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A RETURNED TRADE COMMISSIONER, Issue 15690, 2 January 1915
A RETURNED TRADE COMMISSIONER
MR J. R. SINCLAIR INTERVIEWED. Because of " the war," the. work of the I Empire Trade Commission, was suspended | by His Majesty's Government when the. Commission were in Canada in August last and following upon that suspension, of its activities New Zealand's representative upon the Commission (Mr J. R. Sinclair) has jeturned to New Zealand. In passing through Christchurch on hie way to Moeraki, where lie is spending the New Year, Mr Sinclair was seen by a. 'Press' representative, and was induced to talk a little of the travels of the Commission end his personal impressions of the places visited. —Work of the* Commission.— "I left New Zealand on November 8 of last year," lie said, "in order to reach. London "in time for a meeting of the Commission on January 5. This and eubsenuent meetings considered the Australian and New Zealand reports, and when they were agreed upon the Commission left on February 7 for South Africa, where sittings were held in all the leading towns of the Union, and visits paid to a large number of the industries, including the Rand gold mines and the Kimberley diamond fields. We. returned to England at the end of April, and sat immediately for the consideration of our South African report. AVe completed and lodged that, and then left for Newfoundland and Canada. We had completed our inquiries in Newfoundland and the maritime provinces of Canada, when the war broke out, and His Majesty's Government suspended the work of the Commission. When it will be resumed again or what course will be followed iu regard to it I, of course, do not know. —lrrigation for South Africa.—. " As to the countries visited, I can only say that Sxilk Africa has enormous areaa \ of' uncultivated land, with which, under existing conditions, apparently little can be done.. Rut the people there are mov- I in:,' in the direction of conserving water. I They do act the rainfall, you know—J oven in the most, arid pai'ts —but owing to its torrential form and the lack of moans of conservation it ail runs away again. Investigations axe now being made by ihp Government, as to the possibilities oi dams and other means of retaining the water and entering upon irrigation on a lwrce. ecale. This business, of course, will bo a very cosily one, tnd quite beyond ] the capacity of any private settler, but j wh»n ca-rrii»d out by ihe Government on j a lanie, >ca.le should do wonders to large aieasof country that are. at present arid and unprofitable. —Black Labor Problem.—. "In passing through the country the one. thing that does strike an observer is the. fact "that, it is the colored man that does all the work. What this will lead to in the dittanb future I don't know. It seems to me to be a very fcerious problem. Tt makes one wonder what the. position in the future social economy will be of the man who does the work. '• So far as the white population is concerned. I found the best relations existing between Briton and Boer, We met many Dutchmen, and a finer lot of men I never met, •r'Kher physically or intellectually, Jrst look how Botha, that great man, handled this recent trouble. I think it i might, even be said that it wae a fortunate tiling for us that a. Dutchman was Prime j Minister at the time of such a. crisis* —ln. Newfoundland.— j
*■ In »\vfoui:dland there- is not much settlement in the sense that we in N«w Zeabnd understand by settlement. The eoniitrv i.s comparatively wild, but they havo I'.vo important industries—the iron industry on l.Vell .Island and the manufacture of newspaper. The ironworks is a vorv big concern, and .seems to bo worked energetically and with powerful directive
ability—they have very fine men at tha hr-ad'of it." The Harms-worths arc interested in the. paper works, and we spent a day there as well as at the ironworks. It was verv interesting indeed to fee the logs ijoing in at, one end of the mill and the bales of paper coming out at the other r.nd being stored in immense warehouses for despatch Their supplies at present are not on the open, market, but ar« confined to their own requirementt.. In the maritime provinces of Canada we found the land very fertile, and cultivated to that degree which is the evidence of so rmich prosperity in New Zealand. The conditions were in many ways c-imilar to those in this country—comparatively email homesteads end readily-tilled land,
"In coming back from Qoebeo fcfc it* end of August we were under gomiine ira* conditions—lights out most strictly all the way—and floating ic© to p« dodged as well, Not a comfortable Voyagw by any means; but I don't wish to talk about that. Good-bye."
A RETURNED TRADE COMMISSIONER, Issue 15690, 2 January 1915
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