The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1882. The Railway Tariff.
The long promised revision of the railway tariff has now been effected, and the acknowledgments of the public are due to the Government for having brought about a considerable reduction of the freight charges on our staple product grain. So far very little notice has been taken of the new tariff revision in the public journals, and in the solitary instance where this has happened we cannot fail to observe the absence of a just recognition of Ministers action on faithfully fulfilling the promise which was made to Mr E. G. Wright during the last session of Parliament. The County Council have been the prime movers in getting the badly needed reduction made, and they were aided by the powerful co-opera-tion of Mr E. G Wright, but for whose assistance we might still be lamenting the high charges and the obstinacy of the Government. At yesterday’s meeting of the County Council we were glad to see that this influential body were the first to acknowledge the benefit of the revised tariff, by passing the following resolution ;—“ That this Council views with satisfaction the reduction made in the new tariff for the carriage of grain, and accepts the same as a just recognition of the claims of the agriculturists in this county.” The Council in this matter has taken the initiative in expressing its feelings, because the members comprising it well know that the reduction on the rail freight of grain alone will he a saving of some thousands of pounds to our district during the coming season. It is not very often Government does get much by way of praise, but, in this instance, it is well-deserved. It has been no easy task to revise the tariff, but we feel sure that generally, the revision will give satisfaction. Of course, there arc some people, because they are farming, who think their grain and produce ought to be carried for nothing on the railways, on the ground that the latter belong to the State. It will always b'e a difficult matter to please these individuals. In comparing the new tariff with that now in force, we are obliged to refer to a few figures, which are by no means uninteresting. In Class E, the freight on wheat, barley, oats, flour, and oatmeal from Ashburton*to Lyttelton, is now ios id per ton, the distance being fiftynine miles. The new rate will be ys yd, thps showing a reduction of as 6d per ton. The freight pn hay, straw, chaff, etc., is, for the same distance, The reduction on these- will be 9s 2d per ton. As an instance of what the saving would be, we might state that yesterday’s grain freight alone paid by one local firm of merchants, exceeded by upwards of the amount which would be payable under the new tariff which comas into force on the nth proximo. We must congratulate our farmers upon shortly having so beneficial a reduction in freights, and trust that they will not be unmindful of the thanks due to our member, Mr Wright, for his unceasing efforts in bringing it about.