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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

Robert Dobson to Mr Lawrie. Napier, 16th April, 1892

Robert Dobson to Mr Lawrie. Napier,

Colonial Investment Company.

I will undertake to wind the Company up at this end if you offer me the work.

I cannot recommend to you any Dunedin man who would not be hampered by many local considerations, and who, indeed, possesses knowledge both of properties and finance who could undertake it. Company work looks easy enough to those who have not served an apprenticeship, and all the Dunedin men who have so served are in a mess with their own companies.

I think it would be an advantage to have a man who is not a Dunedin resident, and whose only consideration is to realise with the best possible profit to his company.

Cost.—I don't quite know what to say, because I don't know what there is left to do. When I reported two years ago there were . . properties. The advances were . . . . . valued by me at No doubt there have since been repayments, and the most troublesome securities will remain on hand.

I would find office room, clerks, and pay my own travelling expenses between Napier and Dunedin (to and from) for £1500 per annum, or to put it in a better form, £125 per month. Advertising page 20 and auctioneers' commission, when incurred, would be extra. I would keep all this as low as possible, and would give to the Company all rebate commissions which it is the custom to give to the attorney who introduces the business.

If you and your co-directors are not satisfied with the results after six month's work, you give me £1000 in full satisfaction (i.e., £250 in addition to what I have been drawing), and terminate the connection. If, on the other hand. I find that I am not, and cannot [unclear: earn] what I ask, and that it is absolutely impossible to quit the properties, I will after six months, merely charge for the services of my clerk and a small fee for myself, say in all £50 per month, and you can still have the right of terminating our arrangement whenever you like.

The point is this—that during the first six months the work will be tremendous, and I shall have thought out every method and made every suggestion I can for disposing of the properties. I must be paid for that work. After, if we don't sail along, I'll do any-think that you personally think right. Perhaps a smaller wage and a substantial bonus if I liquidate at this end with such results that no further calls would be made upon Shareholders, and the whole business to be completed within two years, or so much less if within three years, would meet the case. 1 cannot judge of that unless I know-the exact position.

The new valuations for the Land Tax have only just been com-pleted, and the Boards of Reviewers will shortly sit in the various districts. Bartleman ought to have all his values reduced to the figure at which he is prepared to sell. If the work is given to me I should have a shot at the Minister of Lands, and see if he would take over any of the properties for his Government small farm settlements. If well worked it is just possible something night come of it, but not probable.

After getting the Government valuations of all the properties, it would be necessary to search the Registry and ascertain the owners of the adjoining blocks, and offer them our land.

In many cases, most, I presume, the lands are still in the name of the mortgagor, in such cases it would be well to sell through the Registrar, unless we could get a proper undertaking from the page 21 mortgagor to join in the conveyance should a sale be effected. A mortgagor is, however, a rum . . and, if bankrupt, sometimes refuses to implement his undertaking. We can, of course, sell when in default without doing so through the Registrar, but I don't like it. We sold one of . . . . sections last week for £5 direct, because the cost of selling through the Registrar would have swallowed up all the purchase money.