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Tub members for St Albaris and Waimate—-Mr W. P. Reeyesand Major Steward—in their speeches m the debate on. the Financial Statement, m trenchant language exposed the evils which have recently occurred m connection with the administration of Crown Lands m Canterbury."' They asserted that "dummying" was practised to a considerable extent, and that the intentions of the Legislature, m passing laws with the object of promoting settlement, were being defeated by persons who had succeeded m performing the time-honored feat of driving a tjoach and horses through the Act of Parliament. Mr Reeves read out a long list of successful applicants for land, the greater part of whom were obviously not only new settlers, but were of those who add acre to acre and field to field ; and Major Steward cited certain ? land sales m South Canterbury at which he asserted "dummying" simple," if not exactly pure, had been perpetrated successfully. The result was that the Government, stirred up to action, moved the House to refer the, whole question to the Waste Lands Committee, which is now investigating the matter. .What the report of that Committee may be we cannot, of course, predict; but tmVwe do know that it is capable of proof that the allegations of the members for St Albans and Waimate rest, upon facts unchallengeable. For example, it is a fact that at a recent sale m South Canterbury a bona fide settler— one Alexander McPherson—was an applicant, and a successful applicant, for a section of about 2<300 acr«^ <# perpetual lease- land on- * the* L^vc'ls^; that Mr Brydone applied for the same section, as attorney for the New Zealand and Australian Land Company^ and that his application being thrown out by the Land Board, he (Mr Brydone) gave notice of appeal to the SupVeme Court, which appeal, since the matter was mooted m Parliament, the said Mr Brydone has withdrawn. It is further capable of proof that at anpther' land sale at Timaru, five persons who are employees of the same Land Company—we can give their names if necessary—and three other persons acting as agents for that Company, applied for m all about 10,000 acres of land, and secured a large proportion of that acreage, the deposits being paid m a most peculiar and suspicious way.. That these adjectives are justified will be seen when we state that the deposits; .were paid, not by cheques on the Land Company's account, or on the account of any client of the Bank, but by cheques drawn by the manager of the Bank upon the Bank: m order not to disclose the parties really interested. It is also capable of proof that it is a constant praotice at land sales for applications to be sent m by the sheaf, all m the same interest, and that multiple applications are often made, as well by bona fide settlers as by Companies, and persons who are not bona fide settlers. We feel satisfied that all this will be known conclusively, and we look for the report of the Waste Lands Committee with much interest. The .members who have procured the investigation have done their duty, and the result will doubtless be an amendment of the Land Act such as will, if not wholly prevent, at leasts reduce the number of such glaring abuses m the future.

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Bibliographic details

"DUMMYING" LAND., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2465, 12 July 1890

Word Count

"DUMMYING" LAND. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2465, 12 July 1890