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THURSDAY, OOT. 23.
The SFEAKEB took the chair st hall-past
PISCOVERY OF TITE BENDIGO GOLD
Mr. BAILES preaenteii the report of the (elect committee appointed to consider the claim of Henry ..renehan, as the discoverei of the Bendigo sold field.
The following papers wera laid on the table :-Railwav Loan Act-estimates 01 ci. penditare ¡ return mated for by Mr. Munro, relative to unexpended balance of loan.
FLOODS ON THE GOULBURN.
Mr WILLIAMS moved lor a return show, ing the name« of proper.} -holders whose holdings will be affected through the flood ing of their lands by the erection ot the Goulburn weir ; the number of ncri'B affected in each case ; the amount of monoy to be paid to each individual ; the title the Water ¡supply department will hold lor snch
Colonel SMITH seconded the motion. Agreed to.
YEA RIVER SELECT COMMITTEE. Mr MUNRO moved
" That the select committoo on tho Toa River Com pany havo losvo to report the minutes and ovldeuco
from timo to time "
Colonel SMITH seconded the motion. Aureed to.
RAILWAYS STANDING COMMITTEE
Mr. BENT reported that the Sianding Committee on Railways lind held n prelimin- ary meeting, and appointed himself ne chair- man, and Mr. Zeal as vice chairman The House would be pleased to lciuivv that the committee had begun its labours in the most harmonious miinncr possible, and he lett sure that the commutée lind the Rood wishes of hon members generally. (Hear, hear.)
THANKS TO TnE CHIEF JUSTICE.
Mr. GILLIES moved
"That this Honso records its high sense and appro, ciation of the vahmblo son ices rendered to tho people of this colons bv His Honour tnc Chief Jus- tice, George Higlnti.tliatn, Esq , in undertaking and BiiocLRslultv oaTj fng out the great work of consoli- dating the statut- law of tho colony "
He believed that in submitting tins motion he had the entire sympathy of the Doune. (Hear, hear.) The career of the Chief Justice had be°n a great one, and all parties, whether opposed to him on other grounds or nat, would admit that he had striven to do bis best for the interests of the colony in whatever position he had been placed (Hear, hear ) In addition to his arduous labours na Chief Juitice the latter gentleman lind now carried out a great work winch he was not culled upon in any way to perform, mid lie had carried it out in as sin inflicto, y a manner as it was possible for any man to do IL (Cheeta ) One or two elip_ of a purelj technicnl nature lind been found in the con soiidated acts, but they were not euch as to affect in the slightest degree the immense public importance of the work which the Chief Justice bad performed. It was scarcely possible for any mun, or any body ot men, to have done the work in a better or grander manner than he had done, (Chters ) So far us perfection wus attainable inawoikot such intricacy and magnitude, the Chief Justice had uttumed it. (Ueur,
Mr. MUNRO had very great pleasure in B.conriiug the motion, mid lie was sure that the House would uninimoiuly support it. (Hear, bear.) He knew of no gentleman who coald have gone into this work with such great determination or single mindedncss to do what was right us the Chief Justice, and be bad the gratitude ot the whole colony lor
the work he had done.
The motion was carried with acclama- tion, and ordered to be sent to the Legis- lative Council, und Us concurrence thereon
Mr GILLIES moved
" That the clerk ho iiiBtruotod to placo this resolu- tion on reoord as having been passed uuani
DEBENTURES CONVERSION BILL.
The House having gone into committee, Mr GILLIES moved
" That an appropriation lia tundo out of the can sohdated revenuo tor the purposes of a bill to provide for the conversion of debentures into Motor! in hi Bcribed stock '
lion members, he nriiil, bad already been in forme 1 that on the 1st January next tile lust oí our C per cent debentures, to tiic ninnniH of ibDOOOO, would full liue in London lor aome time pust the Agent General lind been in cotnmnnicition with some of the beat finauciiil nu til on ties in London na to certain
proposais tliut were rtcommended lor the consideration ot the Govirnment Hicae were to the efiect that when certnin lonna (eil due, instead ot lasuing new launs to tuite their place, nn effort should, if possible, be made to induce persons who were nt preaent holders of debentures to exchange those debentures for inscribed Btoek ut 3_ per cent 'Ihis wns not the timo to follow out tile very long and lorcible uruiment in which ngentlerann of distini.uiihed linuncml position ni London hail expressed Ina views on the Bubject, but he Btrongly reconi
mended thiit inBteud of raising u new loan to meet the pajment ot those debentures which fell due in London on tho 1st January next, an set should be passed to euuble those debentures to be converted into Jj inscribed Victorian stock 'Hie first communication that the Government received expressed the belief that if this were done at least three fourths ot the debentures would be taken up m that ttnj '1 he same thing had been tlone by the Government of Cape Colon., and the success it met with justified this expectation As bon members knew, inscribed stock held n higher position in tin. market, other things being equal, than liny debentures bince then, however, further information had been received to the eft eel, that, in consequence of tin perturbed state of the London money market, owing lo a vanetj of causes, Very little of the stock was likely to be com er ted on ibis occasion Ile had obtained inlormutinn from a variety ot quarters with the result that tina opinion was strongly supported, so that in asking the House to pass tins bill, he did nut wisn it to
be miHlcd into the belief that an) thing like a considerable proportion of the outstanding debentures would be eonvertetl under it It would be necessary also to insert a provision in the bill so that if the conversion should Erove to be only piirtinl, the unconverted
dance might be dealt with by loin in the ordinary way In regard to tile bill of which lie had airead) given notice lor the £1,(100 ODO loan that hud still to be floated, it wits pro posed to place it in exactly the same position as ihe present bill ,in regard to redemption liie present conversion bill had this other peculiarity, that instead of fixing tits» term of sears at 84 or 33 jears, is bud been the cm tom, it was proposed, on advice lrom home, that the term should be 50 j ears, redeemable after 30 years, on giving 12 months notice
'J hut waa a great advantage over the present Bietern, because when lite term as hitherto was absolute!, fixed at iO or 35 years the loan must be paid off ut the time it matured whether the Government liked it or not, and without regard to whether the market was favourable or untavouruble Uu 1er the new system, if at the expiration of 30 years the market should be umavouruble to the float- ing of a loan to pnj oil the debentures which then matured, the Government need not take up the debentures, but c uhl postpone doing BO for any period from one to 20 j ears, so as to multo sure ot issuing the loan to redeem the debentures at ii tim »hen the Dione) market was moat tavourable '1 hut was the reason why the provision had been in- setted in the bill enabling the Govern ment to redeem the debentures at any time after the expiration of .10 sears up to 50 jearB on giving the holders 12 months' notice if it was thought that the market was favourable to fl at a new loan to pay off the ola one, Hie Government had proposed in u bill, of which he had given notice, to place the balance of £1,000,000 remaining out of tile last authorised loan in the Burne position, giving the debentures a currency of not leas than 30 years nor more than 50, willi the option of being taken np during the interval of 20) car s on giving the holders 12 months'
