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VISIT OF MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS.

PENINSULA WANTS

On Tuesday; our Member. Hon. R. H. Rhodes, accompanied by the Minister of Public Works, Hon. W. Fraser, paid a visit to the Peninsula. Tbe Ministers were accompanied by their secretaries, Messrs \V. Crow and McAllister, and also Mr R. B. Morris, secretary of the Postal Department, Mr R, M. McDonald and Lieutenant Rhodes. The party reached the Bruce Hotel about 12 30 p.m. and were met by tbe Mayor, (Mr G. Armstrong) and the Town Clerk (Mr G. W. Thomas), and also by Mr J. D. Bruce (County Chairman), and Mr E. E. Lelievre, After luncheon the visitors came down to the Akaroa Borough Council Chambers, where several deputations waited on the Minister of Public Works.

LITTLE RIVER RAILWAY. Messrs Armstrong, Bruce, Lelievre and Leete, members of the Akaroa Railway League, waited on tbe Minister to urge on the completion of tbe line from Little River to Akaroa.

Mr Lelievre (Chairman of the League) apologized for troubling the Minister, but they could not miss an opportunity of pressing their claims. He explained that the line was author ised in 1876, and there were endowments towards the completion of the work, He explained the disadvantages under which tbe local fanners suffered through having to drive their stock two or three days to the railway, Tbey had to compete with men who could send their stock all tbe way by line, and consequently their stock arrived at market travel stained and much decreased in value. He drew attention to the fact that Akaroa was the first settlement in the South Island- Residents had made good roads and improved the district con siderably. Tbey were at a great handicap at present, and, considering tbe beautiful hacbour they had, he would like to refer to the old saying "that tbe gold of every railway was tte sea," He would ask Mr Bruce to say something about their financial position.

Mr Bruce explained that tbere were endowments for this line consisting of reserves about Lake Ellesmere. The line from Lincoln to Little River waalmost paid for, and be hoped it would be one of those of which sight would not be lost. Tbey had as good a bar

hour as fir j in New Zealand, snri it seemed a pity not to have it used. He thought the line should b& carried on at present guage. Considering tbe finance, he thought they should havt a reasonable hope of having the line completed. Mr Rhodes knew ail the particulars far better fcian they did. In answer to Mr Fraser, Mr Rrnf Si il the line would be eight miles from Little River to Barry's bay, Tbe Mayor (Mr Armstrong), before referring to the railway welcomed the Ministers to Akaroa. This was Mr Fraser's first visit, and he hoped it would not be his last. They were always pleased to see Mr Rhode's They were sorry to bear of M<* Massey's illness, and hoped to hear of his complete recovery. He congratu lated Mr Rhodes on what he had done for the Peninsula in regard to telephones and post offices. With ) regard to tbe railway he spoke of the] increasing popularity of Akaroa as a tourist resort, and remarked on what tbe Government bad done for Rotorua and Hanmer. The previous speakers had put tbe matter of (he railway very clearly. He said that tbe Peninsula peop'e did not ask for much, the people being self reliant, and he hoped i in this instance the Government would l try to help them.

Hon R H. Rhodes said that tbe line to Akaroa was authored first in 1876 ana later in 1894. In 1908 in tbe Public Workg Statement this line wa3 mentioned as one of which a trial survey would ba made. In 1907 Hon. W. Hall Jones and his Department were in favour of light lines, hue these lines went out of favour Now they were looked on with better favour. A tunnel would cost £ 850,000, while a steep line over tbe bill would be half tbe cost. Mr .Rhodes then read the following statement re the line from Lincoln to Little River, showing financial position :■—

£ s. d. Expenditure on line up to Dec, 31st, 1913 ... ... 108,112 15 0 Nett receipts under above mentioned account to 31/3/13 106,980 11 2 Receipts from 1 April to 31st Dec, 1913 812 11 11 Less expenses ... 296 15 0 515-15 11 Total debit on 31st December, 1913... 616 . 6 11

He (Mr Rhodes), was glad Mr Fraser had an opportunity to see for himself what an immense advantage the railway would be, He added that Mr Fraser did not promise much and do little, but always kept his promises most faithfully. He thanked the Mayor for his kindly welcome. In answer to Mr Fraser, Mr Rhodes said that the lake endowments were mostly on 999 year leases. Some of the land had been sold. Tbere was £1600 a year still accruing from the rentals of these lands, and interest on capital value. This capital value was paid into tbe Public Work 3 Depart* merit.

