TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5 p.m.] The Ashburton Guardian. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1880. The Tariff Meeting To-Night.
To-night there will be held in the Town Hall a meeting, which ought to be of the utmost importance to every resident in the township and settler in the country. The purpose of the meeting is to protest against the anomalies of the railway tariff as it now exists, and has existed for several weeks, and to take what steps may be considered necessary to urge at least a re-adjustment, if not a relaxation, upon the Government.. Iln a previous issue we published the correspondence on the subject of the tariff that had taken place between the Committee of the County Council appointed for the purpose of considering and reporting on the tariff, and the general manager of ihe railways. The manager may be looked upon as simply the mouthpiece of the Government, and his letter, though it expresses the usual conventional willingness to consider the matter generally, evinces an apparently firm hostility to any change in the rates as regards the carriage of grain. This is the article in which we in this district are most deeply interested, and anything calculated to reduce the already small return the farmer receives from his grain ought to be firmly withstood. There is a possibility of riding a horse to death, and though we are perfectly willing to recognise the necessity for saving money in every department of the public' service, and of increasing the income of these departments with a view to make the the public estate of the colony remunerative, we are equally alive to the possibility of the traffic on the railways being injured by an enormous and unequal traffic, and the settlers using the lines being subjected to the paying of rates that may reriously interfere with their prosperity. The matter of the tariff is already in the hands of the County Council, and will doubtless be ably handled; but the tariff is one which affects every man in the district, and ought to be made essentially a people’s question. ; We care not who the Government in office may be, nor to what party it may _ belong, there is nothing so powerful in its effect on the minds of Ministers as a unitedly hostile public opinion. So far as the County of Ashburton is concerned that opinion is united and hostile, and the same may be said of every district affected by the railways. The step taken by the Mayor in calling the public meeting to be held to-night, is a step in the right direction, and it is every man’s duty to attend, and by his
countenance of the proceedings and his vote for the resolutions, express his dissatisfaction witli the tariff that now regulates the carriage, charges by railway. Already many large customers of the public lines in the colony have set about making arrangements for making use of Cartage instead of railway carriage, and have done so because they find that fro'm actual experience it will pay better to do without the luxury of the railway.