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COLONIAL RAILWAYS.

No. 1.

Copy of a letter from Chairman of Provi- sional Committee for establishment of   Railway to Colonial Secretary

Sydney, 20th September, 1848.

Sir,-With reference to the personal inter- view with which the deputation from the Pro- visional Committee for making arrangements for the establishment of a Railway Company were favoured by His Excellency the Governor   on th3 14th instant, the Provisional Committee has the honour to request to be favoured with   a written communication expressing the views of the Colonial Government upon the points

then discussed.

Those points were :--

1. Whether the Crown is willing to grant in fee simple the land for the line of road ?

2. Whether grants of land, free of charge, will be made to the Company, by way of bonus, as has been done in the North American colonies?

3 Whether the Government is willing to guarantee the payment of interest for a term of years as recommended by the Legislative Council, upon £100,000 of subscribed capital? If so, at what rate per cent , and for what period ?

4. Will the advance of funds from the    

Savings Bank, as also recommended by the Legislative Council, be made ?

5. Is the Government willing to assent to an

Act of Incorporation limiting the liability

of the shareholders to double the amount of their shares ?

The Committee desire to issue a prospectus   for the information of the public, and it is with the view of preventing any misunderstanding respecting the aid which the Government   is willing to give in furtherance of the   proposed undertaking, that they make the   request now submitted.

I have, &c.,  

CHARLES COWPER,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee. The Hon. the Colonial Secretary,

No. 2.

Copy of a Letter from Colonial Secretary to

Chairman of Committee.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 25th September, 1848.

Sir,-I have had the honour to receive, and to submit to the Governor, your letter of the 20th instant, requesting (in reference to the interview which the deputation from the   Provisional Committee, for the establishment of a Railway Company, had with his Excellency on the 14th of the present month) that the     Committee may be made acquainted with the

views of the Colonial Government on the points then discussed, viz. :-

1. Whether the Crown is willing to grant in fee simple the land for the line of road ?

2. Whether grants of land, free of charge,

will be made to the Company by way of bonus, as has been done in the North American colonies?  

3. Whether the Government is willing to guarantee the payment of interest for a term of years, as recommended by the Legislative Council, upon £100,000 of subscribed capital ; and if so, at what rate per cent., and for what period ?

4. Will the advance of funds from the Savings' Bank, as also recommended by the Legislative Council, be made?

5. Is the Government willing to assent to an act of incorporation, limiting the liability of the shareholders to double the amount of their shares ?

In reply to the above queries, I am directed

to state that-

1. The Governor has no authority to grant in fee simple the land for the line of road, but that he will refer the question for the conside- ration of her Majesty's Government, and in the mean time his Excellency sees no objection

to reserve the land until an answer be received,   provided the Company give security for its being paid for, if required so to do.

2. The Governor has no power to make grants of land, free of charge to the Company, by way of bonus, as represented to have been done in the North American colonies ; but this question shall also be referred home.

3. His Excellency sees no objection to the Government guaranteeing for a limited term of years the interest at five per cent, per annum on the first £100,000 of the capital sub- scribed, upon the security proposed in the re- solutions of the Legislative Council, provided the consent of the Legislature be obtained.

4. There will be no objection to the advance of funds from the Savings' Bank to the extent of one-fourth of the capital subscribed, viz., £25,000, but this also will require the consent of the Legislature.

5. There can be no objection to assent to an act of incorporation limiting the liability of the

shareholders to double the amount of their

shares, whenever the project may be suffi- ciently matured.

I have, &c.,

E. DEAS THOMSON. Charles Cowper, Esq.,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee for

the establishment of a Railway Company.

No. 3.

Copy of a letter from Chairman of Committee

to Colonial Secretary.

Sydney, 27th September, 1848.

Sir,-I have the honour to acknowledge the

receipt of your letter of the 25th instant, which   was duly laid before the Provisional Committee at their meeting held on that day,

The Committee are, however, unwilling to publish their prospectus until informed defi- nitely for what period the interest upon the subscribed capital will be guaranteed by Go- vernment, and they would feel obliged by your giving them information upon this part of the third question proposed in my former letter, which escaped your notice.

In the discussion which took place in the Provisional Committee upon the reply of His Excellency to the fifth point submitted for the consideration of the Colonial Government, it was suggested that considerable difficulty would be experienced in obtaining so large an amount of capital as £100,000, with a liability upon the shareholders, though limited to double the amount of their shares, more espe- cially under the present circumstances of the colony. When this point was submitted to the Governor in the first instance, the deputa- tion had immediate reference to the Treasury Instructions of the 30th May, 1846, which, upon more careful examination, appear to be confined to banking companies. In the des- patch of Mr. Gladstone, 15th January, 1846, upon Railway Acts, no such clause as is referred to seems to be contem-

plated. The Committee therefore beg respectfully to submit the fifth point to His Excellency for reconsideration, and with- out detailing the various reasons which, upon mature reflection, seem to them to justify a departure from the rule laid down with regard to Banking Companies, they trust that his Excellency will not require the insertion in any act which may be passed for the incorpo-

ration of the proposed Railway Company, of a    

clause, making the shareholders individually liable beyond the amount of their respective

shares.

The Railway Company of Demerara and Trinidad offer precedents for such a course, as the prospectuses issued by them state that " permission would be made for limiting the responsibility of the shareholders to the amount of their respective subscriptions."

I have, &c.,

CHARLES COWPER,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee. The Hon. the Colonial Secretary.

No. 4.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 5th September, 1848.

