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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Unpromising Soil

Unpromising Soil.

Surrounding the dismal-looking swamps were low rolling hills, covered with stunted fern and teatree. The character of the soil from a superficial observation was a cold, stiff clay, which no one would look at for cultural purposes. Although traversed by a rail-way, the value in the market of this belt of country, for tannine purposes, was practically nil. In its unimproved state—and it was almost all unimproved—its speculative value, looking to the chances of the future "unearned increment." might he put at half-a-crown an acre. It would have been difficult to find any one at that time who would have bought a section of this land at that price if the conditions of the purchase had entailed the obligation to cultivate the holding. Experienced colonial settlers would have laughed to scorn the idea of any man making a living off such land, even if he got it for nothing.