The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, JULY 13, 1881.
[lssued at 4.10 p.m.]
School Committee —The usual monthly meeting of the School Committee was to have been held yesterday evening, but as only two members were [present, it was adjourned until Friday evening, at the usual hour and place. ______ Lecture at Wakandi. —An exceedingly interesting and instructive lecture was delivered by the Rev. W. Keall, in the Wakanui schoolroom, last evening, in aid of the school funds. The subject of the lecture, “Stability and Instability of Character,” was treated in a very masterly and exhaustive manner. Several scriptural and other characters were fully brought Tout by the rev. lecturer, which very aptly illustrated the subject in hand. The attendance was very numerous, and judging from the rapt attention of the audience, the lecture must hare been highly appreciated. A very hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the lecturer, and the singing of the National Anthem, brought the meeting to a close. A Correction. —The amateur concert this week in aid of the funds of the Public Library will be given on Thursday (tomorrow) evening, not on Wednesday evening, as announced.
Mail for Home. —Mails for the United Kingdom, via San Francisco, will close at Ashburton on Saturday next, at 10 a.m. A supplementary mail for despatch per express train will close at 5.30 p.m. Late fee letters may be posted in the mail van up to the time of the departure of the express for the North. Auction Sale. —To-day Mr Alfred Harrison sold at his rooms about 1,500 ornamental trees, cupressus, macrocarpa, pinus, insignia, etc., 500 fruit trees, apple, plum, cherry, etc., and 100 flowering shrubs. There was a good atten lance, and full average market prices were obtained. All the trees that were offered were sold. Ashburton Hunt Club.--Rather a disappointment occurred to-day to several local sportsmen owing to the unavoidable postponement of the meet of Mr Archer’s harriers. We believe, however, they may console themselves, as we are informed ihat the meet will almost certainly take place next week.
The Direct Steamers Proposal.— The Wellington correspondent of the Canterbury Press telegraphs under date of the 12th : —Papers were laid on the table to-day, containing correspondence between Messrs Macandrew when Minister for Public Works and Messrs James Galbraith and Peter Denny, the well-known Scotch ship builders, in reference to the establishment of a direct line of largo steamers between New Zealand and London. The correspondence has revived interest in view of Sir J. Vogel’s recent proposals. The chief feature is a letter from Mr James Galbraith to the Agent-General, conveying the results of the careful investigation of himself and Mr Denny as to the prospects and expenses. The gist is, that three steamers, each costing about L 115,000, would bo required to carry on an alternate monthly service, performing the voyage from London to New Zealand, via the Cape, in forty-fivo days, and Home, via the Suez Canal, in forty days. A speed of 12J knots would be required, and the steamers would be about 400 ft long, 45ft beam, g r oss tonnage 4215 tons, horse power nominal, 700, effective 4,000. Each would carry 84 first-class passengers, 34 second, and 450 steerage, the accommodation to be of the best possible description. Assuming the service to be every alternate month, as he considers that the colony could not afford more, Mr Galbraith estimates that only two full cargoes of wool would be obtainable, the only other reliable frieght being wheat and preserved meat, and he therefore calculates that the receipts would be about L 118,130, and the' expenditure L 114,222, thus leaving an apparent profit of L 3,908 ; but ten per cent, on cost must bo allowed for depreciation, etc., which leaves a deficiency of L 30,592. The capital required would be at least L 365,000, on which shipowners would expect at least ten per cent., owing to the uncertainty and danger of steamship investments. This increases the deficiency to L 67,092, to which HO,OOO expenses would have to be added, consequently a Government subsidy of at least LBO,OOO would be needed to secure the contractors against loss even for six trips each way per annum. A dry dock 410 ft. long and 24ft. deep would require to be promptly available, as also ample wharf accommodation immediately accessible on arrival.