THAMES AND WAIKATO RAILWAY.
TURNING OP THE SOD.
[bt telegraph, from our special CORRESPONDENT.] Ngaruawahia, Thursday. The Ministerial party arrived at Hamilton .it 10.30. The Premier went and inspected the bridge which is now being erected over the Waikato, and which will be a great convenience to the whole district. At 1 o'clock an excellent luncheon was served in Pearce's hotel. Kain began to fall shortly after noon, aad the Premier learning that there were several hundred children at the place, wished to go on at once. Luncheon was, however, partaken of, but the Chairman (Mr. Gwynne) stated that there would be no Bpeeches, as many were waiting in the rain. The Mayors of Auckland and Thames were present. The latter apologised for the absence of the County Chairman. The sod was turned in a paddock on Mr. Claude's farm on the east aide of the Waikato River. On reaching the place, we found most of the people in a barn where they were sheltered from the heavy rain. The Deputy-Mayor read here an address to Sir George Grey. The Premier returned sincere thanks for the address, and then said : I return you my sincere thauks for the . address which you have been so good as to present to me. I can assure you that it is to mo probably a greater pleasure than to yourselves that so great a work haa been inaugurated this day. Myself, my colleagues, one of whom stands by me here, a New Zialandcr himself, and one whom it must delight you all to see serving . his country at so young an age, giving promise of what the New Zealand race here- 1 after will be, —1 say, myself and my colleagues are determined to do our very utmost by all means to aid the prosperity and advancement of New Zealand. (Cheers.) That public works will pay can now no longer be doubte;!. I suppose you are all aware that some railroads in the Middle Island are already paying what would be in England regarded as a sufficient rate of interest upon the capital invested in their construction. There caT no longer be any doubt the railways in this country will earn a sufficient return to pay the interest on the money which has been expended in their construction. The first railroads were necessarily built or constructed in thoso parts of New Zealand iu which there was the greatest population. The greatest population had necessarily the greatest nnmberof votes, and clearly it wa3 just that the first great expenditure upon works of this kind should be made where there were the greatost number of individuals to be benefited by them. But now that the railroad system has been so largely completed or so very nearly completed in those parts of the country where the population is a large one, we come to a totally different state of things. We are now constructing railways to a tine district, which the rising population of this country, and the young men who are now growing up, may speedily fill, and I have no doubt whatever that a greater profit will be realised from these railroads than from those which have been constructed in the thicklypopulated districts, —because in the new districts of a country the public have large tracts of land to sell, to which a great value will be given by the railroads which are being made. (Cheers.) Shortly, I think you all will agree with me that a policy which has been productive of so great benefit to the country should be followed zealously up, and that those people who have not yet experienced the benefit of the expenditure of public money to which they have largely contributed should now in their turn have the country which they occupy filled with works of the same kind which have been constructed in the other parts of New Zealand. (Cheers.) It is a very wet day, and I really could not 3ay raoro to you if I were to detain you for an hour, than to simply repeat that myself and my colleagues are determined to give effect to what they believe to be the will of the people—that their country should be raised as rapidly as possible to the position of a really nascent nation. (Cheers.) You may rely upon it that it shall be our constant endeavour, and rest assured that we will, in so far as rests. upon, us, fail in no single effort which will push New Zealaud rapidly ahead in that great career upon which she has undoubtedly entered. And I say this further to you, that, having seen what one New Zealander can do in office, train as many of your young men as you can to coma forward, and thus aid in carrying on to the highest possible pitch that country which has given them birth. (Cheers.) Tho party then went to the paddock, and the sod was turned in the usual fashion. Three h»arty cheers were then given for tho Premier, who addressed the people in a few words, saying he experienced great delight in seeing a work commenced which would be of the greatest benefit to the district. Ho trusted it would bs a lasting benefit to the district, and that the children, who in such numbers were getting wet through to day, would be proud when they were old men tc say that they had seen the commencement of this great work. He wished them all possible prosperity. They might rely upon it that himselt and his colleagues would do their very utmost to promote their happiness i audi welfare in every possible way. i By this time the rain was pouring more I n-:avily than over, and the return to HamilIton was made under considerable discomfort. Ministers then left by train for Ngaruawahia, where they will remain till to-morrow.