The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Vertas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1890. THE SAN FRANCISCO MAIL TERMINUS.
The arrangements made by the Government for the continuance of the San Francisco mail service have met with approval m all parts of the Colony. Aucklanders are especially well-pleased. Members from that part of the Colony, though sworn to rigid retrenchment, made a distinction m regard to the 'Frisco service, and would have gone to almost any extreme to preserve a mail service from which their part of the Colony derived so many direct advantages. The new, therefore, of the continuance of the service has been hailed by Aucklanders as a distinct gain to the Colony. Only one objection to the arrangements lias been raised from the Northern City, and this is that the House did not insist upon Auckland being, as heretofore, the port of call. From an Aucklander's point of view there is only one city m New Zealand, and that is the city of Auckland. From that extreme point of the North Island the Colony should be governed, and everything else m regard to New Zealand transacted. The House, therefore, is m deep disgrace with Aucklanders for its action m refusing to stipulate that the contractors shall make the Queen City of the North the port of call for the 'Frisco boats, and members have been freely condemned for leaving it to the discretion of the contractors to make the port of call suit their own 1 convenience. The feeling m Auckland is perhaps quite excusable ; and doubtless any other part of the colony would act similarly under the same circumstances. It is not, however, purely an Auckland question. The people of the South are directly interested, and have expressed themselves over and over again as m favor of a more central port of call—or distributing centre— from whence the South mails would arrive a day or tvo earlier than under the late arrangement. The traders and merchants m the northern city have had the pull for a number of years ov^.r their southern brethren m having a few days advantage m securing fuller, and consequently more reliable, news of the state of the Home markets, and have also had more leisure to consider and answer correspondence received. This may be considered a small matter by the Aucklanders, but it has caused some irritation m the South, and perhaps had something to do with the apparent indifference m many i southern quarters as to whether the j service was continued or not. This' feeling has been made known to the j House and country, and the contractors are no doubt also aware of its existence. The close voting m the House on the question whether Auckland or Wellington should be the port of call should be a clear indication to Aucklanders of the feeling " down south " on this matter, and should also serve to indicate to the contractors that m choosing Wellington as the distributing centre they will assist to remove a long-standing prejudice against the service. A strong argument, also brought forward during the discussion, and one which will no doubt weigh with the contractors more than anything else, is the fact that': if the steamers carrying the mails make a central point like Wellington the port of arrival and departure, the service will be made more profitable, as large quantities of southern produce will be attracted. It is to be regretted that the House, recognising these things, did not n,t once carry a vote m favor of Wellington as against Auckland. Heaping the responsibility of choice upon the shoulders of the contractors was scarcely a dignified proceeding; but the action was evidently taken to keep down provincial feeling, and give the House a distinct tone of impartiality. The contractors have, by the action of the House, been placed m a position from which the House itself was glad to be free, but there is little doubt they (the contractors) will view the situationfrom a purely business standpoint, and actaccordingly. Should this be done, wehave little doubt that Wellington will be selected m preference to Auckland. Meanwhile pressure is being brought to bear upon the contractors from both cities, and it will be interesting to observe how they conduct themselves between the two fires.