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POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE.

! • (From Oub Own Cobbespondent.) ; Wellington, July 1. j THE TE AROHA ELECTION. t This morning Mr Cadman informed me that 1 the Government had determined to give their support to Colonel Fraser for Te Aroha. Sir j Walter Buller will no doubt feel annoyed at the 'i Government support being given to Colonel 1 Fraser after he had been led to understand that 1 he would get it, bnt he is now committed. The I support of the Ministry to the candidate who I is contesting a gold mining constituency is worth I a good deal. ) THE POLITICAL SITUATION. ) The leader of the Opposition (Mr Bryce) '■■ speaking to me to-day on the present situation of parties, said the amendment moved last night ; by Mr Fish is intended to force a division so as j to make manifest to the country the strength I which Ministers possess in the House, and also to confine the discussion to special points. " We [ . have had advances made to ns," said by Mr \ Bryce, '*by the Government side with the view | of closing the discussion, but we haye replied ■ that we.think the snbject of the proposed policy so important that it should be fully discussed. We will discuss it till Friday, and then between Friday and Tuesday we shall consider what step I to take next. The Opposition will endeavour to make the financial proposals as little harmful I as possible, and in several points we think we I shall be able to effect a modification. The I Government talk about swamping the Upper ■ House if Councillors will not pass their J measures, bnt I think they will not find that so very easy to do. i I . MR STEVENS AND THE FINANCIAL < ; ,:■>-■ PROPOSALS. j j An interesting opinion regarding the Budget ] prop osals has been given me by the Hon. E. C. J. I Stevens, M.L.C, who is well known as an able j financier and as being well acquainted with I commerce. When I asked Mr Stevens his j ; opinion regarding the tax on improvements, he | replied: "There is no doubt that the Govern- ' men(f may think they can frame an estimate of j what can be obtained from improvements based . i upon sound calculations and estimates, but I . \ think that in a very great number of cases I it would be impossible to accurately assess the , i cost of these improvements. Ido not think I that there are any reliable data to go upon. In , i examining whether the Government proposals , I will realise the amount that is expected, the , ' exemption will make the whole thing very nnI certain. Ido not think we can tell in the least . i what the effect of the £3000 exemption will be. / I think that the income tax on trade and com- ', merce, as the terms go, will be extremely uni certain, and exceedingly irritating in'its opera- , ; tion. You will see the difficulty. Under the " \ property tax there is nothing easier than for a ' i trader or shopkeeper to put down his bills payable and his debts, and value his stock-in-trade I' and book debts and put them on the other side. ] The difference, less £500, would be what he has P j to pay on. But if he is going to make up in- , I come tax returns, in the shape of a profit and . :J loss account accurately prepared,_ arid the . i returns are to be at aU similar to the income tax ' j returns in England, he will find his position . l very uncomfortable. It is recognised that the . \ income tax in England is anomalous, and it * would no doubt have been amended if it had J ! not been recognised that it was a convenient rough and ready way of getting money when . j they wanted it." » t " Have you considered how the proposals will * j affect large companies ? " j "There is," replied Mr Stevens, "a very im- , 1 portant point in connection with the proposals in - ! regardtobothcompaniesandindividualswhoown *: 1 more than £3000 worth of improvements. You f will have observed that the improvements are » i limited to £3000 by way of exemption. The ! improvements will be included in that portion on which he pays not only the penny, biit the • graduated taxable amount. Then as to the other ~ ..-; branch of the subject: I think, as I have said, / any estimate on trade and commercesmust be i purely speculative; and I am very much of the | same opinion with regard- to professional . i incomes and salaries. They will be able to get •* at that more exactly in the long run, but at the . present time there can be no reliable estimate. =i The data at present is very unreliable, I think, * after the examination I have made of them in ' I the light of documents in my possession." ! " Will the Government proposals have the £ effect of bursting up the large estates ? " " I do not think they will cause the bursting ,' up of large estates, for the simple reason that 7. j the attempt to burst them up will not neces- f( i sarily provide purchasers for the estates it is proposed to burst up. It may be a grievous E '■. attack upon the landed interest, but my greatest j objection to the whole thing is of a more com- . ] prehensive and far-reaching character than that. , I think, myself, that it is a most pernicious °' ! thing to hold out that the exertions of the com- * munity on land shall be limited by Govern- | mental interference—that is to say that anyone . ' looking to the occupation of land as a future ■ ' career shall be penalised if his success carries . i him beyond a certain point in a country where land is the main thing and the most important ~ outlook for the