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these roads; but this is certainly productive of less injury to the colony than the plan of systematically marking out the land without providing for any main lines of communication at all, leaving them to be afterwards forced through private property under the authority of separate acts of the colonial legislature; a system entailing discontent, litigation, delay, and expense. The marked natural features of the ground, such as the lines of the coast, or the banks of lakes or rivers of sufficient importance to constitute the division of property, and the main lines of roads alluded to, will, where practicable, guide the disposition of the lines forming the boundaries of the sections to be now marked out. Where no such natural or artificial frontages exist, the best directions in which these rectangular figures can be laid out are perhaps those of the cardinal lines, excepting in cases where the nature, inclination, and general form of the ground evidently point out the advantage of a deviation from this rule.

The size of these sections is a question to be determined by that of the minimum average number of acres which it is supposed is best adapted to the means and wants of the settler; the latter being in a great measure regulated by the apparent capabilities of the soil. Land divided into very large farms is placed beyond the reach of settlers of moderate capital; and if subdivided into very small portions, the expense of the survey is enormously increased, and labourers are tempted to become at once proprietors of land, very much to their own real disadvantage, as well as that of the colony. In South Australia, 80 acres has been adopted as the average content. In parts of New Zealand * and elsewhere, 100 acres. In Canada t, generally more than double that quantity. Whatever size may be determined upon, it is advisable to adhere to as nearly as possible, in all general cases; though, where special application is made for rather larger blocks,

In the Canterbury Settlement, on the Middle Island, New Zealand, 50 acres has been fixed as the minimum size; the maximum is unlimited; as in South Australia, no reservation is made of coal and other minerals; the purchaser being put in possession of all that is on and under the surface.

+ The rude and inaccurate mode in which land has been marked out in Canada by the chain and compass, and the little value that has been set upon waste land which used to be alienated from the Crown in grants of extensive size, renders the survey of that country not a fair point of comparison with that of more modern colonies.

there has been found no mischief in departing from the average size, provided this deviation is not so extreme as to prevent fair competition for any peculiarly valuable locality. In such cases, it is however, always necessary to guard particularly against the monopoly of surface water within the area of the section, or of any extended valuable frontage; as well as against any impediment that might be placed in the way of forming roads through the property. Where the main lines of communication have not been previously laid out, it is requisite, especially in large blocks of land, to reserve to the government, at all events for a limited number of years, a right of forming such roads as are evidently for the public benefit, making of course compensation for any damage that may be thereby done, though this can generally be met by a previous allowance of a certain number of acres in excess of the proper content of the block *. Indeed, if proper precautions could be taken to prevent its being abused, it would be advisable to reserve this power of making such general roads

are clearly advantageous to the community, through all sections of land of whatever size; with the right of taking stone and timber for making and repairing these roads and the bridges erected along their line; though all such interference with private rights should as much as possible be obviated by previous careful examination of the country.

The rapid settlement of a newly-formed colony being an object always to be fostered, the sections marked out for sale should be so arranged as to conduce as much as possible to this desideratum; to attain which end, the surveys should, at all events at first, be kept well in advance of the demand for land, for the purpose of giving the most ample choice of selection to intended purchasers. By the opposite system of selling land in advance of the survey, an unfortunate emigrant not unfrequently finds the greater part of his section occupied by the bed of a salt lagoon or swamp, and experiences no slight dismay in discovering that he is not even in possession of the number of acres for which he has paid, and to

as

* Two or three per cent. upon the average, is proved amply sufficient in small or moderate-sized sections. In very large blocks, one per cent. would perhaps be as much as could be required.

which perhaps he has no access with any sort of wheeled vehicle, in consequence of the occupation roads being marked down upon the ground to correspond with straight lines previously drawn upon paper; so that they lead, without any controlling power in the surveyor to alter their course, up and down almost inaccessible ravines, or probably for several hundred yards at a stretch along the bed of a stream.

In marking out these sections, the following remarks * will direct attention to the different local peculiarities which require a deviation from established rules, and to the general system of conducting the work in the field ; the mechanical practice of surveying being of course supposed to be already known.

Sections laid out with frontages upon main lines of road, rivers, or wherever increased value is thereby conferred upon the land, should have their frontage reduced to one-half, or even onethird of the depth of the section, so as to distribute this advantage among as many as can participate in it, without rendering the different sections too elongated in figure to be advantageously cultivated as a farm.

