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Sydney Letter., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2490, 13 August 1890
(from our own correspondent.)
Sydney, July 26. Visitors from your part should not fail to see the New South Wales Fresh Food Freezing Go. Avorks, which are situated in Harbor Street adjacent to the Darlinghurst Basin. One cannot help being astonished at the colossal amount of business done by this Company. All kinds of articles of diet are frozen, and the buildings alone cover about four acres of ground. This will indicate the massiveness of the concern which employs over 350 hands. Not only are poultry, fish, butter, cheese etc., frozen and exported, but large blocks of ice are made (some weighing lOOOlbs), which are sawn into suitable sizes, and sold to hotels and other business places, while a great quantity finds a ready market in shipping circles. I must mention that this Company has a fine display of New Zealand fish in one of its shops in the city, but I fail to see how anything like a sale can be made, owing to the high prices charged for this article of di ?t. The display comprised schapper, kawhai, yellow tail, and blue cod, the latter being marked at 8d per pound, while the schnapper would cost 9d. Of course this means that for an average size cod the large sum of 2s would have to be paid, which in New Zealand could be had for at most 6d. How an industry of this nature can be a success I fail to see. The meagre facilities for freezing supplied by steamers plying to Sydney from your part of the Colonies are greatly to blame for this, and also the high prices charged for fish to the Company, which I am assured would spend £20,000 per year for articles of various kinds produced in New Zealand should they receive a fair amount of encouragement. The Company have also a number of fine shops, which display their warts fore sale, and they sell nearly 25 tons of milk every day, which is put through a process of testing before being accepted. This prevents the milk being adulterated, as each can is emptied into a large box and if found all right is passed through a tube which runs into a large vat, and is then taken out for delivery by some eighty milk vans, It will be seen by the foregoing the large amount of business' done in this department of the company, who employ their own horses, milkmen, ostlers helpers, etc., etc. Want of space prevents me giving details, but I must not forget to mention that on the works the Company have also bakehouses in which pastry of every discription is made and sold in some of their shops, which are patronised by over 2000 customers daily. They are conducted on the principal of restaurants, but drinks of a cooling nature are most in demand, instead of tea and coffee. The return of H.M.S. Royalist to Sydney yesterday created a little excitement when it was known that she had on board a notorious chief from one of the New Hebrides group. In addition to the voyage being an eventful one, it has also been interesting. The vessel left Sydney in April last and proceeded to the Hebrides, but on May 14 she struck on an unknown reef off the coast of Mallicollo, and it was found on examination that portion of her false keel was knocked off. Calling at Aure Island the Royalist captured a chief named Tappea who had kidnapped a woman, and who had endeavored to incite a friendly chief to join him to kill and rob an English tyader in that island, This q>hie,f is also the same who oEkuaed the murder of the boat's crew of a French trader some two years .ago when he was handed over to the French authorities, who sentenced him to 15 years' imprisonment. He is also credited with having seven years ago killed and eaten the mate of a Fijian vessel. At Aoba the French warship Saone, after inquiring into the murder of the trader, Mr Mercier, shelled the village. The man was a well established storekeeper, and was brutally tomahawked whilst purchasing copi'a from, some natives at Aoba, Some trouble h;\s takoii place during the hurricane months! hut most of tho diftipulties have been settled, The New South Wales Poultry, Pigeon, Canary, and Dog Society held their thirteenth annual exhibition yesterday afternoon in Prince Alfred Park. The entries, numbering over 5000, exceeded all previous records in the matter of quality, as well as in numbers ; and as the exhibits were well placed and the building well lighted, the show was a successful ene. Your Railway Commission should follow the example of their contemporaries here who, have made most important alterations relative to tho carriage of produce and goods on the railways. Alterations, have been made in connection with rates which must in a great measure lead to faster agriculture. The reductions now make the rates for this class of traffic much lower than on any other railway in the Australasian colonies, although the agricultural land is for the most part; a long distance from the market. Hitherto it has been the rule to charge 4d per ton per mile for farm produce when conveyed ,at the risk of the ; Commissioners, but when conveyed at 1 the owner's risk the rate was only equal to Id per ton per mile, This has been considerably modified, and in future the , risk will be undertaken