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(Fxou Oos Own CoKK-isi-oxD.^rr.)

LONDON, February 17,


Federation o* the Australian colonies having come 'to the front again, " service " papers are looking forward to come scheme for amalgamating the defence forces of the colonies. The Broad Arruv/, .ndeed, waxes sarcastic over present ;..-.-angeinencs. " With Russia, i?i*ane<*, and Germany extending on every side i!; Is tiuis indeed for the colonies to be putting t-ie.r houses m order politically cud strategically, for at the present time in_' defence arrangements can hardly bo described as serums in a military sen;*-,'' says .he paper I have named. -A suggestion has been Emtio that there should be' a trained naval reserve at all the coaling stations la the Empire so that ships of Wr_." could draw on it for men as they do at Home. " This might answer in Canada, New Zealand, and Tasmania,'' it is thought, "but r.o far Australians have shown no aptitude tor the sea.''

•Sir Waite.* i)es;u*.t. too, lias Oeen' pn phesying ovtv Federation, r.nd to?*"'! in r; ther a strikir.g manner. Anticipating "<•* ofticial r-nnouncomei't in the London Oi cetta of January Ist, 1901." he give among the Birthday honours v peerage t Mr Rudyard Kipling, whose title will h taken front Vermont, America, "by kin permission of the President, and Congres of tho United States."' etc. "The honour. Sir Waiter adds. " will be bestowed at th same moment ad the six sovereign nation —Great Britain and Ireland, the Unite {states, Canada, Australia, New Zealand end South Africa—will enter upon a fedeni Has, ai.a n perpetual alliance, offensive an* offensive, io_* the civilisation' and freedor of toe world." COLONIAL INSTITUTE. , I have ju_i received a copy of the 31s annual report of the Royal Colonial In Sjriitite. During the past year 264 nev fellows have been elected. 89 resident ant 175 non-resident. The institute begins thi year y/ifch no fewer than 4139 fellows, o whom 1420 are resident ancl 2700 non lesident, and 13 honorary. Out of thi total number, 998 have become life fellows The income foi the year was £7114. Thi loan of £35.020 which was raised in 188-. iv order vo acquire the freehold of the institute building has now been reduced by airaw;! payments to £17,200; last' yeai £1636 was paid off, in addition to the ordinary annual payment. The library oi the ■ institute has been strengthened by the addition of 1362 volumes (of which lOlfi were presented and 346 purchased), 2105 pamphlets, 43 maps. 20 photographs, and 37,421 newspapers. The usual notes as to the operations of the past year are appended, and various moral reflections are added with respect to the position and , prospects of t~srs different parts of the Empire, etc. GROWTH OF THE EMPIRE. Go. Tuesday evening last Sir Robert Giffen. the famous statistician, read an imjiortaut &,nd interesting, but tough, paper o'.t " The Relative Growth of the _, Component Pans oi the Empire." As might be eipected, it simply bristled with figures and statistic*, whicli are far too elaborate c,4d voluminous for _.ny condensation to be practicable within my limits. But the genera, gist of his conclusions may be said to be summed lip in his peroration, v/hich I 'quote in full. . "Tbo practical ..sue to which all these considerations lead." said Sir Robert, "is the necessity ior ail agreeing to make the most ■of the Empire in the way of development and organisation. I speak as one having so great a sense of the difficulties and dangers of a great Empire that if there hud ,be(jn free choice in the matter at any time I should have deprecated the connuest of Indiit. md