No corrections yet
Tuesday, July 6.
lho SPEAKER took tho chair ii few minutos
before noon, and thuro were present:?Messrs. Painter, Ramsay, Thompson, Walsh, Royds, Thorn, Ferrett, Fyfe, Benson, Mcilwraith, Macalister, Pring, Lilley, Atkin, Edtnondstono, Fraser, Groom, Stephens, Forbes, Haly, and
The Usher of thc Black Rod announced that it wus His Excellency tho Governor's pleasure that thc members should attend immediately in tho Legislative Council Chum ber.
The House forthwith proceeded to tho Cham- ber, and on returning the sitting was udjourned
until 3 o'clock.
The SPK?KElt took tho chuir at half-past 3
THE KENNEDY ELECTORATE.
ThuSPEA?EKmade the following aiinounco ment willi reference to this electorate:?"Hu
considered it to bo his duty to report to the House that, tinco tho receipt hy him, on tho 21th July last, of the writ of elec- tion certifying tho return of John Bright, Esq., for the Electoral District of Kennedy, no such person had ever presented himself to bu sworn,
or hud subscribed tho roll. Under these cir-
cumstances, it appeared to him that tho member for the Kennedy lind been ubsont for ono wholo session of tho Legislature, within tho menning nnd intent of section 7 of tho Legislative Assem- bly A;t (31 Victoria, No. 21.)"
The following now members took tho oaths und their seats:?Mr. Palmer, for tho Port Curtis electorate ; Mr. Ramsay, for Westoru Downs; Mr. Walsh, for Maryborough; Dr. Benson, for Clermont j Mr. Ferrett, for Wost Moreton ; Mr. Fyfe, for Rockhampton.
Mr. MACALISTER roo, and said that ho wished to call ul tent ion to a question of privi- lege He observed a gentleman seated in that House whoso seat hud boen doclarod vacant by Act of Parliament. (Oheers from tho Oppo- sition Benches.) Section 7 of tho Legislative. Assembly Act provided that, " if any inembor of the Assembly shall for ono whole session of the Legislature, without tho permission of the Assembly onterod on its journals, fail to givo his attendance in tho said Houso," his seat shall become vacant. Nothing could bo moro explicit than that. The name of tho gentleman he alluded to was not recorded on the journals during tho lust short session. Ho had not applied for, and tho Houso had not granted him, leuve of absence. It could scarcely bo doubted thut it wus a question of privilego, whether any gentleman should sit there when ho was not legally entitled to. In May's Prue tito, page 252, it was laid down that, whero a quostion was bona fide ono of privilege, tho House would entertain it beforo any othor. Ho would therefore movo,?" Thnt a writ bo issued for the election of a member to servo in this House for tho Electoral District of the Leichhardt, in the room of Mr. Gordon Sande muu, whoso seat has becomo vacant by reason of his having for one wholo session failed to
Mr. PRING seconded tho motion.
Mr. SANDEMAN asked whether this was a question of privilege ?
The SPEAKER stated that ho would morely give un opinion, not a ruling. It appeared to him thut this was no moro a ques- tion of privilege than that of a mombor taking his seut and voting whoso return has been questioned and petitioned against, who, they all acknowledged, might sit nnd voto till his return was declared illegal by the Commit- tee of Elections und Qualifications. The hon. member for the Leichhardt District had beon returned for that district, and had sat und voted in tho House, and it seemod to him that the hon. gontlotnan hud as much right 'o do so ns any mombor until a resolution of the House, of which notice must be given, shall declaro his Bcut vacant, more cspe iuily to, when it was ecen by tho opinion of the law officers of tho Crown in England that, by the clause of tho Constitution Aot which refers to the matter, absonco during one whole session did not necessarily rondor a seat vacant. In that opinion, tho law officers said, " In \ our opinion, tho seats of the two members,' Messrs. Sandomun nnd Fleming, did not become absolutely vacant in consequence of their non-attondanco at tho ex- traordinary session of tho Queensland Parlio ment, held in the month of January, 1862. For, although it uppenrs to us thut tho short session held at that period was a wholo aesBieu within section 26 of the Oolonial Act, ratified
and'confirmed hythe Imperial statute, 18 und 19 Vic,, No. 51, yet, we think that mere absonco
of the mombors referred to during an entire, sos
sion, without fiersoxitd laches or default, did not amouut on a reasonable construction of tho enactment, to a failure to give attendance in tho Houso. No such personal dofuult is alleged or seems probable.!', He would also romind hon. members that by Standing Order, No. 18, a motnber might bo absent, for fourtcon days without tho leave of tho House. Under those circumstances, ho should leave tho matter entirely to tho House.
Mr. PRING regretted it should bo his un- pleasant duty to disputo a ruling from tho ohair, [Tho Speackb : It was not a ruling.] Woll, it wns road from a paper, and- comprisod an opinion pf tho Crown law olfieors at home, and ho could scarcely take it for anything, clso. That opinion wns no precedent iu tho present oase. Hore, they wore to bo guided by thoir Constitution, tho languago of which on this point, iii seotion 7 of. tho Assembly Act,
wns clear and unmistukooblo. i That boc
tion providod .that, if a member wns absent during a wholo sossiou without permission of tho Assembly, his scat should ipso facto bo vacant. In tho opinion quoted by tho Spoakor, the Crown law officers hold that tho soats wero not vacant, bocause there wns no laches on tho part of Fleming and Sandomua. If there was no laches, or if an hon. member was proventoil by unavoidable circumstances from taking his seat; it was' then held that thoro was no failure within tho section. Was there laches in tho present caso ? Mr. Saudomon was in Brisbane within twenty-four hours of tho commoucemont of the late session, and thou left beforo it commoncod, stating ho should not bo ublo, in consequence of businoss matters, to utton'd. That was laches. Tho Crowu law officers hold that failure was unwillingness to attend, not staying away through inenpucity or becauso of unavoidable circumstances. This was u motion of which it was unnecessary to give notice, and indeed it was impossible to give it in such u case, a caso of a stranger in tho House.
