No. 24, Financial
26th March 1866
1. Resuming the subject treated of in my Despatch No 14 dated 1st March 1866, I have now the honor to enclose extracts from local newspapers containing reports of debates in the Legislative Assembly as to which I have no other means of information.
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2. The Assembly appear in these debates to have confined their attention chiefly to the abolition and reduction of taxation—in other words, to the diminution of "Ways and Means."
3. They have passed Bills to repeal the Real Estate Tax and Salaries Tax and to reduce Trades Licence and Liquor Licence Duties, and import duties on milch cows.
4. By another bill they havehoweverManuscript image however, imposed new import duties on hay and lumber which will add little to the Revenue.
5. They have also passed two Bills authorizing loans respectively of £50,000 ($242,500) and $100,000 (£20,618).
6. I have already in previous Despatches commented upon the measures above detailed.
7. None of these Bills, one of which, the Real Estate Tax Repeal Bill, was passed by the AssemblyonManuscript image on the 12th instant, have as yet been sent on to the Legislative Council for their consideration, and it will be seen from the enclosed reports that in the event of the Council rejecting the Bills affecting taxation the majority of the Assembly contemplate "tacking" those Bills on to the Supply Bill and so coercing the Council to pass those Measures.
8. I may state that since the date (22nd February 1866)ofManuscript image of the last debate in the Assembly of which I transmitted a report in my Despatch above referred to, the Assembly has met nine times and on no less than eight occasions has failed to meet owing to the absence of a sufficient number (five) of Members to make a quorum.
9. On the 21st instant the Assembly adjourned for six days, the Session having already lastednearlyManuscript image nearly four months and no portion of the financial business of the Colony being completed.
10. It will be seen from the reports of the debates that the proposal to place the Stipendiary Magistrate of Victoria under the control of the Municipal Council has been abandoned, and that a like proposal with reference to the Police Force having been carried, is about to undergo a reconsideration.
11. The permission given in theVictoriaManuscript image Victoria Incorporation Bill to foreigners to vote at municipal elections is a remarkable and significant fact, one object of the supporters of that Bill being avowedly to supersede as much as possible the general Colonial Government by local municipal Government, and the majority of the inhabitants being foreigners.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Add this to the collection for Parlt?
Perhaps Mr Forster will decide about printing these debates. To do so will add to the size and expense of the Paper, & I shd think that Parlt will Consider the Governor's despatch sufficient for the object in view.
ABd 15 May
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I should certainly not print debates. It would be a new, and I think bad, precedent.
TFE 15/5
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Mr Cardwell
I would certainly not print the Debates. I will consult you about laying before Parlt the present printed correspondence with 4666 4668 & 4670.
WEF 16/5
EC 17
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Newspaper clippings, British Colonist, 13, 15, 17, 20 and 22 March 1866, Chronicle, 13, 15, 17, 20 and 22 March 1866, reporting the debates of the legislative assembly, as per despatch.