Page images
PDF
EPUB

shall read an extract from the correspondence which took place on a former occasion, in 1872, which is as follows:

"The leading resolution of the House of Commons on this point is that of the 3rd July, 1678, referred to by Mr. May as that upon which all proceedings between the two Houses in matters of Supply are founded,' and is as follows:-

"That all aids and supplies and aids to His Majesty in Parliament are the sole gift of the Commons and all Bills for the granting of any such aids and supplies ought to begin with the Commons: and that it is the undoubted and sole right of the Commons to direct, limit, and appoint, in such Bills, the ends, purposes, considerations, conditions, limitations, and qualifications of such grants: which ought not to be changed or altered by the House of Lords.'"

that I am at variance with you in regard to the question under discussion.

The Hon. the SPEAKER.-I think it is not desirable that the Speaker should enter into an argument in support of the opinion he has expressed, but I cannot help saying, with reference to the remarks of the honorable and gallant member, that, if I am right in considering this 8th clause as an appropriation clause, then it is not in the power of the Council to change or alter the clause. That is the view I take.

The Hon. Sir F. DILLON BELL.-I would direct the attention of honorable members to a great misapprehension which appears to exist as to the course of procedure in the House of Representatives in such cases. From what has fallen from the Hon. Colonel Whitmore and the Hon. Dr. Grace, I gather that they think, because the House of Representatives did not go into Committee of the Whole to consider the clause known as Mr. Curtis's clause, which is identical in principle with that proposed by the Hon. Mr. Buckley, therefore it was not treated as an appropriation clause

The Hon. Colonel WHITMORE.-The honor able gentleman appears not to have heard what I said. I gave the Council no information as to the custom in another place. All I said was that I thought that I was at variance with the Speaker as regards the question under discussion. I considered that there was only clause 103 under discussion, and I did not see what bearing that had on clause 8. I admitted, without question, all that the Speaker said had been done in another place in regard to clause 8; but I was not speaking with reference to clause 8.

I think language would totally fail more clearly to indicate that this 8th clause is such an aid;" and, that being the case, we have no right to insert the proposed amendments. I am extremely sorry that, so far as I can judge from the speeches and expressions used, I am not in accord with the members of this House. But I feel it to be my bounden duty, after a most careful and painstaking examination of the whole subject, to give my opinion in accordance with what appear to be the clear facts of the case. I may say, further, that, if the question arose in Committee, and there was any doubt as to the ruling given by the Chairman of Committees, that ruling is so far final. If it is at any time decided to ascertain what is the opinion of the Council-not of the Speaker-then it is the duty of the Committee to move a resolution that reference be made to the Council for guidance. A similar case has occurred in my recollection, and then the Council was asked for its opinion. The Council itself came to a determination as to what direction it would give the Committee after asking the opinion of the Speaker. I feel that this is so important a matter-I feel that the responsibility is so heavy-that I should not be justified in ruling on the subject. Therefore I simply give my opinion, that the adoption of the amendment clause in question and sending it to the House of Representatives would be an in-clause. Mr. Curtis's clause, or any other clause vasion of the privileges of that House.

The Hon. Colonel WHITMORE.-Sir, as far as I can gather, your ruling and the speeches made in the Council refer to two different matters. I spoke of the clause introduced by the Hon. Mr. Buckley yesterday, but as I understand your ruling it refers to clause 8 of the Bill, with which I cannot see that it has any real connection. One is a distinct appropriation clause; the other, I believe, is not an appropriation clause at all. To the best of my belief, the clause introduced by the Hon. Mr. Buckley was not treated as an appropriation clause in another place. I thought it had been made abundantly clear that there was no new appropriation in the clause proposed by the Hon. Mr. Buckley, but it was only a latitude given to the Board in spending the money that came to their hands, and to allow the distribution in another manner. It appears, Sir, The Hon. the Speaker

The Hon. Sir F. DILLON BELL.-What the House of Representatives does is this: It goes into Committee of the Whole to consider clause 8 of the Education Bill, which appropriates money. The Committee of the Whole makes a recommendation to the House to grant funds for giving effect to the objects of the Bill, but the Committee of the Whole does not prevent the Committee on the Bill from varying that appropriation. It was, therefore, quite unneces sary for the House of Representatives to go into Committee of the Whole to consider Mr. Curtis's

which came within the four corners of the inten

tion of the 8th clause, was quite in order to be received in Committee on the Bill in the House of Representatives, although it did not form part of the original Bill. But that does not make it competent for us to introduce it here.

