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Parliamentary debates, Volume 65 online

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Bay Advertiser, Hawke's Bay Herald,
Hawke's Bay Weekly Courier, New Zealand
Fire and Ambulance Record. Waipawa:
WaipawaMail. Wairoa: Wairoa Guardian
and County Advocate.

Wanganni. — Hawera: Egmont Star; Hawera
and Normanby Star, Patea County Chronicle,
and Waimate Plains Gazette. Hunterville :
Paraekaretu Express, Hunterville, Ohi-
ngaiti, Moawhango, and Rata Advertiser.
Manaia : Waimate Witness. Marton : Mer-
cury, Rangitikei Advocate and Manawatu
Argus. Patea: Patea County Press. Wanga-
nui : Wanganui Chronicle and Patea- Rangi-
tikei Advertiser, Wanganui Herald, Weekly
Chronicle and Pa tea- Rangitikei Record,
Yeoman.

Wellington. — Carterton: Wairarapa Observer,
Featherston Chronicle, East Coast Adver-
tiser, and South County Gazette. Feilding:
Feilding Star. Foxton: Manawatu Herald.
Greytown : Wairarapa Standard. Master-
ton : Eketahuna and Pahiatua Mail, Wai-
rarapa Daily Times, Wairarapa Star, Wai-
rarapa Weekly Times, Weekly Star and
Wellington District Advertiser. Otaki: West
Coast Mail and Horowhenua County Adver-
tiser. Pahiatua: Pahiatua Herald. Pal-
mers ton North : Manawatu Daily Standard,
Rangitikei Advertiser, and West Coast Ga-
zette; Manawatu Daily Times. Pitone: Hutt
and Petone Chronicle. Shannon : Mana-
watu Farmer and Horowhenua County
Chronicle. Wellington : Catholio Times*
Church Chronicle, Evening Post, Evening
Press, Fair Play, New Zealand Central
Trade Report ; New Zealand Mail, Town and
Country Advertiser ; New Zealand Times,
Register and Property Investors' Guide,.
Southern Sunbeam, Typo, Weekly Herald,
Wellington Prices Current and New Zealand
Trade Review. Woodville : Examiner.

Blenheim. — Blenheim: Evening Star, Marl-
borough Daily Times and Town and Country
Advertiser, Marlborough Express, Marl-
borough Weekly News. Havelock : Pelorus
Guardian and Miners' Advocate. Kaikoura:



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Kaikoura Star and North Canterbury and
South Marlborough News. Picton: Marl-
borough Press, County of Sounds Gazette.

Nelson. — Collingwood : Golden Bay Argus.
Nelson : Colonist, Nelson Evening Mail.
Takaka : Takaka News and Collingwood
Advertiser.

Westport. — Charleston : Charleston Herald,

Brighton Times, and Croninville Reporter.

Lyell : Lyell Times and Central Buller

Gazette. Westport : Buller Miner, Westport

* News, Westport Times and Evening Star.

Qreymouth. — Brunnerton : Brunner News,
Blackball Courier, and Grey Valley Ad-
vertiser. Greymouth : Evening Star and
Brunnerton Advocate, Grey River Argus,
Weekly Argus. Reef ton : Inangahua Herald
and New Zealand Miner, Inangahua Times,
Reefton Guardian.

Eokitika.— Hokitika : Hokitika Guardian and
Evening Star, Leader, West Coast Times.
Kumara : Kumara Times and Dill man's and
Goldsborough Advertiser. Ross: Ross and
Okarito Advocate and Westland Advertiser.

Christchurch. — Akaroa : Akaroa Mail and
Banks Peninsula Advertiser. Ashburton :
Ashburton Guardian; Ashburton Mail,
Rakaia, Mount Somers, and Alford Forest
Advertiser. Christchurch: Canterbury Times,
Ly ttelton Times, Mercantile and Bankruptcy
Gazette of Now Zealand, New Zealand Bap-
tist, New Zealand Church News, New Zealand

. Methodist, New Zealand Railway Review,
New Zealand Schoolmaster, New Zealand

. Volunteer and Civil Service Gazette and
Naval and Military Chronicle, New Zealand
War Cry and Official Gazette of the Salvation
Army, Press, Prohibitionist, Star, Truth,
Weekly Press, Young Soldier. Oxford (East) :
Oxford and Cust Observer. Rangiora : Stan-
dard and North Canterbury Guardian.
South bridge : Ellesmere Guardian.

