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Colonial Industries.



Among the passengers by the Mariposa mail steamer from San Francisco was- Mr Thomas Mackenzie,'M-.H.R, for C!n!:i:i. Otago, returning from a tour in Europe] which he had made in company .with Dr Fitchett, M.H.R." for Dunedin Central. On his arrival in Auckland he was interviewed by.a representative of the "New Zealand Herald ' from whose account of what transpired we take the following:^— NEW ZEALAND FLAX MARKET .AND. SISAL. On getting to London 11 went' on; with my investigation as .to the conditions of the flax and dairy prSduce markets, and I received a communication from the Hon. Captain Russell on the subject. I found that although flax had fallen, it hadj only done so in other produce.. I called on a number of firms, and the general opinion'wasthat. New Zealand flax hacl taken a firm^position injthe London market, and that 1 although'a fall had then occurred, it would bViyery unwise to discontinue the export of It./how that it has been thoroughly introduced and es..tablished'^ if.bther fibres rose in price, New Zealand., flax would also rise pro-, pprtionally. In^ fact, some,. brokers thought if the flax'were well joreparedit would, if. (anything^* Approach slightly nearer to 'the 1 vahie of, nianilla. If the flax fell out of the London market, the -brokers said there ;would.; be great' difficulty in re-establishing it. I !»was glad tojearn from some of, thejn ; ;that the get up of some jpf the shipments of 1 New> Zealand flax was improving.] Undoubtedly sisalCjs a formidable jrivaty and I have brought back !to,the colony with me specimens of the plant ancUqf il tl{e prepared , fibre. On going, .to Amelica-'"I looked into the, matter and consulted ra number of the brokers. I. "} They ') thought that though the cultivation of sisal was -increasing,,the demand more than? kept pace with production. To show th<J progress of the sisal industry, they gave me a-few figures. In 1868 there were' 9Q90 bales, in 1878 it had jumped to 6p,000, and by 1888 had increased to 240,000, bales. It was held in London by], some authorities that sisal could be grown at a price which would block New Zealand flax out of both the London and American markets. I pressed the American brokers closely upon this point, and they said sisal could not be grown at the price quoted in London, namely £12 per ton. They, said that although there had been a greatly increased'area'of land put into sisal during thTe past year, it would take three] years' to be ready fdrcuttirig, ;an<Las the crop had been recklessly *6u# down for the fancy prices ruling a few months ago, it was improbable that the immediate supply would be quite so heavy. Newi Zealanders will have to bear in mind that flax was cut out of the American market about twenty years ago, and such a contingency is still possible. !

|' '. ' : pw ZEALAND FROZEN MUTTON; \' ' \ „;Qiirthe voyage between Alexandria arid Brindisi we met some half dozen members pfftherßritishi House of Commons,' who Wjbrefalso; travelling, and had a chat with them" over the Trades Marks Act. In Egypt and Italy, in our travels, we noticed | that the meat was marked officially by j certain brands or marks, as a guarantee that it was good for human consumption. We pointed out to them that in England La Plata mutton was sold for New Zealand and r Wew- Zealand for English mutton. This 1" was unfair alike to the English customers and the Few Zealand producers. We asked them if the Trades Marks Act came again before the House of Commons would they move, in .the direction of, labelling or •marking- frozen ..mutton arriving in the London' market with . the name'ofthe country from/which it came, They protected by the Act'the'English artisan against the German frauds who manufactured cutlery and. marked it with the names of Sheffield firms, and why should they- not .protect, their kith, ,and kin across the sea against'the tricks of those , engaged in the-South..American, meat trade 1 I called- in London, upon Messrs' J. S. Fritter arid; Sons, of Leaden--hall Market.: ,Their premises are almost eutirely,devoted to the sale of New Zealand frozen mutton and beef., I was told the prejudices against the"; imported articlewere rapidly disappearing. :Numb'ers 'of heads of families bought it, and took it home to their families, without saying it was New Zealand mutton, with the result that the people could not tell the difference between that article and gobd English mutton. I frequently, I when visiting private families, partook of New Zealand frozen mutton and could not tell the difference from English mutton] :" ' ' DAIRY PRODUCE MARKETS—BUTTER.

