HARBOUR BOARD CHARGES.
(To the Kditor.) Sir, — In connection with tlie Harbour Bonrd election, it is alleged that wo—the grain nievoliants and agents —"are working fur certain privileges in storage "rates and time allowed- for removal of "goods, which contrast most favourably ■'against the rate mid time allowed to '"other importers." At any time other than the present such a calumny could well be ignored, lint at this time, used as it is for electioneering ends, it calls for an emphatic and unqualified denial, which we hereby give it.—We are, etc., ./. H. MACFARLANE, ROBERTSON" BROS., FRANK M. \VINSTONE. J. f. bPKJJDIXIJ, BOM) AND BELL. K. 0. YOIXIJ, JOHN" McILVEEX, E. KLUX.UHAM AND CO., LTD. (per \V. It. Kllingliam), THE XATJOXAL TKADfXU CO. OF N.Z.. LTD.. .IOIIN'i SCHINCHKA, W. GUNSON AND CO.. S. KOHX, (J. 5. .'AKIX.s, X.Z. LOAN I AM) M.A. CO., LTD. iTheo. M. Humiimiul. Manager). H. NKILL. (.'ARK, POIXTNKY AND CO., T. \V. SMITH and (0., Donald' .and kdkxHOROItiH (.per Jas. 13. Donald), A. S. PATERSON AND CO. (per S. A. Longuct. Manager), WRHJHT. STFI'HKNSON AND CO., LTD. (per S. Donald), K. K. SINCLAIR. JOHN H HOPKINS, S. A. LONGTKT C F JOXKH, THOMAS MITCHELL. March IS, 1909. (To the Eilll'ir.) Sir,-We beg to Ink- exception to 'Dum Vivimus Vivamii.-"" remarks in a letter in yesterday* viz: "It ! has been said that the grain merchants j and agents h,ive been working for cerj lain privileges in storage rates, etc." J "While we live, let us live" free from j unjust taxation, and have we not been : fighting for years against the Harbour I Board taking over the receiving of our goods., to relieve the .shipowners of a charge of I/O per ton. which is included in their rate of freight, and we are not anxious to pay twice for the same work? Wellington importers are working under this irksome and unjust, tax of 1/6 per ton. and get nothing in return but vexatious, delays and expense. We are now speaking from experience. And in tlie end the cost of both is passed on to the consumer, simply to relieve British and foreign shipowners of their undertaking. One very old member of our Harbour Board recently stated at a meeting that in a few years the Board would be in a position to put the handI ling of cargo on th<> free list, owing I to the Board'? immense revenue from its ! endowments, etc., and we are anxiously i waiting for «the consummation. ; But if we return members on the , ticket that your correspondent is inI directly advocating, all goods entered ] for Auckland under the jurisdiction of I the Board, will be subject' to the charge i mentioned (1/6 per ton), and it -would j bo a very heavy and unjust tax on low priced goodp. of large tonnage, such as fruit, coal, salt, ehp.mipal manures, cement, lime, produce of all kinds, tim.l*"?-. ir/vt-. a.tn.l ho>. otj hisT-H-nrired, sroods
of small tonnage it would never be felt. Our intercolonial and coastal shipowners are loud in their praise of the rapidity with which their cargoes are taken delivery of, and is it faii> that our present system should be upset for casual tramps, which leave very little money here ? By all means let us cater for them, but not at the expense of the consumer. . There has been no storage accommodation on our wharves for years past, tt fact which caused nearly every importer to build large stores and warehouses, and as Auckland now holds the record for expeditious handling of cargo, we see no necessity to bring large and constant importers under the control of slow Harbour Bosml officials, as the competition in business is quite enough to contend with, without unnecessary burdens. Xor do we sec any necessity for covering' all our wharves (it present with large, two-storey warehouses anil costly equipment that may not be fully employer! for years (o come at nnvthing like a profit, but in the meanwhile will unjustly compete with private enterprise. The Harbour Board's total revenue for last year was .£70.000. Of this amount wharfages arid rents contributed £.t6,----000. It is obvious large and constant importers and tenants of the Board should have a fair say in the management of (he affairs of the port. Our interests arc identical with those of the coastal and intercolonial shipowners, the one object in view being that of making Auckland the leading and free port of the Dominion.—l am. etc.. P. VTRTTR. Manager, Northern Pvoller Milling Co., Ltd.
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