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LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

FRIDAY, MABCH 4. The Speaker took the chair at 2.30 pjn Question. The Commissioner of Bail ways, reply ing to Mr. Quinian, said the reason Why the Government intended to build a refresh ment room at Beverley station was that numerous travellers had complained of the longdistance they bad to walk from the stetion, especially in bad weather, when they wanted to get refreshments, while the through train was waiting. It was not de sired to interfere with existing interests, and the persons who supplied the present accommodation might rent the refreshment rooms at the station. Bill Passed. The Augmentation of Ministerial SaUr ies Bill was read a third time, aad passe^ Appropriation Bill. On the motion of the Colonial Treasurer, thiB bill was read a first time, and the se cond reading was fixed for Tuesday next. Game Bill i mendment. The Attorney General made a lengthy explanation of the reasons why the two Houses had hitherto been unable to agree to the provisions in clause 9, which pro posed to give power to arrest aay person found in possession of protected game dur ing the close season. He moved that the amendment of this clause by the Upper House We not agreed to. Carried. South-Westbrn Batlway Act Amend ment Bill. In committee, the clauses of this short bill were agreed to. The schedule, which contained the amendment desired by the Government, was discussed at some length. The Commissioner of Railways explain ed that it had been found desirable, since the passing ef the principal Act, and for financial reasons, to alter the starting point of the South-western Railway to a point 40 chains beyond the 11 mile peg from Fremantle, as fixed in the principal Act. The Government expected to save a considerable sum on the official estimate of the cost of this railway, and they wished, for financial convenience, to take power in this amending bill to be able to expend a portion of the saving in purchasing land required for the increased station and shunting accommodation near Melbourne road in Perth. The Engineer-in-Chief had informed him that the present station acco-mnodation had already become so inadequate, that there would soon be a necessity to extend the station area a mile beyond the point which had been mapped for resumption. There would therefore not be money enough in the vote already passed for tbe resumption of all the ter minus laud which would be required, and the saving which they expected to effect might be made available for the purpose by altering the schedule of the original Act.

Mr. Sholl objected to the bill as a round about process of acquiring more land for the Perth station extension. The Colonial Treasurer said that, sup posing this objection weie admitted for the sake of argument, the object of the Govern ment would still be a legitimate and bene ficial one. A larger expenditure had been in curred, and more was expected now to be required than had been anticipated for the improvement of the Perth Railway Station. By altering the starting point by 40 chains, the Government would be enabled to appro priate the expected surplns to the pur chase of this additional laud, instead of having to take the money out of the inade quate vote which had been previously pass Mr. A tax. Forrest said the Government were resuming land outside of Perth for this railway, by claiming a statutory power to take it without paying anything for it to the owners, but within the Perth city area

they pursued the opposite policy of exces sively high pi ices to private holders for every chain of land required for this rail way. Mr. Sholl objected that this Bill for amending the schedule as a means to some thing else was wrong in principle. The Commissioner of Kaxl^ats contro verted the statement as to the Government offering extravagant prices, and said there were complaints on the other hand that there never was euch a shabby Government as this one in the matter of prices for re suming land. Mr. Parker objected to the route in the schedule being described by referring to a plan deposited in the office of the Commis sioner of i-ailwavs, and said the rente ought to be fully described within the Bill. The Attorney General pointed out that the route of a lengthy railway could not be described in words so as to be intelligible, whereas it could be so described on a plan. Sir James Lee Stebke said this method was preferable to the old one, but suggest ed that the plan should be marked or sign ed for identification. ' The schedule was agreed to, and the Bill was reported without amendment. New Bill?. The Colonial Treasures iutroduced a Bill to authorise the remission of Crown liands Rents iu the Gascoyne and North West Divisions. The Bill was read a first time. Ihe Attorney General introduced a Bill to provide for the government and discipline of troops forming the garrison in King George's Sound. The Bill was read a first time. The Kimbeblby Goldfisld Reward. In Comia ifcte?, Mr. Qotnlan moved ' That the House do favourably consider the petition of John Slattery and others to the reward offered for the discovery of gold in the . Kimberley district, as proclaimed in the Government Gazette of 15th July, 1886.' He said the matter had been placed before hon. members on a previous occasion. The claim had been brought before the Supreme Court, but the hearing of the evidence had been prevented by official objection. It was unlikely that these men, know ing at that time that there was a reward of .£5000 for the discovery of gold, were actuated by any other motive iu venturing so much, than that of obtain ing the reward. He quoted from Hansard, 1888, showing that many members of the then Legislative Council expressed them selves in favour of the reward being paid to these claimants. Only a week or two ago £250 was paid for the discovery of tin, and this was a matter which he had sap ported equally with the question new under notice. He hoped the Government would not refuse to grant to these men their reward for having thus given a start to gold-mining in West Australia.' Mr. Baker seconded the motion, and said he knew from practical experience that the discoverer of a goldfield had no sinecure. He had been a discoverer of a goldfield, and had got nothing for it, but he trusted the Government would see that the claims of the petitioners were recognised. The Attorney General said it had been his duty to seriously consider the papers in connection with this case, and had come to the conclusion that there was nothing due to the petitioners. At one time the notice offering the reward had been withdrawn by the Government by another notice, pub lished in the Government Gazette-. As the

