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The Minister of Public Works (the Hon Mr Fergus) delivered the Public Works Statement on the House re-assembling last evening. The following is a summary :— Mb Speaker—The interest attached to the Public Works Statement was generally m proportion to the atnount of funds for new works at the disposal of the Government. As the funds decreased, i however, greater care had been exercised m disposing of them, and the question assumes more than ordinary importance at the present juncture, when we are endeavoring to meet' the ordinary demands of settlement without the aid of borrowed money. In dealing with the subject I shall explain the present position of the funds and works and then submit our proposals for the future. PUBLIC WORKS FUND. The amount standing to the credit of the Public Works fund m the Treasurer's books on the 31st March last was £959,492, but there is a further sum of £87,974 due to Part'l for advances under the Government Loan to Local Bodies Act. The debentures of the local bodies are negotiable at any time, so the amount to the credit of the Public Works funds is really £1,047,466. Against this there are outstanding liabilities to the amount of £314,933, leaving a balance of £732,533. Hon members are aware the Public Works fnnd has been divided into three parts. Part 1 comprises miscellaneous items of expenditure chargeable to loans. Part 2 deals with the North Island Main Trunk Railway, and Part 3 with railway works generally. The amounts to the credit of each of these are as follows : —Part 1, balances on 31st March, 1890, £233,675 ; liabilities, 31st March, 1890, £114,309 ; net balance £119,366. Part 2, balance £386,985 ;. liabilities £.9694 ; net balance £377,291 Part 3, balance £426,806; liabilities £190,930; net balance £235,876. Totals, £1,047,466, £314,933, £732,533. EXPENDITURE ON PUBLIC WORKSThe expenditure during the past year, has been, on Part 1, £167,513 ; Part 2 £48,832 ; and Part 3 (exclusive of credit on account of previous years), £194,385, making a total of £410,730. The amount voted for actual expenditure was £635,721. Consequently we are within our votes to the extent of £224,991. The additional authorisation for further liabilities amounted to £280,816, so the Government had altogether £916,537 at its disposajl for expenditure and commitments. The expenditure and liabilities amounted to £725,633 ; so here we are within our authorised expenditure to the extent of £190,874. Particulars of the year's expenditure are given m tables attached to the Statement, The annual expenditure for the last seven years has decreased steadily from £1,419,000 m 1883-84 to £410,700 m 1889-90. It was confidently expected by a large section of the community that any considerable diminution of the Public Works expenditure would eutail serious results on the commerce and industries of the colony, but, happily, these forebodings have not been realised. As shown by my hon. colleague, the Premier, our Jpower of production is increasing at an extraordinary rate, and the "unemployed" who, m 1880, numbered 1300, have ceased as a body to exist. The enterprise and energy which m former years were devoted to the prosecution of public works, have found fresh outlets m other directions equally profitable to the country, including the purchase of Provincial and District railways. The total expenditure to the 31st March, 1890, on Avorks and services throughout the colony chargeable to loan, whs £27,774,930, the principal items being" — Railways, £15,028,353 ; Roads, £3,552,999: Water Races, £510,280; Telegraphs, £E9D,356; 8ui1ding5,£1,757,966; Lighthouses and Harbor Works and Harbor defence, £879,152 ; immigration, £2,143,327; purchase of Native lands, £1,178,554 ; cost of raising loans, .