MINING TAILINGS AND MR BARRY'S OPINIONS.
(To the Editor.) •Sir,—3 Jr. Barry's opinion on the damage caused by the Waihi tailings is on a par with a utterances, when defending a bad case—he is paid to try to make a jury believe that black is ■white; or that a murderer i≤ innocent, when he knows quite well that his client deserves ,to be handed. Ho-wever, Mr. Barry has admitted that there are tailings in the river, and that they are doing damage, and has at last been forced to admit that it is not all pumice stone that is filling up and impeding the navigation of the river. As for his assertion that £500 would cover the damage done even as far as the junction of the Waihou, £50,000 would be nearer the mark; and ilr. BaTry need not expect the settlers to nibble at his cunningly contrived bait of £500. Mr. Barry also states that "no damage had ever been done, or was ever likely to be done, to the large extent of agricultural land stretching from the Thames River to the hills on the one side and the Piako River on the other." Mr. Barry evidently shuts his eyes to the fact tha.t the Thames River is the natural drainage for that <: large extent of agricultural land," and that by blocking the outfall drain with Tißning tailings a very great amount of &nage i= bemg done. Mr. Barry also does not grasp the very obvious fact that every inch of tailings in the bottom of the river is equivalent to lowering the surrounding land an inch. Mr. Stewart, C.E., in his report, stated that there" were five inches of .tailings where the N.S.S. Co.'s steamers lie at the Puke, and that was some time since; probably there are ten inches now. But Mr. Barry is acting counsel for the defendant, and is not paid, to see these thing 3. As for the lands in the Piako Swamp, which the Government are at an enormous expense reclaimingj and expect people to take up and settle upon, if the Government do not take prompt, decisive, and effectual steps to stop the dumping of mining tailings into the Thames river, in the course of a few short years that landwill not be worth as many pence as it has cost hundreds of pounds to reclaim. For the Piako lies lower that the Waihou, and even Mr Barry will admit that water finds its own level. As for the cost of stacking the tailings, which Mr Barry lays such stress upon, I take it it is the duty of the Government to cancel that absurd order proclaiming the Ohinemuri and Waihou rivers sludge channels, no matter if it cost a pound a ton to stack tailings; not only to protect the Ohinemuri settlers, but to preserve from destruction their oWJi, or rather the "nation's .property" in the Piako River. In conclusion, I would suggest that Mr Barry tries the following little experiment:—Fill a 3-gallon bucket half-full of tailings; then with a force pump try to put three gallons..pf water into the same bucket without running the tailings and the water over the edge. If successful, Mr Barry will have made considerable progress towaTds solving the tailings evil.—l am etc.. , C. WHITMORE, Puke-road, Paeroa. March 29th, 1909. ■
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