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THE PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT.

WELLINGTON, August 7. The Hon. Edward Mitcbdaon, Minister fur Public Works laid the following Statement on the table ot the House of Representatives this evening;— Mr Sneaker, —The proposals of tho Government in relation to public works, which I have to explain this evening, are essentially moderate merely i tfiuing tho insurer in which tho Gove inrieut proposes that the expenditure of the balance of i ho loan funds (amounting at the end of March last io L 1,445,670) should he spread over a period of about three yens. Railways in Course up Construction and pROPOSEi ’ (INCLUDING ADDITIONS TO Opened Lines).

To c -mm-ruco with the railways c Helonsvilie No/thward. The Heleusville Northwards Railway is, as hon. members are no doubt aware, already completed and open for traffic to a point in the Kmkapakapa Valley, about 8 miles from Hclenaville and 44 miles from Auckland, and it is now proposed to undertake its extension for a further dint .uco of 10 miles to Gum’s Faim (Ahuna', between -Komokotiki and tho Kaipara Flats, that being the nearest point to which it can bo profitably taken. By this extension there will bs opened up a largo area cf land at present unutilised, a considerable portibu of which is owned by the Crown { and as the laud which will be passed through by tho railway is covered to a great extent with valuable kauri and other timber, there will bo a profitable timber traffic on the new extension, and consequently a further development of the traffic on tho existing line in the immediate present, to ba followed hereafter as the land is cleared by the more permanent traffic of a settled district. To complete the work now proposed, however, including provision for existing liabilities and engagements, will cost close upon L 80.000; and as the balance of loan allocation for this railway at the end cf March last was only L56,!)2U, the Government has decided to recommend that the L 23,000 originally allocated for the double line to Penrose should be diverted to the Hclenaville lino, thus making up the funds available to L 79.929. In coming to this conclusion, the Government has been largely influenced by the fact that the L 23,000 provided for the Penrose line is only a small fraction of the amount required to complete that work, the total estimated coat of which is LIOO.OOO, aid as there seems to be no prospect of obtaining the balance allowed for years to come, it would appear to be useless to continue in as an allocation to the Penrose line. Tiio authority proposed to be asked for this year iu order to admit of contracts being let for the works which I have indicated will bo the L 79.929 already mentioned, but of this amount only LIo.OCO wjll require to bo voted for actual expenditure within the year. Beyond the point to which the railway is now proposed to bo carried—nwneiy, to Burns’s Farm—no further extension would appear to be justifiable until tho colony is in a position to continue it to Wellsford of Maungatoroto—that is, to a distance beyond Burns's Farm of about 15 or 32 miles respectively. In order to pfovide for the further extension of these very important railways in tho future, the Government propose to introduce a Bill this suasion setting apart tire proceeds of certain Kauri forests, the property of the Crown, to tho north of Auckland as an endowment for thftt purpose. Grahamatown-Te Aroha.—On the Grahams-town-Te Aroha lino the rails arc laid from Qrahamatown to Kauranga, about 5 miles, and the formation, without bridges, is completed from thence to about the 19th mile, near Ohinemuri. From that point to To Aroha, a distance of 13 miles, no work has yet been done. Tho loan allocation is short by Rome L 65,000 of the amou-1 required to complete the worn, and ns there arc no funds out of which this amount can be supplemented, and furthermore, as any further expenditure on the railway would be wasted until it can bo completed throughout, it has been decided by the Government that nothing n.ore should he done Ut present beyond tho completion of tome necessary drainage works, including the culverts Required at the Thames. The line passes through some very good land suitable for Settlement, but a largo portion of this land is still in tho hands of the Natives, and it is intended that steps should be taken to acquire for the Crown as much of it as possible. The authority propoaid to bo asked for to cover tho drainage works which I have referred to is L 4.500, and of this amount L 3,500 ■will require to be voted for actual expenditure this year. Putaruru-Rototuu —No work has been dene on this railway since the d ste of my last Statement, and it therefore remains in tire same position as there described ; that is to say, it is completed with permanent way for eight miles (to Ngatira) at the (utaruru end, and the formation without bridges for about six miles at the Rotorua end is also done, the intervening gap of 18 miles being at present untouched. As the line at present stands, therefore, the work done upon it, which has co.-t about L 70,000, cannot fceu ilised, as there is no road, and no justification for making one from Ngatira to Oh'nemutu. It is therefore propose! that it Should be cinied on for a further distance of 10 miles to the Okoribiki Saddle, from which pint to the present road from Oxford to Rotorua a road six miles in length can easily be rnad*-. This would reduce tbe coach journey to 12 miles, and it would thus _ be possible to get from Auckland to Oliincmutu, or rice versa, in one day, whereas it n >w takes two days. It is manifest that this would make an immense difference in the tourist and other traffic, and thus att-vn a better return for the expenditure already made, not alone on tho Putarnru-Rotorua Railway, but also on the railway from Auckland to Fntaruru, Tho extension to Okihiriki Waddle will also open up one of the best blocks of agricultural land in the district, the property of the Crown, containing about 43,000 acres, on which them is a large quantity of valuable timber. If this land is opened up by a railway to Auckland and by a road to Rotorua, as I have suggested, it would, without doubt, car y a large and thriving population, whoso first efforts in settlement might also be very considerably assisted by the employment which could be afforded to them during tho construction of the road and railway. It is, in fact, the only block of good agricultural land in the immediate vicinity of Rotorua, and until it is opened up in the manner suggested there is very little chance of its being settled upon. The opening up of tiffs land would also conduce vary largely to the development of the Rotorua sanatorium. In order that the railway works which I have above indicated may bo undertaken, it is proposed to ask for authority for this year for tho balance of the loan allocated of L 40,350; but tho vote required for actual expenditure within the year will be only LIO,OOO. North Island Tiunk Railway.—l now come to the most difficult case which wo have to deal with—namely, tho North Island Trunk Railway, north end. At tho North end the railway is finished to tho Upper Mokau Valley, a distance of 34 miles from Te Awamutu, and the Poro-o-Taroa section between the forty-fifth and the forty-seventh mile, including tunnel, is approaching completion. Between the Upper Mok»u Valley and Poro-o-Taroa section, 11 miles, the contract survey is completed, but no work has as yot been done. South end: At the south end no works or surveys have bei n done since the date of my last Statement, so that the line remains as there dfsribed—viz , from Marton to Rangitha, 19 miles, completed and opened for traffic; working surveys finished from thence to the end of the Patngarca section, 32 miles, and lino located from thence for 10 miles to the head of tho Hautopa Valley, which is the end of tho rough countiy; total, 61 miles. Connection with New Plymouth; During the recess, surveys hive been undertaken (under the vote for “ Surveys cf new lines of railway ”) for the purpose of ascertaining the probable cost of connecting the Few Plymouth district with the central line, and as the result •ftLl) detailed preliminary snrvtys have been made of the two alternative routes. A special report on tins subject, together with a map showing the several routes, will bo laid before you. 'J he two routes surveyed arc the Ngaire and the Waitara routes. Hie Ngaire lino leaves the t oxton-New Plymouth Railway near Eltham station, and traversing succeas'vely the Makar, Mangaohiku, Wan -auinmom, Tangarakau, Heao, a ,d Obura Valleys, and merges into the central route in the Ongaruhi Valley at a point 25 miles fr -m Upper M-kau and 160 mihs from Auckland The Waitara line follows up the coast from Waitara to Minu River, and then strikes inland up the Minu Valley and across the intervening ranges into the Tangarakau wat -rshed, where it joins the Ngaire route. The Waitara lino would be exceedingly costly—about 15 miles in the Minn and Waitara watersheds are by fat the heaviest yet surveyed in the North Island—and after leaving the coast no settlement country is opened up. For these and other reasons it is unnecessary to give further consideration to this route. Tie Ng-vre line, on the other hand, is quite feasible; 15 miles in the Tangarakau Valley are very heavy, but the whole of the remainder is moderate or easy. Tho average cost per mile for the 103 miles between Eltham and Onga übi isLB,FOO. There is no exceptionally heavy work in the shape of tunnels or viaducts, the general direction of tho lino is straight, the altitudes are low, and the gradients and curves are easy. Comparing it with tho central route, tho distances to Auckland from the principal centres in the sou Ii would be as follows: To Auckland from Napier via Palmerston, by the central route, 453 miles ; by the Taranaki route, 510 miles ; from Wellington, 433 and 480 ; from Wanganui, 830 and 336; from New Plymouth, 451 and 298, The expenditure on the North Island Trunk