Timaru. — Temuka: Geraldine Guardian, Te-
muka Leader. Timaru : South Canterbury
Times, Timaru Herald. Waimate : Waimate
Times.

Oatnaru. — Oamaru : North Otago Times,
Oamaru Mail.

Dunedin. — Balclutha: Clutha Leader, Free
Press. Clinton : Clutha County Gazette and
Popotunoa Chronicle and Clinton Advertiser.
Clydo: Dunstan Times, Vincent County
Gazette, and General Goldnelds Advertiser.
Cromwell : Cromwell Argus and Northern
Goldnelds Gazette. Dunedin : Evening Star,
Farmers' Circular, Katipo, Licensed Vic-
tuallers' Gazette and Hotel Guide ; New
Zealand Insuranoe, Finance, and Min-
ing Journal ; New Zealand Presbyterian,
New Zealand Tablet, Otago Daily Times,
Otago Witness, Otago Workman, Dunedin
and Suburban Advertiser, People's Journal,
Phonographio Magazine and Typewriting
News, Temperance Standard. Lawrence :
Tuapeka Times. Milton : Bruce Herald.
Mosgiel: Taieri Advocate. Naseby: Mount
Ida Chronicle. Palmerston: Palmers ton and
Waikouaiti Times. Roxburgh : Mount Ben*



ger Mail. Tapanui : Tapanui Courier and
Central Districts Gazette.
Invercargill. — Arrow River: Lake County
Press. Gore: Mataura Ensign, Southern
Standard. Invercargill: Southern Cross,
Southlander, Southland Daily News, South-
land Times, Weekly Times. Queenstown:
Lake Wakatipu Mail. Riversdale ; Waimea
Plains Review and Market Report. River-
ton: Western Star and Wallace County
Gazette. *

From this honourable members would see
how necessary it was that the Government
should do something to stop the wholesale
waste of the people's money. If they had gone
too far the question might be reconsidered;
but what they had done had been in the inter-
ests of eoonomy, and not with a view to punish
or to purchase any of the newspapers.

Mr. G. HUTCHISON would point out that
the Premier was, as usual, endeavouring to
burke the question. The question was as to the
mode of distributing the Government patronage
with regard to advertising at the present time.
The Premier had referred to a long printed
list of papers—which really, as the honourable
member for Wellington City had indioated,
might have been extracted from a directory —
in some of which Government advertisements
had been occasionally inserted. But that was
not the present question ; it was not the ques-
tion whether large sums of money had been
spent in advertising by various departments of
the Government. That might have been very
wrong ; but the question was, how the Govern-
ment patronage was now being dispensed ; and
it must be clear to any one who looked at the
list recently drawn up by Ministers tbat the
Government advertising was being dispensed in
the most partial, and he should say shameful,
manner. It was unnecessary to go any further
than Wellington. They found that the paper
which had undoubtedly the largest circulation,
and which commanded the largest range of
readers, had been boycotted by the Government
for no other reason that the public could see
than that it had exposed some curious dealings
of the Premier and his colleagues during the
recess. The Government would do well to say
they would revise that list, and inform the
House that they would proceed on business
lines in advertising so as to bring Government
announcements to the attention of the public.
If they did that the House would be satisfied,
but if they persisted in the present line of con-
duct they would certainly deserve every censure
that could be directed against them. He had
referred in Committee of Supply to another
place where he was somewhat acquainted with
the oircumstances of the papers — Wanganui.
There a daily and a weekly which were ful-
some in their support of the Premier individu-
ally got all the advertisements, while another
daily and weekly which had an equal if not
larger circulation got nothing at all. He had
suggested to the Premier that the least he
could do would be to alternate the advertise-
ments, which would give as full publicity as
the present system, and would take away the



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Adjournment.



[Sept. 4



present reproach. All be urged was : Let the
patronage of the Government be impartial, and
proceed consistently with business principles,
so as to get Government announcements into
the hands of those who were concerned in see-
ing them.

Mr. SEDDON asked if the honourable gentle-
man knew that there were three new papers on
the coast.

Mr. G. HUTCHISON said he was quite
aware of it.

Mr. SEDDON asked, should the Government
. give advertisements to those new papers ?

Mr. G. HUTCHISON did not say so; he
said they should proceed on business lines.

