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CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE., Issue 7922, 1 June 1889
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE.
A meeting of the Committee of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce was held yesterday, and attended by Messrs J. Ross (in the chair), A. S. Paterson, W. Gow, and T. R, Fisher. Replies to a circular issued by the Dunedin Chamber with reference to the Commercial Congress proposed to be held here were received from the Launceston, Newcastle, and Christchurch Chambers, and consideration of the same was deferred until replies had been received from other chambers. A circular from Messrs M'Corvie and Millar with regard to a kite for saving life at sea was received. It was decided to arrange a meeting of the Chamber for the sth of June to hear Sir Somers Vine with regard to the proposed Imperial Institute, A report was brought up by Messrs Gow and Paterson re the proposed steamship bill of lading, and after some discussion upon it, it was agreed to defer further consideration of the matter until there was a fuller meeting. At the quarterly meeting of the Christchurch Chamber of Commerce yesterday, the president (Mr A. Kaye) in his address said that hy the combined efforts of retail grocers and the Committee of the Chamber, representing grocery importers, a very salutary understanding has been come to which will strike at the root of the suicidal competition that has been going on for so long a time past in the retail grocery trade. Referring to the run sales at Timaru on Thursday, he said :—“ There is one very prominent feature in this connection, that while all runs north of the rabbit fence in the Mackenzie country were sold at or over the upset rentals, those on the Otago side of the fence and within the area infested by rabbits had to be passed in unsold. It may be a matter of satisfaction to members that this Chamber took such an active part in the agitation for the construction of a fence, against very strong Southern opposition and influence, and every resident in Canterbury should unite in congratulating the Minister of Lands and the indefatigable Mr J. D. Lance for their determined and successful efforts to prevent this great scourge from devastating our fair province.” Turning to our export of commodities, he said : “We find as a whole a very encouraging state of affairs. Perhaps the least apparently satisfactory staple is wheat; but if we compare prices ruling at this date last year with those of to-day, we shall find that there is fully Is per bushel in favor of present holders, or say on stocks in store between Oamaru and Waibari inclusive, in round numbers some LIBO,OOO batter value, while the outlook is certainly more cheerful than it was a year since. From statistics that have been so frequently published it would eventually be wanted to supply the deficiencies of our Australian friends, but the estimated statistics of requirements from any given direction must always be considered with surrounding conditions. Unexpected outside competition often upsets most careful calculations. By some perversity and by want of foresight we have allowed tho market which should have been ours entirely to slip past us ; and while we were imagining ourselves ‘ masters of the situation,’ and adopting a retentive policy, other sources of supply have been found by our buyers to our serious detriment and loss. However, prices have now returned to about the margin that should enable us to successfully compete with all outside competition.” After noticing the improvements in the markets for wool, frozen meat, and bacon, Mr Kaye concluded by advocating the giving all possible publicity to oar improved state of affairs.
Sir Somers Vine explained to a crowded meeting of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce the objects and scope of the Imperial Institute. He said his mission was to ask for sympathy and the co-operation of the colonies, and specially of chambers of commerce. A large and valuable tract of seven acres, formerly held by the Commissioners of the 1851 Exhibition, had been handed over to the Institute, and this could be increased to ten if necessary. A building was in course of erection, and would be finished in two years. The Prince of Wales was in hopes that the colonial courts would be well filled with the products of the colonies, but he was anxious to make them understand there would be nothing of a bazaar about it. Sir S. Vine went into details at some length, and answered a number of questions put to him by some members. Part of the scheme was to establish branch collections, and specimens of produce, if desired, could be forwarded to the colonies. It was hoped that in a few years scholarships would be established in connection with the Institute. A monthly journal was to be published which would be issued broadcast over the world. The chairman and other members expressed their gratification at hearing an explanation of what they confessed they knew very little about, and a hearty vote of thanks was passed to Sir Somers Vine. He intimated his intention of cabling the Chamber’s appreciation to the Prince of Wales, who had told him when leaving England whatever the Government might say it was the opinion of the commercial men in the colonies be was anxious to hear.
CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE., Issue 7922, 1 June 1889
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