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WEST COAST TIMES. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1865.

A most t incomprehensible documont has just been published in tho Provincial Government Gazette. It purports to bo a Statement of Eoceipts and Expenditure of tho Provincial Government, for tho quarter ending tho 30th September, 1865. Eight pages and half of this official docultient aro dovotcd to an elaborate exposition of the Financial affairs of Dastland. Twolvo lines are mado sufficient to sot forth tho " West Canterbury Gold Field Account." In tho former division wo havo the" parliciildrs of expenditure sot forth most minutely. Even thd edst of swooning the chimneys in the Lyttelton Hospital, (£& 10s) ; of cleaning tho Survey oflico at Timaru, (£8 10s) ; of removing buildings from Market square (£1 ) ; and such other equally important .matters, havo their separate line" allotted to them. No doubt Eastland politicians are sufficiently alive on the subject of Government expenditure to bo chronically in a condition of mind to know tho " reason why ;" and it is not felt safo to deal with lai'ge appropriaon tho in globo system. COino wo now to Westland. Wp re* print tho " West Canterbury Gold Folds Account" as an articlo of rare curiosity.

Tlio first idoa that suggests itself ftffcor the perusal of this extraordinary slatoment, is tho unaccountability of tho anxiety manifested by the Christchurch Government to maintain its connection with a district which must be a vory serious drain upon its resources, and a heavyjdoadweiglit hanging to its heels ! It seems that tho Westland goldfiolds involve tho provinco iv an oxpendituro of upwards of £18(5,000 a year, whilst tho revonue derived from them is less than £50,000. If such is the case, wpuld it not havo been much bettor for the Canterbury members to have opposed Mr. Macand row's Now Provinces Regulation Act, and promoted by every means the separation of Westland—just as a man, otherwise healthy, might employ a surgeon to cut off a diseased limb P Can Canterbury go on at this rale of expenditure on our necessities out of pure charity for us P Lot us, however, go a little into detail. Undor tho head of Customs Receipts for tho Quarter wo find tho sum of £3,900 sot down. The gold export duty for the quarter is put down at nearly £7,000 ; — an item which doos not appear in the Eastland accounts. " Miners' Rights and Lioonsos, &0.," aro represented by tho figures £740 14s 6d. Does this item include publicans' licenses (£3O), and business licenses (£5) P It is a stii lenient for tho quarter ending tho 30th Soptembor last. During the threo months preceding that dato a vory largo numbor of publicans and business b'consos must havo beon talccn out, and tho figures wo havo cilod seem* altogether inadequate to represent tho value of thoso. " Bottlomont of Inprcsts, £677," is an itom that rcquiros explanatiQu. It is, however, on tho other sido^ of tho account thai, tho most mystorious figures appeav. Administration of Goldilelds, £12,810, —or at tho rale of £1,000 per wcok. What is included under this head P Why is it given in a lump sum P In 1 tho Eastland accounts wo havo ' seen that the most infinitesimal items aro duly set forth. Wo want a bill of particulars! of this most unintelligible charge. As far as we know, tho cost of tho administration of goldfiolds includes only the snlarios of a Commissioner, a Magjslralo, and thrco or four wardens aud their elovlcs. Tlio Polico is a soparato itom. Tho total polico force in Westland consists, wo boliovo, of somo eighteen mon, who could scarcely cost the district £3,738 .for •three months. It is truo, for somo purposo or other tho Escort is "included"' undor this hoad; but up to tho 30th Soptombor no expenses could have boon incurred on this account oxcopt a fow preliminary ones. Bosidos, why chargo tho escort to tho account of Wostlond P Woslland does not want , it. It is established solely for tho aggraiulisoment of Ohristchurcl}. Tho samo may bo said of tho tolograpll, Nothing appears undor this head In tho ycncral oxpondituro s of tho provinco . Why should this district be charged with tho work, to tho 'tuifo of £3,215 r Thon v comos the monstrous itom of £25,570 for the quarter, for " roat>B." What roads ? Why aro thoy nob speci-

fiedP It is not hard io guess the reason why. This is the outlay upon tho gigantic job which Easlland is perpctraiiug at our expense — tho construction of that road across the intervening rango, against tho proceeding with which this district has never ceased to protest, and tlio solo purpose of which is to divert tho trade of the West Coast from its natural channel, and' compel it to ilow through' Christchurch.