Railway to elite, bkciusivo of the purchase of Native iftrids ami charges and expenses of raising loans, his been, in round numbers, at the north end L245.C00, at the south end LIC7,COO to'.al, L 412.000. The estimated cost of connecting Weldngt nr with An klaud by the several routes mentioned (exclusive, as before, of tiie purchase of Native lair's and the cosre and charges of raising loans) is, in addition to the amount already expended, as follows : For tho Koith Island Trunk Railway, L 1,673 000; for the Ngaire or Stratford route, LI.I I (i,OOO ; and fer the Waitara route, L 1,341,000. In any ease, however, the total sum at present available is only, in round numbers, 1.434,000. Independently, however, of any question as to whether either of the lines to ci.nucct Taranaki with tho Main Trunk Railway should be constructed or net, the Government is of opihion that the works along the central route should bs earned at tho south end to tho Awa na block—namely, for a distance if 12 miles beyond Huutrivide-and that at the north end the 11 ini'es to connect the Upper Mokau with the I‘oro'o-Tatoa section, together with the platelaying oVtr tho tunnel section, and the construction of a station beyond should also be undertaken, Tho estimated cost of these Works, exclusive of permanent way, sleepers, and rolling stock air, ady provided for, would be respectively Ll2o,oooand LIIOjOOO, or a total of L 230,000. But after giving the subject very full and careful con-ider.v ti'oh, the Government is clearly of opinion that before these works are undertaken a largo area of Native lands suitable for settlement should be acquired at both ends of tho line, and within easy reach of it. The proposal of tho Government, therefore, is that LIOO,OOO should he set aside out of the present North Island Trunk loan for the purchase of these lands, the piocecds of the sale of the said lands, ns well afl the proceeds of the tale of the Lid! 1 A) 0 worth of land already purchased, to be crcd.teil to the fund as they accrue, ami if this proposal is assented to by tho House steps will at once be taken to give it effect. Preliminary negotiations have in fact already been instituted with a view of attaining this end, and it is believed that very satisfactory prices can be arranged, and that by next session such progress can be made in the acquisition of tho land at both ends as would warrant the Government in asking the House to carry on the railway to the extent which I have indicated. If sufficient land is thus acquired between this and next session, the Government is of opinion that these lands should then be opened up by road, say, from Porohakaroa (tho end of the proposed extension of the railway from the south) to Kerioi, and from a point nine miles from Eltham near Stratford to Poro-o-Taroa; and also that in ordn' to give access to the large extent of Crown land in tiro interior of the country the Wanganui River should be made navigable as far as Eunearauui.

Existing Roads.—The mad works already constructed in connection with the North Island Trunk Railway are in ranch the same position as they were last year. A dray road has been partly made in the in’ar.d Pacc-a district from Upper Rangitikci, crossing to Moawhanga (16 miles) and thence to Tnrangareie (9 miles). The weekly mail coach from Napier now runs as far as Mcawhanga. There is a good riding road along tin; railway line all tho way from Huuterville to the Upper Mokau, a distance of about 170 miles, with a branch (25 miles) from Oliakune to the Wanganui River at Pipiriki. The tracks have been kept passable during the year, and improvements have been effected on the inland Patca road.