by the Commissioners on payment of an insurance of 10 per cent on the rate charged when produce is carried at the risk q$ i owner, so that a ton of produce can now h& aarriod s, distance of 150 miles for the moderate sum of 13s 3d. As a further encouragement to the farmer dairy produce, such as butter, eggs, etc., is in future tq be charged at the fi:t\st-class rate for any quantity, instead of at the second-class rate, whan sent in quantities of les3 than one ton, the reduction being equivalent to Id per ton per mile, and such traffic is to be subject to a further reduction of a penny per ton when sent in lots of three or more tons. Previously while live stock was conveyed to and from shows (if unsold) for half single rates, all other exhibits have been charged full single rates. The Comn:(ission.e,ris have extended the, more Khor,4 spaje to exhibits of all' kinds, and have not overlooked the interests of manufacturers of agricultural implements who will now be enabled to exhibit their wares at country shows ab a minimum cost. No alterations, however, appear to have been made in the differential railway rates which has caused a deal of discussion. " ' ' \Vhen rjie' Centennial Jlall organ will be opened is still a matter of uncertainty. This instrument cost' the modest sum of £16,000, and is said to be |,^q largest in the, world, The Hall is" one'of th°e most (if not tho most) elaborate in the colonies and is situated in the Town Hall, which' when cqmpletsd, will have cost over a quarter of a million of Tnon^, It j 8 probable, that th.c, queuing. Qer.qinpny. will take place on. the 21st ptox, ' The arrangements for the. day h,ave been carefully planned out. The southern gallery, will be given up entirely to m^mb^ra of Par- i Haiflenti Mifl their wives, the northern gallery to distinguished visitors and the Press, while the eastern gallery will be reserved for tho. vtea-yegfu and mayoral parties, dignitaries, of the church,,,, and 'aldermen. The leading citizens who will be invited will be placed in the body of the hall. The prices to be charged for the succeeding organ recitals will be 5s and 3s ; but on certain days Js will be charged, so that the f working classes may have fl}Q Qpportunity of hearing. Mr Beat (the organist), whose services have been secured at a very high figure to give recitals. ' ' The popular lecturer, the Rev. Charles Clark, appears before large audiences at School of Arts nightly. He delivers all his | lectures with his accustomed ability, and in quite as popular with Sydneyites as h.e
was with New Zealanders when he made a tour of your part some eight or ten years ago. He contemplates a visit to your colony a few months hence. A number of the business men of Paramatta contemplate forming a company for the purpose of working up the fruit industry, and sending shipments of fruit to England. They are of opinion that with proper packing and systematic treatment before packing, the enterprise is one that will return a good'margin oi profit. The Royal Insurance Company's report for 1889 shows very large figures. The fire premium income, less re-insurances, amounted to £1,104,173, being £66,365 in excess of the figures of the previous year. The net losses amounted to £582,513, and the net profit; £159,661, exclusive of £27,342 interest on tha fire fund. The life department yielded premiums amounting to £262,096, and interest on investments, £130,458. The surplus shown as the result of the quinquennial valuation of the liabilities amounted to £267,817, of which £94,936 accrued fro the shareholders. The profits in all departments, inclusive of £168,350 brought forward, gave a total disposable surplus of £519,629. Appropriations to reserve and otherfundsabsorbed£l3o,ooo, the dividend and bonus (equal to about 58 per cent of the paid-up capital) was £168,901, leaving £220,727. The total funds of the Company amount to £6,161,508, of which £2,660,272 represents the fire capital and reserves. I take the following extract from MiHenry Austin's wool circular of July 1:— The wool Season ended yesterday has completely stultified the expectations which the first five months of its duration apparently justified. From July to November there was a steady all round improvement of say 15 per cent.., whilst from November to the close of the season on the 30th June, each succeeding sale in London has but accentuated the fall in values, until to-day it is not too much to say prices are but little higher than they were at the commencement of 1886 ! Various causes have been assigned for this extraordinary and rapid change of front. Strikes, a mild winter, the freaks of fashion, and for a time dear money, are all said to have had their influence on an article which twelve month ago was in in such strong demand, and is now it would almost seem, a drug. The opinion ha«arded in certain English quarters that the extensive purchases in the colonies of wool for direct consumption have had much to do with the present depression may be dismissed as unworthy of a moment's consideration. Every year I the entire wool product of the world has to be turned into money, and whether it be realised in Australia or in Europe, the j net result one year with another will probably be the same. Last year