of every man who valued truth and consistency. Mr. Barnicoat seconded the proposition of postponing the motion, and said that he did so in accordance with a pledge which he had given to his constituents. Mr. Cautley supported the opinions expressed by Dr. Monro, and considered that the meeting lately held at Richmond was a packed meeting; that several of those who voted on the occasion were mere lads ; and that the general feeling of the meeting was in favour of the proposed loan for educational purposes. The amendment for leave to postpone the motion was put. The Council divided : — Ayes, 9. Noes, 10. Mr. Wells Mr. Wastney Dr. Eenwick Dr. Monro Mr. John Ward Mr. Baird Mr. Barnicoafc Mr. Baigent Mr. Saunders Mr. Butler Mr. Kelling Mr. Cautley Mr. Hough Mr. Jacka Mr. Saxton Mr. Parker Mr. Joseph Ward. Mr. Poynfcer The Provincial Solicitor. The amendment was lost. A small " scene " ensued. The Speaker called on Mr. Ward to move the resolution standing in his name. Mr. Joseph Ward expressed his intention of not doing so, and complained of the want of couitesy which the Council had shown, by not allowing him the same privilege which others had enjoyed, and which there wa r do precedent for refusing. The Speaker remiuded Mr. Ward that he could not even withdraw his motion without the c6nsent of the Council. After a brief delay,
\ Mr. Joseph Ward said that he wa.s compelled to move the resolution which stood in his name, and he should do so without any comment. He moved : — That, in the opinion of this Council, the present system of Education does not meet the requirements of this Province, and that it is inexpedient to burden the revenue with any loan for the purpose of carrying it further into effect." Dr. Kenwick seconded the motion, and although prepared to enter into the discussion of the question, he would decline doing so, as the Council had refused to allow his friend, Mr. Ward, to postpone the motion until the result of certain public meetings about to be held, to test the repeated assertions made in this Council by the promoters of the present scheme, that it met with the approval of a majority of the people was known, an act of courtesy that had not up to this time been denied to any member of this Council on the most trivial grounds. Dr. Monro said he rose to oppose it. The resolution consisted of two parts, of a first and of a second. The first affirmed that the Education Act was not suited to the requirements of the province : the second that borrowing money to carry it out was inexpedient. Upon the question of the propriety of borrowing money in general, there might well be grounds for discussion, but if money was to be borrowed at all, ho thought that few would deny that there was any object for which the present generation could with greater justice burden the revenues of their successors than for the creation of that educational machinery by which they would be so largely benefited both directly and indirectly. The second part of the resolution he thought, however, might be set aside altogether. It was in fact a corollary to the first. If the education scheme was radically bad, it would be a very bad thing to borrow money to carry out a faulty measure. If, on the other hand, it was a good act, deserving of encouragement and support, then it was clear that the most effectual mode of ! establishing it in a proper working condition was to provide as speedily as possible suitable j school-houses and masters' dwellings, in both of which the province was very deficient. It appeared to him therefore pretty clear that with every one who approved of borrowing at all, the question in so far as related to the Education Act would be, is that act a good one or not ? Viewed in that aspect, Mr. Ward's resolution might be considered simply as a resolution condemnatory of the Education Act : and it was in that point of view that he (Dr. Monro) pioposed to discuss it. Mr. Ward, and those gentlemen who acted with him, condemned the Education Act, and declared that it was not suited to the requirements of the province. They further asserted that it had failed, and that it had not produced those beneficial results which its friends and supporters attributed to it. As evidence of its having failed, Mr. Ward wished to appeal to the testimony of public meetings, and that the Council should suspend its action until the ' result of such appeals to the public could be made known. Now he (Dr. Monro) maintained that this was uot the way in which the j results of the measure were to be discovered. It was not necessary for tbe Provincial Council to wait for evidence of this nature, if indeed it j could be called evidence at all. They had \ before them on their table accurately compiled j returns, which showed what the working of the measure had been ; and as he had only that day gone through them and made a few extracts, he would ask the attention of the Council for a few minutes while he laid before them some figures which he had put together, and which he believed could be relied on with as much confidence as any information which they could procure. He found there, by referring to the Census papers, that in 1848, there were twelve schools in the province, six of which belonged to different religious denominations, six others being the schools of the Nelson School Society. There were in addition to | these, private schools, but he did not include these in his calculations. The