Sir,-I do myself the honour to inform you,

that the Governor has laid before the Executive Council your letter of the 27th ultimo,     requesting, as Chairman of the Provisional  

Committee for the establishment of the contem- plated railway, to be informed, with reference to my letter of the 25th ultimo, for what period the interest upon the subscribed capital will be guaranteed by the Government ; and also that his Excellency will not require the inser- tion in any act which may be passed by the Legislative Council for the incorporation of the Company, of a clause making the shareholders individually liable beyond the amount of their respective shares.

In reply, I am directed to inform you, that the interest on the subscribed capital will be guaranteed by the Government for a period

not exceeding ten years ; and further, that the

Council have expressed their opinion that as an advance equal to one-fourth of the capital subscribed and paid up is proposed to be made from the funds of the Savings Bank, it is not expedient to secede to the request for the limi- tation of the shareholders' responsibility to less than double the amount of their respective

shares.

I have, &c,

E. DEAS THOMSON. Charles Cowper, Esq.,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee

of the proposed Railway.

No. 5.

Copy of a Letter from Chairman of Committee

to Colonial Secretary.

Sydney, 6th October, 1848.

Sir,-I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday's date, communicating the decision of His Excellency the Governor and the Executive Council upon the questions which, on behalf of the Provisional Com- mittee for establishing a Railway Company, I had the honour to submit in my letter of the 27th

ultimo.

The Provisional Committee desire me now to state that they consider it of such impor- tance that the Act of Incorporation should not contain a clause creating such a liability upon the shareholders as that proposed, that they think it preferable not to receive advances from the funds of the Savings' Bank at all, if their acceptance of them is to be made a reason for augmenting the responsibility of the share- holders of the company to such a serious ex-

tent.

The Committee believe that it is a privilege constantly granted to Railway Companies in England to borrow to the extent of one-third of their capital ; and by the " Companies' Clauses Consolidation Act" of 1845, (see Shelford, pages 140 and 141) the liability of the shareholders in every Company, previously established, is limited to the amount of their shares, and this course the Committee are in- formed is now the invariable rule in Parlia- mentary Legislation.

With the distinct understanding, therefore, that the Company are willing to forego the ad- vantage of having the aid of Savings' Bank funds, they trust that no objection will be made to their being incorporated upon the same principle as is now adopted in the mother country and elsewhere.

I have, &c.,

CHARLES COWPER,

Chairman of Provisional Committee. The Hon. the Colonial Secretary.

No. 6.

Copy of a Letter from Colonial Secretary to

Chairman of Committee.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 20th October, 1848. Sir,-I do myself the honour to inform you that the Governor has laid before the Execu- tive Council your letter of the 6th instant, conveying, in reference to my communication of the 6th, the request of the provisional Com-

mittee for the establishment of the contem- plated railway, that on the condition of their foregoing the aid of Savings' Bank funds the Government will sanction the limitation of the liabilities of the shareholders in the pro- posed Company to the amount of their respec-

tive shares.

I am further directed to inform you that the Council, after mature deliberation, have ex- pressed their opinion, which is concurred in by his Excellency, that if no public moneys be advanced to the proposed company, there will be no objection to the limitation of each share- holder's liability to the amount of his own shares, in accordance with the principle of the enactments referred to in your communi-

cation.

I have, &c,  

E. DEAS THOMSON.  

Charles Cowper, Esq.,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee of

the proposed Railway.

No. 7.

Copy of a Letter from Chairman of Committee

to Colonial Secretary.

Railway Office,

4th January, 1849.

Sir,-The Provisional Committee have the honour to request your reference to the letter with which they were favoured by you on the 5th October last, in which in reply to their re- quest to be informed for what period the in- terest at five per cent, per annum will be guaranteed by the Government upon £100,000 of capital proposed to be raised for the Rail- way Company, you state that it will be gua- ranteed for a period not exceeding ten years. They are aware that at the time this answer was given to them no precedent could be found of a guarantee being granted for any longer period ; but recently they have ascer- tained that the East India Company guarantee a minimum interest of five per cent, upon the subscribed capital for a Railway Company in India, for twenty-five years; and also that by an Act of the local Legislature of New Bruns- wick, which has been assented to by her Ma- jesty, six per cent, per annum has been gua- ranteed for twenty-five years upon £100,000, to be raised for the St. Andrew's and Quebec   Railway Company. In addition to this, free grants of land have been made upon a most li- beral scale-not only for the line of road and  

sites for stations, but also of 20,000 acres as a bonus; besides which permission has been

given for their selling 100,000 acres at 2s. 6d.. per acre, to newly arrived immigrants.

2. The Provisional Committee are induced to bring this information under the notice of the colonial Government, because they expe- rience great difficulty in carrying out the ob- ject they have in view, though their exertions since the time of their first placing themselves in communication with his Excellency upon the subject, have been unceasing. The difficulty arises, partly they believe from the apprehen- sion entertained regarding Companies, and partly from the depression occasioned by the accounts which have for some time past been received of the ruinously low prices of the main articles of export from the colony. These circumstances have indeed produced such a feeling of suspicion and distrust, that the Committee consider some great inducement is absolutely required to encourage the invest- ment of funds in the Railway undertaking, by those who have unemployed capital.

3. In accordance with the precedent quoted in this letter, the Committee are willing to persuade themselves that, provided the Legis- lative Council concur, the Executive Govern- ment will not hesitate to extend the period for   which the guarantee has been already promised to the term of twenty-five years ; for if that   inducement has been found necessary in coun- tries so much more established, and so much nearer to the mother country, it can hardly be alleged with any degree of force that the same amount of encouragement is unreasonable in this young and distant colony. But it has been suggested, and the proposition is con- tended for with great earnestness by many friends of the proposed Company, that nu- merous advantages would arise from making the guarantee permanent. Such a proceeding the Committee is of opinion would inspire great confidence in the stability of the Com- pany, and would tend more than anything else to prevent the Government being called on to pay, except perhaps to a very limited extent, the minimum so assured to the shareholders ; as sufficient funds they think will under such encouragement, be forthcoming for enabling them to complete certain lines, the traffic upon which would be amply remunerative.