whole of tbe population." [ When asked how the Government proposals ; would be received in the Legislative Council, Mr Stevens replied :" I should not like to say ~ what attitude the Council will take towards . them, but that they can look with favour upon L the proposals I believe to be quite out of the ' i question, not on the ground of the members being particularly associated with large property * i owners, because they are not, but on general " ! grounds of prudential finance, with a view to the . ' prosperity of the colony in the future." THE WHITAKER-HUTCHISON LIBEL CASE. ii Talking to Mr George Hutchison to-day, I g asked him what was proposed to ba done in C regard to the celebrated Whitaker-Hutchison o case. He replied," I am unwilling to do any- c thing, and can do nothing. Of course, I can proceed if I wish, because there is a summons s with reference to the accounts between Mr 1 .Mitchelson and Sir H. Atkinson. This n summons was held over pending the judg- a ment of the Court of Appeal, and as r that judgment has been given that summons t can be revived; but Ido not want even to pry r into private affairs or banking accounts unless it be absolutely necessary. It is only the main n results and not the details that are wanted." n Mr Hutchison, in the course of further conver- s sation, said he had no personal feeling against a Sir F. Whitaker, but ifc was difficult for him to t move in the direction of proposing a settlement li since he was the defendant in the case, and it f might ba thought that be wished to avoid tho t action. £ PETITIONS. y Petitions were presented yesterday by Mr 1 Earnshaw from Mrs Annie De Carle, Dunedin, asking for compensation in regard to land * entered upon; by Mr Fisb, from Mrs M'Donald. " Halfway Basb, near Dunedin, complaining of grievances through the alleged improper sale of ' certain land, and asking for relief; by Mr Fish, J * from John Leonard, labourer, Dunedin, asking ' for compassionate allowance; by Mr Pinkerton, l from Alexander Fordyee, Dnnedin, asking that a certain conviction recorded against him of ' rioting in the street be quashed, as he was ' innocent, and that relief be granted him. ' VAILE'S RAILWAY SYSTEM. j A meeting of Auckland members was held ] this morning when the following resolution was f unanimously agreed to :—" That in the opinion of the membere present the railway stage ( system proposed by Mr Vaile should have a trial i on the Auckland section of the railways, and that | the bill introduced for this purpose by Mr Rees t receive the hearty support of those present. A i committee comprising Messrs T. Thompson, i Jackson, Palmer, W. Kelly, Rees, and Earnshaw was appointed to canvass members for their ( support. Mr Earnshaw was the only member , present who represented a constituency outside , Auckland.andheattendedthemeetingbecauseho i takesagreatinterestinMrVaile'srailwayscheme. I met one of the Railway Commissioners to-day, who said in conversation with me:—" A trial of Vaile's system cannot be given till we know what it is. Mr Vaile ha 3 put forward certain vague statements, but nothing at all upon which any opinion can be formed, or any system can bs worked. I understand that Mr Vaile proposes that the Auckland railways should be handed over to his management, and that he proposes to associate with himself one of the present commissioners. Ido not think that any of tie commissioners would accept 6uch a position. No trial can be , given to Mr Vaile's system till an act is drawn setting forth what the system is, aud the regulations under which it is to be worked are put in tbe hands of every stationmaster. Snch an act must be passed, and these regulations mnst be drawn up before the commissioners can have anything to do with the matter. In such a case Parliament would be responsible. At present, tflth the very vague information before us, Ministers could not take upon themselves the responsibility of ordering that a trial should be made, and csrtainly the commissioners could not ° *°' THE MINISTER FOR LANDS. The Hon. Johu M'Kenzie, Minister for Lands, resumed the financial debate this afternoon, and spoke for an hour. He resumed in the evening, and spoke more than another hour. In the latter part of his speech he dealt with the charges respecting his appointment of Connell and Campbell. He said Connell came to him and applied for employment, which at first be refused as he knew nothing about him, subsequently having made inquiries, with favourable results, he appointed Connell on probation, but Connell was not a civil servant. As to Ranger Campbell, Mr M'Kenzio said tbafc when ho appointed Campbell he knew nothing about the charges which had been made against him in connection with his alleged treatment of those orphans. The first he learned of it was from the Otago Daily Times at tho foot of the report of Mr Spence's meeting. Mr M'Kenzie said he had received a telegram this afternoon from Campbell to the effect that he was willing to leave the merits of his case to the judgment of a jury of any 12 colonists and to abide by the result, resigning his appointment if that were unfavourable. Mr M'Kenzie epoke in terms of praise of Campbell's ability and usefulaess a? an officer, declaring he had already saved the colony hundreds of pounds. All the trouble aboufc him arose from the enmity of the big runholders in tho south, I who had stirred up all the fuss, Mr Mitchelson,

