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AS OTHERS SEE U., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXI, Issue 136, 10 June 1897
AS OTHERS SEE U.
- VIEWS ,0? -A SCOTTISH EDITOR. AGOODrVfcbRD FOU NEW ZEALAND ; ■■'i'ANUNEWZEALANDBKS. The London correspondent of the Auckland ''Herald" writes as follows of jthe recent visit to ; New Zealand of Mr Cooper, the editor of th.e«' Scotsman ;f :— The last number of the " Scotsman ft contains its editor's " Latest and MostiEnduriug Impressions" oy&j^^jtlandi ■• These are at once so Interesting, so favourable, and ■QjshMj^cthat L venture to quote them at some length, feeling sure that they -will, be" aooeptable to , colonial readers. Mr Cooper has something to say ■ about the New Zealand hotels. "It .■would be loolishness," he thinks, .'•4op>»y^.that the hotels as a rale come up' to our standard of the best at home;" but, h9 admits, " many of them are infinitely belter than teveral ofonrß that are most pre-> tentions." ; In Mr Cooper's opinion •_' " w ihe fault with them is that they offßr,.jou too much meat," and he ,-^3fceYonto remark; " it is my firm # r r.s»Ue£ that '.New Zealandera eat more 1 - meat aDd drink more tea than any other people in the world. A» thejiotels and the refreshment rooms, tea is offered with .every meal. Alcoholic liqnor is never pressed upon you." This last recollection brings Mr Cooper to one reflection which also will perhaps excite surprise on the part of some New Zealand readers. Certainly it will excite deep indignatlon.on tha part of > the Prohibitionists. This 1b what he says, and it seema to me both a high and well-deserved compliment to New Zealand morals:— "ln one direction my impressions, of New Zealand have had a curious turn. The colony, is rent with the demand for prohibition. To hear the faddists talk you would think the colony was one of the most- drnnk- ' en communities on the earth. It Ifl; nothing oi the kind. One might be inolined to say that it is the soberest of white communities. I Mve -journeyed- from Dunedin in th«;aouth.to Auoklandin.the north, and have been six weeks in the ooloby. - I have observed closely, and have seen bnt one drunken saabi ■ 'He was an English wastrel —'a remittance. i' man,? as they call euoh men- here—the men who . are. sent to the colony with 1 an allowance to get them out of the-, way: at istiome. The remit- . tance man is commonly drunk, and a nuisance while his money lasts ; he is sober and a nuisance \vhen he is .waiting ,ior money. It seems scarcely worth while to apply prohibition for the sake of such men. I have not seen a New Zealander drank, or the * worse for liquor. Further, Tdo not believe the vice of the colony is excessive or even heavy drinking. If there be a vice, it is betting on hoise«raoing. There IS'-a race»meeting in every little town. Xha Government has legalised the 'totaiisator'— the 'pari mutuel' of French racecourses. The machines, are taxed so much per cent on- their takings. A good deal .of ,*he,, money of the speculative Wew ZeSlarider iB swallowed up by thetolalisator.; Ittoannot lose ; its patrons must do so." Next, Mr Cooper has something to say about .New Zealand houses and the < Zealand ' climate. . After remarking that Auckland has more houses of brick or scone than any other, town in New Zealand, he observes : — " This recalls a feature of the oo.ony which mast strike all who' visit it. The houses are of wood. Government House at Wellington is of wood, The Government Buildings are of wood. The Houses of Parliament are of wood; The churches are of wood. One reason given for this was that ' occasionally there are earth tremors ; and in such cases wooden houses J-ar* .safar 'than houses of briok of. stone, Another and more onera'tive reason is that wood is cheap and brick's are dear and bad, while stone 1b all but unprocurable in many diatriots. t Wooden houses, top, are preferred to houses of briok; they.we drier and more comfort able.' Certainly they look much better. They are always clean, externally. Mostly they are painted white or yellow; Nothing could be prettier than the contrast, between- them and the green of iheir suwoiindings. It may be BUflpeoted that in no other climate than that ; of New Zealand woo |p thtre be like satisf action -«* wooden houses. It i» - " - with mate. • This visit ' - a lovely clithe New 2- ' r uas been paid in may.fe»- .oaan'd summer, and I '* * -,7 :«ye ; aeen the best of it. But* .v is said that in many respects 'the winter clima e is better than that of the (suoim'er. Ihe variations of temperature are comparative snuil. . Whether in the south or in the north there.are no severe changes of temperature. Of course the North Island is hotter than the tiouth Island ; itaa nearer to the tropios. In the South Inland all our British fruit grow j some parts of the North ißlftndare too hot for them, but there, are other fruits of asub-tropi cal-charaoter that flourish and are delicious. How the mouths of fruitlovers at home would water over the peacheß, the paßßion-flower frnit, the apricotß/and the like that ripen here in the open air. The climate is >hat of Great Britain improved, and nnqueatioiiflbly it is of benefit in all lung and chest complaints." ■ Probably the one of Mr Cooper's " impressions ' which will most surprise many people in the colony— Mid out of it, too, for the matter of . that— in his view of the New Zea-land-railways, on account of its highly favourable, character. He remarks :— "The general excellence . of the railway service has impressed me. It has been said in a previous letter that ihe railways' are in the hand. of the Government, There sie'twp exceptions-rthe Mt:iiawatu line in the North Island, aad the Mialarid line, in the South Island. As to tho latter, it is in the hands of the Government at present for fipshqial reasons. All other lines belong (o, and are worked by, the Government., The business is most - BUOceSßfully doue. There ara 2014 mlies.of railway o r en. To So the work .4977 men are employed. The traffic; department expends ; f 3O7,(KK) a year in wages — ;;,• that is, it expended that sum in : 0 : '--lQ$Q, . The, locomotive department £240,000 ; , the maintenance ' .*of r £280,000- The ex- , " Wp^lture per train mile is for traf--1 • 'Mjfcjk 8&i for "maintenance of way, i'» BJd ; for locomotive department/ lr 3d ( ; for oars and waggons, Ad; fßr general' charges, . 4d, The ; WTjenue,laßt year- was £1,188,000, ' -■ iaH increase over the preceding year t ;of J853.000. In almost every de.^.pwtnfs^tjvof earnings an increase is r^- T j^oW'^^he. gauge of the lines ie
3ft 6in. The average speed seems to be about 15 or 16 miles an hoar, including stoppages. Of course there is on sections much faster travelling than this ; but it is the average . The lines have been most skilful y engineered, in many places through difficult country, and they are always well made. The carriages, which are seated longitudinally, run with great ease and comfort to the passenger. One thing that has been heard of at .home is all but. unknown here, Tips are not expected by the servants. They look after you and your luggage with the utmost courtesy, aud they never extend an open palm, except to shake hands with you." Finally, Mr Cooper sums up his impressions of New Zealand as follows ; — "-As to New Zealand generally, it can safely be said that it is a most beautiful land, with a glorious climate, and unbounded possibilities of future greatness. Coal, iron, gold, corn, meat, fi nits of all kinds, are its possessions. That they will be developed for the extension of its greatness there is no doubt. That its people are hospitable, goes without saying." On the whole, I am inolined to think that these admirable and most readable letters are the best advertisement Nt.w Zealand has ever yet had. There is no doubt at all that they will have an exoellent effeofc in the mother country.
AS OTHERS SEE U., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXI, Issue 136, 10 June 1897
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