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: HE NEWCASTLE-BOLGART 1 .i RAILWAY. t 'PUBLIC MEETING AT NEWCASTLE. .The adjourned indignation meeting in connection with the proposed New- I castle-Bolgart railway was held in the Council Chambers,. Newcastle, on Sat uirday' evening last. Mr. Quinlan, I;L.A.. the member for.. the district, wea psresenti In' the absence of the Maoiir, through, indisposition, the chair was taken by- Cr. R. W. Davidson. The chairman said that having on the pre ,vious evening forwarded a strong pro test from its meeting to the "West Aus tralian," they were now met to consi der in council with their member, Mr. . I?. F. Quilan, what further ' action .should be taken. t 'Mr. ;Quinlan' said he was sorry that occasion should have arisen for the call ing of, this. meeting; yet hbe felt con vinced, from the remarks ,of the Pre ?mier himself, that the railway was as sured.. No -definite promise, indeed, ''lhad been-given by Mr...Moore, but hle " could well understand the honourable .gentleman's unwillingness to give a pro Inise, seeing that in a matter involving the expenditure of so much money he 'was bound to consult the other mem- I hers 6f 'his Cabinet, and this involved t consideration and delay. He could not r sufficiently express his indignation at c Sthe report of "Agricola" and the article t 'in the '"West Australian" founded on a that report. Indeed, he had felt com- I 'polled,, tough most reluctantly, to .t I:write his first letter to a newspaper t ( and it would be . his last) protesting 1 against the unfairness anid incomplete 'a liss, of the repdrt.. That letter the "West Austiralian" thought fit to muti- t late, andto 'insert only ab'mall portion therof- Doubtless 'the editor of the 'West'Australian" was within his rights t inz,'thus practically refusiii hisletter, I but he thought that, in justice 'to him- t Sself and the distrit, - the whole letter c -ought to have appeared. [The 'only I phrase struck out of .,Mr. Quinlan's let ter was a" pe'rsonal reference to `'Agri- t olas'.s:.family relationships,..which we' sdbmit ought not to have fodnd a dlace anithe letter of the member for'Toodyay. S--Ed.] Hehimself had takeh'the trou tblo to explain everything, important tconcerning the line to "Agricola,"' a~nd hhlad iven him the fullest information SOi the matter: He finaturally," there ifdie," looked forward to 'getting, if :not a favourable report, at least a Just one. But' what" gas" his surprise to find that S'Agricola";:had 'unfairly misrepresented every argument-against the line, while never mentioning a 'single reason In its ' ifavour but one--viz.. that they. had good land! :The speeches, too,-had been !uiiduly.curtailed in the report.. His own remarkswhich were 'intended chiefly to e i'sW: the'sacrifice, he and:'others, were willin"g to make to'eeciire'the line,.wereo not reported, 'and his political approval of the resumption clauses of the Rail way Bills merited at least-mention. Re. Sferring.:to the. arguments against the line--used- by the '-"West' Australian," fMr. Quinlan' said that the plans-of the i country' which'-gave thef names of se~vi- 1 ral-large property-holders along the route, conveyed a false impression. :Many of :these- had sold out, the land Sinmany instances had' been cut up into Simall. estates, and numerous settlers had succeeded the big holders. There were, for instance. 'the Cooiidle ,the Normanii, and the Bolgart properties, also the ' Culham Estate, which had been divid ed'ito"two-pa1"ts. '. Besides'.wh'ich, the l -' Mission had sold considerable land, as 1 ialso -had the Midland. Railway Com pany. :He himself had negotiated the 1 purchase of the Bolgart Estate, out of .which' the Government had obtained a pfofit of £3,000. - He had always urg ed- the 'Government to buy these pro ! perties, and that they had made a' mis take, in not so doing was proved by !the fact that within the last few weeks land which could have been had' - at 10s. an acre was valued at 15s. Even now he thought it would be advisable +,j for the Government to buy. The land offices were filled every day with people anxious to buy land. But the estates offered were too large for private our 'chase. The- Government, therefore, should step in, thereby making a pro Sfit for themselves in the transaction. He'- would therefore suggest that the !present influential, meeting should pass a' resolution requesting the Premier to purchase these lands, and thus remove ,any--possible objection to the line. Meanwhile, he would ask them to pro e' d moderately in their' agitation for "?he line and.not to endeavour to force the hand of the Premier, whose good 1intentidn nmight thereby be frustrated. :Re. felt certain they had the good wishes of the Premier, as also of seve I ral members of the Cabinet in par ticular of Mr. Mitchell, the Minister for Agriculture. He would read them si" extract from "Hansard," which would:clearly show them the position of Mr. Mitchell in this matter. The honorary Minister speaking on the Ad dress-in-Reply, and referring to agricul tiiairl railways, said: "I want some de f iite scheme laid dow sn , rnl,. +K.+