Mr LAURENS-What will be about the date on which you will issue that ¿1,-00,000
Mr GILLIES-The debentures will run from the 1st Januarj next. Ihe conversion of the loan of £850,000 might be done unme älately before the lot January, und, it so, it will run from that date, because the £850000 debentures do not full in muii that date 'Hie holders of those debentures would then be entitled to have issued to them 31 per cent atocle in lieu of the 0 per cent debentures they now held, so Ihut the elates ot I oth would be the some It j_B quite possible that tile Btate ol the London market might be such at the begin- ning of next year us to render it undesirable
to lloat any portion of the £850,000 loan which could not bu converted bj the let Januatj, or any part of the proposed loan of £1000,000, but the Btate of the market was such that it might thatigc in one, two or three months It was difficult to predict what wotild be the state of the market in two or three months' time, us it frcquctitl) changed lery suddenly, but it would be the duty of the Government to obtain the very best advice that could be got na to 'he best and most suitable time for floating a new loan consisting of whatever part ol the loan of £850,000 remained uncon- verted into 3i per cent stock, and the balance
of £1,000,000 remaining out of the authorised loan oi £4,000,000 Those two amounts would bo joined together, and would consti- tute a new loan, and it would ue for the Government to select the most opportune time early next year to float it That was the object ot this bill
Mr. MUNRO said that lie was in rallier nu awkward position with regard to this matter, as anything that was saul in the House with regard to the dunnee, of the colon) waB apt to be sei7ei! upon by the carping critics m London. He was afraid that the holders of the 0 per cent, debentures which would fall in on 1st Jannarj ne-cr would not agree to their c inversion into 31 per cent, -lock, so that Parliament would have to look the matter in the face, because the banks would Imve in that case to provide the money neces sury to pi) olV all thus, debentures, that were
Mr. GILLIES -That is all arranged.
Mr. MUNRO -It was a moat untorttinnte circumstance that £850,000 nf an old loan and £1,000,000 of a new loan, milking altogether a new loan of £2,450,000, bad to be placed on the London market nt a time when it was not nt all favourable The New South Wales Legislature did its business with regard to th» authorising and lloatmg of loans in a different way from that which we followed. In that colon) n ntl) on tv was given by Parlia- ment to the Government to licit a large loan w hieb would do for some few years, leaving it to the discretion of the Government to Host from time to lime what portions of it It thought desirable to meet the rs qmrements ot the colony. Here, however, loans were authorised m dribblet«, and lonn bills »ere continual!) coming before the House session after ses»ion The result wnstbat cadi time a new loan bill was brought down it gave the carping critics in London an opportunity of referring to our borrowing, and doing nil they could todothec"loti) harm This conversion oi the loan of 1850,000 might have been fore seen, and been provided for in the bill p taxed last se.sion authorising the loan of £1 000,000 It that hud been done, those critics would not have know II now that which they would have to be made acquainted with us to the present state of our finances, and it was un lortuiiate that improper use was made by them of statements made lu the House. Of course, it was only right to PUBS the bill, but he did not believe there was the slightest chance of converting the whole of the £-50,000 loan into 3_ per cent
Mr. GILLIES -Neither do I.
Mr. MUNRO.-The other evening I said that the Government would not have un) money with which to make new railwa)s noxt 3 ear, but the Premier mterjecled that that
was not correct
Mr, GILLIES -There is some misappre- hension on that point I do nat con- template, nor does any hon. member con plate, that a large number of railway lints will be authorised this session, What wai expected was that some two or three lines would be passed, and 'he expenditure on them nc.tveur would not amount to more than £250,000 Some persons imagined that I proposed to ask the House to nuthorise a new loan for railway purposes. I never had any such idea.
Mr. ZOX -And yon are quite right not to make any such request
Mr L L. SMITH - Then it is clear that we cannot go on with the railways.
Mr. MUNRO saul that in the return laid on the table that evening it was shown that the total amount to the credit of the public account at the banlcB on the 11th mat, was ¿95!),017. while the amount of the trust funds was i-,012 505 Oi tins latter Bum, however, there was l%5,885 invested, leaving a balance of £1,070,()79 It the amount standing to the credit ot the public account was taken into consideration with the balance of £1,070,670, tt would be seen at once that the trust finela had been drawn on to the extent of £700,000 In addition to that the Govern- ment had used up the money intended for irrigation works
Mr. GILLIES.-That is Btanding to the credit of the irrigation loan occount
Mr. MUNRO.-There ought to be £S0r>,40a to the credit of that account When hu lust spoke on this subject the Treasurer had con- tradicted lum and had endeavoured to lead the House to suppose that there was plenty of mone) available for railvav purposes. The Premier lind stated that £_"i0,000 would be required for any new railway line*, authorised this session, but tho existing liabilities of the Railway department on con- tracts let was £1,072,000, and then there bad to be taken into nc.ouiu the li ibiline. to be met b) the new loan of £2,150,000 to be floated next year.
Mr. GILLIES-Do ¡ou imagine that the new loan will not float next year?
Mr. MUNRO -According to the informa- tion I have I tom a good source I don't believe it can be succeBsiully Honied next
Mr. GILLIES.-That is not the oninion of all tbe authorities.
Mr. MUNRO-If the Government was willing to sacrifice the credit of the colony, of course it could float anything. If the Government were compelled to float the new loan while the market was unfavourable, theie would be a change m the London market with respect to our stock that would not do the colony an) credit The statement be mude the other evening about there being no money available to construct any new railways next sear waa absolutely true, be- cause it waa clear the Government had not got the moue) required for that purpose, and hud no proipect ot getting it
"Mr. GILLIES.-I will toke nn opportunity of reviewing jour étalement when sub- mitting the statement witb reference to rail- way loan expenditure.
