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sponsible for the acts he himself commits, or for those the responsibility of which he takes upon himself. But let us, for the sake of argument, admit that it was a continuous Government, and see what we shall arrive at. Suppose it was a continuous Government, the fact is then evident, there were two very distinct epochs in its history. Up to 1874 it was a Government carried on by the Provincial party, a party which favoured the provinces; it was supported by gentlemen who believed strongly in the desirability of maintaining provincial institutions. After that date, the party which took the Government, and has remained in power since, was a party which believed in the abolition of the provinces, and which succeeded in doing away with them. We shall also find a marked distinction in the mode of conducting the finance since 1875. After the year 1870, and up to the beginning of the financial year 1875-76, we had been in the habit of appropriating our public works loans by permanent appropriations. When we borrowed money we set apart large sums for railways and other services, and placed them within the power of the Government for expenditure, not from year to year, but extending over several years. Very great and perhaps necessary power was placed in the hands of the Government up to 1875, but after that time that system was entirely altered. I myself had then the honor of occupying the position of Colonial Treasurer. In that year we did away with all standing appropriations: we thereby placed within the control of the House the whole of the money raised by loan from year to year, and we introduced for the first time the Immigration and Public Works Loan Appropriation Act. The power of reserving votes chargeable upon the Consolidated Fund was done away with, and every vote made to expire absolutely on the 30th June in each year. In 1875 we also submitted to the House a plan for extending the expenditure of the balance of the public works loans over a period of two years, and, as I have before shown, the plan then laid down was faithfully adhered to; and on the 30th June last we had not expended the whole of the balance of the loans which were authorized in 1875. Therefore, Sir, if we were a continuous Government, we, at any rate, can claim the credit of having-as soon as what I may term the glitter of the Public Works scheme had worn offsettled down to our work, and seriously looked forward to the years to come. Since that date, we have steadily adhered, under much pressure, to the plans we then marked out for ourselves with the approval of the House. It will be necessary, Sir, that I should call your attention to the state of the colony in 1870, when the scheme of Immigration and Public Works was first introduced. It is well known to you that we had been suffering many years of depression; that property throughout the colony was almost valueless, and unsaleable; that very little employment was to be got; and that many people were seriously thinking of leaving the colony. The population of New Zealand at that time was, in round numbers, 250,000. The public debt, less the accrued Sinking Fund, was £7,250,000 includ

ing £618,000 Treasury bills, of which some were issued in that year to make up the deficit of the previous year. The annual charge on our public debt was £536,000. Our consolidated revenue was only £936,000, and our Land Fund for the year was £208,000. Our total revenue, land and consolidated, together, was, in round numbers, £1,150,000. At the end of the financial year just expired our population had risen to 400,000. Our public debt had increased from £7,250,000 to £18,250,000-that is, after deducting the accrued Sinking Fund £1,353,000, and the cash in hand on the 30th June £980,000, the gross debt being £20,618,000; and the permanent charges had risen to £1,180,000. Our consolidated revenue had risen to £1,951,000, our Land Fund to £1,035,000, giving a total revenue of £3,000,000. The Treasury bills now outstanding amount to £837,000, being an increase in the seven years of £214,000. The charge on the permanent debt in 1870 consumed four-sevenths of our consoli dated revenue. In the year just ended, seventwelfths of our ordinary revenue was required to meet the same charge. That is to say, the extra charge in proportion to the revenue had risen one eighty-fourth a very small rise indeed. But this fact is also worthy of note: that in 1870 one-half our revenue-territorial and consolidated-was taken to pay permanent charges, whereas in the present year only onethird of our combined revenue is required for that purpose. I have said that the debt in 1870 was £7,250,000, and that this year it is £18,250,000— that is to say, an increase of £11,000,000. That sum of £11,000,000 is the amount we have expended on immigration and public works, land purchase, and two or three other smaller items which I need not particularize. That is the amount we have expended on these things during the last seven years: we have not spent £27,000,000, as the Hon. the Premier was pleased to tell the House the other night we had done. Of this sum of £11,000,000, £500,000 was consumed by the expenses of raising the loans, and in discount, £1,250,000 was spent on immigra tion, and about £1,750,000 upon railway material in England. That would leave a balance of about £7,500,000 which has been expended on public works throughout the colony. That would be a little more than £1,000,000 a year, and not, as has been stated by some honorable gentlemen, £3,000,000 a year. Now, Sir, for this expenditure we have certainly obtained 100,000 immigrants; we have also completed 860 miles of railway; we have made 2,300 miles of roads; and we have extended the telegraph 3,260 miles. We have also land worth, in my opinion, at least £750,000; and, in addition to that, we have all our public buildings, our lighthouses, and our waterworks upon our gold fields. If any one will look fairly at the expenditure, and at the circumstances under which it was made, I think he will be inclined to say-although it is possible we have wasted money, necessarily wasted money, owing to the rapid manner in which the scheme has been carried out, for which the late Government are certainly not wholly responsible-still we have got good value for our money. At any

