Manawatu Herald. THURSDAY, FEB. 9, 1898. Beet-Root Sugar.
Manawatu Herald , 3 Huitanguru 1898, Page 2
Manawatu Herald. THURSDAY, FEB. 9, 1898. Beet- Root Sugar.
The Premier last session brought up tho beet root sugar matter, and promised to make some move towardr ffering a bonus for its production in his colony. For years the growth and manufacture of this root into sugar has been urged, but by settlers who have not understood the ques 'ion beyond its being a^benefit to certain producers, and *who disregarded the cost of a sugar-refining plant and tbe quantity consumed in he colony. Year by year the population of the colony has increased and now it is estimated that we consume upwards of 80,000 tons of sugar a year. The plant necessary o manufacture this quantity would bo very costly and besides the first outlay a large capital would b<equired to purchase the roots. The question of cost may at first sight ppear of little moment to iarmers if they avoid investing in tbe concern. out probably without som9 sort of guarantee from growers no capitalist would care to embark in the venture, unless he undertook to grow his own "oropa. This would at once lake iway the interest of the colonist and inless the manufacturer undertook o supply sugar cheaper than ut the orice now obtainable subsequent pro jeedings would interest him no more. It appears extremely unlikely tha» men will put their money into such i venture without the hope of making a large profit and the Premier led one to understand that he was aesitating as to the advisableness of creating an import duty of a larger amount than now exists to help the -.arting of such a factory* or that he might be persuaded to agree that for ao many yeara ifc should not ba less, which to a large sugar consuming copulation is a sufficiently seriouH result; to make them take a more lively interest in the future of this discussion. From parliamentary papers laid before the House this session we notice one, being a report from a select committee of fche House of Assembly of Tasmania, which had il n he^n investigating the que." tion of growing beet-root. A Mr 0 v'.tn du VeiUe, a Victorian exper wns asked whether he would erect u ugar mill in Tasmania, and hv epiied that he would, on certain
condition.*, which were, that the full supply of suitablo roots will b,'uaranteed from the first 1 season ; hit the government will allow th« j tieo importation cf the mmufactur ng plant ; that tbe present price of ■jugar shall not seriously decline in be meantime ; thit the farmers
hem eives subscribe 20 per cent of tho capital." He reckoned the cost f th* piant would be noi less than £75,000, and »,he consumption of oola about 45,000 tons. The com uitr.ee made a very peculiar and mif hearted report, saying that they lelieved it wou'd be advantageous to he colony, but "the ouly difficulty n establishing the industry is, in lh..' opinion of your committee, that of bringing the grower and the manu facturer together." This difficulty svill be always present for very many radons, the chief reason to our mind being that tbe colony will be hampered in its sugar, dealings by ■■he erection of a monopoly which would be of very small service to anyone except the comparatively few farmers dwelling within a measureible distance of the factory. As thf value of the roots are mentioned in various reports as not to exceed from fourteen shillings to sixteen shillings i ton, and as about seven to seven ind a half tons per acre is an average crop, good as the crop might be where little cartage wan necessary, it if not one that would pay to send >ong distances. Here we have the pith of the whole matter, and the reason why we do not see that much profit would be gained by the estab li h nient of this industry as yet. If a company was willing to take thimatter up on their own rtok, withou xtorting concessions from the colony we should be only too glad to welcome their efforts and support them as far as we could, but the establiahmpnt of one factory in the colony with the cultivation of some 4000 acres around it, does not appear a good and suffi cient reason to, by law, keep up the price of sugar to the consuming masses.