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PREPARATION OF HIDES FOR MARKET. At a meeting of the members of the Dunedin Stock Agents and Wool Brokers’ Association held yesterday very serious complaints were received from hide buyers, who allege that the flaying of hides has been getting worse and worse for some time past, until to-day it is not a question of how many badly flayed hides there nro in any parcel, but how many, if any, there may be freo of scores and cuts which will coma through. The buyers point out that when a hide is a mass of scores, nicks, and cuts it is practically impossible for the boot manufacturer to cut up the leather at all profitably, and consequently the tanner is hourly in trouble with tho manufacturer; and that if some improvement is not made in the flaying the manufacture of boots in this Dominion will surely become a dying industry. THE WHEAT SUPPLY, Press Association—By Telegraph—Copyright. LONDON, November 25. The American visible supply of wheat is 120,539,000 bushels. SYDNEY, November 25. The State Premier (Mr Holman), on his return from Melbourne, explained that ho is hopeful that the several State Governments will act in unison in regard to the present wheat shortage. The Bill, which is to be proceeded with in the State Parliament to-day, will empower the Government tocommandeer ” all the wheat produced in N.S. Wales. [These messages were delayed in transmission owing to a severe storm interfering with the wires.] WOOL SALES. Press Association—By Telegraph—Copyright. MELBOURNE. November 26. (Received November 26, at 10.15 a.m.) At the wool sales there was strong competition for all good sorts, which realised prices 5 per cent, above last week's. Inferior sorts were neglected and more difficult to sell. THE MARKETS. Press Association—By Telegraph—Copyright. LONDON, November 25. (Received November 26, at 12.5 p.m.) Copper. —Spot, £55 ss; three months, £55 7s 6d. Tin.—Spot. £142; three months. £l4O 10s. Spelter, £25 ss. Silver, 23d per oz. Linseed oil, £24 12s 6d. Turpentine, 35s lOitl. Wheat.—No demand at present prices. FROZEN MEAT TRADE AND REFRIGERATING STEAMERS. Nearly three weeks ago it was stated in a cabled message from London that the Admiralty was commandeering an increasing number of refrigerating steamers for transport purposes without the steamship owners objecting. The Prime Minister immediately cabled to the High Commissioner in London on the subject, and has now received a reply from the High Commissioner, who says that the cabled statement is not correct. He says: The Admiralty states that it fully appreciates the importance of the frozen meat trade. Such, vessels are not now requisitioned, but those engaged will be released as soon as practicable. Tho New Zealand Shipping Company state that they have made strong and successful representations to the Admiralty against the requisition of meat steamers, notwithstanding that the charter would be more remunerative. The Shaw, Savill and Albion Company state that no intimation has been received that the Admiralty desires to commandeer more of their steamers, but add that carrving for New Zealand under present conditions yields materially poorer returns than would bo obtained from meat freights elsewhere. The Admiralty has taken altogether 56 frozen meat ships out of 250 employed. Thirty-five are now conveying troops from Australasia, and will be released in January and February. The release of 12 is uncertain, and 9 will lie retained until tfio end of tho war. Tho. High Commissioner adds that he has only just been able to get this definite information from the Admiralty. TAUPIRI COAL MINER, LIMITED. The directors of the abovo company, in a circular issued to the shareholders, refer to the recent explosion at Huntley. They say. inter alia: Tho directors believed the company’s mines to be fully equipped and properly worked, and to bo two of the safest in our Dominion. This belief was shared by everyone connected with tho mines from the Government inspector downwards. Tho directors have never refused to incur expenditure in any direction which would make for efficiency and safety, or which would make the conditions under which the men worked as comfortable as possible. It is with great regret that the directors have to announce that they are unable to pay the usual half-yearly dividend. The accident in Ralph’s mine has entailed a very heavy expenditure upon tho company, the full extent of which cannot yet he ascertained. The liability for compensation undter the Workers’ Compensation Act alone would be considerable, but the Company as© already notified that actions lit common Jaw are pending in which claims for larger amounts than the full liability under the Workers’ Compensation Act will bo made. The actual damage done to the mine, while it involves a considerable outlav. is not so serious as might have been [anticipated, but the closing down of both mines, with its consequent dislocation of trade, has been a serious loss to the company. In addition to tho direct loss thus entailed, tho company have been obliged to instal safety lamps at considerable coat, and ore also faced with a demand from the miners for an increased hewing rate, it being alleged that with safety .lamps the men cannot work os well as with the naked light. Under all three circumstances the directors feel it to bo their duty to proceed with tho utmost caution, and to husband with the greatest care all the resources of the company. They regret exceedingly tho inconvenience that will be caused to many of the shareholders through the non-payment of the usual interim dividend ; they wish to assure them that the step has been taken with extreme reluctance. and only because they believe It B really in the best interests of all concerned, and will ultimately benefit the shareholders.

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COMMERCIAL., Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

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COMMERCIAL. Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914