The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1888. GOVERNMENT LAND SALES.
It has been a frequent cause of complaint that the Land Department — unlike private owners who when they have landed properties to dispose of do their utmost to Becure the widest publicity, and to afford the fullest information to intendingor possible purchasers—usually exhibits a cheese-paring economy which defends its own end, and affords to the public the most meagre and unsatisfactory information possible. For the most part its advertising is confined to announcements m the " Gazette " which not one m a hundred of thoße who are on the look out for land ever sees, supplemented by brief advertisements m newspapers, enumerating certain blocks, and sections, of whose locality, let alone of whose character, as regards the description or quality of the land, the average resder is sublimely ignorant. True, at the various railway stations one often sees outline maps m black and white of lands open for sale, but these seldom attract much attention, and when they do afford scarcely any information at all to the general public. All this was not lost sight of when the Land Acts Amendment Bill was before the House last session, and m addition to securing the classifying of the runs into three classes of lands, viz., Ist those to be dealt with as runs m areas of SCOO acres and upwards, 2nd pastoral lands capable of sub-division into smaller areas i.e. not exceeding 5000 acres, and 3rd lands which are partly pastoral, and partly agricultural, and capable of being utilised for still smaller holdings, which was the outcome of the efforts of the Canterbury members, Major Steward pressed m Committee for the addition of a clause securing that, the classification accom - plished, copies of all maps issued hereafter should be supplied to every County j Council, and displayed at every railway station and post office, and moreover that instead of the mere black and white outline maps issued hitherto, the class of Jsud should m future be shown by different and distinct colors. The clause m question, added m the House of Representative*, was struck out m the Council, and on the Bill being returned to the House of Representatives, the member for Waimate moved to dissent from the excision, and only withdrew his proposal on receiving a distinct pledge from the Minister of Lands, that, notwithstanding the wish of the House was now not ex--pressly set out m the Act, it would m future be carried out by the Department. We are glad to see that this promise is to be redeemed, for we find the following m the "Post" of recent date :— ■" In deference to complaints made by intending purchasers of land that the plans contained on the notifications of approaching sales hitherto published by the Land Department . are not sufficiently explicit, it -has been decided that for thp future first and second class lands shall be distinguished by separate colours. Other improvements m the details of the plans, calculated to make them more business like, are also to be carried out." This, so far as it goes, is satisfactory, and we presume, may be taken to mean that the full intent and meaning of the clause added m the House of Representative will be given effect to. If so, it will unquestionably be a great improve- . ment, J