Purchase of Native Lards.—The particulars as regards the purchase of Native lands out of the loan for tho North Island Trunk Railway will bo stated in < o mection with the purchases of Native lands in the North Island generally, which I shall come to presently. The vote proposed for this year out of tho North I,land Trunk Railway loan as a whole- the vote which is now asked for in order to meet existing engagements during tin current year —is 134,201. Wooclvillc-Paimerston.—On tho Woodville Palmerston Railway considerable difficulty has been cxporicnct d iu the Manawatu Gorge in getting a sol.d foundation, the rock which at first sight appeared solid enough Laving proved when opened out to bo friable and very subject to slips. This has cauf-off not only delay in the completion of the railway, but also considerable expenditure on retaining walls and other works beyond what was originally anticipated, but the whole of tho works required for the completion of the line from Wto ville to Palmerston arc now in active progress, and tho principal contracts expire in April next, the other minor works being timed to be finished about the same date. Allowing, therefore, for unavoidable delay, we may confidently hope to see th s important link in the railway system of the colony completed and open for traffic about this time next year. The amount which will now b; required to be authorised for this railway in order to cover its total cost will bo the full balance of the loan allocation—namely, L 00,323; and of this amount L 75,000 will be required to bo voted for actual expenditure within tho current year. Wellington-Woodvlllo. The WellingtonWoodville Railway is now completed and open for traffic fr.m Wellington to hkatahuna, 88 miles, thus leaving a gap of cnly 27 mites unfinished in the whole distance Loin Wellington to Napier. If funds were available it would bo desirable that this length should be completed, and the Government is of opinion tl at it should bßundertakenwl;en forth-r funds can be provided. The present loan allocation is now practically exhausted, its amount being L 15,358 as a?aii-;t liabilities at the end of March last amounting to L 11,596; and tho difference being required for contingencies in connection with Hie works completed and in hand, including the river bank and protection works at the Awapurua bridge. For expenditure within the current year tho amount required is L 12.500, and for that amount a vote will be proposed.

Blenhcira-Awatero.—On the Blenhelm-Awa-terc Railway the formation, without bridges, is done to tho end of Dashwood section, 8 miles from Blenheim, It is now proposed to complete this distance with bridges and permanent way, ami also to form and compl te a further length of 2', mile l -, which will bring the line to a convenient stoppiur place at the south side of tho Dash wood Pass, and from that point it is proposed to construct a dray road to the Awatcre River. This is all that the brlance cf the present loan allocation admi-s of being done, hut it is anticipated that when this is done the railway from Blenheim to Uashwood, which has so long been lying idle, will bo utilised, and by this means the returns on the existing Pict-n to Blenheim section willbn considerably increased Tho present road over Taylors Pass, between Awatcre und Blenheim, is so very steep that it almost prohibits the possibility of carting at any reasonable cost, and the Government has b-on informed that wool waggons go roued the Bluff along the sea shore without any road at -ffl, rather than attempt to go over Taylors Pass roiel. This being a , there fcuns to bo vety btllo doubt that the railway through tho Dashwood Pass would b; utilised, as it could be a preached from the Awatere by a road of shoit length and with easy grades, and on (hat basis the Government decided to ask tho House to now authorise the unde taking, which 1 have deso. Hied, to tho extent of tho balance of he existing loan allocation L27.3G3, of which LIO.OOO is proposed to be voted for expenditure within the year. The sretion of railway from Blenheim to Dashwood could, it is anticipated, bo worked very cheaply in connection with the existing railway from Picton to Blenheim on which tho staff and rolling stock are not fully emp’oyed. Oroymouth-Hokit'ka, On tho GreymouthHokitika Railway durirg the past financial year tho embankment and protective works at the A rah ura River have been completed, and the Tenmakr-u Bridge has made good progress and is now nearly finished. The condition of the line at present is that at tho Hokitika end tho nilway is completed with permanent way from the Hokitika wharf to about tho fourth mile, near the Arahura River, ard between that point and the Knpitca Creek, near the tenth mile, the fa:motion is nearly done, and the Arahura River is bridged. At the Greymouth end the rails arc laid for 1A miles, and the formation, without bridges, is partly done to tho Tercmakau River, 7A miles further, and the bridge over the Teremakau is, as before stated, nearly completed. Tho Government regrets that as so large a sum of money (close upon LI00,000) has already been expended on this line it cannot be at once completed ; but in view of the fact that it would cost quite 198,000 more to complete and equip it, whereas there is only L2G,178 available under allocation, it is evidently impossible for the Government to complete the work. This being so, the question arose as to what could best he done, and after giving the matter full considciation the Government decided to ask the Midland Railway Company if they would be willing to take over this railway and complete it, and equip and work it as part r f their undertakings in tho colony. It is not probable, however, that the company woa’d enter into this undertaking without a subsidy of some kind, and the Government have determined upon not granting any further endowments cf Und to any company. If a subsidy is given, therefore, it would have to be in tho shape of the u orka already done, or some of them, and it is understood that the company is willing to entertain the project on these terms. No final arrangement can, however, be come to until the arrival in tho colony of the company’s cnginccr-in-chief, who is shortly expected from Loudon. Tho House will be asked ta authorise the balance of loan allocation—viz., the L 26.173 already alluded to—to bo utilised (in the event of tho negotiations with the Midland Railway Company falling through) firstly, for completing and equipping the railway fr- m Grej mouth to iho Teremskiu (or to thoKauier); secondly, for adapting the Arahura Bridge for combined road and railway traffic; and thirdly, tor m-ch

other works as may be fund after full inquiry to be the most advisable to construct. By this means it is hoped that some return may be obtained for tho expenditure already incurred. The Greyniouth end cf the lino, at any rate, can be worked very economically in conjunction with tho Greymouth and Brunner Railway. On tire basis of these proposals tho amount requir ed for expenditure during the current year will be LI 5.000.