Mr. ZOX truBted that the Premier would have the Htatement laid on the table, at the instance of the leader oi the Opposition, con- cerning the state of the public finances printed tor the information of the members and others. Unless that was done inaccurate statements regarding the condition of the finances of the colony might be circulated which might do it harm.
Mr. GILLIES.-I have no objection to having it printed and circulated.
Mr. ANDREWS thought that the uegotia ting of future loane should be left m the hands ot the associated banks instead of in the banda oi the London and Westminster Bank. The associated banks hail to be relied upon to come to the rescue of every loun floated in London, and tboy were really the pro- moters of our best interesta in the past The) were, in fact, the mainstay of our luana in London, und if it could be made worth their while to do our businesa on equituble terms, so as to prevent the "bears" of the Stuck Exchange manipulating the loans, it would be greatly to the advantage of the colon). Notwithstanding the failure of negotiations with the associated banks a few jears ago, winch occurred over a matter con- nected with only one ot them, now was the time to bring the business again under their notice and give them an opportunity of dis- tinguishing themselves. 'I iiey would, it was certain, do their best, and the interests oi the colon) would not Buller in their hands.
Mr. LAURENS considered that the lion, member tor East Melbourne waa quite right in asking that the public should Know the be=t and worst of our position. We had ev_r)tliing to gain mid nothing to lose by Btnting it fully before the public, and we (.ojld not fail to be injured by the ap- pearance of concealing uiiytlung. If, there-
fore,the return luid on the table of the House' did BIIDW what our financial position was, or was likely to be, a large amount of good
would be achieved.
Mr l_tLLIi-S.-That will need tobe sup- plemented with u good deal of other lu
Mr. LAURENS had asked ubout the date of issue because he had understood that ii partial failure might be expected with regard to the conversion of tins £850,000 loan by 1st Januar), and ho gathered Irom the Premier that arrangements had been made lo tule us over any such difiicultv lion members must be reminded, however, that we had to redeem no less than £9,000,000 ot debentures in 188! i>5, and we provided tor that long be- fore the claim had lo be met, but the present transaction was being discussed within two months of the time the money must be lound in London. 'I he House should have been asked to pass tins measure long belore the present time (Hear, hear ) The Treasurer -tilted that he had inlormntion that Cape Colony had to redeem debentures hearing a
high rate of interest or exchange them lor Block at a lesser rate, but there waa no doubt thal this finaiicinl arrangement was open to the debenture holders for a far longer period. The debentures must have been ot a currency that bad not expired or was not nbout to ex- pire so soon as ours.
Mr, GILLIES.-They were about to ex
Mr. LAUREN'S.-Like our.own?
Mr. GILLIES.-They had o little longer
Mr. LAURENS supposed they must have had more time to run, or the operation would not have been successful, IIB the consent of every debenture-holder muet be obtained,
Mr. GILLIES.-The hon. member is Burely forgetting that it the holders have arranged before 1st January, when tiley fall due, to exchange these (i per cent, debentures for 3J per cent, bonds, the debentures will be exchanged tor others on 1st January.
Mr, LAURENS understood that, but meant that we could nut force the holders of deben- ture's maturing on 1st January against their
. Mr. GILLIES,-We do not want to.
Mr. LAURENS was right, thetefore, in Bay- ing that consent was necessary to the ex- change, and na the holders would have very little information at best in the interval, we were not justified in assuming that they would be willing.
Sir BRYAN O'LOGnLKN congratulated
the Trenanrer upon-the principle which he had carrie 1 out in this measure, an 1 con gratulated him for tins reason that imitation wiiB the eincereat Hatter) The 'lreuaurer had imitated n measure introduced by hi3 Governemnt in 1882 Ile had to congram late the Irensurer on his conversion because when that menaure was nitro luced (he hon member was stroii-ly oppose 1 to it Hie hon
member said it vena a peculnr way to meet the ol Iiuations of the colonv inrt aided with all othtr members of the House win then n°kc 1 tlie House to alter riie redemption plan and to providi n sum ot money so that every holder of a tlOO debenture would get £100 in cash m the 1 ondon market. J he hon member was afraid that the ere lit of the colon, would be iffected b> this peculiar method of payinu our debts riere waa one matter in which the Irensurer dil not imitite his G veril
ment and tint was in giving to the H iuse sufficient information from time to time as to lu w the nul lie accounts stood He par ticuliirl) referred to the loan accounts In his time ho altvi. s muted members whore quireditifoimntimitogn'otheun 1er treasurer and instructed that dicer to place whan ver nitoruinti in wua required at the dispos il of hon members If the Treasurer could not find time to nuppl) this information to the House he conld authorise the under treasurer to aive the information to nnv lion member who denied it Ihe less secrecy there was about the public accounts the better It was reticence on thuparcot the treasurer, and con sequent darkness on the part of the nouse and the country that resulted in all'the im broglio over the Btirplua Now wae the time for the Treuourer to give the House a den- mid precise knowledge on tie subject of the loan accounts Ihe Irensurer ought to let the House know how the loan accounts stoud what he intended to raise und to let them know exactly how the public account atood
Mi LI VIEN thought it was quite im possible th it the treasurer could sell nur 3_ per cents, at pir and he thought the House would not approve of their being sold under par If our mocks roBe to anything approach mg par this atock would all be absorbed He did not think the proposal contained m clause 1 of the bill wai a very good one-the proposal vhich enabled the Government to Euy off these bonds after 10 years \\ e would
ave to pay more for that than it was worth
Ihe Irensurer bud said that in this matter be ii"te 1 on the best legal advice but tins proviston would not enable the ireasurer to obtain as hi|,h a price tor stock as the nrovi sions in reg ird to previous loans would. If the period were made to terminate nbsoluetly at 30 j ears it would he nil right. This provi sion might well be left out
Ihe resolution was agreed to, reported to the House and aureed to
Mr GILLIES moved the second reading of the Debentures Conversion Rill
Mr RICHARDSON thought that the Treasurer would have taken this opportumtj of civ mc some information on the state of the finance«
Mr GILLILS -It does not come in on this bill nt all
Mr RICHARDSON-ThiB bill involved the gettn g of money in a certain way, nnd he thought tile Treusurer would have token 'he opportunity of making Bome statement in reply to the retnurks already made re speeling the st ita of the finances
Mr GILLirS-I have given notice to night of the expenditure of money in connee tion with railway construction, and when that comes on will be the | roper time to make reference to the accounts
Mr RICHARDSON-Did the Treasurer intend to have the stock debentures converted into Btock through some agency?