replying on these points, stated that Connell's appointment was duly gazetted in May last. He quoted from Auckland and Wanganui papers to show that Connell was sentenced to 14 days' hard labour for travelling in a steamer without paying, and to a month's hard labour for failing to comply with an order of the court for the maintenance of two children in the Industrial School. Mr M'Kenzie, in justification of the dismissal of an officer within a few months of. the time when his pension would accrue, declared the officer not entitled to a pension because he was bankrupt 25 years ago, and so broke the continuity of service. This raking np of a matter a quarter of a century old excited general disapprobation, and has been severely commented upon in the lobbies. MISCELLANEOUS. The Hon^G. F. Richardson's speech last night was rather dull, probably because the galleries were empty. There was a good attendance of members, however, aud the address was excellent in its matter, and was followed with great interest. Notice has been given by Mr Rees that he will introduce a bill to amend the Government Railways Act to provide for a trial of Mr Vaile's railway system upon tho Auckland railway lines, and thus the question will be more effectually discussed than by a question or motion. Mr Rees' Legislative Council Appointments Cancellation Bill provides that the now famous appointments made to tbe Legislative Council by the late Government shall be cancelled. Mr Rees considers that an opportunity should be given to bave this subject debated in the House. The bill adopted by the Licensed Victuallers' Conncil to amend the laws regulating the sale of intoxicating liquors, introduced nnder the charge of Mr G. Hutchison, gives the licensing benches moro of a judicial status Chan they have now, and will prevent annual elections of committees from being as at present mere contests between brewers and prohibitionists. There is such a demand for copies of the report of the Public Trust Commissioners that several members have been appealed to by their friends to obtain them for them. It should be known, however, that they are issued only at a cost of 4s each to members and the public. The Pnblio Trust Commissioners have not done their work without expense to the patient taxpayer. A sum of £2500 has been placed on the Estimates to defray the cost of the commission, but it is considered that an additional £1000 or more will be required. Sin.ia the inauguration of the totalisator in this colony, according to Mr Fish, the sum of £3,455,014 has beon invested in the machine by the public. A suggestion has been made by Mr R. H. J. Reeves that the Minister for Public Works should provide district engineers with an imprest account so as to enable them to pay contractors and wages men the money due to them on work done, and thus avoid the present very unsatisfactory state of things where men are kept out of their hard earned money for weeks at a time, to their very great inconvenience and loss. Mr Earnshaw intends to move for all correspondence relating to the ordering of four locomotive boilers from England that has passed between the Railway Commissioners and the Minister for Public Works, together with the following information: —Whether the aforesaid boilers were publicly tendered for or not in the Home market; cost of the boilers, and the cost of similar boilers made in Addington workshops, and why the boilers were not tendered for in New Zealand. On Thursday Mr C. H. Mills will ask the Premier to take immediate steps to prevent the further importation of stoats and w^astls and such like vermin into the colony. Mr Hall-Jones has given notice to ask the Premier whether it is intended to introduce the Fair Rent Bill or a measure of a similar nature during the present session. Mr Duncan is going to ask tbe Minister of Lands—(l) whether any further inquiry has been made since the session of 1890 into the circumstances attending the sale of lands on the Levels run; (2) whether it has been ascertained that any of the allotments were improperly acquired; (3) whether any steps havo been, or are to be, taken to annul any transactions so entered into, and to render the land available for bona fide settlement. On Friday Mr O'Conor will ask the Premier to state fully, for the information of the House i and the country, wbat constitutes the right to compensation by persons retrenched from the i service of the colony, and why some get com- i pensation which is denied to others who, i apparently, have an equal claim. Oa Wednesday week Mr O'Conor will move I —(1) That a premium be offered as a prize for 1 tho best manual of civil rights in a form adapted 1 For use as a school book to develop morality and ' patriotism in the youth of New Zealand; (2) 1 that in order to give an impetus and perma- ', uently foster land oulture and other industries i in the colony, all New Zealand prcducts should i be carried free upon the railways of the colony, \ i rod that a commercial marine service be organised to connect with tho railways; that the i revenue required to provide interest and main- ' tenance now short of that derived from other i sources in this service be made np from a special ' land fax. ' The Government aro being urged by Mr i Wright to set up a committee to inquire and ' report as to the best means of ventilatiug the House. ] Mr Houston is urging the Government to give < fche preference to New Zealand woods in future ' in calling for tenders for the supply of timber i for railway purposes. A definition