£1,021,472 ; defence, £429,719 ; and departmental, £341,905. Railways, Harbor Works, and Harbor Defences may be considered works of a special character beyond the ordinary operations of settlement, and which cannot well be carried out without borrowed capital; and the purchase of Native lands and the construction of roads m connection therewith are fair charges on the land revenue; but the cost of ordinary roads, telegraphs, public buildings, lighthouses, and other less important works hitheito charged to loan must m future be charged to the Consolidated Fund. This is an aspect of the question that I would like to impress on the attention of hon members, for m the natural desire to lighten the burdens of taxation it is frequently overlooked. With regard to the balance of the Public Works Fund still available it is our intention to expend it for the purposes for which it was borrowed, making it carry us on to the end of next year, m accordance with the policy of economy which the Government has systematically pursued. It is proposed to proceed with all classes of public works m a very can* tious manner, compared with the higher rate of speed to which we have been accustomed, and which as already shown by the experience, of the last year or two, prove that the " slowing-down" process is not retarding the progress of the country. We propose to expend all the available funds for railways m completing lines to convenient terrains. Proposals with reference to the individual lines and other works Aviil be stated further on, under their respective heads. The following is an abstract of the state of the Public Works Fund on the 31st March lafit, and an estimate of what it will be on the 31st March next :—Cash balances on 31st March, 1890 -.—Part 1, £233,675 ; Part 2, £386,985; Part 3, £426,806. Total, £1,047,466. Amount proposed for actual expenditure during 1890-91, £184,284, £108,800, £230,888 ; t0ta1,£523,972. Estimated cash balances on 31st March, 1891, available for expenditure at that date, £49,391, £278,185, £195,918 ; £523,494. Cash balances on 31st March, 1890,| £233,675, £386,985, £426,808 ; tohil, £1,047,466. Total appropriation proposed for expenditure during 189,0.-91, and to cover liabilities at end of year, £242,275, £191,544, £310,719^ total, £744,538. Estimated balance on 31st March, 1891. available for future appropriation :—Dr. £8600, £195,441, £116,087 ; total, £312,728. Part 1 of the fund will apparently be overdrawn at the end of the year to the extent of £8,600, but the credits that will come tq the account during the year under "The Ellesmcre Lake Lands Act, 1888, wjll, it is estimated, more than coyer the apparent deficiency. WORKING RAILWAYS (Including the district lines purchased.) There were 1813 miles of Government ' railways m operation throughout the colony on the 31st March last—6B4 miles m the North Isjand and 1129 miles m the South Island. Forty-three miles have been opened during the year. The total expenditure on railways, including provincial and district lines, has been £15,028,353. Of this £774,214 was for sections under construction, and £203,404 for surveys of new lines ; permanent way materials m stock and minor charges. The balance of £14,050,735, gives £7750 as the average cost per mile of the New Zealand railways made and equipped. Cost of other lines £13,999,955, £150,780 less than the "amount just given. The report of the Railway Commissioners shows a Very satisfactory result for the working of the railways during the past year, the earnings have been £1,095,569,

and the working expenses £682,787, showing a profit of £412,782, which is equal to £2 19s scl per cent on £13,999,955, the total cost of the open lines. Out of a total of 1813 miles, 1193 miles show a return of 4& per cent on cost of £8,888,733, and of those again 124 miles pay over 4 per cent on £1,082,798. The best paying is the Napier-Woodville section, 97 miles, which returns £5 4s 3d per cent, then the Hurunui-Blnff section, 1069 miles, with £310s 9d per cent. The traffic on the railways has increased conj siderably during the past year. The passengers have increased from 3,132,803 to 3,376,459, and goods from 1,920,431 tons to 2,073,955 tons. Among the lines which pay less than 3 per cent, the most noticeable instances of improvement are the Foxton-New Plymouth line, which paid £1 lls 7d per cent m 1889-90, as against 17s 9d m 1888-89, and the Wellington -Ekatahuna line, which slioavs anincrease from £2 2s 6d to £2 8s lOd per cent. The district railways generally are much improved. The three more important lines, Rakaia-Ashbur ton Forks, DuntroonHokataramea, and Waimea Plains are now returning a considerable surplus over working expenses. The increase m the traffic last year is to a considerable extent due to the Exhibition at Dunedin. The tourist traffic increased last year m a marked degree, and promises considerable expansion m the future. During four ! months, from November to February | 6350 tourists were landed m this colony from Australia. Some of these acquired ! a permanent stake m the country. | After referring to the