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NELSON, COBDEN, AND WESTPORT RAILWAY.

To the Editor of The Colonist. Sir, —In rjply to your favor of the 12th instant, informing me that " several gentlemen to whom you have mentioned the fact of your having seen my proposed Prospectus, have put to you the question, Why does not Mr. Stevens publish it ?" and as you Bay "you do not see what harm could result, &c., as the entire public of the Province is interested, you think it would be well for me to publish it" ; and since you offer "to print it as a document of public niteresfc," I hereby. comply with your request, only observing that ifc is not placed before the public as a perfect document, but is on the contrary capable of improvement, as in such drafts there is always room of emendation after all the proposals have been duly weighed. If explanations aro required of any points in the Prospectus, I shall be happy to afford them to any enquirer. I am, yours &c, Francis Stevens. Bridge End, Nelson, July 15, 1867. Monday evening. P.S.—I send you for publication the copy of a letter ttliich I have just addressed to his Honor the Superintendent. F. S. [Copy.] "To His Honor the Superintendent and the Executive Council of Nelson. Nelson, 13th July, 1867. "Your Honor and Gentlemen, —Not having been asked by your Honor or the gentlemen of the Executive for any Loudon references, I take leave to supply the omission, and have the honor to request that Jonr Agent be instructed to make enquiries as to my wiaractei*, honor, and ability to carry out what I have Undertaken. I .have, &c, (Signed) "Francis Stevens." References: Edward Stokes, Esq., Stock Exchange, London. Abraham Northern, Esq., „ „ James Pope Kitchen, Esq., „. „ lhomas Kitchen, Esq., „ „ George Russell, Esq., „ „ Alfred Ashton, Esq., „ „ Daniel Castello, Esq., „ „ Manuel Castello, Esq., „ „ Henry Lj on, Esq., „ „

H. S. Eiger. Esq., 75, Old Broad-street, London. John Evelcigh Wyndham, Esq., Compton Castle, Castle Cary, Somerset. Lord Wn:. Powlolt, Curzon-street, May Fair, LondonThomas F. Oliver, Esq., Barrister, Temple, London. Samuel Gurney, Esq., Hack Bridge, and Lombardstreet, London. Messrs. Stevens and Satchell, Solicitors, 6, Queenstreet, Cheapside, London. F. E. Gilligan, Esq., 9, Bloomsbury, Upper Westbourne Terrace, Hyde Park, London. Roger Riding, Esq., 36, Euston-square, London. N. L. Yates, Esq., Barrister, Park End, Sydenham, and Temple, London. Walter Hawkins, Esq., 5, Leonard Place, Kensington. Sergeant Ballentine, Temple. Alderman Mechi, City, and Tiptree Hall, Essex. Marzetti and Co., City. —. Carter, Esq., Merchant-street, London. MR. STEVENS' PROPOSED PROSPECTUS. NELSON, COBDEN, and WESTPORT RAILWAY COMPANY (LIMITED), NEW ZEALAND. {To be Incorporated under the Joint Stock Companies Act.) Capital, £1,000,000 ; in 50,000 Shares, of £20 each. £1 per share, to be paid on application, and £1 10sper share on allotment. Calls nofc to exceed £2 10sper share. No application for less than 5 shares will be received.

A subscriber of 5 shares will be entitled to 100 acres of land, and a subscriber of 10 shares to 200 acres, and so on according to the number of shares subscribed for. One million of acres are thus proposed to be distributed amongst the shareholders, leaving a balance of land for the use of the Company in case further capital should be required ; and if otherwise, the residue of land would be a kind of guarantee in the shape of rents from leases, mines, &c. It is proposed that the following gentlemen be asked to form a Provisional Committee in Nelson :— Chairman —Sir David Monro, Speaker of the House of Representatives. J. W. Barnicoat, Esq., W. Wells, Esq., M.H.R., Speaker of Provincial Saml. Kingdon, Esq., Council. James Mackay, Esq., J.P. H. E. Curtis, Esq., Dr. Irvine. W. Adams, Esq. With power to add to the number. Secretary, pro tern Bankers ———-

(Provisional Committee in London, Secretary, Bankers, and Solicitors are at present lelt blank.) Proposed Consulting Engineer —Sir Macdonald Stephenson. The Colony of New Zealand may be said to have arrived at a point when something should be done to develope the resonrccs of the country; her imports and exports are a sufficient proof that she has acquired no mean position in the world ! The value of imports for the year ending 1866, amounted "to £5,894,863 ; and exports for the same period to £4,520,074 ; whilst the exports from the gold districts on the West Coast alone, for one quarter ending December 31sfc, 18G6, was no les3 than £487,204, or equal to the rate of £1,948,816 ; or little short of £2,000,000 (two millions) per annum !

