OTAGO CENTRAL RAILWAY.
♦ The promised Bill to provide for the continuance and completion of the work upon which the genial member for Dunstan, Mr V. Pyke, has set his heart, has now been circulated. It is accompanied by a memorandum by the Premier and a supplementary memorandum by the Railway Commissioners, from which it appears that by the time the line arrives at Middlemarch it will have cost a total sum of £520,000, and that that vast expenditure will be worse than valueless, unless the railway be car ried on so as to reach the open country, and to tap those lands of the interior which are suitable for settlement. Indeed the Premier expresses the opinion that unless the line be so extended it would be better to abandon the length already made than to attempt to work it. The extension proposed is to Eweburn, about the centre of the Maniototo plain, and it is believed that the additional length will enable the whole to pay working expenses, while it will " enhance the value of the largest and most valuable Crown estates of the colony." Probably the carrying out of the Government proposal will be making the best ot a bad job, and the mode of finance is the least objectionable that could be devised. The sum of £200,000 will be required to complete to fiwebarn and-©kthkj£ls,Q£)o--is to be provided out of the unallocated £70,000 of the last loan, the balance to be lent from any moneys at credit of Trust accounts available for investment, the rate of interest to be five per cent, and the total sum of principal, and interest is to be repaid out of the rents of forty-four pastoral runs which "lie into the railway," and the aggregate annual rental of which amounts to £15,000. This is a much smaller proposal than that of Mr Pyke last year, and, we should imagine, is likely to be accepted as a settlement of this long-vexed question, but when all is said and all is done, the final result of the expenditure of three quarters of a million of money to make a railway to Eweburn m the interests of Dunedin, when halt a million would have sufficed to carry the line right up to Clyde, forty miles further, had the Oamaru-Naseby, or rather Livingstone-Kyeburn, proposal been given effect to, will be a deplorable result of some fifteen years agitation and and wasteful expenditure.
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