OUR LONDON LETTER.
ANGLO-COLONIAL NOTES. London, September 17. THE PARLIAMENTARY CRICKETERS. According to a contemporary, the people ot Australia will some time. in’9B or’99 be privileged to see Mr Henniker-Hsaton in an entirely new tole-Lnamely, that of pilot of a team of. political cricketers. The spectacle of our own ample ’Enniker, clad in flannels, chasing swipes to leg sounds impossible of realisation, bat if all goes well it will be realised. Gossiping to a ‘ Daily Mail ’ man the other day, Mr Heaton said the idea of a parliamentary cricket team for the colonies originated in Melbourne about twelve months ago “at a banquet given at Parliament House, Melbourne by the, Victorian Legislature to the visiting team, of parliamentarian cricketers from New South Wales.” In the course of a speech which he made on that occasion he said, half in jest, that he would bring out a team from the English House of Commons if the Australians would promise to get a Federal eleven in the field.. The suggestion met with enthusiastic approval, and it was guaranteed to provide a team composed of members of the seven Australian Parliaments to meet the “ Homesters.” When the matter was mentioned to several members of the House of Commons it was cordially received, and when the proposal had been more widely discussed it became very evident that the chief difficulty would be to select the best men from the many who were anxious to go. Although Mr Heaton does not propose to make a start until perhaps August next year, the work of selection has already begun. He continued thus:— Already we have communicated with the steamship companies upon the subject of routes, and as time is an important matter for many of ns, arrangements will he framed to render the journeying as rapid as possible. The question of finance need not be discussed, for it is all arranged, so we can dismiss that as settled. Whether the House of Lords will be represented has not been decided, hut that matter will be dealt with shortly. I don’t think I can tell you any more just now, excepting that we shall play in Canada, in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide The Melbourne match will he against the cornlined Australian Legislatures, and the proceeds will he devoted to charities. There is some talk of a short tour iu New Zealand, but that has yet to be decided. Of course it isn’t altogether cricket we are going for. We hope the trip will have beneficial results in an Imperial sense. lam to be the manager and Mr lan Malcolm the hon. secretary of the tour. THE COLONIES AND BRITISH MANUFACTURES.
Close upon a couple of years ago Mr Chamberlain issued to the Governors of the colonies and dependencies a request for information as to the displacement of British by foreign goods in colonial markets. The request baa been responded to in a highly suisfactory manner, and the most patent result of “ Moatlhodi’s ” effect to help British commerce is a ponderous Blue Book of some GOO pages. This tome contains, besides Mr Chamberlain’s despatch, thirty-one colonial replies and the Indian statement, compiled by the Secretary of State for that considerable adjunct to the Empire, an interesting official memorandum reviewing tersely the mass of instructive information contained in the volume. The importance of the investigation is disclosed by the figures given of the average annual value of the import trade of the colonies from the United Kingdom and from foreign countries during three periods of three years each. During the first period (1883-85) the average value of colonial impute from the United Kingdom was over sixty-two millions and a-ha!f sterling, as against a trifle over thirty-six millions from foreign countries. In" the second p;riod (ISSB 90) the United Kingdom figures had declined by over a million and a-half and the foreign had risen to close upon thirty-eight millions sterling. The third period (1893-95) showed a much more serious alteration, for the United Kingdom’s figures had fallen to a little over fifty-five millions and a-half, whilst the foreigners had risen to rather more than forty-two millions and a-haif. The main general conclusions which are drawn from the colonial replies by the Colonial Office are:—
1. In the beat classes of goods and In the capacity to put the best possible article on a market which requires it the British manufacturer (and this seems generally to mean the manufacturer from tho L nited Kingdom) is stilhsupremo. 2. There are certain exceptions to the above rule, chiefiy in the case of machinery and tools of certain patterns, and in favor of the United States. Vet iu these particular lines the Canadian manufacturer is often a successful competitor with those of the United States. 3. A great portion of tho general colonial market is not a market for the best class of goods and in proportion, as cheap and finished imita’turns of such goods can be put on the market, the trade will go away to the producers of such imitations. This is precisely where the foreign manufacturer is coming in. 4. There is some danger that where the trade goes to foreign competitors in the cheap goods just mentioned a certain proportion of the better class of trade may also be diverted eventually. The whole volume is very instructive reading, but so far as the British manufacturer and exporter are concerned it contains only the same old sermon that has been preached to them by Consuls and Agents through the medium of the Press for many years past. Briefly put this is: “ Y’ou must encourage the demand for your goods by complying with the desires of your customers.” Victoria wanted her cartridges packed in twenty-fives. The English people refused to pack except in hundreds, so the complaisant German and ’cute - Yankee stepped in and took the trade to themselves. In chemicals, earthenware, metal goods, and perfumed spirits the tale is the same : the foreigner has paid and is paying more attentioQ to outward show, and as a result is gaining a better and better footing. Taking the Blue Book as a whole, no complaint is made as to the quality of British goods. The preference for foreign wares in our colonies seems to be entirely on the score of packing and the “get up” of packThe cheap British articles are not “finished” in the style necessary to cover their lack of “quality.” They look “ cheap and nasty” where the foreign produce looks " cheap and tasty,” if one may put it so.
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OUR LONDON LETTER., Evening Star, Issue 10459, 1 November 1897