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A fairly well attended meeting of farmers was held m the Orange Hall on Saturday afternoon, to meet the Secretary of the Farmers' Union Grain, Produce, and Finance Co. Ld, Mr George Hutchinson.

Mr A. W. Somerville was asked to take the chair, and introduced

Mr George Hutchinson, who said that at last meeting, held a fortnight ago, he had gone through the prospectus clause by clause, and at the close of the meeting many of the farmers had asked him to hold a meeting a fortnight later, and bring with him several of the Directors. He promised to do so, and there were ! with him that evening no less than five of I the Directors from different parts of the northern districts of the province. He had been asked at last meeting if any guarantee could be given that a branch of the Company would be established m ; Ashburton. He had given that assurance, and since then a clause that had sbeen accidentally omitted from the first hurried issue of the prospectus had b«en -added. It read :—"lt is intended to establish dep6ts m Ashburton, Rangiora, 'Amberley, and such other places as may be necessaiy.' „.,, Mr Restell then introduced : Mr C. H. Walters,. Cashmere, who said it was his belief that the farmers of the province were quite competent to manage their own affairs without the aid of the middlemenj who had feathered their nesti m the past, and it was high time that the farmers should look after their own interests and secure the natural profits on their produce that were their due. Ashburton was a large district, and he trusted that the farmers of Ashburton would join the Union, which was going to be a large affair, and would probably soon see half a million of capital m its coffers. He was pleased with Ashburton, a place he had seen for the first time, and was very agreeably surprised w'th it. Mr David Brown, Amberley, urged the farmers m the district to take shares. In his district the Company was very popular, and many shares were being taken up. In fact, though Amberley had been the stronghold of the other Co-operative Society, the new onejwas taking its place. Mr W. T. Mitchell, Cashmere, spoke m the same strain. Mr Isaac Sergeant, Ashburton Forks, said the farmers had been a scattered mob for a long time, but recent events showed they were beginning to realise that union was strength, and to unite together to protect themselves and do their own business, instead of leaving it to be done by outsiders. By doing their own business after they had done their work, they would secure their proper share of the profits.—(Applause.) Mr Megson asked for information as to the number of shares a member would be entitled to take up, and if a guarantee would be given that a depot would be opened m Ashburton. Mr Win. Brown, Shand's Track, said fcht opening of a depot would depend upon the number of shareholders m the district. Mr David Brown, Amberley, said that the voting power of shares would be one m five up to fifteen, one m ten up to fifty, but after that there was no increase m the voting power. In reply to Mr Leadluy, Mr Brown said the other Co-operative sold its goods at prices that were no lower than chose charged by wholesale houses. He knew ,h, wool king m the north who with his wife had several hundred pounds' worth of shares m the other Co-opera-tive, and who said they could make a good living out of it, without buying a single article from it, and, as •i, manor of fact, they got all their goods from Miles and Co. Mr Leadley wai a member of the Co-operative m Christchurch, and he was ii a position to state that there was only one member who held the maximum number of shares —200, After some further talk between several of those present, a number of farmers s:\id they had applied for shares m the Christchurch Co-operative but had been unable to procure them. Mr Moss having interpolated a remark to Mr Leadley m regard to John Orr and Co., Mr John Orr said he would like to know if Messrs Baynes and Co. were prepared to put £3000 of capital into the business. There were two or three ways of starting a co-operative institution. One was of the nature adopted by the promoters of the Farmers Union. Another was the one he had proposed to the farmers of Ashburton, and he believed it was the best proposal that had ever been made to the farmers or ever would be made* and had it been adopted a flourishing business would have been made stronger still. Mr Leadley made a strong speech m regard to Mr Moss's remarks, and Mr Moss was about to reply when the Chairman deprecated any further personalities being indulged m. Mr Megson wished to know if the Directors were m any way bound to take over the property of Messrs Baynes. The Directors assured Mr Megson that they were not. Mr Leadley wished the meeting to understand that he was not hostile to the movement. (Applause.) The time was very near when a Co-opera-tion Association must be started m Ashburton, and the question arose whether it was wiser to join an organisation with its stores m Christchurch, and have ultimately to start another m Ashburton. Would the Directors guarantee that a fully equipped store would be opened m Ashburton. If such a guarantee were given be believed that 2000 shares would be secured. Mr Mitchell could speak for the Directors m this, and assure Mr Leadley that with 2000 shares m Ashburton a dep6t would be establisned, Mr Leadley said he had obtained the consent of the Directors to move a resolution—"That the Directors be asked to give the Chairman of the meeting a written guarantee that within twelve months from date a depot will be opened m Ashburton conditionally upon 2000 shares being subscribed m the counfcy." Mr T. Thornton seconded the resolution which was carried, and after the usual corap iment« the meeting'closed. The Secretary then proceeded to take the names of intending shareholders.

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Bibliographic details

FARMERS' MEETING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2506, 1 September 1890

Word Count

FARMERS' MEETING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2506, 1 September 1890

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