claim for the reward was persisted in, the Government did pay .£500, and the benefi ciaries were distinctly informed, at that time, that there was nothing due to them, that the payment was an act of gra-e, and was made with out prejudice. Like sensible men they took it without prejudice. Theyals- had had camels, horses and pack saddles supplied them, in fact the whole of the remains of a large Government expedition were handed over for their equipment. It was all very well t j say that the stipulated quantity of gold had been produced, but tbey could not prove that any gold had been passed through the Customs, or been shipped to England, as required by the gazette no tices. There were innumerable other claims for the same reward, and considering the whole circumstances of the case, he had advised the Government not to reopen the question, because he thought it was time it was closed. Mr. Baker said that the prospector could not be expected to ship the gold he obtain ed to England. He was only too glad to sell it to the storekeeper. This clause iu tUe proclamation of tne reward was merely a ' get out.' (Laughter). Mr. Qutnlan said the Attorney-General had said there was no proof that the 10,000 ounces of gold had been got iu two years, aad it was just that proof which the peti tioner had been debarred from giving, by their case not being heard in the Supreme Court. The Attorney General said it waB left

to the Governor-in-Council to definitely determine the claim, as the tribunal ap pointed in the Gazette notice, and ample proof was given that such an amount of gold had not been shipped through the Customs during the two years. Mr. Qoinlan said the petitioners were entitled to more than the small amount which had been paid. It was -for the House to decide whether the claim should be dealt with. Mr. Canning said if the petitioners were prepared to show that 10,000 ounces bad been raised from the field in the two years, tbe regulation would, in effect, have been complied with. The Colonial Treasures said this mat ter had already been decided, it having been considered by the GovernorinCoun cil, in accordance with the second part of the Gazette notice. There were other per sons who claimed tbe reward. He knew that the widow of the late Government Geologist received .£500, and these people, Hall and Slattery, had £500 also. If the House desired to say it did not agree with the decision of the Governor in ISxecutive Council, it was quite competent to do so. The present Government succeeded the previous occupants of those benches, and having looked into the matter, were certain the former Government was right in what it did, and he did not think there was any necessity to go further into the matter. A little while ago the Til gam claim was decided, and so had been that of the discoverer of Pilburra. The awards in these cases were accepted, because they knew the conditions under which the awards were payable — namely that the Governor in Executive Conncil shonld be the tribunal to dtcide to whom the rewards should, be paid. The same tribunal had dealt with the present case, and the Governmeut having also looked the matter, there was no necessity to dis turb the decision arrived at. Mr. Baker said he was a little bit aston ished to hear the Colonial Treasurer say that .£500 had been paid to others who had come in. Hall and Slattery were the premier discoverers, and as such were en titled to the premier reward. Mr. Richardson said the Government iu proclaiming the reward rendered them selves liable for £5,000, providing the 10, 000 ounces were discovered. He did net think it could be deni-d that that quantity had come from the Kimberley fields, and allowing that others bad received some re ward, if all the payments combined did not amount to £5,000, did it not appear that that the Government of the colony were still liable to some extent ? The Colonial Treasurer : No, the Go vernment said it found the fields by its Geologist. Mr. Richardson : There might be some thing in that, but he could not help think ing that a good deal of the discovery of the Kimberley goldfields was due to Hall and Slattery. The CoDouiAi Treasurer : The Govern

ment equipped them. Mr. Quinlan offered to withdraw the motion, if the Government would give an assurance that the claim of the petitioners should be again considered. The Colonial Treasurer said this course would be agreeable to the feelings of members of the Government, but they could not pay away public money to gratify personal fneling. Tneir duty was to do what appeared to them to be right, even if it was unpleasmt; and having already satisfied themselves that these people bad no claim for this award, the Government must decline to re-open the question. Even if something was to.be given, the parties were not agreed among themselves as to 'who should have it, and there would pro bably be a law-suit as to the division of the mocej. The Kimberley goldfields were

discovered a year befote these men were npar the place ; they were disco vet-?d by a Government expedition, fiited out by bis direction, and commanded by Mr. Johns the Government GeologLst cf that day, Mr. Hardman iroing t?iih him. The Govern ment Geologist reported the discovery of gold by that expedition, and he prepared a geological map of the Kimberley district. Mr. Bakes Gaid all that Mr.' Hardman* discovered was a trace of g«ld, a few penny weights. Mr. Hardrcao was paid by the Government for that work, but these pros pectors were not paid. Take the cost of I he camels and the other expenses off the .£5030 which had been offered as a reward, and let these real discoverers of gold at Kimberley receive the balance of the money which they had been led to expect from the Gazette notice. Mr. E. F. Sholl really thought that the men who discovered gold at Kimberley and brought it down, were Hall an Slatt-ci-y. He believed they acted upon Mr. Hard man's recommendation. This matter had, however, been dealt with and disposed of, but be thought these persons were more entitled to the reward for discovering the Kimberley goldfields, Hiaa tbe person to whom the Bouse had that session votod .£250 as being the discoverer of the tia fields. The motion was put and negatived on the voices. A division was not called for Adjournment. The House adjourned at 4.10 Until Mon day evening next.

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