number of day scholars educated in these schools was GO3. The European population of the province at that time was 2,949. This gave a proportion of about 1 in 5 of the whole population attending school, which was a most satisfactory state of things. As to the quality of the education given, he pronounced no opinion upon it : but assuming it to have been of a respectable character, the educational wants of the settlement appeared to be fully provided for attha time. Indeed the proportion of children educated to the whole population was about equal to that of the best educated New England states. He now passed over six years, and came to the year 1854. In that interval, as they all knew, there had been a great increase in the wealth, comfort, and general prosperity of the province. But concurrently with that remarkable development of material prosperity had there been a corresponding increase of the machinery and means of training the youth of the province to the exercise of their intellectual faculties, and in the knowledge of their moral and social relations ? Not so : but quite the reverse. Education during that interval, instead of advancing had retrogaderl ; a most startling and instructive fact : a lesson from which they might gather the stern truth that pursuit of wealth and material good things might be so absorbing as to overpower the desire for the cultivation of the higher faculties of man's nature, and that the very material advancement itself to which in many respects they might point with satisfaction, was almost certain to be accompanied with such a demand for physical services of every character, that parents lay under a strong temptation to neglect the education of their children, and to employ them upon various labours of the farm at the very season of their life when, if they were to be reared as intelligent members of society, their young and plastic minds should have been undergoing a couvse of intellectual training and discipline. They might further gather from it this truth, that the voluntary system of education alone was not to be relied upon, since it it had been proved that the allurements of the acquisition of property were sufficient to extinguish for a time in the breasts of ma.iy, parents the call of duty to educate their children. What, then, was the state of things ii 1 85 1 ? In that year he found from the Census returns, that there were 19 schools in the province, but that these 19 schools were attended by no more than 434 day scholars. The population of the
i province in. the meantime had increased jto 5,8j8 : which gave a proportion of j about 1 to 13£ of the whole population receiving instruction in school : a very low proportion indeed, contrasting most unfavourably with the state of things in 1848, showing that education had gone back deplorably, and proving that a very large proportion of children of both sexes must be growing up in ignorance. And he wished further to call the attention of the Council to the fact, that even the little that was done had not been accomplished solely by voluntary effort ; because in that year the Provincial Council had voted a subsidy of .st'4oo to the schools of the Nelson School Society. In 18. 1.1, the number of schools in the province had somewhat fallen off. Instead of being 19, as in the previous year, it was 1/ ; but the attendance was better. The number of day-scholars, according to the Census Returns, was fill. The population of the province hrd in the meantime increased to 6,6'Gj. This gave a proportion of about 1 in 10 of the whole population attending school; which, though an improvement on the year before, was nevertheless only one-half of the proportion of the year 1848. In this year there was voted a sum of <£,300 in aid of Campbell's schools, in addition to a vote of 36100 for three schools in other parts of the province. This was the state of things when the provincial scheme of education came into operation ; and he would now ask them to consider what the results had been. According to the last report of the Inspector, made up to April 2nd, 185/j it appeared that not counting the children attending denominational schools, there were in the schools under the supervision of the Central Board 81/ pupils. If to these were added the pupils of the schools included iv the gross numbers that he had formerly quoted, he thought he should be under the mark in saying that by the same mode of estimation which had been used in making up the census returns, the children receiving education could not be set down at a less number than 900. He could not say what the European population of the province now was, beI cause the returns of the last census were not yet published ; but he believed he should not be very far from the mark in setting it down as 7,000. This would give about linß of the whole population receiving school instruction, which he believed was about the English average. As contrasted with the year before, it showed an increase in the number of children attending school of nearly 300. Now, if education were a thing required by the province, and if, while the present system had been in operation not not more than nine months, the result was shown to be that one-third more children were receiving instruction, how could it be asserted that it did not meet the requirements of the province ? But he maintained that it was not only to an increase in the number of children that they had to