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■ FRIDAY, JUNE 11. The Speaker took the chair at 3 o'clock. NEW MEMBER. Mr J. T. Peacock took the oath and his seat for Lyttelton. PAPERS. The COLONIAL SECRETARY laid upon the table a paper relative to premiums offered on goods manufactured in Victoria, remarking, iv doing bo, that it was obtained by the Superintendent of Canterbury, but it appeared to him to be of so interesting a nature that he had requested his Honor to let him have it for presentation to the General Assembly. The DEFENCE MINISTER laid upon the table a return (to order of the House) relative to certain defence expenditure. The papers were ordered to be printed. STEAM MAIL SERVICES. The Hon. J. HALL brought up the progress report of the Steum Mail Services Committee, which was read. The Hon. J. HALL said as the mail for Melbourne left to-morrow and the July steamer, bringing the English mail from Melbourne, would complete the existing contract, it was important that a letter announcing the acceptance of the fresh tenders should be sent by the steamer tomorrow. Under these circumstances, he would ask leave to move, without notice, " That, in the opinion of this House, the Government should make such temporary arrangements for a period not exceeding six months as will provide for the conveyance of the English mail at the termination of the present contract, and if practicable, that such temporary arrangements should be for a less period than six months." This resolution was a mere echo of the report. Mr REYNOLDS considered that the report should he printed^ and in the hands of the House before it was asked to sanction the proposed arrangement. Mr PARKER asked if any extra expense would be incurred by the provisional arrangement. The Hon. J. HALL said that the new tender was at a higher rate than the present one. The existing services were performed for £7,800 per annum ; and the new tender wa3 for £11,000, but it was the only one received, and the only one the Government were likely to get. Leave was given and the resolution put. Mr REYNOLDS hoped the Government would make arrangements for as short a time as possible, so as to give the House an opportunity to decide upon the mail services. The resolution was carried. LUNATICS ACT. Mr STEVENS asked the Colonial Secretary, whether the Government are aware of any instances in which the duties of the Registrars of the Supreme Court prevent their effectively carrying out the duties imposed upon them under the Lunatics' Act, 1868 ; and whether they will take steps for placing tho administration of the act upon a better footing, more especially as regards the estates of lunatic patients? His object in pntting the question waß to ascertain whether the Government were aware that, in t some instances at least, the Registrars were unable to discharge the duties falling to them under the Lunatics Act. The Registrar of the Supreme Court at Chnefcfhurch had personally informed him that he was unable to perform these duties owing to their necessitating travelling in tho country, which his office duties prevented him doing. He might state that in the Christchurch district, during the month of April, ninety-six lunatic estates required administration. Tho COLONIAL SECRETARY said the Government had received no information on the subject j but he could conceive that the Registrars were unable to act owing to the judges not having made general orders. The Government could not, of course, interfere in this matter. The only amendment, so far as he could see, that could be made in the act was, to vest the power of making general orders in some other persons than the judges, if tho latter much longer neglected making them. It must be remembered that the judges were only able to conßulfc together when they n.et in Wellington to hold the Court of Appeal. His attention had been drawn by the Superintendent of Cantorbiiry to the working of the Lunatics Act; and this subject would be taken into consideration by the Government. If a bill to amend the present law was brought down the House might then properly consider the propriety of taking the powers of making general orders from tho judges. INDEMNIFICATION CXF PUBLIC OITICEKS. Mr STEVENS asked the Colonial Secretary, whether the Government will take into its consideration the question of indemnifying public officers against loss on account of their having oei casionally to defend actions against them ? The COLONIAL SECRETARY replied that the Government were not prepared to bring in a general measure of the kind suggested, as it might I tend to make public officers careless in incurring legal proceedings. In one or two instances where ollicers had incurred actions through no fault of their own, they had been indemnified. OTAGO "WASTE LAHDS COMMISSION. Mr MBRVYN asked the Colonial Secretary when the report of, and the evidence taken before, the Commissioners appointed during the recess to inuqiro the administration of tho waste lands of the Province of Otago will be laid on the table of this House ? The COLONIAL SECRETARY said the Government were informed that the report of the Commissioners would shortly be sent in, and" it would then be laid on the table. ENQUIRY INTO WRECKS BILL. This Bill was recommitted, read a third time, and passed. REGULATION OP ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT BILIi Mr REYNOLDS, in moving the secoryl reading of this Bill, said it was the same as was before the House last session. As tho principle of vote