of the term " civil servant," and ■ i whether day wages men can claim compensation i under the Civil Service Act, tbat is those men ) who were engaged before the Railway Commissioners took office, is asked for by Mr EarnBhaw. . The great delay that has taken place in framing regulations to enable the land reserved for grants to the New Zealand Midland Railway Company to be sold is exercising the attention of Mr O'Conor, who intends askiog for an explanation. A return of the estimated loss of revenue consequent upon toe proposed reduction from 2d to ld on the inland rate, and from ld to -£-d on each newspaper posted in New Zealand for Australia, also a statement showing how the loss of revenue consequent Mpon such reduction ia likely to be recovered in three years, and other postal returns are being moved for by Mr Mitchelson. Mr T. Mackenzie is to move that the Government sbould adopt some definite and energetic means-of rendering tho magnificent natural scenery of New Zealand better known and more accessible to tourists and others; and in order to carry this out with as much effect and as little expense as possible, a report bs obtained from competent persons as to the most practicable and interesting route between Milford Sound and Lake Te Anan, thence to Lake Wakatipu and through to Mount Cook, via Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. Dr Newman wants the Government to call for tenders for the right of advertising upon stamps and telegraph forms. Mr Taipua is pressing upon the Government the advisableness of granting the Maori race more adequate representation in the Legislative Council in view of possible legislation materially affecting Natives and their land. A petition presented, asking for the removal of the disqualification imposed by the court on Mr W. Shepherd Allen, is headed by Colonel W. Fraser, bis late opponent. Tho final census returns were presented to Parliament to-day, showing the total European population of the colony, including persons on shipboard, to be 626,830. Mr O'Conor gave notice to-day of his intention to r-cv.i an addition to Mr Fish's amendment to Supply, urging upon the Government to reconsider the proposed reduction of postage, and to retain the revenue as a means of elaborating their scheme of facilitating land settlement. It is noteworthy that three of the most hitting speeches in the financial debate have bsen those of the three Otago Mackenzies—Scobie, John, and Thomas. The last-named came out very admirably. The New Zealand Times says of him: —" Mr T. Mackenzie surprised everybody with the masterly manner in which he treated his subject, his speech bristling with points." I recently informed you that it was proposed, by the new Honse arrangements, to reserve tbe seats to the left of the Speaker's chair for distinguished visitors, or persons to whom it was desired to show more marked courtesy than to ordinary people. The first of these " distinguished visitors" to be specially accommodated was Mr V. Pyke, who has occupied a seat in the House for many years past, but was defeated at the last election by Mr Scobie Mackenzie. Mr Pyke, who arrived from the sonth this afternoon, appeared to be a little ont of his element in his new position, but h« seemed better in health thin ho has been in for some days past. Mr T. Mackenzie's Artificial Manures Adulterating Bill imposes—(l) A penalty up to £25 for failing to deliver with artificial manure an invoiaa certificate guaranteeing tho nature of the composition of the manure; (2) a penalty up to £50 for misrepresentation in snch invoice certificate, together with the publication at offender's cost in case of a second offence Marks of identification are to be stamped on the packages, nnd purchasers are empowered to require an analysis of manure. Defendant to be diseherged if he proves that he bought the article in the same state as sold and with a warranty. The forgery of certificate incurs a penalty of two years' hard labour. The loan conversion papers were laid on the table to-dsy. They contain nothing moro in tho way of information than I communicated to you on the Colonial Treasurer's authority some weeks ago, and do not come up to a date sufficiently recent to give the latest particulars, which were chit fly desired. Possibly these may be forthcoming later. Tbe Premier and the Minister for Lands informed a deputation of villnge settlers to-day that the Government could not give them tho slightest hope of getting their freeholds. Such a concession would tend to destroy the whole system upon which the Government policy was ba6ed. Tho land was already too much monopolised under tbo fraehold system, and Ministers were determined to stop it. Mr T. Thompson to-day presented two petitions from Chinese residents in Auckland district, oue signed by 88, and the other by 70 who have become residents of tbo colony since the passing of the Chinese Immigrants Act, asking that they be allowed tho same privilege as Chinese who were resident before tbe act w.13 passed of obtaining certificates of exemption from payment if they leave the oolony and return again.

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POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE., Otago Daily Times, Issue 9157, 2 July 1891

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POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE. Otago Daily Times, Issue 9157, 2 July 1891

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