DIRECT STEAM COMMUNICATION WITH ENGLAND.
Clutha Leader, Rōrahi VII, Putanga 390, 1 Paengawhāwhā 1881, Page 5
DIRECT STEAM COMMUNICATION WITH ENGLAND.
j TO THE EDITOR. Sir, —ln continuation of my last lotcer I have now to show that,, and why, a regular and well - conducted line of steamers to and from England via the Cape will" well repay the colonists. To do this I must in some measuro refer to our present condition. For any party or parties in New Zealand to visit England, or in England to visit New Zealand, if they go by means of the chief shipping vessels belonging to or visiting our ports, they mußt, out and home, spend six or seven months at sea. Very few can afford that loss of time ; others who might afford it are careful not to loose it; but the greater number who would like to go cannot get over this difficulty. Some few however are determined or are forced to go— for instance, our last Governor and suite—but instead of going direct, only employ our vessels to Australia and then take steam from thence to England, and thence again to the Cape. Thus the Australian steamers get the benefit of our custom, but they obtain none of their ship stores from here. On the contrary, our intercolonial steamers get a large, I believe the largest, portion of their supplies from Australia. True, Australia manu factures stores which we do not make here ; but they would soon be made here if the demand for them existed : and a line of steamers from here to- England would cause that demand. It was soon diacovered at Cape- Town, after the steamers began to run with regularity, that they took away bo much of colonial produce as greatly: to enhance the prices of all consumable articles ; and the same would.be the case here,, if we had our own
.steamers insftud of being obliged to employ those bf Australia. The supplied required by the large steamers are not only foi- tli** few fi.-ty^tht'y are in port, but for ihe-pcrjods of* their- long voyages, which,-, would be a very groafe.coi, sumption and atpresent it moans -a loss of trade, for -snob f a weekly line of steamers, amounting to .1 about L 250,000 (in addition to the ooat of 'l coal), per annum, or- more. As --the 'J steamers- would call, a3 it* --clone at. the- Cape, at each of the lai'ge ports — _ uck-land, Wellington,. Lyttelton, Port Ohal-mers, the Bluff, etc. — each would share in. this increase of trado. Bub tho benefits . of the steamers would go far beyond this ; ; i for even now many importers get their - goods by the Australian steamers, but they have-to submit to tivuishipmeht ox- • j penses, which the public have to pcty for in ■ their prices. au:l this should bo avoided"! •A well-known Du;> edin iirm states in their - j circular just received — " "We will' bain receipt of supplementary shipments » of new goods by each steatnsr throughout the season," and there art) no other - steamers from. Europe but thw Australian. But these Australian steamers neither - visit our ports nor take their supplies ; from us ;. but thoy got hold of our monoy which we- ought to, spend on a line of " vessels of our own. Again,. our own line • ] of steamers would give us more immediate ] returns and better (more reasonable) priceß |j for goods sent and received to and from • I England, so that we could havo returns | (or turn our money over in goods) four | times a year;, whereas-, by- our present r| sailing vessels we cannot do it even twice I a year. Now, this means*, that with the 1 same money we could get during th-j year 1 double the amount of profit by the • | steamers which can be obtained by ths 1 sailing vessels ; honco, bettor prices cau 1 be afforded to the public and yet thefim- | por cer can better alDrd to- pay extra-. 1 freight, or his passage • money if needful, . | by the steamer *, and man}' there are, . f merchants, shopkeepers, farmara, fend | others, who would visit England to- ar- $ range, with well-paying advantage on. | thoir expenses, for their most important | goods to come direct by steamers. Thia *. i practice has created altogether new* ar- | rangements in conducting ' business: afc | the Cape ; yet there are more merchants - | (benafide) there now than ever there -wag: | before, but ou a different footing ; -and f sailing vessels are employed even more- | than before. At tho Cape they are' ex- 1 tending their trade rapidly into the in- j terior of Africa and along the Coasts ; and < f in New Zealand we should do the same - amongst the Pacific Islands ; for these • I islands could give us their tropical pro-duotiona in exchange for thoso of our* temperate climate. We ought to- receive from them sugar, cotton, oil,, spices, rice, and many other productions for shipment to Europe as woil as for our own con-, sumption, and they want from us tho very goods with which wo can most readily.-supply them ; but to enable us to do ifr thoroughly and with the greatest ad vantago we must have stoam communication direct to England. New Zealand A admirably - situated for such trading, and we can do • much better in the Pacific than the traders-, at the Capo aro now doing in tlie interior-of Africa. But the greatest bonefits which* New Zealand would acquire from direct steam communication with England would be the extensive immigration of wealthy settlers as traders-, farmers, speculators,, tourists, invalids, and their concomitant companions, which, in expanding our trade and resources-, would increase greatly our railway traffic and our trading operations, making lines pay a good returns j which are now only burdens to. the tax- ' paye:s. By the increased consumption, i which they would cause they would- ro— j duce our over - productiveness,, which •. j would, as a natural conseqnonee, increase •. 1 the price or value of land as it' is now • 1 doing at the Cape — whero in. the last few ] years it has tripled in value. It should -. ' be known and remembered that New Zealand is the most healthy climate.-in.theworld, and not only very inter jsting from < varied scenery but also in its varied productions ; also that it can be more readily**- , and more safely travelled over and with*. greater facilities and comfort than any- -j other colony. There aro here no Boers or - I Natives to fight you ; no Indians to scalp • < you ; no bushrangers to dread ; no wars to • dhturb you — (thanks to Mr Bryce) ? no- ! wild beasts or reptiles to fear ; and to.vns, . villages, and stations are only a few miles . ! apart. But I fear I am trespassing on,-' 1 your space. I desire yet to allude to the '• best means of carrying out direct steam,' -' communication with England. I can only ] see two sources by which it can be clones efficiently, viz.: — 1. By the Government. ; of New Zealand, a special loan being * raised for that purpose alone. 2. By a ■ Company with a nominal capital of at-, ' least L 1,000,000 sterling, floated in Eng- - } land, with a large portion of shares^ ro- - served for this colony. There aro many - > very urgent reasons for the Government j to take it in hand ; but, with your per— } mission, I will leave the consideration. thereof tiUyour next issue. — I am, etc., G. EVELKIGU. Clinton, March 28, 18S1.