point. He appealed to the different members coming from different parts of the country districts, and he asked them if they had not seen new schoolhouses built, old and unsuitable ones repaired, a better supply of books and school machinery, J an increased efficiency in the manner of teaching in several quarters, a greater interest and activity in school education generally? He i believed he was justified in saying that these ' things might be pointed to, and if so, he would ! ask, was this a good work or was it not ? Was it a thing that they should seek to preserve and extend, or was it something deserving of their condemnation ? For his own part, he considered it a work of which they might well feel proud, and which they might point to as one of the most substantial advantages which j had yet followed upon their possession of selfgovernment. Not that he considered the Act to be yet perfect : far from it. He thought it admitted of improvement, and he himself had pointed out one amendment which he thought would go a long way towards removing those conscientious scruples which Mr. Ward and others of his denomination felt towards it. But Ihe would make no common cause with those who were opposed to the whole principle of the measure, and who sought to pull down a fabric which had already done some good, and promised, if only treated with moderate patience and fair play, to do a great deal more. He could not conceive any much greater misfortune to overtake the province than the overthrow of the system already in operation. He \ felt certain that it would be all but impossible I to construct anything upon its ruins ; for the j subject would be far more complicated than before ; the elements of discord more distinct. Let those, therefore, who sought the destruction of the system weigh well what they were doing ; let them satisfy themselves that they sec their way clearly to the substitution of anything better in its place. And not only to these gentlemen but to the Council he would say — we nre in possession at the present moment of a substance, of a thing which is working well : shall we guard it jealously, amend it and strengthen it; or shall we throw it aside altogether in the pursuit of a shadow? But this was what the Council was moved to do by the resolution under discussion. Mr. Saunders said he agreed with the opinions upon the Education Act which had just been expressed by Dr. Monro, but he should decline taking any part in a discussion upon a motion which Mr. Ward had been compelled to bring forward against his will, and in support of which both Mr. Ward and his seconder had declined to say any thing. He thought that any member introducing a motion, which like the present was well known to be opposed to the opinions of the great majority of the members, should be treated with every possible courtesy, and certainly I with all possible fairness. | The Provincial Solicitor opposed the motion, and thought that a Council which had . almost unanimously passed the Act should not ! without sufficient reason turn round in its very ; next session and say that the measure did not ■ meet the requirements of the province. ; Mr. Saxton suggested that there was a| possibility of members, although not approving i of the measure, yet withholding all opposition I in order that it might have a fair trial. | Mr. Cautley said he should certainly vote on this as on every other occasion against Mr. Ward's motion, as opposed to a general unselfish system of education ; that he believed on the whole the present system had worked well ; that the only objectors he had heard speak j strongly against it were, tirst. married men!
without families, and secondly, batchelor3 like himself without children, who maintained that most selfish and damnable argument, that because they the individuals themselves did not derive any direct personal benefit by the edu- ! cation of their own children, therefore the system was no benefit to them — that they ought not to pay any quota to the tax. He (Mr. Cautley) maintained on the other hand that every member of the community was almost as much benefited by the education of the rising generation as the parents themselves. The argument arose from unintellectual selfishness and nothing else. Mr. Barnicoat expressed his sorrow that Mr. Ward had not been allowed to postpone his motion, anil moved the following amendment : — "That the placing the educational establishments of the country on a footing of respectability and efficiency by the erection of suitableschool-roomsand residences for teachers, would be greatly conducive to the moral and ma- j terial welfare of both the present and future generations; and that thereforethecontractinga loan for this purpose by which posterity would share in the burden as well as partake in the benefit of such an outlay, is both ad\ isable and equitable." j Mr. Baird seconded the amendment. Mr. Kelling supported the amendment and opposed the original motion, expressing ' his opinion that the Education Act would, j with a few alterations in detail, prove very acceptable to the settlers in the country districts at all events. Mr. Wells said he would oppose the motion and support the amendment, because he considered it necessary towards the carrying out a general provincial system of education to have good schools and schoolhouses for the j operations of so desirable a work. We could I not expect to get masters qualified to