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The Water Scheme Opening.

In spite of some slight points of fric- tion the opening of the water scheme has passed off succesfully. Sir John Forrest turned on the water at Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, while Lady Forrest started the pumping station at Mundaring. Judging hy the number of visitors from the other States, the event was Austra iau in its significance. lu so lame a venture there was nothing parochial. What other State has had the courage to plan BO largely and spend so boldly to give dwellers in an arid interior some of the comforts of life, aand to supply a great industry with a sufficiency of water? Egypt, it is true, is spending £4,500,000 jcm the dams at Assouan and Assiout, so as to be able to flood fifty miles of the Nile Valley between De- cember and May, but that is only a scien- tific improvement on older schemes un- dertaken in far back centuries, and has not the untried risks and unknown dan- gers that may lurk in an undertaking that is i* so many ways unique. Sir John Forrest, the late Mr. C. Y. O'Con- nor, and Dr. Hackett have been officially credited with the chief part in pressing on the scheme. Mr. James, whose posi- tion as State Premier gave him a natural claim totbe first place in the celebra- tions, very generously surrendered that position to oir John Forrest, who has thus been peculiarly honoured by the State in the eyes or the whole Common- wealth. At every point he has had good popular receptions^ His most telling speech was that delivered when he turn, ed on the water at the Mount Charlotte reservoir. There he summarised the his- tory of the scheme, told, the steps in its construction, pointed out the probable ; vast advantages to the goldfields, and claimed . that-, it had, fulfilled, his first speeches.» Mr. Keenan, Mayor of .Kal- goorlie,', was, no doubt, right in theory when he disclaimed any need for grati- tude on the part of the goldfields. In a modern democracy, no oae need be grate- ful for what is the decision of the major- ity. Thankfulness _ is also a theological ratber than a political virtue,' A "no gratitude" basis would consistently ac- company ¿ purely business agreement; but Mr. Keenan seems to think .that some softer- arrangement would better suit the fields. The maJonty«-Jwill feel that, as in other big public wonks, the water sup- ply scheme must financially stand on its own feet. >? .;>..'"?

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