Mount Sotncrs,—On tho Mount Somers Branch Railway tho extension to Springburn (4 miles), wl ioh has been for some time in hand by tho unemployed and otherwise, is now i!pproichlug completion, and as the balance of ox sffng allocati n in part 111, of the Loan Fund la insufficient to finish it, a further turn in aid to tiro ex-rent of * 1,171 has been provided from part I. The total amount now required to be authorised is therefore tho balance of allocation in part 111. -LU.IoS-aud LO7l from part I.; total, 1.6,8'6; practically tho whole of which will ha required fur expenditure within tho Current year. Livingstone Branch. —On the Livingstone Branch Railway there is a balance unexpended of allocation amounting to LI ,063, but as no further extension tf the lino is contemplated it is not proposed to ask for any vote on account of this work during tho current year. Otago Central.—On the Otago Central Railway the rails are laid from Chain Hills Junction to Barewood Creek, 2U miles. The formation, tunnels, and masonry of bridge s are completed to a point 3 miles beyond Sutton, or 36 from the Chain Hills. The bridge superstructures arc finished as far as the rails are laid, and under contract to the Sutton at 33 miles, It has hot been considered necessary to open tho line for regular traffic, but excursion trains are oooaaionally run to the Deep Stream at the 20th mile, ar.d settlers’ produce and mining plant are carried by the ballast trains The contract for the superstructure of the Barewood Bridge expires in July, 1S!K), and the fdatelaying to the Hutton must necessarily be finished at the same time. There will be no difficulty In having the formation and bridges on the Middlemarch section also finished by the same date. Tho only work therefore that will remain unfinished after the Barewood Bridge is the Middlemarch platelsj ing, and this can easily he done in three months. We may consequently look forward with confidence to having this long delayed railway completed to Middlemarch before Ohri-imiui, 18JO. For tho works already in hand or stiff to bo undertaken for the completion of the railway to MiddL march tho sum of L 61,473, being the of the existing loan allocation, will now require to bo aulholised, and of this amount LIO.OQO will bs required to bo voted for actual expenditure within the current year. It will thus be seen that it is anticipated that tho present loan allocation wi I complete the railway to Middlemarch, but with nothing to spare; and as the Government has come to the conclusion that a further extension of this railway is necessary if any return whatever is to bo obtained for the money already expended, a Bill has been prepared and laid before Parliament setting forth a proposal by which tho construction of a further distance (38 miles) cm bo attained. This will bring the railway to Ewcburn, which is in fact the first point of the line of this railway from which any considerable amount of traffic can be anticipated. If this extension is not provided for, the working of tho portion already in hand from Chain Hi'ls to Middlemarch would involve a continuous loss cf revenue in addition to Hie loss already incurred by interest on upwards of LoOO.OCO, which it wi 1 have coat when completed.

Gatlin River.—On tlio Gatlin River branch the first 7 milea from Balclutha to Romahapa lias been opened for traffic f..r a considerable lime, and the formation works aro now practically finished for 5 miles further up the nhuriri Hat. The proposal of the Government now is to complete this ii miles of formaiion with per m inent way, and to also construct and complete with pennanent way a farther distance cf 1 miicupto RFDonald’s Saddle, thus obtaining a length of 13 mile.) of railway, over which, it is anticipated, that considerable traffic will ensue. To admit of these works being undertaken, an authority for the balance of tbe loan allocation (L 261,549) will now bo asked for, bat of this amount the vote required for actual expenditure within the current year will bo only LB,OOC>. n.iversdale - Switzers.— On the BivcrsdaleSwitzers Railway no wt rk has been done since the date of my last Public Works fctatemeut. It therefoie remains in the same petition as then described, that is to say completed for a distance of 2 miles, and formed, without bridges, for a further length of 0 miles out of a total length of 14 miles from Riversdale to Switzers. The balance of the existing loan allocation for this work is L 18,615, but. the amount tequired to complete it wi 1 be Lls 000 more than that, and as the Government cannot see its way to provide this extra ami unt, it is considered that no further work should be done at present. Edendale-Foitrose Lice. —On the FdendaleFortroce Railway a length of four miles from Fdondale to Wyndliam lias been opened for traffic for several years, and a further di tar.ee of 0-J miles Lorn Wyndham to Glenhnm is now formed, and a contract has just been entered into for pUtelaying and station*. When that is done there will be a total length of 91 miles, toiminatingat the Glecham road crossing, which is a convenient point for traffic. The balance of loan allocation on 31st March Inst was L1i5,393. and of that amount L9.C00 will be required to complete the works which I have indicated, leaving a balance of L(i,393, which is not at pie sent required. The vote required for actual expenditure within the current year is L^.OOO h’eawardßush. On the Seaward Rush Branch Railway, which has been finished and opened for some time from Appleby to Oteramika, a d stsrci of 11 miles, thoie is a balance of loan allocation amounting to 1.3,961 ; but as no extension which would be of any use can ba m’.de with this, it is not proposed to ask for any appropriation on account of it during the civ rent year.

PROPOSALS FOR Till! YEAR. The expenditure on railways last year and the vote' proposed for the current year on account of railways in course of construction as a whole: With liabilities at the end of March, 1883, amounting to L2C1.577, the amount voted for expenditure during the year ending March last was L4i'6,'JOO, and of this amount L 272 077 was expended w.thin the year. As against th>.», with liabilities to the end of March last amounting to L 207,48”, we propose to ask for votes for the current year amounting to L31G.745, leaving LCGO/m? available for expenditure in succor ding years. Of these amounts 1.31,000 is for expenditure on the North Island Trunk Kailway, leaving 1j352,810 still available for the same; and 1.285,733 is for expenditure on all the other railways provided for underpays 1 and 3 of the fund, leaving L 316,717 still available for the same.

TOTAL LENGTH OF RAILWAYS CONSTRUCTED AND IN I’KOOUESS. Tho total hngth of ) ail way 6 open for traffic on the 31st March last was:—ln tho North Island, 662 milts; and in the South Island, 1,108 milestotal, 1 770 miles. There were a'so at that date 164 miles cf railway in course of construction, of which 72 were in tho North Island and 92 in the South. Tho total expenditure on lailways, including cost of provincial lines and purchase of district railways, up to Slot March last was Ll4 738,77?, ond tho liabilities cn Hie 31st March were L 207.484 — making in all LH.916,266. ADDITIONS TO OPKNF.O RAILWAYS. The amount voted for expenditure during last year was L 65.000, and of this amount L 48,440 was expend ;d. Of these sums, however, L 25,000 in cash was for the purchase of stock and permanent way for working r.fflway requirements, bo that the vote for actual works in the shape cf additions to open linos was L-10,000, and of this sum L 23,440 was expended. The diminution of this class of expenditure alluded to in former Ped-lic Works Statements, and which cannot ho otherwise than satisfactory to the House and the country, is therefore still going on—tho several expenditures for the lastfive years having b.ren (in round numbers) L 140.000, L91.0C0, L 89.000, L 38.000, an! L24,0C0. For the present year-, with liabilities at tnd of March last amounting to 1.26,027, we ask for a vote of L 30,000.

