The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 1889. LOG-ROLLING.
The fate of the Otago Central Railway Bill is regarded m different districts m a very different way. . In Auckland the rejection of the Bill is deplored by a section of the community because thereby the chance of obtaining the construction of a tramway to the Puhipuhi forest haß been lost for the present. To ensure the construction of this tramway being provided for by Parliament, the measure for that purpose was coupled with the Otago Central proposals, m the hope that Auckland and Otagom.nibers would reciprocally assist m rolling each others' log, but after this understanding had been arrived at circumstances intervened which eaueed dissension, and the Otago Central was left to fight its own battle. The no confidence question is blamed with being the occasion of offence. Previous to the debate on the Property Tax, Mr Ballance and a number of his following had given it to be understood that they would support the Otago Central Bill, but Mr Fish's conduct m voting with the Government, m opposition to his professed principles, on this question, coupled with his ill-advised remarks m the debate on the Bill uuder notice, led to him, and the measure being thrown over by the Opposition, Mr Fish's vote for the Government on the no-confidence division is said to have been secured by the Government threat to withdraw the Otago Central Bill, hence the Opposition action with reference thereto. But a glance at the Auckland " log." The Puhipuhi foreßt is, or was until lately, one of the finest blocks of timber m New Zealand. It was bought by the Stout- Vogel Government with the expressed intention of preserving it for posterity, ond so that the country should not be entirely denuded of its grand kauri forests. Two years ago, however, this purpose was partially defeated by about one-third of the forest being destroyed by fire. An agitation was then stared for the construction of a tramway to carry the (timber — or the firewood which it had been reduced to —to Whangarei for shipment to Auckland. The Government have embarked m the business to the extent of starting a timber mill, and now waat the tramway to complete their scheme. It need hardly be said that the Government's embarking upon the timber trade—for this is the practical effect of their proceedings — has not been viewed m silence by thoße m the trade, and there is consequently strong opposition to the tramway proposal. The Government's failure m their attempt to carry it by linking it with the Otago Central does not, therefore, meet with much sympathy from those who are interested m either scheme, and their tactics are regarded as a confession of weakness^ and their schemes condemned as being improper for a Government to embark m, We are inclined to the opinion tbat neither the Otago Central nor the Puhipuhi Tramway question has been fairly dealt with on its merits, but that a feeling of exasperation against individuals for desertion of their party m time of need has influenced many of the adverse votes.
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