It is not surprising that under such a syslcinofadminisli'atioii,tho Provincial Government should bo ablo to put down on their general balance sheet for tho quarter the itom " Over-cxpcndituro on West Coast Goldficlds Account, £31,912 Os 2d ! Of a verity, this peoplo is long 4 suffering.

It is reported that Mr. Moorhouso and Mr. Travers, two of tho candidates for tho Superintendoncy of tho 1 Province, will shortly visit Westland for tho purpose of addressing the electors, and soliciting their suffrages. It would no ddubt be of vast importance to this district to havo in tho person of tho Superintendent of Canterbury, a gontlcmau well acquainted from personal observation and intercourse, with tho grievances, and tho t '• real views and wishes" of the population. But wo pi-c-sumo tho only temptation that would operate upon either gentleman to induco a political visit lo this side of tho range, would bo tho assumption that a considerable body of qualified electors oxists here. Is this assumption founded upon a basis of fact f It js well that tho public should bo informed on this point. In connection with the late election of members of Council, Mr. Sale took the trouble to ask the opinion of tho Provincial Solicitor. It is well that ho .should do so now with reforonco to tho approaching election of Suporinltiudont. Tho point in question in this instanco is practically moro woighty than in tho former. Now, it is" not tho qualification of men lo bo elected that is in doubt — which tho Supromo Court alone is competent lo decide—but the qualification of tho electors themselves. With a view of affording public information on tho subject, we liavo examined tho Acts of tho General Assembly bearing upon it, so far as they aro accessible to us. It appears that undor the Act of 1860, — " To extend tho Frnnchiso to Holdors of Miners' llights in Proclaimed Goldfiolds," it was provided that every man of/ull ago holding a miner's right for " thrco months, before the time of registration," should, "if duly registered," bo entitled to voto " at the election of members of tho Houso of Representatives, of tho Superintendent of tho Province, and of the membors of tho Provincial Council," in the province or district in which suoh goldfiold was situated. In 1862, an Act was passed " To amend tho law relating lo tho Miners' Franchise," repealingthc Act of 1860, ,ond enacting by Section 111. that every man of full age, being a lawful holder' of a minor's right, for six months prior to the Ist day of October in ench year, and immediately preceding that tilalo, should bo entitled to voto until tho succeeding 30th Soptembor, at " all olections of such Goldfields mombors of tho House of Representatives and of tho Provincial Council of tho Provinco m whioh such miners' rights shall havo been issued, as shall bo provided by any Act of tho General Assembly or Ordinance of tho Provincial Council of stlch Province respectively." Clauso IV. of tho same Act provides that in districts whore no Goldfiolds members have been appointed by law, but in which miners' rights shall Jiavo been issuod, thoir holdors shall bo entitled to vote at the ordinary elections of anorabors for tho district ih the General Assouibly and tho Provincial Council.

Tho session of 1863 gavo birth to another amending Act, ropoaling section 111. of tho Act of 1862, and sustituting for it a clauso to tho following effect — viz., that every lawful holder of a Minor's Eight, or a Business Licenso, hold for six months consecutively and immediately preceding tho day of election, should bo entitled to voto at olections of " Goldficlds Me nbers of Iho Houso of Itoprosontalivos, and Goldfiolds Mombors of tho Provincial Council."