THE WORKING RAILWAYS. On the subject of the working railways it is not necessary that I should make any remarks, as a full report on tho year’s woi kings, with the usual statistical returns, has already been laid on the table of the House by the Railway Commissioners, in accordance with section 61 of Tho Government Railways Act, 1887. PUHIPUm TRAMWAY. Before (really leaving the subject of the railways, ) wish to take this opportunity of stating before tho House a matter which is of great importance to the Auckland district especially, and a'so more or less to tho whole of Now Zealand—viz , the saving and uti king of so much as can now be saved of the Fuhipuhi kauri forest, Hon. members arc aware that, moat unfortunately, alaigc part of this valuable forest has already been partially burnt, and that this do'tru-tion is still going on. Tho Government has therefore come to the conclusion, that steps should be taken to provid i access to tho f-.rcst by tramway in order that it may bo utilised, and a Bill for that purpose will he laid before Parliament for its consideration during the current session.

no a ns. I now como to the subject of roads. I should mention in the first instance that all classes of roads except roads on goldfields arc now iu the charge of the Minister of Lands; the roads on the goldfields are iu charge of the Minister of Mines. Tho length of roads and bridges constructed or improved out cf tho Public Works funds last year was ;—Dray roads: North Island. 192 miles; do Middle Island, 74 miles; total dray roads, 266 miles, _ Horse roads: North Island, 96 miles; do Middle Island, 23 milts; total h.r e reads, 219 miles. Grand

total of all classes, 335 miles. Bridges ; North Island, 0 bridges, 343 ft; Middle Island, 4 bridges, 370 ft; bridges in both islands, 13 bridges, 722 ft. The total length of roads constructed or improved in the colony generally from tlie beginning of the I’ublic Works policy up to Match 31 last, approximately, was as follows Dray road': North Island, 3,573 miles; do Middle Island, 1,287 miles ; total dray roads, 4,800 miles. Horse roads: North Island, 2,783 miles; do Middle Island, 1,320 miles; total hor.-o roads, 4,003 miles. Grand total of roads of all classes, 8,803 miles. Bridges: North Island, G39 bridges, 40,919 ft; do Middle Island, 105 bridges, 33,898 ft; total bridges in both islands, 804 bridges, 33,817 ft,

ROADS NORTH OP AUCKLAND, MAIN ROADS, MISCELLANEOUS ROADS AND BRIUQES, AND GHANTS-IN-AID EOAIB

North of Auckland.—For roads north of Auckland the loan allocation has for some time been pr-setioaby exhausted. The total balance left on 31st March, 1888, was only L 7 3!. f this amount L2G4 was expended during the last financial year, and a vote is now asked for tho remainder (L 468). Main Roads —For main roads tho amount voted last year was L 15,000, of which L 10,968 was expended. For the present year, with liabilities at the end of Maich last amounting 4 o L 7.380, we ask for a vote for L 14,000. This will leave a balance on loan allocation for this class of work of only L4,G7G. It is obvious, therefore, that if the colony is to continue to maintain these main roads the necessary funds for the future must be obtained from the C.n : solidated Fund, or some other souice. The roads which have been maintained under this heading aro main roads running through counties where the Counties Act is not in force, or otherwise iu sparsely - nhabited districts,

Miscellaneous Roads and Bridges.—For miscellaneous roads and bridges, tho amount voted last year was L34,C04, of which L 26.748 was expended. For the current year, with liabilities amounting to L 21,202, wo ask for a vote of L 27.112. This will leave a balance on lean allocation of only: L 4,651. The principal items on which expenditure will take place during the year are:—Heads at the Bay ot Plenty district, the Napior-Murimolu road (a very important line in tho arterial lines of tho country); the Kaikoura-Ciarence road; subsidy for a bridge over the Clutha at Cromwell; and the opening of tracks in Milford and other sounds, to afford visit..- an opportunity of seeing some,lung more of thi.-. m'erful country. Grants-!-.- il. including Roads Under the Roads and Bridg - (kmstiuotion Act, Subsidies to Local Bodies under the Finance and Powers Act, and Provision for Work for the Unemployed,—Under the Roads and Bridges Construction Act the progress payments claimed and paid last year in pursuance of grants cf old standing amounted to L 852, and for this year L4OO will bo required for a similar purpose. Under the Local Bodies Finance and Powers Act tho amount advanced last year out of the Public Works Fund was L 11,310. For tho present year only L 147 is required to meet a small outstanding liability, as it is nut intended to charge the Public Works Fund with any further advances under this Act.

Works for tho Unemployed.—Under the heading of "Work for tho Unomployul ” tho amount expended last year was L 34.631, mainly on road construction. For the current year, with liabilities amounting to L2,52>, we ask for a vote for 18,000, to bo devoted as far as possible to forming country roads, tbe work to be done by small contracts. Tho balance of lean allocation for expenditure in future years is L 2,000.

Roads to Open up Crown lands Before Sale. —For roads to open up lands for sale, the amount expended last year was L 20,053. For the present year, with liabilities amour ting to L 25.431, we ask for a vote of L 43.827. This is to cover tho existing liabilities and to undertake some new works in various parts of tho colony. The balance of loan allocation which will thus be left for expenditure in future years is L 13.731. The general results of list year’s operations, together with the proposals for tho ensuing year, will appear in the annual report on the surveys of the colony. YdUge Settlement?.—The amount voted for expend)lure last year was L 26,000, and of this sum L 10.770 was expended. For the current year wo ask for a vote of L 19.173. A detailed report on this subject will short.'}’ be laid before the House. Roads on Goldfields.— For roeds on goldfields, including subsidies to local bodies, ai.d also direct giants for the construction of roads and tracks for tho development if tho mineral rerources of the colony, tho expenditure list year was L 7,015. For the present year, with liabilities amounting to L25,1t8, wo ask for a vote of L 30.000. The amount asked for this year in excess of tho existing liabilities is for tho purpose of completing roads on which large sums have been from time to time expended, but which cannot be used until the whole distance is constructed.

