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HARBOR BOARD., Issue 7956, 11 July 1889
The ordinary meeting held this afternoon Was attended by Mesava J. B. Thomson (chairman), W. Wardrop, D. Reid, A. Thomson, J. Carroll, N. Y. A. Wales, E. B. Cargill, General Pulton, and Captain V cal. The bank-book laid on the table showed a debit balance of L 3,237 2s 9J, MR westoarth's book. The Chairman said: Our secretary received by the Melbourne mail on Tuesday this book (' Half a Century of Australasian Progress ’), presented to the Board by the author—the well-known and held-in-high-repute Mr William Westgartb, an old colonist, but for many years past sharebroker and financier of London. Members will remember his paying us a flying visit last year at the time of the Melbourne Exhibition. I regretted at tbe time that I was prevented by absence from home from meeting him ; however, through the kind assistance of M r Mackenzie, general manager of the Colonial Bank of New Zealand, the chairman of the Finance Committee (Mr Mackerras) and tho secretary were enabled to have an hour’s drive with him round the Board’s endowments, and to show him how our borrowed money had been spent. Tbe impression made upon hia mind he has recorded thus: “ As I was known to bo interested in the great scheme of the Otago Harbor, some of tbe directors, along with Air Mackenzie (the head of the Colonial Bank of New Zealand), did me the favor of showing me over the ground. This undertaking has involved an enormous outlay of money—far more, indeed, than was at first intended ; bat tbe advantage of proceeding further and further with the improvement has been so obvious as to have induced the Harbor Board to pursue their course, in spite of grumbling bondholders and bad times. The chief resource of the Board is an endowment of no less than 450 acres of frontage to the City, at the bead of the Otago Inlet. Nearly all of this acreage baa indeed to bo reclaimed from the sea, and as yet but seventy acres have been so dealt with. But these latter are already covered with wharfs, warehouses, and business buildings, yielding a large and increasing rental; and 1 could not but infer that, when all the remainder are in similar use, the Otago Harbor endowment, with the progress of Dunedin, may possibly become one of the richest interests of its kind in tho Empire.” Mr Gillies informs mo that he has read the book, although hurriedly, and says that it is one of the most interesting, and, at the same time, instructive, that he has read for some time, and that it will bear reading more than once; much of it, indeed, deserving very careful study—such as his remarks on colonial finance, consolidation of loans (of which he is an earnest advocate, 8 per cents, being his bobby), federation, Protection and Freetrade, and other subjects not only of interest to the colonies but to that of the whole British Empire. Members had better agree to a rota, and tbe secretary will see that it is kept circulating till all have a chanco of perusing it. I have in the meantime to move that a cordial vote of thanks to Mr Westgarth be minuted, and that the secretary be instructed to convey the same to him, expressing their warm appreciation of his kindness in forwarding to them a copy of hia work. DREDGE 222. Correspondence between the Board and the Melbourne Hatbor Trust was read, tho latter intimating that an officer would be here on Tuesday to see the dredge in dock. Captain Veal would protest against the dredge leaving until she had removed a knoll opposite the Kaik, It was resolved that the dredge be at once put in commission and remove the knoll. Captain Veal said that the spit near the Heads also required some attention, but The Chairman replied that that was clearing itself. TOWAGE, The Marine Department forwarded the following circular : pointed out to this department that some difference of opinion appears to exist as to tho responsibility of a tug and the vessel towed by it, I have to draw your attention to the fact that tho question seems to be settled by the case Flying Serpent and Niobe, where it was laid down that under an ordinary contract of towage the vessel in tow has control over the tug, and is therefore liable for the wrongful acts of tbe latter, unless they are done so suddenly as to prevent the vessel in tow from controlling them. I have to suggest that you draw the attention of masters of vessels towing at your port to this case, with the view of their communicating it to masters of vessels towed by them.” Tha Sepretabv pointed out that tho principle laid down was identical with that of the Board’s regulation on the subject, which stated that the Board merely agreed to provide the motive power. FINANCE COMMITTEES REPORT, Your Committee have to report upon remits asfollows(1) MessisSmelließros’. Iptter re dues on scrap-iron fey their works at Burnside : Resolved to recommend that in the meantime import scrap-iron be exempted from harbor dues ; the importers to advise the Board of each shipment before arrival, otherwise dues will nave to be paid. (2) Purchase of s s. Balclutha : Mr Moss’s letter referred to the Board. (3) Conditions of sale of lease of land at foot of Frederick street have been sealed and signed.’' Mr Rjsid explained that he was in error in saying at a previous meeting that Smellie’s ironworks at Burnside were at a Standstill for want of scrap-iron. The works were still going on. THE ENTRANCE TO THE HARBOR. M r Carroll said that Mr A. Thomson had been having a conversation with Mr Stevens, who said that all that was necessary to be done at the end of tho spit could be performed by the dredge in a week, It would be a mistake to allow the dredge to go away without doing this wqrk ; and besides, there had lately been some friction with the Underwriters' Association, which the improving of the entrance would go far to obviate. He moved that the dredge do the necessary work before leaving. Mr A. Thomson seconded the motion, and in doing so said that & letter bad been received from the master of the Doric in which he said there was sqme risk in taking his vessel in and out. The Chairman denied that such a letter had been received.
Mr Cargill suggested that the harbormaster should be asked about the matter. Captain Maceablane being called in said that the work in question would take some months to do, and it would be no use putting the dredge there for a week. He did not think the spit was growing fast now. Mr Wales said that there was a channel deep enough 500 ft in width, and on the whole our harbor was not more difficult to navigate than Lyttelton and other harbors that the big steamers frequent. He admitted that there was need for care, but with care these steamers could keep clear of the points, and to put the dredge on the spit at the present time would be to interfere with the course of events that were taking place. What he meant was that the mole was having an effect upon the currents, and the currents were washing aw ay the spit. The depth <?n that spit at low w.sp• was now much greater than it was some months ago. Seeing that the harbor was navigable with care, and that the mole was doing its work, would it not be bettor for the Board to allow this work to go on, and that the Board should be content with removing any obstruction in the channel, such as the knoll that had been spoken of ?
Captain Veal asseitad that the work at the spit could be done in a week. Mr Cargill agreed with Mr Wales that it would be not only foolish, but perhaps dangerous, to put the dredge to work on the spit now that the cui rents were carrying away the deposit, Mr Wardrop thought that the Underwriters’ Association were to some extent to blame for this discussion, and would suggest that the Board should take no notice of q mplaints from that quarter until ad 'dressed directly on the suojeot. Mr Carroll intimated that, being satisfied with the information received, he would withdraw bis motion. Mr A. Thomson agreed, and The discussion ended, the Board rising ajt 3.30 p.m.
HARBOR BOARD., Issue 7956, 11 July 1889
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