In addition to this contraction of frontage, easy access by roads must be provided from the country in the rear leading to this water or main road; without which precaution the owners of the front lots would, by blocking up the land behind them, virtually obtain possession of it, for at least pastoral purposes, without payment. These roads should occur at intervals proportioned to their requirement, generally between every third or fourth section.

Every section should have an available road on one of the four sides forming its boundaries, by which the proprietor has access to the main lines of communication; its breadth may vary from half a chain to one chain, according to circumstances; in square or rectangular sections of 80 or 100 acres each, roads surrounding each block of six or eight sections have been found amply sufficient; but in a country at all broken or irregular, some of the roads so laid out would often be found quite impracticable; in such cases, it is necessary either to trace and mark on the ground along the ridges of the secondary features, or wherever the ground may offer fewest impediments, cross roads leading into the main lines, and to lay off the sections fronting upon them; or to make these by-roads run through the sections; which is to be avoided as much as possible, on account of their cutting up small properties, and entailing a very considerable expense in the increased quantity of fencing required.

* Partly extracted from the instructions issued to the surveyors employed in South Australia.

In parts of the country where water is scarce, the greatest care should be taken to prevent its monopoly by individuals. Springs and permanent water-holes should in such localities be enclosed within a small block of land (one or two acres), and reserved for the use of neighbouring flock-owners and the public generally; and practicable roads must be arranged leading to these reserves, without which, excellent and extensive tracts of land would often be comparatively valueless.

As it would evidently very much increase the cost of laying out sections having broken and irregular frontages, if they were required each to contain exactly the same number of acres; the nearest approximation that can be made to the established size by the judgment of the surveyor should be adopted, and the section afterwards sold according to the quantity of land it is found to measure.

For the purpose of giving to settlers seeking for land upon which to locate, every facility for acquiring information respecting its capabilities, and the positions of the different surveyed portions; the freest access to the statistical reports of the surveyors, and to the plans of the different districts deposited in the Survey Office, should be given. In addition to which, the sections themselves should be marked so distinctly upon the ground by short pickets, driven at intervals regulated by the comparative open and level character of the country, as to enable any person to follow up their boundary lines without difficulty. The angular pickets should be much larger, and squared at the head, on which the number of the section, and of all the contiguous sections, should be marked. Adjacent roads should also be designated by the letter R. Independent of the corners of sections being pointed out by these pickets, they should be deeply trenched with a small

Road.

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spade or pick, showing not only the angle formed by contiguous sections, but also the directions of their boundary lines.

Such marks remain easily recognised for years, and are not injured either by bush fires or by the constant passage of herds of cattle, by both of which means many of the

wooden pickets are soon destroyed. 120

It has been generally considered expedient, that roads should be reserved if not actually marked on the ground, (excepting in cases where they would interfere with the erection of wharves, mills, &c.,) along the banks of all navigable rivers, the borders of lakes, and along the lines of a coast. This regulation, if stringently applied, without reference to peculiar circumstances in different localities, would often be found oppressive and mischievous. Very frequently roads laid out with judgment to the various points on the margins of these waters, which are best adapted for the purposes of fisheries, watering flocks, establishment of ferries, building or launching boats, &c., with a sufficient space reserved for the use of the public at these spots, would prove of more general utility.

As a general rule, as many sections as possible should be laid out in the same locality, if the land is of a nature to be soon brought into cultivation. Whilst greater choice of selection is thus given, the comparative cost per acre of the survey is diminished; of course this remark applies only to situations the rapid settlement of which is anticipated.

In marking the boundaries of sections on the ground, all natural features crossed by the chain should be invariably noted in the field-book; on the outlines plotted from which are drawn the general character of the contours of the hills, the different lines proposed for roads, directions of native paths, wells, springs, and every other object tending to mark the nature and resources of the country. Copies of these plans* should always be transmitted to the principal Survey Office, accompanied by a rough diagram, showing, for future reference, the construction lines of the work, and the contents and length of the sides of all sections, also the measure of the angles, when not right angles; and by an explana

* Two inches to one mile is found a very convenient scale for plans of these sections, intended for the information of the public.

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