rate, that is my opinion; and I think we should rather congratulate ourselves upon what we have got than waste regrets over what might have been. And here, Sir, I might remark that, since I had the honor of taking office some three years ago, we have only taken power to increase the indebtedness of the colony to the extent of £1,350,000. That is the whole of the borrowing power which I have asked and obtained since 1 have been in the Government. And on the 30th June last there was one million of that amount in cash in the Treasury.

An Hon. MEMBER. Does that include Treasury bills?

Major ATKINSON.-Yes. When I speak of our indebtedness, I invariably include Treasury bills and cash advances on bonds. I have said that we have increased the amount of Treasury bills since 1870 to the extent of £214,000. But, to my mind, that is not a matter for surprise at all. I take an entirely different view on that point from that held by the honorable gentlemen opposite, who seem to think there is something dreadful in the idea of issuing Treasury bills. To my mind there is no difference whatever between Treasury bills and any other bond, so far as the public debt is concerned. Treasury bills, or longdated debentures, are simply matters of convenience. The question is, Which is the most profitable way of raising money to meet our requirements? Well, we have increased Treasury bills since 1870 by the sum of £214,000. But when I say that we have assisted Auckland, Wellington, and Westland to the extent of over £300,000 within the last three years, it will not be a matter of surprise that so small an increase as that has occurred. I would ask those honorable gentlemen who talk so much about the employment of Treasury bills what they would have done under such circumstances. Would it have been wise at that time to have taken up a permanent loan for the purpose of meeting this expenditure? If any Minister had made such a proposal, he would have been laughed at. Hon. MEMBERS.-No. Major ATKINSON. That is my opinion. Looking at the position of the colony, it was right to see if the consolidated revenue could not bear the charge; and therefore it was then a pru

dent transaction to issue Treasury bills, instead of issuing a permanent loan, so as to enable us to see whether the consolidated revenue would not increase sufficiently, as was reasonable to hope, to repay these bills. It may be said that there were other ways of meeting this charge. We might have proposed to seize, as my honorable friend the Colonial Treasurer is now doing, the Land Fund of Canterbury; but I think neither be nor anybody else will say that that would have been possible at that time. There was another course. We might have increased taxation for the purpose, but I will ask whether the House or the country would have listened to such a proposal. It is perfectly clear that neither of these courses was practicable, and the only choice open to the Government was to issue Treasury bills or a longdated loan, and we considered the former the more reasonable course. Sir, I hold in my hands a very interesting statement which, when it is placed before the House and the country, will be perused, I venture to think, with great satisfaction. It is a statement which I had prepared shortly before I left office, showing the actual receipts of the colony on the one side, treating the provinces and the colony as one, and the actual expenses on the other, eliminating all cross entries and transfers, and showing separately all aids to revenue in the shape of Treasury bills, advances out of loan, or released Sinking Fund, and also the expenditure upon public works of every description, including the subsidies to Road Boards, River Boards, harbour works, &c. And this is what we find: that the total receipts for the year amounted to £3,393,884 14s. 2d.; the total expenditure, exclusive, as I have said, of all subsidies and public works, to £2,79,318 5s. 3d.; which shows that after providing for all actual and necessary expendi ture of Government, including interest and per manent charges, there was a surplus balance to credit of £514,000 available for local public works. The aids to revenue, as will be seen upon reference to the table, amounted to £673,174 9s. 11d., and we began the year with a balance in hand of £431,611 8s. 11d., making a total available for local expenditure of £1,619,352 6s. 11d., and there was during the year locally expended £1,284,658 15s.