Mr GILLI I S -1 brough the agency of the London and Westminster Bank
Mr RICHARDSON-Was that the wisest Elan for this country to adopt ' Would it not
e wise for this colony to have an agency of
its own '
Mr GILLirS said ntl agreement «OB mnde some sears ago with the London and West minute- Bank to taki the position which the bank now held, and the arrangement could not be dis urbed without giving the bank notice Ihe proposal the hon member spoke of would require great consideration, and from all he had read he was afraid it would not answer This, however was an opinion which be had not formed au a fixed
The motion was ugreed to and the bill was
GIOUBB 1 was agreed to
On clause 2 " Power to issue Btock and to exchange debentures lor such Block,
Mr GILLIES wished to move an nmend ment in this cluuse, which was designed primarily to provide for the conversion of the debentures but at the same time it wits also contemplated that in the event of the whole of the debentures not being con verted into St per cent stock another course would havç to be adopted to dispose of them and in looking over tins clause there was a doubt expressed as to whether it was quito clear that the Government would have power to authorise the disposal of what was not taken up by issuing it m the same way as thes had issued other atock and in order to mal e that perlectly ele ir it was proposed to insert the following words -
1 In tho event of the holdor of nnv of tho said de bontuies not exchanging tho same tho Troosurcr of *\ ictorla mai from t me to tin o sell tho fltock to tho amo tut of ti c debentures i ot so exchanged
Mr AlUMiO thought it ought to bo mnde clear that this stock wits not to be disposed of in small parcels.
Mr GILLIES said there was no difference between this anti other loans
Mr RICHARDSON wished to know if the stock were sold was it intended to cover the debentures m hand or to be au addition to them?
Mr GILLIES -It would take the place of the debentures that would lull due on the 1st of Januurj Ihe amount of the loan would be the same, but it would pay less in
Sir BRYAN OI OGHLEN asked what was the price of the Victorian S per cent stock on the London market at the present time '
Mr GILLIEb believed it was 1 per cent
below par A little while ago it was i$ per cent below There had been a re volution not only in Victorian stock but in other stocl s It was well known that there was a number of financial und binl ing com p inies in Australasia which had borrowed lnree sums of money from England at 4 4^, and 41 per cent tor short periods of three to live years It there was such extraordinär) borrowing what chuuee had the Victorian Government eoin^ into a disturbe 1 market with 3J per cent ? V\ hen persons interested in South American stocks had settled down after tin disturbances the murket would be brought to ita normal condition, and it we could only end those miser ible strikes there would be no fear of the Government being able to successfully float its loans
Sir BRYAN O LOGHLrN -Having made the oflcr of conversion it will be ncceDtcd, or nearly so but if there is any deficiency the Government ia going to pay cish tor that deficiency '
Mr GILLirS -Certainly
Sir BRYAN O LOGHLLN -And whatever debentures there ara over will be sold together with the million and a half
1 he clause waa ngreed to as also all the remainiui, clauses, and the bill was reported to the ii iuse and passed through its remain ing etudes
The HoiiBe went into Committee of Supply to further consider the E.timutes, resuming with the department ot Crown Lands
On the item " Survey and management of Crown laudB, £71,912,"
Sir BRYAN O'LOGHLEN called attention to the cuse of a selector at Casterton who could not get possession of the land which had been legall) given to lum 'lhere must be some difhculty in the department which should be dealt with.
Mr. L L. SMITH said the Minister had Bignod a statement agreeing to give a re- nt wal of the lease ot the Elsternwick race- course to the authorities, but although a large sum of money bud been spent on the place the Minister would not promise to re- new the lease. He (tho hon. member tor Mornington) wanted no evasive answer on this question. The lion, Minister had yielded to biickstnir influence, exerted by members ot the Upper House. A piece of waste land had in tins euee been turned into n beuutitnl place on the strength ot the signa- ture ot the Minister.
The CHAIRMAN said this matter would arise at asub«equentatage.
'Hie item was ogreed to.
On the item " State forests and nurseries, £17,C7S,"
Mr. W. T. CARTER understood that the House was to hear what had been done in regurd to some friction that was said to exist between the working of the Lands department and the Mines department in reg ird to the giantingof leases.
Mr. DOW understood that aome simple legislation would bring ubout the neces-iiry amendment in the act. If an umuidmeut was necessar), Btep. would be taken to bring it about at the earliest opportunity,
In reply to Mr. C, YOUMJ,
Mr. DOW said that at the earliest possible moment all the papers in connection with the Mildura land would be laid before the House.
Mr. RICHARDSON Bnid a great deal of hardship arose from the friction alluded to by the hon. memoer for Williamstown, and the sooner the bon Minister lind the matter before his colleagues the better it would be for all parties.
Mr. GROOM saul there was a large number of cases in West Gippsland, and also In South Gippsland, where selectors had taken up laitd under the act of 1861 and alter two,
three, or four years were unable to get a .n-isfnetor) title owing to mining objections. The two departments ought to meet and come to some definite arrangement on this
Mr. W. T. CAUTER said that in«tmccs hn 1 come under ins own notice ot the bad eil iel. of the friction that took place be- tween the Landa department and the Mining department. The hindrances offered to hard-working men in getting tncir land were ver) vexatious indeed, and were bud policy from a public point of view.
Mr. T. SMITH knew ot a cnse Eimilar to that mentioned bv the hon incmiier for West Gippsl nid, where great hardship had beau caused through the m inner in which business was transacted between the Lands department mid the Mining department. '1 he position ot nlTiirs was not nt all satisfactory, und Borne cbiinge should be at once brought .llinut. The matter was nu ntioned in the House last ) ear, but nothing had )et been
done A common sense business linder- st inding should be arrived at between the two departments which would avoid m future the trouble to winch the public waa now put.
Mr. DOW said that uuder the Land Act 1881 people were invited to apply for land, 'Hie Lands department heard nothing of the applications until the) were recommended by the lund boards, and the qutstiou then came whether there waa any objection from the Mining department Since the coal districts hod been prospected the trouble had been increased, and there waa non urgent need of something being done to prevent tbe ncnoy ance to winch applicant« for lind were put
(Hear, hear.) The policy ot the Lands department was to get as many people as possible on the land. He would do his very best to press upon his colleagues the adoption of some practical steps by which the exist- ing state ot things might be altered. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. L L SMITH asked whether it was possible for any privatu Individual, who wished to plant trees along a main road in any outlying district, to obtain the trees from the state forest nurseries.
