The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, APRIL 1, 1889. THE RUN SALES.
As we have said m previous articles on the subject of the classification of the 1 runß and the approaching sale of leases, the opportunity which falls to the present Minister for Lands of dealing with the immense area of the public estate the leases of which are about falling m is one such as cannot recur to any Minister for many years to come, and upon Mr Richardson's action at this juncture 1 depends m a large degree the future of this part of the colony. It is his indeed to make or mar, and we recently propounded the question " which is it to be ?" with some considerable anxiety and not a little misgiving. We are, there- , fore, all the better pleased to be able to state that it is within our knowledge that the Minister has been at considerable pains to ascertain the views of members representing Canterbury constituenoies, and has taken counsel with them m a spirit which clearly evinces a desire to act tor the best. For result he has received a number of suggestions, Some of them, doubtless, of a valuable nature, and information reaches us from a well-informed quarter that the outcome is likely to be satisfactory to the public. First we learn that 98,000 acres m class 111 (lands m part agricultural), and 115,500 acres m class II (lands adapted for pastoral holdings of not exceeding 5000 acres each) will be omitted from the areas to be offered for lease as runs proper on the 30th May, and withheld for settlement. The only small runs (m class II) which will be submitted for lease at the May sale will be Nos. 20, 22, 24, 37, 48, 49, four others further north, two m the Pukaki bed, a total of twelve m all, aggregating 39,000 acres, and these will be let subject to the right of resumption at twelve months' notice. The 98,000 acreß m class 111 and 115,500 acres m class II toe-ethor 213.500 acres, withheld for settlement, cannot be offered to the. public until the expiry of the rights of the present lessees (May 1890), and the interval will be availed of to get these lands surveyed, after which they will be opened to settlement with choice of tenure at prices for cash ranging down to 10s per acre according to quality and situation. The prices will be fixed m respect to each block as dealt with before being offered to the public and will be advertised. As regards the. complaint that the plans recently received have not been sufficiently widely distributed, we learn that these being merely classification plans are not deemed to be so suitable for general distribution (because unacconapanied with detailed information) as the sale plans which are now m course of preparation. These latter will be freely distributed, aud generally, as promised m the Honse. All this is very pleasing information and it appears to us that there are now, only two other things remaining to be done. These axe first that any mistakes as to the classification should be promptly pointed out so that they may be corrected before the May sale of leases and second, that as regards the lands offered for lease m May non-terminable leases for the full period of twenty-one years should only be granted m respect of lands which it is certain cannot come to be required for settlement or for division into smaller holdings at an earlier date, and as regards ether lands which may come to be so required, the leases should be for shorter periods, or should contain a resumption clause. If these two things are secured then it seems to us that there will bp nothing left to be desired.