The Ashburton Guardian. Magna et Veritas et Paævalebit. FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 1890.
In our article yesterday on the Austra*i*>r strikes and their probable effect on New Zealand, we stated that this colony was n<£ largely dependant upon Australia for u»poi',te f and that therefore the sudden fctoppa^e of intercolonial traffics would notafteot tlidprj.ee of actual necessities m New Zealand. We find, however, ©» » more careful examination, of trade M&tlsWf/tf that Australian imports to New Zeaiiuiui reach the annual value of .£1,177,006, ■while New Zealand exports to Australia aye £1,500,000, showing au .•ipprtt^jfr balance against tlie colony of £27,000. T/?.e imports from Australia to New Zealand #*y? principally transhipments of tea and ®$$!-V, the only local products being wine iu^J /ml. If mm Australia Aye annually -impw^/ 1.Q8J,4^/ .of tea, and 580,000 cwt of sugar. These .a-ii^jles, as we have almuly remarked, urn .w^-^ly transhipfmwM 'U!f' Very Httl ; e,«li:fficu% wj}l he €xpeiie«*9«»i m «lbt»iiiing .them dit^ot from the ooaatiio* where they are produced. Australia*, wiiys and coal, the oitißi- articka of import frow 4-^stralia, are not actual ntMuamiiea —ithe ,Qif,a i& a luxury, and the other au article of import which conies to the colony 1 principally as ballast. Our own coal,"
fields and lignite pits are fully equal to any ordinary or extraordinary demand that, may be.made upon them, and should the coalminers not be called out by the Maritime Council, New Zealanders will not feel any great inconvenience through the stoppage of trade with Australia so far as imports are concerned. Oa the other hand the? sudden partial stoppage of exports that has now occurred is a most serious matter to the colony. Exports to Australia from New Zealand are all the products of the colony, and the £1,500,000 annually received from this source represents the monsy paid to the New Zealand farmer for the produce of his fields and his dairy. The monetary value of wheat and oata exported to Australia annually is £365,357; barley, £14,290; coal, £24,000; butter, £76,753 ; bran and sharps, £43,960; bacon and hams. £13,187 ; chaff, £3468 ; beer, Jllsß ; dried, pickled, and salted fish, £4117 ; flour, to New South Wales alone, £38,000. Thus it will be seen that the loss to the farmers of the colony by any unusual interference with the shipping trade will be most disastrous; and should the present tension be long-con-tinued will result m the total failure of many who have now as much as they can do to keep their heads above water, even with the Australian markets open. The farmer's cry is therefore " a plague o' both your houses," so far as the present Maritime Council is concerned, and there are rumors already m the air that, should the masters and men not speedily come to terms, cablegrams will be despatched to American shipping companies, with or without American crews, to take up the intercolonial running, and carry the New Zealand farmer's perishable goods to the Australian markets. The merits and demerits of the quarrel between the shipping companies and their employees are gradually becoming obscured by the more important consideration that trade is being seriously disturbed by the mutual perversness of the contending parties, who are- causing widespread disaster amongst the industrial population of New Zealand.