Mr. DOW saul that the nnrsories were at present able to supply the requirements of public bodies only, but the supply of trees waa being increased, and he hoped that the de- partment would soon be in a position to meet coses such as that to which the hon. member had reterred.
Mr M _F IN hoped that the Munster would take step., to obviate the delays which occurred in issuing leases to selectors, espe- cially where there were no mining objections to the land being leased. He believed that the surve) uroncli of the department was re- sponsible for those delà)a
Mr BENNEÏT trusted that the Minuter would iavourabl) take into consideration the advisability of placing a sum of money on the Estimates tor the family of the bite Mr. E. M. Curr, who was for mony years the chief inspector of stock That gentleman had published a book on the Australian race winch was of value, and there were exceptional circumstances sur- rounding his cute A sum of money waa voted to the iamily of the late Mr Le Cren, the late secretary for Public Works, lu-a
Mr. J. HARRIS hoped the Minister would carry out the suggention made in the excel- lent report of the conservator ot forests that Btepa should be taken to tram our own foresters, and to prevent the shameful waste of timber in tbe forests by sleeper hewers and by splitters. He thought the conservator should have more power to deal with those
Mr. MUNRO stated thatas Borne doubt had been thrown bj the officers of the Lauds de- partment on the statement be made to the committee last week that ho had _i>en men splitting timber within the watershed area of the River Watts, he desired to repent that statement. 'Hie department had endeavoured to wriggle out ot the charge by saying that the men were trespassing, and that their tre.pass had been inadver- tent, as they were working cloBe to the boundary ou u plateau, where it was hard to dehne the boundary from the contour ot the country. Ho wished to say trom his personal knowledge that those men to whom he referred were splitting within the watershed area, about three-quarters ot a mile from the bonudary, m the ti neat part of the Black ~pur. It was all humbug to say that they were " only a few yards " inside the boun- dary.
Mr. MASON said that the department should do something to destroy the wild dogs and wallabies in the Mount Fatigue stute forest in South Gippsland, us the former killed the sheep and the latter »te the gruss of the settlers there. In the Gippsland district und some others great difheuliy existed with regard to selec- tors getting agricultural hceuses.owing to the conflict between the Mines and Lands de- partments. .Applications under the 32nd section of the Lands Act had been hung up for yeata in consequence, and the only cure was to amend the llSth section ot the Linds Act, so us to provide that holders of a miner's right or lease should be able to mine under pastoral lands not only tor gold but tor other minerals. This would not only en- courage mining, but also facilitate settle-
Mr. DUMN approved of the suggestion just mude in the intetesta both ot miners and selectors, und would certainly support such an amendment of the Lands Act it the Muns- ter would introduce it.
Mr 'PATCHELL desired to draw the attention of the Minister of Lands to the heavy license tee which was charged for cut- ting ironbark In some lorests the ground was strewn with pomona of old ironbark trees, which only served as a harbour tor vermin, und the woodcutters desired to be allowed to remove thiB timber for their ordi niiry license fee ot £1 a quarter.
Sir BRYAN O'LOGHLEN wished to urge upon the Minister that u special Bum should bp placed upon the Estimates in recognition of the services of the late Mi, Curr, chief in- spector of stock, which had been alluded to by the hon, member tor Kicnmnnd. When Mr. Curr was appointed people ridiculed the iden that scab could be ex- terminated, but by his vigorous exertions within a few years the whole colony was clean, and the example had been followed in other colonies, so that now the whole 80,000,000 of sheep in Australia were free trom the disease. Mr, Curr had also de- voted Ins spare time to studying the language ol the aboriginals, and had published a book which would become a most valuable work. Such services desert ed more recognition than the nine months' puy that had been awarded Mr. Curr'a family.
Mr. W T. CARTER said a complaint had been made by the hon. member lor South ïarra that the conservator ot iorest. had not sufficient power, but certain facts that were known indicated that Mr, Perrin was likely to make a very tree use of power, and that it would be dangerous to give bim more. In the appointment oí foresters, which Mr. Perrin took into his own hands, he ignored the claims uf those young men who had duly qualified themselves, und took au intelligent scientific interest in forestry, in lavour ot other unqualified persons One well qualified man he bud placed at Dandenong ut wagea below what would be suitable tor the men ho bad to direct
Mr. ZOX would strongly support the appeal that had been made for a further recognition of the late Mr. Curr's services. Por the admirable book he had compiled on the aborigines he refused nt the time to accent remuneration, saying it was a labour of love.
