Wanganui Herald. [PUBLISHED DAILY.] MONDAY, APRIL 19, 1886. THE WANGANUI CENSUS RETURNS.
The results of the late census of the population of Wanganui are not very encouraging, as they shew as plainly as figures can show anything that the place has not progressed anything worth mentioning since the previous census was taken in 1881, as the total increase has been but 256 souls, whilst the increase from the 1878 census to that of 1881 was nearly a thousand. Instead of going ahead rapidly, as between 1878 and 1881, the town during the last five years has all but stood still, so far as population is concerned, and that too in the face of a high birthrate, which if reckoned, would show that the place has actually gone back since 1881. If we seek out the cause of this sudden and disastrous check to the progress of the town, we will not need to seek far for the cause, as it is an old and true saying that it is not the town that makes the country, but the country that makes the town. We have lots of land, good land too around us, but it is not being tilled, and is mostly devoted to sheep and cattle grazing • very good things in their way no doubt, but not good enough of themselves to Bapport a large and prosperous population. If the town languishes and loses population, the exodus reacts on the country, and less produce finds a market in the town. We are told every day that agriculture will not pay in this district, and that sheep and cattle are the only things that will, but the graziers' experience of late does not bear this out, and a return will have to be made to mixed farming if the land is to be made to yield a living and a profit to those who now occupy it. Our land will yield as heavy crops of cereals and roots as any in New Zealand; heavier than many other parts of it, and prioes are higher here for cereals than down South, and yet our farm, rs says wheat, oats, and barley are crops that do not pay them to grow. In Canterbury and Otago, where the average yield of cereals per acre are below what they are on suitable soils here, farmers pay high rents, or give big prices for their farms, and keep their heads above I water, but they do not spend half their time riding about the country or in town ; they work themselves, and see j that those they employ do so also, and, furthermore, they contrive to live in a far . less expensive fashion than their Northern brethern, who, so long as they have the luxuries of life, axe content to let the Southern farmers be content with the necessaries; Instead of growing our own breadstuffs and feeding grain, we pay the Canterbury and Otago farmrrs to do so for us, and send them hard coin for their produce. We do not even send them anything of our own growth or manufacture to lighten the bill, which, as before remarked, has to be settled by cash. Of this latter we have all too little, and yet we blindly go on draining it away to pay people for doing in the South Island what we ought to be doing for ourselves here. We send our sheep and cattle away, to a much lesser extent than in former times, and there is hardly any exports* of any value to bring back outside money, except, of course, that of the yearly crop of wool. Now, how much better it would be if we grew enough for our own wants at least, and ceased to drain the place of its fast diminishing stock of money. By doiug so, a much larger country population would, in turn, support an increased number of town inhabitants, and these again would require more country produce, and so the thing would go on, and all kinds of property rise In value, instead of being as at present — at such a low ebb that | it is only by putting it to the critical, test of an unreserved sale by auction ! .that any exact value can be placed upon any real property, either in the j town or the adjacent country districts. So long as we pursue the suicidal course we have been i doing of late years, the place will get poorer and poorer, and much of I the population have to betake itself to j some more go-ahead district. We are very much of the same style of listless folks as the "Bluenoses" whom Sam Slick stung into activity and industry by his caustic wit and scathing sarcasm, and sadly want someone similarly gifted to open our eyes to the folly of importing agricultural produce that we should grow in our own district. We have too many " gentlemen farmers " who -will not use a plough on their ground, whilst they can stroll or ride about with their pipes in their mouths watching their sheejp and cattle* lazily getting their fill on the rich pastures of this coast. The small farmers in Victoria known as the " selectors " are the backbone of their colony, and they
have to contend with, difficulties our farmers would sink under, as ten bushels of! wheat to the acre is a big crop with plenty of. them. But they do not put all their eggs under 0110 hen ; they vary their crops, and have a variety of strings to their bows ; if j they did not they would starve. Bad as their case is, that of their South Australian neighbours is worse, as their average crops are less than the Victorian, which would be looked upon in thiß country aB not worth harvesting. Lately there have been a few visiting Canterbury and Otago farmers, who wished to see for themselves what this district is like, and these menhave been astounded to ride over miles and miles of splendid land without seeing a stack or a full barn. Nothing but sheep and cattle, and a country that would support thousands in comfort, only occupied by a few easygoing people who cannot be bothered with cropping. There roust be some narcotic in the. air, or is it the example of our dusky brethren that^hßs de-; stroyed all energy in u», and left the place to be a finger mark for outside scorn 1 Will nothing short of a convulsion of nature wake our somnolent farmers up to a knowledge of the folly they are committing by not growing enough for "home consumption" at least 1 We know they will