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JOTTINGS FROM THE GALLERY. HOURS OF PICTURE THEATRES. [From Oar Own Parliamentary Reporter.] WELLINGTON, September 17. The Hon. G. W. Russell (Avon), lately Minister of Public Health, stated in the House of Representatives to-day that the restriction on picture theatre hours had been imposed at the time of the epidemic, and was, to a certain extent, a temporary measure. However, he sincerely hoped that, when the Government'did bring down amending legislation, it would be on lines that he had proposed, namely, that there should be a licensing power conferred either upon the local authorities or upon the Public Health Officers, and that, unless picture theatres could show satisfactory arrangements for fumigation, cleansing and ventilation, they would not be licensed to show for extended hours. He knew that there had been a great deal of hardship in connection with theatre employees being deprived of their occupations, but, after the experience of the epidemic there could be no change made as regards the "herding" of people, and especially of children, together under unhygienic conditions.

House Profiteers. Those whom Dr H. T. J. Thacker (Christchurch East) terms "house profiteers," have been introduced to Parliament Dr Thacker has asked the Prime Minister if he cannot do something to prevent old tenants being turned out by their landlords because the houses are being sold at high rates. Hon. A. T. Ngata (Eastern Maori): •It's going on all over the country. The Prime Minister (Rt. Hon. W. F. Massey) said that he did not know if anything could be done, but if he had particulars he would ask the Board of Trade to make inquiries. Remarking later on a Ministerial reply to a question on the housing problem, Dr Thacker dubbed housing as the "crying malady of the day." He advocated that the Government should advance monev to cities and boroughs to enable them to provide housing. Soldiers' Gratuity.

The announcement regarding the returned soldiers' gratuity can be expected either to-morrow or on Friday, according to what the Prime Minister told the House this afternoon.

Mr P. Fraser (Wellington Central) asked if Cabinet had taken into consideration, in connection with the gratuities, the question of granting something to the men engaged in Home Service and transport work. Those men, he said, had taken on that work—some had been compelled to take it on—often at great loss to themselves from a financial point of view. He did not suggest that they should get as much as the men who actually went to the Front, but these Home Service men were entitled to some consideration. Jll _ Mr . Massey, replying on behalf of th 6 Minister of Finance (Sir James Allen) said that if the gratuities announcement did not come down tomorrow, it certainly would on Friday. The *hon. member had better wait until then.

Post Office Savings Bank. The statement of Post Office Savings Bank deposits and withdrawals for the year 1918, was laid on the table of the House of Representatives this afternoon. It shows that 1,213,353 deposits were received during the year, the total amount being £18,101,W4. There were 727,729 withdrawals, the total amount being £14,938,841. The cost of management for the year was £32,000. Accounts opened during the year numbered 76,869, while 53,051 were closed. At the end of the vear 590,205 accounts remained open, the average amount standing to the credit of each being £56 12/5. Two Railway Questions.

Dr H. T. J. Thacker (Christchurch East) has given notice to ask the Minister of Railways whether he will bring the railway coal rate between Reefton and Greymouth into line with the rates that now exist between Huntly and Auckland. Mr G. Witty (Riccarton) is inquiring of the Minister of Railways when the long-promised improvements to the Sockburn railway station will be carried out. Missing Bicycles. In the annual report of the Christchurch Police District, which was laid on the table of the House this afternoon, Superintendent J. Dwyer again draws attention to the necessity for applying the provisions of the Second-hand Dealers Act to all bicycle dealers, as the* traffic that is carried on by some of these dealers in stolen bicycles is becoming a Very serious matter, and it would materially help the police in their work of prevention and detection if bicycle dealers had to obtain licenses in* the same manner that second-hand dealers have to do, and keep a book in which all bicycles bought or exchanged were recorded.

Money for War Purposes. In his report on the Public Accounts for the year ended March 31, 1919, the Auditor-General (Col. R. J. Collins) states that, up to that date, a total of £G8,460,000 had been raised for war purposes. This had involved the issue of more than 68,000 bonds.

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SESSION NOTES., Sun, Volume VI, Issue 1746, 18 September 1919

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SESSION NOTES. Sun, Volume VI, Issue 1746, 18 September 1919

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