Mr. OI'TICER asked whether any decision bad been arrived at with regard to the land nt Murra Murra, v. hich was reserved lor water supply purposes in connection with tho Wimmera Irrigation Trust A great many people bud taken up selections there, but were not allowed to occup), pending settle- ment of the question tis to the water supply The site, it was understood, had now been abandoned for one further down the river, so there was no reason wh) the lands reterred to should be withheld longer trum the selectors. He would also like to know what steps were being taken to preserve the stnte torests from their onls two enemies, ure and stock It was no use whatever having state torests if they were to be exposed to the fires and the in- roads of Btock,
Mr BAKER saw no reason why thcBe selectors should not get their land now. There were no better lands for gru-ing pur- poses, and these men bud spent a lot ot money on them
Mr, GORDON wns verj much pleased with the reply ot the Minister of Lunda to tim bon. member tor South Gippsland in refer ence to the Lands and Mines departments Had the Minister of Lands observed the statements that had been mude about the destruction of limber in the state forests near the Goulburn when the police were drawn away from the place lately ? If the timber could be destroyed in that wa), it said very little for the _nunii(.cuicnt of the state forests
Mr. L L SMITH Haul there was avery lorgc reserve ut Kilcunda winch was now UBc'd foi grazing purposes It was worth JL15 or £20 un ucrc, and it sold would cause a large population to settle there, and the money received from the sale of the land would go a Ion,: way towurds pasiiig for the railway that it was proposed to construct frum Is') ora to Kilcunda
Mr J HARRIS considered Mr, Perrin was an officer who ought to be encouraged In his work, and did not think it right to refer to him in connection with the case now being inquired into Ha would certainly support the bon member lor Richmond in any action he might take in reference to Mr Curr, the late chief inspector of stock,
Mr. DIXON said great loes had been sus- tained by the state in consequence of the Murra Murra reserve haying been locked up
in expectation of aotne people using it as a w uer reserve A (.re it portion of the valley w aid not feed one sheep to 20 acres but there was a p irtion of it covered with wattle birk and he hopea the Munster would tuke steib t > li ive it throw n open to the public so that it might be put to its proper use
Mr 1 LMJUIOV quite agreed with the rem irks of the non member for South Yarra in regard to Mr Perrin who waa u thorough enthusiast in his worl The lion mern her for W illiani-.tovvn should m ike sure that the facts w re correct belore attacl tug such
sir BUY \N O LOGITLl N said reference hi> 1 been made to the friction between the Mining dipirtment and the Lands depart meut un 1 there was n > doubt friction ensted The Munster should bring m a shirt bill ot two or three clauses ciiablingstrictcovenanta to be put in lea es pr vi ling that those in pissession ot the land sluuld not be able to c1 um lor tiny injury to the surface or injury to the lan 1 from working it underground and tint the Government should eive free accès i to lan) to mine for ans miner ii
\r W T O ill LI ft, suul that the case he referred to w is the c ise ol Mr 1 \\ \\ ilson now residing in South Au*traha who had fulûlle I all the conditions required by the acr, but over whose head other men bad been appointed
Mr RICHARDSON said the Forestry de partaient should be connected with the Public Service Board by whom the men ah mill be engaged, paid, and, if necessary di°pense ' with
Mr 1 rRGUSOV sold the matter referred to bj tnehon member for Williamtown should have been pi iced before Mr Perrin before being introinced to the House
Mr URrN i ud nearly all the 32nd section leases in Gippsl md referred to 1 ind that wns thicklj covered v it h scrub and small timber How wnB it possible to ¡,o on the land and de ir it ot vermin without authority to cut the small timber down '
'1 he item was agreed to
On the item Public parks gardens, and
reserves £0 481
Mr L L SMITH naked for an explanation of the refusal of"n renewal of theil ase of the Elsternwick park course after a consent to a renewal had been initialed by the Minis
Mr DOW said this was a very old case The prisent lease did not expire for some years The trustees now desired n renewal to justily them in laying more money out on the racecourse Some difficulty however had anaen with the municipal bodies ot I Isternwick and Brighton, it being fenre 1 that the rights of the people m this land as n recreation pnrk might be interfered .vith
Mr J. L SMI1H -lhere is nodifficultj The municipalities have agreed to tt
Mr DOW -lhere was a difficulty about renewing the lease so many years jn advance, and it bud been arranged to le ive the matter until the present lease had expired The gentlemen forming tile company had ageed to
Mr L L SMITH-Nothing of the sort
Mr DOW promised to look carefully into the matter and would dcol with it at the end ot the three jenrB the lease had yet to run it he were then m office (Laughter)
Mr J HARRIS suggestel that all the parka and gardens mi_ht be brought more properly under the agricultural estimates
Mr GARDINER asked whether the now curator whom it was propose 1 to appoint for tile public gnrdena trouli be appointed under the Public Service re.ulations and be under the control of the Minister of Lands There was a desire on the part of the City Council and the parks and gardens committee to have the ofheer under their control, in con sequence ol the present curator having re fused to give them some information, on the ground that he was an officer ot the
Mr DOW said certain pari s and gardens in the metropolis were vested in a joint com mutee of the city corporation and the Board of Lind and Worl s the city contributing £3 000 a year and the department £G 000 Mr Bickford, tile present curator was about to retire on account of his age and the Public Service Board was to be asked to appoint a modern aboricultunst as his successor and also to act as Cr wn lands I ail iff lhere would be too much fur one man and it had been arranged that the joint committee should appoint a mau at something like £300 a year to manure the pari s vested in the com mittee, and be under their control
Mr GARDIM- It ur|,ed that the northern portion ot the t. triton "irdens which bud been closed for the Exhibition should now be thrown open It was also high time that the request of the people of Carlton should be granted, and a portion ot Prince a pork bo given to them for recreation purposes It was to bo hoped that the Minister would confer with the Board of Land and Works and the Parks and Gardens Committee and have some arrangement mnde that would meet the wialies ot the mh ibitants
Mr J H\RRISsaid that the statement of the lion member for North Carlton was somewhat mislcndint. Ile (Mr Harris) wns a member of the Parks and Gardens Committee and knew that a considerable part of Prince's park waa already set apart for recreation pur poses Hie committee was opposed how ever, to portions oi these parks being perma
nently reserved lor the use of particular clubs It was inundated every sprint, with applications from cricket clubs for similar
Mr. GARDINER said that the Carlton foot- ball club had been allowed for jenra to erect a 3it Oin. fence around the enclosure during the si_. months of the season, bnt as soon as the season was over they were obliged to take the fence down. 'Hie cona.quenco of this was that the improvements which were made to the ground during the season were quite thrown awii), for cowa were allowed to graze over the park, and the yenr'a work was destroyed. The Carlton club was the largest m Melbourne, and yet it bad no ground to which it could invite other clubs, and none of the conveniences which all the other leading clubs enjo) ed. Since the application was first made two acres of the park had been granted tor a bowling green and lawn tennis court, and this enclosure had been permanentl) fenced. .
Mr. METHVEN agreed that the Prince's park should be thrown open to the public. At present it was fenced oil into squares by high fences, and it was quite impossible for tbe public to pass through it. It was said that the City Council derived £1,000 a )ear from persons who were allowed to gra.e their cattle on the park, and it had no right to receive a .hilling from such a source.
Mr. J. HARRIS explained that although the roads through the park had hi en torr_ic<l, they were not yet made, and that was why the park wis not jet fully opened. The roads were about two milcBin length, and would cost £2,000 or £3,0C0 to complete. Tho trustees were going to ask the Govern- ment for a sum ot money to metal the roads, so that the park might be thrown open for light vehicular trafhe.
Mr. DOW said that the park waa under the joint control of tho City Council and the Hoard of Land and Works, und that the Government had the utmost confluence m that bod).
Mr. METHVEN.-Yes ; the Government has confidence in the Board of Land and Works, but the public has not (Laughter.)
