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Evening Star, Issue 7961, 17 July 1889
Our “ special ” at Wellington sounds a note of warning. There is a wonderItrenkm ful amount of lobbying against Ahead, the Otago Central Railway Bill going on just now, and its enemies are mischievously active. It would seem as if Auckland’s discontent at the supineness of the Government in regard to the North of Auckland line had extended to the Wellington and East Coast phalanxes, who have made common cause, and openly threaten to kill the Bill unless some of the loaves and fishes come their way. From what is going on it is quite apparent that provincial jealousies have been successfully worked on by the opponents of the Bill, which, in consequence, now stands in dread peril. Unless the representatives of Otago stand shoulder to shoulder, and are backed up by the public opinion of the provincial district, strongly expressed, there is every probability of the measure being stuck up. Sir Harry Atkinson has, so far, loyally kept his promises of last year, but we think that the people have a right to expect a little more from him. Mr Fyke’s Bill of last session received the large measure of support accorded to it solely because many people thoroughly conversant with the working of tho political ropes doubted Ministers’ ability to commit the Colony to the prosecution of tho work with reasonable despatch ; they therefore reluctantly accepted Mr Fyke’s measure as a demur ressori, and as affording the most feasible solution of tho difficulty. It now looks as if the anticipations of these persons are likely to be realised, unless the Premier puts his foot down, and declares, as we contend ho should do in order to carry out his understanding with the people of Otago, that the passage of the Bill is a Ministerial question, the honor of his Government being at stake. The Northern men are disposed to make a stalking-horse of the preponderenco of Otago influence in tho Cabinet. That is the veriest bunkum, because notoriously one Minister has all along lobbied against the line, while the sympathies of another have been withheld from it because he disapproves of tho route that has been adopted. In the interests of the settlors of Central Otago, who have been played with much too long, we declare that tho line must be carried with all possible speed to a serviceable point. The Eweburn has been selected by the Government, after a personal inspection of the route; and if anything short of that happens there will, we venture to prophesy, bo a heavy reckoning when tho time comes with those who will be held responsible for the latest failure to connect the interior with the seaboard, and give our inland settlers tho market for their products they have waited for so long and so patiently.
Evening Star, Issue 7961, 17 July 1889
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