Mr. THOMPSON denied that tho quostion was ono of privilege. Brenchcs of priVilego
woro defined to bo disobedience of ordors of tho
Houso, or indignities offered to it. It could not bo Bnid that a member whose Boat hud been petitioned against infringed on tho digu itios o tho Houso by taking his seat. Tho opinion of tho Crown law officers rested on tho construction of soction 7 of ' tho Assembly Act. Tho wholo question thoro and hero turned on tho expression "fail to attend." Tho Crown law officers held that failure must be wilful fniluro. 'It wns for tho Houso to do cido on evidence, but not without, whether tho present was a case of wilful failure. ,'Thc session wus an exceedingly brief ono, and tcrmiuated unexpectedly. Mr. Saiulcmiin might havo in- tended to tuke his sent within a dny or two. By their 18th Standing Order, a mombor could bo absent for fourteen days without hoing guilty of contempt. [Mr. PitlNO : During u Bussion ]
If a session did not last thut time ho could not bo iibscnt. (Laughter.) Mr. Sundommi was net ubsent fourteen days, uu>1 could not have been guilty of contempt. Ho was only absent throo or four days. Section 7 of the Assembly Act referred toensos where a member wns ubsent without tho permission of the House onteral on its journals. Here, the hon. member hud permission under tho Standing Orders, which wero amongst tho journals of tho Houso. Tho question was ono also of which notice should havo been given, nnd it was not ono of privi- lege. If tho hon. momber (Mr. Macalister) wished to declare tho tent vucaut, ho should de- clare Mr. Snndoiuun's presence a breach of privilege, which tho motion did.not do. Ile would usk tho Spoukor whether, Mr. Snmloman's scat not having been declared vacant, his pre- sence could be considered u breach of privilege ?
Tho SPEAKER said ho had ruled thal it wus not ;i question of privilege.
Mr. ATKIN considered the question wno ono of common sense, as to tho interpretation of.n simple section of un Act of Parliament. lu the cases referred to tho Crown law officers, tho session wus a special nnd a short ono. Tho session waa an extraordinary ono, the members wore nt n considerable distanco from Brisbano
when it mut, und their ubsunco was not personal default. Iii tho present, case, personal default wus ulleged. Notico flint tho session would meet lind neon given months previously. Mr. Saudemuu wns in town twenty-four hours before it mot. When that session was about to com menco, Air. Snmlemnn lind written a letter resigning his sent, which had been in tho pos- session of tho present Colonial Secretary. Tho Minister for Lunds lind referred to the Standing Orders, but they could not over-ride thu Act of
Mr. PALME? denied Hint ho hud over held Mr. Suiidoinun's resignation, or thut ho lind any knowledge that tho hon. gentleman had hud any intention of resigning.
Mr. LILLE I* contended Hint if over lhere could bo a quostion of privilege, a question whether thoru wus a stranger in tho Houso must he ono. Tho Act lind declared Mr, Sandoman'o sent vacant, and all that tho Houso lind to do wns to issue n new writ. No evidence wns re- quisite in ruell a caso. No loavo of absence wns entered on tho journals, and thoy need go no furlhur. Tho Standing Orders could not over- ride an Act of Parliament. Tho cuscb referred to thu Crown law ollleors were not upplicublo to this. In tho present, tho session was tho usual annual one, und full notico hud been given of it.. It wus not au extraordinary session, liku tho plouro-pnoumonia sossiou af 18G2, which Fleming and Sutidcmun fuilod to uttend.
Mr. HALY opposed tho motion, partly on tho contention thut tho Inst wub not a sossiou, no bill having bcon passed in it.
Mr. WALSH commentod on tho present un- systematic manner of commencing tho session, und said that if tho course now pursued was to
bo tuken as bvidonco of tho intentions of tho
Liberal party he did not think very much good
could arise from their labors. Ho had no ob-
jection to tho mutter being referred to a com- mittee, but ho objected to tho proposed ruthless disfranchisement of an important constituency for party purposes.
Mr. SANDEMAN rose to spoak.
Mr. PRING objeotod to his addressing the House. The question was ono of privilege
Tho SPEAKER said tho quostion beforo tho Houso was whether tho-question waa ono of privilege.
Mr. PALMER appoalod to tho independent
members of the Houso?not' to those, who
thought merely that by disfranchising a large constituency they would add another rung to tho ladder on tho road to offioo, but to those who do not want oflico or pay?to seriously con- sider tho matter bofore deciding whothor un un- intentional absence from tho Houso for two days was sufficient reason for declaring tho sent vacant. According to tho Standing Ordors uny member might eonsidor it porfebtly safe to be ubsent for fourtcon duys, und to. adopt tho motion of tho hon. momber for Eastern Downs
would bo to ostablish a most dangerous prece- dent. He cotitotidcd that, at unyrutu, tho incinbors of tho-Jato" Ministry could not con- sistently support tho motion, inasmuch us it was through their inability to curry on tho business of tho country that tho circumstances whieh lcd to the present discussion aroso.
Dr. O'DOHEKTY maintained thut tho argu- ments of tho hon. member for Fortitudo Vulloy fully exploit:od tho case, und thut notwithstand- ing how unjustly it might affect Mr. Sundoman
tho luw should bo adhered to.
Mr. SANDEMAN again roso and rcqucstod to be permitted to speak.
Mr. PRING again objected.
Mr. WALSH dosired to know if tho hon. member (Mr. Sundoman) hud a right to address
Tho SPEAKER ruled that as tho question before tho House had not boon curried, tho hon. member hud a right to address tho Houso.
Mr. LILLEY moved thut tho ruling be dis- agreed to.
Tho quostion was, after somo ,disoussion, re- solved in tho affirmative, on tho following
Ayes, 15.?Messrs. Pring, O'Dohorty, Stephens, Edmondstone, Benson, Jordon, Mcilwraith, Miles, Bell, Fraser, Groom, Thorn- ton, Macalister, Lilley, und Atkin,
Noes, 10.?Messrs. Forbes, Forrotr, Boyd*, Walsh, Ramsay, Palmer, Thompson, Williams, Thorn, aud Huly. .