teach, and to follow the profession of teaching as a profession, unless we supplied them with good schools and comfortable homesteads. lie regretted that the Government of this province had shown so much lukewarnmess and apathy in this matter, and had, he considered, ne- j glected one of its first duties. lie maintained I that if a Government had a right to punish, it was also its duty to educate ; if it was the j ; business of the Council to enact laws, and to i call on the Executive to enforce, under pains , and penalties, obedience to them, it was also j 1 its duty to see that those who were living in j subjection to those laws should at least be able I to read and understand them. If the youth j of our province were allowed to grow up in ignorance of our laws and institutions, it appeared to him something like despotism to punish for the transgression. The friends of educationin trnsproviuce looked forward to this system of general education as a great future agent of moral police ; that the educating of our youth will have a much better effect in inducing obedience to the law than the sword of the magistrate. This had been practically exemplified in Holland, where a state system of secular education had been in operation since 1806 ; and to the everlasting credit of the clergy of all denominations in that country, they one and all cordially co-operate in assisting the Government in the good work. He, with the leave of the Council, would read an extract from an educational tour of inspection by Mr. William Chambers (of the Messrs. Chambers, of " Chambers* s Journal," and other works), in 1836, showing from the general diffusion of education the high social state of the country, and the relation it had on juvenile delinquency. Oo examining the great central prison at Rotterdam, where all males convicted under eighteen years of age are placed for the. whole country, Mr. Chambers found the number to be 80, and never more than 1 1 6, out of a population of upwards of two millions of inhabitants. The City of Rotterdam, which contains eighty thousand inhabitants, seldom had more than four of its youth undergoing punishment for a transgression of the law. Such results as these we look forward to by our general system of education. And would any one under these circumstances, sir, stand forward and say that because he has no children he ought to be freed from the rate, or because his children are educated at home by j private tuition he should not be called upon to ; pay for others. This is a matter affecting the j welfare of the whole community, and by which | every individual member is benefited. In the ! New England States of America, they consider the providing a free education for every child one of their first duties. In the state of New York last year, 18-36, the Council of that state voted upwards of .£200,000 for education for the year ; one-fourth of that sum for evening j schools, thereby providing for adult instruction | as well as for youth. In America they seem j to take more enlightened views of this subject | than we are able to compass here. When they I found large masses of emigrants flowing into their country from all parts of the world, and who had been brought up under other laws and institutions, they very naturally said, here is an element flowing so rapidly upon us which may be dangerous to our common weal, what shall we do ? Shall we establish a large police force, or raise a standing army to control these i strangers'? No, they said something more , noble, and something more worthy of man ; they said, we will educate them, we will teach them our laws and institutions and Americanize them, and by these means gain their submission and obedieuce. He (Mr. Wells) would support the vote for a loan for building schools and schoolhouses, and thought it a very legitimate debt to leave to those who come after us, and believing it to be a debt for which they will bestow upon us their blessing. The amendment was then put and agreed to. TRUNK LINE OF ROAD. Dr. Monro, pursuant to notice, moved — "That, in the opinion of this Council, the line of main thoroughfare leading from the head of the navigation of the Waimea river iv the West Waimea to the Roman Catholic Church, thence at right angles to the next line of road to the Eastward, and that line continued through the district to the South until it meets the Wai-iti mer, shall be consi- ; dered aud declared to be a Trunk line ; and that it would be very advantageous both to Waimea South and Waimea West to connect : the southern extremity of that road with the , ; trunk-line in Waimea South by rendering passable such of ihe cross-roads as present the fewest natural obstructions, in (he neighbourhood of Spring Grove, or, if found necessary, i