attractiveness of the colony as a visiting place for tourists, the Minister continued :—'The Railway Commissioners have applied for the £54,000 for necessary works on open lines during the year. As the balance on the loan allocation for this class of works was only £12,928, we have been unable to see our way to propose a vote for more than that sum—that is the amount necessary to cover liabilities already incurred, the re-arrangement of the Palmerston North station and minor works over all the lines of railway under construction. Helensville northwards—A contract entered into inMarchlastforthe construction Makarau section, three miles of the line north of Hellensville, commencing at Knaboi m the Kaukapakapa valley. Working surveys at the line have been carried for seven miles beyond the Makarau section, and a contract is m preparation for the Te Aroha section. A contract has also been entered into for the construction of a wharf at Mount Rix, two miles below Helensville. After providing for liabilities the balance on the allocation for this railway is £21,042. This will be absorbed by an extension of 5 miles and the continuation of the surveys. It is proposed to let a contract for the Takekora section during the year. Grahamstown-Te Aroha. — The only works m progress during the year are the Grahamstown-Te Aroha culverts. The small vote proposed to cover liabilities, land claims, and other contingencies. It is not intended this year to put any new works m hand. Putaruru-Rotorua. — A contract was entered into m February last for the construction of the Kapanga section, 1014 miles, which brings the line to Koofto, Okohiriki, a point about twelve miles from the Rotorua township. North Island Trunk Railway.—With exception of the Porotaro Tunnel, the works on the North Island Trunk Railway are at present at a standstill. The Waitaki sections were handed to the Railway Commissioners m May last. The tunnel is just approaching completion. The cash balance on the North Island Trunk Railway fund on the 31st March last was £386,985, against which there were liabilities to the amount of £9694. There is also a further sum of £97,744, .set apart for purchase of Native Lands under North Island Trunk Loan Acts. The balance, therefore, at our disposal for fresh undertakings is £279,547. Of this ifc is proposed to devote a further sum of £40,056 for construction of road to an-J through the Native lands recently purchased. " This loaves £239,491 at present available for the extension of the railways, but lands bought and expenditure on their improvement are. simply an investment of railway funds, which can be drawn upon from time to time as required. Total expenditure on the North Island Trunk Railway to 31st March last has been £122,541. Of this amount £89,247 has been paid for 630,283 acres, of which purchases are complete, and £33,294 on account of blocks under negotiation. We propose to complete 5f miles between Rangitira and Mohine. It is also proposed to carry on a complete system of roads m connection with the North Island Trunk Railway. . Woodville-Palmerston—Contract progressing, expected to be finished about November ; £7C,000 will be required to supplement funds for finishing line. Wellington-Woodville-—Line opened at Eketahuna at beginning of financial year. £3000 is required to complete. It is proposed to extend the line at the Wellington end, from Thordon to Te Aro, at a cost of £13,000. Blenheim-Awatera—Contract let for 2| miles formation between the end of Dashwood and Dashwood Pass, and surveys made on Vernon and Dashwood sections. Westport-Ngkawa—A Bill will be introduced during the session to authorise extension to Mohikinui river, seven miles, out of the Westport Harbor Works. It is not intended to allow this line to be constructed as a private enterprise. It is absolutely necessary this line should be made at once. Greymouth - Hokitika — Teremakau bridge was completed early m the year. Mount Somers Branch—The railway to Springburn having been completed it is not proposed to extend the line any further for the present. Otago Central—First section from Chain Hills to Hindon handed over to Commissioners, and opened for traffic m October 1889. Rails are laid for twentynine miles, and formation complete to Middlemarsh, forty-eight miles from Dunedin. It is expected the line will be open to Middlemarsh by Christmas. Catlin's River—Contract has been let for completion of line from Romohapa to McDonald's Saddle, It is proposed to extond the line to Owake. Edendale-Fortrose. — Section between Wyndham and Glenham road crossing is open for traffic. Midland Railway.