say agriculture don't pay here; We shoulct not think it would the way it is generally practised, but it would, if carried on as elsewhere by competent and thrifty people, who are too industrious to leave their corn out in the open, for weeks to-be rained on and spoiled, when by a little trouble it might be saved, if stacked and thatched or otherwise protected from the weather. For three successive years much of the small quantity of wheat grown on this coast was left out and spoiled. A few wiser men got theirs safely under cover, and saved every bushel of it ; but they were the very few exceptions, as against the very many who took no thought or painß to save their grain. No wonder these ■latter declare that "farming won't pay." It would be queer if such "farming" did. -We hope the next census will show that Wanganui has experienced a change for the better, and that instead of standing still, as 'during the past five years, it will be found to have gone ahead with vigour and stability, and be a busy centre from which all the chief wants of the surrounding districts will be supplied,
.. — 1 The annual general meeting of the Equitable Building Society will be held this evening at 7.30. We are requested to state that the final meeting of the King Concert Committee will be held at seven o'clock this evening in the Borough Connsil Chambers. It having been decided to hold a Volunteer ball on Easter Monday the Railway employees have postponed their dance till the Queen's Birthday, when they, do nyt anticipate opposition* During the week there were fiye admittances to the hospital : Larry Many 1 (Rangitikei), Thomas Gilbert, Win Fuller (Fordell), L, Boyd (Wanganui), and S. Harris (Marton). None were discharged, soVthat. there are now 23 patients. It is probable that instead of- making a clearance of the A.C. Force, as rumoured, a number of men will be transferred to the permanent Artillery and Torpedo Corps. The roll of A.C- officers will also be curtailed. Mrs Holt, wife of the Jate manager of tho Bank of JSew Zealand in Sydney, was a through passenger by tho Alameda on her last trip from Sydney to San Francisco, and was consequently in Auckland last week. No endeavor was made to hide her identity, aB she was known on the vessel as Mrs Holt, Saturday's football match, English v Scotch and Irian (combined), was well contested, the only score being a try for the English obtained by young Woon, A disputed try was obtained earlier in the game by the combined team, but it was disallowed on the ground that Kennedy, who scored it, was off- Bide, . It is common gossip in ■ London that Lord Hartington, has never forgiven Mr Chamberlain for calling him " Rip van Winkle " at Birmingham during the eleotion ; nor Lord Randolph Churchill for saying that he had the power of a "boa constrictor "for swalt lowing all sorts and kinds of politics, Moro probably Lord Hartington's objection to both gentlemen lies in their general demagdgio disposition. It ia astonishing how so simple a matter «b giving an affirmation to a juror or witness should prove difficult to officers of the Law Courts. This morning a juror at the Supreme Court was aotually made to affirm with the Bible in his hand, The very book which the juror objected to was thus given him to affirm on, and was only -taken away when the. Registrar came to the words of asseveration at the end, which had of course to be omitted, From the Evening News (Napier) we learn that the land fever which recently attacked the purchasers of Riverslea sections ha? somewhat abated, and a reaction is now setting in. The News states that the parohasers of some of the sections are not coming up to the scratch with their instalments, as the agents are notifying that a final opportunity will be given them to pay up and sign the mortgages for the balance. The purchasers now see the folly of their mad rush to buy this land, as if it were tho last piece of territory to be sold ia the oountryi Beach was accorded an enthusiastic reception at Melbourne when en route for England, it being his first visit to Melbourne. He was entertained at a banquet by the Victorian Rowing Association, and also spent several social evenings with the bicyclists and cricketers. Beach gave the Victorian intercolonial eight a spurt on the Yarra for the delectation of Melbourne oarsmen-. When in Melbourne he looked extremely well, and stated that he had never been in better health in his life, although then out of training, and weighing 13st 71b, or about » stone more than he did when he rowed and defeated Edward Hanlan. The Timaru Herald has the following paragraph relating to the bereavement of a gentleman well-known here, for whom auoh genuine Bympathy is felt : — Among the sufferers by the Taiaroa disaster, is Mr G» G. Fitzgerald, Editor of this journal, whose wife perished in the wreck. The deceased lady was on her way from Wellington to join her husband in this town, with every expectation of returning the domestic happiness which characterised their past married life. Mr Fitzgerald, in anticipation of his wife's arrival, furnished a comfortable cottage, and made other preparations for her reception. The dwelling bears the designation of Tararua Cottage, and in furnishing it Mr Fitzgerald called to recollection the heart-rending calamity caused by the wreck of that steamer five years ago, and cherished a hope that no such disaster would occur to his wife. It was, however, a tran* sitory hope, and when the telegrams announcing the wreck and the loss of his be« loved partner, came to hand, the shock waa all but unbearable, aa may well conceived. Mrs Fitzgerald waa a moßt estimable lady, and highly esteemed by all who hod the pleasure of her acquaintance, and these were many. The whole of her luggage having been lost, her husband possesses no memento of her, with the exception of two letters lately received from her from Wellington, and this oiroumstance, of itself, intensifies his grief.
