THE COMMERCIAL CONGRESS.
A NEW ZEALAND EEDERA'TIOX. (By Telegraph.—Press Association.)' WELLINGTON, this day. At the Chambers of Commerce Conference to-day Mr. Harkness * read a paper in which he advocated federation of the New Zealand- Chambers of Commerce. A resolution was carried affirming the desirableness of federation, and authorising the Wellington Chajnber to draft a constitution on the lines of the Commonwealth Association, and a Parliamentary Committee was set up to watch the interests of trade and commerce. Mr. Broadhead, a Christchurch delegate, read a paper on the Arbitration Act, which he considered had hindered, and was hindering, the industrial progress of the country. In the discussion Mr. D. J. Nathan contended that the matter was not one for interference by ' the conference, and . maintained tha-t labour had as much right to form unions as any other section of the community for. its pwn benefit. The discussion was closed by Mr. Broadhead being thanked for the paper. Mr. Arthur R. Roberton (Auckland): read a lengthy paper on the present position of the Bankruptcy Act, and concluded with suggesting a number of amendments. It was agreed to take the discussion of the question later. The Commerce Conference passed a resolution affirming the necessity of repealing of the mortgage tax, and that the graduated tax, in so far as it affects private individuals in companies, be abolished. A resolution was also passed affirming the necessity of adequate provision being mad« for a representative of the commercial community and chambers of commerce having a seat on ea-ch harbour board. Mr. W. G. Duthie (president of the Wellington Chamber), -who presided, said he had no doubt the exchange of views between the various chambers represented would be to the advantage of the commercial people of New Zealand and to the general community as well. It was now over seven years since the last conference of the chambers of commerce met, and on that occasion it was in Wellington. In the future conferences, he hoped, would be held annually. A subject which required to be thoroughly dealt with was the representation of the mercantile community on harbour boards. This was a subject over which chambers of commerce required to make themselves strongly felt, as if their representation were removed it would be a serious thing for importers and exporters alike. Another very important subject that would bs considered was the question of ocean mail services, including the Vancouver and Pan Francisco routos. Something more satisfactory than the present arrangements was required. While the mails left here for Sydney regularly and only missed the connection in Sydney occasionally, it was never certain when the inward mail would arrive. Under this heading he might also mention the subject of cable rates, and telephone charges, which called for consideration. They wanted to know whether reductions could not be made. Amongst the numerous other topical subjects to be discussed was that of bank holidays. He was sure those present would agree that some change should be made in that direction.
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