In consequence of the arrival of tbe English Mail, we condense our abstract of parliamentary business into unusually brief space. We have Hansard to the 12th Instant, and the Courier's down to Wednesday last.
OYSTERS.-In the Assembly on the 10th instant, Mr. Fyfe presented a petition from fifty persona engaged in the oyster fisheries of Moreton Bay, against the measure introduced by Dr. O. Doherty.
PASTORAL LEASES BILL.-On the motion of Mr. Thompson this Bill was read a second time. The motion was violently opposed by the Opposition, who characterised it a swindle. Ultimately it was carried by eighteen ayes to eight noeB. (This Bill was published at length in Thursday's Bulletin.)
MEES AG E.-On the 10th, o message wat received from the Legislative Council to the efiect that that body had resolved that they would not entertain any bills unless they were laid on the table at least one week prior to the closing of the sesaion. A discussion arose, and the Speaker pronounced the resolution unconstitutional. Ultimately it was resolved that the résolution be returned to the Legislative Council with a message to tho eflect that it would lead to e. breach of the privileges of the Assembly.
INSOLVENCY BILL,-A fi er the disposai of a quantity of routine business, the House went into Committee on tile Insolvency Bill. The clauses were considered eeriatim, and the Bill was reported with amendments.
The PoBtage Bill and the Diseases in Sheep Act Amendment Bill passed through Com- mittee. The House then adjourned.
ADDITIONAL REÍBESENTATION.-On the 12th instant, after some formal business Mr. Palmer introduced a Bill to provide additional repre- sentation for several electorates.
RAILWAY EXTENSION. - Dr. O'Doberty moved that the report of the Royal Commission with reference to the Southern and Western Railway he taken into consideration with a view to general railway extension both north and south. The hon. gentleman delivered
a speech occupying three columns In the Courier. Mr. Scott followed with his amend- ments pointing out that one-third the popula- tion of the oolony resided north of Dawes Range; that the total railway expenditure in the colony had been £2,337,618; and that as onlv £292,858 had been spent in the north, there was a balance of £486,314 due to it on account of railways. On this ground he argued that the extension should be carried out to Expedition Range before any further extenaion were authorised in the south. He also advocated a gauge of 2ft. 9in.; and a much lighter description of rolling stock than was in use in the existing linea. Mr. Johnston, one of the members for Ipswich, explained that he voted for the reception of the Commission's report to prevent anyone saying it had been burked ; but he should oppose the motion now before the House for reasons which he gave at length. Mr. Pring followed with a party speech contain- ing little direct reference to the question at issue. Mr. Walsh next addressed the House, and asserted that Dr. O'Doherty bad marred the prospect of getting the Brisbane railway for
many years to come by his bungling and pre- cipitancy. The hon. gentleman made a lengthy and bitter speech in opposition to the ques- tion. Mr. M'Iwraith followed with a statis- tical speech on the cost and value of railways in various parts of the world. He contended that it was a mistake to suppose that the northern line would take so much traffic as had been represented, lt passed through country almost worthless, and if carried out to Expedition Range would land it in a bigger bog than it was in at the present time. He maintained that the railway should be carried out from Dalby to Roma. Mr. de Salgi
answered the assertions of Mr. M'liwraith. with counter assertions. At tbs last election he
appealed to his constituency on this question, and their declaration came to this-that they would not have him as their representative if he should support the Brisbane and Ipswich Railway. If tbe Premier should state that the construction of the proposed southern line
would plunge the country into further heavy debt and consequent taxation, he would not demand it, and he would be willing to go before his constituents and explain the circumstances of the case, and, if they wished it, he would resign.
Mr. Atkin made a racy speccli and taunted the northern members with doing as the Premier wished them, He believed that when the Financial Separation was gone into there would be no such balance in favour of the north as waa alleged. About 3,000,000 acres of land had been alienated in the colony, and only about 300,000 acres of this was in the northern districts. Mr. Lilley moved the adjournment of the debate,
which after some discussion waa agreed to.
RAILWAY EXTENSION.- On the 10th instant, the railway debate waa resumed by Mr. Lilley, who made a long and masterly speech, especially from a southern point of view, concluding as follows:- His side of the House, in conjunction with the people of the colouy, said- " We rather have this extension." (Hear, hear.) The Government and their supporters said-" You shall not." It therefore remained with the public-their masters-to decide how long this was to last. (Cheers.) Messrs. Thorn, Miles, Ramsay, and Jordan followed. Mr. McDevitt stated that the northern people were not opposed to railways, but required some guarantee that they would not increase the burden of taxation. He opposed the amendment as shelving the question. Messrs. Stephens, Branston, Forbes, King, Morgan, and Moreton having addressed the House, Mr. Fyfe said that in consequence of the lateness of the hour he would take another opportunity of speaking upon the question. The House then divided, the amendment being carried by 16 ayes to 16 noes. The House then adjourned.
EXPLANATIONS.-On the 17th, several hon. members made corrections in their speeches as reported. The Opposition members of Mr. Scott's Railway Committee gave notice of their intention not to act. Tbe Speaker, however, quoted from May's Practice to show that hon. members were required to serve on committees when appointed by the House.
Mr. PRING.- The committee of Elections
and Qualification reported that Mr. Pring was entitled to his seat in that House, notwith- standing his having acted under a Commission
from the Governor.
INSOLVENCY- BILL.-On the House going into Committee on this Bill, Mr. Groom an- nounced his determination to hinder all legis- lation until a more just and honest decision was arrived at with referenee to the railway question. He therefore moved that the Chairman report progresa. Mr. Atkin seconded the motion, and hoped the Ministry would be forced to appeal to the country on this question. The House divided, when there was 14 ayes and 14 noes. The Chairman gave his casting vote with the noes, to allow the business to proceed. Mr. Miles then moved that the Chairman leave the chair, and after a long and acrimonious discussion the motion was adopted. During the debate Mr. Fyfe referred to the telegram he had received from Rockhampton, but Mr. Scott pointed out that lie omit lcd to mention that the telegram referred to had instructed him to vate against thc extension from Dalby to Boma. The Houeo having resumed, an adjournment was agreed to.