Mr. ALLEN understood the Premier to say
the object of the Government was to reduce
the cost of advertising. He did not know
whether the Premier intended that to refer to
the Crown Lands Department, or to make an
exception in regard to that department. But
if he did not intend to make an exception
he did not know of what value the Premier's
remarks were, because the advertising in the
Crown Lands and Survey Departments had
increased since 1891-92 from £1,121 in one
year to £1,609 in 1893-94.

Mr. J. McKENZIE.— Before the list went
out.

Mr. ALLEN did not know anything about
that. He had the return of advertising year by
year, and it was curious that the advertising,
instead of being decreased, had increased by
£500 in two years ; therefore, if the alteration
had been made, as regarded the list of papers,
with the view of decreasing the cost of adver-
tising, it had failed, because the cost had in-
creased. And the year 1892-98 was worse, for
in that year £1,907 was spent in advertising
by the Crown Lands and Survey Department.
The Premier had referred to the fact that the
Star, and Farmer, and Graphic, in Auckland,,
had received a large sum in three years, while
the New Zealand Herald and Weekly News
received "the still larger sum of £427 ; but he
forgot to point out that, while in 1891-92 the
Star, Fanner, and Graphic received £106, the
Star, Farmer, and Graphic now received,
in 1893-94, £141. Now, what had happened
to the other newspaper, which was not a
Government paper, but which had a larger
circulation ? In 1891-92 it received £120, but
that amount, instead of increasing, had de-
creased to £112 in 1893-94. The New Zealand
Herald was now, apparently, getting nothing,
as it was not on the list. Now coming to
Wellington, he supposed it would be generally
admitted that the paper which had the largest
circulation was the Post. How much did
honourable gentlemen think the Post received
in three years from the Crown Lands Depart-
ment? £67 3s. For the three years ending with
1893-94 the Press received £32 14s. 6d. But
what was the case with regard to the morning
paper, which ho did not say was a Government
paper, but would leave honourable members to
judge from the amount it was receiving by way
of money for advertising by the Crown Lands
Department?— £832 12s. 3d.— three times as
Mr. G. Hutchison



much as the other two put together. Was
that spoils to the victors, or what was it?

Mr. J. McKENZIE. — That includes the
Mail.

Mr. ALLEN.— Yes ; the Times and Mail re-
ceived three times as much as the other two
papers put together. Did honourable members
think that was a fair proportion of the adver-
tisements? Did they not know in their own
minds quite plainly and distinctly that it was
a reward, and nothing else ?

Mr. REEVES.— They are not getting any-
thing now.

Mr. ALLEN 6aid, then he was afraid the
Times had given up its allegiance to those
sitting on the Government benches, or, at any
rate, to the Minister of Education, or that
honourable gentleman had given up his alle-
giance to it. Then, going on to the Dunedin
papers; it must be admitted that the Otago
Daily Times did receive a fair share of adver-
tisements ; but looking at the evening papers,
which were in existence there till a year ago,
there was a very curious state of things. The
Globe, which existed only to die about twelve
months ago, in 1891-92 received £34 Is. 6d. for
advertising from the Crown Lands Depart-
ment.

An Hon. Member.— A bribe.

Mr. ALLEN.— Well, here was the bribe
offered to the Evening Star in the same year —
a paper which circulated throughout the whole
of Dunedin, and had he did not know how
much larger circulation than the Globe: it
received £28. The next year the Globe re-
ceived £74, while the Star only received £22.
Was that not a bribe ?

Mr. SEDDON said the Star did not circu-
late largely in the country districts.

Mr. ALLEN said it circulated throughout
the whole of his district, through the Taieri,
and very largely in the Minister of Lands' own
district, and in Waikouaiti. Did the Glob*
circulate largely in those districts ? Certainly
not. It had only a very small circulation. So,
as a matter of fact, the Globe received in two
years £108, while the Star in three years re-
ceived £71. Every one from that part of the
world knew the relative values of the two
papers as channels for advertising ; and, if the
thing were considered apart from party, honour-
able members could come to no other conclu-
sion than that it was a bribe for support. It
was not necessary to refer to all the other small
papers ; but there was no doubt this was one of
the means used to purchase support.

