The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 1880.
The indefatigable Mr. Macandrew in 1-778 did his best to establish steam communication direct between the Old Country and this colony, and wished it done under Government auspices. He brought the matter up at a late period of the session, and members, wishing to be home to prepare for the enjoyment of a merry Christmas, were not in a mood to finish up an already too lengthy session by debating what might have been an endless question. Besides, the establishment of direct communication was a subject involving a large outlay of money, with no assurance that a commensurate benefit would follow. But during the recess Mr. Macandrew, who had evidently taken the matter to heart, set about making the experiment, and before Parliament again met the Stadt Haarlem, steamer, had come and gone. . Her voyage was not the greatest financial success possible, even though she did bring a large cargo of immigrants, and consequently she is the last steamer that has visited the colony direct from Europe. But we learn from recent telegrams that the Stadt Haarlem experiment is not to be the final one, and that before all hope lea.-es us of ever seeing a direct line of steamers plying between our shores and those of the land we have left, we are to be treated to a visit from one of the boats of Messrs. Money Wigram, and Co. It was this company who ran the splendid line of steamers between London and Melbourne before the Orient Company entered into competition with them, and it is their intention, now that to a certain extent their Australian trade has been crippled, to measure the bounds of possibility of a payable trade between New Zealand and England. The first steamer is to start some time this month, if she has not already left, and should the venture meet with fair encouragement, a direct line of steamers will continue on the passage, the fine fleet of Messrs. Money Wigram and Co., being available for the service. Should the venture prove successful, the Company, it is said, purpose relinquishing the Melbourne trade, and devoting their attention to New Zealand. Their fleet of steamers comprise some splendid vessels, and considering the large passenger trade that has tins year been done from Lyttelton, per sailing vessel, and the contributions of voyayers by the Orient line that New Zealand gives, there is a good prospect that, if freight is forthcoming in keeping, the cabins of Money Wigram’s steamers will be in demand. It is to be hoped the venture will bo a successful one, and that at last a steam line will be established between this colony and Home.