FRISCO MAIL SERVICE.
THE FIRST PORT OF CALL. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MOVING. There was a good attendance at the special meeting of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce held this afternoon, wltn the object of making representations to the Government as to the urgent necessity for reopening negotiations for reestablishing the San Francisco mail service, with Auckland as first port of call. Mr. Bartholomew Kent, the chairman of the Chamber, presided. A COMPREHENSIVE ADDRESS. The Chairman said that he was very pleased to see such an excellent attendance of the members of the Chamber, because the matter was one of-the very utmost importance to the city and the province of Auckland, and ffhat was the San Francisco mail service to New Zealand, with Auckland as its first port ot" call. That was the reason why they were all gathered there to-day,~and he hoped that they would give the matter their closest and keenest attention. He would draw their attention to the slow, utterly inadequate mail service we had at present between San Francisco and New Zealand. In the first instance, mails were put on board the old Mariposa, built so long ago as 1883, and then those mails, with passengers and cargo, had to be transferred at Papeete to the Union Company's slow cargo boats, eventually to arrive in New Zealand 44 to 45 days after having left London. Such a service, he repeated, was utterly inadequate. HOW THE BILL PASSED. He would ask them to consider how such a service ever came into existence at all. The explanation was largely that the Government of the day granted a subsidy of £7000 to support the service in question. This subsidy formed the part of a bill passed in the closing hours of a Jong and tiring session, and, unfortunately, the subsidy was not noticed by any of our Auckland members. This was sincerely to be regretted, as, if they had noticed such a subsidy with the port of call at Wellington, they would have protected the interests, the welfare, and the well-being of their own city and their own province which gave them political existence. AT THE OTHER END. However, the harm had been done and the Chamber and now to try and right the wrong. The time was at hand when a great effort was to be made to have the San- Francisco service reinstated with first-class steamers and Auckland as the first port of call, At this moment Congress was sitting in the United Slates, and, no doubt, among the matters which would be dealt with, the mail 6ervice subsidy would be considered with a view to re-establishing the San Fran-cisco-Auckland line to the Dominion. And therefore the time had arrived when the Chamber, as Aucklanders, must assert themselves, and claim that any such service which might be re-estab-lished would make Auckland its first port of call. AUCKLAND'S CLAIMS. Aucklanders claimed the service for Auckland on every ground. First the distance from San Frnncisco was shorter by two days' sailing than to Wellington. We could receive mails and passengers and transfer the same to any port in New Zealand at least one clear day earlier than any other port in New Zea» land. We claimed again on the score of finance and economy, and we claimed on the ground of a perfectly safe port at all times, which was not the case elsewhere in the colony.
A CHANCE OF REINSTATEMENT.
If the Government of New Zealand would second the efforts of Messrs Spreckles and Coy. who desired to reinstate the San Francisco service, then the Chamber would have tlie best hopes of success. Let tbe Government grant Messrs Spreckles and Co. a £20,000 or £25,000 subsidy and it was almost certain that the service would be reinstated forthwith. From private information be was aware that the Sierra, the Sonoma, and the Ventura were lying ready in the bay for immediate use and nothing remained to be done so far as this Dominion was concerned, but to give Messrs Spreckles and Coy. the necessary subsidy and we would once more have "a splendid sewice direct with San Francisco, with Auckland as the first port of call. He was going to urge this upon them as a Chamber and upon Auckland as a city, and ask them to unite, and work for, and! insist upon getting back their inalienable right—a service from San Francisco direct to Auckland port. In conclusion, the Chairman moved that the Government should be requested to take immediate steps to arrange for the reinstatement of the San Francisco mail service to New Zealand, with Auckland as the first port of call.
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