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THE TELEGRAPH DEPARTMENT.
Amongst the papers laid on the table of the House of representatives is the " Fourth Annual Report on the Telegraph Department, New Zealand," by Mr. John Wall, Commissioner of Telegraphs. The report; itself is written by Mr. Lemon, General Manager. Mr. Hall says : " Mr. Lemon's report does not treat of the telegraph between Auckland and Waikato, as that line has not hitherto been under the control of the head office in Wellington. It was, however, on the firat day of this month placed on the same footing as other portions of the telegraph service. A considerable reduction will have to be effected in the cost at which this line has hitherto been kept up, and which is altogether out of proportion to the revenue derived from it." We quote the following passage from Mr. Lemon's report, showing the financial results of the depart* ment : — "The total cash receipt of the telegraph department from all sources is £11,652 3s. 7d., and the total value of business done, including guarantees and other receipt?, is £18,324 3s. 10d. f which, after deducting the cost of maintenance of stations and lines (£14,896 ss. Id.), leaves a balance to the credit of the department of £3,427 183. 9J. The interruption resulting from the extensive damage done to the lines in the months of August and February has lessened the cash receipts this year by at least £1,000, and added fully £1, 500 to the cost of maintenance." Attached to the report is a map showing the lines of telegraph throughout New Zealand belonging to the General Government j also the lines in course of construction ; the proposed line via Lake Taupo ; and the proposed line via East Cape. In the South Island, the telegraph stretches from end to end — from the Bluff to Nelson, along the East Coast, with branches to Queenstown and other parts of the interior of OUgo, aud from Christchurch to Hokitika and Greymouth. In the North Island, the communication is broken by the huge district from Napier to Cambridge. Starting from Wellington, the telegraph stations are FtJathewton, Greytown, Castle Point, Waipnkerau, and Napier. From this point there are two routes propo^edforexfcensionnoithwards, Oneis by the coast to Poverty B*y, East Cape, Opotiki, Maketu, Taurauga, Whangamata, and from thence across the country to Mercer, where it will join the line already ma<!e. From Tauranga also, it is proposed to make a line to Cambridge. The other proposal it to take the line from Napier by Taupo to Maketu, whence it could be carried to Tauranga and Mercer as by the first line. To both these proposed lines there is the objection that at several points they -would be exposed to danger from hontile natives, The Ha* by the interior would be of much greater service in openiDg up the country, and wedo not thinkthat it would be exposed to greater danger from the natives than that by the coast. From an announcement in the Hawlce's Bay Herald, quoted in our paper yesterday, it would seem that the line by the interior is to be adopted. _»_■
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