The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1889. RE-SALE OF RUNS.
> For some occult reason which ha nerer been formulated as a principle c [ commercial philosophy, honesty am ' horse-dealing are proverbially incom patible terms, transactions m which th * noble animal figures as the subject beinj > by a sort of tacit consent held to be th ' exception which proves the rule thn I men should be just m all their dealings This is a world-wide experience, am ' lave m New Zealand applies to no othe \ department of business dealings, but s ' far as New Zealand is concerned we fea [ we must add another direction m whic B a similar moral obliquity prevails — w 9 mean m regard to transactions m lane - It is not merely that the doctrine c c caveat emptor is twisted into a sanctio i of cheating on the part of the vendor- * there is plenty of that sort of thing— by - that the buyer, at least when dealin with the Government, considers himse b as entitled to compass the acquisition ( i land by any conceivable dodge at a pric '• less than its fair value ; thus cheatin 0 the commonwealth. How the oracle i worked is indicated by the " Dunedi \ Morning Herald "m a recent article n t erring to ike re-leasing of a number »' Otago runs which took place on the 17 1 1 of last month, when 29 runs, totallin 0 over half a million acres and produoin a rental of £5571 were sold at Dunedii After mentioning that last session r< * turns were asked for m both Housei and prepared, of pastoral runs th \ licenses ot which expired m '88, '89 an f '90, the object being to call attention t b the fact that a large amount of paston - property was about to fall into tfa * market, our contemporary points ot P that not one of these runs, the leases < . which were sold the other day, wa named m those returns, and, putting th question as to how it was that they wei , not included, replies to it as follows :- ,! "The answer is that the Burrende 1 swindle has been successfully worked Ir The method of the surrender swindle i r to appear with tears m your eyes to th H landlord, assuring him that the rabbit ' have multiplied on your run m gee metrical instead of arithmetical propoi „ tion ; that you have only foacj fprt 'per cent of lambs during the las few years instead of seventy upon whic your calculations were based ; that fc 3 the first -time on record the climate < the glacial period has been familiar o the station; that, m fine, you were fool when you made the bargain, an you'll go through the court if you aren relieved of it. Joined to a little bacfc stairs influence, a little political pressun and a slight monetary losb, and surres der is sure to be accepted. The hocus pocus is half accomplished ; the licens fpr the run, at anyrate, is kept off th official list as about to expire. Si . months at least afterw/?rc|Bj man unex B pected way, the run is put up spin - morning at a low upset and is bough m by the former owner. On the 17t nearly all the runs went back to th former owners at the upset rentals. 1 The " Herald " has performed a publi Service m exposing such manoeuvres and although th n spilt milk cannot h gathered up, it will be the iuu!t of th Lands Department if any more b spilled j nay, to drop metaphor, the Do partment cannot be held ptjier fchaj blameworthy for the fact that the rum referred to were sold without competi tion. For it was, and is, the businesi of the Department when it has land U be disposed of to make the fact widely and generally known, and m this am similar cases, aB the " Herald " von rightly contends, means should hav< been taken to make the salo known ii , Australia as well as throughout Ney ! Zealand. A few hundreds spent ii advertising would be highly reproductiv* expenditure, and the persistent way ii which our Land Department insist) on sacrificing the public interests m th< silly attempt to save a few pounds U more than foolish— it is highly censur able. When shall we get a Minister o: Lands, we wonder, who will administei his department on the Jipes of common sense ?