The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 1889. THE IMPERIAL INSTITUTE.
It is not often that colonists are asked to do something to further their own interestß without being asked at the same time to find the wherewithal to defray the attendant expenses. One of these rare occurrences is the mission of Sir Somers Vino to the oolonies and dependencies of the Empire on behalf of the recently constituted Imperial Institute. In the course of Ms travels Sir Somers Vine is ; now visiting New Zealand, and the reportß of his speeches enable us to see what a valuable and practical institution is that for which he asks our support. The formation of the Institute as a memorial of the Jubilee of her Majesty, Queen Victoria, was an acknowledgment of the greatness to which the British colonies had attained during the fifty yeans of her Majesty's reigD, and of their importance as integral parts of the Empire, When the interests of such T»Bt I territories are gathered together under one roof they will merit the appellation Imperial in its best sense, and on this ground the name was selected, and not for any politioal meaning which might be attached to the word. The Institute is non-political. Many of our readers will remember tho controversy as to the site of the Institute building. Business men wished it to be built on the Thames embankment within the bounds of the City of London, or, at farthest, at Westminster, so as to be easy of access from the haunts of commerce, while what was styled the South Kensington clique insisted upon the advantages to be gained by locating it in their midst. The latter carried the day, as may be supposed when the site of the buildings is of no less extent than seven acres. From the City the Institute can be reached in fifteen or twenty minutes, and from the Bouses of Parliament and the official quarter in half that time. Then as to the functions of the Institute. Courts aro to bo allotted to the several colouieß, where specimens of their various products will be exhibited, and their economic values and commercial uses described. An intelligence department will furnish enquirers with particulars of where, how, from whom, and at what price the articles represented can be obtained, in fact there will bo all tho advantages of a great commercial exchange, with every facility lor the promotion of business intercourse with the colonies, one of the finest libraries in the world, and even telegraphic codes for communications between members, The information respecting exhibits is to be supplied through the Governments of the respective colonies, so that it will be unbiassed and trustworthy. The intelligence department will give information to intending emigrants of the conditions of life in the different colonies, and the prospects of tho employment of labor and capital which they offer. Branch col lections and agencies are to be established in the most important districts throughout the United Kingdom, aud, in short, everything possible will be done to pro mote colonial interests. As to the important question of finance, sufficient money has been received to fairly start the project, and it is anticipated that it will be self-supporting, and no appeal to the colonies required. There is to be a system, of membership by which the benefits of tbe Institute may be secured, on payment of an annual or life sub- . ""*>■ A PCale of commissions will Bcripuuu. - -^egg dpno through the be fixed for by* -4d»rg» PW ill agency of the Institute, u^ 9 •••*«»» be made for space taken up by cxim,.... representing articles offered for sale. Colonists are thus afforded the means of bringing their resources and products before the eyes of the world, without incurring responsibility beyond the stated small charges, and it will be a matter for regret if Nen Zealand producers and manufacturers do not embrace the opportunity.