4. The Committee beg to submit that as by the Secretary of State's instruction his Excel- lency is desired to insert in any Railway Act a clause making provision for the purchase of the Railway, if it be thought fit by the State after twenty-one years, on the terms provided in the

second clause of the Statute 7 and 8 Vic, cap. 85, sec. 1, the making the guarantee permanent could not be considered as actually increasing the responsibility of Government, while an encouragement of the greatest importance would be given towards establishing the Company. Should the Go- vernment be of opinion that the Company was not properly managed, the right of purchase could always be exercised.

5. The Provisional Committee therefore feel themselves justified in urging upon the colo- nial Government that a guarantee of a mini- mum dividend of five per cent, per annum upon a subscribed capital of £100,000 should be made permanent ; and, at the same time, they request to be favoured with an intimation as to the time from which the payment of interest

will commence.

I have, &c,

CHARLES COWPER,

Chairman of Provisional Committee. The Hon. Colonial Secretary,

No. 8.

Copy of a Letter from Colonial Secretary to

Chairman of Committee.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 29th January, 1849. Sir,-I am directed by his Excellency the Governor to inform you that he has laid before the Executive Council your letter of the 4th instant, requesting, with reference to my com- munication of the 5th October last, that the proposed guarantee by the Government, for a period not exceeding ten years, of a minimum dividend of five per cent, on a subscribed capital for the Railway Company, of £100,000 should be made permanent, or that it should be at least extended to the term of twenty-five years, and also requiring the time from which the payment of interest will commence.

2. The proposals made by you having been attentively considered by the Council, I am de- sired to state to you, for the information of the Provisional Committee that they did not feel themselves justified in recommending that the Government should entertain the request, that the guarantee referred to should be made per- manent. They did not, however, object to its extension to a period of twenty-five years, in accordance with the precedents cited by you, and his Excellency will therefore be willing, as advised by them, to assent to a provision in an Act of Council securing the continuance of the guarantee in question for that term, should such a provision be adopted by the Legisla-

ture.

3. In reference to your request to be fur-

nished with information as to the time when the payment of interest will commence, I am directed to acquaint you that in the opinion of the Council it may be made payable half yearly, on all sums actually expended, not only in carrying out the works, but also in the surveys and other preliminary measures neces- sary for the commencement of the undertak- ing. I have, &c,

W. ELYARD, Jun. Charles Cowper, Esq., Chairman of the

Provisional Railway Committee.

No. 9.

Copy of a letter from Chairman of Committee

to Colonial Secretary.

Railway Office,

2nd February, 1849. Sir,-In acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 29th ultimo, the Provisional Com- mittee beg to express their high sense of the attention shown by the colonial Government to their last communication. Satisfactory, how- ever, as the decision is as to the time from which the payment of interest is to commence, they regret that His Excellency and the Exe- cutive Council have not felt justified in acced- ing to their request, that the proposed minimum rate of interest should be guaranteed perma- nently to the shareholders. And it is with much regret, but under a deep sense of the im- portance of the question, that they venture to urge the reconsideration of it upon the Govern-

ment.

Before proceeding to state the additional

reasons which they have to offer in support of their opinion that a compliance with their   request is essential to the success of the Com- pany, they beg to be allowed to correct an im- pression, which they respectfully submit is an erroneous one, that their former letter was an application, either for the guarantee being made permanent, " or that it should be at least extended to the term of twenty-five years." In the concluding paragraph of their letter they simply ask that the guarantee of a minimum dividend of five per cent, per annum upon a subscribed capital of £100,000 should be made permanent. The precedents of a twenty-five years'  

guarantee having been made elsewhere, were only brought forward as the basis of an agreement that, taken in connection with the     instructions of the Secretary of State, and the 2nd clause of the statute 7 and 8 Victoria, chap. 85, section 1, the local Government might, as the Committee conceived, assent without hesitation to the proposition submitted to them. And the Committee would not only desire still, with deference, to express the same opinion, but to state at greater length what they only hinted at in their preceding letter, that, by the Government giving the encou- ragement they solicit, the probability is that they will the sooner be relieved of the payment of the portion of the guarantee for which   they are to be liable, it indeed it should not prove the means of relieving them of the pay- ment entirely. The rate of interest proposed

to be guaranteed is not sufficient to justify the   supposition that the Company will be reckless or wasteful in their expenditure, as there are few persons having capital for investment who will be satisfied with obtaining merely five per

cent.

The Committee admit that the extension of the term from ten to twenty-five years, is a   boon which entitles the colonial Government to their acknowledgment, as they feel assured it will materially facilitate the carrying out the object they have in view. But the point of the greatest weight in considering the subject is this-that unless with a permanent guaran- tee of interest, railway shares will not be con-

sidered a legal or safe investment for funds of either of the following classes, and that these funds form a very large proportion of the capital which they expect will be available to

them, viz. :--  

First- Trust moneys and funds of infants and females, or persons not usually considered capable of managing for themselves, such as

lunatics, &c.

Secondly-- Bank deposits, a large propor- tion of which would be employed if it could be done safely.

Thirdly-- Funds of Banks, Insurance, and other public Companies, who have no means of investment of which they feel justified in avail- ing themselves.

Fourthly-- Funds lying unemployed and   comparatively unproductive in the Savings' Bank.

