OUR OWN CORRESPONDENTS
Mataura Ensign, Volume 17, 2 November 1894, Page 6
OUR OWN CORRESPONDENTS
.+. KELSO. The earth hunger has doubtless made itself felt around this district as elsewhere. The late sale of Greenvale clearly demonstrates this fact, as in most instances where sales were effected the purchaser or his father was already in possession of 200 or more acres of land. Buoyed up with the glowing perorations of the auotioneer as to the productiveness, etc , of the soil,-— taken together with that aot-to-be-beat spirit an auction sale arouses within vs — prices were obtained for the above lands that neither the value of stock or grain warranted. That sort of thing oE course is the " look out " of the buyer : you must not pay too dear for your whistle. Several years ago farms in the old country were leased after a similar fashion, with the result that enormous J rents were literally torn from the people, i rents that only a perpetual reign of high prices could maintain. But, unfortunately in our case, we have no reign pf high prices, not even a temporary existence. The wolf hovers round our door — not that I think our district is any worse off than other districts, yet two bads will never make a good. The above is really in plain English the position of affairs, and what tbe people have to urge under those circumt stances is a drastic economy in the publio purse — not an economy to minimise efficiency, but an economy that would lop off those putrescent excrescences that exist so unmistakably in the civil service of the colony. Yet in administering the knife care must be taken lest those very branches which are entitled to support should be prejudicially interfered with. The police and railway officials are none too highly paid. We have to go further to find the huge nightmare of our country's greatness. At last we find it— we have it in the Education Department of the service, "free and compulsory," forsooth! as if the members of our Government doled this monstrous expenditure out of their own individual pockets. No, Sir J Tho already bowed down taxpayer does the doling part in every case — all we eat and drink, and all we wear, and every tool we use, is made more or lass, directly or indirectly, dearer to pay this cursed system of education. To those who bave an aptitude for the higher class of learning, ways aad means can always be found. But to endeavor to cram nolens volens our young idea generally with ail kinds of book lore, to be forgotten so soon as ever he or she shoots out for the battle of life, is as wauton a waste of the people's money, as nefarious an injustice to a country as ever was enacted by any Government in God's earth. It is there, Sir, where pruning is most wanted. Yet, until the country sends men of ability and honor, instead of cadaverous money-grabbing tailors and snobs to Parliament, farmers who are the mainspring of the country's interests, will be subordinated to a supposed people's interests that has no existence in fact. Writing of farmers, I have often wondered stock insurance has not been gone in for more by farmers, for almost everybody readily insures against fire, from which a loss may never happen. Stock are seldom insured against deatb, a circumstance that is certain to happen. I am aware that a local lately appeared in your paper on the folly of not insuring, yet in a journal such as yours, so essentially a farmers' one, a warning note in your Kelso corner may not be out of place. The Live Stock Insurance Co.'s directors are known as business men of mark and sterling honesty of character, so that insurers need have no fear (in the event of death in their insured stock) of having their claims promptly and satisfactorily settled, I regret to notice in this letter the severe illness of Miss Annie Pa ton, lately of your city. Miss Paton is now, however, nnder the oare of Dr Trotter, and we have all here such confidence iv tbe skill and attention of our doctor, tbat I expect soon to see the young lady up and well again.