THE SCARCITY OF LEATHER
PRICES 'OF BOOTS MUST ELSE. In regard to the rise in the price <»f boote, it has been pointed out. to us. that the shortage of hides has been Incoming acute for years, and is attributable to the. shortage, of cattle the world over. It is merely a matter of -supply and demand, and tho supply of cattle lias decreased everywhere —-in Queensland, South Africa, and' America. The breaking nr of tho big estates has affected Queensland, while South Africa has never recovered from the rinderpest and droucht. America, again, has -been unable to cope with an.'ever-increasing demand for meat. Tlie deduction is therefor© very simple. If there are no cattle thera can be no hides, no leather, and no boot*. The present war conditions will accentuate the trouble, and it will probably ba found that heavy leather will ibe unprocurable here, so'that, we shall not only have to pay more for our hoots, but. to wear lighter ones. To got over the latter difficulty, by tho way, it has been suggested that'buyers should ha-v-e- an extrasole pnt on their footwear Wh«.n purchasing. Another reason for the short-age here. is the fact that a large quantity of _ hides is exported to Canada, and an it is un. likely" that a, ban will bo placed upot exportation, this drain will continue. Canadian sole leather is imported t< Xew Zealand, and is largely used here, Lat-ely there, has been an advance of about lid per lb, and it may yet go higher, especially as England will absorb all she. can get'for military equipment. Indeed, the strain must increase, with the operations of tho troops in the spring. Of English leather we. have, of course, had no supply for some throe months. Italian heavy hides, which have, been coining here." will also find their way to England. In regard to saddlery, there is no great demand for harness just now apart from that required for the Government, contract, tho tenderers for which, by the way. will suffer by the latest increase in prices. Pizskin. "which is largely used for the seats of saddles, is not tanned here: English skins are almost solely used for this purpose, though a small number of the cheaper Germ-'in article have in the pa.st. found their way into some of the northern Fade]lory houses. Tho position i- c an extremely awkward om\ both for the boot and 'the saddle trade, and it is difficult to foresee what the. outcome will be. —The, Trade in America.The. following is from 'Dun's Review' <Xe«.v York) : ■Some, large shoe, contracts have been placed, although it is understood that, raw very important orrW from Franc- on which inquiries were made here has ben awarded in England. With British factories bu.-dly employed in making up shoes for their own army as we!! as their Allies, and a shortage, of leather oxi-ting in. England as a consequence of the prolonged tannery strike there, prior to the war, the call here for leather from Great Frit,'!in is. "very brisk. Good-sized shipments have he?n made from Boston <if hemlock and oak pole leather bends, with numerous inouiries for more, and ono order is in the. market for over a. million pounds of heavy upper leather, 'j.ann-ars who have agencies in England have made heavy eonsiLaments to these branches <>f late, and numerous sample lots are afloat of leather purchased through buying agencies here, with ff-mc cables received to make bulk shinments immediately, even before these samples arrived.
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THE SCARCITY OF LEATHER, Evening Star, Issue 15698, 12 January 1915