other conquests which have made the Empire what it is. But the eWes has __ot been quite free, and especially it is nou open to us. to give up any part of the Empire at will without making so great ;.n alteration of our position in the world thfvt our freedom and independence at hoipe would be endangered. As the voii-i thing possible is to halt between two opinions.' we must accordingly, even if -we dislike Empire, make the best of our position. We are in for this great Empire, and there is an end of the matter. On all sides, then. on. Little Englanders as well as Great Englanders, the main idea of policy should' novr be to knit the different parts- or tho Empire together so that they sfcouJd support each other and support the whole. Thffff-* must be a common scheme of defence; there.must be a provision of adequate force in each part of the Empire according to that scheme; communications must be rapidly improved. It would be out of place ior me to suggest or discuss ar.y detail or scheme, but perhaps the study of the composition of the Empire in.tha mo .t general way, and*of what the growth has been, may assist the public comprehension of the plans which those who p,i-e vesponsibl*. produce." CHE NEW ZEALAND LOAN. • Comments upon the notable success of the Nev-?- Zealand loan still continue to be Found in the papers. The marked _ia iha soundness of the colony jUOA*n by the satisfactory price which the loan 'realised, seems to excite surprise airong some of the financia} papers which ordinarily adopS the "bear" attitude toward New Zealand stocks. There is no doubt that the diplomatic announcement of half.., -aillion surplus just before the issue ci the loan had" *% good deal to do with its success, but the Agent-general is highly co__*r*!imented upon the skill with which he managed the affair. ROBERT CAMPBELL AND SONS. • In their seventeenth annual report the directors of Robert Campbell and Sons state that the profits earned during the year —after providing for interest on the debentures—amounted to £5051, which added to the balance of £1345 brought forward from the preceding year would give a sum of £6397 available for dividends; but unfortunately errors in the accounts for previous years, amounting in the aggregate to £2277, have been discovered, and as ther*. are no specific assets to represent this amount the board are of opinion that the proper course to adopt with respect tc it is to write it off at once, and they recommend that this should be done. The divisible profit 3 would thereby be reduced to £4119, out of which the directors recommend the payment of a dividend at the rate ox I 3 3d per share (free of tax), requiring £3750, and that the balance of £269 be carried forward. The directors regret -exceedingly the unfortunate occurrence referred to, for which they were quite unprepared, as at the time of the reduction in the capital of the company in 1897 they made careful inquiries M the auditors (who were also the accountants) of the company regarding the accuracy of the various accounts, and especially of the New Zealand working account in which the errors have now been found, when they rereived an assurance that they were all in order and that the balance of that particuJar account represented only the actual disbursements for the current year. It is the desire of the board, however, to point out that the errors referred to have mainly arisen from credit being taken more than once for the same items, by whicli the apparent profits of the years in which they were made were increased, and that in no instance has any actual money loss to the company been involved. |

