The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER THURSDAY, JULY 29, 1880.
In these times of threatened heavy taxation and actual slackness of business, it is satisfactory to listen to even the faintest authoritative hint of returning prosperity. The returns of Customs revenue at the several ports of Hew Zealand during the quarter ended June 30, 1880, gives this hint in the increase over the corresponding quarter of 1879. The increase in the revenue returns is not one confined to one port or to a few ports, but manifests itself in the revenue collected at each, from Auckland to Riverton, with the exception of Poverty Bay, Wanganui, the small Marlborough ports, Timaru, and Invercargill, and at these ports the decrease has been remarkably slight. Taking tne totals of the two quarters between which the comparison is made we find 1879 giving L 278,636, while 1880 reaches, up to L 333,213, an increase of L 54,577. The anticipation of merchantss that the Budget would bring with it a rise in the tea and sugar duties may be credited with a portion of the increase, but, after making due allowance for this, there is still evidence that the people must have more money to spend than they had in the parallel period of 1879. If any value can be attached to this increase as an indication of returning prosperity, and if we can by any means trust it as a criterion, of the future, then we may, without question, accept a prognostication that the end of the financial year will see the estimate of the Treasurer realised, with a good nest-egg over. The greatest decrease appears to have been on ad valorem goods, which in 1879 netted to the Treasury L 65,396, and in 1880, L 56,244. We may not, perhaps, be very far wrong in flattering ourselves as a colony over this decrease, inasmuch as we may safely augur from it that colonialmade goods are coming more into use. The protective duties have considerably operated against the ability of Home and American manufacturers to defy colonial competition, and sell goods at a cheaper rate than they could bo manufactured here. But, though this has certainly been the case, it must not be forgotten that there is a steadily growing inclination, and even desire, on the part of colonists generally to support colonial industry ; and though native industries are neither so plentiful nor so extensive as they might be, nor as we would wish to see them, still, such as are now carried on are being vigorously and enterprisingly pushed. The quality of colonial-made goods are in most cases high enough to suit all requirements. Push and enterprise always command their reward, and success will doubtless attend the exercise of these business virtues in regard to colonial-made goods. We have remarked that the increase of Customs revenue has been felt all along the coasts, and from this we are encouraged to look for better times near at hand, a speedy return of the firm confidence in the future that was ruthlessly shaken, and an exercise on the part of the whole colony of that selfreliance which is so indispensable to steady and natural progress.