The Select Committee of the Provincial Council (July Bfch, 1863) on inland communication, reported as follows : —" In considering the question of internal communication, it must jnot be forgotten that the whole of the slopes of the western and south-western ranges from Capo Farewell to tho Grey, roughly estimated to contain an area of 3,000,000 acres, is one vast gold-field ; and Dr. Hochstetter in 1859, speaking of the Aorere and Parapara fields alone, an area of 30 square miles, estimated the gold as likely to be found in that limited district, on the very lowest calculation, as being worth £22,500,000 ; and this has been more than confirmed by the recent workings for gold in those districts."

Nelson is one of the most favored spots on the globe, the Naples of the Southern Hemisphere. Had the proposed railway been in operation when the Commissioners visited Nelson, she might probably have been chosen as the Seat of Government. The following extract from ths Sydney Morning Herald of May 2nd, 1867, will show what is going on ; it says : —"Thc s.s. Egmont arrived to-day, from Hokitika and the Grey, bringing 1 ton 1 cwt. 11 lbs. 4 ozs. of gold." The shipments of gold from Hokitika have been— October 1866 25,396 ounces November 24,167 „ December 25,096 „ January, 1867 23 592 „ February 21,176 „ March 24,520 „ April 24,691 „ This is independent of gold shipped at Greymouth. Facilities of communication from the port of Nelson are now most urgently required for the purpose of reaching the West Coast overland, as well as for opening the country; and the importance of the gold-fields demands that a railway should be made with the least possible delay.

With this view, his Honor the Superintendent of j the Province of Nelson, by the authority of an Act of tbe General Assembly of New Zealand, entitled, " The Nelson, Cobden, and Westport Railway Land Act, 1866," and by the advice and consent of the Provincial Council, and on behalf of the Province, is about to obtain power to grant a concession or right to make a railway from Nelson to and through the gold-fields, to Cobden and Westport, on the West Coast of New Zealand. The Port of Nelson stands unrivalled in geographical position, as regards the Australian Colonies, and for vessels coming from England, as well as for vessels arriving from the different ports of New Zealand. The great perils and dangers of the West Coast for shipping need not bo risked when the proposed railway shall bave been opened from the Port of Nelson to the West Coast. From Nelson the railway will pass through the settled districts of the Waimeas—a perfectly level country —to a rich mineral district, where not only gold, but copper, tin, lead, and silver, are known to exist. After the first 70 miles have been made, the remainder of the line will pass through one continuous auriferous district; thus sources of wealth may be daily expected to arise. Amongst the most important of the mineral lands are the coal-fields, which only require to be worked to yield a large revenue to tbe company. Mr. Hackett, whilst accompanying Dr. Hector at the Buller and Grey, writes that " the seams of coal are from 16ft. to 23ft. in thickness, aiid extending for hundreds of acres"; whilst Dr. Hector asserts the coal to be "of the very best possible quality for steaming purposes." " The coal seams dip from ten to thirty degrees from the sea level to an altitude of several thousand feet, so that .neither shafts nor pumping machinery will be necessary." "Already the sum of £160,000 is withdrawn annually from the colony for this item." "It is satisfactory, therefore, to find coal in New Zealand adapted for the uso of steam vessels on long sea voyages." (Vide "Dr. Hector's Report, 1866.) There are coal-mines at the Buller and Grey, and other mines within 60 miles of Nelson, that could be worked ; the coals could be put into trucks at 3s. to ss. per ton, brought by railway, and delivered at the port of Nelson at say 15s. per ton, which would leave a large margin for profit, whilst it would bo a saving !to the steam companies of about 10s. per ton, the I price of imported coals being 30s. to 355. per ton. At 15s. per ton, ifc is stated by the Manager of the Panama Company that " this price would carry all i before it."

" From all the trials with Buller coal, &c, West Coast coal is 15 per cent better than North of England or New South Wales coal." (Vide Report of Woolwich Dockyard Engineer on trial of Nelson coals.) Here opens a vast field of operations for the port of Nelson to supply the ateam vessels now trading to

the port; also, tbe cities of Nelson, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Napier, Taranaki, Auckland, &c.