Mr. DOW.-However, I shall consider it my duty to take a very careful note (laughter)-of what has been said.
Mr. LAURENS thought that tbo people residing on tho north side of the Yarra bud not hud that fair treatment which the people ot the south side had received with regard to the recreation reserves. He believed that Parliament would be lcudy to pass legislation which might be necessary to more clearly sanction n fair and impartial administration of the public reserves around Melbourne.
Mr. LANGRIDGE hoped that the Minister would place a sum ot money on the Supple- mentary Estimates to assist the Collingwood council in beaulil)ing Darling-gardens. Whatever mot j bud been expended on those gardens so far had come out of the tunda oi the council.
Mr. DOW,-I will consider it I don't know anything about the matter at pre-
Mr LANGRIDGE -Why, it was brought under jour notice some time ago.
The item was agreed to.
On the item, "Expenses carrying out the Land Tax Act, £1,310,"
Mr. GORDON asked if it was tile intention of the Government to bring a bill to amend the Land Tax Act. In many caseB injustice had been done by the land being wrongly classified, and as the act at present stood it wuB impossible to obtain any remedy,
Mr. DOW said that he would look into the matter.
The item was agreed to.
On the item, "Extirpation of rabbits and wild animals, £39,755,"
Mi, MUNRO Bald that some persons who were tr) ing their best to get rid ot the rabbits on their nropert), but who could not destroy the whole of them nt once, had been so harassed by the inspector, who had a " down " on them that they threatened to throw up their selections.
Mr. DOW -I will inquire into it
Mr. MADDEN remarked that desperate cases required desperate remedies. It waa necessary to take string nt measure«; to get rid of tho rabbit peet. No doubt there were case, where hardship had been inflicted lu compelling persons to destroy the rabbit., but ho had no hesitation in saying that tbo bill passed last session bad practically got ntl i ol the pest
1 Mr. OFFICER considered that the Govern-
ment, m granting money to shire councils for the erection of wiro fences, should have seen
that the selections were fenced in in groups
as was promised Instead of that being done individual or some two or three holdings h id been fenced in, and the consequence was that the fencing had not gone far enough to be effective It was necessarj that more land should be enclosed and he would rn-1 whether a sum would be placed on the supple mentarv estimates for the purchase ol more
Mr B VKl R approve i of more money being placed at the di«p s dot the shires for erect ing wire fences Until a lari,er area of 1 md w is fenced in and the holders ot the land mide to destroy the rabbit, within those fences the pest would never be got rid of
Mr HALL asked for more detailed infor motion r speeling the item I xpeu.es gene
rallv £S2 000
Mr DUVV thoui,! t that the Government should tuke steps to destroy the rabbits on reere ition reserves inste t i of the trustees being compelled to do so as thes had no
funds to c irry out the ivor*
Mr DOW soil tins item lind always been stated as General but m re letnilc 1 mfor motion always appenrel in the formal rep irt from the Lands depirtment fhe act pa«s 1 lost session was acknowledged to be re i'ly coping with the rabbit pest. It wes lament able to be faced y esr ly year as U9ed to be the case wtth a sum on the Lstimotcs
virjmg from £1S 000 to £24 000 tor rabbit destruction, and with complaints at the same time that the rabbits were not diminishing but increasing O io mun feature ot the act had been to relieve sh re councils from the duty of enforcing the law as it was con sidercd that the inspectors could n it net with so free a hand while they were paid oflicials of the landhol lets themselves Hie depart ment now employed 05 inspectors and 10 assistant inspectors, besides a body of 200 men to keep the rabbits do vn and although the vote this year was £32 000 it was ex [acted that the operation ot the act would shortly enable the working expenses to be greatly reduced
Mr MURPHY had heard corni Iainta from owners ot land abuttiti" on Bullarook forest which seemed to he a den lor vermin Mount Warrenheip was in a similar position some time ago but h id been improved by wire net fencing and it wi s to be hoped that Bull rook forest would also be fencef
The item waa ugree 1 to
On the item Miscellaneous £159 °88
Mr BAK1 R nsl ed for nn explanation as to the sum >t £5 000 lor cost of m iking wells and compensation for improvements in the mai ee country
Mr DOWr Bai 1 this money WOB really being expen led in resuming mallee land to be cut up for sélection and the expenditure would by n irtly recouj ed
The Hem WHS a"reed to
In the estimates of the Commissioner for Piblic Works tho item ' Public W'orlts £_?> 440 was agreed to
Ihe estimates ot the department of the Commissioner of Customs were then con sidered
On the item "Trade and Customs,
Mr LANGRIDGF desired to refer to papers which had been lurmshed regarding the appointment of Mr Dawson, a landing surveyor Some years ago a new office was created called the inspector of stores, and this officer waa given it although he could ill be spired from the Customs department Another vacancy however hud now occurred by the he id landing surveyor of the department leiving and Mr Dawson it ap peared hal aske 1 to he allowed to go back into tile deportment thus stopping the pro motion ot other i fiicers Memoranda from tlie Commissioner ot Customs to the Public Service Boori clearly Bhowcd that Mr Smart, another ofiicer had the requisite quuhfica linns for the vacant post, and that tho officers at present m the department were tlie most service ii le as hav ing mastered the details of the new tanti but these represen t ittons ha 1 no effect upon the Public service Board Mr DiwsonwoB a good olhcer but not better than those he hod supplanted Ho left the denartment in order to advance him self and had no ne,ht to go back to it when ever it suite 1 lum on his own dictum
Mr PAriFRbONsud that the difficulty in the mutt r vv is thot they h id a very ex excellent officer in Mr Smurt A vacancy had however been ere ited for Mr Dawson also and they v ere able to accommodate lum whilst retaining Mr Smart Ihe de
pirtmentwas satisfied at the way the difli_, culti hud been settled They retained tho services of Mr Smart where they desired to keep him and they had also got Mr Daw son who was nn excellent olhcer, and the department had now a supremely good staff of Iandinu surveyors
Mr LANGRIDGE.-Will Mr Smartandthe other officers get their momotion under these
Mr PA11LRSON was not concerned about promotions ns that was a question for the Public Service Board to deal with
Mr LANGRIDGE-You are backing down
on your own memo
Mr PATH leSON-The Crown Low oflicerB stated that the Public Service Board bad a rieht to nominate Mr Dawson for the position, and he did not wa it to take up a position of hostility to the board Nobodv would be injured by the arrangement that
hod been matte
Mr LANGRIDGE-Oh yes There is a vacancy and you bring a man from outside the dep rtroent to fill it
Mr MUNRO said that when the amend meut was mado in the Public Service Act lost year it ivis distinctly understood that if there w is un tfficer in a department qualified for a vacancy he should get it in preference to anyone else
Mr MOUNTAIN pointed out that Mr Dawson did not leave the Customs of his own accord but woa removed from it on the understanding that the change would not affect his promotion in the Customs It was a well recognised fuct that Mr DawBon was on excellent officer
Sir BRYAN O LOGHLrN wished to mon tion that Burne years ai,o m connection with the great commercial frauds that took place here, when be wnB prosecutinj. on behalf of the Crown oiip of the best officers on that occasion was Mr Diwson and u great deal of the practical success of ttiese prosecutions
wos due to lum
Mr GRAVI S said Mr Dawson was op pointed to take charge of the atores branch department without being consulted lhere was no better officer in the service than Mr Dawson
Mr LANGIelDGL would like to explain that Mr Dawson got promotion in his removal, and munt, back to the Customs did not improve his position, while it burred others promotion
ihe item was agreed to.