Mr. JORDAN said that although tho law of thocaso wnsclonr, other thingsroquired to bo con- sidered. To doclaro n seat vacant for an acci- dental absonco of two days would bo acting un- generously, if not unjustly,- towards the hon member; and ho contended that somo attention ought to bo pnid to tho state'of the colony, aud that no side should toke advantage of tho other morely to soouro; a vote. Ho would opposo tho
Tho SPEAKER thou put; " Is this a quostion of ¦ privilege ?" mid it was resolved in tho
Mr. RAMSAY said ho was informod by Mr. Sandomun, whom ho mot on tho Downs a few days prio'r'to tho moeting of Parlinmont, that, pressing privnto businoss would provont him attonding at tho opening of last sossibn. Ho had no intention whatever to absent himsolf for tho wholo session, and it would be a groat injus-
tice to declare his sent vnoant.'
Mr. FORBES nrguod that a liberal construc- tion should, bo put on tho Act, and that any doubt ought to bo given in favor of tho hou. momber whoso absence was under discussion.
After some remarks from Messrs. GROOM
and THOMPSON tho original motion wns put and carried on tho following division :?
Ayes, 13.?Messrs. Pring, Macalister, Sto photis, Miles, O'Doherty, Lilley, Edmondstone, Bonson, Atkin, Groom, M'lllwruith, Thornton,
?Noes, ll.?Messrs. Ramsay, Wulsh, Wil- liams, Palmor, Perrott, Thorn, Royds, Forbes, Thompson, Jordan, and Haly.
ELECTIONS AND QUALIFICATIONS
Pursuant to tho requirements of tho Legisla- tive Assembly Act,
Tho SPEAKER laid upon tho tablo his war- rant, appointing tho committee of elections mid qualifications for'tho present session, as follows : ?Messrs. Joshuu Potor Boll, John Ferrett, Henry Jordan, William Milos, John Murphy, Charles James Royds, mid George Thom.
Mr. WALSH laid upou tho fabio, Reports relating to tho Surveys ot proposed Line of Railway botweon Brisbnno and Ipswich, by Messrs. A. Fitzgibbon, J. Thornoloo Smith, and R. D. Stephens, civil engineers.
Mr. PALMER laid upon tho table tho under- mentioned pnpors, viz.:?Dospitteh, ecu., relulivo to proposed Submarine and Land Tolegrnph between Singapore und tho Australian colo- nies ; Instructions to tho Agent-General for Immigration to Queensland ; Synopsis of tho Disbursements of tho Agent-Gene- ral for Emigration from Europe, for tho quarter ended March 31,1S70; Correspondence respecting Auditor-General's Report for tho year 18(ii); Return of tho number and sexes of all Children who attended tho Primury Schools during thc first six months of tho years ISO!) and 1870, respectively ; Copies of certain Tele- grams, Correspondence, nnd other Papers, hav- ing reference to tho Building of ono or moro Steamers, by T. S. Mort and Company, of Sydney, for tho Queensland Government; Further Correspondence, &o., upon tho subject of Steamer for Queensland Government.
Mr. RAMSAY* hud upon tho table Report on tho Working ol' tho Government Lifo Insurance and Annuity office for the year 1869.?Ordered to bo printed.
Mr. WALSH laid upon tho tablo tho under- mentioned pupers, viz.:?Alumni Report of tho Engiueor of Rou a, Northern Division, for the your ending .list December, 18(19; Report from tho Superintendent of Roads mid Buildings upon tho working of his Dcpnttincnt for tho yeurlBUU; General Report upon thu Northern District, by Riobard Daintree, Esquire, Into Government Geologist for Northorn Queens- land.?Ordered to bo printed.
Mr. THOMPSON laid upon tho tnblo the undermentioned papers, viz : ? Regulations established limier tho Pastoral Lenses Act of IS(il) (33 Victoria, No. 10), willi respect to tho salo ul auction of lenses of forfeited or vaunted runs ; additional regulations fjr limber licenses. ?Ordered to bc printed.
Mr. THORN, without previous notico, asl.o.l tho Seel olary for Publio Lunds,?When will tho regulations, in necnrdiincu with sect ion 98 of Lund Act (grunts of land to volunteers), be laid
on tho tnblo ol' the Houso?
Mr. THOMPSON replied: Tho rules linvo been passed by tho Executive nnd only require confirmation, und will bu laid on the fable iu a few days'.
On tho motion of Mr. PALMER a bill fm- tho bolter regulation of the rights nnd liabilities of common carriers wns rend n first time.
THE KENNEDY ELECTORATE.
On tho motion of Mr. PALMER, tho seat for this electorate wus declared vacant.
HIS EXCELLENCY'S SP!'ECU.
Tho Sl'.'.AKER reportod tho opening nf tho session nt, un earlier hour in tho day, und rend tho Speech delivered by His Excellency tho
ADDRESS IN REPLY.
On tho motion of Mr. FOKUKS, tho follow- ing were appointed a select committee to con-
sider and prepare un address in reply:?Mr. Puliner, Mr. Ramsay, Mr. Ferrett, and tho
Tho committee having retired,rel urned shortly after with (ho following address in reply :?
"To His Excellency Samuel Wjo'bi.kv Black
all, Esq,, Governor and Comtiiuiider-in-Cliiof of the Colony of Queensland und its Depen-
" May it please Your Excellency,?
