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The annual report of the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce with the Presi- J dent's address m moving its adoption, J have come to be looked upon throughout , the colony as a complete history of New , Zealand Commerce for the year. The report presented and tho address de- j Hvered by the retiring President, Mr Albert Kaye, at the annual meeting of the Chamber a few days ago were no j exception to the rule, being marked by a completeness and accuracy worthy of the important interests dealt with, it was with regret that we were unable to give more than the briefest summary of the proceedings on the occasion, tbe reports having grown to almost voluminous dimensions, and it will be interesting to look at some of, the facts set forth m the President's speech. Mr Kaye was able to set out with the remark that the events of the past year had fully borne out the hopeful and wellgronnded anticipations which specially characterised the address of his predecessor m office (Mr John Cooke), and he had the pleasant task of proving that the colony had made steady and decided progress and emerged from the depression which had clogged the wheels of her trade for so long. The exports of the colony, amounted m the year ending Jane 80th last, , to nearly nine millions sterling, being £1,773,953 more than m the • previous year, and nearly two millions ■ sterling more than m any year before '• that. A great advance, and almost a I 1 revolution, m the sheep farming industry [ is shown to have taken place. Forty- [ five per cent of the sheep m Canterbury t now are orossbreds, and New Zealand's » superior advantages for the production > of mutton and the much-desired fine > crossbred wools are shown by comparison with Victoria — her sole competitor m ' this direction among the Australian 'i colonies. Victoria's export of crossbred r wool has dwindled down from 98,500 ■ bales m 1881 (when the frozen meat - trade began) to 54,2 Q0 bales last year, while shipments from New Zealand - steadily increased from 91,500 bales m » 1881, to 171,000 baleß m 1888. As • regards the other great branch of farmB . i D g> grain-growing, come startling facts \ were given. Onr total production of g grain last harvest actually exceeded that c of the whole of the five Australian colonieß, the figures being : Australia - 20,978,235 bushels,' New Zealand r 21,149,848 bushels. The great pro- * I duction of oats m New Zealand has led '* | to tbis result. The exports have been * distributed regularjy oyer the four p quarters of the year so that shippers 2 have had a Bhare of good as well as of I unfavorable markets. The most remark--8 ablo figures are those comparing the m export of grain to Australia and the United Kingdom for the last two years. L&st year the shipments to Ausy tralia were IS| times larger- m quantity than m the previous year, and to London nearly 4£ times greater ; n the value of the exports to tho United v Kingdom increased m about the same ratio as tbe quantity, but to Australia the value was folly, twepty-flye times greater than m 1887*8 Nothing pojild show more strongly the value to us of the £ Australian markets, 'I he speech shows 7 at every point that the great strength of - New Zealand is i» ber agricultural and pastoral advantages, 2^d tbat these are becoming appreciated by our neighbors JP proved by a quotation from the 'Argus" '• That the immediate prosperity of New Zealand will not be from her rich coalbeds or from her goldfields, but from wool , and grain, from sbeep and cattle, from '• the plough and tho stockyard." Many of our farmers will be hardly able to B realise that all this prosperity has come B upon the Colony. That such progress ; ' has been made is, however, undeniable, y and its effects cannot fail to be felt everywhere. The moßt certain way to share m it is to keep every article of produce d up to the very highest possible excellence, and the position New Zealand has already taken m the markets of the world 8 will not only be maintained, but will further advance. «■' ",)-"■. 1. J.,'-*?

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2221, 9 September 1889

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2221, 9 September 1889