by ballot had been discussed for several sessions, it was unnecessary to again discuss it. The whole opinion of the civilized world since last session had been declaimed in favor of the ballot. Mr BIRCH seconded the motion. During the last three or four years he had seen the working of the ballot in Dunedio, and not a single hitch had occurred during that time. He hoped the House would see the propriety of adopting this Bill. The Hon. J. HALL hoped tho hon gentleman would not press this measure on the present occasion. The hon. member constantly urged the not to pass bills because they had not been long before ife ; and hon members had not had thip bill in their bands for three quarters of an hour. If the principle of any bill required consideration it was the principle of this bill. .If it passed this House he trusted it would never become the law of the land. Nothing could be more injurious to the working of constitutional government than a law which taught the people to exercise an important public trust in secrecy. Mr OARLETON moved that the debate be adjourned ; but the motion was negatived. Mr FOX expressed his satisfaction at the hon member for Dunedin having again brought this bill before the House ; and he felt confident it would be passed by a larger majority than that of last session. A great advance in public opinion had taken place at home on the subject of the ballot. Mr CARLETON presumed that as the bill had passed the House last session, it was very likely to pass now. He should therefore not oppose it ; but thought it right to enter his protest against a measure which would enable a man to pledge himself to do one thing and to do another. Mr CREIGHTON conceived the object of the ballot was to secure purity o felections j but the present bill contained no provision to prevent the great evil prevailing at elections in this country — of persons voting at more than one booth. Mr G-BAHAM thought the merits of the bill were so well known that the ex-Postmaster-G-ene-ral's objection that it had only been a quarter of an hour in the hands of members was out of j place ; and any discussion was unnecessary. Without referring to America, they need only look to the experience of Australia, where the j ballot had been a perfect success. Polling there ' was tho tamest matter possible. There were no persons about the polling booths endeavouring to influence the voters, since they knew it was useless to do so. People would not ask for promises to vote, if they could not know whether those promises were kept or not. To say that the ballot was un-English was simply saying that it had not been in use at home, but that was no argument. He hoped the House would allow thiß bill to go to a division. Mr DILLON BELL wished the hon member would allow the bill to go to a division instead of taking up the time of the House with the stock arguments of this humbugging ballot. It was in the character of the people that the working of a constitution depended. The hon member must have Bhut his eyes to the recent revelations as to the purity of the elections in Australia. The House of Representatives in New Zealand had been singularly pure, and contrasted favorably with other Australian Legislatures. The case of Mr Jones was sufficient proof of the corruption existing in Victoria. The COLONIAL TREASURER did not think there was the slightest parallel between this country and Great Britain. When the same intimidation could be practised here as in England he should be as warm an advocate of the ballot as anybody. New Zealand had ulways been a, corpus vile on which to make experiments ; pray let experiments be made in other countries ; a little political selfishness in this respect would be justifiable. In America and Australia, which countries had similar political institutions to New Zealand, it was a disputed point whether the ballot was advantageous or not. The bill was read a first time on Thursday, "and to his utter i horror and astonishment he found it set down for second reading this day. The bill hafa only just been put into the hands of members, and it was not fuir to ask the House to pass it in this hasty manner, unless urgent necessity were shown. Great constitutional changes should never be made in haste. The hon. gentleman had not proved his case a 8 regarded this country. The principle of the bill was to guard against tyranny and oppression. Where was the tyranny and where was tho oppression ? I Mr WILLIAMSON admired the consistency with which hiß hon. friend had brought this bill before the House ; but he felt bound to record his vote against it. There was no analogy between this and the old country. A large class of the people at home are under the influence of others ; but we are a free people, able and prepared to exercise our votes aB we think fit. The passing of this bill, in the present circumstances of the colony, would be a libel upon ourselves. What we really wanted was, that controlling machinery which would enable a full expression of public opinion to be given