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"THE DOG IN THE MANGER."

TO THE EDITOR Sir,— The above heading was the expression of one of our Civic Fathers in discussing the question of the Triangle, and applied to the Harbor Board, a body that 1 venture to assert has done more in conserving the interests of the public, and of putting money into the pockets of not only the citizens of Dunedin and the suburbs, but also of our producers in the country districts with the exception meantime of Port Chalmers only, than ever the City Corporation has done. In fact, the latter might well be termed the horse-leech, ever sucksucking, and, having drained its own life blood in pandering in great part to speculators, is continually plotting and planning, octopus-like stretching out its feelers seeking for fresh victims to feed its greedy desires. Studied in the light of the history of Princes street widening, waterworks and gasworks jobs, the Corporation has, under the flag of “ the interests of the public,” flaunted by oily gammon, that patrician of “circumstances alter cases,” been ever too easily led by speculators into the position of the fly when induced to enter into the parlor of the spider. With the experience of the crushing millstone of dear-bought debt on our shoulders, mainly placed there by “ philanthropic speculators,” it appears to me unaccountable how the producing community, npon whom in the end the “ paying of the piper” principally falls, can for one moment listen to those charmers, charm they ever so wisely. These are the philanthropists who, having, Esau-like, sold their own birthrights for a mess of pottage, are ever ready to frame plausible pretexts for selling their brothers’ birthrights also, if they only can get hold of them. Some of the councillors do not seem to understand that those “reserves,” of which they only have the management, are not the property of the City to do with them as they please; and I would warn them, if on Parliamentary inquiry it is found that they have not or are not fulfilling “the trust” confided to them, that they need not feel surprised if they receive the reward of the unjust steward, and the trust be handed over to others more worthy of it. The City was liberally endowed by the early settlers, both in town and country, with reserves which are their own for revenue purposes; but there were reserves also for specific purposes, common to the suburban boroughs and to all the settlers of Otago, which for convenience of administration were placed under City management, the revenues of which can only be applied to these purposes. And I would warn the City Fathers thatjthere are powerful bodies and interests in and around Dunedin growing up rapidly that may very soon ask for a reply to the question How have the City Corporation administered these trusts ? when Parliament may answer, as it did in the case of the wharves and quays reserves, “ Convicted of maladministration; take them away and give them to those who will more honestly administer them.”—l am, etc., Suburb.

Dunedin, May 24.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890524.2.15.2

Bibliographic details

"THE DOG IN THE MANGER.", Issue 7915, 24 May 1889

Word Count
514

"THE DOG IN THE MANGER." Issue 7915, 24 May 1889

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