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Something Like a Monopoly.

A strange little story cornea from Greymouth, and we (‘ Westport Times ’) have reason to believe it is also true, A wellknown and old established coal dealer in that town, at man In a good position, incurred somehow tho ill-will of the manager or managers of the coal company. They boycotted him, and have since refused to supply him with coal. There is no use in his applying to the Westport Cool Company, for they would certainly not give him any for obvious reasons.

Mr Piper, writing to the Nelson ‘ Mail ’ on a recent visit to the coal measures of Westport, says that he sees no reason why, with a slightly deeper bar and river, the weekly export from Westport should not be 20,000 instead of 2,000 tons. Ho goes on to speak as follows Why there is not more coal shipped now is a mystery. Not so long ago coal could not bo got fast enough for the ships awaiting cargoes. Now ships do not come fast enough to carry the coal away that can be got. And so, instead of being, as with harbor works and coal mining and shipping we might expect it, a bustling place, it is exceedingly dull. What is the excuse? Is it the nipping frost of monopoly limiting the carrying trade to a certain time, and so limiting the output? If so, the next Parliament might do worse than inquire into tho relationship of monopolies to the well being of tho people, and whether corners of rich syndicates to regulate prices that they may grow richer still are not a conspiracy against the State. Why is it that Westport coal rose 5a per ton during the Newcastle strike, and should never have dropped again ? Is it not an anomaly that Newcastle coal can bo bought cheaper in New Zealand than Westport coal ? Why is this? Does the colliery company, the Government in royalties or carriage, the steamship companies in freight, or the coal hewers get this extra price between the two coals ? All these questions crowd upon one with the knowledge that the miners of Westport are working half time, and the output of coal is being limited at Greymouth, and men are leaving the district. It is very certain that Government haulage is well paid for—2s 6d per ton for ten miles strike!) mb as heavy. If the average export

is 2,000 tons weekly, the colliery company contribute LI 1,000 per ansum to the Government for carrying weekly this quantity ten miles. If there is a ghost of a roar in the Bailor Lion, we ought to hear it thundering over matters mysterious.”

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Something Like a Monopoly., Issue 7931, 12 June 1889

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Something Like a Monopoly. Issue 7931, 12 June 1889

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