at elections. The ballot would not provide this ; and as we are able to oxercise our votes openly, let us do so. If the ballot were adopted for .elections, the principle ought to be carried into that House. Mr BALL did not see why the ballot should not be carried into that House, as it would prevent much influence being exercised over members. Everyone should value the ballot as a protection to those who were in such circumstances as rendered them liable to be unduly influenced by others. Mr REYNOLDS pointed out that there are trades unions, Freemasons, Odd Fellowß, and other bodies in this country whioh could influence working men, v?ho were not so much afraid of their employers as of one another. He did not think the hon. member for Mataura could sub- . .stantiate his assertions as to the corruption existing iv Victoria ; if it did exißt, it arose from universal suffrage and not from the ballot. He could give quotations showing that the ballot had been most successful in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The House divided on the second reading: — Ayes, 37 ; Noes, 18. DIVISION IIST. Ayes — Messrs Armstrong, Baigent, Ball, Barff, Birch (teller), Bradshaw, Burns, Clark, Collins, Curtis, Eyes, Featherston, Fox, Gallagher, Haultain, Heaphy, Graham, Kelly, Kenny, Kerr, Macandrew, Macffarlane, Main, Mervyn, O'Neill, Orroond, Parker, Peacocke, Reynolds (teller), Rich, Stafford, Stevens, Swan, Yogel, Wells, Wood. Noes — Messrs Bell, Brown, Carleton, Creighfcon (teller), Dyman, Farmer, Fitzherberfc, Hall, HarrisonJJ H. S., Jollie, Munro, O'Rorke, Potts, Richmond, Rolloston, Studholme, Williamson (teller), Wilson. The result was received with loud cheering. The bill was read a second time. BETUBN. Tho DEFENCE MINISTER laid on the table a return (to order of tho House) relating to the action taken by the Superintendent of Taranaki, Mr Parrie, &c, on the subject of Colonel Whitmove's application for troops from Taranaki. The return was ordered to bo printed. MR CEAOEOFT WILSON'S RESOLUTIONS. Mr CRACROFT WILSON explained that, as Mr Fox had given notice of his intention to move a VOte of want of confidence on Tuesday, he (Mr Wilson) would not move his resolutions relative to the native difficulty until Friday next. STEAM MAIL SERVICES COMMITTEE. Mr WILLIAMSON moved that leave be given to increase the number of the select committee on steam mail services beyond the limit prescribed by the Standing Orders, and that Mr Creighton, Mr Reynolds, and Captain Kenny ■: be added thereto. { The Hon. J. HALL did' not dany^ that the oommittee might not be properly enlarged, but in this case many interests had to bo considered, and all parts of the colony ought to be represented. He did not object to the addition of a member for Auckland, and a member for Marlbofough, but &b there was already two Ofcago members on the

I committee he must object to a third ; and would move, as an amendment, that Mr Reynolds' name be struck out. Mr REYNOLDS considered the' commercial interests of Otago required the addition of another member from that province to the committee. ; Mr WOOD concurred in the remarks of the last speaker, since the interests of Otago and . Southland in the matter were identical and they should be move largely represented in the committee. He should support the resolution. Mr EDWARDS thought the members from the ends of the colony forgot there was a centre. As he stood on the committee the sole representative of Taranaki, Nelson, the Weßt Coast, and Marlborough — and, if the scheme of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce was adopted, of Hawke'a Bay also — if additional assistance were given to the Auckland and Otago members, another representative ought fairly to be given to Kelson. The COLONIAL SECRETARY thought if every part of the colony had been distinctly represented on the committee, there would be no need for this patching. No doubt "there were one or two omissions j but now, if they once broke the ice, they might go on adding names until the committee embraced the whole House. And after the experience they already had, of postal and steam committees, did they expect to avoid, a discussion on tbe committee's report? Mr DILLON BELL wasgladtohear the last remark of the Colonial Secretary, because the sooner the House recognised the fact that these steam and postal committees were humbug the better. It was hopeless to suppose that a postal committee would arrive at any conclusion ; and there was certain to be a row when the report waß brought up. Mr VOtJ-EL. pointed out that a report 6f the committee had been adopted that day. The proceedings of the committee were of importance. He thought, in adding fresh names to the committee, they had not to consider so much what places hon. members represented, as what members were likely to throw light on the subject. It would be a loss to the committee if the hon. member for Dunedin were not put upon it. He wished the hon. member (Mr Hall) would withdraw his objection. The amendment was put and lost, and the original resolution carried. WATEB SUPPIY COMMITTEE. Mr WILLIAMSON moved that leave be given to increase the number of the select committee on the water supply on the gold fields, beyond the limits prescribed by the Standing Orders, and