We may achieve the best possible re sult from the expenditure of this money. For instance, I 'thought, and I still think, that there are railways that should have had preference to the railways we decided on. In my opinion the two short spur railways from New castle and Greenhills should have been dealt with, because I think we should mlake these short lines if possible pay ing propositions. If we extended the line fromni Newcastle 30 miles we should ao in very good country indeed, and I hope that at no distant date that line will be undertaken Again, if we ex tended the line from Greenhills we should be "doing similar work. It is ab solutely necessary in the interests of the country that these lines should be I madoeto pay working expenses, and the only possible way to do so is by extending them, and more especially because the land -through which the extensions will go Is very good land indeed." This as sured them of the helpl of Mr. Mit chell as Minister, and, he felt certain they need not have any doubt-or fear but that he would make good his words. He would further trespass on their patience to refute one other objection to the line made by the "West Aus tralian." This was that the Mission held so many 40-acre blocks around the wells. Now, this was true many years ago, but at present it was untrue. It was quite justifiable at the time the 'Mission took up these extensive leases, but long since they had parted with the greater number of these blocks. Mr. Harrington, of Bolgart, was present at the meeting, and he could tell them that that was so, and that a great part of the original leases of the Mission had te?n thrown up, and were now open for selectiol.. Anyone .could step in and select up to 3,000 acres. So that it waq untrue to say that they were held by a few individuals. Again, he strongly advocated the right of re sumption, at a fair reduction, of lands benefited by the making of a railway. He was willing to sell, and so was his neighbour. Mr. Hamersley, who would speak for himself. He would also again repeat that he would ask for no com pensationi for land occupied by the rail way, so that in every way he was pre Dared to assist the Government. The line might cost at the outside £30.000. The distance was 23 miles, which. ac cording to the Government standard. would cost £23.000 to run a line through; £7.000 woild inore than cover the cost of bridges, etc. Now. this £30,000t could be had at 4 per cent. to pay interest and sinking fund. So that fdr £1.200 a year the Government would surely be warranted in making the railway in the interests of the set tiers. But as lie felt certain they would get the railway. he would count el mod eration in any resolutions they would arrive at that night. Mr. V. Hamersley. M.L.C., said he endorsed Mr. Qiminlan's speech in every particular. He. too, was willing to sell ,to the Government at a fair value if -thev wished to resume his lard when the7 railway had been made. He was a firm believer in closer settlement. and if by giving up his land he could forward that niovement i asa ... willing to.. do so. i :
He needed no compulsion in that mat ter. But he did not believe in run ning railways and then waiting for settlers. It appeared much more rea sonable to him to help the existing-set- i tiers by railways, and so induce others to go still further afield in the hope of similar generous treatment. They boasted that their present settlers had been a magnificent success. They r were the States best advertisement, and neither lecturers nor agents were needed while the State had them, but without them all the recent expense in advertising the land would be thrown away-worse than useless. Let them keep these setlers, and the way to do so was to give them railways. With out railways they would perish, and with them the Food name and fame of the country. "e objected strongly to .the report and article. of the "West c Australian," but "out of evil cometh good." The indignant protest of the meeting and of the members of Parlia ment who accompanied the Premier a would ventilate the matter and bring f into prominence the undoubted claim they had for a railway. With regard to the cautious utterance of the Pre mier, he felt that he might be acting wisely, and that he might be actuated by the desire to acquire on behalf of 1 the State some land along the route. c. The Premier should tljerefore be grant- S ed time and not pushed too roughly. si He would endorse any well-considered ii and moderate resolution in this direc- u tion passed by the present meeting. I SMr. Harrington, chairman of the a Wyoning Progress Association, said t that he, too, felt they would' get the a railway. In fact, he understood from 11 one who hdard it from the Premier c that he .(the Premier) had said that if any railway went to the Wongan Hills. it would go via Newcastle, which was the shortest and most direct route. In the matter of the 40-acre blocks held by -the Mission, in his opinion they' were now few, aind these few in no way debarred settlement' The bro thers had sunk the wells, and.it was open to any of the settlers to go and do likewise; there was plenty of wa ter to be had by sinking. Besides, the Brothers gave the settlers free access to- their wells. Speaking as an agri culturist,-he considered no notice should I be taken of the report of "Agricola," s whose capabilities were well known to the farmers. Dr. Crawford said that, having taken I some interest in, this matter,. he ,wish- i ed to say that the previous speakers t had, missed the point and the object of the meeting. They were met to know what was to'be done in Parlia ment ini case of. the railway not appear ing on the schedule, and .not appear ing, too, in its, proper place. It had been said by previous speakers that they felt sure they . would get the ( railway.. He, -however, had. no such i very'happy feelings and pleasant anti= I cipations. It might be due- to:- his 8 Scotch blood, but he would not be i sure .until the railway was actually commenced., One needed ,to, be careful when -dealing with such