" 1. Wo, Hor Majesty's loyul and dutiful subjects, tho members of the Legislative Assem- bly in Parlinmont assembled, desire to assure your Excollenoy of our continued loyalty and uffoution towards tho person and Government-of our Most Gracious' Sovereign, und to tender our tlinnks to- your Excellency for tho Spoech with . which you huvo . opened tho present
" 2. Tho monsures referred to by your Excel- lency shall receive our most careful consideration, and wo trust thut your anticipations iib to thu future prosperity of the colony may bo fulflllod,"
Mr. FORBES, in moving tho adoption of.tho ubovo address, said that hu had novor uddrossed tho Houso with moro satisfaction. Tho Spoech wus one that should' moot tho concurrence of tho Houso. If thoro- woro faults in it, tho Houeo -should boar with them. 'Tho present Govornmont did not seek oflico, und most of them were now to it. Tho first paragraph of the Speech referred to delay in legislation. Thut wus not the fuult of tho present Govornmont. Tho proscntilnaiioiul condition of tho colony wus deplorable. Tho deficits hud always buen largo,
but tho Into Govornmont hud novor retrenched. They were popularity hunters, und pur- chased it ut tho expense of tho country, partly by profiiBO expenditure, which was moreover unauthorised. The second para- graph of tho Speech promised a Loan Bill. There was no doubt tho country required one. Extended loans for unruproduulivo works woro, howovor, not wanted, ito was in favor of tho plan of making thu burden of works such us railways u local, not ugenorul ono. With regard to tho third paragraph, he did not disapprovo of the conduct of thu late Government in that particular. Thoy acted right in taking steps to prevent liuing coerced by a privnto company. Paragraph 4 recommended that, to ousuro thu profitable working of the railways, it wuk ndvix nblu that thu uharges for passengers and goods should bu fixed by Act of Purliumcut. if that could bo dono, hu thought il would ba u step in thu right direction. Thu fifth paru graph contained an intimation of au intention to introduce, a bill to rugulute tho colludion of customs. Ho did not know how thu prcsont Customs Act worked, or what reform wus re- quired. Whon tho oxisting Additional Customs Duties Continuing Aot expired, thoro would bo u necessity for the re-coiiet ruction of tho tariff. The Government wished for additional repre- sentation, but it was impossible to alter their eleotoral law as their Constitution stood at thu prcsont time. Ho wub ulso in fuvor of thu policy enunciated in tho seventh paragraph, relatiro to tho construction of railways by privuts oompuuius for laud. With regard to the Brisbane and Ipswich railway, botfi tho hon. member for the Burnett (Mr, Pring) and tho hon. mombor for thu Eastern Downs (Mr. Macalister) hud opposed its construction at ono timo. Now thoy seemed to
havo changed their views on tho point. Ho reviewed tho course taken by tho present members of the Opposition .when, in power, and contended that, there was in reality very littlo difference buiween tho policy enuncinto.I by tho present Government and their predecessors. Tho only matters in which, they differed wero that tho former Government promised.to bring forward n redistribution of seats bill nnd a bill to amend tho electoral law, but ho could not look upon those as being of importance, beoauso until tho Houso consented to tho repeal of tho two-thirds olnuso ho believed thoro was no earnest desire for electoral reform. Ho pointed out that tho Into Govemmont lind not attempted to utiliso tho work nf tho committees on the Supreme Court and Police, which was of groat, .importance, mid contondod that somo forbear- ance should ho shown to. tho present Govern- ment until thoy got sufficient knowledge of departmental work, so as to adopt a polioy which would bo moro advantageous to tho country. He condemned tho action of tho metropolitan Press in regard to tho present Government, nnd also argued that thoy were fully entitled to a fuir trial. Ho hoped that whatovor course hon. members purauod, it would bo ono which would bu sntisfuctory to themselves and beneficial to tho country.
Mr. FERRETT seconded tho motion.
Mr. PALMER said ho thought tho propor time had now urrivod for him to make a .minis- terial statement, and in tho first phioo ho would stato how tho present Goveriimont hud been formed. [Tho hon. gentleman hore related tho construction of tho Ministry.] To bIiow that ho had no ambition to become the Premier of tho colony, ho might mention that ho offered the oflico to his hon. collenguo, tho Colonial Treasurer, in addition to his prcsont office, and he declined it. Muny members on tho Oppo- sition honchos were well uwuro thut ho hud no intention of taking office, nnd thut ho hud partly made arrangements to leave, not only tho House, but Brisbane (Hoar, hear.) Under tho cir- cumstances ho considered it to be his duty to tnku office, and ho was glud to sny ho hud succeeded in getting together a Ministry of which ho was proud, whatever tho Houso might be. Tho only ot hui- matter hu had to mention respecting tho Ministry was that ho had offered tho hon. member for Fortitude Vulloj' tho olllco of Attornoy-Genoral, and, after consideration, he refused it, nineh to his (Mr. Pnlinor'tt) regret. Ho wns nltogethor ignorant of tho tactics of tho Opposition, but, judging from what hu hud semi, it appeared to him that thu Government would be opposed from tho start. Tho mouthers of tho Goveriimont had not found iu office a grund inheritance. An overdrawn account, and bunkors rather surly, was far from agreeable; not that ho wished to pass any reduction on tho hankers, for tho Government hud found thuin very considerate He thought thut tliero was no party in thu Ho usu which did not sen tho necessity for passing a few important measures before coming to what might be called debatable ground. Ho was of opinion that there wero ecvoral things mentioned in tho programme of tho Government in which all sides could very well join in passing before thoy uumu to ground on which there was likely to ho material dill'or umo of opinion. He alluded in tho lirst, in etanco to thu croat importniiou of ii limmciul statement, (llonr, hour.) Ho thought it was of tho greatest importance Hint thu proposed
nil oral ion in thu Customs turill' should como under notico ns soon us possible ; und ho also thought it of equal importance that, a Loan Hill nhould bo introduced to provide for tho wants of tho colony?not only sufficient to cover nut lay already incurred?hut abo to continue nowssury public works and for immigration purposes. It wns absolutely nocossnry that thorn should bu a lunn, und that tho credit of tho colony should bo mrintuiiiud hy every possible munns. Tho amount of thu loan might uppour startling at first, hut ho had no doubt tho hon. thc Colonial Treasurer would bo nillo to show, when hu made hi-< statement, (lint thu whole sum would bu required, although it would not bo necessary to go into tim market lor n largo pori iou ol it at once. A consider- able sum would bo necessary to cover tho de- posits iu the Sittings Blink, lu regard lo this mutter, ho wished it, to bo perfectly understood that there wns not thu slightest (linger of tho safely of the deposits referred to, bucnuau tho faith of thu country wns pledged for thuin. At