—Section between Brunner and Ngahere open for traffic ; remaining 18 miles to Reefton under construction ; section between Stillwater Junction and Kaimate completed, 'I and one and a-half miles m progress ; "contract let for six miles at Springfield end. An application from the Midland Coin parry to divert the line from the. west to cast side of Lake Brunner will be referred to Parliament, Government refused to entertain a proposal from the Company to substitute a rack railway on the Abt system for ordinary locomotive line over the Spooner range at Nelson end. Grey mouth-Point Elizabeth. —Arrangements completed for railway from Greymouth to coalfields, near Point Elizabeth, six miles. HARBOURS' The Minister referred at length to the affairs of the West Coast coal harbours. SPECIAL WORKS. Exploration surveys have been made for a road to Milford Sound. A special Vfite for roads north of Auckland will not be required. Main Roads.—The amount voted last year was £14,000, and the expenditure included £12,799 and liabilities L 2856. It is propospd to. ask for a vote of £12,630 for this year to cover these liabilities As loan funds for main roads

will be exhausted afc the end of March next, maintenance of these roads must thereafter be otherwise provided for. £28,912 was voted last session for miscellaneous roads and bridges, and £19,988 expended, and liabilities incurred to the further amount of £10,015. For the current year we shall ask for a vote of £17,096 to cover liabilities, and to aid m continuing some of the works. Should the whole of the expenditure proposed come to account during the current year the loan allocation for this class of work will also be exhausted. ROADS AND BRIDGES CONSTRUCTION" ACT. Transactions under Roads and Bridges Construction Act during the past year were limited to payment of a sum of £227 m respect of outstanding grants. The 1 liabilities under the Act on 31st March last amounted to £273. During the year a sum of £1871 was spent out of the £8000 voted for work for the unemployed. It is propesed to ask for £2000 this year to provide for further work of this kind, should the necessity arise. ROADS TO'OPEN CROWN LANDS BEFORE SALE For these purposes Parliament voted last year £47,502, out of which £28,160 was spent, and liabilities incurred amounting to £18,698. In addition to cover these liabilities, and to provide for the extension of works m hand and others necessary to facilitate the settlement of Crown Lands, we shall ask for a total authorisation of £42,370, of which £35,000 is proposed to be expended dur ing the current year. VILLAGE SETTLBMENTS. Last year the sum voted under the head of Tillage settlements for actual expenditure was £48,177. The expenditure has only amounted to £7345. It is estimated that about £8032 will be sufficient to meet the requirements of the current year, and it is therefore proposed to ask for a vote for that sum. A further amount of £21,881 will be probably sufficient to cover the liabilities under the arrangements made with the village settlers for advances on their bush-felling and houses, notwithstanding that the liabilities are returned as nominally amounting to £44,661, thus making a total required of £30,913, and it is therefore proposed to transfer the remainder of the loan allocation for Village Settlements to the different classes of road works. ROADS TO GIVE ACCESS TO THE MARTON" TE-AWAMUTU RAILWAY. A sum of £1692 was voted last year for three items, and of this amount £248 was expended during the year, and liabilities incurred amounting to £666. We propose to ask Parliament to make a material addition to the vote this year. We shall ask for a further allocation of £40,056 for these roadworks, some of which have been partially made either as cart or bridle roads. It is deemed advisable to provide roads which, though not following the railway line, will afford a means of direct travel between Wellington and Auckland. This will be accomplished by continuing the Hunfcerville Tururangere road by the east side of Tongariro and Ruapehu, and effecting adjunction with the existing road near Tokoanu by bridging the Tongariro river. All the roads nothwards extending to Lichfield, Oxford, and Tauranga, will be connected with the proposed road from Turangariri, the