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CHRISTCHURCH.

PROVINCIAL COUNCIL. Wednesday, September 23. The Council met at live o'clock. Present: The Speaker, Messrs Aikman, Buckley, Clark, Cox, Hawkes, Ilornbrook, Moorhouae, Ollivier, Peacock, Eowe, Shand, Stoddart, Tosswill, Turnbull, Westenra, Wilson, the Provincial Secretary, and the Provincial Solicitor. The minutes of the last sitting were read and confirmed.

inwood's mill ohdistance. Mr. Olliyier moved the second reading of the Inwood Mill Ordinance Amendment Bill. The Speaker expressed a doubt whether it ought not to be considered a private Bill. After some discussion on this point, The said that as it appeared to be rather a question of property he must request the mover to withdraw the Bill till next evening that he might take the opinion of the legal adviser of the Government on the subject. The motion was accordingly withdrawn. LEAVE OF ABSENCE.

On the motion of the Provincial Solicitor leave of absence was granted to Mr. Duncan for the remainder of tho season on the ground of illliealth.

COMMITTEE OP SUPPLY. The House went into Committee of Supply. The following votes were passed. Printing journal of proceedings, £750; arranging and reprinting Ordinances, £250; pound at Kaiapoi, £50 ; Waimakariri Breakwater, £500; additional vote for Papanui bridge, £1000. The last vote was opposed by the Speaker, and Messrs. Peacock and Tosswill. The Committee divided, and the numbers being equal the Chairman gave Ids casting rate with the ayes. The following Totes were passed. Repairing of Akaroa Jetty, £275 ; additions to ditto, £400 ;

new jetty at Akaroa, £120; punt at Eangitata, £30; additional grant to the _ North Raksia district, £150 ; additional grant to the West Lincoln District, £500; grant iii aid for works necessary before the election of Koad Boards, £500 ; survey of timber reserves, £500. On the last-named vote being proposed, Mr. Ollivier objected to these reserves, as being illegal, in consequence of their not having been confirmed by the Council. The Waste Land Board had, for some time back, refused to issue timber-cutting licenses, which, he contended, they had no right to do under the land regulations. Tho Provincial Secretary said there were two kinde of reserves, land, and timber ; of which the latter need not be confirmed by the Council, though they were subject to reversal on its resolution. Ho thought the Supreme Court was the only power which could compel the Waste Lands Board to issue licenses. Mr. Stoddaht hoped the Government would take some decided action, as the sawyers could neither obtain business licenses nor purchase the land. Jlc objected to the reserves, as encouraging illegal sawing, and thought it would be far better to throw the Peninsula open. The Pbovixcial Secbetaby said the original intention in making these reserves was to sell the timber by auction and spend the proceeds in effecting local improvements. This plan had been altered by the late fires, which had destroyed much of the timber, and it was necessary to have a survey, in order to ascertain what there was available for sale, after which, sections would be laid off and sold.

Mr. Oixivieb moved that his Honor the Superintendent bo requested to place on the Estimatea the avm of £2000 for the maintenance of the main dicrpuglifares of Christphurch. These streets, lie said, did not come withia the province of the City Council which h&4 been expressly proliibited by Government from meddling with them. Others were likely soon to be opened leading to the railway, and an amount of traffic might bo expected to pass along then] which it would require heavy expenditure to put