tho tame limo hu thought it iw of tho greatest, importance thal thin trunt should be. covered by dcbcnturcH, bccuutui in thu ovunt of a run ou thu bank bad roan Its might follow, and fiiiancinl arrangements which would hnvo to bu made under pressure would bu sure tn bu uusutis luotory. Tho Govornmont proposed introduc- ing a Savings Bunk bill to vest thu funds mid dubontures iu thu hands of triifloes, hut not tukiug tho control out of thu bunds of tin Government. With regard to tho notico of motion for £50,000 for tho mails of tho colony, he might sny thut it lind been utilicipntod by thu Government, who thought thut in .justino to tho talliers who hud spout no much money and labor in thu colony they should not, bu Mint out, from thu murkul for tho want nf moana ol' com miiiiiuiiiinu. (Hear, lieur.) There wuh another purpose for which thu loan would apply lo nonie extent. Tho House, lust scei-ion, passed a bill for tho promotion of immigration, und ulthough most members of the present Government op- posed thu hill, yul us a Government it wus their duty lo carry out its provisions, und they could not bo curried out without money. Arrangements hud ulruudy buen ninda hy tho Immigration Agent which would onluil cousiduruhlo expense , if carried into effect. The amount required for Germnn immigration would be about £18,000, und Ibo totul sum required would bo between 1115,000 and £50,000. AVIiutlior thu monoy would bu repaid .was, of course, a question of tinui. He thought these wore mutter* on which there would not be much difference of opinion, und if thu Housu was willing to work, the wholo of this business might bu disposed of in tun days, and,they would thou approach dcbntublo ground. Tho Government thought it to be their duty to bring before tho House tho matter of tho contract for building » steamer for tho service of the colony, and us their connection with it might bu misunderstood, somo explana- tion was necessary. When iii' Opposition, thoy entertained opinions of their own with ruferonco to tho contract, und thoy curried tho sami) opinions into oflico. Thoy thought it wus an arbitrary stretch of power on tho part of any Government to ontor into such a contract without consulting Parlia- ment when there was no immediate necessity for such ii course, und when, if any pressing necessity existed, tho Government could have called tho Hou'o together to consider it. Thu prosout Goveriimont hud dono nothing to injure tho credit of tho colony, They lind 'received an application from Messrs. Mort and Co.'s agents iu Sydney for additional time for tho building of tho steamer, mid they replied that thoy did liol consider that they wera bound hy any con- tract entered into without Parliamentary sanction, und thoy declined to interfere iu tho mutter iu any way. Siuce then, there hud boen un application from Messrs. Mort, and Co. for thu pay in en t of tho first instulmoiit, which they suid wus due; und to it ii similar answer was returned. No hann hud been dono; and if thu Houso voted thu monoy, it would of course bu paid. This quostion could also bo brought beforo tho Housu und disposed of in a very short timo if uttuution was devoted to it. The Bubjuct of tho remission of sohool fees without Parliamentary authority would ulso have to' bo coiiBidured. Hu did not think any hon. member would eny tho fees ought not to bo remitted, or that tho system did not work well. There wus nothing to provo that it hud not?in fuct they hud returns for the first six months of tho your whioh showed very con- siderable increase in the attendance. '< hoy hud not, however, a return of tho ugos of tho children, which might provo of im- portance. Tho Government thought it most extraordinary, however, thut nothing whut ovcr was heard of tho (literation until it was announced at tho close of tho session, when the House wus being dismissed. Tho mutter would be luft entirely in the hands of the House, lind ulthough ho did not think it advisable to innko any further alteration, it would be well to have the opinion of thu Houso us to thu powers of a Ministry to strike out fees, nnd thus increase-the taxation of tho colony by somo
£5000 or £GlO0. The fourth paragraph in tho Speech went to show the iden of the Govern- ment ns to whut ought to be done to make the existing linos of railway profitable. They found ono Minister raising tho tnriff, mid another re- ducing it, and that differential charges were allowed, and for this reason thoy were of opinion that tho tnriff ought to bo fixed by Act of Parliament. Thoro were oxamplos of tho kind in England, nnd tho Government wero of opinion that such a system would oporatoto ad-' vantage hore. Thoro wnB such a diversity of opinion about railways, that tho Government saw nothing for it but to ask tho Houso to ap- point a committee, who would thoroughly-go into tho wholo question of cheap railways. Im- provements were being made ovory day at home and in Indin, und in tho.various colonies, in tho construction of railways, nnd it wus, thorofore, necessary that, tho greatest caro should bo taken before committing the colony to a largo expen- diture for railways in tho interior, or he might say from Ipswich to Brisbane, for if land would bo taken in payment.for tho line tho Govorn- mont wero prepared to support n meusuro for its construction. (Heur, hear.) Ho might in- form tho House, ns it wns not contained in tho Speech, that tho Goveriimont were in communi- cation with tho Immigration Agent, Mr. Douglas, respecting telegraphic communication with Europo, an.! that gentleman hud recoivod instructions to tho effect that if possible the lino should bo brought to Queensland, und that tho Government would guarantee fivo per cont, on the additional oublo which might bo required, if tho Houso would sanction it. Thore was only ono other subject ho need allude to, re- specting which a notico of motion had bcon tabled. Ho referred to Separation, and ho had already declared his opinion on tho subjoct at Rockhampton. Ho was then very much pressed to muke tho meusuro u Ministorinl ono, nnd he refused ; and hu now again refused to do so. Tho othor members of thu Ministry could take what course they thought fit in this matter, but ho felt, bound in tho interests of his constituents to support it. At tho sumo limo, he-thought it would bo n grout pity for Separation to tako place, and that it ought to bo resorted to only as a lust resource A bill for additional repre- sentation was in courso of preparation. Tho Goveriimont woro strongly of opinion that thc number of members in tho House wus too small, and for that as well us othor ransons they would introduoo a nieastiro for a considerable inoroiiso in tho representation of tho people. A small Houso was apt to get into cliques and partios, mid to disregard important general questions on ninny occasions. As ho hud said before,- ho did not know what courso tho Opposition intended to pursue, but ho maintained that, considering tho circumstances
which lcd to tho construction of the Govorn-
mont, thoy were fully o. titled to a fair and honest trial on their merits. (Hour, hour.) Looking nt tho shite of tho iftlouy, ho put it
to hon. members if it would not, bo butter
to lay aside party wartaru, and assist in pausing those pressing important measures ha hud mentioned, and afterwards fight out, any other question of importance upon which there might Do a diffuriincu of opinion. There would be no trimming on tho part, of tho Government, it would not bu a Ministry of expediency, and hu nguiu miiiutiiiiiod that they woro in justico entitled to au impartial trial. (Hear, hour.)