point where the main road comes m from Napier. From this same point it is proposed to continue the cart road en to Korori, and to open the Waimariro block. A road will be opened I to connect with the one already formed between Korori and Taumarumu. A through road is to be made to the Waikato suitable for riding and for driving stock. By opening these lands settlement will be stimulated, and a return obtained for the money expended. The vote proposed for expenditure within the year is £31,500, with an authorisation to incur liabilities to the further amount of £10,000. ROADS ON GOLDFIELDS. The expenditure-oil roads and tracks on goldfields last year, including subsidies to local bodies, amounted to £13,290, and on ! the 31st March last the liabilities amounted to £16,524. For the present year we ask for a total authorisation of £27,000 to cover the existing liabilities and to complete roads on which large sums have been expended. This amount will absorb the balance of the loan allocation for works of this class. PUBLIC BUILDINGS. The amount voted for public buildings out of loan last year was £48,351, of which £35,473 was expended, and liabilities existed at the end of the year to the amount of £10,086 m addition. Out of the Consolidated Fund £34,075 was also voted for public buildings and domains, and' £25,000 for school buildings, the expenditure being £32,182 and £24,434 respectively, while liabilities existed at the end of the year to the amount of L 3,976 and L 1,031,031 m addition. The total votes from both funds last year was L 107,426, and the total expenditure L 92,089. Contracts have been entered into for the new sanatorium at Rotorua, a Customhonse at Greymouth, a stamp printing office iv connection with the Government Printing Office m Wellington, and for a central police station at Dunedin. The more important works proposed to be proceeded with this year for which provision has been made on the Estimates are as follows :—Out of loan funds: New Lunatic Asylum at Porirua, and further works at the asylums at Sunnyside and Seacliff, and gaols m Auckland and Wellington. Out of consolidated fund, £4.0,000 is provided for school-buildings, also £2000 for Native schools, and £8000 for an institution for deaf mutes. Besides these amounts £34,000 is also provided for ordinary additions, repairs, fittings and furniture. HARBOR DEFENCES. | Considerable progress has been made m the erection of several of the more important works, and there yet remains a good deal to do. The amount voted out of loan fund last year for works of this class was £6552, but the expenditure has amounted |to £7293. The excess has been caused by a compensation claim for land taken (and which it was hoped would have been settled by an exchange of land without any money payment) having to be settled, by a payment of over £1500. The total expenditure on harbor defences to the end of last financial year has been m round numbers £458,000, of which £238,000 represents the cost of material from England, and £120,000 the cost of works m the colony. Of this latter sum £34,000 has been paid for land, the remaining £186,000 representing the cost of forts, batteries, submarine defences, and general charges. The delence works proposed to be executed during the year are the completion of armament of the batteries already m hand. The cost of these works is estimated at £13,000, of which £3000 is proposed to be charged to loaii, and the balance to the consolidated fund. Beyond this year's appropriations it is estimated that somewhat more than a similar further 1 further amount will be required to make our harbor defences thoroughly efficient. MISCELLANEOUS CHARGES ON LOAN FUNDS — PURCHASE OF NATIVE LANDS. The balance of the loan allocation under Part 1 of the Public Works Fund available on the 31st March, 1889, for the purchase of Native lands m the North Island generally, as disthict from purchases out of the North Island Trunk Railway Loan, was £9396, but by the passing of the North W«»d Main Trunk Railway Loan Application Act Amendment Act 1880, this amount was increased' by £20,205, being a refund out of the North Island Trunk Railway loan to the general fund of moneys previously provided for the purchase of land within the railway area. The total amount available m the general fund was thereby increased' to £29,(581. Of this amount £21,42!) has been expended during the last financial year, leaving a balance of £.5,252 still.