I went through a dozen different 1 premises in Tooley-street, Mincing Lane, and other, places where Danish, -Normandy/ j American,^ and; 'New l Zealandfjb^utter is ! disposed'of. ;I tasted 'v&'rious' grades of butter, the traders kindly opening!casks for me. They pointed out to' me various J defects in New Zealand butter which piedented iits' 1 coming up to the sample, required in England, as also the; best modes of packing. Pond's butter p4cka£e: was undoubtedly the best, but was «nly I,available fc* fh> very best butter, as the price made it prohibitory for the inferior classes. The traders told him the butter should be uniform in quality and in 601b kegs or : casks,. - They do not like butter In'tubs.''; The casks should have gal-' I yanised hoops to protect from 'rust; stencil plates should be used for marking;rbutter should be free from mottle;; the quantity of salt desired in London is 3 per cent;, not more, but if the butter is doubtful 4 per cent should be used. ] The Liverpool people, on the other hand^ want a larger percentage of salt in the butter. Danish butter, was almost free from salt. The" butter .-should, be sent to arrive- dn^ March or early in April. No rolls should beisent,! or "tinned \ butter^-: There! is a good market for superior butter, but inferior butter should not be shipped on any "account. ; .' •' r

CHEESE. ; Cheese is a safe thing all the year round, and keeps after arrival, whereas butter falls off very quickly after the keg.?is opened. The favourite, cheese is the

Cheddar, of a mild, mellow, and " salvy"; quality. It must be free from mottle, and not too strong. As to weight, there was a difference of opinion among the different brokers, some preferring from 50 to 60, others from 70 to 801bs. The present shape of the New Zealand cheese and mode of packing are fairly satisfac; tory. Among the cheeses I tasted, jand I tasted a number of them, the best were from the Clutha Valley. The top' price in April last for New Zealand was 665, which best American was bringing. English Cheddar was 60s to 70s. ; New Zealand was quite capable by improved making of coming up to these figures. A number of people in the colonies! have; been sending Home skim milk cheese, which is a terrible mistake, as it weakens the reputation-of colonial cheese. BRITISH IGNORANCE OF NEW ZEALAND.

The ignorance, of the British people of New Zealand is generally to be regretted not merely of the working classes^but' of the middle class and commercial; men. Even! on the' London Stock Exchange,' there .were,shrewd', educated men, dealing in New Zealand stock every day, who are utterly ignorant of the financial position and resources of the colony. All they knew was, that New Zealand owed close'

on £40,000,000 of money, and was a dependency of the British Empire..' They had a dim conception that most:of the loans had been frittered away in Maori

wars, but n firm conviction that the

interest v;is paid out of the borrowed

money. Some of them were not aware, till told, that the railways and telegraphs were owned by the State, and. represented

nearly half the whole national debt. It: 'wquld tend greatly to disabuse the English people of a lot of foolish notions and ;>:■■ :■■:■.■■. ■ ottfivnima: New Zealand were ! ■■„- i ■ i(, :!.i'i .i: i > prepare and-publish. A CHEAP PAMPHLET OR OFFICIAL HANDBOOK setting forth concisely, and in a popular, in'-ellHbVfoi'ni. the true financial position • >i' ;::■ i-M->!iv. its liabilities and assets, ami showing the amount expended on railways, telegraphs, surveys, roads, and bridges, lighthouses, etc., since the establishment of responsible government, It should show alsor the excesTctf over imports, which is -giving^ great satisfaction to the English capitalists, as indicating that the excess is. eithei^ going to pay- past indebtedness; of'-jb^'i future requirements.,., A /brief 'outline J,should also be given of our timber and mining industries, ,etc., iind also-illustrate with some' ' accounts ,views' 'of our Hot Lftke and' So'u'therii Alps'scenery, and maps of the, various, tourist.- routes of travel. A pamphlet or small handbook of that description^ of' a'portable size for carrying in tte ppisket, Bhduld be^continually distributed pri all the direct steamers, the Peninsular and Orientihin^.Oriqiit lines t6 ( passeng^rsj and at the leading-London and ' American '';hjotieis^ Ui: Tiii 'expense would be :all' recouped to the-Colonial Treasurer^ through a thousand different t rills,'in, 7.other ways, 'either by inducing mbi;e desirable persons to or through the expenditure of an increased number of tourists in the country.

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Bibliographic details

Colonial Industries., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2438, 30 May 1890

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Colonial Industries. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2438, 30 May 1890

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