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HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

MR LEAKE AND THE - PREMIER. A STORMY PASSAGE.

In the Assembly Mr Leake opened the proceedings by moving the adjournment of the House in order to draw attention to the unconstitutional action of the Go vernment in, not having accepted the defeat on the religious clause in the Education Bill as^a vote of want of con fidence. He Quoted authorities to show

that the constitutional practice was' for the Government to resign when defeated on a vital principle. Sir John Forrest followed, and denied that it was a vital principle. He said that Mr Leake would do, anything to get on tq. the Ministerial benches, but he could only get there by seeming a majority in the House. At present the figures were 80 to 10 in favor of tlie Government. He did not know how Mr Leake had the effrontery and arrogance to take such action. Mr Simpson made a vigorous attack sn the position taken up by the Govern ment, and he instanced the fact that only two direct ? votes of want, of confi ience had been carried in 60 years, most af the Governments having gone out on just such defeats as 'that sustained by Sir John Forrest on the Education Bill. Messrs Illingworth and - Venn spoke, and the latter, whilst supporting the Government, reproved Sir John Forrest for speaking to Mr , Leake , in the manner he did. Mr Leake, in reply, denied that he had any desire to occupy the Treasury benches. He simply wished to uphold the constitutional practice. He asked was it fair end just for the Premier to use such language as' he had done towards, him? The motion was nega tived on voices. SUPPLY BILL. The Supply Bill, on which the House was counted out on Thursday, was passed through all its stages and for warded to the Council. JURY BILL. The Jury Bill passed through com mittee with an amendment for the two thirds majority provided in the Bill being altered to three-fourtb.3. LAND BILL. Mr Throssell moved the second read ing of the Land Bill. He said he desired to , dp something to make the people stop in the colony. During the last five years £l,800,00tfi was sent to the eastern colonies in postr, office orders. ' He said that the cost of living in the colony was high owing to the high rents and the high prices of land. He had been twitted with being a Socialist, but he would not hesitate to use the organisations of the State for the uplifting of the people, not by pauperising them with free gifts but by putting them in a position to help themselves. Mr Alex. Forrest congratulated the Minister on the active and intelligent manner in which he had dealt with the lands of the colony. Re considered that the timber regulations were the most im portant part of the Bill, and suggested several amendments, notably the reduc tion of rent from £20 to ,£10 per square mile, and the reduction of the quantity per 1000 acres which each concessijnaire was compelled' to turn out. The Bill provided for 12 loads per 1000 acres per week, which should be reduced to three loads. He suggested that the timber clauses be referred to a- select committee. Mr George followed in a similar

strain. The Premier thoroughly approved of the provision that there should be no alienation of Crown lands, except town lots, without compulsory conditions of improvements. The debate was ad journed for a week on the motion of Mr Simpson. FEMALE FRANCHISE. , Mr Walter James gave notice that he would move nex± Wednesday that it is desirable to grant the franchise to women. CROWN SUITS BILL. Tiie Crown Suits Bill passed its second reading. ; THE GOLDFIELDS WATER- -SCHEME. Mr Leake moved the construction of the goldfields water scheme, excepting the dam at Helena Vale, be carried out by private enterprise. ' He did not in tend to aim a blow at the goldfields water scheme, and the Premier had not accepted the motion as one of want of confidence when it was tabied. He feared that if the Government carried out the scheme in its entirety the credit of the colony would be pledged for. an indefi nite period to the liability of £2,500,000. He pointed out the altered conditions as compared with the time the Premier introduced the Bill authorising the work. He stated that the Premier's estimate of increased population had not been realised. If the scheme were to pay it must be carried out by private enterprise. The

Telegraphic News work was outside the ordinary scope of Government undertakings, and he con tended that tlie Government could give no guarantee that 5,000,000 gallons of water daily would be used and paid -for at the rate of: 3s 6d per thousand. The Premier moved the adjournment of the debate, and the House rose until to-morrow. It had been expected that the Premier would announce the intention of tlie Government to accept the motion as one of want of confidence, but he did not do so. ;

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