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Sir,—ln your issue of the 29th May, 1889, there appeared the following in your London correspondent's letter :

The strong steps taken by the directorate hero of the blue Spur Company have resulted (as was surmised would be the case) in rousing Sir Robert Stout to the exigencies of the situation. Ho seems to have bestirred himself to some purpose, for in the course of a few days he cabled that the Colonial Bank would take over the Blue Spur mortgages on certain reasonable terms. I need not particularise. The directors agreed to the proposal, providing the bank would as well temporarily find LSOO for the purpose of paying salaries, etc. This was imperative, as the chairman, who has been paying all current expense* since November out of his own pockets, buttoned them up at the commencement of the present month. The next step, I imagine, will be the dissolution of the Now Zealand Hoard and the removal of Mr J. C Brown, whom the London directors cannot unfoitunately agree with Sir R. Stout in considering '"straight as a die." What the shareholders will say at the fast approaohing general meeting, when the chairman explains that no accounts whatever are foithcoming, remains to be seen. Sir R. Stout has vouched so constantly and emphatically for the integrity and business aptitude of " Little Brown " that ho will, I fear, find it difficult to disassociate himself from that gentleman's mistake*, to put it mildly. From the first Sir Robert's conclusive answer to Sir W. Buller's lengthy epistles, full of qualms and queries, was: " Don't fash ycrsel'; the mine's all right. Little Brown is as ' straight as a die.'" The statements attributed to me were entirely fictitious. As your correspondent was in London, I thought it better to send the extract to Sir W. L. Buller, the chairman of the Blue Spur and Gabriels Gully Consolidated Gold Company, Limited, so that he might see the correspondent and ascertain how he came to pen such untrue statements. I have received a reply from Sir W. L. Buller, dated the 25th July, 1889, and he says :

Although you have iorwarded three newspaper cuttings, you take serious objection only to the extract in the article in the Evening Stab of tha 29th May. Tms article attributes language

to you in a supposed communication to myself which is fictitious, The only information on the subject at the disposal of the correspondent was the statement in one of your letters, read at the general meeting of shareholders, in which you explained that Mr JJrown had been the victim of much misrepresentation owing to political fevling in the district. This letter, whioh had thus become, as it were, public property, waa not published in cxtenno in the newspapers at the time; but its substance was given, and the correspondent, relying on his memory for that, may have given in the letter gent to the colony a somewhat exaggerated version of what you had said. But as the Star article puts words into your mouth which were never used, I sent for Mr Rathbone this morning and »sked him for an explanation. His answer was a very simple one. He denied having imputed those words to y.-.u, and authorised me to say so. He states that correspon-1 denes of this kind often gets "doctored" at the other end, presumably to make it more spicy reading Vou rray perhaps remember that exactly the same thing happened in the case of a Press telegram despjtshed from Loudon to Australia just at the time of your getting office, which formed the subject of correspondence between the Colonial Government and Sir F. D. Bell in regard to alleged statements by yourself. Whoever madethealteratiou, Mr Rathboneab olutely denies having wiitteu the words to which you take exception. He says that he gave as correctly as he could the substance of your communication, and that be is in no way responsible for the manner in which thi3 has been formulated in tho Evening Btau.

I may add that the only occasion in which I had to speak of Mr Brown was when he was accused of trying to prevent the completion of the purchase of the property. This was entirely untrue, and in defence of Mr Brown I wrote as follows :

Mr Brown has done all in bin power, amidst greit difficulty, to bring the matter to a succesaful issue, and I have never known him either impleading or misinforming me. On the contrary, he has been open ai.d KttJiisktforward.

This was on the '2lst March, 18SS, and I can only repeat that in all the negotiations and business I never found Mr Brown acting in any way save as I stated in my letter.

I may further state that I had nothing to do with the floating of the company, and had never expressed an opinion on the Blue Spur claims before the company was floated. I know it has been stated that Igave letters to Mr Brown to help him to float the company. This also is untrue. All that Mr Brown got from me was the usual formal letter to the Agent-General, which every M.H.R. obtains on visiting London from the Premier. After this episode I think your readers will be inclined to take special correspondents' letters with many grains of salt.-—lam, etc., Robert Stout.

Dunedin, September 25. [Unfortunately the MSS. of the letter taken exception to has not been preserved, but we are confident that it was not altered by us, as suggested. We shall refer Sir Robert's letter to our London correspondent for his explanation.—Ed. E.S.]

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