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New Zealand Probinces.

CANTERBURY.

The Canterbury papers received last week, inform us that the proposed railway between Lyttelton and Christchurch is the all-engross-ing theme in the province at present. Mr. Joseph Brittan, an old and influential resident in Christchurch, has engaged in the unpopular service of opposing the railway scheme, which he considers premature, and calculated to involve the province in serious difficulties. Mr. Brittan says : — "I* it asked why the Waimakariri bridge is not commenced? The answer is — "No money." Is a memorial presented to the Government for the construction of a highway or the improvement of a street ?— 'No money.' A Public Hospital Ordinance was passed last session : why is it not begun ?— ' No money.' It is admitted on all hands that to establish a steam communication between this province and Melbourne would be of immense value to us : but it is idle tc talk of it.—' No money.' We have had the apparatus for the electric telegraph out here for some time : why is it not at work ? Is the answer to that — •' No money ?' What are the prospects of immigration for the future on which the Railway leturns are so confidently calculated ? No certain answer can be obtained, "but at the present there is 'No money. 1 Other wants could bs enumerated to which the same melancholy answer would needs follow. And yet in the face of this state of debt and pecuniary inanition, the recommendation is to plunge still deeper into debt —to borrow £300,000, to which must be added some £50,000 more out of our revenue, all of which is to be spent in one corner of the province on a work which no one has the courage to assert can pay for its outlay for very many years to come."

On the other hand, whatever may be the feeling of the settlers north of the Waimakariri, and south of the Rangitata, who draw their supplies and ship their wool through Kaiapoi and Timaru, the people of Christchurch and Lyttelton are generally in favour of this railway, which is certainly calculated to be of immense advantage to these towns and the country adjacent, by the large expenditure on the work during its construction, and the facility it will, when completed, afford to traffic. The Lyttelton Times says of the scheme : — "We have spoken throughout of the railway prospects as coolly as possible. We have adopted the lowest and safest calculations and have done nothing to foster a baseless expectation of great results. But at the same time we are confident that great results will come ; and that with prudence and careful management the most sanguine estimates now put forward will ultimately be thrown into the shade."

A young man named Frank Harrison had been drowned in attempting to cross the Rangitata creek. The horse which the unfortunate man was riding reached the bank, and was afterwards found with the bridle missing. An attempt is being made in Christchurch to establish a rifle corps. A small steamer designed for the Canterbury Steam Association, which left London for Lyttelton early in September, had not arrived, and great apprehension was entertained for her safety. She had twelve persons on board, including the family of the Captain. The Immigration Returns show that during the last eighteen months 3,875 persons had arrived from England, sent out by the Provincial Emigration Commissioner, equal to 2,985 statute adults, and of these 1,256 were adult males. The cost of this immigration was something less than £16 4s. for each statute adult, of which the emigrauts advanced in prepayment £6 7s. lOd. each, and are liable for a further payment of £5 each. In addition to these immigrants, about 450 persons who arrived in the same vessels paid their own passages.

We observe, with great regret, the death of Mr. F. Witherby, Manager of the Union Bank of Australia in Lyttelton, who has fallen a victim to a low fever, of late prevalent in that town. Mr. Witherby came to Nelson with the first body of immigrants, a youth of fourteen years of age, and at a subsequent period, after visiting England, returned here and embarked in sheep farming. He afterwards entered the service of the Union Bank of Australia, and in that employment has resided for some years past in Wellington and Otago, and for the last six months in Lyttelton. Mr. Witherby married a daughter of Mr. Felix Wakefield, who is now a widow with three young children. A new parish church at Lyttelton was consecrated by the Bishop on the 10th instant. The foundation stone of a church at Timaru was laid on the 7th instant.

Mr. Cookson has been elected a member of the House of Representatives for the Christchurch Country Districts, to supply the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Ollivier.

A sailor, who deserted from a French whaler at Akaroa, and had taken to the bush, was found dead near the north head of the harbour, having perished of hunger.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NENZC18600428.2.20

Bibliographic details

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XIX, Issue 34, 28 April 1860

Word Count
834

New Zealand Probinces. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XIX, Issue 34, 28 April 1860

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