Further, with reference to the working for hist year, the report goes on, to state that rhe profit on sheep account shows a considerable falling off, which is attributible entirely to the thorough manner in which, the flocks have been culled during tbat period, most of the old and compar..iively unprofitable animals having been weeded out, and to some extent replaced by jrounger and more vigorous stock. The result of this has been a diminution in the number of sheep and consequently in the book valuation of the ilock, which latter is taken on the very safe basis of seven shillings per head. The directors are satis3cd, however, that it was the right course *o take and that the advantage arising irom it in the present and in future years will more than compensate the company for the apparent falling off shown in the account.

The directors proceed t<; say that the increase of the receipts from sales of wool la-st yeft'i- is satisfactory, and the board considers that there is reason to believe ■hat the improvement will be at least maintained this year. The- whole of the company's debentures bearing 5 per tent, interest, which fell due on the Ist January, have been paid olf or else replaced by new bonds of five and ten years' currency at the rale of 4£ per cent. Against the unplaced portion of the n_*.v issue the company's bankers have m'l'.le advances which

will be repaid as the bonds are taken tip. In conclusion the directors remark that the reports from the Nev< Zealand managers of the prospects for the current year are vey satisfactory. Cattle and isheep qfre sii-id to be in excellent condition, and lambing has been very good; there is abundant grass, and the wool clip is up to the average in quantity and superior in quality., Monday, the 27th' inst., has been fixed for the seventeenth annual meeting of Robert Campbell and Sons to take place. ANGLO-COLONIAL NOTES. One signing himsel;' '' A New Zealand Midland Railway Debenture-holder," writes as follows io the Financial Times: —",May, I ask the receiver of the unfortunate New Zealand ?.lidland Railway Company, through your columns, to let us know why, according to a recent, telegram, (tie de-beiiiure-lioklers are not allowed to apply to the l'rivy Council fur the restoration of their property so summarily confiscated by the New Zealand Government? Is that Government afraid of submitting its actions to the scrutiny of an impartial tribunal? It looks like it." Tn spite of all t.'iat was said of him in tiie colonies and the condemnation his extreme language sometimes evoked, Mr Ben Tillett seems to have brought awuy with him some very good impressions of New Zealand and Australia. At Canning Town, on Monday, he lectured on his antipodean experiences before a- large audience composed almost exclusively of workers, and recommended your part of the world as a good place for a good man to emigrate to. Those interested in lubour movements here, however, do not look with unmixed favour upon all that is done in New Zealand for " Jabour," to use their own term. Thus quite a prominent trades unionist paper, with perhaps as much influence as any, calls, attention to the act of the Government in excluding Austrinns from the gumfields. It is said that the Vienna Government will invite the; Imperial authorities to abrogate the New Zealand act " on the ground that it amounts to a breach of international law." A. recent visitor to New Zealand, Mr C. Trevetyan, is contributing articles to the Echo on " Liberalism and Labour in Australasia." In New Zealand, he holds, Liberalism and labour have been completely fused, though he is far from saying' that there is not room* for an independent Labour party. The working classes- followed Mr Reeves " loyally and confidently, and the Ministry of Mr Seddon is one of the most valuable records of statesmanlike social reform." Though the case of the New Zealand Midland railway debenture-holders is still sub judice, there are not lacking comments in. the financial press, arid. some, of the remarks, made respecting recent judgments seem rather severe. As an instance,, the Railway Journal says the Privy Council would " make short work of such special pleading" as that of the Chief Justice of the colony. The Capitalist holds that the ac r tion of the New Zealand Government is "high-handed," and that it behaved " with: the severity of a Jew. money lender, aridinsisted upon its pound of flesh because it was written in thebond!" I wes sorry to hear recently that Lord Glasgow had been suffering from * illness, but I am glad to ieirn to-day that he is a good deal better. ' Mrs W. P. Reeves is an admirable specimen of "The New Woman,'.' for she • happily understands the art of exercising strong-mindedness without sacrificing- attractiveness in person or manner. * Her latest achievement lias been .to preside at a London meeting in her husband's stead, he being incapacitated for the .evening by " unwellness." The meeting in question, whicu was largely attended, had been called at Canning Town, hear AVoolwich, for MiBen Tillett to deliver an address Upon his experienced in- New Zealand and Australia. The Agent-General.for New Zealand was to have presided, but was indisposed. I fancy, however, that the audience were more than consoled with the charming vision of Mrs ' Reeves, appearing in his' stead, and their ' pleasure was enhanced when she proceeded j tc deliver an excellent little speech referring to the warm and active interest her husband had always taken in all matters affecting the social welfare of the. colony, and allud- ] ing also to the way in which the people of j New Zealand had kept in the forefront as j regarded the, solution of .many difficult j social problems, * which in older countries of the world, still remained unsolved. It .is ■ needless to say that she experienced a most * cordial reception. * * - , . * 1

Mr Arthur Appleby, junr., has, I regret to say, been laid up for some Utile time with severe illness, from which, he. is only now slowly recovering.

Madame Amy Sherwin has given her autobiography to " M.'A.P." She appears to have'carried away, excellent impressions of New Zealand, and was particularly .im-. pressed with the Maoris and their love for European music.'

News of the death Of the Rev W. Colenso, F.R.S., of Wellington, having.been received, all the London papers sympathetically notice his early work in New Zealand, both as missionary and printer, and as a student of Maori mj-ths and aii-iquities.

Air Louis Bulau, son of Professor Bulau, formerly of Dunedin, New Zealand, has just accepted a position on a plantation in Mauritius, and will sail for that island almost immediately to enter upon, the duties of his new appointment which, I understand, is of a very satisfactory nature.

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OUR LONDON LETTER., Otago Daily Times, Issue 11387, 3 April 1899

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OUR LONDON LETTER. Otago Daily Times, Issue 11387, 3 April 1899

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