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THE COLONY'S PROGRESS.

» Or latb years we have been bo much accustomed to the shadow of adversity that many poople had begun to speak and write as if there were no sunshine at all, and as if New Zealand had entered upon a downward course which must necessarily end m ruin. That a shadow was cast over the sunshine for a season no ono can deny, but the sun was not utterly blotted out for all that, and the colony has all along been making substantial progress. Few people, however, are aware how great that progross has been, even during the past few years, because few people take the trouble to peruse statistics or to make compari sons. But it is a very healthful and invigorating thing to look upon the bright side now and then for all that, and m order to give our readers a peep at it wo will just turn to a number of facts put together m a sound and sensible speech just delivered to his constituents by a sound and sensible man — Mr Thomas Mackenzie, M.H.R. for Clutha. Hero then are Mr Mackenzie's facts and figures. JNew Zealand's exports for 1888 were larger by £671,000 than m any year of her history. Three years ago our total exports were £6,672,000 ; two years ago they were £6,866,000, and last year they had increased to £7,767,000 — an inoreaße of £900,000 over 1887, and of no less than £1.100,000 over the penultimate year. Three years ago our exports were about £86,000 losb than our imports, but last year our exports exceeded our imports by no leBS than £1,800,000, the imports having fallen to £5,900,000. Our coal industry shows the following results : — " Nine yearß ago 162,000 tons were raised m this colony, and m 1887 the total raised was 558,000 tons, almost four times as much. We imported nine years ago 174,000 tons, and last year only 107,000, * difference of 60,000 tons odd. Wo exported nine years ago 6000 tons of coal, and last year 44,000 tons. These figures worked out would bo found to leavo an increase of 800,000 tons that wo raised last year for our own requirements. Ho wanted to show that the diminution of imports did not prove that the country was not ts industrious as before, but that we were ourselves producing what we required to an extent far beyond what we previously imported. (Applause.) The woollen industries indicate the same thing. If asked m what manner our trade was developing he should say that while we did a great amount of our trade with Great Britain^aboat 70 per cent m all—we were also spreading our wings. We were acquiring trade with the South Bes Islands. In 1886 we only exported £190,000 thither, but ml 887 £295,000. Orer and above the South Sea Islands we were extending our trade with India. Three years ago me only had £700 worth of trade with (hat country • two years ago it increased to £6000, and l»st year it was over £9000. We sent them horses, etc , of a stamp that our colony was well fttted to produce. With Germany, too, our trade three years ago was only £16,000 ; two years ago it was £44,000, and last year it w«i £68,000. With France our trade three years ago was £7800 ; two years ago, £14,000 ; and last year, £21,900. If all this was not satisfactory he did not know what was. These facts must go to establish the credit of New Zealand, and that credit once established its prospects were unlimited. He would now treat of our own products. First, as regarded wool. Within the last nine years wo bad m creased our wool export by 50 per cent. In 1886 we exported nearly 91,000,0001 b of wool; 1887, 89,000,000lb ; the quantity was less, but the money we received was greater. In 1886 we only received £8,078,000 ; m 1887, although the quantity was less we received j<53,32#,000. He would explain why. i Fj rfl * there w#s a rise m price, but m this connect he woald * Ibo show how the industry of ih« people ww» increasing. We had often" sent MT&y wool bat never used to go m for scouring and washing it. In 1886 we sent 11,800,000 pounds of scoured wool ; m 1887, 12,900,0001 b, an actual difference of 1,100,0001 b bringing m an increased revenue of £126,000. Then our washed wool had increased by 500,0001 b, bringing m an increased price of £29,000. This, he should say, was not entirely due to washing, because wool had gone up slightly. Talking of sheep brought him to the important industry of meat fress ing, the development of which it was interesting to watch. In 1881 we exported 15,000cwt. equal to 20,000 or 25,000 sheep. In 1887 we exported 767,000 sheep and last year, he believed, over 1,000,000 sheep. In connection with this he would point out that we seemed to be exporting simply our increase. Our flocks m 1886 were 15,250,000, and m 1887 they were just 19,000 less, so the export of frozen mutton for 1887 represented about the increase of our flocks. He had no hesitation m saying that this was one of the most important industries m the colony, and it was one of the most powerful reasons why wo should support the direct service, which gave us safe and speedy transit for our frozen meat and dairy produce. Without this service our factorie3 would never have reaohed tho position of prosperity they now occupied. Onr exports of frozen beef, too, had increased from 28,000 quarters to 46,000 quarters m 1887 ; *nd there was a wonderful increase m the potted meat industry, which had advanced from £47,000 m 1886 tc £79,000 m 1887. There was a great increase also m almost all our othei exports, such as tallow, sheepskins, kauri gum, flax, &o. ; and even the unfortunate bunny was ah importani item. In 1886 we exported no lost than 8,600,000 rabbitskins, but m 188? this had increased to 12,800,000 skins bringing m £111,000. As regardec our agricultural industries, we had nov no less than 6,000,000 acres under grass and last year saw an increase m th< country under graßß of nearly 900,00( aores." Our readers will agree wit] Mr Mackenzie that " these aro factor which must havo an important boarinj on the credit of the colony and it future development," and the facts an figures which he supplies should hay the effect of putting to shame the croaking spirit which is always prophc sying evil and decrying the colony, < whose progress we have indeed jui cause to be proud. " Rough on PlLES.''— Why suffer Piles immediate relief and complete pure guarai teed. Ask for " Rough on Piles." Sure cv for Itching, prQtrudi9g,|blec4iPg> W W for pfpUcit 4

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890228.2.23

Bibliographic details

THE COLONY'S PROGRESS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2075, 28 February 1889

Word Count
1,132

THE COLONY'S PROGRESS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2075, 28 February 1889

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