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THE UNIVERSITY RESERVES.

DISPOSITION °* "MiNTNG PRIVILEGES. - a>- IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE INVOLVED. C -4BEEZT DISCUSSION AT COUNCIL * MEETING. . . £ — \_ 1( ■ The customary placidity which char- c ieterises meetings of the Auckland Uni- c tersity Council was disturbed yesterday c ijfternoon by a breezy discussion upon f £ important question of principle af- p {fisting the method by which public trust v jodies ought to dispose of the assets d rtev are called upon to administer. b yjfr G. L. Peacocke, referring to coal ii _M mineral prospecting rights on the a Council's Taupiri reserves, said he de- t sired to make a preliminary statement c «ith regard to the form of lease under ,t •jfciea prospecting privileges should be < kjanted to applicants. He wished to s inform the Council that he had consult- « f i with its solicitors. Nothing final had s U en determined upon, and the question r would to come before the Council 1 grain later" on. But he would suggest s that applicants should be granted a sub- c sequent right, if prospecting results were r jittefactorv, to recover coal and other i iiinefals. The coal should be recovered r upon,payment to the Council of a s iovalty of not less than sixpence a ton, < a minimum royalty of so much t »jer affimm, payable whether the actual s Inonnt of coal recovered would yield J tße minimum or not at the sixpenny 1 i»te. Tha prospecting lease would be 1 for a- definite time. Unless the first op- 1 iion to mine if prospects were encouraging were given to applicants no prospect- 1 Hyr vrotid. be done. One applicant want- i ed to obtain the rights for the whole ' reserve. He had informed him that he 1 j__& not think the Council would agree -fo that. Another wanted rights over ; fine acres. j i/SSi C: J- Parr said they would he ' irateful to Mr Peacocke for the ex- 1 haustive statement he had made. He ; (Mr PaTr) felt, however, that from all ' they heard thi9 was likely fo be a good I thing. Theyi as trustees for the prot«ty, should offer it for public competi- ■] .fen'and hot dispose of any asset by " rivate contract. There, was a right and • 6 wrong way of doing things, and he I held that they should advertise inviting tenders for these rights. Mr Peacocke said the Council would not be bound in any way without its consent. It woiild be useless to advertise. If they did, they would lose money as they had done in the past. "Mr Parr said that argument was beads the point. This was a question of 'principle, and so long as he was a member of the Council he would not quietly submit to the adoption of irregular methods. If they did not advertise, lots of interested people might know nothing of what they were doing, and that waa not a desirable thing. All public assets shonld be offered for public tender. •Mr. Peacocke said the Council was not hoemd. He would undertake to do nothing binding the Council, but in any case they would never get a royalty of nidre than 6d a ton. Nobody would pay more. .Mr. Parr: You don't know. Mr. Peacocke: You may not know,but tdo, and I want .to save the Council useless expense. ' .'Bev.-'Wi Beatty: I shall have to support Mr. Parr. a matter of principle, / think we should submit the assets we iaye ; fA dispose of to public tender. ; 'ffi Reaeocke: I hope. Mr. Beatty will take charge of the business. -- TBev. W. Beatty: That is an invidious remark. And if I took charge of any business I should do so subject to the approval of the Council, and should not say the business is to be done my way or not at,all. '"lif. Peacocke: That is the position I take up. • : Mf; Part: Yes, and it is the Wrong position. As for losses in the past, I know what Mr. Peacocke refers to. Ho refers to the advertising for tenders for tMter rights. Well, I hold that was the only right course to follow. Mr. Peacocke said he did not wish Mr. Parr's remark about the timber rights to go forth without some comment from himself. The Council had had a valuation made of the timber. The price offered-by the only firm to whom it*c6uld be useful* had been very nearly up to the valuation, and cOiild have been increased Up to the full value. Under the circumstances he heid that it was a waste of time and money to advertise. It was his object to gain and not to lose money for the Council. Mr. Parr: Nevertheless, we are trustees, and there is a proper and improper way of doing things. Hon. J. A. Tole said b* thought Mr. Peacocke had been put to a great deal of trouble and inconvenience for the Council. The whole matter was in the embryonic stage, and they might well i&ve it in the hands of Mr. Peacocke. The Hon. Sir G. Maurice O'Rorke moved that the matter be left in the hands of Mr. Peacocke. Mr. Colbeck said he should have to Support the view taken by Mr. Parr. He held that a principle was involved, and these assets should be advertised. 'Mr. Parr said that if they departed from that principle they might lay themselves open to imputations however unjnst they might in the event prove to be. He nioved as an amendment that the prospecting privileges and mining rights im'the Taupiri reserves be disposed of by phblie tender. The Rev. W. Beatty said they should undoubtedly invite proposals for pro»peetin<* rights. It -was distinctly not a right principle to negotiate with private persons for the disposal of assets which they held in trust. Mr. Peacocke remarked that it was not proposed to dispose of assets at all. Mr. Parr: There should be no negotiation of any kind whatever with private individuals regarding the public assetß adihinistered in trust by the Council. -Qey should be offered for public competition. Any other course is an improper one.. On the casting vote of the chairman the amendment was declared lost and the original motion was declared carried, Sir Maurice O'Rorke declaring that he could no advantage to be derived from ad.vertising these rights. Hr. Parr: Cannot a further amendment be moved? ':Sir Maurice ORorke: Noj the matter «s disposed of. Mr. Parr:' Very well, I give notice to move at the next meeting of the Council .was every property administered in trust by the Council be offered in future "7- public tender in a public manner.

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THE UNIVERSITY RESERVES. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 70, 23 March 1909

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