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I of these two sums, and that on the debentures now afloat, to be paid out of the Revenue of the General Government. Thirdly, The Provinces to have entire administration of the land and expenditure of the funds, less 2s. 6d. for every acre sold. I considered Mr. Fox's policy as most conducive to the interests of this Province, and New Zealand generally, for the following reasons, viz. : — That it was provincial in its tendency, by which I mean that it circumscribed the action of the General Government, by binding it down to a small fixed revenue, instead of allowing it, as at present, to dip its hand without limit into the Customs Revenue. That the public burdens should be consolidated, and the interest paid by the General Government, by which the loan required could be got on more favourable terms than by the Sewell proposition, in which the payment of interest was to be extracted from various sources. That the arrangement by which the three Provinces of the Middle Island were to have the whole of their land fund on payment of £4000 per annum respectively, though immediately favourable for Otago, yet was obtained at too great an ultimate cost, for there cannot be a doubt that the most reliable source of revenue is the Customs, while the land revenue is at all times fluctuating. One year the Province, from large land sales, might have an overflowing Treasury, while for a year or two succeeding, the amount realized from this source might be barely sufficient to pay the expense of the Departments, causing a stoppage of Public Works, and most likely a difficulty in meeting engagements entered into. Besides, which is more important, it is certain, that as the colony advances, the proportion between the Land and Customs Revenue will be altered, and that the latter will far exceed the j former. It is better, then, to retain a large share of an increasing and. certain revenue, than to have a large share in a decreasing and uncertain one. Seeing that we have to make j a payment to the General Government from ! the land fund in one shape or another, I prefer the mode proposed by Mr. Fox, which is a tax on the raw material only. The Province solely would benefit by the enhanced price of its lands ; thus, if 10 acres of Town land sold at £100 per acre (not an uncommon circumstance now-a-days) the share of the General Government would only be ten half-crowns. My colleagues and myself were so impressed that this was the best and most statesmanlike policy for New Zealand, and at the .same time the most advantageous for this Province, that in order to secure its being carried into operation, we entered into an arrangement with a certain number of the Auckland Members, that if they would vote for this policy for the remainder of the Session, that we would vote for the sittings of the General Assembly to be at Auckland until the end of the term of existence of the present Assembly, considering, that were the General Government, as by this policy, bound down to a certain fixed revenue, while there was equal fixity as to our Provincial revenue, it would be immaterial to this Province, and the southern ones generally, whether there was a full attendance of Members at each Session of the General Assembly or not. As the Auckland Members did not fulfil their part of this engagement, by some of them after a tune withdrawing their support, whereby this policy was outvoted in the House of Representatives ; when the question of holding the next Session of the Assembly at Wellington was brought forward, it left us free to support this motion, which was duly carried. At a late period of the Session, after all the drudgery had been done, and little remained but to go through the formalities of a third reading of Bills, &c, and on obtaining a promise from the Ministry that no business but that already before the House would be initiated, having also arranged with them the items of expenditure concerning Otago, and by resolution settled the basis of other parts of the proposed expenditure, nearly a third of the members, belonging chiefly to the Southern Provinces, obtained leave of absence for the remainder of the Session. It was with no small surprise we heard that after our departure the Government had introduced a Bill altering the Tariff, besides virtually rescinding the resolution of the House " that the next Session should be held at Wellington," by refusing to place on the estimates a small sum for defraying the expense of removal of certain functionaries and documents from Auckland to Wellington consequent on the Session being held at the latter place. I beg to express my thanks for the confidence reposed in me by the electors of the Dunedin Country District in appointing me their Representative, in discharging the duties ' of which I have earnestly endeavoured to uphold the honour and advance the interests of this Province, and have not failed in taking every opportunity of expressing my indignation and contempt of the absurd and studied neglect manifested towards this Province by the General Government of New Zealand, as instanced in the matters 'of steam, and absence of the sitting of a Supreme Court ; and my conviction that the vast capabilities and extent of this Province will soon attract'a population that will place us in a position to dictate rather than be dictated to by the older Settlements of New Zealand. I have the honor to be, Gentlemen, Your most obedient servant, JOHN CARGILL. Meadowbank, 25th August, 1857. ON SALE AT ROSS & KILGOUR'S, A QUANTITY OF EARLY POTATOES FOR SEED.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OW18570912.2.3.2

Bibliographic details

Otago Witness, Otago Witness, Issue 302, 12 September 1857

Word Count
957

Page 2 Advertisements Column 2 Otago Witness, Issue 302, 12 September 1857

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