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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73

To the President of the Otago Central Railway League

To the President of the Otago Central Railway League.

Sir,—In reply to your enquiry re. trade with Central Otago since line opened to Middlemarch, we have to state that there has been a considerable increase in the trade since the line was opened to Middlemarch, and a further very appreciable augmentation since its extension to Hyde. The opening of the railway has given much greater inducement to farmers to cultivate

Cereal Crops,

as the cost of haulage has thereby been much reduced. The quality of the grab grown in Central Otago is all that can be desired, the

Wheat and Barley

grown there being in great request by millers and maltsters—the quality being evidenced by the fact that they

Realise from 1d. to 4d. per Bushel More

than the same classes of grain grown in the coastal districts. This season having been an exceptionally dry one, and the greater part of the crops in the interior light page 15 wing to the drought, we do not expect there will be much grain sent to Dunedin from these districts this year; but in ordinary seasons we anticipate a considerable pain trade, and with a further extension of the railway we are satisfied that there will be a

Very Large Quantity of Grain

Transported over the line.

In the live stock business there is already a very good trade from Middlemarch and Hyde, which will be greatly increased when the railway is further extended. The soil and climate of Central Otago are very favourable for the

Winter Fattening of Sheep and Cattle on Turnips

In the open field, and already some of the finest sheep and cattle that come to Burnside saleyards are brought from that district. We may instance the cattle from Mr. Wm. Leask of Blacks, sold by us lately, which topped the Burnside market at

£12 5s. each, being Grand Bullocks,

and although fed in the open they were finished to perfection; also sheep from the flock of Mr. Donald Nicolson, Ida Valley, sold by us on the 6th March, a truck of which were bought for shipment alive to London as a sample of our New Zealand sheep. These grand sheep, grown and fattened on the natural pastures, prove tha[unclear: t] interior lands are admirably suited for stock raising. We feel satisfied that when the line has been extended the grain and stock trade from Central Otago will be very [unclear: rgely] increased, that it will enable settlement to be extended, and also be an important means of assisting the settlers and adding to their incomes, while at the some time the large trade that will be developed will prove a good source of revenue in the railway.

There are other matters to which we might refer, such as the

Large Extent of Good Land

now practically unoccupied and altogether unimproved which with the extension of the railway would be speedily settled, and to the large area of capital pasture land, and

Rich in Gold and Other Minerals,

the development of which is much hindered for want of more cheap and rapid means of conveyance.

Altogether, we think the case for the rapid extension of the Otago Central Railway is a strong one, and we trust some practicable means may be devised without delay for its more speedy prosecution.

We remain, yours, &c.,

Donald Reid & Co.