INCOME and EXPENDITURE of New Zealand during the Financial Year ended 30th June, 1877. (Including the Accounts of the late Provinces.)

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INCOME and EXPENDITURE of New Zealand during the Financial Year, &c.-contd.

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Financial

[HOUSE.]

Statement.

[Nov. 20

INCOME and EXPENDITURE of New Zealand during the Financial Year, &c.-contd.

EXPENDITURE.

REVENUE ACCOUNT,

ORDINARY CURRENT EXPENDITURE,—

£ s. d.

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Civil List

28,586 0 0

Charges of the Public Debt

998,795 4 6

Charges under Permanent Acts

36,043 7 2

Legislative

37,592 1 4

Executive (including salaries of Superinten

dents)

35,172 12 5

Stamp Department...

3,878 13 3

Printing

...

12,380 16 7

3,884 14 5

7,310 2 7

Geological and Meteorological

Electoral

Crown Lands Department

Inspection of Machinery

Education

Lunatic Asylums, Hospitals, &c.

Store Department

Department of Justice and Crown Law Office

Law Courts

Wardens' Courts, &c.

Criminal Prosecutions and Coroners' Inquests

Police and Gaols

...

Land Transfer and Deeds Registry

Contingencies-Law and Justice

5,637 11 5

1,789 1 2

174,026 4 5

101,738 7 4

1,027 15 0

3,007 0 0

40,449 16 6

18,738 11 5

11,825 6 7

120,934 19 5

Postal

Telegraphic

Customs

Marine

20,924 14 6
4,175 15 0

149,734 11 3

89,356 7 10

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39,520 4 10

39,208 2 10

Native (including Land Court)...

Militia and Volunteers

Armed Constabulary and

57,222 13 3

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28,226 6 0

Contingent

Defence

£78,294 0 5

Less charged on Loan

30,000 0

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Public Domains and Buildings

Railways and Wharves

Waste Lands and Surveys

PUBLIC WORKS, ETC.,—

Roads and Bridges, &c.

Harbours and Jetties

Railway Works

Miscellaneous Public Works

Buildings, &c.

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Endowments and Aids to Local Bodies,

Canterbury College

Conservators,

River

Clutha

Patea Harbour Board

New Plymouth Harbour Board Ellesmere and Forsyth Reclamation, &c. Timaru and Gladstone Board of Works Subsidies to Road and

River Boards, Counties, and Municipalities

£14,540 0

0

591 4 9 2,042 4 0

450 16 9

1,412 O

16,664 4 11

132,265 4 7

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235,901 14 1

Carried forward

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Major Atkinson

271,602 4 6

License Fees, &c.,
handed over to Coun-

INCOME and EXPENDITURE of New Zealand during the Financial Year, &c.-contd.

REVENUE ACCOUNT-continued.
PUBLIC WORKS, ETC.-continued.
Brought forward

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ties and Boroughs Surplus Land Revenue handed over to Counties

Gold Fields Revenue

handed over to
Counties

over to Counties

Deduct

credit of Counties

Separate Account,

not yet paid over

34,577 5 7

254,757 0 0

5,601 15 0

Gold Duty handed

13,911 6 8

580,449 11 9

amount at

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4,163,977 0 3

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Temporary Advances

on

Defence Loan repaid

466 4 2

Debentures of

...

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Armed Constabulary and Contingent Defence
Charges and Expenses of raising Loans

Balance on 30th June, 1877

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11,496 1 7

32,420 16 8
17,000 0 0

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Total

...

VOL. XXVII. 35.

£7,409,666 14 10

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