Mr. MACALISTER said ho regretted very much to occupy thu position hu did, hut ho felt, ns did also every other member on thut side of the Housu, thut they hud pined themselves in a position to give tho Government, a fair trial. Tho question wns whether tho Government hud placed themselves in connection with tho Housu in ii position to receive a trial beyond whut hud ulrendy taken pince. Ho took an unfair trial to inonu a trial by n factious opposition, simply to put ti Government out; und, on tho other hand, he held il lair trial to bo u trial of their measures, mid of tim policy emim-itttcd by hiern, lt was iiis intention to propose several auiendiiunts on tho Address, aud ho regretted tina the hon. g. ntloinnn at thu head ol' tho Government had not touched ono
of those amendment,,! iu his speech. Ile regret-
ted to hear him refer to thu mutter of tho btearner, mid lo thu unite of the bunking account, and the sneering jiropi miiliea of thu bunkers.
.Me. PA MIK lt saul he had not, used the words just spoken, hut hud said thu Govurnuient were under great oblipdions to thu bankers.
Air. M.lCALlSTICIt rn liuttiined that tho hon. member had used tho wordd, (hear, hear, and no, no), and he regretted it because state- ments ol' thut kind wero not calculated tn do good, but rather the contrary. Hu uaw nothing whatever to cai'se alarm respecting the finances, mid all that, wuh necessary was to moko finan- cial arrangements. The hon. gentleman hud
referred In tho matter of thu steamer contract
in a very strmigu manner indee I, mid ho thought the Speech was the lust, place in which
ho would tindall allusion lo it. lt, amounted to a eoniloiiinution of ii previous Government, or to more than ii condemnation, und hu cer- tainly thought that after the discussion that hud taken pince on tho subject, mid also on tim subject of National Education, thal these matters might very woll have boon lefl alone until thu Estimate* were laid beforo the House. If ho understood the hoi), gentlo mun rightly, he positively denied that tho con- tract for the Binnuc!- had been repudiated, nnd yet he admit ted thut thu payment of thc first instalment had been refused, and if thut iras not repudiation ho did not know what was, for it guru thu contractor a right to shu. Ho con- tended that thu honor and credit of tho colony was ut stuko iu this matter (hour, hoar, and no, no) ; and thut tho Govurmnunt must have known full wull that tho Housu would have bonn
prepared to support thom in currying out tho contract. (liour, hour, mid no, no.) Tho Speech dclivurod thut dny was n bad copy ? a disgraceful copy of that do livurcd ut thu commencement of lust session. (Hour, hear, und laughter.) Ho found in thu lattur bpeech tho following clause:?"3. A bill will bu introduced containing the powora necessary to ouublu thu Govurmnunt toguuranteo thu interest on moneys to bo expended, by individuals or companies, in tho construction of cheap linea of ruilwuy." That of tho present Government wasi?"7. You will bo asked to empower tho Government to contract with pri- vate individuals, or companies, for thu construc- tion of cheap lines of railway in tho interior, and to pay for sumo by grants of lands along the lines to bo constructed." (Laughter, and hoar, hoar.) lu tho spoech of April, it was intimated that tho House would bo asked to reform tho elec- toral law, but first to repeal tho two-thirds cluusu of tho Constitution Act. In the Spoech of that day, thu present Government intimatod that thoy would go iu for additional representa- tion. A bill for that purpose had boen beforo the Houso session niter sussion, nnd it would bo absurd to introduce it again without repealing tho two-thirds clause. Not having mentioned that, the Govurnuient wore clearly not sinccro on that point also, Willi regard to tho various bills mentioned in tho fifth paragraph, they hud all, with ono excoption, buen boforp tho Houso your after year. It would bo inadvisable to legislate for tho gold-Holds, without first appoint- ing a committee. In His Excellency's Spoech in April, such a committee wns recommended. Tho second paragraph was also very similur to ono in tho April Speech. With rogurd to the fourth paragraph, as to railway charges being fixed by Act of Porliumont, ho should now givo no
opinion on it, but merely express his belief that he should not support thu bill, because ho thought it would bo injurious to the interests of railways. Ho believed thu Government could not bo sincere in bringing forward tho proposi- tion in tho seventh paragraph, ns to the con- struction of railways by private individuals. If a Railway Committee wus appointed, no further u'tion would be taken that session. Tho Go- veriimont, in fact, proposed to pass a Loan Bill und tho Estimates, aud obtain the Railwuy Committee, and then close tho session. That was all they meant to do. The hon. goutlomun who moved tho address in reply said the colony was in u very doplorablo condition, but that 'was a Hat contradiction of tho last purugraph in the Speech. Though thoy labored under many ditlloultios, wisu legislation would remove them, and thore wus no reason to regret the position of the colony iu almost any rospeot. He proposed to movo au amendment in favor of tho encouragement of tho development of
colonial industries. (Laughter from the Go- vernment benches.) That was no laughing mattel-. Queensland was not in the same position in regard to the free trade question as England. Thc Supreme Court records here showed private indebtedness to the extent of five millions of money, the interest of which was flowing out of the co.lony. They were sending away millions of money for articles they could produce themselves. The result was, a
reduction in the wages of labor. Their best j and most enterprising colonists were leaving j them to go elsewhere to seek employment, and the value of real property was reduced exceed- ingly. Unless they adopted some scheme to remedy these matters, the colony would by and-bye become depopulated. He intended to move another amendment in favor of an ex- tended railway policy. He did not believe in standing still* The" colony must either pro- gress or retrograde. If they were to en- courage immigration, they should open, up the country by cheap and speedy means of communication. Another amendment he pro- posed to make was in connection with the Addi- tional Representation question, and the repeal of the two-thirds clause. Again, the great ques- tion of Separation was one that the hon. mem-
ber at the head of the Government should, as a Northern member, have brought forward. One of his amendments related to that. It would b.3ve afforded him great pleasure to have gone" with the Government if they had broug't for- ward a suitable policy. They hud, however, announced their intention of doing nothing, and it was necessary for other hou. members to come forward with a'policy they were prepared to en- dorse, and to express to His Exceiiency their want of confidence in the Government which had failed tobring forward a suitable policy. He would therefore move, as an amendment, the omission of all the words after " Sovereign," from the address in reply, and the insertion ol the fol- lowing in their place :?" Aud we beg further respectfully to inform your Excellency?(1) That no Ministry will receive the confidence or support of this House tba: is cot prepared to introduce a financial policy that, in its fiscal arrangements, will afford, for a time, aid ano encouragement to the development of colonial industries; (2) That no Ministry will receive the confidence or support of this House, that is not prepared to initiate and carry out a general railway policy which will include the immediate completion of existing lines and the effectual opening up of the interior. (3.) That no attempt to provide additional representation can be regarded as sincere that is not preceded by a repeal of the two-thirds clause of the Constitution Act. (4.) That it is a matter of regret that, in your Ex- cellency's Speech, no notice h\s been taken of the Northern question of Separation. (5.) That, in the absence of any announcement in the Speech delivered by your Excellency at the opening of thif session, of au intention on the part of the Government to introduce measures to Parliament having the foregoing objects in view, we have no confidence in your Excellency's present responsible advisers."
