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Ashburton Wool Sales.

Ln connection with the proposal of (.oicun Uhristcluuch wool buyers to ountiMljhe the wool sales iv the Cathedral Oit,y, and put h stop tothe local Wool sales at A^hburton and elsewhere, the following coiTu&poiiilunct! will be -of interest to our reader.s :•— • Chrislchurch, July 28th, 1890, To Gko. Jaue^ojst Esq,— Aba incoming of woulbuyefs Held m Christ-church on the 23rd inst.,« the' following resolution was carried unanimously : — " That this meeting of woolbuyers are of opinion that holding wool s'lles at Ashburton, Rangiora, and Amberly, is opposed to the best interest of buyers and sellers alike, and that we will use our beat endeavours to centralise the wool sales m Ohristchurch." The buyers present were Messrs J. M. Watt, (chairman), Goo. Pickles, Jas. Murgatroyd, W. J. Olliver, Thos. Maodonald, Geo. Clark, and Geo. Kettfc well. Letters were read from Messrs Murray, Roberts, and Co., Arthur, Micdonald, and Co., and J. Broadbent (of Dunedin), expressing sympathy with the movement and promising support, other buyers who were not present at the meeting here also expressed their approval of the resolution. Geokge KettuSwem,, Hon. Secretary.

Ashburton, 31st July, 1890. George Kettlewell, Esq., Secretary Wool Buyens' Association, Christchurch. Dear Sir, —We are m receipt of your circular of 25th July, with'copy of resolution agreeing to discourage wool sales at Ashburton, Rangrora, and Amberley, and to endeavour to centralise the business m Christchurch. In reply we take leave to offer the following reasons for not concurring m the desirability of your proposals. I. The sales were established four years ago to meet the wishes and requirements of the wool growers of the district, who desire to see their wool handled, lotted, and sold under their own supervision. I Considerable .expense has been incurred to provide the needful accommodation. 11. The auctions have increased m i favor each year, as shown by the numbor of bales catalogued and sold, until last season it reached the very respectable quantity of 3500 bales, and promises to grow still further. 111. Without offering any opinion as to the desirability of sales at Rangioraaud Amberley, we wish to point out "that the circumstances of Ashburfcon differ very | widely from theirs, inasmuch as : (a) It is j the commercial centre for the district between the Rakaia and'Rangitata rivers, instead of being dependent on Christchurch as is the case with them. (6) It is the site of a considerable Woollen I Factory consuming £10,000 to £12,000 worth of wool annually, for which the district is naturally looked to. (c) It is on the direct route to Timaru, Oamaru, and Dunedin, where sales are held, (d) The Timaru Woollen Mill has hitherto drawn much of its supplies from the neighborhood. IV. The Ashburton auctioneers have always studied the convenience of buyers m fixing dates of sales so that they can proceed without loss of time to the southern auctions, after completion of their purchases here., V. A special concession of 6d per bale is allowed on the delivery charges to cover buyers expenses, whereas the expense of growers attending the sales m Christchurch are unprovided for and would be niu'sh more considerable because of their number. VI. Ashburton being on the main line of railways about equidistant from Lyttelton atid Timaru buyers can ship at either port (as they frequently <io) at 1 the minimum of expense and without intermediate handling. . ; ! : VII. The centralisation ■■ of sales at Christchurch would give undue advantage to those buyers who purchase direct from the farmers m the district by lessening competition, and depriving growers of the option of the local auctions if dissatisfied with the prices offered. The argument m favor of centralisation is that used by the English brokers m favor of the London sales, and is equally applicable against sales m the colonies at all. The experience of recent sales has undisputably proved the benefit of the local markets. VIII. Centralisation would further encourage direct shipments to Londqn on growers account, many of whom if deprived of the satisfaction of having their wool sold under their own supervision would prefer to take their chance of London market, and thus save the increased cost of handling and rail carriage incurred by selling m Chrisichurch. IX. In conclusion we beg to urge that the course proposed would not only inflict a grievous hardship on the local wool growers which they would be quick to resent, but would defeat the object of the wool buyers by encouraging private purchases, and promoting the use of the London market m place of the colonial sales, which have grown so much m favor of late years. With the request that you will give the same publicity to this letter that you have given to the proceedings of the Association m Christchurch. We are, dear sir, Yours faithfully. [Here follow the signatures.]

