(From ous. Oorrbspondbnt.)
There wan a short debate In the Legislative A«B9tnbiy hat week on the Hubjoct of dbfautliß water truafcj. The Gjvetnmeat have leat large euma of money. Cor irrigation purposis m various ehlres, and some of the water trusts are 1 1 arrears with the payments of the interest. I pron jonoe no opinion ai to whether the atreaid arise from ina'ol I y or fcom dislaoUna ion to pay, I would observe, however, that the mattes m«y tnrn oat more aer »ua thaa vroald eppesr upoa the first b'.UEh TI6HB aionoya whioh have baen bo lent do not belong even to the Vioior!»a general taxpayer. They belong, aotu*llri to ihj Bcltl h luv^aior— leat to tie V.otorlau Government opon the Beau lty of the publio credit. The Government h&Vi igi.nlent these sums to Bhice oonaci'H upou the security of tha rateahle vaIUQ of the propnty. At least that is tho logioal assuuaptlon. The Guver&meut havo to fiod money foe paymaut of inter* at upon the publio &*b\, and if they oannot obtain payment of intetest for money which h»ve pjßsed oot of theie own control—lent to ir»tjr truata — the payment of iuteres 1 ; due by Goveromaut will have t ) be made oat of tho ordiuary revonue. In othar words, the genet»l public muai pay interest for moaejs which have b>en expended for the benefit of indlvlduils. This is hudly fair. What Is more, it may lead to ug!y oompllc.uiona.
Repudiation la a bar ah term, and It 1b to be hoped that it will never be applied — hat It will nafer be desetv-d — by any public body m Australia. I; is nevar lightly nsed amongst Eagliahmon, nnd the oiroatas'ancofl are ra<-e ia whloh (t caald ever be juatly applied to any political or municipal o.'ganiuat on composed of Englishmen. I read, howetar, m the "Aigas" the following sentences ia an article devoted t) thla subj.-ot. They ran thus .: — "For tbo first time thi Government haa bsen brought faoa to faao with the qnastlon of ompoillng water trusts to pay interest on their loans Moat of the trusts — -a large majority of them, indeed -h&vo shown a laudable and honorablo Intention to dlsohsrge their obligations, but In some districts a few bodies hive indicated a carelessness aa to tholr liab litiea wbloa almost amounts (o repudiation," That anything if tha kitd Bh.nld have io be written ab ut publio bodies 1b a pity ; that it should be deserved Is still worse.
The future of Australia— lts oommero'al and national pro perity — la now Been to depend more ap^n an ex ended lyatcm of Irrigation than was dreamud of ten or fifteen yeara ago. There ia lov seen a poßsibiltiy of storing up waters, which miy bo made to p.rmeite exttnJod ara»a »nd turn wbat otherwise would have remained dosaria into blooming farms, covering millions upon millions of acres, »nd a 1 this by means of Irrigation. But Irrigation, upon a scale that will accomplish all this, requires money, aid a good deal more money thau nay shirr, o- eggregtU <n of shires can borrow. o>yi allaia abroad are willing enough to lend, bat they, require a tangible security, and that security only a government, or a wealthy municipal corporation, oan furnish. If therefore the Government of Victoria is to continue to Incur debts for Irrigation purpoaeo, thosa who use the money will have to pay for it, or elae we txaj be sure a tpoedy end will ba put to the system.
The land jobbers ate boocmlng Impatient cf the daliy which ia preventing them from laying bands upon that portion of Now Guinea which ia held by Great Britain ; and they have foand a mouthpiece Ia Mr Service. That gonfcleman has t^b'ed a mHlon lv the LsglaUtive O-ucoil, the ineaoin* of whloh is I that it ia tim j the cqndt ions of land tauuee m New Guinea ah>uld be aottlad In order that purchases may be efleoted. |Mr Service farther ougijoated that Sir William Mvcgragor ehonld be lavlted to Melboarno iv order that Ministers might oonfor with him, cud as c tain how f*r his vlowa coincide with thoaa of the fpaople who desire to begin operations over there. Victoria p»ya £4600 a year towards the expenses of the govarnmeit of New Gunoa, and Mr Service at«d o hers \r>tt to know when the " retnraa " may ba exp ct;d, I happen to bo very lutlmataly acquainted with Sis William Mnogregor fuel aaaured that be will cot bo harried In msttoca whlob ha may ho ought to be well and deliberately oonb dered. He ia one of the mont paios takin> men allvo, oonßobntiiaa to the Uat degree, and will do his almost to do justice botwaeu man »nd man.
It would be a matter of life-long regret to eaoh a person if, through haste, or an imporfeofc acquaintance with the trlbil otHtoms of the people Id regard to their land ton ate, mistakes were made whloh might lead to complications and cotfi nts botwoen the Natives and future Battlers Mistakes of that nature, committed now, might become fruitful sources of misunderstanding and bad foaling hereafter, and whloh it might reqnl-o more than one life time to eff\oa. There have been troubles enough with the rfativoa la New Zealand from one cause or o'.ber without wishing to havo a repetition of that sort of thing la New Gainea. Happily a Oiutioutr and Just policy has bo far prevented anythtng of that kind In F j l , and If one thing la more certain than another, It is thitt Sir William Maogregor will do his utmost to avoid similar 00 carrenoes In New Guinea to those which took plaoa m New Zealand either daring hla own tenure of office or m that of his Buooesaorg.
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MELBOURNE NOTES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2194, 8 August 1889
MELBOURNE NOTES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2194, 8 August 1889
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