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FREIGHTS AND SHIPPING RATES, Issue 15636, 29 October 1914
FREIGHTS AND SHIPPING RATES
SFUgCT COMMITTEE'S REPORT. RECOMMEND PERMANENT HOARD. j As stated in mir latest Stop Press nows last evening, the Shipping Freights and Charges Committee, presented their report to the Honso of Representatives yesterday afternoon. The committee were appointed to examine and report upon sneh ipiostions relating to freights and charges levied by the shipping companies upon prod-irec and goods ‘of any kind shipped to or from Now Zealand us they thought desirable. Tim evasion a f the setting up of the -committee was twofold—first the ri-c in freights on niii'efrigeratrd cargo of 25 per cent,, which was levied by the .shipping compnnier. shortly after the outbreak of the war. The other question, which is of much greater importance, was whether there was reasonable guarantee »f the export trade of the country being maintained 'luring the coming season.
With regard to the increase in freights, the committee have ascertained that this does not apply to either frozen meat or dairy produce, but only to wool, flax, and other nnrefrigerated cargo. This is the result of fixed contracts previously made by the parties. The increase of 25 per cent, on general cargo is to gome extent justified at present by the increased cost of insurance through the addition of a war risk, the extra cost of coal and provisions, and the probable shortage of cargo on return trips from (Treat Britain, but the committee arc strongly ot opinion that as conditions become normal the increase should be abolished. It is clear that the increase in the freight, on flax, coupled with the reduction in value caused by the, war.
'.‘.ill have a detrimental effect upon that industry, and as it employs a very large amount of labor, the committee are of opinion that the (Government should consider how the industry could bo most beneficially assisted in order that it might be maintained, until normal conditions prevail,. The evidence given before the committee showed that outside refrigerated steamers cannot he chartered, and that the shipping available can be made to meet all probable demands for space for meat, butter, and cheese during the month? of October, November, December, and January. It may ho assumed that insnlalrel steamers, stated, by shipping companies to be available down to January 31. 1915. will be employed to their full carrying capacity as refrigerated ships, and that refrigerated space will he solely utilised for moat and dairy produce. D may be desirable for the (Tovernment to bring down legislation to enable, them to make necessary arrangements with the owners and pay compensation for the delay of the ships. It may ire reasonably expected that by the time the. refrigerated ships delayed will have got away the commandeered ships will have returned, and will be able to take up tiie ordinary running. To ensure this the Government should arrange with the Admiralty and the owners for the return of the ships to New Zealand with ail possible speed. The chief difficulty which presents itself to the committee relates to (he export of cheese. 'The trade in this produce is growing so rapidly that toe shipping companies will re- I nire. in making arangeinents for the future, to bear in mind the very great importan of this branch of mir e.vporte. For tire coming sea.ton the committee tc ogntse Hie ililfi.mltlea of tire no.-ilion. ami consider that they can only Ire “met by special consideration on the part of the shipping companies in so anticipating end arranging for cheese space as to se, nre a certainty of shipment. Suggestions before the committee that fire National Dairy Association could monopolise all the sin c and exclude other shippers not members of the association. The committee find that the association have, by a letter to the committee, expressed their willingness to .-lime the spare and to allow other shippers a proportion of the allotted space for dairy produce. Inquiries on the matters referred to them led tho committee to recommend that a permanent, board should be established, having clearly defined powers of inquiry regarding the trade industries and commerce of the i ountry.
AMERICAN MEAT TRCST. [From Orn Parmamextahv Reporter.] WELLINGTON. October 29. BOARD OK TRADE UK ELY. 'Hit' v'l’fsoulatioii nf the Shipping and Freights Committee's report gave the Prime Minister the opportunity of making a few remarks which were of a very dire"! nature. It would, he said, he neeessary to ask the House to agree, to legislation dealing with the American meat trust, but the time had not come yet. “ When it - * does como 1 will ask the House to do it," ho added. He. did not ,sr any earthly reason, )».-• went on to sav, why we should not. have a Board of Trade in New Zea!and---ri hoard,of commercial men who would be a very valuable iuflucm m. The Board of Agrienlture did not exist in the limelight, hut they made recommendation to him as Minister of Agrmnluirc. They did not write paragraphs for newspapers, hut were dirt turning matters affecting every individual in the community. It the Dominion had a similar hoard to look after trade and eomni'.'ree it would he. a very good thing for the Dominion. When the mmol limit v ra.rtm the Government would he very glad indeed to do everything they possibly could to give effe< t to the important recommendation contained in the report of the committee. The. report whs received. non rrni.iGATiox of evidence. Sir Waltm BiHranan, chairman of the com in i t t“e, stated in (he mvirso of the dismission that it was not proposed to print the evidence, as some, of it had been given confidentially, The following telegram was sent by Mr W. I>. Lysnar (’Gisborne) to the 'Prime Minister after he had received private advice of the discussion in the House : —" Surprised, in view of your promise, that Shipping Committee are against tlm publication of t lie evideme. if the position is that some witnesses object to publication, this cannot prevent others of n different opinion from, making known to the public their evidence. I have a complete copy of rev evidence, ineluding cro-:.-.-examina-tion. »nd intend publishing same. 1 trust yon will reopen the matter in the House to-night, as other witnesses may be unaware of their privileges. ’
FREIGHTS AND SHIPPING RATES, Issue 15636, 29 October 1914
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