[FROM OTJB OWN CORRESPONDENT.] London, January 18. After being done out of one Homeward San Francisco mail last month, we are clone out of a Suez mail this week, none having arrived owing to the mishap to tie s.s. Ormuz.
Note is being taken by the London press of the efforts being made to send further contingents to South Africa. New Zealand's ready despatch of a Sixth Contingent has come in for well-deserved comment.
A short article in the Daily Express deals with the offer to encourage the utilisation of Taranaki ironsand. the offer being described as a " surprising" one, " which seems to afford an excellent outlet for British capital."
" Signs of Expansion in New Zealand" are recognised by the Melbourne correspondent of the Money Market Review. The banking returns of New Zealand, he says, " afford evidence o'/"' soundness in the financial position of that colony."
In view of the call for reinforcements for South Africa, the War Office is again placing orders in the colonies for oats. I learn that this week the New Zealand Government has been asked to superintend the purchase of no less a quantity than 12,000 tons.
Referring to an observation attributed to Sir Robert Stout, to the effect that the Boer misfit make a good colonist for Australia, a writer in the Globe says : —"Certainly the Boer has some experience in colonising, but the question is whether he has an equal capacity for loyalty. However, there is no place in "which he would have a better chance of learning the meaning of loyalty than in Australia."
It has been decided to name the two new steamers for the Shaw, Savill, and Albion Company the Athenic and Corinthic. The company has also ordered from Messrs. Harland and Wolff, of Belfast, a third boat, to be named the lonic. All three new steamers are of the same type and size. They will be 500 ft long. 63ft wide, and 41ft from keel to top of beams. They will be of a gross tonnage of 10.000 tons, about 3000 indicated horse-power, have accommodation for all three classes of passengers, and a carrying capacity for 100.000 carcases; they will all be twin-screw steamers.
At the last meeting of the Executive Committee o,f the British Empire League, it was decided to send a cable message of congratulation to the Right Hon. Edmund Barton, upon his appointment as first Premier of Australia. The following resolution was also adopted : " That the Executive Committee of the British Empire League expresses its satisfaction at the acceptance by the Imperial Government of a tender for the construction of the Pacific cable, and congratulates the representatives of Canada. New South Wales, Victoria. Queensland, and New Zealand, as well as the members of the British Empire League in Canada, upon the success of their efforts." '
From one and artother New Zealander coming to this country from South Africa, one learns how anxious many friends of men at the front must be for news, and how worried the officers must be over replying or not replying to letters received respecting men under their charge. I am told that the officers of New Zealand contingents have been swamped with letters from mothers, sisters, and others, asking for information, and as these letters frequently come to hand when it is almost impossible to reply to them, great worry and trouble is caused. I am sure those who have written, and may not have got replies, will make every allowance for seeming, but unintended, neglect.
Though Mr. W. H. Campbell, the chairman of"Messrs. Robert Campbell and Sons, described as " a rough summary of the position of the company," the speech he delivered at the annual meeting of shareholders yesterday, it was in realit\ a most interesting address, and one which will probably afford both profit and information to colonial past oral He dealt in an analytic way with the world's production of wool, and deduced from his figures the belief that the price of wool must rise in the near future as the population of the world increases. He referred with satisfaction to the success which had attended the introduction of Australian rams into their New Zealand flocks, which had enabled them to " sweep the board "at the Christchurch Show. The report was adopted, and a dividend of 3s per share, or 5 per cent., was declared, a substantial sum — £5695 — being carried forward.
A London paper says : —"Mr. Sullivan, the rabbit shipper, has brought from New Zealand a consignment of frozen soles, which fish he wishes to introduce here. We like prime Canterbury mutton, and toothsome lamb from New Zealand, as well as butter and cheese, but as for fish from that colony we want it not. The former meets a felt want, but it has yet to be shown that fish from clown below can take the place of British fish. Another New Zealander, Mr. Blodorn, has brought frozen eels, cod, and ' mutton birds !' If this gentleman wishes to replenish our stock of curios in the museums, his goods may come in handy, but if he , is to be credited with a serious intention to add to our food supply, he has made a mistake. It will take a deal of educational work to convince the Britisher that New Zealand eels are to be preferred to his own, and there is no burning desire expressed, here at present to add ' mutton birds' to the ordinary repertory of fashionable society. But, joking apart, these experimental ventures in food novelties are of no practical service to New Zealanders. To introduce anything new in this country is an enterprise requiring vast capital and energy, and is not to be done on piecemeal lines."
This week I. received a letter from Mr. Henry Reynolds, from Buenos Ayres, who writes to me with respect to the New Zealand shipping companies and " how they try their best" to work up a trade between New Zealand and Argentina. Mr. Reynolds says : " I have tried sheep— rams have had over three lots. After fhe first shipment they (the shipping companies) stuck on 50 per cent, on the freight, viz., from £2 2s to £3 3s ; for this they gave the third of the space as on steamers taking out good stock from England, and charge 50 per cent. more. There is a good trade to be worked up in importing rams, and possibly bulls, from New Zealand to this placeif properly attended to at both ends, i.e., in selecting the suitable class, and with some one thoroughly practical to look after things here. Unless the shipping companies try to foster the business, instead of squeezing it all they canit is simply useless trying to work up a large business with New Zealand. Last year," continues Mr. Reynolds, " I got over a shipment of 5000 butter boxes —at present the wood is imported from North America for this purpose—as a sample trial, New Zealand kahikatea being the most suitable wood in the world for butter-pack-ing. Again the companies kill the trade by charging an outrageous rateequal to about 60 per cent, of the value for a run of three weeks to Monte Video. These boxes were made up in packets or crates, hence packed in small space. I could give large orders for these boxes if the shipping companies would cany at a reasonable freight." In reference to Mr. Reynolds' complaint. I caused inquiries to be made at the shipping companies' offices in Leadejihall-street. As a result I was informed that as a matter of fact, the sheep rates had been reduced to £2 2s in October last, that for cattle being £30 per head, no change having been made in the latter case on last year's rates. The shipping companies' contention is that it is impossible to charge low rates, for if only a single animal or piece of merchandise is landed in the Argentine, tonnage on the full ship has to be paid, this not applying if the ship only calls for coal. The same thing is said to apply to timber: and further, that as only comparatively little cargo can be expected from New Zealand to the Argentine, the same rates as those paid on the whole shiploads from North America cannot be expected. These are the two sides of the case.
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ANGLO-COLONIAL NOTES., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 11586, 26 February 1901
ANGLO-COLONIAL NOTES. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 11586, 26 February 1901
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