To the owners of the last class of funds, the legislature has already guaranteed the prin- cipal to the extent of £50,000 ; and if such a step was considered unobjectionable in that case, the guarantee of interest only, for the pur- pose of encouraging a great national under- taking, of acknowledged benefit to all classes of the community, would, the Committee feel per- suaded, be cordially acquiesced in by the

Council.

The right honourable Secretary of State has already been so deeply impressed with the necessity of devising means for employing the unproductive funds of the colony, that his lordship has drawn the attention of the Colo- nial Government to the expediency of creating a public debt for the purpose ; and consequently the Committee submit that there will be no ground for anticipating the disapproval of the Imperial Government, especially when the splendid endowments which have been sanc- tioned to the Railway Company of New Bruns-

wick are considered.

The Committee are credibly informed that sums of very considerable amount are occasion- ally taken to England to be invested in the funds at a low rate of interest, because there is no mode of safe investment within the colony. Even at the present moment, one gentleman is understood to be about to take away a large sum, which he would readily leave behind him if a suitable mode of investing presented

itself.

The Government have so freely admitted the great importance of introducing railway transit into the colony, that the Committee abstain from urging arguments in its favour, but they cannot help pointing out, that while the annual contribution sought for from the public funds of the colony can only be of a comparatively trifling amount, the increase of the general re- venue and the augmentation of the land fund must be very great. From both these revenues the committee conceive they are entitled to look for aid ; but they are by no means anxious to have land by way of bonus, if other encou- ragement is given them. The possession of landed properties scattered over the interior might, they conceive, distract their at- tention, and divert them from the legitimate object for which they are associated. If liberal grants be made along the line and at the   respective termini, any further encouragement they would prefer to be given in the way of

a guarantee.

With respect to English capital, the Com- mittee can hardly venture to expect that shares will be taken up in London until they have carried their works on to some extent, and the project has been in some degree found to be

feasible.

The Provisional Committee would now ear- nestly entreat the colonial Government to re- consider the question in all its bearings, and they consider that the undertaking which they have resolved to accomplish, if it can possibly be done with the means at their command, will not be suffered to languish or fail from the want of any reasonable amount of counte- nance and support to which the projectors may be fairly entitled to look from the Government.

I have, &c,

CHARLES COWPER,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee. The Honorable the Colonial Secretary,

No. 10.

Copy of a letter from Colonial Secretary to

Chairman of Committee. Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 10th March, 1849.

Sir,-I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd ultimo, in which, in reply to my communication of the 29th January last, you again urge a compliance with the request of the Provisional Railway Committee that the proposed minimum rate of interest should be permanently guaranteed by

the Government to the shareholders of the

Company ; and I am directed by his Excel- lency the Governor to state, for the informa- tion of the Committee, that the renewed ap- plication has been brought under the conside-

ration of the Executive Council.

2. Under the advice of the Council, the Governor has instructed me to inform you that being fully convinced of the great advantages which this country would derive from the es- tablishment of railways, the Government feels it a duty to afford to the Company now in course of formation for the purpose, the utmost encouragement and support which a pruden- tial regard to the general interest will allow.

It is, however, considered that the Govern- ment would not be justified in placing itself under any such permanent obligations to the shareholders as that proposed in the letter re- ferred to. His Excellency therefore regrets, that, under the opinion of the Council, he feels it necessary to decline to entertain the application therein made that the guarantee of the proposed minimum interest should be made

permanent.

I have, &c,

E. DEAS THOMSON.

Charles Cowper, Esq., Chairman of the Pro-

visional Committee.

No. 11.

Copy of a letter from Chairman of Committee

to Colonial Secretary.

Railway Office,

Sydney, 23rd November, 1848.

Sir,-The Provisional Committee for making arrangements for the formation of the Sydney Tramroad and Railway Company, have the honour to state, for the information of his Excel- lency the Governor, that after attentively con- sidering the important question of the best site for a Grand Terminus in the city of Sydney, they have arrived at the conclusion that a part   of the vacant Crown land between the Benevo- lent Asylum and the road to Botany is the most eligible position for such a purpose. They are of opinion that its elevation renders it highly desirable for a terminus, and that it is   quite far enough within the boundaries of the   city for putting down passengers. Looking   forward also to a few years hence, when the  

buildings to be erected for the purposes of the company, will, it is presumed, possess some architectural beauty, they are not aware of any preferable site, where they could be placed with more advantage as ornamental to the

city.

For the delivery of goods intended for ship- ment, they have it in contemplation, so soon as they can make the necessary engagements, to ascertain whether a tram or railway may not be carried down from the proposed terminus   through the centre of Hyde Park, (Macquarie  

street) and passing along by the Immigration Barracks, the Infirmary, the Legislative Coun- cil Chambers, stop at the Circular Quay ; and in a future communication they propose to state their views upon this point to the Govern- ment, after they have been well considered and

matured.

Under the assurance of co-operation which the Committee have received, they trust that until a receipt of an answer fiom the Secretary of State to a despatch of his Excellency trans- mitting the resolutions of the Legislative Council they will be permitted to select so much as may be considered by the Surveyor of the colony sufficient for the site of the  

terminus and buildings; together with an additional quantity not exceeding an extent that may be named, to carry out the recom- mendation of the Land and Emigration Com- missioners, as expressed in the enclosure of the despatch of the Right Honorable Earl Grey, dated 26th February, 1847.

If His Excellency the Governor is pleased to assent to this application, the Committee in- tend, with the permission of Government, to commence without further delay to ascertain   the exact position and quantity of the pad-   dock referred to, of which they desire to obtain possession, and, should it be re-

quired, they are willing to give the security contemplated by yout letter of the 25th Sep-

tember last.

l have, &c.,

CHARLES COWPER,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee.

