The coal scandal

When the government decided to allow private interests to have a lease over known coal deposits in the Charming Creek area, there was some public concern, as reflected by this letter to the Grey River Argus in February 1920.


THE COAL SCANDAL. (To The Editor.)
Sir, — Without any desire to trespass on the space which you are using to such good purpose yourself in exposing th ultra capitalistic policy of the Ministry regarding the coal industry, I wish merely to give expression to a conviction I share with many that the latest facts you have brought to light are of more than ordinary importance. These show that a field capable of producing 500 tons of coal a day for a period of 38 years has been lost to the people :is a public possession for no explicable reason. The Manager of the State Mines directed the prospecting, which public money financed, and yet the field was allowed to slip through the Departments hands into those of a private concern without a public explanation of the reason! Why, this is altogether 'over the odds!' Unless something is done, it may. Therefore, I say, let our public men who really want justice done to the public get to work and run to earth the why and wherefore of this astonishing transaction. It brooks no delay. I am etc. PRO BONO PUBLICO,
Greymouth, February 1st, 1920.

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