The Hon. Dr. GRACE.-I would draw the honorable gentleman's attention to the fact that one material part of the contention is that the appropriation is already made in clause 8. When the appropriation was made the appropriation was done with.

The Hon. Mr. MANTELL.-I would ask, Sir, what is the motion before the Council ?

The Hon. the SPEAKER.-There is no question before the Council at present, and therefore this discussion is out of order.

The Hon. Mr. HALL.-I beg to move a resolution on this subject which, at any rate, will

[ocr errors]

of this gravity it is of the first importance that honorable members should have the courage of their opinions, whatever those opinions may be. But the arguments upon which he has based his change of opinion seem to me singularly inappro

change, and singularly inapplicable to the whole case. The honorable gentleman's contention is, that either this aided clause gives assistance to public schools from funds outside the amount already appropriated in clause 8, and thus draws money from the general revenue and not from that already appropriated; or else, in providing assistance for schools which are not public schools, by diminishing the gross amount of the sum voted it interferes with the general appropriation. The honorable gentleman's further contention is that if these are private schools we are appropriating moneys for a purpose never contemplated by the Act. Now, I would direct the honorable gentleman's attention to subsection 2 of clause 8, which says,

In payment to the Board of every district of a sum of not exceeding three pounds fifteen shillings for each child in average daily attendance at a public school, such average daily attendance to be computed in manner prescribed by regulations."

give honorable members an opportunity of discussing the question. When the matter was under discussion in Committee, I expressed an opinion that the amendment proposed by the Hon. Mr. Buckley was not an appropriation clause, and I gave my reasons for that opinion.priate, singularly unequal to the gravity of the At that time the matter had not been so thoroughly ventilated as it has now, and I think it is the duty of any honorable gentleman, when further discussion on a subject leads him to arrive at a somewhat different conclusion from that he had at first, not to shrink from saying so, but to state frankly that he has seen reason, if not entirely to change his views, at any rate very much to doubt the soundness of the opinion he had expressed. The manner in which this question presents itself to my mind is this: The amendment authorizes the Boards to pay certain moneys to schools to which, under the Bill as sent up to us, it could not have been paid. Either these are public schools within the meaning of the Act or they are not. If they are public schools, then, undoubtedly, we increase the amount of the appropriation which would have been payable under the Bill as it came from the other House. If that is the case, then the amendment is an appropriation clause. I am, however, bound to say that I have considerable doubt whether such schools are public schools, because the Act says a public school must be subject to the control and also under the management of the Board. These schools are subject to the control, but not to the management, of the Boards. Now, if they are not public schools, what is the position in which we place the Education Boards? We ask those Boards to pay a considerable sum of money to denominational schools without their having any corre sponding increase of receipts from the Colonial Treasury. We authorize the Education Boards to pay considerable sums of money to denominational schools while in respect of those schools they do not receive any money from the Government at all. For these reason's, if this is an appropriation clause, I think we have clearly no right to pass it. If it is not an appropriation clause, we have a right to do so; but we place the Education Boards in a position of serious financial difficulty. I therefore very much doubt whether it is expedient to adhere to the clause proposed by the Hon. Mr. Buckley, and I give expression to that feeling in the following resolution: "That, considering that serious doubt exists whether the amendment proposed by the Hon. Mr. Buckley in the Education Bill may not have the effect of an appropriation clause, it is, in the opinion of the Council, inexpedient to adhere to it." This does not express any definite opinion upon the subject. I am as anxious as any member of the Council that, whilst we should not trench on the privileges of the other House, we should not abandon our own; and therefore I ask the Council to say that, considering all the circumstances, it is inexpedient to adhere to the new clause.

