16 MARCH 1878, Page 1

A great fight has been going on in the colony

of Victoria between the Council and the Assembly, nominally about the payment of Members, but really about the right of the popular House to override the nominated one on money questions. The Assembly, according to a custom which has prevailed for seven years, had voted the annual Bill, giving £300 a year to each Member, and the Council—irritated, it is be- lieved, by the new Land Tax—threw out the Bill. There- upon Mr. Berry advised the Assembly to tack the Bill for payment of Members to the Appropriation Bill, thus compelling the Council, which cannot alter a financial Bill, to throw out both or neither. The Council threw out both ; the Governor, Sir G. Bowen, declared that he must follow the advice of his responsible Ministers ; and the responsible Ministers began wholesale dis- misaals of public functionaries, whom there were no means to pay. This latter measure was justified in part by the necessity of retrenchment, but its object of course was to compel the Council to reconsider its action. By the latest telegrams, the Council has done so, agreeing privately to pass the Bill, if sent up separately—as it was at first—but the conflict is not yet over. The ultimate battle is about the land, the Council repre- senting the squatters, and the Assembly the people, and the fatal defect of our Colonial Constitutions—the absence of any modera- ting authority between Upper and Lower House—comes strongly out. It will be necessary ultimately to let a two-thirds vote of the Assembly, backed by a one-third vote of the Council, over- ride all opposition.