(Wo do not hold ourselves responsible (or the opinions expressed by our correspondents.]
TO THE EDITOB. Sir,— Sir Robert Stout has, indeed, taken an early opportunity to put his views upon social economy to a practical test. The co-operative land scheme propounded at the meeting on Saturday has everything to recommend it. The demand for dairy produce for the Loudon and other markets must necessarily be upon the increase in proportion to the large increase of population they claim. Beyond the demand for cheese and butter very remunerative figures have been obtained for consignments of Australian apples and other fruit. Why not for the produce of New Zealand also? Apples last harvest were in some localities scarcely wort!) the picking, and if the proposed company can make satisfactory arrangements with the shipping companies for freight in cool chambers the culture of fruit for export will develop into a profitable industry. la discussing the prospects of the scheme two essential elements have to be considered. First, the means by which the proposed company will thrive ; secondly, how settlers will thrive under its auspices, One docs not suppose for one moment that the company are about to launch the scheme purely from motives of philanthropy and patriotism. They must see a fair return upon their investment, but consistently with that it is to be hoped that they will be liberal and benevolent in dealing with intended settlers. The company’s profit for dividend, if economically managed, is pretty well assured (1) by a profit upon the land purchased and subdivided, and sold upon deferred-payment; (2) the interest upon deferred-payment sales ; (3) if the company claim to bo the only storekeepers for other than freeholders in the proposed settlement by the sale of necessities for clothing, food, and domestic articles; and (4) by agency charges if the produce is sent Home upon producer’s account, or by profit if purchased outright. Now as to the position of the intended settler. It is to be presumed any such applicants to the company would have a fairly practical knowledge of either dairyfarming or fruit growing, aud it should be but small difficulty to command a fair livelihood with the assistance proposed by the company. It has been asserted by brokers, into whose hands consignments of New Zealand butter and cheese have been handed for disposal, that frequently a co: signment of cheeses have not been all of the same character as the one they have submitted to their customers, If, however, the same class of cheese can be depended upon, very remunerative prices have been obtained. A Christchurch firm on one occasion forwarded a parcel of cheese to London and obtained 655; but the quality of each cheese was identical.
The company possibly contemplate putting at the disposal of settlers the best of dairy and labor saving utensils, so that where many in a settlement such as this are employed advantage may be taken of them, It is presumable that each proposed settler would have a certain small amount of capital to commence operations; but It would be well for the promoters of the company to explain if they propose assisting settlers with material, etc., for the necessary dwellings. Fairly looked at, it seems highly probable that the proposed company have a great future before them, and every friend of New Zealand will consider it a departure in the right direction, and wish it every success.—l am, etc., K. Dunedin, July 4.
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Evening Star, Evening Star, Issue 7951, 5 July 1889
Evening Star Evening Star, Issue 7951, 5 July 1889
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