Major Braaaey has resigned bis appointment as Justice of the Peace. A Wellington telegram states that the T i ina'a cargo was sold this afternoon to \\ atson and Mackenzie for £30. We have received a quaint looking pamphlet entitled "A few words about vooal muaio and sight singing (how to acquire it), by W.H.Vv." The pamphlet is e\ idontly the handwork of the author, and has been produced by the aid of a polygraph. The contents are worthy of perusal, and will repay the time spent thereon by those who take an interest in the subjeot. Acoording to the Registrar-General's report on the vital statistics for March, there were in that month 510 births and 264 deaths in the colony. Napier has the greatest proportion of deaths to the 1000 of population, 1347), the Thames (018) being lowest and Wanganui (0*56) next. There were 20 births and 3 deaths, in Wanganui in the period mentioned. A paragraph has lately been going the rounds of the New Zealand Press crediting Mrs Hudson, the wife of the Railway King, with solecisms Innumerable, in foot making her * Mrs Fartington and a Mis Rainsbotham rolled into one. Aa a matter of fact she rarely committed herself ; she was very re' tiring and never ventured to conao forward unless she was certain of her ground. Having come from a very humble sphere the difficulties she met with in accommodating herself to the ways of the highest society, naturally suggested all kinds of absurd aituauons, which were made the ragat of by the newspaper writers, of the day. Mrs Hudson's death supplied the opportunity for the revival of these stories, the greater number' of which had no foundation whatever, Volunteers and the public generally will join with us in congratulating Major Watt on the promotion he has received on the for1 mation of the battalion on this coast. As member of the Wanganui Rifles in various capacities, ho has always taken a great interest in volunteering, and though loth to part with him the members of that corps will Be pleased, to know that his services have been co recognised. Snrgeon Tripe's promotion to the rank of Surgeon-Major is well deserved, his being at present the oldest commission in that branch of the service; Aa Surgeon to the Alexandra Cavalry he has interested himself in their movements both by attending their camps and giving prizes for shooting, &c, and the troop have expected for some time to see him gazetted to the post he was entitled to fill, A correspondent, writing from the Thames, says :— " I have had several conversations with the representatives who took part in the recent firing at Wanganui. They all Bpeak in very high terms of the hospitable way in which they were treated by the Wanganui people, and the unmarried ones pay a very flattering tribute to the beauty of your girls, saying that of all the places they have visited Wanganui bears the palm for the best-looking girls— these fellows pride themselves on being capable judges. All our men were greatly pleased with their visit." Our correspondent, who ia an old Wanganuiite, adds a few remarks as to the present state of things at the Thames, from which we gather they are dull, The La Monte furnace, which was to have made things buzz, appears not to have fulfilled expectations, and is now at a standstill, pending a meeting of the Auckland company, who purchased the right to run. it in New Zealand. There is something radically wrong with the Napier men, when the following remarks are made by the Telegraph :— " Volunteers as an amusement, as a mild form of exercise, and as giving a good carriage from its drilling, has ouarma for many, coupled with which the gay and attraotive dress, whioh enables its wearer to poae before the fair sex as a defender of his country, and' these have induced many to join the ranks, who enjoy the fun to be got at the expense of the .country, but when a call is made to face some of the hardships of actual warfare, there is but a poor master. It will scarcely be credited that our local volunteers are ■averse to spending a few days in camp at "Wanganui, a very necessary instruction for them to receive, yet such is the case." The Telegraph adds that the officers were disgusted with the action of the men, though at a meeting held since the above was written we learn that they " have guaranteed so. many men from eaoh company, and will put in an appearance at Wanganui no matter how few the numbers may be." At the Wellington Supreme Court on