Mr. MILES seconded the amendment.
Mr. WALSH said there could be no mistake now as to the intentions of the hon. members
on the opposite side. The hon. gentleman who just sat down had said that the steamer ques- tion should not have been brought forward. But there had been no chance of bringing the late Government to account before. The hon. gentleman (Mr. Macalister) had himself said that he would vote against the hon. member for Fortitude Valley for that unauthorised expendi- ture. (Mr. Macalister: I never said so.) He
(Mr. Walsh) would pledge his word that he I did. [Mr. Pnih'G: He did not say so. I know what he did.] Other members had said they would oppose the hon. member for that pur-
chase who would now condone the offence for political reasons, with the view of getting the hon. member as Premier. The present Govern-
ment had told Mr. Mort, the conti actor for the steamer, that they must get Parliamentary sanc- tion before they paid him. They had not repu- diated the contract, but had declined to act in nn unconstitutional manner. When he was in Sydney, Mr. Mort told him that, if he was a member of tbe House, he would vote against the steamer as a constitutional question. [Mr. Lillet : I do not believe it.] Mr. Mort could deny it, if he did not say so. With regard to the great railway across the country, a more preposterous scheme than that . enunciated by the hon. member for Eastern
Downs was never propounded outside a lunatia asylum. (Laughter.) The hon. gentleman also was in favor of a line to South Brisbane. It was to be brought to a spot near the proposed new bridge, where a terminal station could not be worked on account of the gradiont. [Mr. Macalister : I do not know where the site is to be.] The bon. gentleman seemed to think that the country was languishing for railways. They bad already cost the country £3,000,000, and what was there to show for it? About 130 miles of line. Because the Govern-
ment objected to rushing into further outlay the hon. gentleman was now going to move on amendment on the Address. A million of mouey might have been saved on the railways if a little more caution had been exercised by the late Minister for Works, and if a little marc attention had been paid to the recommendations of the other Railway Committee. One thing he (Mr. Walsh) disapproved of was a reduction of the railway charges, which were at present lamentably low. The effect of the reductions made by thc late Government was a decrease of the railway revenue. He would not be a party to a paltry coqtest for freight with carriers, men who had to work hard for their living. With regard to difi'erential charges, he did not believe the Government had power to make them under the Act. They were now paying som. thing like £600 or £700 per annum out of the general revenue for every mile of railway which they possessed. The working expenses of the line were barely covered by the receipts. These nccounts had never been placed before the public in a proper manner, but he wa6 resolved to do so as long as he remained in office. Who ever lived to see the railway constructed between Ipswich and Brisbane, would see a a further source of expense added to the country. It had been ttutcd that several bills were introduced in thu Governor's Speech which were not origiuatcd by thc Government. Surely the hon. gentleman would not blame them for stating the bills they were about to bring in. They did not profess to be original. There was nothing new under the sun. They wero charged with making insincere profession with regard to thc construction of railways. There was no insin- cerity in the matter. If the Government could get capitalists ready to construct these lines they would be quite ready to undertake them. But he asserted that the railway had been a curse to the country. (No, uo.)' lt had absolutely token the whole of our political ekill to make 131 miles of railway, whilst nil other matters hud been unattended to?tho public roads were a disgrace to the colony. It was the railways that robbed tho farmers, and kept them from having roads for the conveyance of their produce to market; but if the Government were allowed to remaiu in office this state of things would bo changed. They were now asked to construct
a railway to Roma, through the heart of what £1 he niigi t call a wilderness. No sane man would for a moment assert that the country through which the line would pass would ever become an agricultural one, and the only advantage which would be gained would be the bringing down, of ufew more huies of wool, and thu carriage o'f a few tons of rations up for the benefit of ike squatters. He certainly objected to construct railways for suoh a purpose. If they wished to construct a ruilway he would advise them to do so through East Moreton, where a large agricultural population were settled, nnd where there would be a probability of a line paying. Tho hon. member who just sat down wished io know the views of the Government upon the questions of Finance und Protection, but the hon. member must know that this wus not tho time for the Government to do bo. He would now como buck to tho railway question. Tho hon. gt rn lo- man had employed eugiueers to survey the line of railway to Ipswich, and it was tho intention of tho hon. gentleman to make the terminus ut South Brisbane. Ho bad no hesitation in suy.