The Honorable the Colonial Secretary.  

No. 12.

Copy of a letter from Colonial Secretary to

Chairman of Committee

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 11th December, 1848. Sir,-I do myself the honour, by the direction of His Excellency the Governor, to transmit for your report the accompanying letter from Mr. Cowper, the Chairman of the Railway Committee, applying for a part of the vacant Crown land between the Benevolent Asylum and the road to Botany, as a site for a

terminus,

I have, &c ,

W. ELYARD, JUN. The Surveyor-General.

No. 13.

Copy of a letter from Surveyor-General to Co-

lonial Secetary.

Surveyor-General s Office,

Sydney, 18th December, 1848. Sir,-In attention to your letter of the 11th instant, No. 48-582, in which, by the direction of the Governor, you transmit to me for my report a letter from Mr. Cowper, the Chairman of the Provisional Committee, applying for a part of the vacant Crown land between the Be- nevolent Asylum and the road to Botany, as a site for a terminus, I have the honour to sub- mit for His Excellency's consideration that, although some years back that situation might have appeared eligiblo enough for such a pur- pose, still it cannot, I fear, at the present day be made the terminus of a railway without dis- turbing numerous buildings that have been erected beyond, on positions likely to interfere with any line of railway approaching Sydney by the level ridge formerly recommended by the Land Commissioners as the best site for the Great Road.

I beg, however, also to state that I do not consider the circumstance at all to be regretted, as it seems by no means desirable that the terminus should be so close to an increasing city, especially where, as in this case, the situation thereof should be equally convenient to all   persons. It must be obvious to His Excellency that wherever the terminus is situated, there every person, and all goods, must enter upon or leave the railway ; and that if the terminus were in the heart of Sydney it would be neces- sary for a great majority of the passengers first to go one way to the terminus that they might travel in another direction by the railway line; but, on the contrary, by placing the terminus further from Sydney, in the direction which all must go or come, that point would be accessible with equal inconvenience to all persons, the construction of the railway would be much less costly, as interfering less with buildings and streets, and the line itself would be less in the way of a rapidly expand- ing city, having an imperfect system of drain- age. I consider therefore, the upper part of Grose Farm the best site still remaining suffi- ciently vacant for a grand terminus, but I find that even there a building has been recently erected, upon the nearest and best spot for the terminus, a parsonage house. I would submit that this circumstance alone, namely, the rapidly spread of buildings, might require the timely attention of Government to the reserva- tion of land in the most eligible line for a rail- way approach to this city, as one of the objects contemplated under the fifth head of my latest general instructions.

The determination of such an important point as a terminus, might still be in time for some concentration in the plan of future streets, between it and remote parts of the city, or the nearest bays in the harbour, at the same time I may remark that the situation of Grose Farm is not nearly so remote from the centre as the various termini of Euston-square, Blackwall, Southwark, or Nine Elms, are from the central parts of London.

The proposed tram or railway for the deli- very of goods to be carried down from the proposed terminus through the centre of Hyde Park, (Macquarie-street), and passing along by the Immigration Barracks, the Infirmary, and Legislative Council Chambers to the Circular Quay, being merely alluded to as a question on which the views of the Committee have not been matured, I do not feel called

upon to enter here into that branch of the sub- ject, but I may suggest that, if a pipe of water could be brought along the line from Liverpool, and carried in that direction, so as to flush the city drains, it would be an invalu- able improvement as compared with the open drain from the Infirmary, now a nuisance on the finest part of the domain, although the place of public promenade, and also of military parade. I beg to add, that the idea of bringing water by the railway was suggested to me by the fact, that on the Continent of Europe, railways have been the means of supplying water to considerable distances in many cases, by ten or twelve inch pipes.

Considering the vast importance of such a railway to this colony, when the means and population are so slender, the natural obstacles so great, I should say that the whole of Grose Farm ought to be reserved as well for the pub- lic purpose of forming the great terminus, as for the future convenience of the public, the storing of wool, &c. ; and that the best and most unexceptionable line should be accu- rately determined and reserved as soon as pos- sible, in order to secure, if not to the present generation, at least to posterity in this colony, the advantages of the greatest of modern and social improvements.

I have, &c.

T. L. MITCHELL,

Surveyor-General, The Honorable the Colonial Secretary.

No. 14.

Copy of a letter from the Colonial Secretary to

Chairman of Committee.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 12th January, 1849. Sir,-With reference to my letter of the 13th of last month, apprising you that your letter of the 23rd November, 1848, containing an application for a part of the vacant Crown land between the Benevolent Asylum and the road to Botany, as a site for a railway terminus, had been referred to the Surveyor General, I am now directed by His Excellency the Governor to inform you that the report of that officer, of which I transmit a copy for the information of the Railway Committee, has been laid by His Excellency before the   Executive Council, and that the Council having considered the same, together with your   communication on this subject, were fully prepared to recommend the grant of a site for a railway terminus ; but they thought that it would be premature to promise any particular portion of land for the purpose whilst the line of intended railway was as yet undetermined. The Council, however, saw no objection to the land applied for being reserved for a reasonable time, in order that it might be available as a site for a terminus on the completion of the plans of the railway line, should it then be found to be the most eligible situation for the purpose.

I am further directed to inform you that the Council recommended that in forwarding to you the copy of the Surveyor-General's report before mentioned, it should be accompanied by a statement that the Council do not concur in that officer's opinion that the whole of Grose Farm should be reserved with a view to the terminus being formed in that locality.

I have, &c.,

W. ELYARD, Jun. Charles Cowper, Esq.,

Chairman of the Railway Committee.

