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CORRESPONDENCE.

■ — » We do not hold ourselves responsible for the opinions expressed by our correspondents TOWN VERSUS COUNTRY. XO THE EDIT R Sir, — Whatever are our leading merchants and public men, and nvre particularly our worthy Vayor. about that they do not at once convene a pablic meeting for the purpose of supporting oar members m th? straggle which is going on m the House between them and the members of city constituencies re the Representation Bill. Public meetings hava been he'd m all the four chief citiefs of the colony, at which strongly worded resolutions have been passed and Jnfhmmator? speeches made, which clearly evince the feelings of prejudice and bitter jealousy which the city dwellers entertaia towards those who live m the count iy. Look at the meeting held at Chr'stchurch on Saturday eye^ing last, as reported m the « Lyttelton Times "of Monday. Read the Speeches { Take for instance that of Mr J . L. Scottj nothing can exceed the spirit of jealousy manifested m it and its intolerance of the just and proportionate demaoda ol the country party. I say just and proportionate advisedly, ior by their own showing the population of the country is far m excess of the towns, the proportion by the last census being 578,383 of a white population, made up as follows :— 207,857 for the large boroughs and 370,426 for the small boroughs and coun'ry districts. But I would point out tha.t this is not merely a question of popu'atlcn. Who is it that bears the burdens of taxation 3 is it not the country districts? Look at the wiy m which, we are rated and taxed for local and colonial needs. Take an illustrat on : A resident m a town or city h's ;£sco m hand, he invests it, we wilt say m share > or mortg-ge, he pays, it ia .rue, upon that amount his qt\ota to the Property Tax Commissioner, but on the oth r haed, the farmer who spends on improvements on his land pays taxes on that sum -.three, four, or as m this district, five times over — all local rates being levied on the Property Tax valuation. So that while our city man pays on the country farmer has to pay m the proportiou. of five to one, or really to pay oa £2500. I ask is that a fair and proportionate adjustment of our public burdens, Ey the way I notice thtf this phasp of the subject is convmiently lost sight of by those twopenny-halfpenny politi* cians, who hold forth to the enlighten? 1 citizens of Chris church. Then farther, I would ?s,k who produces the wealth of thp country } A glance at the export returns wilJ, I think, prove a sufficient answer to that qucsti n. Mr Hobbs asked the meeting what ihe land about Christchurch was worth when they first came theve, hut I would ask what would Chris' church be worth if the people h.id not gone out into the wilde n.es,ian,i subdued it ani mide it productive. Of coune I know that we are mutually dependent upon each other, that the town cannot exist without the country, and tint the country would be badly off without the town, and one of the very worst things which any man or body of men can be guilty of i; to set c'ass against ela.ss, or interest against interest. But m (his infamous attempt to prave t the country from go'ting its fair p-oportion of representation, I think we are m duty bound to stand by our members, and hold up their hands and assure them of our .sympathy and appreciation of their efforts to. secure justice for the country districts., and not ailow the Qqvernment of t^ie country to b 2 relegated to the mci elected by the dwellers m towns where every socialistic fad, and every protectionist craze has its cr gin and breaths UnUiveoir, and \vhe:e policio <1 cranes a' every type ani detn gogu .so( the worst apeces mount into power a;d icto office upon the sV ulders of the ignorant, thq incapable or the 1 designing. In conclusion, sir, perm't me to exprefs the hope that this matter will not 1 c lost sight of, but thit a public meeting will be at once convened to support our members m this critic?! and important matter, l . Yours, etc., 1 Cr. X ■ Wakanuv P.S. — Since w.iting the aVove I have read your leader m Tuesday's "Mail." Permit me to congratulate you on the able and lucid man.ier m wbich you have nut the case before J

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CORRESPONDENCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2188, 1 August 1889

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