A booklet has been issued containing correspondence between Messrs Donald Reid and Co. on one side and the Railway Department. Al inisler oj Railways, and Prime Minister on the uiner side. On October 21. 1912, Mr Macandrcw, District Engineer of Railways, wrote to .Messrs Donald Reid and Co.’ informing then> that their right to their private siding in Dunedin would expire on November 00. 1912. ami stating that the department offered a renewal for 10 years from December 1, subject to the usual regulations and conditions. at a rental of £SO per annum, and an additional rental of £SO per annum for the land occupied by the siding. In rcnlv. Messrs Reid and' Co. objected to the charge of £SO for the laud occupied by the siding, pointing out that they failed to see how the siding could be there at all without using the land. The letter also stated that when the siding was laid down there was no charge, hut a time came when £SO was demanded and paid, though it was considered exorbitant. While admitting that the siding was a convenience to them, they pointed out that it greatly faeiliated the worJf ot the department. ami they asked that the extra charge should not' be insisted on. In a letter to the department, dated February 13, 1913. they .stated that the rails on tho (lovernvnent line, street crossing, and turntables were laid down at their expense, and as they had been paying siding_ rates for some 30 years they considered it unreasonable tliat such a charge should bo so suddenly demanded. Numerous letters have passed between Dunedin and Wellington on the subject, but the department declined to recede from the position it had taken up. and intimated that when grants of private sidings are renewed in future a rental will bo charged for the land occupied bv the siding. At one, stage Messrs Donald Reid and Co. urged that if extra, charges must bo made thev should be made simultaneously at each station, so that all firms interested would lie on a. level footing, but the, proposal was not agreed to. An invitation to decide the matter in the courts was not accepted by tho department, and apparently some, months ago. when the firm refused to pay the charge for rent of land, the railway authorities closed the siding against them.
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PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED, Evening Star, Issue 15632, 24 October 1914