No. 15.

Copy of a letter from Chairman of Committee

to the Colonial Secretary.  

Railway Office,

Sydney, 29th November, 1848.

Sir,-Being anxious to obtain all the au-   thentic information that can be collected be- fore they decide upon the line which may be considered most eligible for the proposed rail-   way, the Provisional Committee are desirous

to have copies of any reports or surveys which   may have been addressed to the Surveyor-   General, or completed by officers in his de-

partment, for the purpose of improving the   lines of road within the county of Cumberland.   The Committee believe, in common with the   public generally, that during the administra-  

     

     

 

tion of Sir Richard Bourke, a survey was made under the direction of Sir Thomas Mitchell, of the country between the city of Sydney, and towns of Parramatta and Liverpool, or even further, and that the documents and plans, which are in existence in the Surveyor-Gene- ral's Office, if they could have access to them, would give valuable information, and assist them very much in arriving at a satisfactory decision upon the most important point which they have to determine.

Passing beyond the county of Cumberland, the most embarrassing question has reference to the ascent to the Table Land of Argyle, including the country between the Cowpas-   ture or Nepean River, and the Mittagong Range ; and the Committee have to submit for the consideration of His Excellency, that an officer of the Surveyor-General's department, who has had experience in railway surveys in the mother country, should be directed to make such examination and reports as may serve to throw additional light upon the subject. At present three lines have been spoken of, first, that surveyed by Mr. Woore, through the Oaks ; second, another along the Cowpasture Flats, from the village of Camden, passing through a gap in Mount Hunter range, up to Abbotsford, the estate of the late Mr. George Harpur, but not yet carefully examined be- yond it ; and a third, recently suggested by Sir Thomas Mitchell, very considerably to the eastward; no survey or even examination of   the country through which it is proposed to

take it yet having been made.

The Committee are by no means desirous to   urge upon a department of Government the performance of a duty which might at first sight appear to be incumbent on them. Nor do they seek for accurate surveys, to render unneces- sary their employment of a Surveyor upon the line afterwards. But when they find that elsewhere very important assistance has been rendered by Government in making surveys for Railways ; and that Mr. Gladstone, in the con- cluding sentence of his Despatch (of 15th January, 1846), on Railways, not only antici- pates, but impliedly sanctions His Excellency doing what the Committee now ask for, they trust that their application will not be thought unreasonable, while they entertain a high hope that the employment of this particular service of a gentleman who may be considered inde- pendent of the Company, will materially strengthen the confidence of the public in the impartiality of their proceedings.

I have, &c.,

CHARLES COWPER,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee. The Hon. E. Deas Thomson, Esq.,

Colonial Secretary.

No. 16.

Copy of a Letter from Colonial Secretary to

Chairman of Committee.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 14th December, 1848. Sir.-In reference to my letter of the 2nd instant, I now do myself the honour to transmit to you the accompanying copy of the report of the Surveyor-General in reply to your appli- cation to be furnished with copies of any reports or surveys made for the purpose of im- proving the lines of road within the county of

Cumberland.

I also beg to forward the copy of the survey   therein referred to, between Sydney, Parra- matta, and Liverpool.

I have, &c.,

W. ELYARD, June. Charles Cowper, Esq., Chairman of the Pro-

visional Committee of the Railway.  

(Enclosure to the foregoing )

No. 1

Surveyor General's Office,  

Sydney, 8th December, 1848. Sir,-I have had the honour to receive, under a blank cover, a letter addressed to you by the Chairman of the Provisional Railway Committee, and in attention to his request I beg to state that I have no reports addressed   to me, but various surveys made for the purpose of improving the line of road within the county of Cum- berland.

2. So many maps, Indeed would be included under that head, that the request of copies could not be com- plied with by the few draftsmen now in this office. I  

have, however, directed a copy to be drawn of the survey made between the city of Sydney and towns of Parramatta and Liverpool with a copy of the Com- missioners' Report, and I would suggest that as the larger documents are all accessible here to the public,   they may be available to the Committee without any   copies being made. At the same time I take leave to submit, for the information of his Excellency the Governor, a few remarks on this important subject.  

3. The country between Sydney and Goulburn is very much broken Into rocky ravines but after a thorough general survey, I designed a road in 1830 which, being in the straight line, was the shortest, and had it been finished by convict labour, for which it was laid out, it   would, I have no doubt, have been found the best. Another road has been made in a circuitous direction over the Razorback Range, and it is now proposed that a railway should be made to deviate still further, to be carried round that range.

4. The straight line which governed me in the selec- tion of a Great Southern Road, and which according to very dear-bought experience In England, ought, at   almost any cost, to be taken in the first instance for a railway, passes over two ravines, and if for that reason it is to be avoided, I should say the direction generally taken to avoid such obstacles should be higher up rather than lower down; that a better direction for the   ascent to the "Table Land of Argyle" should not be sought for by descending from the difficulty, but by endeavouring to head the ravines rather than by ap- proaching their lower debouchures. Such considera- tions might have suggested the propriety of eschewing such a country as that represented in the accompanying sketch from Jellore (which has been long published), and the search for a line which might head all such rocky gulleys as those which scar both banks of the river Nepean. Such a line was suggested by Mr. Darke, an assistant surveyor, and who had surveyed much of that country, and gave to the public his own views of the matter in the newspaper of the year 1846, when I   was in the interior.

6. It will be seen on looking at the accompanying map, what is the extent of the river system producing so many difficulties and that its eastern limit is nearly in the direction suggested by Mr. Darke for the railway line to Goulburn That it is less likely to present for- midable obstacles, either from rocky ravines or steep gradients, than any other direction, cannot. I think admit of dispute, and I certainly consider uniformity of ascent an object of some importance in attempting rail- ways where labour is wanting to make them as they should be made, namely, as level and as straight as possible at any cost.