To Wool Brokers, Ashburton. Christchurch, 22nd September 1890. Dear Sirs, —At a meeting of the Wool Brokers Association to-day n, country wool sales, the Secretary reported that all the local buyers (except one) had signed an agreement pledging themselves not to attend, or be m any way represented at wool sales held at Ashburton, Rangiora, and Amberiey,, during the coming season. The following reasons for this action on the part of the buyers are given vie :— Ist. The buyers have at present to attend sales <-tt Christchurch, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, and Invercargill m the South Island, and Wellington m the North Island. From this it will readily be understood that it is almost impossible to fix dates for country ■ tWits, 1 so that they do not clash with sales fixed m the larger centres, or on Kriglish mail days., Until last year Wellington did not really attempt to hold sales of any importance, but last season they offered 4000 bales, and the brokers say that if southern buyers will promise to attend their sales these figures can be doubled this coming season, and Wellington being? a leading sea port has a greater claim on the attention of buyers than the inland towns we mention. Therefore it follows, that if these country sales are continued it will frequently happen that only half of the buyers can attend them, owing to want of time, m such a case the competition would be very limited and prices unsatisfactory, and much harm would be done to colonial sales ; of course the grower wou'd be the greatest loser, and next to him the buyer who could not attend the sale. The object of the present movement was to prevent this state of things viz:—To centralise the wool sales m Christchurch, so that growers sliouM have the benefit o all the buyers, ami on tho other hand each buyer should have the opportunity to bid his price for all the wool offered suitable to his wants*

2nd. The stores m the towns named are m some cases unfit for the display of wool, and very often the bales are stacked m a dark part of the store, and the only, way buyers can value the wool is by pulling a sample from the bales ard carrying it some distance to have sufficient light to see it. Is this fair to either the owner of the wool or the buyer? Hie Christchurch wool stores are unsurpassed m Australasia, fur the proper display of wool, and consequently better for both the seller and buyer. 3rd. From time to time buyers are told of auctioneers m the « mntr/ buying woe 1 either directly or indirectly from farmers to swell their own catalogues and to pievent the wool going to their confrores, or to the Christchurch sales. This is a most pernicious practice and unworthy of the fcrade. Lastly. We wish to ask the growers to look at the matter from tho l>i-<«"i'--st point of view. If the New Zealand wool sales are eTer to attain the magnitude proportionate to the production of the Colony, this can only be brought about by centralising the sales m the large centres where buyers can attend with the least expense and loss of time, and where their purchases cm be handled with the greatest facility. In conclusion, we may add that we are supported by all the leading buyers from Punedin, Wellington and Napier, and as only one buyer here stands alone out of the movement, Are feel we can safely trust to the good sense of the growers, to send their wool into the city sales where it wiJl meet with the keenest competition, and therefore realise the best price. The substance of this will appear m public print, and we hope the Ashburton brokers will accept this m reply to thenvoluminous letter, the argument of winch scarcely calls for a reply. Yours faithfully, Gkoroe Kettlewell, Hon. Secretary.

Ashburton, 26fcli September, 1890. G. H. Kettlewell, Esq., Hon. Sec. Wool Buyers' Association, Christcliurch. Dear Sir, —We have received your letter of 22nd inst., stating that with one exception all your members had signed an undertaking not to attend wool sales at Ashbiuton, Rangiora, and Amberley, and giving reasons for the action. In reply we venture to say that those reasons are entirely insufficient to justify the boycotting of such an important centre as Ashburton. The wool season lasts fully two months, and as there are bub nine places m the colony where sales are proposed to be held, it stnnds to reason that the dates can be easily fixed so as not to clash either with each other or the English mail days. Their occurrence on mail days is, after all, a small matter, as buyers can do as all other business men do, viz., prepare their general correspondence beforehand, leaving space to report the day's transactions. The argument that' country wool sales of ten unsatisfactory through failure of some buyers to attend, falls to the ground m face of the fact that every season, since their commencement, they have increased m importance, and m number of clips offered. If centralization is a good thing, the London market, where the buyers of the whole world are represented offers the best possible opportunity. But the experience of wool producing countries is against it, as is proved by the prevalence of local auctions whenever the conditions are favorable. The advantages from the growers' point of view are sufficiently set forth m our letter of 31st July. Whatever may be the suitability of stores elsewhere for the display of wocl, we unhesitatingly say that no wool stores, either m New Zealand or the Australian Colonies, offer better advantages than those of this town. They are accessible commodious and well lighted, and special facilities for additional light have been provided where desirable. We* do not know to what extent country auctioneers may have "bought wool to prevent it going to their confreres m Christcliurch," but of this we are quite sure, that m the absence of local sales, the practice, if it exists, would be very largely extended, and the wool shipped direct, to London instead of being offered m Christcliurch. And it would encourage a custom still more objectionable from a wool brokers point of view, of buyers scouring the country and purchasing direct from the farmers. This has been done m past seasons to a considerable extent by one or more of the Christchurch wool buyers, notwithstanding the assumed difficulty of attending the country auctions. The arguments m the last clause of your letter fall short of the mark. The advantages to be gained by a given plan are what weigh with wool growers as with other men, and past experience teaches them that the local sales yield them the most satisfactory results. Of course we are not blind to the benefit that centralised sales are to the wool buyers, but we have to consider the interests of our clients, and those interests imperatively demand a continuance of the wool sales m Ashburton. In conclusion we beg to say that we have decided to hold them as hitherto, and with the support promised by woolgrowers we are confident they will prove as great a success m the future as they have been m the past. Yours faithfully, Milb.s & Co., per Geo. Jameson. Fkiedlander Bros. D. Thomas.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Wool Sales., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2528, 26 September 1890

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Ashburton Wool Sales. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2528, 26 September 1890

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