Expenditure on Road) of all Classe?. —On account of roads of all classes, with liabilities at tho end of March, 1888, amounting to LU9.121 the amount voted for expenditure during tho year ended March last was L 186,504, and of this amount L 101,632 was expended within tho yaar. For tho current year, with liabilities at end of March last amounting to L 120,0"8, wo ask for a vote of L 145.127. Waterworks on Goldfields.—Under the heading of waterworks on the goldfields tho balance remaining on loan allocation is only L 929, and the works have consequently come to an end. It may, therefore, be interesting to state tho total expenditure oa this claai of works up to 81st March last, which baa been £509.990. For tho current year authority hj asked for the balance of the allocation (L 929) to cover the cost of some small additions to existing water races, which, it is anticipated, will increase the sale of water.

• PURCHASE OF NATIVE LANDS. North Island generally.—Under the heading of purchase of Native lands in the North Island generally, as d stinct from purchase out of tho loan for tho North Island Trunk Railway, tho expenditure duriig the year ending the 3lst March last was 15,089, and too area finally acquired during the same period was 37,000 acres. Negotiation? for further blocks of lands have been pushed forward during the year, and within a few months an additional area of considerable extent will be in the hands of the Government. The efforts of the department during the last year have been principally in the direction of complctirg old negotiations and acquiring land for old advances. There is still much important and difficult work to be done in this direction Tho balance of loan allocation in part 1 of the Public Wcrks Fund available for those purchases is only L 9,393 j but a sum of L 30,255 is sti 1 duo to tho general Land Purchase Fund from the fund for the purchase of land along tho North Island Trunk Railway, on account of purchases made out of the general fund within the railway area. And, assuming that arrangements will be made for further sums to be available for land purchase along the North Island Trunk Railway, and that Ibis amount of L 20,285 will consequently c.moin f< r credit, there will bo available for general land purchases the sum of L 29,681. Along the North Island Main Trunk Railway. Coming now to tho land purchased out of tho allocation of LIOO.OOO under tho North Island Trunk Railway loan, the amount expended last year was L 3,953, ard tho area finally acquired during the same period was 29,900 acre?. Tho total expenditure to tho 31st March Let was LP8.491, thus leaving a balance available for fnvbcr purchases of only L1 ; 509. Rut, as already slated (under the heading of the North leland T.unk Railway), the Government now propoto to ask tho House to authorise a further allocation of LIOO,OOO or of part <f the Public Works Fund for these land purchases, and if this is granted the amount available will thus ho L101.5C9. Out of this amount there would then bo recouped to tho General Land Purchase Fund tho sum of L 20.035 expended out of that fund on lands along tho trunk line of the railway acquired before tho passing of tho North Island Main Trunk Railway Loan Application Act, 1886, but which arc still in the hands of the Government and available to be dealt with under the provisions of that Act. If these proposals are assented to, vigorous efforts w ill be made to acquire land along the lino of the railway at both ends, but to avoid unprofitable expenditure no payment will be made on land until tho title is ascertained, in accordance with section 4 of tho Native Land Court Act, 1886. The total expenditure on land along the North Island Trunk Railway to the Slat March last has therefore been L 118.776. ( { this amount L 87.499 has been paid for 030,283 acres, of which the purchases are complete, and L 31,277 has been paid on account of further areas of which the purchases are as yet incomplete.

IMMIGRATION. Immigration is now discontinued except to a very limited extent in favor of separated families. It is in fact restricted to cases wher the father of tho family has his wife and children in the United Kingdom. Owing to intimation through the Agent-General in May last that all nominations would lapse unless taken advantage of within tlire© months, a large number of applications for refunds of deposits were received. This has greatly reduced tho liability of tho depar ment in respect to outstanding nominations. The liabilities and commitments, both in London and in tho colony, at this date amount to L2,t30. This includes cost of passages for 58J adults whose nominations still hold good, and for the passages of whom the Government is liable should application be made under the nominations. It is proposed to take a further vote of LI.OOO for tho passages of separated families. Nominations in favor of ten separated families have been accepted on which the sum of LBOO was deposited in tho colony. Since the date of my last Statement (August 18, 1888) 250 persons have arrived uuder the ordinary regulations, and fourteen perrons under the regulations for the introduo

tion of small farmers, which are not now in force. This makes a total of 204 persons who have arrived in the colony during the year. There is one family of four persons now afloat. Details of nationalities and classes of immigrants introduced up to 30ch April last will be f.,und as usual in Parliamentary Paper D 3, 1889.

TELEGRAPH EXTENSION. In the extension of the telegraph system of the colony a sum of L 12,047 was expended during the last financial year, and it is estimated that a sum of Ll2 700 will be required to carry out the proposals for the present year. The expenditure of last year included a sum of L 6,293 on account of the telephone exchanges of the colony, bringing the total capital coat of these exchanges, including the stock of material in hand for them, to L 59.581 on the 31st March, 18 9. The work of last year, like that of the year preceding it, consisted principally of the extension of telegraph, communication to several small villages by means of telephones. Of the lines erected for this purpose, the most important were to Middleraaroh, Pigeon Bay, Mara* den Point, Norsewood, Wauau Valley, Inan* gahuft Junction, and to Halcam and Pukekaroa, and the completion of the line to Kaipara Heads. The only line erected for connection by means of the ordinary telegraph instruments was to Mahikapawa for the convenience of the population on the goldfields there. The Estimates for tho present year provide for the extension of communication from Tologa Bay to Awanui, from Mongouui to Kaitaia, from Mangamahoe to Ekatahuna, from Pembroke to Gardrona, from i ivorsdile to Balfour, from Te Awamutu to Otorohanga, and from Mon insvillo to Oxford.