Governmeibts:. particularly, after., the way .they,:. had been treated for the past five years. It would not do, in his'opinion, to re main quiet and..wait. Others were ad vancing while they marked time, and , c they would find themselves left if some definite action were, 'not taken. Par liament was now the scene of action. They. had 'done all they could, and- it was now the duty of their'representa tives to take the matter up. . Mr. O. Bull said he. believed - Dr. Crawford had hit the mark. Thby could delay no longer. It' was now or i never. He knew of a movement which, if it succeeded, would. $ wipe out all chance of the Newcastle Bolgart line He " would not like. to see noble properties like Culham and Hiizelly dismembered. They were being utilised to their full extent, and were an object' lesson to the countryy. No more progressiveagriculturist exist ed in Western Australia' than Mr. 1 Hamersley. They Iranted the railway, I and wanted it immediately. Mr. Quinlan said he felt he should-re ply at once to Dr. Crawford and Mr. Bull, whose -remarks had received the evident, commendation of the meeting. There was-no one who felt so disappoinl- 1 ed and, indeed, more indignant-then he did a' the delay in not; granting the railway. They had been promised the railway, and they had every possible reason and argiment 'to warrant the Government in fulfilling that promise. 1 Now, while he still believed they would get the railway, yet, as some of the speakers seemed to be doubtful. he would make a serious statement. They would not think him guilty of over estimating his own influence as .their member, nor.did he- wish . in any way i to use a threat. but he had long since made up his mind that if the railway w:as not granted he would join the Op position and be no longer a supporter of a Government in whom he had such faith up to thevery last moment. He felt he should be wanting in self-respect after the promises that had been made to him if he did not part company with those who had broken faith with him. He felt certain that the whole con stituency would back him up and give him that solid support which he had al ways obtained from them. He felt he would be acting in t'his matter not only to maintain his own self-respect, but
respect of his constituency. (Loud ap plause.) Father Hallinan said he had hitherto refrained from saying anything, in the belief that the meeting would do the right thing without any suggestion from him. And they had done the right thing. They had placed their back to the wall, and now they would fight for the railway. The pronouncement of Mr. Quinlan that he would join the Op position if the railway was not granted was the first shot of the contest, and it would tell. *He believed now at last they would get the railway. He.him self had blown a few war blasts, but here was the opening fire.' and the Go vernment would recognlse that they were- in earnest, and so, considering their case at last, would grant the rail way Now he would go one step far ther.. Ho was sorry to differ from Mr. Quinlan and Mr. Hamersley, but he would not wait until the Premier had made his purchases. It was the old cry-the deceitful old cry over again "Wait till we buy the Midland land, then you'll have your railway." He had foyght against that cry four years ago. and he believed that. if the people of Toodyay had waked up and support ed him then as they supported him now. the Government would long ago have bcught out the Midland Co. " Not a voice was raised in Toodyay to help Mr. Drglish in his wise and patriotic mea sure. Now they were told the Pre mier wanted to buy, at'the eleventh hour, and so they must wait. Why did he not buy even six months ago? Were they' to be again sacrificed that the Government might get easy terms for the Midland ? This was the trick. then, to leave the line out of the schedule, that the Government might buy cheaply, having refused the rail way. Again the old policy-wait, wait, t:Il the clouds rolled by-wait till the Midland was bought. No. the waiting was over. They should refuse to con sider the question of the'Midland lands. Their claim for a railway was quite in denonctent of that. Mr. Beach said he could not let the occasion pass without expressing his re gret and indignation that the Premier had thought fit to scorn the arrange ments made for him by the BolgArt settlers. esopcially that of the children's demonstration in his honour. He re sented the sudden flight of the Premier to Gcomallin as a slight on the district. and on the Bolgart settlers in particu lar. Mr. Somers said lie would like to say just one word. Everything hitherto had been distressingly indefinite. They wanted some definite assurance. He did not believe in waiting for better terms from the Midland Co. They were no Ifools. and knew that sooner or later the railway must be granted. and so they had alreadv popned on the expected rise in valuie. That value would still continue to increase the longer they waited. Mr. Quinlan had told them the land offices were filed with inquirers for land. Why wait. then? Let them have the rail way at once, or at least a definite as surauce. Mr. Quinlan then made a sug gestion t"at he should be requested i
by that .meeting to wait on the Premier and obtain, from him a definite statement as to whether or not he would include the Newcastle-Bolgart railway in his schedule: and that, hav ing received an answer. the meeting he called together akaini to consider such answer. . This sug stion was adopted unani mously b.} the meeting, which conclud ed withi vote.of thanks to Mr. Ham ersley, Mr. Quinlan, and the chairman.