. [jBEPi/x.] Linwood, March 30, 1860. MY Dear Sir,— I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Requisition you have forwarded me, together with your kind and complimentary note accompanying it, for which I thank you. I regret that as matters now stand, I cannot accede to your Requisition. As this decision is at variance with what I stated to you before your Kequisition was prepared, I feel it to be my duty, for the information or all who have signed it, as well as for my own justification, to state the reasons which now influence me. I I have already given those reasons at a public meeting, but, as the constituency I am asked to represent, extends from the Hurunui to the Waitangi, excluding only the towns of Lyttelton and Christchurch, and as a large proportion of that constituency was not present—indeed, could not have known that the meeting was convened—you' will, I am sure, bear.with me,.while for their information, I briefly repeat them, i At the time you first spoke to me on the subject' of the Requisition, and even for some time since most of the signatures were affixed to it, it was not contemplated that the projected Railway would : have to be determined by the General Assembly. It therefore was not necessary fur the Requisi-; tionists to know, nor for me to declare, my views ; concerning it. It appears now, however, that the Railway is to [ be accomplished through the legislature "of the; General Assembly. Iwwil t not stay to discuss the; important questions, which, apart from the merits; of the Railway, are involved in such a proceeding. I will simply observe, that, so soon as I discovered i the position in which as a Member of the House of • Representatives I should stand in relation to this <, question, I reflected anxiously on the course 51 ■ ought to pursue; and the result is, that I cannot; conscientiously, and therefore, will not, support the project. ■■■■■■;' Now, as it is impossible to deny that in the towns of Lyttelton and Christchurch the scheme is received with great favor, and, as it is possible,(though I do not believe such to be the fact) that; the same feeling may prevail in other parts of the province, I feel I should not be dealing fairly with: the constituency, if I took advantage of a Requisi-; tion signed under circumstances so differing from those at ; present existing. ! If the Railway scheme is an acceptable one to the majority of the Christchurch Country constituency, it is clear I should not be their fitting representative. If, on the other hand, it is not, then it is proper (and especially so after the meeting of Tues-i day last) that such a declaration should be made. Under either point of view it is clear to me, and I hope it will appear so to yourself and the other gentlemen signing the requisition, that it ought; not to be acted on. ' I will now add a few words in justification of the views I entertain on the Railway scheme. From the first, it appeared to me to be a rash and impolitic proposition. Nevertheless, I waited, in common with many 6thers> to see the proofs which would be advanced of its expediency. Up to last Tuesday evening, however, no authentic statement of facts referring to the financial bearings of the project, had been made public—unless the Superintendent's* letter to Mr. Selfe is to be regarded as an official; statement. Of the value of that document, however, an opinion may be formed, when it is stated that the traffic between Lyttelton and Christchurch, which Mr. Baynes has put down at 30,000 tons annually, is represented by his his Honor as likely to be 190,000 tons. But, on Tuesday, Mr. Baynes, who represents the commercial firm desirous of undertaking the contract, laid his statement of facts and figures before the public. The doubts I had previously entertained of the policy of the undertaking were then fully confirmed. Indeed, I cannot conceive a statemerit more condemnatory of the project than that which Mr. Baynes produced. He then stated the maximum of tonnage (30,000 tons annually) that could be calculated on in six years hence, and the minimum of freight (15s. aton) at which the Railway could pay interest on the money spent and working expenses. His estimate of quantity may be admitted. But it is going a great length to assume that every lon of goods will pass by the Railway; and especially, that for such produce, as wool, timber, and corn, there will be no river traffic. Yet, by every ton, which arrives by, or departs from either of the rivers, his estimate of traffic will be damaged. But, Mr. Baynes's charge for freight is so extravagant as not to be for one moment entertained. It admits of proof which cannot be shaken, that so soon as the traffic between the two towns becomes sufficient to fill the steamers already placed on the rivers, (and if there is not trade enough to do that, what will become of the Railway?) they will be able to work at & sufficient profit at 10s. a-ton and even less. Mr. Baynes's statement, therefore, is fatal to the, scheme as a commercial work-—the special object. I believe, of his mission to Canterbury to deter* mine. Viewed as a question of general policy, it appears^ to me that so young a settlement cannot sustain so great a loss as for many years to come such a work would entail on it without greatly interfering with its successful progress. The prosecution of other public works in various parts of the province, and the steady introduction of population must needs be seriously interrupted by it. In this view I am borne out by the opinions strongly and repeatedly expressed by Mr. Godley and other sincere friends of Canterbury in England who are thoroughly informed of our position and wants. In conclusion, I beg to assure you and all who have signed the" Requisition of the gratification it has afforded me to have received so signal a mark of confidence, and to express my regret that anything should have arisen to prevent our standing in the relationship to each other, which was at one time fully intended by us all. I am, My dear Sir,' Yours faithfully, JOSEPH BRITTAN. J. Ollivier, Esq., &c, Ac, &c. P.S.—I will send the Requisition and my Reply to the newspapers for publication as the speediest and most convenient means of putting the Requisitonists in possession of the knowledge of what has transpired. LAND TRANSPORT, &c, &c. BARRETT BROTHERS, FERRY ROAD, CHRISTCHURCH, /CONVEY Goods, Timber, &c, to and from V^ the Wharfs, Town, or Country, at the lowest possible rates. Furniture carefully removed Teams by the Day or Job Bricks and Lime, Wood and other Piles, Coals (English and Sydney) supplied A large stock of Black Pine Firewood always on hand. Terms-CASH. Madras street, Ferry road, April 3. NOTICE. THE Reliance Brewery is again prepared Jo supply Ale. TRAYERS & OLDHAM. Ferry Road, April 3,1860,
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Page 6 Advertisements Column 3, Lyttelton Times, Volume XIII, Issue 774, 7 April 1860
Page 6 Advertisements Column 3 Lyttelton Times, Volume XIII, Issue 774, 7 April 1860
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