The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, MAY 8, 1882. The Battle of the Site.
The Sydney and Melbourne Exhibitions.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5.40 p.rn.j
To-night the battle of the site is to be fought in public at the Town Hall, and we trust that there will be a strong muster of the residents on the occasion, so that no one may be able to bring any further charges of apathy against the people of Ashburton in connection with the public library. We shall not reopen the vexed question now, as it has already been freely ventilated in these columns. We fully expect to see a crowded meeting, and that the verdict will be—“ a central site,” Baring square east, if possible; or, failing that, some equally accessible spot where the institution, when erected, may be of “ the greatest good to the greatest number.”
The report of the Royal Commission appointed to deal with the Sydney and Melbourne Exhibitions has recently been issued, and contains much interesting information respecting them. Indeed, the published results of the great undertakings in question must be highly gratifying to the colonists chiefly concerned. The total population of Australia barely exceeds two and a quarter millions, while the population of the United States amounts to nearly 46,000,000, and yet, despite the great disparity in these figures, the number of exhibitors at both Sydney aud Melbourne exceeded in each case the number of those at the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876. This fact is the more surprising when it is borne in mind that the conditions of exhibition were far less favorable in Australia than they were in America. The land of the “stars and stripes” can be reached in a few days from London or Liverpool, whereas six or seven weeks at the least are consumed in a run to the “ Isle of Continent,” as Tennyson calls it sequently, in the latter case, the cost of freight, insurance, and passage money were all higher. The Royal Commissioners are confident that, although the benefits arising from the Exhibitions At Sydney and Melbourne may not be immediately apparent, yet they must exercise an influence for good on the colonies, which will be long-continued and widely felt. In other words, the energy, pluck, time, trouble, and money bestowed by the people of Australia cm their Exhibitions may be expected, to bear good interest. Our own Exhibition at Christchurch, although mainly due to private enterprise, will undoubtedly be attended with similarly gratifying results. It will serve as a splendid advertisement for the colony, and will do more to make its resources and importance known without than five hundred volumes of statistics.