On the item Ports and Harbours and Immigration ¿10 %8
Sir BRYAN OLOGIILLN suggested that harbour trusts should be established for the management of other ports and harbours than that of Melbourne.
Mr P IT 1LiiSON was eure that ns a matter of policy the Government would be glad to have the ports and harbours main ged by harbour trusts if they would carry on the the worl with the lees derived from those ports lhere was a losa in connexion with all these h îrbours
Mr B .KLle nsted that some considero tion should be given to lighthouse keepers with lanillas in removing them from place to place so that their children might not ha prevented from attending school
Mr PAlTERbON said the occupation of a lighthouse keeper was of an isolated character and til it they were removed lu rotation Ile would take into consider ition any c se of hardship that the bon member mii,ht mention
Mr. W. T. CARTER wanted to know when the Minister was going to carry out Ina pro- mise in connection with enlarging the dock
Mr PAT PERSON said it was found that the dock was capable of accommodating tho largest ships afloat.
Mr W. T. CARTER said a plan was sub- mitted to the Munster, not merely for enlarging the dock to accommodute large ships, but practically for making two docks. He would ask the Commissioner of Customs whether he would devise some plan to put tina dock to Borne effective use. He was in- form d that sbin-ownera could get their vessels docked in S)dney at half the price
waa correct they could in Victoria.
Mr. ZOX aBked the Commissioner of Customs to say whether the statement of tho bon. member for Williamstown that vessels could be docked tor halt the price at Sydney, and, if so, to otter some explanation,
Mr. PAT PERSON said that although the dock had cost a large Bum it was an ad- mirable adjunct to the port, and, while it did not pay, it could not be dispensed with. There was, he believed, some difference na between the rhnrgeB in Sydney mid here, but not BO great as had been stated.
Mr W. T. CAUTER.-I am informed the diflerence ia 50 per cent
Mr. PA'l TEUSON would inquire into the matter, and on a subsequent occasion bring down a statement IIB to the comparative charges,
Mr. MOUNTAIN said that whore formerly ships drawing not more than lift came up the river, they were nt present coming up drawing 22ft, and that, ot course, was a detriment to the dock at Williamstown. Ship owners would not dock at Williams town when tiley could be accommodated up the river; and there was going to be in created docking accommodation nearer the city.
Mr. W T. CARTER asked the Commis sioner of CUE'.oma to ta ko into consideration the case ot n waterman at the dock who was employed 12 hours a day-week day» and Sundays, and debarred performing bia tell
gions duties There was another case, that of A man named Rogers, who »as taken from the Railway department some ) ears ago, und nut on as engine driver in one of the Customs departments and who ever ainca had felt himself Buffering under an in
The item was agreed to
'Ihe item, "Mercantile marine offices, £1 4^0 was agreed to
On the item " Distilleries and excise,
Mr GR4HAM drew attention to the large 3u intio ot sugir used nisicud of barley in
istillenes nnd also used bj brewers instead of hops Something ought to be done to prev»nt this, or the people ought to be told what the) were drinking Much injury was drue to farmers and the hop industry
«as being killed
Mr TI RbUSON said something out to be done to abate the nuisance, a_ he would call it He h id charge of a petitton fron» the hop growers ot Bnuht, urging that the use of augur m distilling and brewing should bo stopped, nu 1 n tormed the House that au.un"st the sign iturc.. was that of u brewer who onl) use 1 hop».
Mr BAKER said that a much more serious matter was the use of sugar matead of barley in the uiinufacture of beer 111« farmers lost half a million sterling a j ear from this
Mr M'LEAN remarked that a brewer should bent Moori) to use any ingredients so long as they were not deleterious to health, but he should be compelled to label his barrels with the ingredients used in the composition of the beer Hie brewers could then use what they liked, but the public ciuld please themselves whether tiley bought the bier It it waa possible to give an) encouragement to the hop industry that ought certainly to be done
Mr ZO\. agreed with much that had beeh Bald by previous speakers, and believed that the brewers of Melbourne would not object to the propos ii o the bon member for the Ovens provided that the law waa made to
apply gem rall)
Mr PAITERSON Bald he had obtained a report which seemed to show that the abuse w is not so great as hon members seemed to think It was too long to read now, but he would hand it to the press for publica
Ihe item was agreed to.
The item, " Powder magazines, und dyna mite hulk, £3 OSS, was agreed to
On the item, "Fisheries, £3,120,"
Mr J HARRIS asked wbat was being done m regard to the vote of £2 000 to encourage deep sea fishing
Mr PAITERSON said that sevcrol in- quinen had been m ide b) private individúale, but the bonuses offered did not seem large enough to induce them to engage in the
The item was agreed to
On the item, ' Marine Board, £1,310,"
Mr HALL asked the Commissioner of Customs for un assurance that something would be done to prevent the stoppage of navigitlon on the Goulburn River by the bridge to bo erected at Nagambie
Mr PATTERSON Bald it would be better to refer to the matter when the voteB of the Public Works department were under con-
the item was agreed to
'Hie item, "Miscellaneous, £2,083," was
Progress waB reported
The House at 10 minutes to 11 o'clock ad- journed till Tuesday next