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THE TIMBER INDUSTRY.
To the Editor of "The Mercury."
Sir,-The Imnlv Keed is loaded wita
squared piles, being the seventh ship load- ed by Messrs Graj Bros , in all carrying about four million feet of this class of timber for \dmiralty works in England and Bouth \frica Messrs Gray have gone to consideiablc expense in obtaining theje orders, necessitating t«o trips to England with the result of opening up a permanent trnde with the two largest con- tracting firms in Great Britain, if it is not nipped in the bud by the drastic laws of our Crown Land Department In the pre- paration of those piles, about fifty bu-»b mon have been employed for uearlj three yeara, and also largo teams of cattle, haul- ing to the -hipping place Such an in- dustry I am "-ure deserves nell of the State, and should be fairh treated bv the Government We hear a great deal about fostering the timber industry, but what ha» been really done? In the preparation of the first cargo the license fee was ten shillings a month per man, for the four following cargoes the fee was Jil, and the last two cargoes ii 10s for everyone em- ployed on the job, including teamsters so I should like to know «hat this fostering really means But I have an idea that when our new Ministry settles down, to ivork, they will take a broader view of this important industry, and introduce a more equitable measure, which will enable u« to compere in foreign markets
Sir, do you know that a license fee of Jil IO* ki equal to 6d. a hundred feet9 Why should it be so, "when the royalty on other timber is 6d a thousand feet * Perhaps it is to recoup the office of Grown lands bailiff, a gentleman we could very Trell do without, especially for this class of work, as he will tell you, and bell his Minister nlso that it tains the pick of our forest l'un bor to make those piles Suoh, how- ever, is not so as regards the last cargo, aa I Know a tract of country that has been culled out for logs piles, and sleepers for the laet thirty yara, and y et over five hun- dred of tboos piles have been obtained Thin antiquated method of obtaining re- venue by means of a license on bushmen is unjust, as the fee must be paid monthly in advance Tben ut often occurs through inclement weather and accidents that he cannot do more than a week's work be- fore his license expires The same applies to the contractor He may take out licenses for a number of men, and they are unable to work for the same reason. Therefore, the royaltv erstem for all kinds of bush work is far preferable, as then all employed would pay on the result of their
-Yours,, etc., I
June 15. ^^^^^^^^^