Mr Fraser first thanked the Mayor (Mr G.Armstrong) for his kind remarks of welcome, tie had long intended to come to Akaroa, but never found time before. He was delighted with the trip over, and never expected to see | such beautiful country. He knew something about land, and could appreciate the value of the rich Penin sula Hills. He was sure that the dis trict could be developed in the future and that there would be a number of settlers on small holdings. With re gard to tbe railway, he need not say anything about the benefits to the district, as they all knew that good communication was the first consider ation, and that was why so much money was spent on roads, railways and bridges. He did uot think they would be wise to ask for a tunnell, as the Otira tunnel was quite enough for tbe Department. They did not want another. He could see no reason why they should not follow tbe example of other countries and have light lines. Mr Purchase had just returned from a visit to Europe to study light lines in Belgium and elsewhere, and if bis report was favourable they would adopt this class of line in New Zea land. He did not like breaking tbe standard guage of the line, as the tran shipment on the main line was such an expense and worry. He added tbat it was tbe speed which cost the money. If tbey were content with a slow train, built with a zig zag line, it might be possible to have the work t done. He would make no promise, as he did not like making a promise and not keeping it, However, as soon as he could get a competent man be would send him down to make a complete survey. He considered they had a right to demand a railway, and if they were only £616 in debt and had £1600 a year accumulating he knew of no other line in such a good position. He would look very carefully into the financial point before he went any further, as there was so much work to be done in other parts of the Dominion The members of the deputation thanked Mr Fraser for his courteous hearing of their request. AKAROA HIGH SCHOOL. A deputation consisting-of Messrs Lelievre, Bruce, and Thomas, waited on the Minister regarding the High School Board. Mr Lelievre explained that the

Board bad endowments which brought . in an annual income of £147, and was not sufficient to keep a High Behool going, and so they merged into a District High School. They had an tf\ cumulation .of £500. and wished to) build a new schoolroom on to the newf. building put upby the Board of Educa-„ tion. However, the Hon. Mr AIMSi said it could not be done, and that the money could only be expended in scholarships, but tbs Act gave tbem that power. The Board gave £100 r year towards the ealaryjof the ary master. Mr Fraser said he understood that ~ the Education Tepartment '• because the High School Beard in - building a room on to the Education Board's school would lose possessions, of that room,

Mr Bruce explained that at present the two schools were divided.

Mr Fraser promised to talk the matter oyer with Mr Allen, and see if some way could not be found out the difficulty. • AKAROA - POST OFFIOeX, The Mayor, Mr G. Armstrong, aske,d the Postmaster General if anything, . further had been done about theLEWt \? Office. The townspeople would we -,"• to put a clock tower on th 9 post office -.; They were not very well off, and ha.-, wished to know if the Government YJ* could in their liberality grant them ijj ore. I " '$> The Hon. R. H. Rhodes said tbat:J:| the amount on the Estimates for the/Tgl Akaroa post office was £2000, which ™ was cut down by his predecessor 46 - £1000, The £2000.was reinstated, as £1000 would not build a suitable post office for the towD, The lowest esti* .-" mate for a brick offioe was £8400, ~ Realising that Akaroa was a pictures--/ que town, he had plans made in rough cast, which, he hoped, would prove .; satisfactory. Ha had just heard thV;;new contract bad been signed by Hickey, of Spreydon, at £2205, to r b|||# completed on June 80th next. did not think they would be dißejßp pointed in their new building. As : MJf||S garda a clock and tower, the DepnrJ|§| menfc would furnish a bracket but could not build a" tower, ' TJ»e, : Postal Department, in a few yeaApjV spent £11,000 on towers, and it too big an item. They were puttiojg|E| up one at Rotorua at present,' fb»l which the residents paid the ma)o@|| portion as a monument to the latexjjjjjlj Seddon. He was sorry to statement, as a clock tower would so well in Akaroa. ~^^B Mr Fraser said that when one trict asks for £2000 or £8000 spent on a public building it forjgp|pj||l there are many other district's -mßfaofei|| the same request. He conßiderfd||| that for a young country New Zealatd||| spent too much money on her puw(ij|f| buildings, and as there was limited amount to go all round, and bridges suffered, and these were really more important for-3e i 'VS veloping the country. '-. ,-V&wl The Mayor thanked Mr his courteous hearing of. deputatij[|jipp and for his promise to have to Akaroa surveyed. He the post office was a necessity as _JpSfs building was unhealthy as well' x convenient. He again tbankeSfHHK Hons. Fraser and Rhodes efforts to help the Peninsula. I **" f^m Mr J. D. Bruce, on behalf ct the country people, said that they; ep«j|% predated the Ministers' visit..; j&<»|i§| Wellington Mr Rhodes had that Mr Fraser would come dowßppp{|||| that promise had been kept". ,{:■- .*^|i Mr "Fraser thanked strong and Bruce, and hoped :>1 be able to pay another visit to Al(|B|^^S

before long. The Ministerial party then left by launch for Bany's Bay. Messrs Bruce and Lelievre accompanied them to the Onawe Gap wharf, where the party landed and walked round to Barry Bay, Mr Bruce pointing out the contract for road and wharf for which Government had given several grants The Ministerial party were the guests of Mr and Mrs R.Latter, Barry's Bay, to afternoon tea, and then left by cor for Little River, where they were met by a deputation.

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Bibliographic details

VISIT OF MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4364, 16 January 1914

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VISIT OF MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4364, 16 January 1914

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