available. The transactions include the purchase of the Pukeroa vdiata (Rotorua township) block, on which £3,064 has l>oen expended. Tiie total area of land of which f;he purchase was completed during the year is 33,600 acres. In part 11 of the fund, there was available on 31st March, 1890, for native lands pruchase within the railway area the sum of £1509, but as further allocation of £100,000 out of the North Island Trunk Railway loan was made last session for new purchase m addition to the allocation of £12,285 already referred to, the total amount available for new purchases under part 1 of the fund therefore was £101,509 ; and of this amount £3,765 was expended during the year. Considerable progress has been made with the necessary surveys, and also m the matter of placing the lands m a position to be dealt with. Some legislation will be necesaary to remove difficulties which have impeded negotiations m the past, and the Government has a Bill prepared • dealing with the matter, which will be introduced shortly. . BATES ON NATIVE LANDS. ! The amount voted lasiu year to Cover claims for rates on Native Lands for the year ended the 31st March, 1889, was £8595, the amount expended being £5874, to cover which the balances for 1888-89 not claimed up to the 31st March last, and the claims tor 1889-90, which fall due during the current financial year, and a sum of £6000 will require to be authorised, but probably not more than about £14,000 of this amount will be required for actual expenditure within the year. Of this sum, LSOOO is proposed to be charged to the Public Works Fund, and the balance to the Consolidated Fund. After the rates for 1889-90 have been paid, no further sums will be payable, the Act; having been repealed. IMMIGRATION. Immigration is still restricted to exceptional cases of separated families, and near relatives who are more or less dependent upon their friends m the colony for existence. The number of immigrants introduced under the regulations of the Department during last year was 82, the total cost of their passages being £1035, of which amount £560 was paid by the nominators m the colony, and £85 by the immigrants themselves m London. Since the Ist May last, 24 persons have been provided with passages, and the number of nominations now on the books of the Department is 133. The balance of the loan allocation for immigration purposes at 31st March, 1889, was £3813, and the expenditure during the year was £867, thus leaving a balance available, 3 on the 31st March last, of £2963, against which there are liabilities to the extent of £2200. WOEKS ON GOLDFIELDS. The balance remaining on the allocation for this class of works at the 31st March, 1889, was £929. Of this amount L 284 was expended during the year, leaving a balance availrtile of L 645, against which were liabilities of L 241, LIGHTHOUSES. Cuvier Island lighthouse has been completed. Total cost L 7407. A lighthouse is proposed on Stephen's Island, Cook Strait, where, for some time past, it has been recognised that a light was required. A vote of L 3500 from the Consolidated Fund has been placed on this ■ year's estimates towards the cost of this work, estimated at about LBOOO. TELEGRAPH EXTENSION. The expenditure on account of telegraph construction, and for the extension of the telephone exchanges m the colony, amounted during last financial year to L 16,346, and of this sum L 3,785 was expended on the telephone exchanges, making their capital cost L 63,466, including the value of the. material m hand. The most important new lines are those to Lichfield, to Otahanga, to Mokikinui, to Greendale, and from Onganoga to Tikokino, from Riversdale to Balfour, from Cardrona to Pembroke, and from Palmerston South to Nenthorne. Provision has been made for the extension of the lines from Talogri Bay to Waipiro, Lichfield to Morrmsville, Marton to Hunterville, and for the completion of the line from Mongonui to Kaitaki. conclusion.. '';' ; "'■ In conclusion, I would again direct the attention of lion, members' to the necessity of realising our position. Practically we are this {session dealing] with the last part of one of the loan funds, and this is the source.from which we have hitherto paid for a number of works and services that must m future be charged to the. Consolidated Fund. Part 1 embraces roads of all classes, public buildings, telegraph extension, immigration, purchase of native lands, harbor defences, and other works. The expenditure on the purchase of native, land eand making roads to open tip Crown Lands before sale are legitimate charges on the land fund, but the problem of dealing