Page:Our New Zealand Cousins.djvu/252

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Our New Zealand Cousins.

cally studied. It has been found good for the common weal to legislate for factory workers, for miners, for mariners, for sportsmen, for farmers even, to impose certain restrictions and formulate rules; why should it not be done with lumberers and sawyers? It is no reply to say, "Oh, the forests will last our time." Surely we have a duty to posterity in this matter. I am so convinced of the evil that is being done, of the sinfulness of the wasteful methods that are allowed, that I cannot refrain from adding my feeble protest to that of others abler than myself, who have from time to time uplifted their testimony in favour of a reform in the present conditions of forest administration. And in a hundredfold greater degree is it necessary for New South Wales.

You speak on the subject with your fellow-tourists. They agree with you that "something should be done." You refer to it in your conversations with farmers, theologians, legislators, merchants, squatters, hotel-keepers, and shopkeepers. Yes, they agree with you that the present state of matters is wrong; that the best kinds of timber are fast becoming scarcer; that the supply at this rate cannot last for ever; that there is enormous preventible waste; that even firewood near the towns is becoming dearer; that the present want of system is rotten; anything you like—excepting that it is any business of theirs to help forward public opinion, to check abuses, and institute reformed methods. Here in Southland vast areas, while they have not been