buyers in the colonial market did well; this year they have been done badly, and put much ! money into the pockets of the fortunate owners who were lucky enough to sell here. That there is a growing tendency on the part of customers to buy, and on the part of producers to sell on the spot admits of no doubt whatever, and is but additional evidence oi th,e rapid change that, is taking place in che. oonduot of what the French style ','fc h->ut comm rce." But for the ill-advised attempt on the part of the selling brokers of Sydney to introduce .the Melbourne system of charging buyer* one-eighth of a penny per lb. delivery, the season would have been the earliest on record. Fully six weeks were wasted in adjusting the differences between buyers and sellers, and it was not until November that anything like a fair start was made. In the interim it is true some few wools found purchasers at prices, a full penny below what the regular , buyers wero prepared at the time to give, and wLich they subsequently paid when the dispute was settled. The mischief, however, was not restricted to price only, but further involved a distinct diversion j of trade, much wool usuilly Bold in this i market going to Melbourne for realisation. It is to be hoped that an attempt which caused so much irritation and disturbance of trade will not be renewed. Stimulated bv'the upward movement at the London November sales, buyers m this market operated with unusual boldness at an. advance on the opening rates of the jjrevious season of say per cent. Conspicuous by the extentof their orders and the eagerness they displayed in executing them were the buyers representing German,. French, and Belgian houses, w-hose purchases at the close of tjhei season cannot have amounted to less than 110,Q0Q bales in, Sydney alone. For America there was little, if any, demand, 750 bales representing the total export. The appearance of the clip itself was an additional inducement to speculate. It was bright, well-grown, sound, and freer from earth and vegetable matter than any that has come into this market for years. On the other hand, it proved more yolky than at first sight appeared, and misled many in the estimate, of yield. All attempts at lowering qr abolishing the duty on foreign, W/O.o) entering the United States appear, to have proved abortive, vested interests, those, of the farmers especially, being too 'strong to allow of an interference with protection. Signs, are not wanting, however, even jn, America, , of a return to more rational views, and to a gradual recognition on the part of the American nation of the terrible price they have to pay for the maintenance of their fiscal policy. As evidence,of the, rapid strides Germany is making; \n the commercial world, it appears, thaji Jasfc year no fewer than 960, n,ew companies wwe formed, representing a capital of twenty millions sterling, Many of them were doubtless connected with the wool and woollen industries, and will materially contribute to extend the demand for the great Australian staple. ;Ifc would appear too that Hamburg had given her Belgian rival, Antwerp, the go-by, and now ranks as the third European port. To excessive harbqr dues^ fe attributed by the. Antwerp, press this change of no^ipjix, b\ut there jiave. been probably other, causes, at work quit© as potent in bringing about this, trade diversion, If, however, Hamburg desires to retain her due share of the wool distribution business of the continent she will have to increase the facilities for the djpehafge of cargo, and spare cons^ees, the loss of time and worry c.c^seq,u,en,t on the very serious delays complained of m almost all I German wool correspondence,, Despatch ! is one. of the first essentials in the con- ! ducb of modern, business, and unless Hamburg can be made to realise itss value sho will not long retain the position she has just succeeded ii\ wrestling - from Anewerp. It is many years since New Sou tli Wales And Queensland have had such a soaking as they have had this year. The rainfall has been something phenomenal, and ha,s'been followed; by-disastrous floods, ■destruction of property, and a, rapid spread of footorc^, 'IVaffic in some districts is all but suspended, the roads being in such a state that no .teams can possibly- travel over them. On many stations, it will be no easy matter to, master the sheep, the shearing of which will be further retarded hy- fehe absence of the necessary station supplies. A delay of from six weeks to two months in the beginning o| shearing, which is currently talked, of, means very limited arrivals fo;r November sales, which last year were swoollen by nearly 100,000 bales o£ new wool. What effect this will have on prices at the close of the year remains to be seen, Prospects for the coming clip are none too good. Sheep must have had and are still having a trying time of it in consequence of the persistent rains and the, boggy state of so many runs. The western, north-western, and northern districts have suffered most, whilst in Riverina and to the southward there has, been much less rain, and, Efheep have done better*
Sydney Letter., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2490, 13 August 1890
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