The Hon. Dr. GRACE.—I am glad the Hon. Mr. Hall has taken the opportunity of explaining his change of opinion. I think that on a matter

In any case, the gross sum to be appropriated for the purposes of education cannot exceed and must not, with reservations, be less than £3 15s. per head. Well, the practical result is that the sum of £3 15s. at any rate cannot be exceeded; and the only contention the honorable gentleman can make with any show of reasoning would be this: that, if any sum at all is granted in aid of schools which by the clause under consideration are converted into public schools, that sum should be £3 158. per head. Now, with reference to that, there is this to be said: that clearly the intention of the Act is that the appropriation must be a gross sum calculated upon the gross number, because if you look at the general distribution of money you will see that the gross sum is diminished by sums accruing from other sources to wit, reserves and other means. Now, the truth is that any assistance given to aided schools at the option of the Board would practically be taken from the general amount for expenditure. It was never intended by the Act that the appropriation of £3 15s. was to be fixed upon the head of every single individual child. But let us take a broader view of the question. If we have not the power of directing the expenditure of this money already appropriated, then I submit that we are not in a position to decide that certain sums of money shall go for scholarships or prizes, or in any way to influence the general management of the trust created. Are we not in a position in any way to direct the general administration of the educational interests of the State? We are in a position to direct the general administration of the Education Act by altering from time to time the powers of the Boards and Committees. By doing so we are influencing the trusts under the Act, and enabling Boards and Committees to give scholarships, or directing the mode of the expenditure of the money. Where do the Boards get

the funds from? They get the funds from the £3 15s., and, according to the honorable gentleman, if you do not take that sum of £3 158. and fix it on each particular child you interfere with the appropriation clause. There is another point that is of importance to the whole subject, and that is this: Part of my original contention was, that the moment a Government part with that money by the appropriation clause the money ceases to belong to the Government and becomes vested in the Boards, and the Boards are capable of using that money according to their powers under the Act; and if we alter these powers, then we simply say to the Board that when it thinks it expedient it shall give aid to those schools, which, for the purpose of general education, shall be public schools under this Act. I must say that the whole matter appears to be clear enough. It is simply part of the ordinary machinery of the Bill which we influence in our place in this Legislature by giving a direction to Committees and Boards.

The Hon. Sir F. DILLON BELL.-Sir, I am very sorry to differ from my honorable friend. I will not take up the time of the Council by repeating the arguments which I addressed to the Hon. the Chairman of the Committee last night. There is no doubt, however, in my own mind, that the Council has no power to interfere with a decision of the House of Representatives as to the appropriation of money for this particular purpose. I have always understood that it had been acknowledged by this Council that the function of the House of Representatives was to appropriate the public money in any way they thought proper. Does my honorable friend contend that, when the House of Representatives has, in the Appropriation Bill of the year, appropriated, say, a thousand pounds, for any particular purpose, this Council has the right to alter the destination of that thousand pounds? I regret to hear the opinion expressed that this Council is waiving its rights or yielding up its privileges to the other House. I say that this Council has privileges which ought never to be yielded and rights which ought never to be waived. But when the Council claims the right to appropriate any part of the public revenue, under any pretence or condition whatever, it will seek to establish an entirely novel right, which will never be agreed to by the House of Representatives. The real point is this: whether we do propose by this amendment to make any appropriation and application of the Consolidated Fund which is different from that which the House of Representatives has made. If that is the effect of the amendment, as I say it is, then we are going entirely outside our functions. It is the representatives of the people alone who have the right to say how the public money shall be appropriated, and it is a fundamental principle that the appropriation by the Lower House shall not be interfered with by the Legislative Council.

The Hon. Mr. G. R. JOHNSON.-Sir, when I spoke on this subject a short time ago I had not looked at the passage which you have since read from May. I have now read it over, and it seems to me that, if that is applicable to the present Hon. Dr. Grace

case, we certainly have not the power to introduce this clause. It appears to me, however, that, under these circumstances, this is not the only case in which we have gone too far.

The Hon. Mr. ROBINSON.-It seems to me that the House of Representatives have voted a sum of money, together with other sums of money accruing to them from public reserves and other endowments, to the extent of £3 15s. per head for every child that is educated in a public school according to certain rules laid down by this Par liament for the education of that child. It seems to me that by this amendment we now ask that the sum of £3 15s. per head shall not only be appropriated for children educated in that particular way. Now we want to take that £3 15s. per head and give it to children who are educated in a manner different from that provided by the Act. Now, the sole question is this: Has this Council the power, after the other House has appropriated a certain sum of money and said that it shall be spent on children educated in a certain manner, to say that money to the extent of £3 158. per head shall be paid to other schools where children are educated in an exceptional manner? I do not see that this Council would be exceeding its privileges if it gave its opinion that the money should not be appropriated in the manner proposed by the other House. Of course, if the House of Representatives appropriated £1,000 for expenditure on roads or bridges in a certain district, the money would have to be spent in that particular way; but I do not think this is an analogous case. I really think this Council has a right to make the alteration suggested and submit it for the consideration of the other branch of the Legislature, after which, if they disagree with us, we can discuss the question as to whether or not we have exceeded our rights.