Tho course of legislation for tho reprosontatiou of tho goldficlds lias talcon, thoreforo, tho following direction : In tho first instance holdors of miners' rights only, for a period of thrco months prior to the Ist October, vrore authorised lo vote at tho ordinary olections in thoir district for members of the Assembly, for tho Superintendent of tho .Province and fpr members of tho Provincial Council. I3y tho Act of 1862 tho privilcgo of voting at the election of Superintendent M-as withdrawn from holdors of miners' rights, and thoir right to voto at ordinary elcctious of members of tho Assembly and tho Provincial Council was restricted to cases in wh ich no spooialGoldfiolds members wore legally oppomtod to bo returned. By this act also tho " Registration" of minors' rights was abolished, their presentation to tho returning odicor being sufliciont. By the act of 18(53, — tho one wo beliovo at prosent in foree — tho privilogo of voting for Goldficlds mombors is extended to tho holdors of business licenses, as wojl as of minors' rights j and Iho qualification is made to consist simply in tho possession of a right or licenso for a poriod of six consecutive months immediately preceding tho day on which the election takes place. Such is our reading of tho law. As wo understand it, thoroforo, tho minors and business licenses of Wostlaud havo no moro legal titlo to voto at tho oleotion of tho Superintendent of Canterbury than at tho election of tho Lord Mayor of London, uuloss thoir names are inscribed on tho olectoral-roll of tho province } and as thoro is no doctoral- roll for Wostland, and cannot bo until rights of property aro created by tho establishment of a regular freehold and tenant tenure, tho population en masse "will bo deniod any voico in tho choico of tho polilicul and executive chief of tho province. Wo shall bo very glad to sco Mr Moorhouso and Mr •Travors amongst us, and whichovor is oleclcd to tho. Suporlondoncy will, no doubt, find himself all tho bottor qualified to grapplo with tho arduous duties of his offlco aftor having seen Westland wjlh his own oyos, and heard the complaints of its peoplo with his own cars. But if those gontloinon como lo solicit our votco wo are nfraid wo shall bo obliged to toll them wo have nono to give. Under tho now .Representation Act of tho kfft session, increasing tho numbor of monibons in tho Gonor'al Assembly, Westland haav been created an Electoral District, witSl^ one mombor assigned to it. Who. will .ho ."qualified 'to voto for this membovP Wo apprehend only those whoso

names are on the electoral roll of the pro" vinco. Where special Goldficlds members are " by law appointed" to a district, tho miner's right nnd business license confers the power of voting at elections for these only. If such is not a correct interpretation of the law, it is exceedingly desirable that some public and authentic information should bo afforded on tho subject, that tho electors may know precisely what thoy are about, and what is the naturo and the limit of their privileges*

Closely connected as are Hokitika and tho Grey, it is a mnt'er of surprise that privato enterprise Ins not long ere this supplied tho va-' canoy caused by the present defective means of communication between tho two places; for tho inconvenience , nnd in many casts loss, that has been sullercd by the largo population centered in the towns of Hokitika and the Grey during the past two or threo months, lms been as palpable as it has been intolerable. It is therefore with great pleasure that we notice tho fact, as shown by an advertisement in another column, of tho establishment .of a Jinc of coaches, which we have no doubt will be as heartily welcome to tho public generally as to ourselves. It fa only intended at present to run each way thrco times a wock ; but wo aro informed thnt tho sorvico will bo mado a dnily one, immediately circumstances may justify such extension. Tlio passage of Iho Teromaknu and other dangerous rivers by coach will not be at empted, but the passengers will be ferried rtcross, and coaches will bo kept in reserve on both sidoi to convoy passengers to thoir destination. Of course, such a service will bs established only at considerable expense, and we trust that th,o public will, by their hearty support, proved that they can not only appreciate, Init properly reward tho enterprise of Messrs. Rowley and Co.

The last fortnightly Escort^ from lh,o Otago Goldfields brought down to Dunedin 6,054 ozs. 15 dwts. of gojd. Another accident occurred on Tuesday night Inst, owing to the warp ■which is .stretched across the river at the wharf, and tho escape f oin fatal consequences was still more narrow than on Sunday. Two mon, named Robert and D.ivid Henderson, took a waterman's wlnlebo'it about twelve o'clock, and rowed to the south bunk for the purposo of fetching back a small boat whioh was at'ached to Iho punt. They got safely over, but on coining hack with the boat in tow, their boat came in contneb with the rope, and immediately capsized. One of the men swam to shore and managed to scramble to land sufely, but the other stuck to tbo boat and was rapidly cvuied down tho strewn. Very fortunately two boatmen named Bowie and Craddock heard his cries for assistance, and in tho most prompt and plucky nnnnor. jumped into a boat and started in pursuit, fortunately overtaking tho remaining man just at tho fl.igstaff, within a very short distance of tho channel, 'jftie two boats wero washed away to sea nnd thrown up on the beach during yesterday. Surely this warning should attract tho attention of thoso in authority. It maybe necessary, possibly that in Older to complete the contract quickly the obstaclo should bo permitted, but at the same timo if proper precaution bo not taken tho utmost culpability attaches to all concerned. In tho same place one fatal accident has occurred; and now, within thrco days, dx lives have-been imperilled . Amongst tho most recent novelties in Holdtika, in tho epicurean way, are oysters and an abundant supply of cherries. The former come from Pioton chiefly, aud tho latter from Nols'on. It sounds strange to hear tho old familiar cry of " cherry ripe" in a placo which so short a time ago was a terra iiicogilltaj and an uninhabitable district.

