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The Big Estate Question.

In an article on the land question the " Dunedin Herald " says :—Mr Twoniey, of Temuka, suggests a plan by which a largely increased population may be settled on the land without the expenditure of a great capital sum. A Compulsory Leasing Bill under Government supervision,, by means pf which large landowners and companies holding huge areas would be compelled to lease the land at 5 per cent, on its declared value under the property tax returns, would be at once a practicable and effective measure. The land-owner would obtain interest on hia money and have the security of the Government guarantee, and inasmuch as he remained the owner would absorb the unearned increment, while population would be attracted m an extraordinary way, as well from the Home Country as! from the neighboring colonies. This is the kind of immigration every one desires, and it is difficult to.exaggerate the advantages that would accrue to centres like Invercargil], Oamaru, and Napier, which places are held m a constrictor-like grasp,; and preventedfrom stretching themselves by the huge landed estates which encircle them. We do want more population— this is the fact all are agreed upon— but the population we desire is not urban, not that of skilled > pitizens and I towo,dw.ellers,.but men who will go with their families on to the country lands and live on them. It was this' great task , which Mr Ballance undertook,so carefully and was carrying out so successfully when the Stout-Vogel Ministry . went out of office. It has been the crime of the present Government that from first to last they have driven population away while conceding the land m thousands of acres to wealthy men who are willing to give cash for it. We have no doubb that Mr Twomey's proposition, for a Compulsory Land Leasing Bill! will- ere. long be taken up by some legislator who has his* eye open to the imperative requirements of the country districts and can reckon up the advantages to be gained, by the adoption of his proposal. We do not believe it to be for the good of a young community like this that any one, individual should have more than one thousand acres of land under his sole And individual control. By breaking up and leasing the large estates as Mr Twomey suggests, the necessity of. the colony would be met.. .

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Bibliographic details

The Big Estate Question., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2478, 30 July 1890

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The Big Estate Question. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2478, 30 July 1890