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The Government have received a report from the Agent-General on the flax industry. It came to hand too late for presentation to Parliament. The document contains some interesting and valuable information, and fully bears out the statements of tho harm done to tho export trade by the careless and hasty way in which the fibre is prepared for the market. Sir F. D. Bell layß great stress on this point, and says as much as L 6 or L 7 per ton is knocked off the price by the bad condition in which flax comes to hand, and he has known instances where consignees have absolutely refused to take delivery. He considers the reoent rise in values is due to speculation in the United States consequent on the demand for binder twine. As showing what an important factor the American demand is he points out that 55,000 to 60,000 tons of twine will be required this year in that country alone. Sir F. D. 801 l proceeds to say :—" Dealers know they will always get manila hemp up to expectations, and can depend on the quality, and to put our product on a good footing shipments must be regular and of uniform quality." He comes to two conclusions : (1) That high prices will depend entirely on the supplies of manila and sisal remaining low; (2) that jute may, to a large extent take the place of flax, and experiments are now being made in America with machinery to turn it to aocount for binder twine. In face of these two contingencies, unless the method of preparing flax is brought to a high standard prices will fall to nothißg except for the very best qualities.

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Bibliographic details

THE FLAX INDUSTRY., Evening Star, Issue 8021, 25 September 1889

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THE FLAX INDUSTRY. Evening Star, Issue 8021, 25 September 1889