with the other items on the. list is a very difficult one to solve. Perhaps the readiest way of showing its bearing is to give the expenditure under each head for the last seven years. It has been as follows:—Class of works : Roads (other than roads to open up Crown Lands) 1883-84, 1,24,401 ; 1884-85, L 267,729 ; 1885-86, L 27,410; 1886-87 L 221,460; 1887-88, L 15,803 ; 1888-89, L 84,486 ; 1889-90, L 55,966 : Total for seven years, LI, 305,793. Average per annum, L 186,542. Public buildings, 1883-84, L 164,376 ; 1884-85, L 117,361; 1885-86, L 86,859; 1886-87, L 89,598 ; 1887-88, L 90,529 ; 1888-89, L 34.502 ; 1889-90, L 35.473 ; total, L 638,788. Average, L 88,308. Telegraph extension, 1883-84, L 19,532; 1884-85, L 25,799; 1885-86, L 36,010; 1886-87, L 18,952; 1887-88, L 22,984; 1888-89, L 12,047 ; 1889-90, L 16,346. Total L 151,670. Average, L 21,667. Immigration, 1883-84, L 107.041 ; 1884-85, I L 57,148 ; 1885-86, L 11,675 ; 1886-87, L 12,454; 1887-88, L 15,598 ; 1888-89, L 879 1; 1889-90, L 867. Total L 213,574 ; Average, L 31,511. Harbor defences, 1883-84, L 7292 ; 1884-85, L 960 1; 1885-86, !L127,167; 1886-87, L 139,429; 1887-88, L 73.459; 1888-89, L 50,089; 1889-90, L 7293, Total, L 414,251 ; average, L 59,179. Other items, 1883-84. L 52,917; 1884-85, L 32,461; 1885-86, L 40.840; 1886-87, L 70,290; 1887-88, L 21,916 ; 1888-89, L 20,256 ; 1889-90, L 7710, Total, L 2,146,390,146,390 ; average, L 35,199. Totals : L 595,090, L 510.099, L 57666, L 552,183, L 382,517, L 210,261, L 123,655; total, L 2,950,466,950,466 ; showing an average annual expenditure on works of the classes named of L 421,496. Add to this L 856,748, the average expenditure t for works on open lines for the same period; and we have a total annual expenditure of L 507,143. Although the average expenditure for the seven years on the works named m the table is £420,496, it will be seen that the amount for last year is only £123,655, as against £ 95,590 m 1883-84, £552,183 m 1886-87. The works on open lines are due to the spread of settlement and trade. Urgent demands for increased railway station accommodaton and additions to rolling stock are constantly made on the Railway Commissioners by settlers and the public generally, and; the. demands are, m many oases, so reasonable that they cannot be refused. As there is no capital account m connection with this, expenditure must m future come out of revenue. In addition to the cost of newworks and extensions which will fall on the Consolidated Fund, the ■; charges already on it for maintenance will be considerably augumented, particularly as regards public huildings, I;have had returns made, showing the, history 'and condition of each of these buildings,'; from which I find that many of the. older, wood .structures are urgently m need of extensive repairs, not only have they arrived afc theagc when decay f^ce^ds rapidkr, but apparently they have not been efficiently maintained, probably from mistaken,

motives of economy. The General and Provincial Governments have, from first to last, expended between L 3,000,000, 000 and L 4,000,000 on public buildings throughout the colony, exclusive of those on railways, and they are now valued-; by the Property-tax Department at; L 2,250,000. The amount expended on maintenance of the buildings has f°r*£f last seven years averaged L 22,500. These facts and figures show that the absence of borrowing will augment the charges on the Consolidated lund to a considerable extent, but the experience of the last few years proves that the resources of the country are sufficiently elastic to bear the increase. The spread of settlement, which creates further demands, is at the same time providing the means of meeting them. During that critical stage m the history of New Zealand when the Colony was left by the MoM'w country with a Maori war on its hands, the colonists adopted what was called a "self-reliant policy," and successfully fought their own battle. In the more peaceful operations of the colonies, we may well follow their example, and meet the demands of further settlement from out own resources. Not only would this promote a true spirit of independence, but it would be the surest guarantee of economy m the administration of our finances. The usual departmental tables and reports accompany this statement. i 1 ] I

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PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2475, 26 July 1890

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PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2475, 26 July 1890

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