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FLOOD RELIEF., Marlborough Express, Volume XXXI, Issue 238, 11 October 1895
TO XHB IPITOB. " Ones more onto tbe breaoh dear friends, onoe more"— Henry VII at the battle of Aginconrt. Sir, — When a certain old gentleman drives, " needs must" is a very old and accepted doctrine, not unapplicable to the present fix, into which the River Board have tnrough utter disregard of the laws governing > the flood of torrent rivers, brought themselves. They have succeeded m banking themselves m, and now want the very considerable sum of £12,000 to make a new cut to relieve the artificial flood level consequent on their our ill-advised aotions. This, if granted, is only the beginning of a system of ruinous borrowing, as this channel cannot at the rate shingle travels be guaranteed for even the short space of two years. The present state of the river, due to their management, is unsatisfactory to a degree little imagined by those who keep within Blenheim. Acres of debrig are floating about m the back water formed by the tidal estuary and the big river, and which already impede navigation, and by checking the natural flow of the river induces deposits to silt — to the certain raising of its bed. The question of allowing a non-professional body of men whose want of ability is so marked m the past to tinker with subjects they know nothing about practically, and eventually swamp a struggling body of farmers and town property with debt, no one can predict the amount or end of, is really too serious a position to let drop when a poll is to be taken on the 15th inst., next Tuesday, and which most certainly will, if carried, toll the knell of Blenheim's welfare. Personally, I can assure my detractors that I have no axe to grind, but the experience of a life time to place gratuitously at their service on the present occasion, and bo prevent a coming misfortune to the district. In doing this 1 have, and no doubt will again, receive a very liberal amount of abuse — as personal as the most ignorant among my detractors could desire. It seems as if common sense had suddenly departed from among us. When people are ill they usually send for a doctor, instead of calling together a meeting of fellow-men who could not advise, and possibly might but hasten the end. In the River Board's oase, they formulate a scheme and then secure an obliging engineer of past railway experience to put it m pioture form, the estimate accompanying which might have been written by Micawber himself, who never troubled about the future nor cared for posterity. So maintenance, or raising the banks on adjacent land to meet the new artificial level of the overplus channel, are light as air; m fact are only m theainof futurity. Again, the' movers m this panacea of foUy are mostly men all directly u™***-**^ and with an axe to grind, when^usutafr aiginterestedness is the qualification requw, if the ratepayers had a full old sw^ing, O r a convenient amount to credit m the Bank, how much of this would they advance m furtherance of the scheme were they guaranteed oven 10 per oent interest upon it ? The answer is not far to seek — not a single bawbee ; but when the magic word, loan money, is introduced, it is quite a horse of another color. The relegating of loan matters to posterity is a very cHeerful doctrine with colonials, yet they fail to realise that they are posterity, and are now suffering protracted bad times through reckless borrowing of only a few years back. They seem, however, to think with the homoeopatho, that like cures like (siniilur similibtis curanter), and are quite ready to be homceopathically treated by Drs McArtney, Adams, Draper and Co, After they have swaUowed these gentlemens' infallible boluses, depend upon it, strong tonics will be m requisition. — I am, eto, H. B. HUDDLESTON, C.E. Blenheim, 9th, 1895. IO THK EDITOB. Sir,— l was highly amused at the tragic tone of Mr Huddlesfcon's letter, I would have thought he was too much a man of the world to be seriously put out at a little harmless raillery. Mr Huddleston m his letter of the 7th, whilst m a towering rage at the presumption of a swamped-out farmer replying to his bombastic address to the ratepayers, gave himBelf away by saying that I was endeavouring to get the ratepayers to protect my swamp. That is the point ; this is where the shoe pinches. By protecting my swamp they will also protect other swamped-out farmers (bringing into cultivation something like 10,000 acres of land that at the present time is comparatively useless) and the flooded-out tradesmen of Blenheim. I am not a C.E., but merely a swamped-out farmer, and was never m Southern India, although I have been m many a better place. Looking back, say 13 years, we find floods m the Wairau, but not to suoh an extent as we at the present suffer under ; and ■why ? for the simple reason that the Biver Board and private property owners have systematically year after year conserved the natural flood overflows of the country. The working of these natural overflows is that at & certain height they come into action, delivering their quota of water by the shortest route to point of discharge. As previously stated, these flood overflows have been conserved, whilst no provision has been made for artificial overflows to take their place. This has now been recognised by our River Board, and a scheme has been laid before them by a highly qualified engineer, who grasps the position. He says we will construct an artificial overflow to take the place of these you have conserved. Immediately this is done Mr Huddleston, 0.E., from Southern India and other places, who cannot grasp the Situation, and has forgotten a lesson m his first copybook, that circumt Tposß who never read the advertisements' to their newspapers miss more than they presume. Jonathan Kenison, of Boian, Worth Co., lowa, who has been troubled with rheumatism m bis baok, arms, and shoulders, read an item m nis paper about bow a prominent German citizen of Ft. Madison had been onred. He prooured the the same medicine, and to use his own words, " It cured me right op." He also Bftjß ; " A neighbor and his wife were both rick m bed with rheumatism. Their boy was over to my bouse and said they were co bad he bad to do the oooking. I told him of Chamberlain's Pain Balm and how it bad cured me. He prooured a bottle of it, •ad v cured them op m a week, For sale by Fuss BaiW, Medical Sail.
stances alter cases, declares a paper war, gives a long rigmarole condemning the scheme, telling ratepayers to beware, and not allow the River Board to construct a flood overflow of three miles to take the place of those they have conserved, but to continue to discharge m 15 miles as at present. This may be the style of hydraulic engineering m India, although m my ignorance I fail to see where it conies m. My engineer, "Common Sense," says the shorter the route the quicker and greater the discharge, and I feel inclined to stick to " common sense," backed by the Board's engineer, Mr ' Cuthbert. In conclusion, I think when the numbers are up Mr Huddleston, C.E., will find that the much dreaded by him, and the much needed by the community, £12,000, is carried by a large majority, and that he will yet live to see his dismal prognostications fulfilled. — I am, etc, P. Meehan. TO THB EDITOB. Sib, — ' ' Spectator evidently thinks the cap fits, or he would not be so rabid. His second epistle is just m keeping with his former one, namely, void of truth. " Spectator" writing to the ratepayers upon the past history of the Lower Wairau Rivers Board is a gross insult to their intelligence, as they all know far better than the writer ever will, neither do they care one straw about the past. It is nothing to the business now before them, viz, a suitable outlet for the flood water. I shall, therefore, not trouble to reply to " Spectator's " false, spiteful, and childish twaddle, but treat it with the contempt it merits, and leave the ratepayers to judge for themselves. — I am, eto, C. Redwood. Riverlands, October 11, 1895.
FLOOD RELIEF., Marlborough Express, Volume XXXI, Issue 238, 11 October 1895
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