these streets into a fit state to sustain Unless hat was done they would soon become impassable. The City Council were not indisposed to take charge of these roads, but they required to be mbs.dised by Government. He might be told hat the Council should put in force the ratiulauses of their Act, but there was considerable opposition to the Hate Pavers Roll, which had :iret to be settled and jt would be impossible at ■iret to do more than levy a small rate to brin* the system into operation. ° ** r - To f WILL singly o PP o sed the motion. He did not see why the City Council should not maintain the roads passing through Christchurch, as the Rural Boards had to maintain those passing through their districts. £10,000 was being allotted to Christehurch during this session, which ie thought most excessive in comparison to wliat Mad been voted for the country. He thought all ihe mam roads should be placed on the same footing, and as it had been agreed by the Government ■'hat specific sums should bealloted to these roads, ie could not see why the principle should not be ( <ept up in the country districts as well as in the towns. Mr. Hawkes considered that the main roads nelonged to the country, and were more used by the country people than by the townsmen. The traffic was far greater in a town; for one dray that passed along a country road, a hundred vehicles passed over the streets of Christchurch. The rates were raised for city purposes, and not for keeping access open to the Railway, for the benefit of the whole Province. Dr. Turnbitll said that Christchurch had not even got what was due on account of the reserves allotted to it at the foundation of the settlement. If an estimate of the traffic were taken it would be found that an overwhelming proportion was for country not town purposes. Roads, wherever situated, should be kept in a state proper for traffic, and no more was being asked for. Mr. Toswill said that one-sixth at least of the traffic into Christchurch passed along the Great South Road. Mr. Ollivieb said it was unreasonable to suppose the enm required for keeping the main roads in repair in the country was one tithe as great as in the town. In proof of this he might take the \ise of a part of the Fern -road, the contract for repairing which had been twice thrown up because the traffic was so heavy that it could not be made to pay. Of the £8000 said to have been already voted for Christchurch, £5000 was in lieu of the reserves formerly allotted to the towns but since sold by the Government, and the other £3000 was for the Papanui bridge, which he contended was entirely a provincial work, and the City Council had had nothing at all to do with it. The main roads in the country districts were not a parallel case. The present system was an experiment, and if the boards found the grants made to them insufficient they would no doubt come to the Council to have them increased. Mr. BowEJf regretted that Government had ever reserved these thoroughfares, as it would have been much better to have left nil works within the city in the hands of the City Council, and to have assisted them with subsidies. He thought the amount asked for however was too large. The Provincial Secketaey denied that he had given any'pledge as to the manner in which the roads should be maintained. They had been considered in the grants made to the districts, and an additional sum of £5000 was put on the estimates for their repair. After some further discussion, the vote was passed.

The Peovtkciai, Seceetaet moved that tie

sum of £5000 bo granted to his Honor the Superintendent, for the Repairs of Roads until Roid Boards are formed, say 10 per cent, express vote for districts. Carried. The Pbovikoial Secretary moved that £2000 be granted to his Honor the Superintendent, for a Road to the Upper Waimakariri Country, estimated to cost £4000, part to be paid in land and part in cash. The honorable member said that tin's was to form bridle and packhorse tracks from this district. There was a large amount of wool there still waiting transport. The Government proposed to expend £2000 and the balance was to be taken out bj the settlers in land. This track would be of importance, as it would communicate with the track to the West Coast, independently of the track further north. The district through which it was proposed to make this track is so great that the vote would only suffice to make a pack-horse track. Mr. Bowen said that, although he thought assistance should be given to settlers who had taken up lands in the back districts, he did not approve of the principle of land- being sold in part payment ; and it did not appear from former cases that such a practice was desirable. He should propose that the vote be reconsidered, and that a certain sum be named in cash. Mr. Tosswill said that he wished that any district should have the share which it was entitled to, and no more; but that if people took up country in the back district, they must take the consequences. Mr. Moohhottse said that this district had paid a considerable sum, and that nothing had been expended on it. This vote was intended to open up an entirely new district. There were 500 i bales of wool awaiting export, and taken on that j ground alone it had a largo claim upon the Council. Exports produce duty and that duty is revenue. Then again, the settlers propose to expend £200') upon land which for present purposes was comparatively useless, and stockowners in that distret labor under disadvantages which are not felt 'in other parts of the country. There were 600 bales awaiting export and there would probably be 1000 next year. He considered it was a matter of duty on the part of the Council to support this rote. Some discussion followed, ami Mr. Bowen said lie would repeat his objections as to payment by land, and he would propose as an amendment that the grant be increased to £3000.

