Tho following rosy and gilt-edged descripJJ tion of the country the New Zealand Midland Company’s railway is supposed to pass through is from the imaginative brain of the editor of the ‘ Weekly Bulletin,’ a London financial journal: The New Zealand Midland Railway is in a position exceptionally advantageous indeed so much so as to be almost unprecedented in the history of railway enterprise. One extremity taps a country with a splendid harbor (Lyttelton), where corn and meat and all provisions are very cheap, possessing no mineral wealth, very inferior coal, no
marketable timber, but where manufactures and industries are rapidly developing, and require only cheaper fuel to take still greater strides. Within fifty miles of this rich agricultural and manufacturing country the line enters one abounding in coal, in gold, and in timber ; where provisions are dear, and manufactured articles still dearer ; where labor is in great demand, and where large pecuniary rewards have been reaped by the few enterprising settlers. For half its length the Midland Railway runs through a country of which the resources have us yet been barely scratched a country which possesses in amazing abundance not only gold, but the chief products which go to form the permanent wealth of population—coal of a quality higher than in any other portion of tho Southern Hemisphere, timber within five days’ sail of the huge treeless plains of the Australian continent and of the Island of Tasmania, where a large, wealthy, and increasing population are compelled to draw their supplies from distant Norway and the Baltic. And, finally, at its northern extremity, the line enters the garden of New Zealand—a district of fruit and flowers, where labor is comparatively cheap, and to which the climate and the beauty of the country attract the permanent resident who seeks quietude and pleasant surroundings. Add to all these advantages the development of grazing and dairy farms in the rich valleys of the Grey, the'lnangahua, and the Buller, and the attractions of good inns in splendid alpine scenery, such as the Bealey, or on lovely wooded lakes like the Brunner, the entire absence of any drawbacks in the shape of insects or unruly Natives, and the probability of the discovery of tin, iron ore, and silver in paying quantities; and it must be admitted that, even were there no land grant, the prospects of the railway for its shareholders are at least as favorable as that of any line ever projected. But the land grant, on the other hand, will enable the shareholders to construct their line for less than half its real value. After making every allowance for inferior lands, for delays in selling, for deferred payments, and for interest during construction, it is still impossible to place on the Government grant a lower present value than L 1,700,000, even at leas than half the rate realised by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company. In other words, if the Midland Railway, notwithstanding all the advantages mentioned, and the economic and judicious management of a private company, were unable to earn more on capital required for its construction than 3 per cent., that 3 per cent, would give the shareholders 7$ per cent, on their money, because three-fifths of the capital will have come back by sales of laud.
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Slightly Exaggerated., Evening Star, Issue 7986, 15 August 1889
Slightly Exaggerated. Evening Star, Issue 7986, 15 August 1889
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