The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1889. THE SAN FRANCISCO MAIL.
Another instance of the unstableness of the present Parliament has been shown by the renewal of tho contract for the San Francisco Mail service. True, the new contract is to be for only twelve months, aud the subsidy payable by New Zealand is to be only £11 ,250, as against £20,000 a year (after allowing for receipts) iv the previous contract ; but Mr Ward's resolution against the continuance of the service was carried by a sufficient majority, after careful consideration, to show the opinion of the House on the subject, and this opinion should have had more respect from the Government. 'Ihe assistance of the Northern members was, however, given 1 to the proposal, and the Premier stated the case for the renewal m a way which gave the pill sufficient gilding to make it easily swallowed. The Premier's estimate of the effect of the new arrangement is that it will yield a profit to the Colonial Treasury of £12,000 for the year, after deduction of all charges, and, of course, after crediting all receipts from postages m England and the Colony, Though the Premier has managed to carry his point for the present the l service is none the less doomed. Tde profit, which is estimated to accrue from the Ban Francisco,service is simply so much diverted from other lines, on which the subsidy would be better spent. Canterbury and Otago farmers have already made, through their representatives, strong remonstrances against the continuance of a subsidy to a line of steamers which is thus enabled to assist American grain-growers to compete against them m the Australian markets, A purely intercolonial Pacific service is within hail, and \re may hope by the time the present renewed contract expires that Australia, New Zealand aud Canada will be united m a mail service. Meantime the rapidity with which mails from London now reach Australia — four weeks from London to Adelaide — should not be lost sight of. Distances are fast being made light of, and when the whole ques- ! tion of mail communication arises, I as it must shortly, further developments of rapidity of transit must bo considered.
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