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Sir.. —My attention has been drawn to a letter signed by a Working Ratepayer ’ in your issue of November 28, in which Air C. ‘E. S tat ham Is accused of not doing his duty to his constituents in the Green Islam] portion of hie electorate. The statements of this correspondent are contrary to fact. As a matter of British fair play, irrespective of any political interest, I consider it my duty to reply, in justice to Mr Statham; and I am cure that Mr Munro (his opponent) will fully endorse this view. Your correspondent states that Mr Staiham assisted bv voting for tho proposal, and that ho also took active measures to promote the same. The question of the use of the tunnel never came before the House fox a vote to be taken. Being a departmental matter, the General Manager of Railways (Mr Hilev) was tho responsible officer in whoso hands the granting c£ otherwise of tho application was loft for decision. Correspondence in the board’s office between the board and the Minister of Railways and Mr Hiley can confirm this statement. As to the statement that Mr Statham used his influence on behalf of tho drainage being taken through the tunnel, this is also contrary to fact. Mr Statham was never approached bv the board nor acted in the matter. The actual facts are briefly as follows, without going into the merits or demerits of the scheme : —'The board s works were almost at a standstill for want of an outlet, which meant the further unemployment of close on 200 men. At an urgent meeting of tho board it was decided that I. as chairman, should proceed at once to Wellington, interview the Minister, and request an immediate decision, even for the ;uee ot the tunnel as a temporary outlet lor tho Kaikorai. As the City Corporation were interested, at the eleventh hour I requested Mr Small, who is also chairman oi the Citv Council’s Works Committee, to accompany me. Wo arrived at Wellington and appeared at the House at the earliest opportunity. We were informed by tne usher that rM Herrios, tho Minister of Railways, was laid up, but we could see his secretary. We did not consider this would bo satisfactory, so wo asked for an interview with Messrs Thomson and Sidev. Neither of these gentlemen being available at the time, we asked for Mr Glover, who duly received ns. Mr Gl nvcr suggested that it would be better for Mr btatham, who just then entered the House, to attend to ns. We therefore informed Mr Statham that we had come up to interview the Minister of Railways, but as ho was laid up we asked Mr Statham it ho could arrange an interview with tho General Manager of Railways for us. This Mr Statham immediately did by telephone, and as the General Manager had several other engagements we were required to go at once. , Mr Statham introduced Mr Small ana myself, and we placed the position before Mr Hiley. The whole interview occupied about 15 minutes, including the signature granting our request, and, under the circumstances, as it was looked upon as a temporary measure to relieve the existing situation and assist in providing immediate w-ork for a great number, Mr Statham endorsed our action. As to the other matters complained ot, I know nothing about them, hut this I. do know* that, irrespective of party politics, Green Island or, in fact, any other electorate will search a long time before finding a more courteous and obliging representative than Mr Statham in .assisting any just request. Why, sir, I myself have advocated to the utmost the Kaikorai-Green Island scheme; why not condemn me for what has been done ? On onr return to Dunedin we reported the result of our satisfactory interview, and the board concurred in our suggestion that Mr Statham bo thanked for arranging our interview with Mr Hiley.—l am, etc., James S. Douglas, Chairman Dunedin Drainage and Sewerage Board. December 3.

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GREEN ISLAND DRAINAGE., Issue 15666, 3 December 1914

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GREEN ISLAND DRAINAGE. Issue 15666, 3 December 1914

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