The Hon. Mr. BUCKLEY.-I wish to call the attention of the Council to clause 8. That clause was treated as an appropriation clause in the other House, and it was introduced in Com. mittee of Supply. When the Bill was before us on a previous occasion there was no doubt in the minds of honorable members that we could not interfere with any part of the appropriation clause. We could either strike the clause out altogether or pass it, but we could not amend it. The last part of clause 8 is as follows: "Subject to any such appropriation, regulations may be made prescribing the times and manner at and in which such moneys shall be paid or applied." Now, if honorable members will turn to clause 42-which, I may say, is not an appropriation clause-they will see that it says,

Every Board shall, out of the Board Fund, make such provision from time to time as to it shall seem fit for the following purposes, namely—(1.) For the payment of salaries and other expenses connected with the carrying on of the business of such Board. (2.) For the expense of purchasing or renting school sites, playgrounds, and buildings, or for erecting, fitting up, and improving school buildings. (3.) For the payment of teachers' salaries. (4.) For the maintenance and education of pupil-teachers. (5.) For grants to Committees for general educational purposes.

(6.) For subsidizing school libraries. (7.) And | - generally for the payment of all expenses necessarily incurred by such Board or any Committee under their supervision in the carrying out of any of the provisions of this Act."

It is very certain that the Council could alter that clause in any manner it thought proper without in any way interfering with the privileges of the other House. I will go further, and point out that I hold in my hand the copy of Hansard which records the division which took place when the clause we are now considering was introduced in Committee in the House of Representatives. This particular clause was not considered an appropriation clause, and it was not introduced in Committee of Supply. Therefore I say that in dealing with this clause we are not interfering with the privileges of the other House. It is the principle that I look to, and I shall be very sorry if, in declining to adopt the clause, we give up any one of our privileges. I shall call for a division on the subject, in order to place on record my opinion regarding it.

[ocr errors]

Question put, That the motion be agreed to;" on which a division was called for, with the following result :—

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Hon. Mr. HART, in moving the motion standing in his name, thought it must be obvious to every member of the Council that a number of Bills of a local character came before the Council, particularly towards the end of the session, which could not receive that consideration which they ought to receive if they were to be intelligently passed; and the circumstance that they came before the Council when so many other Bills of a serious character demanded consideration as to their meaning, sense, and bearing, necessarily made it a matter of haphazard whether they were passed or not, because the Council did not like to pass any measures without understanding them and thoroughly appreciating their objects. In the Imperial Parliament, Bills of this kind were introduced after a certain amount of pre

vious ceremony. Notices of the intention to introduce them were published, and they were introduced within a certain period after the commencement of the session. They had to undergo a certain scrutiny before they were submitted to the House, and after undergoing that scrutiny they were rejected or proceeded with in accordance with the result of the scrutiny. Here they had none of those safeguards. These Bills were introduced as public Bills. They were examined or were not examined, as the case might be, and the Council was called on to pass them at a late period of the session, when it could not possibly give proper attention to them. He would not discuss the matter further. The mischief which the motion was intended to remove must have made itself obvious to every member of the Council who had given himself the trouble near the end of the session to study Bills which certainly ought to have been introduced at the beginning of the session.

Motion made, and question proposed, "That, in the opinion of this Council, it is desirable that a Committee should be appointed at the commencement of every session, to act with a similar Com mittee appointed by the House of Representatives, to whom should be referred for examination and report all local Bills. Such Committee to have power to call for persons and papers. That the Standing Orders should provide that all local Bills shall be introduced into Parliament within the first four weeks of each session. And that such reference should in each case be, of course, upon the first reading of the Bill. That it be referred to the Committee on Standing Orders to frame the necessary additions thereto. That the Hon. the Speaker be requested to communicate with the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the subject of these resolutions."-(Hon. Mr. Hart.)

