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Not only the Stoul>y6gel Government, during the Parliament prior to that which expired on the sth instant, but a number of private members of the latter, hare made efforts to deal vrith one of the problems which must be solved if there is to be that settlement of the lands -of the Colony which is; absolutely necessary t^ its progress arid prosperity. Sir" Robert Stout and Mr Ballance sought to achieve this by a Land Acquisition Bill, and Major Steward, Mr Perceval, and a number of other members have endeavoured to procure the passing of votes to enable the purchase of private lands for the purpose of the establishment of ", Labor Settlements." The Land Acquisition Bill failed to pass; iwid the j Labor Settlements vote was, after passing through Committee, struck out by the narrow majority of two. For the time being, therefore, Jill these .well-meant efforts have been rendered nugatory. But only for the time being, the-atten-tion drawn to the matter will yet, we feel sure, result m something being done m, this direction, as ' indeed it must be unless we are to; quietly permit the Colony; to stagnate^ and its population to drift away. It is a very good and hopeful sign that the question is being now taken up m ..-the Empire City, the Wellington. "Press '■ m a recent article declaring, that our land legislation will not be complete until a measure has been passed " dealing m a thoroughly practical way with this matter of,small farms settlement on agricultural land held m large blocks m settled districts by private owners. It would, we think, be unfair—and not only unfair, but inadvisable^—to expect Ministers to commit themselves to proposals for a measure calculated to operate right off on a wholesale scale throughout the colony wherever; large astates happen to be regarded as as a bar to progress. But they are morally bound to work out and to submit a plan capable of immediate practical application oil a moderately extensive scale, and capable also, m addition to that, of undergoing development which Avoukl render it applicable by degrees to every large estate m the colony—that is, every large estate not occupied by as many prosperous and progressive people as might with reason be settled upon it. . To : expect this from the Government is surely not to expect too much; m fact, it is obviously quite the other way, for the policy so clearly outlined m,their own Financial Statement completely justifies the expectation. In the meantime we watch and wait for reiterated assurances on the subject, and suggest to the public what it is they should insist on m regard to this matter of the resumption of freehold land for the purposes of closer settlement—that closer settlement to which the country must mainly look for the increased prosperity which it desires, deserves and ■will attain if the people are only true to themselves, and just to those public men who earnestly desire to intelligently know how to promote the colony's welfare by practical means."

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Bibliographic details

SETTLEMENT ON PRIVATE LANDS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2539, 9 October 1890

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SETTLEMENT ON PRIVATE LANDS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2539, 9 October 1890