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THE ASHBURTON WATER SCHEME.

To the Editor.

Sir, — Absence from home, and duties of more importance to myself than being engaged in a newspaper quarrel have prevented me from replying to Mr. Wilkie’s letter at an earlier date. lam sorry that the severe indisposition that he apprehends I was suffering last week should be manifesting itself in at least one other individual besides myself,, and would recomto Mr. Wilkie a soothing draught before he again “rushes into print.” The remarks in my letter were not in any way intended to refer to Mr. Wilkie. If he tendered for the work at what he considered a fair price, and the Council saw fit to give him the job, he would have been very foolish not to have taken it. If defending the Council is part of the contract, I hope the next tenders they call for will have these conditions stated in the specifications (perhaps this is what one of the Councillors referred to when he spoke of Mr. Wilkie’s'“ practical knowledge,” etc.) Mr. Wilkie has made some rather uncalled for remarks as to the veracity of my “facts.” As truthfulness is one of the few things in which I pride myself, and the platform on which ! now stand or fall, “ impugn it whoso lists.” In my schedule of works tendered for, the following items are enumerated : Water Supply—To cutting channel, forming embankment, laying drain pipes, fluming and concrete work, according to plans and specifications, £s. d. Outfall Drain—To cutting drain extras, £ s. d. Fencing, £s. d. Total—L236 13s. If this does not embrace “ the most important part of the work” I am very much mistaken, and until Mr. Wilkie proves which of the three sections I have omitted to tender for I will leave the public to judge who is stating “facts” or “drawing on their imagination. ” , “ As to Mr. Black being the contractor,” how Mr. Wilkie can draw such an inference from my letter I am. at a. loss to know. What I intended to infer was whether Mr. Black could not do as good work under the Borough Engineer’s supervision as under Mr. AVilkie’s, at a saving of Ll 9 to, the ratepayers. As to the merits or demerits of Mr. Black’s teams or my own, I think that quite out of place to discuss in your columns. All I can say is that I have seen as good work done by Mr. Black’s teams as by those of any other contractor.

In conclusion, I must again congratulate the townspeople that in their midst there has arisen a living patriot who has taken up the cudgel to defend the Town Council —a real modern Samson—but before yoiirs truly is vanquished, as Mr. AVilkie’s intendedly scathing remarks intended he should be, it will take another wag of Samson’s weapon {quid pro quo, James). —I am, &c. W. J. SILCOCK.

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THE ASHBURTON WATER SCHEME. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 95, 4 May 1880

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