6. From Liverpool to Madden's Plains, (A,) elevated 1200 feet above the sea, the distance is thirty miles, which in an uniform ascent, would be at the rate of 1 in 132, or forty feet per mile. From Madden's Plains to where the Kiama track reaches the neck between Illawarra Range and Mittagong Range, (B), supposing the height above the sea at that point to be 2300 feet, (which it cannot be) the rate in a dis- tance of thirty miles is 1 in 135, or thirty six feet per mile. From that point onward to Goulburn, between the sources of the Wingecaribee and those of the Shoalhaven River, the country is so level and un-   broken, the elevation being about equal to that of Goulburn, I have no doubt a Railway Engineer would   easily find a good line to Goulburn. I now there- fore submit from what I know of the intervening country, that next to the straight direction the line I have indicated is the most eligible, I say eligible,   because the straightest line from Sydney, abandoning   Liverpool, would be across the Cook's River Dam.  

7. In a Report approved by the Provisional Com- mittee, and printed by the Legislative Council, the   straight line across the Cataract is designated "the Eastern line," which it is not. Mr Darke's being   the Eastern Line, and Mr Woore's the Western Line, both having long been suggested, and now one of these is erroneously described by the Chairman as "a third recently suggested by Sir Thomas     Mitchell very considerably to the eastward, no survey   or even examination of the country having yet been     made."

8. I should be very unwilling to suggest a line for a railway through a country unsurveyed and unexamined   as stated by my friend Mr. Cowper ; on the contrary,  

the labyrinth of gullies in the eastern portion of   Camden has long been threaded by the surveys of va-   rious assistants under my directions ; one portion only of about twenty miles of watershed has not been ac- tually traversed by me, because I found it impervious   from its thick matted vegetation, and if His Excellency the Governor thought fit, a Railway Survey can be made of that part by a duly qualified officer of my   department.

9. As to the other road mentioned by Mr. Cowper, "along the Cowpasture Flats, from the village of Camden, passing through a gap in Mount Hunter Range," l can only say, I never hear of that pro- posed line until I read his letter, but I happen to know   that no gap exists there, fit even for the passage of a common great road, having myself examined the   whole, when I laid out, by order of General Darling   the present road across the Razorback Range, guided by a very minute survey which I have the honour to

enclose.

10. Mr Cowper states that "the most embarassing   question has reference to the ascent of the "the table land   of Argyle." I cannot perceive that there is anything     embarrassing in the question, on the contrary it would   appear that a single glance at the accompanying en-   graved map were sufficient to enable any person to

solve it at once.

A Railway Engineer would of course take the straight line, or if a round about of ten or twelve miles were inevitable, then the Eastern roundabout, or Mr Darkes, without any question ; and, were the subject of a Government measure, the opening a way   to 113,280 acres of rich land now inaccessible might be an object.

11. Why the public should have to travel across or near that range of Razorback at all, seeing it is so far out of the straight line between Sydney and Goulburn, is a question that may well be asked, but I should consider any attempt to show that a railway to Goulburn might not go round the Razorback, as more waste of paper.

12. The points C and D ("Ropes Creek" and "the Oaks" of Mr Woore's line,) suffice to show how far he   would go from the straight line in order to get to

Goulburn.

In conclusion, I feel it due to my department to observe that my office, and the maps in it, have always been open to the Committee as a part of the public, or Mr. Woore, but there are passages in his published  

reports which under such circumstances had better been omitted ; that I Invited him to my office a few days since, and showed him several maps, and that I have seen his plans of proposed railway which I think very well executed.

I have, &c.,

T. L. MITCHELL,

Surveyor-General. The Hon. the Colonial Secretary.

No. 2.

Office of Commissioners for Apportioning and Valuing

the colony,

11th May, 1830

Sir,- The late heavy rains having much injured the roads of the colony and the numerous robberies by bushranger having made them also very unsafe, we have been induced, with reference to the seventh paragraph of our instructions, to given them our imme- diate consideration, without waiting for the more final

reports on the counties.

The roads from Sydney to Parramatta and Liverpool pass through two hundreds of the county of Cumber land, with which we are at present occupied, and being the most used, from these circumstances they have claimed our first attention. The first few miles of the Parramatta Road, until where the road to Liverpool branches off, leads over a succession of steep hills. The remainder is not very level, has many bridges over   the creeks and watercourses, and at the latter end is very crooked.

The road to Liverpool, from where it leaves the other, is also in some places very hilly and exceedingly

crooked.

These defects, which are quite apparent, make these roads inconvenient to travel on, difficult and expensive to keep in repair and unsafe, as it is found the hills are very commonly the places chosen as the most favourable situations for robbers to make their attacks.

The foregoing circumstances, and the late wet weather, having rendered some heavy repairs imme- diately necessary, induced the Surveyor General to cause a survey to be made of the direction of the princi-

pal range, dividing the hollows descending to Cook's   River and Prospect Creek from those of the Parramatta

River.

From the survey it has been ascertained that a new line for the road to Parramatta and Liverpool can be carried along the dividing ground by which seven bridges, and almost every hill on both roads would be avoided, the. distance in travelling from Sydney to Parramatta shortened one mile and a half, and from Sydney to Liverpool three miles. It will be perceived by the accompanying sketch, which we do ourselves the honour to transmit, that by following this new direction, the same road would lead both to Parramatta and Liverpool, until within about two miles of Haslem's Bridge, and save in that instance three miles ot road, making the road to Liverpool, from where it would leave the Parramatta Road, a straight line of about five miles to Bowler's Bridge at the turnpike, the whole of this line being along very flat ground, where a bridge

would not be required.