by exchanging such cross-roads as are at present surveyed for lines of a more practicable character." Mr. Saundl'hs seconded the motion. After some remarks from Messrs. Parker and Barnicoat, The motion was agreed to, and a copy of the same was ordered to be forwarded to his Honour the Superintendent. SUSPENSION OF STANDING- ORDER. Mr. Jack a moved, "That Standing Order 3/ be suspended with reference to the following bills, viz. : — Coasting Passengers Bill ; Country Roads Amendment Bill; Education Amendment Bill." The honourable member added, that as the reports upon which those bills were founded had been already adopted by the Council, he thought that the regular interval of four clear days between the first and second readings could be dispensed with. j Mr. Barn ico at seconded the motion. Agreed to. THE ESTIMATES. On the motion of the Provincial Solicitor, the Council then went into committee on the Estimates ; Mr. Wells in the chair. The following items under the Debenture Bill, were read and agreed to :—": — " Cutting bridle track from Riwaka to Takaka, .£200 ; improving the above road, *£200 ; new roads, I bridges, and ferries, .£1,000; lock-up at Wairau, |i£100; ditto at Richmond, sC80; dkto at j Aorere, .£100; magistrate's house at Aorere, ,£300 ; constables' house at Aorere, pounds, .£IOO ; three buoys for Waimea river, .£1:30; new buoy for rock inside the harbour, £20 ; government wharf, £ 1,000." The last-named item was the only one upon which any particular discussion took place. j Dr. Monro thought it was the duty of the General Government to attend to the repair of the wharf, and was afraid that the revenue to be derived from wharfage fees, &c, would not justify the expenditure of so large a sum as £1, 000 upon it. Mr. Poynter said that the wharf had been j handed over to the Provincial Government, j and that it was proposed to lengthen it about thirty feet, so that vessels could lie alongside and discharge cargo, which would be a great I convenience. i Mr. John Ward opposed the item. j The Provincial Solicitor said that the j jetty is at present in an unsafe str.te, and he ] thought that if it was rebuilt and extended, tbe | fees derivable from wharfage, &c, would almost I defray the outlay. The item was put and agreed to. The Council resumed, and the Chairman reported progress. SHOOTING CATTLE. Mr. Cautley rose to move the adoption of the report of the committee on slaughtering cattle, and as the best means of explaining to that Council the motives, the views, the wishes of thecommittee,hewould simply read thereport of the committee, and would only add to that report that the e\idence they had taken sufficiently proved that evident danger to life had in many cases occurred through the indiscriminate mode of shooting cattle adopted in this province. He considered it hi 3 duty to endeavour, as the representative of so important a district as that he had the honour to represent, to prevent the occurrence of such probable risk of life as he had himself witnessed in that neighbourhood. He considered that the slaughtering of cattle under the present system was conducive in every way to public danger and evil, and that by encouraging it they discouraged that combination which alone wculd enable stockyards to be furnished with such blocks, pulleys, and other tackle as would be required for the slaughtering of cattle with the pole-axf, which he would state, from personal experience, to be the most humane way of destroying cattle, and would also avoid the endangering of human life. As rpgarded the ordinary remedy at law of binding over an offender to keep the peace, he could only say it was very little comfort after a person was shot, which had happened once in this settlement, and had been very near happening on two or three or more occasions recently in Richmond and its neighbourhood. He must say, from his own magisterial experience, he considered that binding over to keep the peace was an objectionable law, and the most painful one for a magistrate to carry through of all the laws in the Statute Book. He could mention all the cases he had alluded to in detail, but he would not occupy the time of that Council. lie would therefore simply move that the report as presented be adopted. Mr. Kelling seconded the motion. Dr. Monro supported the adoption of the report. Mr. Raunders thought it would be much more desirable to erect slaughter-houses, which, under a proper system of management, might be made self-paying. The Council then adjourned, at half-pnst eight o'clock, until the following day.
Striking Reply of a Deaf and Dumb Child. — A gentleman in Paris, superintendent of an institution for the instruction of deaf and dumb children, was asked by a friend permission to propose an inquiry to the children under his care, with a view to ascertain the extent of their mental improvement. Having received permission, he wrote the question on the wall, " Does God reason ?" One of the children immediately wrote underneath: "God knows and sees everything. Reason signifies doubt and uncertainty ; therefore God docs not reason." At five o'clock this morning the city was thrown into a state of the greatest consternation by an announcement that the Bank of Ireland, one of the finest public buildings in Europe, and formorly the seat of the Irish Legislature, was in flames, and that from the rapid progress of the fire the most serious consequences were to be apprehended. The prompt arrival of the engines, however, aided by the assistance cf the police, soon checked the alarm, and the fire, after raging for about an hour, considerably abated ; but the accountants' and be o'- keepers' offices are, it is feared, completely destroyed. Fortunately the morning was re.fcctly' calm, there being scarcely a breath of wind blowing. Owing to the conf'ubioM and excitement, us we'll as to the difficulty of gaiuing access to tire buildiug, i-i is quite impossible as yet to the.precise amount of damage:
INTRODUCTION OF THE BIBLE INTO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XVI, 30 May 1857
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