THE ASHBURTON FACTORY.
Tgs news which we publish m yesterday?u issue, that the buildings and plant of the Ashburton Woollen Factory h%7e been purchased by the Mosgiei Woollen Faotory Company will have been read, with universal satisfaction throughout the district, the wore especially that latterly an impression had got abroad that m order to wind up the affairs of the local Company it would be found necessary to part with the property to a purchaser who would hare removed the plant elsewhither, with the result of finally closing the mill. This would unquestionably have been a great blow to the districtindeed little, short of a calamity— as it would have thrown about a hundred, hands out of employment, besides depriving our flockmasters of the advan- i tage of a local market for their wool, : No doubt had the present purch^sera not come forward, a few of the shareholders m the factory w,ould have made an effort to carry it on, but had they succeeded j m so doing, it is questionable whether disaster would have been finally averted, as a m.uoh larger amount of free capital is required for the successful prosecution, of th,e industry than we foa.r v?as locally available. Be «s it maj, it is at a,nj rate oertain that never m all its history hitherto has the amount of free capital employed been sufficient to enable the working of an expanding business upon healthy and prosperous, lines, and m this enterprise, as m a hundred others, the necessity of financing has meant crippled powers and ultimate loss to the shareholders, Not only did those who originally set the.' Factory going lose heavily, but even the second Company wiuoh stepped m and purchased at half- cost has also pome to grief for preoisely the same reason, want ot sufficient funds. The machinery is of the most approved description, the staple of manufacture abundant and excellent, and the product m the shape of manufactured goods has left nothing to be desired. The goods,, too 4 were and are m ready demand, and all the conditions of a prosperous enterprise wese present save one, and the lack of tb.at one — sufficient capital — has proved fatal. We are sorry for the shareholders becauße most, we might we think say all of ftem, put the^ wney iute ft nmfor
the sake of helping on the town and district than from the hope of large dividends, tnd it is a thousand pities that they should be, as we fear they will be, heavy losers thereby, but it is satisfactory to them as well as to their creditors to know that the loss will not extend beyond the shareholders, and that all creditors are likely to be paid m full. There is too a grain of comfort for the unlucky shareholders m the knowledge that the purchasing Company is one possessed of ample means, and that it will be able to carry on operations, not merely on the scale hitherto readied, but much more extensively, and as we believe they have covenanted to run the mill for three years certain there is room to believe that the town and diswill be largely benefited and that most of the shareholders of the Factory Company will themselves, as business men of the town, indirectly reap a share of that benefit. Altogether it will be unanimously agreed that a great misfortune has been averted by the arrangement which has been entered into, ana it remains only to hope that under the management of the Mosgiel Company— the most successful Woollen Manufacturing Company m the Colony— the future history of the Ashburton mill will be a continued record of prosperity and progress. • ■
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