Mr. Tosswill seconded the motion,

Mr. Peacock moved as an amendment that £4000 bo placed upon the estimates subject to tlio stockowucrs purchasing 1000 acres. Mr. Clakk seconded it. The Chairman put the question that the first amendment be withdrawn. Carried. The second amendment was then put and carried. Upon the motion of the Pbovixciai Secketart, the voto for the gaols was reconsidered. The Pkovincial Sechetaby moved that the sum of £2372 15s. be granted to His Honor the Superintendent for the gaol at Lyttelton, and £667 ss. for the gaol of Christchurcli. Carried. The CoAiBMAjr then reported progress, and the House adjourned to this day at the usual hour of business, The following are the messages sent yesterday by the Superintendent to the Provincial Council relative to the leasing of the Ferrymead Railway and the further extension of the Railway to the North and South : — The Superintendent, in reply to the resolutions of the Council on the leasing of the Christchurch and Ferry mead Bail way, begs to inform the Council that upon a mature consideration of the circumstances surrounding the question, he has determined not to call for public tenders for leasing the Unjs; and at the same time forwards copies of correspondence with the railway contractors, from wliich the Council will be aware that, at the special request of the Government, Messrs. Holmes and Co. have made an offer upon different terms, and which the Superintendent has thought proper to accept, and upon the terms of which he has agreed to lease the line to Messrs. Holmer «fc Co. S. Bealey, Superintendent.

[ Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the Council, — Before closing the present session, I avail myself of the opportunity of declaring that the present circumstances of the Province are such as to justify an immediate preparation for carrying out the system of Railways which hare been already projected to our northern and southern districts.

I It is an undeniable fact that this country presents unusual facilities for settlement, and it ie equally certain that the colonising public are not slow in their appreciation of it. We have now a population proportionably very much in excess of that which was anticipated by the most sanguine when the proposals for the Lyttelton and Christchurch Railway were first laid before the Council; we have had a much larger extension of land sales, and their present continuance removes all grounds of fear for any material diminution of their amount. The purchase of waste land is the investment of a capital which by all legitimate means it is our duty, not to the individual particularly but to the country, to render reproductive. Fresh centres of population arc required, and the labor in the outlying districts must be made profitable to'employers by giving such facilities of communication with the central market and port of export as will allow them to compete with those who arc favored with the far greater advantage of a ready means of disposing of their produce. It is remarkable that Canterbury, without the stimulus of a gold field or other unusual circumstances, stands preeminent among her sister settlements for enormous prices and the dearness of the most ordinary necessaries of life ; and until the more distant farms are enabled by a rapidity and certainty of communication only to be effected by rail to supply the wants of the principal centre of population, there can be no means of reducing prices and of resisting exorbitant demands. The Superintendent begs to intimate that measures will be taken to provide for the expenditure upon the Lyttelton and Christchurch Railway, now under contract with Messrs. Holmc3 & Co., by issuing the debentures of the Lyttelton and Christehurch Railway Loan, so as to leave the loan o£ 1862 free for further extensions; and it will at once appear to the Council a wise course to allocate this loan to certain specific works, works which shall bo of a remunerative nature and for which the loan shall be reserved with a firm determination to admit of no alteration.

The allocation which appears most desirable is to reserve the sum of £200,000 for the building of bridges and extinction of title upon .the line of railway projected south ; the sum of £200,000 for the building of bridges and extinction of title upon the lino to the North.

There will then remain the sum of £50,000 for the commencement of works in the harbor of Lyttelton. The reason why it is not proposed to reserve more of this loan for the Harbor is that the Superintendent is of opinion that the Harbor is an estate which, with judicious expenditure to meet its immediate requirements, will be held to be a first class security upon which to borrow fo* those farther improvements which may be advised by professional gentlemen in England. With regard to the Railways, the Superintendent considers that if the large bridges and the purchase of land be borne by the Province, there will be the greater probability of the Government of the country being in a position to grant concessions, if necessary, to private capital to be employed in the construction of the line.

In naming these speciOc allocations the Superintendent is not in a position to give the Council any details of cost, but wishes merely to indicate his determination to reserve those sums of money, subject hereafter to adjustment when complete and reliable estimates shall been obtained, in order to ask the Council for the due appropriation of the funds. S. Bealey, Superintendent.

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Bibliographic details

CHRISTCHURCH., Press, Volume III, Issue 281, 24 September 1863

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2,569

CHRISTCHURCH. Press, Volume III, Issue 281, 24 September 1863

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