Tho Panama boats aro supplied at their coaling I station at Panama chiefly from Cardiff, at great cost, viz., £4 per ton, taking colliers about 180 days, by way of Cape Horn ; whilst from Nelson coals could bo supplied at half the price and in about six weeks. It is pretty obvious, thcrefoi'e, that Nelson being a thousand miles nearer than New South Wales, would supply Panama and Oparo, (the now coaling depot of tho Panama, New Zealand, and Australian Royal Mail Company in tho Pacific), which blatter could be reached in about four weeks. This is a matter of the utmost importance in the Panama service, each boat requiring about 1400 tons for tho run ; making, with the coasting steamers of this Company, about 80,000 tons per annum ; and there are other companies whose vessels would coal at Nelson. It appears that .the quantity of coals exported from Newcastle, N.S.W., for the year ending 1866 was 645,615 tons, a large portion of which is consumed in New Zealand. Now, if Nelson export only one-third of that of Newcastle, N.S.W., say only 200,000 tons, and allowing 10s. per ton for carriage by railway, this would yield the large sum of £100,000 per an.ium, or equal to ten per ceut on the capital of a million. Dr. Hector observes " that when this railway has beeu constructed, it will afford the means of transport by which tho coal produced in the western fields can be economically distributed over the country, and will pass through districts • that will afford employment to a condensed population." The line of railway to the West Coast will be about 220 miles in length ; the first 60 miles being nearly level, the remainder of the line pi-esenting^no engineering difficulties of magnitude ; this being taken into account, together with its being a single line of railway, the rough cost per mile may be perhaps estimated at about £3500 to £4000.

Gold from the West Coast would be sent by rail to tho port of Nelson to avoid the risk of crossing the dangerous bars, and nearly all the shipping would enter the Port of Nelson to discharge cargo, which would be put into trucks on the wharf alongside the vessels. Proper appliances for shooting coals at once into the steamers would be provided ; ifc now costs 2s. 6d. per ton to put them into the coal-hulks, and 2s. 6d. per ton to take them out on to the steamers ; thus ss. per ton would be saved to the companies, a great item in the aggregate of cost. The number of ships arriving at the West Coast during the quarter ending 31st bDecember, 1866, was 81, with 17,969 tons of merchandise, valued at £261,010, or equal to 324 vessels, and 71,876 tons, or value £1,044,040 per annum, the whole or greater part of which would undoubtedly come to Nelson, on account of its safe harbor.

At a charge of £1 per ton to the West Coast, per railway, this would yield £70,000 per annum, or equal to 7 per cent on the capital. The total number of passengers who travel by railway in the United Kingdom amounts to something over three journeys in a year to each individual of the population, but the habits of miners, and the necessities of persons in the Colony render them much more migratory. There are already on the West Coast, including Hokitika, about 30,000 persons, and in the City of Nelson and Suburbs some 10,000, the steamers from tho Northern Island and elsewhere would be so many feeders to this railway, so that we may fairly put down 40,000 trips, or ono for each of the population in twelve months, which afc half the price charged by steam-vessels (viz., £4) would amount to £80,000 per annum, or say only 8 per cent on the capital. The freight for goods from Nelson to the West Coast is about £3 to £4 per ton ; cattle £6 per head, and sheep 6s. per head. The quantity of cattle, sheep, pigs, &c, shipped at the Port of Nelson for the West Coast, according to the Customs returns, for one month, viz., May, 1867, was 111 head of cattle and 780 sheep, or at the rate of 1332 head of cattle and 9360 sheep, or. equal to about £8000 per annum ; this having no proportion to what the traffic would be when the railway is open.

Besides the above, there will be timber, wool,, firewood, lime, bricks, produce, &c, which can be roughly set down at £10,000 par annum. Nelson City would be benefited by this undertaking in no common degree ; successful diggers and otheri from the West Coast would visit Nelson in large numbers; the traffic on the line would be great; people would settle here and there, at or near the different stations ou the railway ; villages would spring up at every station ; from villages, townships would arise. Laboring men of every class would find employment. Farmers and graziers would send their cittle from Nelson to tho West Coast at something like £1 a-head, and sheep @ — per score. Flour could be sent to the hard-working man at reasonable rates, and other things in proportion. Rich fields of industry tbat hitherto could not be worked, would find laborers, and thus the country would be opened for the good of all.