that Mr Creighton and Major Heaphy be added thereto. • Agreed to. COST OP THE WAB. * Mr DILLON BELLmoved for areturn showing the monthly cost of the forces employed by the Colonial Government since the 30th June last, distinguishing the sums paid in each month for pay of officers, pay of men, forage, commissariat, transport of troops and charter of ships, and any Bums not coming under these heads; and distinguishing the amounts paid to Europeans and natives respectively. He regretted that the state of the clock [the time being 5.20 p.m.] rendered it necessary for him to move this in a formal manner, as he had wished to direct the attention of* 5 the House to some points of finance, which the excitement caused by the debate on Mr Fox's motion might render the House unfit to calmly^ discubs. He wished to ascertain what was the'real monthly cost of the present war. The- papers laid on the table showed that a force of upwards of 130 officers and 3000 men was in the field; to this had to be added a force of Ngatiporou, whoso arrival was reported in the newspapers of the previous day. The return to order of the House which had already been laid on the table did not give such details as showed that the Government thoroughly understood the financial aspect of the question. (Hear, hear.) Thereturn stated roughly that the expenditure since the 30th June last had been £230,000, and that the sum appropriated was £241,000. He immediately gave notice for a detailed statement, because he was certain that no such amount had been appropriated; He believed, however, the Government would amend this return- without necessitating . his pressing the motion. ' The consideration of what their policy should bo must be governed by their means, and before^ adopting .a policy they must ascertain what they could spend. He believed that every man in the field cost, when all the expenses connected with him was taken into consideration, £130 or £140 a year ; and at this rate, the force of 3000 men must be costing something like £450,000 a year ; and therefore if they had no greater success in their operations than they had since the House met last year, they would find themselves unable to continue expenditure which had already been of serious consequence to the white population of the country and to its future resources; In financial questions the House had always been accustomed to divest> itself of party considerations. He hoped the Government would make no objection to this return, which would show the House what the present operations were actually costing, and from data like that it would be enabled to arrive at a conclusion whether the same scale of expenditure., could be safely continued. He wished to call the, attention of the House and the Government, to certain returns published in the Gazette, anß. about which he was sure the Government would give hon. members full information. He observed that the quarterly returns of imprest advances Bhowed a gradual increase, the advances during the first quarter of the present year being £77,000 ; i in the succeeding quarter they were £120,000 ; while in the quarter ending 31st March they had risen to the sum of £170,000. Now, either these latter returns must include imprests which ought to have appeared before, or, in addition to the expenditure which had already been brought to account there must be a very large amount belonging to military expenditure. If as he supposed there existed an unaccounted-for balance of military expenditure. [The Colonial Secretary : Not a shilling.] Then, if that were the case, 1 these returns were not fulfilling tho purpose for which they were intended. Ho did not expect the return for which he moved to be furnished directly, ■ but h.e hoped it would be laid before the House ' as soon as possible. : The SPEAKER pointed out that the speech just made by the hon. member was somewhat irregular, inasmuch as the Standing Orders required debates on financial questions to bo made | in committee. The COLONIAL SECRETARY wished to remove an erroneous impression which might be left on some hon. members' minds by the last speaker's remarks with regard to the return moved for by Major Heaphy and subsequently laid on the table. That return was compiled by tho Paymaster, who had actually given more information than was ordered, since, while the return was to specify the amount, if any, of expenditure on defeaoe purposes in aocess of the appropriation, and the extent of liabilities, he had also given the ampunt of appropriations. The hon. gentleman was proceeding to make further remarks -when he was interrupted by the Speaker, it being the usual hour for adjournment. Upon the House resuming at 7 o'clock, The question was put and carried without further disoußsion. STEAM MAUD SEBTICE COMMITTEE. On the motion of fche Hon. J. Hail, the name of Mr Barff was added to the above-mentioned committee. The House adjourned at 75 p.m., until Tuesday next.

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Wellington Independent, Wellington Independent, Volume XXIV, Issue 2842, 12 June 1869

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Wellington Independent Wellington Independent, Volume XXIV, Issue 2842, 12 June 1869

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