The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1888. CLASSIFICATION OF THE THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1888. CLASSIFICATION OF THE LAND.
Number 9 of "The Crown Lands Guide," which has just been issued by the Lands Department, gives the following information with regard to the classification of the Crown Estate m Canterbury which is now m progress: — " The country between the Rakaia and Waitaki rivers, containing about 1,8000,000 acres of pastoral land, is being classified by the Commissioners, as provided by " The Land Acts Amendment Act, 1888," into pastoral country suitable exclusively for pasturage, of which permanent leases will be given for a term not exceeding twentyone years ; pastoral country capable of being worked m blockß of less than 5000 acres, which will be leased for a term not exceeding twenty-one years, but subject to the right of the Government, if the land is required for sale, to terminate the lease by giving twelre months' notice, conditionally, however, on valuation being paid for improvements made by the tenant, as provided by section 180 of "The Land Act, 1885," and subsection 5, section 27 of " The Land Act Amendment Act, 1887 ;" and into pastoral agricultural lands to bo disposed of under the ordinary provisions of the Lands Acts, as the Governor may from time to time direct. The greater part of the classification will be completed by the end of January next, lithographs of the country and particulars of the leases will be ready by the end of February, ' and the sale will take place at the ©nd of April, 1889, one year before the termination of the existing licenses ; possession of the country will, therefore, not be given until the Ist May, 1890. Of the country to be thus classified, probabably at least 1,250,000 acres will be classified as country suited exclusively for pasturage purposes, for which permanent leaßas will be given. It will be subdivided according to the nature of the country, care being taken, where it is possible to do so, to include some good wintering country with the higher summer country. Most of it is fenced and subdivided by wire fencing ; it is all well watered by permanent streams, and is within easy access by good roads of the main or branch railways running through the district. The carryingcapacity of the country ranges, according to the altitude and aspect of it, from 1^ to 10 acres per sheep. Full particulars of the area and rental fixed for each run will be given by advertisement as soon as the classification is completed." This, so far as it goes, is satisfactory for it would appear that there will shortly bo thrown open some 550,00Q acres available for pastoral holdings of less than 5000 acreß or semi-pastoral semi agricultural holdings m areas of 640 acres or less. But it is to be noted that the department seems to have more regard to providing the requisite publicity m respect to the 1,250,000 to be offered on permanent pastoral leases than m lespept to the small runs and semi-agricultural holdings for nothing is said as to the issue of lithographs and particulars m relation to these, although it was the subject of a distinct promise more than once reiterated during last session that this should be done. It is to the successful settlement of the 550,000 acres which will be ejtcepted from the runs proper that we have to look for the advancement of Canterbury during the next twenty years and Mr Richardson, cannot be too often re minded that the fulfilment of his promise m relation to this is anxiously looked for. And when the classification is completed, it is expected of him that he will exercise the powers conferred by sections 10 and 4 of " the Land Act Amendment Act 1877 " under which lands of inferior quality may be declared to be secopd-cla&s lands, and the price thereof reduced to any figure not being lees than 10s per aore. That power must be exercised if the unsold land of Canterbury is to be profitably and successfully settled for there is very little indeed left that is worth the present all-round price of £2 per acre. Will Mr Richardson do this? We shall see ; but wo confess we have begun to despair of his giving his attention to anything more than the interests of the Crown tenants, that is to say, the holders of big blocks.