THE PARENGA GUMFIELDS LIMITED.
PUBLIC STATEMENT. WHEREAS the Government of 2Tew Zealand lias considered it politic and necessary for divers reasons to proclaim and declare a specified district within which certain aliens should be restricted, but so that they would be free to follow their nsual occupation, AND whereas an Agreement has been entered into by and between the New Zealand Government and the Parenga Gnmfields. Limited, without any consideration other than the act may be helpful to the Government, whereby the said Parenga Gumfiefds, Limited, agrees that their property may be so used by the Government and proclaimed a district for the said purpose, AND whereas certain persons have made and published certain misrepresentations relating to the constitution of the Parenga Gumfields, Limited, its relations with the Government, its property, and its suitability for the purposes required. AND whereas such misrepresentations reflect most unjustly on the action of the Government, which is intended to be humane and beneficent to a degree, is calculated further to prejudice the good name and property of the Parenga Gumfields, Limited, and further that such, misrepresentations indicating that the aliens would be treated in a cruel and harsh manner are calculated to produce much, harm if read in an enemy country, where Ally prisoners may be in captivity. AND whereas such statements and publications are subversive of the spirit and intentions of the War Regulations, which rely on the patriotism of our own subjects to assist the Government, without too close questioning a≤ to the necessity of its every action, even though, the act of Government may and must in many cases cause some temporary loss or sacrifice, NOW, TO REFUTE these various statements, and to undo as quickly as possible the harm that has already been caused, the Parenga Gumfields, Limited, is impelled to make the following public statement:— . ,i Mr. A. E. Harding. President of the Dargaville Chamber of Commerce, is reported in both Auckland newspapers, and also Dargaville newspapers, in referring to the Parenga Gumfields, Limited, calls it a '"Wealthy Absentee Syndicate." Mr. Harding will, no doubt, take immediate steps to correct a statement for which there is no foundation, and which must prejudice the position of this Company very materially. In the Dargaville paper, in which this expression occurs, ft is further stated that the shares of the Company were underwritten in London, and that a foreign firm of brokers handled them. As these two statements are pure inventions, the party responsible for them will also be eager to immediately make amends and acknowledge thafc-thej are pure inventions. Another untrue statement published is that the Parenga Guinfields, Limited, offered its property to the Government, who declined it, and ateo attempted other ways of getting rid of the property. As the Company never at any time offered the property for sale to anyone, but did, as a matter of fact, decline to put a price on the property when asked to do so, the party making the above statement will find it difficult to explain -what the motive was for making such a statement. Naturally the explanation is necessary. The Parenga Gumfields, Limited, was floated in New Zealand, and the shares are held in the different districts of the Dominion us follows:—. ■ v Shares. ; 7/ Auckland m, "«. +* ** .** »* **■ ** ** 0 Wellington .. •;-.. :..- »Mr Vi »« « *■'* ±* 19j350 .. New Plymouth .;.„ ;; v M M U <U 4,600 Tauranga ~- lit «-«" -- •»•< k ita »* i—« 2,000 Eltnam ... .. >-« m ..« ii* *> •* r* 300 Taihape i< .. ■■a. »i> *>000 Greytown .i **!■-• »« ** ** ** ** ** 2.-000 Wanganui —* -. ' — »*. :—■ m »* >—i i—* 6-50 Dunedin » : ~, m mmM M M 500 Otaki .i ii ~i ~ i~ M li* ** Jit* >i: 50 ° 40,000 " : The Directors are: Messrs. G. E. Alderton, managing director j Chas. Plimmer. Boulcott Street, Wellington; Bichf.rd Keene, leland Bay, Weffingtoni George RiddelL, "Glendowie," St. Eeliers; Thos. Nicholson, farmer, "Stonehurst*; , F. W. F. Fagan. farmer, Remuera; Colin Xorris, agent, Tanranga, The Secretary is Mr. Henry Gilnllaa, Arcade, Auckland. THE Government decided after mature deliberation that X was necessary and advisable for good and sufficient reasons to prohibit certain aliens from residing in districts durins tie war -where their presence was not congenial to the settlers, and practically the desire is that those aliens should for the time being remove to Parenga, where they could follow their usual avocatio* and receive the best treatment. For all concerned the aliens would be -well advised if they accepted the position in a. good spirit, seeing that the Government practically merely requests them to remove to a certain district. They are asked to go to a field where their fellow-countrymen have been •working" for years, and where to-day there are 70 of them who wenf there on their own accord, and have