The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 1890. BOGUS LAND SETTLEMENT.
When criticising . the Ministerial land policy we frequently expressed a misgiving that the Richardson' land sales were not of a bona fide settlement nature. Our misgiving has grown to be a settled conviction.. "We could not realise how so much land could be disposed oi-in large and small lots, and so little additional "settlement result. Only one .Inference could be drawn, and that was that present holdings were being extended, while those who really required the land for settlement would not obtain it, and were leaving the Colony in sheer disgust. That our fears were well grounded in this respect the subjoined information will j show. At a'recent sale of land in Canterbury the following representatives of landed interests were the. successful cash purchasers:—
Section 36034, 84 acres oa the Brothers range, to the Otago and Southland Investment Company (granted under forest tree planting order); section 36037, 72 acres do, to C. N. Orbell ; section 36040, 64£ acres do, to Patrick Patullo ; section 36208, 1571 acres do, to O. N. Orbell j section 36209, 1396 acres do, to William Grant; section 36210, 400 acres do, to Patrick Patullo ; section 36043, 200 acres, Cave Hill range, to Frank Dickson; section 36044, 72 acres do, to C. N. .Orbell; section, 36045, 225 acres do, to D. M'Queen ; Bection 36211/630 acres do. to Patrick- PatuHo ; section 36213, 168 acres do, to Frank Dickson ; section 36214, 285 acres, near Connington station, to Wm Brown; section 36215, 200, acres do, to George M-'Lean ; section 36217, 36 acres do, to J. 'A. Ritchie'; section 36060, 1500 acres, Opawa run, to M. E. Rutherford ; section 36086, 1695 acres, Three Springs run, to Arthur Hope; section 36087, 12,738 acres do, to A. F. Hawke ; section 36089, 1768 acres, Albury run,' to T. A. Bullick ; section 36090, 1698 acres do, to W. H. Hargreaves.
In the foregoing list our readers will be attle to pick out the .names of many who, previous to their recent purchases, already held more of the public estate than was good for, the progressive settlement of the country; and it speaks .volumes against the boasted " liberalising " of the land laws when such persons can add acre to acre, and the small capitalist and willing labourer cannot get land either upon deferred payment or for cash. The majority of the foregoing pur. .chasers are, it will be observed; Otago holders, but their names will no doubt be familiar to many settlers in Canterbury, who have friends seeking for land and cannot obtain it. A further proof that the land is falling hvto the hands of present holders instead of bona fide new settlers was given by Mr W. P. Reeves in his recent address to his constituents. Under this heading, Mr Reeves said :—
The fraud of dummyism is one of ' the curses of the hour. In Wellington at a recent land sale 286 persons applied for 2i sections of land. There were ,800 applicants for 90 sections,' 523 for 23 sections, 70 for one section* and from 20 to 23 for most of the others. The fact was that the land sales were,scrambles where tho speculator had just as much chance of winning the land as uouajide settlers. A large number of • the applications were simply dummy and bogus ones. He had noticed'that Mr M'Gregor, the Government Whip, in his speech ,at -Akaroa, seemed to tldnk that everything had been done that could be done for the settlement of the land, bub he (Mr Eeeves) knew young men from Banks Peninsula- who went up to Wellington on .one occasion to get' land, and Jjad to come' back heart 1 dick. But what else could be expected when people could take the land and were not obliged to live upon it, , ... He was not going to waste their lime • by discussing the question at 1 great length, but to show them that the selectors ; were nofc boii'i. fide hard-working setifclew, he would road a list of the purchasers al the land sale on March 13 last. ~ He was not going to say a word against the ladies and gentlemen mentioned, They had all acted strictly within the jaw, and had done nothing which they' had nob a perfect right to. He only wished to let the meeting see the sort of people who got the land under the present arrangements. The following was the list of purchasers : —Ashburton County: Q, Harper 618 acres, C. J. Harper 640, C. Gale 200, W. F. Somerville 656|, H. H. Wright 640, E, F. 1 Wright'6oo, John M'Lean 1975 (with geven applications), G. A. M'Leanj Buckley 61&, JEinily 0. M. Strachey 640, 1 Claud M, Straehpy 640, W. Fitzgerald 26, Cecilia Ross 320, SibeJJa A. Wilson 320, Johanne S, Loshe 320, F, H, Bruges 320, E. J. Boss 136, J. Chapman 100. Geraldine County; Mm Wright 86, B. M'Millan 124, W, E, »%rker 33£, E. M'Donald 258£, W. X, WDonMitf, B- - M. M'Donald "506, R. Thew 52, H. J.. LeCren 225, G. J. Dennison Gil, C.' Haar 9J, If, Ashby 60, A. 'Smith 14J, P. Burke 135, It the' law were as he would have it, ni«# pf these people would not be • alloyed \,o , purchase an acre of land in New Zealand. The foregoing evidence is a strong rofutation of the Ministerial boast of the settlement of. the lands, and throws some light upon the continuance of our long period of depression. Additional testimony as to where the land is going j is given by Sir Robert Stout,- who, in j a letter to the Press, accuses Mr Richardson as follows:—
He (Mr Richardson) had "practically abolished the perpetual lease system ; he had done his best to kill the small run system; he had sacrificed second-class land ill Ms, 12s, Ms, and 17s per acre. Duimnyism was rampant. If ho doubts it, lot jui impartial commission ho wgimised, find it will 1)0 pioved <-o]the full. KeUJonicud condilit«KJ had been bo relaxed —in many instances mskluncc dispensed wilh and expenditure of monay substituted--thiit capitalists luivo all power ia obtaining Crown knds. The area that, cm be taken up on so-called settlement conditions Jiad been largely .extended. Tlic fact in, thlit our lands are gradually and surely slipping away from us, ami our population is, at tiio mum) time, leaving our shores. Proper land administration would have prevented both these evils,"