PUBLIC BUILDINGS. In connection with public buildings, the following are tho principal works which have b:en done during the year out of Loan Fund The new prison at Mount Eden and tho new departmental buildings, Auckland, have been well advanced, and tho Whau Lunatic Asylum additions have been completed; the new prison works at Mount Cook have made good progress, and a now post office is in course of erection at Palmerston North ; the restoration and extension of Eunnysido Asylum, partly destroyed by fire, is being proceeded with, Minor buildings, votes for which were taken last year, have been erected, or arc in progress, in various parts of tho colony. There was voted last yea: out of loan L 62.244 for public buildings, of which 1.31,502 was expended. The liabilities at the 3Lst March, 1889, amounted to L 23,454, and to cover these, and to provide for further works during the present yeir, a vote of 148,051 will be proposed. This will leave a balance of loan allocation of L 37.170 for expenditure in succeeding years, while that balance will continue to be devoted to the erection and extension of the more important and necessary public buildings until it is exhausted. It is intended thereafter to pursue tho policy indicated in my Statement of last year, that the whole cost of public buildings, inclusive of school buildings, shall be borne oa the Consolidated Fund. Out of tho Consolidated Fund the restoration of the General Best Office (injured by fire) has been completed ; and the Admiralty House, Auckland (also inju: ed by fire), has been restored. The Departmental Buildings, Parliament Buildings, and Government Houses at Wellington and Auckland have been painted, and tho mainter anco of all public buildings upheld throughout the colony. There was voted last year out of the Consolidated Fund L 45.151 for public buildings and domains, and L3l,ooofor school buildings, or a total of 176,151. On these votes the expenditure was respectively L 29.340 and L23.81C; total, 1x53,156. The liablitics at fhe 31st March, 1889, were; On public buildings and domains 1x10,452, and on school buildings LIOO, amounting to a total of 1.10,552; and to cover these and provide for the usual maintenance, and also to provide L 25,000 for further school buildings, a vote of L 56.273 has been taken on the Consolidated Fu id.

LIGHTHOUSES. I now come to the subject of lighthouses, and it is to be regretted that the funds at the disposal of the Government for this class of work are so limited, as there are several points on the coast of this colony whore, if funds were available, it would be very desirable to erect lighthouse.’. Amongst these I may mention Stephen Island, Capo Palliser, Cape Kidnappers, and the East Cape. At Stephen Island a light would be very useful to all vessels navigating Cook Strait, and especially so to vessels from oversea when not able to make the land nor sec Farewell light. Cape Palliser is a turning point, and a light would also bo of great value to vessels bound from Mouth Bland ports to tho cast coast of the North Island. On Cape Kidnappers a light would bo of great nte to oceangoing vessels bound to Kapler, either from North or South, and would also bo of same service to the ordinary coasting ships. It has been suggested that the light now on Napier Bluff might po-sibly with advantage be removed to th s paint. Fast Cape is one of those prominent points where vessels have to materially alter their course, and a light there would consequently be of considerable benefit. Early in August last year a working party was sent to Cuvier Island, and tho erection of lighthouse and other buildings is so far advanced that it is anticipated tho light will shortly bo ready for exhibition. The lighthouse is a cast-iron structure, which was manufactured in Auckland, On lighthouses last year tho amount expended was L 2,604, and for the current year the amount asked for is L 2,930. This exhausts the loan allocation,

HABBOK WORKS. On accouflt of harbor works no provision was made under loan funds last year, nor is it intended to make any this year, tho allocation for that class of works being exhausted since April, 1883. However, the Public Works Department has had charge of tho construction of harbor works at Westport and Greymouth, which have been earned on rapidly in accordance with Sir J. Goode’s design*, by funds created under the Special Acts of 1884.

HARBOR DEFENCES, During the past year the defence woiks have been carried on by convict labor, barracks originally erected at tho principal ports having been converted into secure temporary prisons. The prisoners are thus, with advantage both to themselves and their work, kept confined on the fortifications on which they are emp'oyed. Considerable progress has been made on tho established lines of tho scheme of defence. Tho amount voted last year was L 56,541, and of this amount 150,000 was expended, chiefly on material of war from England (fulfilling contracts entered into by the previous Government). This leaves an unexpended balance on loan allocation cf 10,452. Tho total expenditure on works themselves was L 15,010, of which amount L 2,210 represents payments on account of uns; ttled claims for land taken for batteries in 1885. Tho experdlture on mateiid was therefore 135,930; upon works, L 12.770; and upon land L 2,240; making in all a total of L 50,090 as above. Large contracts for material have now been fulfilled, and the remaining orders are not for la r ge amounts. The liabilities at tho Slab March last were L 3,715 on Png-li-h material and L 2.400 on works (L6OO of the latter item representing a still unsettled land claim), or a total of L 6,116. These liabilities, with contingencies, will absorb the unspent balance of the L 6,452 above arrived at The Government have again to express their sense of the valuable advice which has continued to be readily and freely given by General irchaw on quest'ons connected with there works and the scheme of defence generally. Tho Total Expenditure on Harbor Defences Generally.—The total expenditure on harbor defences up to the 3!st March, 1889, has been, in round numbers, L 442,000, of which L233,0i,0 rep csents cost of material of war obtained from England, and L 209,000 cost of works In tho colony. Of this latter sum about L 32.000 has been paid for land, and tho balance (L 177,000) represents the cost of forts, batteries, submarine defences, steam launches, sp.oral reports, supervision, and all charges.

HATES ON NATIVE LANDS For rates on Native lands there is a balance duo to the extent of about LI,OOO in respect to the year ending Slat March, 1888, and the estimated amount required for rates daring the year ending 31st March, 1889 (but not yet paid), is LIO,OOO. and for the yrars ending the 31st March, 1890, a further Llo,ooo—making in all L 21,000, As the rates, however, do not usually become payable until the year following that on wh'ch they are assessed, it is only proposed to ask this year for a vote of L 8,595, being the LII,OOO Lr the year ending the 31st March, 1888 and 1889, less recoveries to 81st March, 1889, amounting to L 2,405, The LlO 000 in respect to the year ending 31st March, 1899, less such recoveries as may fall due in the meantime, will be asked tor next year. The total amount paid out of the Public Works Fund in respect to these rates up to 31st March, 1889, was L-13,609, out of which, I have just s'ated, L 2,405 has already been recovered, leaving L 41,204 still to be recovered; and assuming that estimate of amount still to bo paid—viz , L 18.595 - is correct, the amount to be ultimately recovered will be L 89.799. After payment of rates in respect to the year ending 31st March last, no (ntiVio* snitia be payable on this ac» count, the Act having been repealed.