Were this line therefore once opened, we conceive it would be found by far the most useful, shorter, less difficult and expensive to keep in repair, and as to safety, from being nearly straight and level, by opening it 100 feet wide, a few mounted men, we think, would be found sufficient to prevent the depredations to which travellers on the prevent roads are liable.

We are not unaware of the trouble and expense of   opening a new line of road, and relinquishing one on which much labour and expense have been ex- pended, and which is deemed to be in many places completed.

Considerable portions however of the roads are far from being completed, and what is done, however durable it appears at present, yet sooner or later will re- quire repairing.

If the superiority of the new line be admitted, there remains but the expense of opening it to be con- sidered. The roads now in use are very hilly, which are the most expensive to keep in repair, and as the numerous bridges on them will soon require to be rebuilt, as they are both badly constructed and the materials very perishable, and when rebuilt must be kept in constant good condition ; with much deference we submit, it appears to us, that in the course of no long period of time the new line would be found by much the least expensive.

Some obstacles might arise on the part of individuals through whose lands the new one would pass, but they might also be made, were it deemed expedient to widen the present lines with the view of rendering them more safe, and which we presume must be done if they be continued to be used. In either case an Act of Coun- cil might be necessary.

It was our Intention to call his Excellency the Gover- nor's attention to these roads in our Report on the Hundreds before mentioned ; but as all the impressions of the parish maps are not taken from the lithographic press, and the object appearing to us of much and im- mediate importance, we have been induced to make a more especial report on it.

We have, &c.,

T. L. MITCHELL WM. CORDEAUX, GEORGE INNES.

The Hon. the Colonial Secretary.

No. 17.  

Copy of a Letter from Chairman of Committee

to Colonial Secretary.

Railway Office,

15th December, 1848.

Sir,-- The Provisional Committee have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday's date, enclosing a copy of the Report of Sir Thomas Mitchell in reply to their communication of the 2nd instant, re- questing to be favoured with such information as the department of the Surveyor-General can afford respecting the line or lines of coun- try through which a railway may be carried between Sydney and Goulburn.

For the report and the surveys and sketches which accompanied it, the Committee feel much obliged to Sir Thomas Mitchell, as well as for the readiness with which he has afforded them access to the records in his office ; and availing themselves of a suggestion thrown out in the Surveyor-General's report, that if His Excellency think fit, a railway survey can be made of such part of the country as has not been already surveyed between Liverpool and Goulburn ; they have now the honour to re- quest that the Governor will sanction the employment of an experienced surveyor for this

service.

The anxiety of the provisional Committee to acquire all the authentic information that can be obtained, arises solely from their desire to avail themselves of the best means of judging, previously to their coming to a decision, as to which is the best eligible line under all the   circumstances of the colony.

I have, &c.,

CHARLES COWPER,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee.

The Honorable E. Deas Thomson, Esq.,

Colonial Secretary.

No. 18.

Copy of a letter from Colonial Secretary to

Chairman of Committee.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Sydney, 12th January, 1849,

Sir,-- I do myself the honour to inform you in reply to your letter of the 15th ultimo, that by the direction of His Excellency the Governor, the Surveyor-General to whom your application has been forwarded, has been au- thorised to cause the railway survey to be made of the portion of the line of road which is therein requested.

I have, &c,

W. ELYARD, JUN. Charles Cowper, Esq.,

Chairman of the Railway Committee.

No. 1.

Copy of a despatch from the Right Honor-

able Earl Grey to Governor Sir Charles A. Fitz Roy.

No. 97. Downing-street,

21st June, 1848.

Sir,-I have received your despatch, No. 20, of the 20th January last, enclosing the report of Lieutenant Woore, R.N., who had been ap- pointed to survey the line of country between Sydney and Goulburn, with a view to the construction of a railway through that district, traversing the Counties of Cumber- land, Camden, and Argyle, and connecting the principal townships in those counties.

I approve of the grant which, with the ad- vice of the Executive Council, you authorised to the extent of £500 from the land revenue in aid of the survey, on the condition that an equal sum should be raised by private subscription, and that proper vouchers should be rendered to show that the whole amount had been expended in the object contemplated. I am, &c.,

GREY. Governor Sir Charles Fitz Roy, &c.

No. 2.

Copy of a Despatch from the Right Honorable

Earl Grey to Governor Sir Charles A. Fitz Roy.

No. 106. Downing-street,

30th June, 1848.

Sir,-- With reference to Mr. Gladstone's circular despatch of the 15th January, 1846, transmitting the Standing Orders of the Houses of Parliament for the information of your Legislature, in framing laws and regulations for the construction of Railways, I have to acquaint you, that it has appeared to me to be highly desirable, in the event of the Railways being established in the colony of New South Wales, that one uniform gauge should be   established, with a view to the probability of the meeting at some future, though probably   distant period, of the lines not only in the same settlement, but by a junction of those   constructed in the adjacent colonies.

I have communicated with the Commissioners of Railways, in order to ascertain the   width of gauge which might be best suited for general adoption, and I have been informed that, in their opinion, the most desirable gauge

would be that which is prescribed by the Act 9 and 10 Victoria, cap. 67, for Railways in England, and which is the width of four feet 8½ inches. That gauge has already been adopted in the rules framed by the Government of South Australia, for regulating the   principle on which Railway Bills should be drawn in that colony ; and it will be desirable that the same gauge should be adopted at any future period in the construction of Railways in the colony under your Government.

I have, &c.,

GREY. Governor Sir Charles Fitz Roy, &c.

(To be continued.)  

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