Mr. J. McKENZIE supposed this was part
of the programme to give a certain amount of
food to the Conservative papers in the colony
in order to enable them to bait the Govern-
ment a little more than they had done in

. o the past. The honourable gentleman
who had just sat down passed a re-
mark which he thought should not have been
made — namely, that there was an attempt to
purchase support by the Government. That
honourable gentleman acted very unfairly,
he thought, in referring to the statement he
held in his hands showing the cost of adver-



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407



tisements in the Lands Department daring the
last year, and showing that it had increased.
He also said the circulation of the list was be-
cause of the high prices charged for advertising
throughout the colony. This list referred to
the year ending on the 31st March last, and
the new circular was only sent out in April,
showing that the fruits of that list could not be
seen until next year, when it would be discovered
whether or not the Government would be able
to curtail the expenditure on advertising. He
would tell the House that he could not say
at the present moment what was the " colour "
of a large number of the papers referred to. He
knew a few of them, of course ; and one of the
greatest difficulties while he was Minister of
Lands was to decide in what papers advertise-
ments should be published. He got numbers
of applications from country papers stating
that the settlers in certain districts wanted to
see the lands advertisements, and he came to
the conclusion that if it went on at this rate the
increased cost would be enormous. The list
sent out to the officers of the department did
not at all bind them to the newspapers in that
list necessarily. They could still advertise in
any other paper if they came to the conclusion
it was necessary ; but they must draw the line
somewhere. What was all this noise about?
If they had given all the Government advertise-
ments to the Opposition papers those honour-
able gentlemen who had Drought the question
up would not have said one word about it.

Sir R. STOUT.— I should.

Mr. J. McKENZIE said, Oh, no ; spoils to
the victors would be quite fair then. When the
present Government came into office they found
that a large number of newspapers were treated
in the same way— and far worse. They never
saw one sixpence of Government money for
advertising. And now the Government en-
deavoured to give fair- play by circulating Go-
vernment advertisements in all the papers.
The honourable member for Wellington City
referred to three or four papers in Otago which
were not on the list; but he saw that those
papers were down as having received sums
of money from the Government.

An Hon. Member. — That was before the
list was issued.

Mr. J. McKENZIE said, Yes; it was before
the list was issued ; but if it was found neces-
sary by the officers of the Lands Department
to advertise in any newspaper not on the list
the lands open in their district they could do
so. But the Government, however, were not
going to confine their advertising to the big
newspapers of Dunedin. Honourable members
must know that in the country districts the
people took in the local newspapers, and knew
where to look for the local news, and when an
advertisement appeared in their local news-
paper they knew where to look for it.

An. Hon. Membeb.— What about the Dun-
edin Evening Star ?

Mr. J. McKENZIE.— Well, the honourable
gentleman had stated the Dunedin Evening
Star had a large circulation. It had, he ad-
mitted, a large circulation in Dunedin, but



that did not extend to the country. Very
few copies of the paper reached Palmerston ;
and that was one of the reasons why he did
not care what that newspaper often said about
him. His people never saw it. The case of
the Otago Daily Times was different. It "cir-
culated throughout the country districts, and
the people saw it. The Government worked
entirely on business lines, and entirely irrespec-
tive of any " colour " ; so that honourable mem-
bers had been barking up the wrong tree, he
could assure them. The Government had no
intention of giving their advertising to news-
papers which blindly supported them. He had
no doubt if they wanted to put a newspaper
right they could find the ways and means of
doing so if necessary. The fact of the matter
was that the Conservative papers did the Go-
vernment a great deal of good in running them
down. If they did not make reflections, the
people might say the Government were getting
too popular altogether. He thought it was
time they put an end to this discussion on
newspapers. They had had enough of it this
session. It would be much better to wait until
next session and see how much the Government
had saved in advertising.

Mr. BUCHANAN was more than surprised
at the statement of the Minister of Lands
that the distribution of advertisements had
been conducted on business lines. Take the
case of the Evening Post, for instance. Look
at its columns. He did not think it was
necessary to describe the newspaper. It would
speak for itself. He had no connection what-
ever with that newspaper, but the fact must
be plain to everybody who chose to look for
himself that from a business point of view the
Post should receive all Government advertise-
ments; yet it was boycotted altogether. The
real fact was that the Post had been fearless
in its exposition of innumerable Government
abuses, .and this was the penalty meted out
to it.

Mr. REEVES.— Is not the Evening Press
against the Government ?

Mr. BUCHANAN hoped the honourable
gentleman would not interrupt him. Then, in
the case of the Evening Star, in Dunedin, the
Minister of Lands had stated that it circulated
only in the town, and that the Government
therefore gave its advertisements to the morn-
ing paper, the Otago Daily Times, which circu-
lated largely in the country districts. How
did this rule, laid down in connection with the
Dunedin papers, apply in the case of the
Wellington papers? Which of the Welling-
ton papers had the largest circulation in the
country ?

