THE BOROUGH WATER SCHEME.
The following correspondence appears in the last two issues of the Ashburton Herald ;—
To the Editor
Sir—Through die medium of your columns, I wish to congratulate the burgesses of Ashburton on the very marked improvement in their town’s financial prospects, if I can take as a criterion their illustrious town Council’s action at its special meeting held to accept tenders for a water scheme.
As a contractor of about three years’ standing in Ashburton, and against whom I challenge anyone to bring any of those “ unfavorable experiences ” urged by Mr. Saunders agahist Mr. John Black’s tender, my tender should have been taken notice of, being more than L4O loss than the one that was accepted. I felt a little bit slighted in the matter, more especially as I have failed to elicit from the “ genial ” Town Clerk or Borough Engineer the reason why. But (to quote “Faithful George”) the fact is “insignificant.” L4O in these times of plenty is not too high a premium to pay to “practical knowledge” of this groat ditch and hank scheme. There is one very significant fact in connection with these tenders. Mr. J. Black, who was disqualified by previous “unfavorable experiences,” and want of “practical knowledge ” is, I am informed, the very man who is praotioaly doing the work. I take it, sir, that henceforth in your Borough, at the hands of tlie Council, “ merit (when known), shall reap its own reward,” and with them, ‘ knowledge shall be power. ” —I am, &0., W. J. Silcock. April 2G. ■ To the Editor. Sir, —In your last evening’s issue I notice a letter from Mr. J. Silcock, who appears to bo considerably distressed at the action of the Borough Council re the waterworks. Mr. Silcock, being a disappointed tenderer, may be forgiven for his bilious ebullition,' and as I am not sufficiently acquainted with classic authors and newspaper correspondence to enter the arena of public argument with a writer of Mr. Silcock’s calibre I will not trouble you with such an array of inverted commas as he has done. Mr. Silcock’s letter, did it state facts, would be a eery nice readable piece of news for the ratepayers ; but as he has drawn upon his imagination for his facts I now beg of him to state what work he tendered for and at what prices. If he does not, I intend publishing the whole thing as an advertisement in your columns. As for Mr. Jolm Black being practically the contractor, that is about as true as the rest of Mr. Silcock’s letter I am at liberty to employ what labor I like, and being solely responsible to the Borough Council, I don't suppose it would much matter to them if 1 employed Mr. W. J. Silcock’s teams, whether they bo or be not as good as John Black’s. That is my affair. If Mr. Silcock wishes to have his work criticised in a manner like.to that in which he has undertaken to criticise the Council, probably room can be found in your columns for some remarks on a certain 30b he has on hand at present. However, I won’t rush into print any further unless compelled. Meantime I should like your correspondent to give your readers something definite to read ; and not such a vague statement that his tender was L4O less than the accepted one. Well, it might be ! Mr. Silcock did not tender for the most important part of the work, which was let in three sections, and he only gave a price for two.—l am, Ac., James Wilkie. April 87. j
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