Shareholders will have the right of selecting any of the Company's land open for selection along the line of railway, so soon as the calls have been duly paid. One hundred aud one acres of land will be given for every 100 acres, to allow for Government roads in cases required. In addition to the stations on the line of railway, for the accommodation of the public, it is proposed that the trains shall stop to take up or set doWn on signal being made, for the convenience of prospectors, miners, settlers, and others. The railway will be a single line of rail, 4ft. BJin. guage, the same as in England. The Canterbury Province will extend its railway inland before long, and that line must necessarily join this line at some central point, so as to form portions of the future Grand Trunk Line of the Middle Island. This Company presents inducements to emigrants with capital and others never before open to them, by becoming, not only shareholders in the railway but the possessors of freehold land, on, and near railway communication, between two markets for their produce, the large population on the West Coast on the one side, and Nelson on the other; thus the Province will be benefited by a class of the right kind of emigrants to employ labor ; they not only acquire the land, but the mineral riches they contain.

ROUGH ESTIMATE OE RETURNS. The Passenger traffic tlu*ough the settled districts will be very considerable, and when is added the traffic in timbpr, firewrood, wool, produce, lime, &c, we may roughly put this down at ... ... ... ... £10,000 The quantity of Coal exported from N.S.W. for the year 1866 was 645,615 tons, large portion of which was consumed in New Zealand ; if, therefore, Nelson export and consume only one-third of that quantity, say, 200,000 tons, this at a charge by ' . railway to the port of Nelson of only 10s. per ton, would amount to 100,000 The number of ships arriving at the West Coast during the quarter ended 31st December, 1866, was 81, with 17,969 tons of merchandise, valued at £261,010, or equal to 324 vessels, and 71,876 tons, or value £1,044,040 per annum, the whole or greater part of which would undoubtedly come to "Nelson, on account of its safe harbor; a charge of £1 per ton to the West Coast by rail would yield ' say ... ... ... ... 70,000 Lands leased and rents thereon ... — '■ ' The popula'ion on the West Coast, in- ~ . chiding Hokitika, amounts to say, \ 30,000 persons ; and in Nelson and Suburbs may be put down at 10,000; the steamers from the Northern Island would be feeders to this rail- ~£ way, the number of passengers in * twelve months may be set down at ' 40,000, at £2 each to the West Coast, or single trip £80,000; hut; say, ... 50,00j3. Customs returns for cattle as per

I steamers, &c. ... ... ... '8,000 Gold, per rail, twelve months .',. 1,000 ' Postal Service, say, ... ... 1,000 . £240,000 All this is irrespective of any sales of land which the company could make after entering on possession. Form of Railway Scrip, and Railway Land Scrip 3ailway scrip. NELSON, COBDEN, & WESTPORT RAILWAY COMPANY (Limited), NEW ZEALAND. Capital, £1,000,000; in 50,000 shares of £20 each Five Shares, Nos. ■_ .(inclusive) equal to £100 stock. . 1867.

£2 10s. per share have been paid on the shares bearing the above numbers, and the Holder of this Scrip is required to pay the remaining Calls when ■made, to be endorsed hereon; when the Holder ivill be entitled to land, as per Land Scrip hereunto annexed.

Land Scrip. NELSON, COBDEN, & WESTPORT RAILWAY

LAND SCRIP, NEW ZEALAND. Nos. ; _, 1867. The Holder of this Scrip for Five Shares of £20 each, ivill be entitled to 100 acres of Land of the Nelson, Cobden, and Westport Railway Company (Limited), on completion of the Railway. This Scrip may be detached, and sold or bought detached from the Railway Scrip ; and the Holder ivill be entitled to the above quantity of land, provided the Calls have been duly paid on-the corresponding Numbers of the Railway Scrip, to which this Land Scrip.ivas originally attached. Endorse on Railway Scrip. £ b. £ s. Ist Call of 2 10 making 5 6 Paid 2nd „ 2 10 „ 710 „ 3rd „ 210 „ 10 0 ~ 4th „ 210 „ 12 10 „ ■ sth „ 210 „ 15 0 „ ■ 6th „ 210 „ 17 10 „ 7th „ 210 „ 20 0 „ N.B.—When the 7th Call has been paid, the Scrip will be called in for registration, and no transfer can afterwards take place, except by deed of conveyance.

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NELSON, COBDEN, AND WESTPORT RAILWAY. The Colonist, Volume X, Issue 744, 16 July 1867

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