EXTENSIVE IRRIGATION SCHEME.
AGREEMENT CONCLUDED WITH CHAFFEY BROTHERS.
$S|The Messrs. Chaffey Brothers on Mon day morning returned to Adelaide from Morgan, and in the afternoon they at tended a Cabinet meeting. The result of
that interview with the Ministry was that the agreement which had been prepared to allow them to carry on an extensive Bystem of irrigation from the River Murray was signed by them and by the Commissioner of Crown Lands (the Hon. J. H. Bowe) on behalf of the Govern ment. The agreement, which was cour teously handed to us by the Ministry five minutes after it had been signed, appears below. We understand that it differs very slightly from the one drawn up before the departure of the Hon. J. W. Downer to England, and which was substantially agreed to by the Canadian visitora before their &3t trip to the proposed site on the Murray. The result of the last visit — which was made in company with the Surveyor-General (Mr. G. W. Goyder)— waa that in one or two respects the agreement previously prepared needed slight modification. Mr. Goyder returned to Adelaide before the Messrs. Chaffey, and submitted a report to the Government. On the receipt of thia report the agreement wa3 altered in one or two respects, and on Monday it only awaited the signatures of the irrigationista. On their arrival by the midday train from Morgan they informed a representative of the Register that they believed the negotiations would be finally settled that day, and these anticipations were fully realized before 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The Messrs. Chaffey have not lost much time in coming to terms with our Government. When Mr. Downer was in Victoria at the close of last year he communicated with them, and requested them to pay South Australia a visit with a view of his Government treating with them. Thia was after the Victorian Parliament had re fused to ratify the agreement made by the Government of that colony with the Messrs. Chaffey for an irrigation scheme on the Mildurra Run. In com pliance with Mr. Downer's request the Canadian gentlemen visited thia colony, arriving in Adelaide on January 6. A few days subsequent to thtir arrival they took a trip up the Murray with the Con servator of Water (Mr. J. W. Jones), and on their return from that visit they held out hopes of a satisfactory arrangement being arrived at with our Government. From that date to the present time the Ministry have been very confident that the scheme would be under taken, and ife reflects credit on both parties concerned to note that altogether the whole of the negotia tions have occupied only a few daya over a month. The country which has been accepted by the Messrs. Chaffey is in that known as the Bookmark Run, which is the station of the Messrs. Robertson Brothers. It lies between Bookmark and Chowilla — two places 'well known on the Murray — and immediately adjoining the river is a chain of islands, surrounded by a main creek of about 30 feet in depth. Some of these islands will doubtless be operated upon by the Messrs. Chaffey in time, but not at present. The main creek extends from above Ral Ral Reserve to 7 mile3 above Bookmark. There are numerous flats outside the creek of the same level a3 the islands, and beyond thi3 is the box country, a few feet in height above the country formerly referred to. Then at the rear of this is a vast extent of mallee land. The scil of the islands and fiats is of a stiff clayey nature, and produces pob'ganum and cane grass, gumtrees growing around the banks of the rivetf and creeks, while the higher levels of- the. land consist of box.