Tho overland mail for Christclnrch closed ns usual at the Post-office on Monday morning at nino o'clock, and as usual tho mailman left town late in tho aficrnoon, rciping a rich harvest of half-crowns for taking chargo of lato letters.

We havo bad a week of glorious weather, and nt the fnoment of our writing thero is every prospect of its continuance Vessels departing from our shores which really wish to carry their boats to Bed. with them, shculd never neglect to hoist them to (ho duvit ends bofore . starting. The schooner Mimmio Diko, that sailed on Monday, left (very unwillingly no doubt) ono of hers behind her through neglecting to use the abovo precaution ; the boat unable to withstand tho rapidity with which sho was drawn through the water, swamping< and Ihe painter giving way. sho was loft floating bottom up in tbo river. She u'ns afterwards picked up by Ihe Harbor boat, townd'on shore, righted, and found to be comparatively uninjured.

fr-'o many boat accidents hav.o occurred on tho Wetland rivers, attended by a melancholy loss of life, involving besides tho loss of a very largo amount of valuable property, that wo cannot but hail with very great satisfaction fio introduction of a superior class of vc'ssejs (intended for the navigation of our rapid and dangerous streams) to thoso at present in use. Wo have, therefore much pleasure in making known that the firm of fticssrs Lloyd, Tag'gart and Co., in conjunction wilb other gontlemcn belonging to our enterprising community, havo mado arrangements with two well known firms in Dunedin and Melbourne, for the construction of two moat usoful steam vessels specially intended for the Gray nnd Hokitika rivers. They will bo built on the stornwheol principle, their dimensions being 75 feet long, 12 feet beam, aud a 2 feet 0 inches depth of hold. The frames will consist of light angle iron ; the planking of light Oregon pino, which is considered tho best that can be usorl where a combination of lightness and stability is required. They will be fitted with singlo engines of 12 and 15 horse-jiower respectively, tho most powerful beii.g intended for the Grey boat ; and wo aro nuthoiised to slato that in two months both vessols will bo in full work. The greatest credit is duo to the enterprising spirit of these geullemen, who have determined, (it no small risk, to supply a want so long folt, and which will prove such a boon to our commercial men nnd minors ; aud we tender our hearty good wishes for tho success of n speculation that is another illustration of tho ontorpriso and pluck of Hokitika..

EXPENDITURE B. £ 8. (I. Administration, of Gold Fields ... Police (including escort) ,., Telegraph .. Survey ..> Roads ... • Fees to Crown Prosecutor, Nelson ... -. * Printing, Advertising, Stationery, and contingencies 12.840 14 3 3,730 11 9 3,21fi 17 8 687 7 8 26,670 7 1 21 0 0 132 1 6 40,206 19 ll .

lir.ur.in.T, Customs ... "... Gold Export Duty Miners liigltts, Licenser), &c. Settlement of Imprests ... Incidental Recoipts £ S. d. 3,900 18 0 6,804 7 0 949 14 6 077 16 5 4 19 6 balance from 30lli June... 12,128 15 5 2,165 4 4 14,293 19 9 Banlance against account to let October 31,912 0 2 46,205 10 11

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

WEST COAST TIMES. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1865., West Coast Times, Issue 83, 14 December 1865

Word Count
3,037

WEST COAST TIMES. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1865. West Coast Times, Issue 83, 14 December 1865

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