An Hon. Member. — The Times.

Mr. BUCHANAN said the honourable mem-
ber would have to reside a little longer in Wel-
lington before he knew much about the Wel-
lington newspapers. Everybody knew that the
Evening Post circulated very largely in the
country districts. All along the railway-lines
the people very largely depended on the Post
for their news.



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Adjournment.



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[Sept. 4



Mr. J. McKENZIE.-— You advertised in the
Post at election-time.

Mr. BUCHANAN said that that was not
true; that the Post had very seldom said a
word in his favour, and it had frequently
opposed him. Then, the Premier told them
that the amount expended on railway ad-
vertisements was such that the colony could
not afford to continue that expenditure. He
would not debate that question with the
honourable gentleman, because he had not the
necessary information, but, taking the advertise-
ments of excursions, holiday- trips, shows, and
what not, when the Railway Department ran
Bpecial trains, it might very well be that the
amount spent in advertising might pay for
itself over and over again on such occasions.
It was a business question which the Commis-
sioners alone could decide, and they should be
left untrammelled to do so. There could be
no question that the Government had in the
matter of advertisements, as in other matters
of policy, followed the line of " the spoils to the
victors." The remarks which had fallen from
the Premier indicated, however, that they
might, perhaps, expect better things in the
future. He therefore hoped that newspapers
would be treated a little more fairly in the
future than in the past, and that the public
would be able to get their information from
the channels where they had a right to look
for it — namely, from the newspapers having
the largest circulation.

Mr. BELL was not going to refer to the
newspapers. He wished to refer to the answer
the Colonial Treasurer had given to the honour-
able member for Riccarton, when he under-
stood the Colonial Treasurer to say that there
had been negotiation between the Colonial
Bank and the Bank of New Zealand before
the directorate had been appointed, before
the colony was represented by a President,
before an Auditor had been appointed, and be-
fore the House had any opportunity, through
its Government, of securing the interests of
the colony. Were they to be told that these
negotiations were to be brought down and laid
before the House without the colony having
the slightest opportunity of being protected?
What did the Colonial Treasurer tell them
when the Bill was introduced ? He told them
that the colony would be protected by its Pre-
sident. It would be further protected by its
Auditors. He said there would be a President
and an Auditor appointed by the Govern-
ment, and that no dangerous business would
be taken, because the President had the power
of veto, and the Auditor would have to report
on the new business to be taken. What right
had anybody to negotiate under these circum-
stances while the Board had not been elected ?
Had the old Board power to negotiate ?

Mr. J. McKENZIE.— You had better ask
the Board.

Mr. BELL was asking the Colonial Trea-
surer. The members who accepted the assur-
ance of the Government had been betrayed
and misled if these things were to take
place. Why did not the Colonial Treasurer



permit the colony to know that the Bank of
New Zealand had the power to coalesce with
another institution in the interval without the
consent of the House? If they had this power
it showed a want of caution on the part of the
Government that this power should bo given to
the old directorate to play ducks and drakes in
this way. This might or might not be a good
piece of business — he was not going to express
an opinion about it, but he knew that it might
be a very bad business; and if negotiations
took place without the colony having the pro-
tection of the officers who the Colonial Trea-
surer assured the House would be appointed,
then a very great wrong was being done. It
was all very well to be told that these negotia-
tions could only be brought to a head, and that
then the President would be appointed. They
were given to understand that the bank would
not negotiate for or undertake any new busi-
ness of any kind until they were in the position
of having first of all a new Board of Directors,
and then the supervision of the President and
Auditor. And now they were told that power-
ful politicians could - combine and negotiate
arrangements to engineer business of this kind
through the House before the appointment of a
President or an Auditor. Would the honour-
able gentleman tell the House whether an Act
of Parliament was necessary, and whether
he intended to bring an Act down ? Was it
not a fact that the Government hod come to
the conclusion that an Act was not necessary,
and that the whole thing could be arranged
now, and that then there was to be a mere
affirmance by the new Board of the previous
arrangement? If the' Treasurer would assure
the House that nothing would be done without
the passing of an Act, then the House was
to be fairly dealt with ; but, if these nego-
tiations were to go on behind the backs of
those who had guaranteed the two millions of



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