remained there because the conditions were as good, if not better, than what they could abtain elsewhere, and these daring tie last six months, notwithstanding the conditions induced by the War, have earned on an average 10/ per day. These figures are certified to by their own countrymen, and the "documents are in the hands of the Government, and this shoxw that there can be no hardship in asking other men of the came nationality to sojourn there during the War. It ie provided that only current rates can be charged for stores, aad the Government reserve the right to send a representative to Parenga at any time to see that these rates are observed. Snch a condition does not obtain on any other field, and uence these alien subjects are really assured of preferential treatment. All "Tim buyers are allowed on the field to bid for and buy the gum, aHortin<: free "competition tor the gum, and, further, if the buyers fail to operate or offer less for the gum than the diggers think it is worth, then the Government exercise their powers under the Gum Industry Act to advance the diggers 50 per cent, of the pre-war value of the gum until the same is sold. This provision only applies otherwise on Government gumfields, -where aliens are not allowed to dig. It is made to apply on Parenga, however, so that the aliens cannot possibly be left at the mercy of buyers, who might want to take advantage of them. From this it will be seen the alien diggers are being given conditions which they never really had before, namely: Stores at current rates, freedom to sell their gum to any buyer, and, if required, Government advances against their gum when buyers fail to buy or offer market prices. This is not only preferential treatment, but it is, from the alien point of view, humane and beneficent. No Government could possibly offer to do more for alien subjects, but it is tQe policy of our Government, in dealing with alien subjects, "to do unto others as we -would be done by." The policy of the Government shows that in offering these men the best treatment the desire is to cause as little friction as possible. Some persons, however, have sought to hamper the Government in thl3 matter by making and publishing numerous wild statements, and these people will be called upon to verify these statements. Wken it is said that this act or the Government of sending some diggers tip to Parenga m going to ruin the trade, what weight can such a statement carry? As a matter of fact, we had just on 400 diggers on Parenga when the War started (.which fell away subsequently to 150 when the market prices fell), and another 200 or 300 now would make very little difference. Parenga gum is never a drug in the market, and at no time have we had to stop buying on that account. We have been tofal that the Parenga field is very poor, and only produces a poor grade of <rum that really is not wanted, yet the gum finds buyers quicker than any other sum, and the men on the field dig the classes that sell the quickest. Were it necessary at any time, the men could be put on to other classes of gum, as all varieties are obtainable on the property, one field of 10,000 acres where East Coast quality of gum occurs has been held in reserve entirely, and never worked since the Company owned the property. However, this is" what Colonel G. W S. Patterson, who is recognieed as the leading authority on <mm and gum lairdfc said of the Parenga field when reporting on it in 1910:— ° EXTRACTS. I have as a Kauri Gum Merchant and buyer known the Parenga fields for years. The gum sent down from these has always had the merit of maintaining a stand and uniform grade, and is one of the few gume that buyers will purchase on the -wharf without examination. The Parenga field has always been regarded by the trade as the least exploited and biggest gum field still open for development, BUT I TTAT) NO IDEA THAT ITS POSSIBILITIES WERE 50 GREAT AND AMPEE. The Parenga field from the point of accessibility is THE BEST I HAVK EVER SEEN. Usually gumfields are handicapped with bad roads, involving heavy costs for transit, but here the country is all open, and innumerable tidal creeks reach out in every direction, making it possible for a flat-bottomed punt with oil engine to penetrate every corner of the property, I may add, in conclusion, that I met on &is field , some diggers I had known for years—men that I know to be quite reliable—and they stated that this was the beat field they had ever dug on, which fully confirmed the opinion I had formed of it. There can, in farf, be no doubt about tho valne of this field, either as to its size, richness, and the very large etores of gran it hold in reserve. IT HAS AT THE PRESENT TTMB NO EQUAL IN THE DOMINION, and ehould bo carrying at least 1000 diggers.—l have the honour to be, yours faith* fully (signed) G. W. S. PATTEBSOT. G. E. ATJ3ERTON, j Managing Director, Porenga Gumfields, Limited. . |