The Hon. Major RICHMOND said the Standing Orders Committee were at present engaged in the consideration of a very similar matter; and he would therefore move, That the matter be referred to the Standing Orders Committee.

The Hon. Mr. MANTELL understood the purport of the amendment to be that the resolution, before being adopted by the Council, should be referred to the Standing Orders Committee. That was a course which would commend itself to the consideration of honorable members at once. There were many points in the resolution to which he had serious objections. In the first place, he doubted very much whether they should hurriedly adopt the suggestion to appoint a Joint Committee. Then, again, the definition of what should be held to constitute local Bills would require much more careful consideration than would be secured by the adoption of this resolution. To the last two lines of the resolution he should altogether object, because he imagined that this resolution, or any other of a similar purport, was of such importance that, instead of being left to the Speaker of the Council to communicate with the other branch of the Legislature, it should be transmitted to the House of Representatives with a message asking their concurrence. The amendment of the Hon.

Major Richmond would meet all his objections;
and not only that, but he hoped it would meet
the views of the Hon. Mr. Hart.
Amendment agreed to.

EDUCATION BILL.

This Bill was recommitted.

The Hon. Dr. GRACE moved the following new clause: "At every election for a School Committee every voter shall be entitled to a number of votes equal to the number of the Committee to be elected, and may give all such votes to one candidate or may distribute them among the candidates, as he thinks fit."

Question put, "That the proposed clause stand part of the Bill;" upon which a division was called for, with the following result :

[blocks in formation]

TARANAKI IRON-SAND.

Mr. KELLY asked the Government, What action they intend to take with reference to the report of the Public Petitions Committee in the case of the petition of the Chairman of the New Zealand Titanic Steel and Iron Company (Limited)? The company was entitled to 5,000 acres of land upon compliance with certain conditions specified in the Act of 1874, but the Government had been advised that the grant could not be issued, the conditions not having been fulfilled. The chairman of the company petitioned the House, and the petition was referred to the Public Petitions Committee, who found that the conditions had not been complied with, and recommended, in consequence of the large expenditure the company had gone to, that, if they produced 100 tons of iron within a time to be fixed by the Government, the grants should issue. The question was now in abeyance, and he wished to know what the Government intended to do in the matter.

Sir G. GREY did not think the Government had power to issue the grant unless the existing Act was first altered. The Government concurred in the report of the Committee, and would endeavour to give effect to it.

IMPREST SUPPLY BILL. This Bill was read a first, second, and third time.

The House adjourned at half-past five o'clock p.m.

The clause was consequently agreed to, and the Bill reported to the Council.

The Council adjourned at half-past five o'clock p.m.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Friday, 16th November, 1877.

First Readings-Second Readings-Third Readings-Tara-
naki Iron-Sand-Imprest Supply Bill.

Mr. SPEAKER took the chair at half-past two o'clock.

PRAYERS.

FIRST READINGS.

Wyndham Recreation Reserve Bill, Lyttelton Harbour Works Compensation Bill, Westland and Nelson Coal Fields Administration Bill, Cemeteries Management Bill, Lyttelton and Heathcote Recreation Bill.

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.

Monday, 19th November, 1877.

First Readings-Second Readings-Defences of the Colony
-Education Bill-Taranaki County Reserves Bill.

The Hon. the SPEAKER took the chair at halfpast two o'clock.

PRAYERS.

FIRST READINGS.

Walsh and Others Pension Bill, Mines Bill.

SECOND READINGS.
Balclutha Athenæum Bill, New Plymouth
Reserves Bill, Little River Church Site Bill.

DEFENCES OF THE COLONY. The Hon. Colonel BRETT asked the Hon. the Colonial Secretary, When the Government expect Sir William Jervois and Colonel Scratchley will arrive in Wellington to examine into the defences of the colony? Sir William Jervois having been appointed Governor of South Australia, and Colonel Scratchley having been appointed Master of the Mint of Victoria, he was under the impression that the services of these distinguished officers would no longer be available for the Government of New Zealand for the Waikato Hospital Reserves Bill, Walsh and purpose of examining into the defences of the Others Pension Bill. colony. He therefore wished to ask the Colonial

SECOND READINGS. Westland and Nelson Coal Fields Administration Bill, Waikato Hospital Reserves Bill, Walsh and Others Pension Bill.

THIRD READINGS.

Hon. Mr. Mantell.

« PreviousContinue »