Friday the only case heard was that of the Public Trustee v. Neilson. The action was brought (says the N.Z, Times) by the Trustee, as' administrator in the estate of the late William Hunt, mariner, Wellington, to recover possession of a piece of land in Dub' lin Street, Wanganui, from James Neilson, settler, Wanganui. The land had been mortgaged to the late William Hunt in May, 1877, for £100, and interest at the rate of 10 per cent per annum. Plaintiff also claimed £25 as mesne profits. Defendant claimed that he was in possession of the land as tenant to Janet Hunter. After hearing the evidence oi E. 0/ Hamerton, Public Trustee, and O. H. Treadwell, solicitor, Wanganui, His Honor Judge Richmond gave judgment for the possession of the land and costs on the lowest scale ; execution to be stayed for 15 days. Plaintiff abandoned the claim for mesne profits. Mr Stafford appeared for plaintiff : Mr Jelliooe for defendant. The Press Association having copied from the New Zealand Times some remarks relative to Mr Stoat and the New Plymouth breakwater, which led people to believe that Mr Stout had gone to New Plymouth for the purpose of considering a proposal which had been made for the Government: to take over and finish the New Plymouth breakwater. The Post takes up the matter and explains that nothing could be wider of the mark. It says ; — While at New Plymouth Mr Stout had a look round the hospitals and sohools — institutions whioh are under his control, and in which, he takes the greatest interest —and he also inspected the breakwater, as any ordinary visitor would, but his inspection of that huge money-eating structure had no political significance whatever* We did not notice the Times' inuendos when they were uttered, nor should we allude to the subject now but that on reference to our exchanges we find the statements, purposely intended to create a wrong impression, have been telegraphed to various parts of the colony. They are, however, as we have shown, utterly without foundation, Our Patea correspondent writes :— The agitation re the opening up of the back country ia spreading. Hawera, lam glad to see, has tpken up the matter with some spirit, His Worship the Mayor, having received a communication from the Mayor of Hawera, intimating their willingness to cooperate with Patea in representing the matter rightly to the Government. Hawera's interest in this matter is identical with Patea's. At present the tendency of the Land Board is to centralise the whole country up the Wanganui River into New Ply» mouths They cannot see that a road to our back country can be made from any other point but Stratford ; when we suggest a line of road we are met with insurmountable difficulties, even our very reasonable request in the matter, that it Bhould be laid before the Minister of Lands, was shelved by the Board* A special meeting of the Patea Chamber of Gommeroe was hold, on Friday evening to take into consideration the report of the Chief Surveyor and the communication received from the Mayor of Hawera on the matter. The strong objection was to the following portion of the report:— " Moreover, I do not think it advisable to inour a large expenditure in searching for a road into back lands that are not likely to be taken up for some yeara to come, especially when provision, has been made in the Land Act to take roada without compensation over lands leased in the way I proposed." Of course the meaning of that is that the land that ought to be tapped from Whakamara or Ball Road must be kept a kind of terra incognita until Bueh time as it oanlie done from the New Plymouth end, The following resolution was passed by the Chamber : — " That this meeting, having taken into consideration the report presented to the Land Board at its last meeting, together with a letter from the Mayor of Hawera, recommend that the Mayor of Patea, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, and Mr Cowern be a deputation to wait on the Mayor of Hawera, with a view to arrange some mutual action beneficial to both towns,"
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Wanganui Herald. [PUBLISHED DAILY.] MONDAY, APRIL 19, 1886. THE WANGANUI CENSUS RETURNS., Wanganui Herald, Volume XX, Issue 5882, 19 April 1886
Wanganui Herald. [PUBLISHED DAILY.] MONDAY, APRIL 19, 1886. THE WANGANUI CENSUS RETURNS. Wanganui Herald, Volume XX, Issue 5882, 19 April 1886
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