ing that if such a course were adopted North Brisbaue would be depopulated in the course of a few years. He could not understand the as political inconsistency which had marked ere j the hon. gentleman's career. A few
of years ago he was as much opposed
io the creation of this railway as be was now in favor of it; and one of the cleverest speeches which the hon. gentlemen had made was in opposition to the measure. The country it J could not afford at the present time to be ruled 12 j by such legislators. He (Mr. Walsh) had no nd sordid object in view in accepting office, and he
was perfectly willing to make way for better men. But he trusted that, taking the affairs of the country into consideration?the many mat- ters which required attention?that the House would pnuse before inflicting upon the country a serious injury by ousting the present Govern-
!n" j Mr. PRING labored under some difficulty in UP j addressing the House, as no doubt he would be of charged with altering his sentiments to the
times. But he did not estimate sis character at
such a low estimate as his opponents. He had lived in the world too long not to know that all things change ; and the ideas which he professed some time back were not suited to the present time. He, however, regretted that he should be opposing his old friend the present Premier, but still he would not be deterred by that from takipg the position which he did upon the present occasion. He was a colleague of his friend the Premier in the Mackenzie Ministry, and at that time the policy which the Mackenzie Government brought before the House was condemned. The policy which the present Premier sought to carry out now was essentially the same, and he would not submit, with the knowledge which he had since gained, to advocate such a policy. The times had changed, men's ideas had changed, and the position of the colony had changed, and his own views had changed, und he believed that change would be beneficial to the colony, and that would satisfy him. Since he had changed his views he had appeared before his constituents, and he had been returned professing the liberal policy which he now did. He could not say, however, that the Attorney General of the present Government went before a squatting constituency professing the policy of the presest Government, und that he had been
returned. It had been stated that he had for- merly spoken against the construction of the line from Brisbane to Ipswich, but he had done so conditionally, and only opposed it until the Government were in a position to construct it. (The hon. member quoted from Hansard in support of his statement.) He thought the
conduct of the Government most un-
precedented. After using every effort to turn Mr. Lilley from office, they turned round the next day and asked him to be Attorney-General in their administration. After that the Ministry had no right to talk to the Opposition about being allowed a fair trial. What trial bad they given the lute Government ? They had moved a vote of want of confidence in the late Government upon purely personal grounds. They did not object to the Speech with which they opened Parlia- ment. The policy of the Government was left intact, but a rider was tacked on to the tail of it, to the effect that they hud no confidence in the Government. That policy had been taken up by the present Government,
as the hon. member for Eastern Downs had proved, and he (Mr. Pring) now said thut he could not sit in that House and submit to be governed by a Government of this description. He thought that the late Government' had not had a fair trial. He thought that they were bullied into resigning, and that the colony had found it outi to be a great mistake. He hoped that one day he would see Mr. Lilley again Premier of the colony. The late Ministry had bad a cry raised against them which drove them from office. They were condemned by public opinioii before their policy had been announced, and they had been charged with dying like dumb dogs be- cause they would not reply to the scanda- lous accusations brought against them, and he believed they had acted wisely in not doing so. They had to de3l with the prospects of this colony, and they had to decide whether they were to prosper or not, aud it must be left to tbe majority of this House to decide. Ho opposed the present Government on the ground that he did not believe their policy was a satis- factory one. He believed it was a retrogressive ginstead of progressive policy, and that
they did not intend to carry out half of what they enunciated. They would curry out what the Premier thought necessary, but nothing more. He had taken the trouble to read some of the speeches made by Ministers at their election, aud from thom ho had gathered that tbe Ministry had no intention of acting in such a manner as to cause thc
), I colony to progress, and he had heard nothing
since to cause him to change his views. He ndvocated a system of road trusts for the benefit of farmers, and contended thut the state- ment of the honl Minister for Works respecting a line of railway through East Moreton was merely a sop to the East Moreton members, and that it was made with a view to produce a certain effect in the event of a genera! election. He strongly condemned tho course pursued by the Government in censuring the couduct of their predecesssrs as being most uncoustitutbnal and unprecedented, and argued thut it uppeared most unequivocally from thc telegrams relating
to tho steamer that the contract had been re- pudiated. He also contended that the courso pursued by the late Premier in. regard to that contract wa9 perfectly justified and constitutional. He cored not for the statements of the hon. member for West Moreton, nor for Earl Granville's des- patch. Why, the Victorian Parliament had re- fused to have anything to do with it, and Earl Granville had nothing whatever to do with the parliaments of the colonies, and he (Mr. Pring)
believed be would live to find out his mistake iu writing such a despatch. But even that did cot go to the extent which had been stated. It
6aid it was unconstitutional for a Government
to spend money without the sanction of Par- liament, except under certain circumstances, and who but the Government could be the judges of the circumstances ? He believed thut the late Governmer.t had been hardly treated, and bemaintained that their successors had commit ted great breaches of duty as Mit isters. He had no confidence in them, nor did he believe in their policy, or that they ever intended to carry it out, aud he therefore felt it to be his duty to oppose them tooth and nail. With regard to the Opposition, it was unnecessary that they sh mid have a policy, but they had a policy, and one which they believed would be more bene- ficial to the interests of the colony than the scheme proposed by the Government, and which in the course of events they would faithfully endeavor to carry out. He believed if the policy enunciated in the amendment could be carried out, a new era of prosperity would shine on the colony.
Mr. HALY maintained that the hon. mem-
bers on the Opposition side were tryir.g by their railway policy to ruin the colony for the sake of Brisbane. The hon. member who had just sat down made a tool ol the Burnett for the sake of £1000 a year. They would be in a far better position as a Crown colony than they were in under Responsible Government. f*NIr. Atsix : "Treason."] It was not treason. The colonists would not be taxed as they were if it was a Crown colony. Whatever he (Mr. Haly) said
was honest and outspoken. Some other hon. I 'he members only wanted to get £1000 a year, cor It was a delusion to make a railway to Benin, I sta where there were no agriculturists, and would j Th probably never be, (or the jaie of a few
On the motion of Mr. LILLEY, the debate was adjourned to the following (this) day.
The House adjourned to 3 o'clock on the following (this) day.
A priiLtc tea meeting is to take place at the Wesleyan church, Ipswi h, this evening, July 5, at which Mr. J. J. C. Foote will preside. On the following evenius; a lecture will bc delivered by tho Kev. J. H. Fletcher, of Sydney, also at tho Wesleyan church, upon " Richard' Baxter and earnest Christianity two hundred years ago."
'J ter, rah wis!