The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1889. THE ASHBURTON WOOLLEN FACTORY.
The public of the town and district will read with great regret the an nonncement that the Ashbnrton Woollen Factory Company finds itself m financial difficulties which necessitate its going into liquidation. That this should be the case comes as a surprise to all, but the shareholders (and perhaps even to some of theße) for the general impression has been that our local institution was proving a complete success. Certain it is that it has turned out goods which will bear comparison with those of any similar factory m the colony, and there seems to have been a ready demand for its manufactures. We have heard it asserted, but do not vouch m any way for the correctness of the statement, tbat the factory suffered by the change of management rendered necessary when Mr Atkinson left to assume the control of the factory at Timaru, but from what transpired at the meeting of shareholders it does not appear that the Company's difficulties are traceable to a falling off m the demand for its goods. Ihe one sole cause of the straits into which it has fallen seems to have been tho fact that it was attempted to be carried on with insufficient capital, necessitating the borrowing of money at high rates of interest— >9 to 10 per cent. It is true there was a small loss by fire, some £400, but tbat is not an amount which would have brought about disaster, and the trade losses have been an exceedingly small per centage. Indeed, the business seems to havo been a good one, and given that it had been started with ample capital, the factory would, thero is overy reason to believe, have been a paying concern, . Under the circumstances disclosed at yesterday's meeting the Company had, however, clearly no alternative but to go into liquidation, as it obviously could not command sufficient funds to carry on. Those persons who have lent money to the Company on deposit, and the creditors of the Company generally have happily no cause for alarm, aB the assets are amply sufficient, not only to discharge all such claims and debts, but will leave something for the shareholders, though the amount of dividend payable to the latter will of course depend upon what price can be obtained for the mill and machinery. It is sincerely to be hoped that some capitalist or capitalists will be found willing to undertake the purchase of these at a fair figure and to carry on the mill, as it would be a serious blow to the town if the factory were finally closed and the machinery removed elsewhither. Rumor has it that it is is not improbable that local men will come forward with the view of re-establishing the enterprise on a broader and sounder basis, and we could heartily hope that this might prove to be tbe case, and if so, the experience oi other places will, doubtless, be repeated herein the new proprietors making n pronounced success, where the Company has met with failure. But, we understand, that it is scarcely likely that local men wil} ba found able to provide sufficient capital to parry on the mill m the way m which it should be done, those who possess the money having it already otherwise employed, and that an endeavor will be rfladp to dispose ot the factory to some Home capitalist or firm. There ought to be a fair prospect of accomplishing this, as the appointments are very complete, and the machinery is all new and of the best, nhile Ashburton j manufactured goods hare secured a reputation which only needs to be kept np to secure for tho output a ready demand A good sound business has been done during the management of the present Company, and nojy that under the protective tariff, locally manufactured woollen goods can defy foreign competition, if only there were sufficient capital to (carry it on, an extending and profitable business cculd be depended upon. Ponding the attempt to dispose of the mill as a going concern, the Company haß taken the only wise oourpe m going into liquidation, and may be congratulated on having the services of a gentleman 00 thoroughly capable of conducting the business management as Mr Twentyman unquestionably is.