THERMAL SPRINGS. Coming now to tho subject of thermal springs, I find that tho only one of these with which it is necessary for me to deal, as it is the only ono on which any public works expenditure has recently been going on, is that at .Rotorua. But full information as regards tho other thermal springs, with which the Government is more or less connected, will be found in tho report of the Crown Lands Department already laid on the table of tho House. At Rotorua the extensive alterations and improvements undertaken in connection with bathing accommodation ate now completed, and it is satisfactory to find that invalids from all parts of onr own and other colonies, apd even hupp©, ore attracted hy tho jjjwv'oUq'us

efficacy of these bathe. The hospital, which was burned down last year, is to be rebuilt on a more suitable and less costly plan. It is clearly recognised by the Government that it ought not to compete with local hospitals which can accommodate those who can afford to pay. It is only intended for persons from a distance who roust come to Rotorua, and can only do so if cheap hospital accommodation is provided. On thermal springs generally fhe amount expended last year was Ly36; and for this year we ask for a vote for L 2,350 f r the Rotorua Hospital, that being the estimated cost to complete it.

EXPENDITURE ON PUBLIC WORKS OP ALL CLASSES. On account of public works of all classes, with liabilities at the end of March, 1888, amounting to L 471,695, the amount voted for expenditure during the year ended March last was L 895.807, and of this amount L633,3G5 has been expended. Of the amount thus expended, L 104.911 waj for costs, charges, and discounts contingent on raising loans, leaving L 528.454 as representing tho expenditure on other works and services. Apportioning this total to several parts of the Public Works Fund, it shows: Tart I.: Liabilities at beginning of year, L 205,323; voted for expenditure, L 404,555; actually expended, L260.01G, Part II.: Liabilities at beginning of year, L 75.904; voted for Expenditure, L 185.711; actually expended, L 86,183. Part HI.: Liabilities at the beginning of the year, L 190,468; voted for expenditure, L 355,541; actually expended, L278.1C6. As compared with the total expenditure of last year, it may be interesting to mention tho totals for a few years previous, which are in round numbers (exclusive of the purchase of district railways)

it bug works fund. The funds available for public works are as follows : Part 1., comprising immigration, some small items of railway roads of all classes (except roads along the North Island Trunk Railway), waterworks on goldfields, purchase of Native lands, North Island (except lands along the North Island Trunk Hallway), telegraph extension, public buildings, lighthouses, harbor works and harbor defences, rates on Native lands and thermal springs. In Part I. of fund we had at 31st March last the sum of L 303.801, and to tnis is to be added L 87.974 to which this fund is entitled under section 3 of Government Loans to Local Bodies Act, making in all L 891.775 As against this, the amount proposed to be expended during the present year (including L 165.273 liabilities at the end of March last) is L 252.545, which will leave L 139,230 available for appropriation in succeeding years. A further sura amounting to about L59,g00 will, however, probably come to tho credit of this fund iu the shape of recoveries under the Native Land Rating Act. Part 2, for the North Island Trunk Railway, including road works and Native land purchases in connection therewith.—ln part 2of the fund we have at March 31 a sum of L 433.817, and os against this, with labilities at the end of Match amounting to L 28,972, we shall have to expend during the present year, in order to meet existing engagements, a sum of L 34,201, leaving L 401,161 for appropriation in succeeding years. Part 3, for railwoy works generally (with the exception of the North Island Trunk Railway and small items of railway included under part I),—ln part 3of the fund we had at March 3L tho sum of L 618,078, and as against this, with liabilities at tbe end of March amounting to L 174,394, we propose to expend during the present year the sum of L 287,415, leaving L330,66S for appropriation in succeeding years.

THB PUBLIC WOBKB FUND AS A WHOLE. Taking the Public Works Fund as a whole, therefore, we had available at 3Lt March last the sum of L 1,445,670, and as against this, with liabilities at tho end of March amounting in all to L368.C39, wo propose to expend during the present year the sum 0fL574,161, leaving 1,871,503 available for appropriation in succeeding years. As explained in my last Public Works Statement, however, it is scarcely probable that the various amounts which I have just alluded to as proposed to bo expended will all come to charge within the current year. So that tho actual expenditure which will bo brought to bock will not probably excei d L 445,060, thus leaving about L 1,000,000 for expenditure in succeeding years. Tables A, B, C, and L|: The oondition of the various funds iu relation to several works, and the services provided for, will be found in detail in tables A, JB, and 0, which will he attached to this Statement. From table A of these it Jwill be sech that some readjustments are proposed in the allocations recommended last session for various classes of works under part 1 of the fund, but none of them call for any special note, as they consist merely in carrying a small portion of tho amounts previously unallotted to tho credit of some of the items Where funds were insufficient to fulfil engagements. Table D shows the total expenditure on all classes of works fur several years back. CONCLUSION'. In conclusion,' sir, I would wish to take this opportunity of congratulating the House and tho country oh the improved prospects t f tho c lony since the date of my Public Works Statement of last year, and to express a hope and belief that if the proposals which I have now made are given effect to they will further develop our resources, and enable us to take further advantage of the rite in prices which our produce has recently commanded. The usual reports by the several permanent officers of tho department will bo attached to this Statement, also the usual tables showing tho condition of loan allocations.

For 1883-81 .. £1,400,000 For 1884-85 .. 1,336,000 For 1885-88 .. 1,287,000 For 1830-87 .. 1,167,000 .. 000,000 For 1887-88 For 1883-89 ,. 033,030

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THE PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT., Issue 7980, 8 August 1889

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THE PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT. Issue 7980, 8 August 1889

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